Written by Jack Greenhouse
Within the realm of formal Estates, names and titles often blur the lines of duties and responsibilities. True Estate Caretakers (sometime referred to as Property Managers or simply Caretakers) are a prime example. Estate Caretakers are really a Jack or Jill of all Trades. While Caretakers are perceived to be merely “outside” employees, their responsibilities often carry over into other areas of the residence and personal service.
Property Manager Responsibilities
This post highlights four core aspects and primary responsibilities of Estate Caretaking
1) Grounds and Property Management
2) Interior/Household Responsibilities
3) Vehicle Maintenance
4) Staff, Vendor, and Contractor Management
Grounds & Property Management
- A seasoned Estate Caretaker will have extensive knowledge and experience handling all aspects of the grounds and property. Caretakers are frequently required to have a degree in horticulture in order to properly maintain lawns, private golf courses, walking trails, ornamental and vegetable gardens, shrubbery, farmland, and other green areas. They must be able to not only maintain pristine grounds but also identify any potential infestations or plant illness in order to prevent any costly damage.
- Estate Caretakers oversee the property’s other buildings (e.g. guesthouses, pool houses, gazebos, etc.) in addition to maintaining tennis courts, basketball courts, pools, hot tubs, and other entertainment areas. Depending on where the property is located, the Estate Caretaker may also be responsible for winterizing the property and preparing for inclement weather (e.g. hurricanes) and other emergencies.
- A sound understanding of irrigation, fence construction/mending, and other practical property knowledge is essential depending on the scale and specifics of a given estate.
- An experienced Estate or Property Caretaker will know market prices for regular services and projects in an effort to provide financial and budget oversight for his or her employers.
Household Caretaker Responsibilities
- An experienced Estate Caretaker will have ample experience overseeing the facilities within the home. Whether HVAC, plumbing, painting, or Audio/Visual entertainment, the Estate Caretaker should have basic knowledge of all of the home’s systems and trouble-shooting.
- Some Estate Caretakers who also have gardening duties may also prepare floral arrangements for various locations within the residence for that extra added touch.
- A professional Caretaker may also possess light handyman, basic repair, or carpentry skills. It is not uncommon for the Caretaker, in absence of a Houseman, to help the housekeeping staff with heavy lifting or other physical duties in the residence. In some instances, the Caretaker may even act as the Chauffeur. Like other residential staff, they too must have a pitch in attitude and be able to assist in other aspects of the home when called upon to do so.
Vehicle Maintenance & Management
- Managing the principal’s fleet of vehicles, water crafts, and grounds equipment is often a large part of the job for Estate Caretakers. The Estate Caretaker will not only maintain all garage facilities and ensure all vehicles are kept in pristine condition, but they will also keep organized records including registrations and maintenance schedules. They work closely with other staff to anticipate employer’s needs and schedules.
Staff, Vendor & Contractor Mgmt
- While most staff management will fall under the responsibilities of the House or Estate Manager, the Estate Caretaker will often oversee outside vendors, contractors or additional grounds crews. In some instances, they may even oversee vendors within the home especially as it pertains to facilities.
Estate Caretakers, as you see, are vital to the outside and inside aspects of fine estates. A Caretaker who is willing to add to their repertoire will only increase their value in the home and to their employers. To learn how we can help you find a seasoned Estate Caretaker for your property or to apply for an experienced position, contact Pavillion Agency!