A private and confidential Family Office in Chicago that serves an active family is seeking a full-time estate manager to oversee all activities and staff related to the family’s residences.
About the Role
The estate manager will oversee residential property management and personal household services for several locations in the United States, including the family’s primary household in Chicago. This role will ensure that the properties are maintained in proper working order, that logistical operations run smoothly, and that household services are provided to the family in a smooth manner. Typical schedule is on Monday through Friday at approximately 40 hours per week with time frame based on preference of estate manager in order for them to complete their job responsibilities. The position will be a hybrid role of in person and remote (Tuesdays and Thursdays are empty household days at residence). Approximately 3-5+ weeks of domestic travel is required annually to check on properties. Safe vehicle for transportation is required. This is a new and evolving role for the family as they manage their expanding portfolio of properties. Family is open to local candidates and domestic relocations. Start date is Fall to Winter 2023, but flexible for the right candidate.
This role will report to the Director of Residences and Special Projects and liaise with a separate multi-family office that provides financial and human resource support. Household staff including housekeepers and nannies, as well as out-sourced location-specific property caretakers, facilities maintenance vendors, and other service providers will report to the estate manager.
The family values candidates with unquestionable ethics, integrity, and discretion, as well as good judgment, proactive work ethic, strong communication skills, and a positive and collaborative spirit.
- Serve as a trusted, positive, and productive member of the Family Office team. Work collaboratively to meet the Principals’ needs.
- Utilize regular reporting protocols to keep the Head of Principal Operations and the Principals fully apprised of property, staff, and project status in addition to highlighting requested decisions/input and issues of note.
- Preventative and Routine Maintenance – Manage and execute on-the-ground household, property, and project needs for all properties.
- Establish routine preventive maintenance schedules, including task lists, routine maintenance, and repairs.
- Liaise with general contractors, remote property managers, and all vendors.
- Property Walkthroughs – Survey and record property conditions, maintenance needs, and deficiencies as reported or as observed.
- Asset Inventory, Care and Maintenance – Responsible for the documentation of proper care/maintenance protocols and inventory control for all assets, including:
- Property management and facilities systems – including building access, maintenance logs, construction documents, user instructions, operating manuals, warranties, records, etc.
- Insurance records – associated with personal property contents and items pending coverage.
- Stock lists and reordering – for facilities, household, personal supplies, perishable items, replacement parts, etc.
- Oversee Minor Update/Renovation Projects – Work closely with Principals to identify their priorities and preferences and manage vendors, designers, etc., to drive projects to completion.
- Technology – Ensure that household properties utilize up to date technology as desired by Principals. Oversee technology vendors, track online accounts, collaborate with tech team members to troubleshoot, and test AV/IT equipment and systems. Move quickly with the changing environment and stay up to date with the latest technology products and services. Be proficient with different home operating systems (Lutron, Savant, etc.) and productivity tools (e.g., Zoom, Google, Apple, and Microsoft products.)
- Security – Understand each property’s unique security needs and work with security vendors in ensuring the security systems and protocols are maintained as established.
- Emergency Preparedness – Maintain emergency preparedness procedures, emergency supplies, and physical safety protocols to protect occupants and assets.
- Cleaning – Direct the housekeeping team to maintain an interior and exterior cleaning schedule for regular and deep cleaning for all properties.
- Budget – Assist the Family Office in assembling annual home and property expenditure budgets, managing, tracking, auditing expenses, credit card reconciling, and serving as a responsible steward of the Principals’ resources.
HOUSEHOLD and PERSONAL SERVICES
- Consistency – Ensure that each residence has a consistent feel and that household staff and outsourced service providers understand the Principals’ preferences and deliver exceptional service.
- Personal and Concierge Services – Provide top-tier service to the family and their guests and support their activities as directed. Oversee guest arrivals/departures, including special requests, food, etc.
- Stocking and Inventory Control – Ensure that each residence is stocked with the Principal’s desired toiletries, personal items, cleaning products, etc. Oversee inventory of household items, personal products, office supplies, linen closets, and storage areas and ensure inventories are organized and current.
- Event Coordination – Collaborate with the Principals’ Personal and Executive Assistants to plan, manage and execute small and large-scale entertaining at the properties. Ensure property readiness, manage neighbor relations, develop and manage service schedules and monitor the site for quality and safety standards.
STAFF and VENDOR MANAGEMENT
- Household staff management
- Establish a positive, high performing work environment grounded in trust and respect. Lead by example.
- Directly manage household staff at properties (i.e., housekeepers, nannies, chef). Work with direct reports to set priorities, document processes, and responsibilities for their specific positions.
- Set and manage household staff schedules to support the Principals’ schedules and ensure appropriate coverage. Approve weekly timesheets for household staff. Monitor and proactively manage staffing needs, shortages, or over scheduling at all properties.
- Conduct regular household staff meetings to review projects, events, travel, Principal calendars, and staffing schedules.
- Monitor staff performance, including periodically soliciting feedback from Principals. Provide feedback to staff on their performance and ensure service delivery standards are met.
- With the support of the Family Office, drive the recruiting and hiring process for the household team.
- Drive and update training programs for new/existing employees to ensure the highest service standards at the residence.
- Vendor and Service Contracts/Project Management
- Serve as the primary point of contact for vendors/service providers. Provide direct supervision of all outsourced property management and other staff/vendors. Monitor service provision, track hours, manage payments, and audit against invoices.
- Establish a respectful rapport with vendors/service providers/subcontractors and work collaboratively to support the principals’ goals and expectations. Source new vendors and negotiate contracts per Principals’ preferences.
- Maintain records relative to outsourced staff performance and create and deliver annual reviews and improvement plans as is necessary when evaluating their contract renewal.
- Coordinate and supervise site access for vendors according to established security protocols.
Characteristics for Success
- Unquestionable ethics and integrity. Demonstrated ability to protect privacy and maintain discretion in dealing with highly confidential information.
- Service orientation with a sense of accountability, empathy, and humility.
- Strong organizational skills and demonstrated ability to perform and prioritize multiple tasks seamlessly with excellent attention to detail.
- Very strong interpersonal and communication skills. Practical, congenial, positive, and trustworthy, with an even disposition.
- Ability to productively manage a varied team with a positive, productive, and high-performing culture.
- Professional demeanor and an ability to maintain grace under pressure when adapting to a rapidly changing environment.
- Highly resourceful team player that is solution-oriented and unfazed by new situations. Ability to anticipate potential risks and scenarios and prepare appropriately. Excellent problem-solver with a high sense of urgency and follow-through.
- Effective independently and in a semi-remote environment. Remain accessible and responsive beyond business hours.
- Demonstrated ability to effectively manage a team of staff and service providers.
- Pragmatic team player who is not confined by a job description and is willing to step in to assist where needed.
- Highly proficient with various technology platforms and apps – Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, DocuSign, PM/messaging tools, etc.
- Bachelor’s degree
- 5-10+ years of consistent and recent full-time estate manager experience with a high level of client service. Experience managing a range of household staff and service providers.
- Safe vehicle for transportation
- Ability to complete extensive background checks, motor vehicle checks, drug tests, and psychological evaluation
- 2-3+ references from domestic positions
- Ability to travel domestically whenever necessary
- Willingness to sign a Confidentiality Agreement (NDA)
- Vaccinations (e.g., COVID-19, MMR, TDap, etc.)
- Comfortable with children and cat
- Seeking longevity (e.g., 2-5+ year commitment and ideally longer)
- Must have a United States passport and the flexibility to travel to the Principals’ households as needed
- Live a close proximity to family’s main residence in Lincoln Park or willingness to relocate within reasonable commute
- $175K+ gross annual salary (based on experience and qualifications)
- Health insurance coverage family policy (including dental and vision)
- 401K Plan (5% Match)
- Discretionary annual bonus and raise (performance evaluation required)
- Laptop and phone provided (office provided for estate manager at main residence)
Please read the job description carefully and kindly apply with your cover letter, resume, references (email address and phone number), letter(s) of recommendation, and professional photo if you feel that you meet all of the requirements. We look forward to hearing from you!