Household Employee Overtime: Change Coming

Household Employee Overtime: Change Coming
May 18, 2016
Household employee overtime rules are commonly misunderstood, and often just plain ignored. The vast majority of household employees – nannies, senior caregivers, housekeepers, etc. – are classified as non-exempt (NOT exempt from overtime rules) employees. These household employees must be paid overtime.
KathyWebbHowever some more skilled household employees – estate managers, head housekeeper or house managers for example – may be considered exempt or hourly employees. This classification is largely depended on the actual work performed and not on the employee’s title. This is where the change is coming!
Salaried employees are paid the same amount every work week regardless of the actual number of days worked or actual hours worked. The primary work performed by a salaried household employee must be supervision, not actually doing (there is an 80/20 rule used in this determination). Today, in general a salaried household employee who is paid $23, 600 per year or more (last updated in 2004) AND has a span of control over two or more employeesAND whose time is primarily spend in supervisory activities may be considered exempt from the FLSA’s overtime rules.
New Household Employee Overtime Rules
Changes are coming, however, and now is the time to prepare. In March 2014 President Obama signed an executive memorandum instructing the U.S. Department of Labor to review the standards defining a salaried, exempt employee. The US DOL has published proposed rules changes in July 2015 that are widely expected to become effective in 2016.
The key change for household employment is the implementation of a formula that sets the minimum annual salary for an exempt (salaried) worker that keeps up with inflation without the need for rules changes. This formula, when adopted, will increase the minimum weekly salary in 2016 to $913 or $47,476 annually. In 2016, a salaried household employee earning between $47,476 and $134,004 annually must meet the supervision tests described above to retain the exemption from overtime. It is assumed that highly compensated employees earning $134,004 or more per year and who “customarily and regularly” perform one of the exempt duties of an administrative, executive or professional employee are generally exempt. The duties requirement is relaxed because a high level of compensation is a strong indicator that an employee is exempt.

When the rule becomes effective December 1, 2016, all household employees who are paid less than $47,476(2016) no matter their duties are hourly employees entitled to overtime.

Written by
Kathleen (Kathy) WebbPresident of HomeWork Solutions, Inc. | Household Payroll & Employment Tax

Reposted from Facebook


logoSmallAdministratively, I had never thought of myself as particularly skilled.
I was indeed an entrepreneur, and had a very clear vision of what I was to accomplish, but the administrative perspective was way too structured, systematic and maybe boring for my active service heart to ascertain. I remember early on, when organizing a housekeeping company, the idea of  keeping books, hiring staff and actually purchasing a computer in 1981 was way over my head.

I set up my first corporate bank account using my father’s credit card and cashed in a paid up life insurance policy purchased for me at birth. He co-signed the card so that the bank knew someone would be accountable. After all, I was just a cleaning lady. I kept that card for 25 years, well after he had passed on. Giving it up was a traumatic experience. His name on my credit card forced me to always keep my bills paid. I would have rather died than have the bank call him suggesting I had failed in the administrative duty of paying bills.

I also remember coming to a place in my business growth where I was completely overwhelmed and simply did not know what to do.  I went to my then female banker, and with a tear in my eye, asked a series of questions. She sternly replied, “I am not your business consultant. Go to the business section of a book store and research all that you might want to learn.” She turned and walked out of her office.  I felt rebuked, but it was the best advice anyone could have given me.
My first book was on simple accounting. My second book was on basic business practices and hiring. They saved me and Starkey.  Administrative skills used to be primarily writing a well written letter.

This has been transformed into writing a well written e-mail. Good Administrative Standards and skills are all about effective communication and organization. It is essential that you have good systems and procedures as platforms for accomplishing many of the tasks that actually hold the container of your business or the Business of Private Service and supporting your Principal’s lifestyle. That will take you, as Household or Estate Manager and all your staff, off of Crisis Mode!

At Starkey I have the business of education, the business of placement, the business of publishing, a non-profit that provides scholarships and the business of owning a 13,000 sq. ft. historic residence. Each business has a unique set of 1350-Logan-Ext_01required administrative skills and specific Administrative Standards to uphold it. These include: appropriate phone and door answering, computer software for schedules and for collecting database contacts and vendors, procedures for hiring, dismissing and other HR requirements, health insurance, appropriate interviewing questions, business etiquettes and protocols, identification of risks for insurance and liability, budgets, functional chart of accounts, accountability procedures and timelines for payables and receivables, identification and approximate costs and care of collectibles, profiles of staff and their position descriptions, qualified instructors and support vendors.

It’s business, and it’s also the Business of Private Service! I have made a few thousand mistakes over the years.
I have quit Starkey twice only to discover when I continued to sign pay checks, my staff kept going. They loved Starkey. I have been stolen from in the 100’s of thousands as I did not always watch closely. My business lawyer informed me several times I was naive and trusted way too much. I paid dearly for this weakness. My biggest administrative lesson, hard learned among many, was to “Trust, but always Verify.”

I also have done some things right. I always kept my vision and my intention of helping to create a Private Service Profession. The most important thing I did was to hire enough of the right staff, and in that I have indeed succeeded. Many of them were better than I in a variety of  skills, and that’s what you look for. Don’t settle for anyone but the best which is not always easy.

The business of Private Service will only succeed when you learn to put your service heart aside and be practiced and consistent in performing your administrative duties, and in the putting in place of functional service systems. Private Service Managers must have
approved procedures for your staff and vendors, a good service flow for performing tasks, again take time to hire the right staff,
provide real and time-oriented position descriptions, Zone and customized Task Sheets with your Housekeepers and Maintenance
staff, weekly development of your Day in the Life for your effective time management, and to maintain good communication with your
Principal. Always be aware of their most important priorities. They change often. When systems and functional Administrative Standards are in place,
you have the creative time and energy to think out of the box, and be a leader and great problem solver. Administrative Standards placed within your overall Service Management Plan make you a
true manager in Private Service.

Written by:
Mary Louise Starkey
First Lady of Service,
Starkey International

Employers Seek the Best in Private Service

I, as my clientele, work to keep a fairly low profile in my Private Service work. There have been claims that I am very difficult, and much more.
Most of the stories written about Mary Louise Starkey have come from tabloids to sell papers.
Unfortunately, they are primarily a result of my upholding very high standards within the Private Service industry, and because I too come from a high-net-worth family. Service providers don’t always appreciate my leadership messages. The service world as personalities, hold their self-esteem in what they can do, not in developed understanding of the world.
Most employers Starkey chooses to serve are at $750 million in assets and above. They continue to come back as they have learned they want the best of the best,
and Starkey positions our Graduates to succeed through a variety of specialized services. High-net worth clientele have much to lose financially when they have hired the wrong Household or Estate Manager.
Starkey-MilitaryMy military Graduates have kindly named me the First Lady of Service. I am honored. I began training Enlisted Aides who serve Admirals, Generals, and their spouses in 1998. They are amazing service professions who I am grateful to represent as they retire to civilian life. As my commitment to Private Service spans over thirty-
five years of experience, I come to you with a seasoned ownership
of knowledge that I greatly enjoy sharing. The world of Private Service has overwhelmingly changed recently. These changes have placed some of my high-net-worth Principals who are new to hiring at risk. These changes have also made our industry very difficult to understand. Terms and titles are not consistent, position descriptions are often developed by families and family offices who are listing needs as opposed to positioning workers to succeed in functional positions. Further, education in Private Service is not considered important.

“Anyone with good organization skills can do it!”

Many hire construction managers who helped build their new home or bistro managers in their neighborhood to be their Household Manager not realizing that very little knowledge in these two professions is transferable. Yes, the construction manager brings knowledge to complete the punch list, but that’s where it ends. I recently served a principal who did hire the bistro manager located at the end of their street. She was a lovely lady, had a big service heart, everyone liked her, but she knew nothing of Private Service.

She walked into rooms during meetings; she lacked etiquette and privacy in talking about her employer to others. She did not understand accepted daily practices and procedures or the service tools essential to the Household Management profession.
I know a special employer who has ultimately interviewed 35 butler- cooks in search of her specific match. I have learned much in working with her over many years. This may sound unreasonable, but for her it was a process of learning how to work with staff in the 21st Century because of her diplomatic background.

rose2The world of domestics serving as housekeepers and housemen is not to what I refer. My graduates come with bachelor’s degrees, years of experience in such areas as home building, landscaping, culinary, hospitality, professional organizing and event planning. This is a beginning and good experience base, but still not Household Management or being educated in the profession.

“They just don’t know what they don’t know!”

Many new employers hire a Household or Estate Manager, but the candidate has no directed training. My diplomatic client who taught me much about placement also taught me Starkey’s little known match making essentials:

1. Lifestyle and Career Goals; Most persons entering the Private Service profession must have the desire to “make a difference” in the life of another. It’s a lifestyle requiring irregular hours, commitment to high standards, almost impossible with their own young children, and must have training in household etiquette and protocols, with unwavering privacy.

2. Why is the candidate in Service? What is their motivation? Until a candidate can clearly answer this question, their motivation comes from being told what to do as opposed to being inwardly motivated. This is an essential trait that supports work being performed on the employer’s agenda, not their own.

3.What is their most prominent Moral, Value or Ethic? Belief Systems must be matched with employers’ to appropriately understand and represent employer’s interests.

4. Essential Skills are categorized into ten Standard areas. Candidates must have superior skills in a minimum of three Service Standards, and usually four to succeed. Check Starkey’s Website to learn all ten Service Standards.

5. Private Service candidates have personalities that mirror a variety of Service Styles that are sought by employers. Service Styles must be matched to the employer’s to receive desired levels of service. Ultimately, it’s the personality, motivation and lifestyle matches that support long term placements, not only the technical skills. Thank you for the opportunity to share.

Call me with your questions. 303-832-5510

Written by:
Mary Louise Starkey
First Lady of Service ,
Starkey International

The New Household Manager

logoSmallAs part of our efforts to shine a light on issues of estate management and high-net-worth services, we are featuring the following

article contribution by Starkey International Institute for Household Management, which provides training, education, and
placement services in the area of estate management and private services. We hope you enjoy this educational article.

After negotiating with your new employer, the fine details of your contract, it’s time to start your position. Starting a new position can be stressful the first day when you discover the amount of work and organization it will take to put the residence in order. Especially when the previous House Manager, Chef, or Estate Manager did not leave any documents or information or left outdated documentation that does not reflect the principal preferences, vision of their life style, flavor profile or even up to date vendor contacts.Every one before you worked on their own agenda, each staff member probably never really communicated between themselves, nor worked as a team.
Walking throughout the property, trying to best prioritize all the information you collected can be a daunting experience. What
should be done and how it should be done in order to begin seeing results should be your first order of business. This is what an
employer would expect of you.
Some principal’s feel exasperated from seeing the un-organize situation in their house. Some residences can be as large as
30,000sq.ft. and require many staff to maintain standards. If the position is well paid, they may expect early miracles.largehouse
Unfortunately, when they finally hire an educated in Private Service professional, it’s usually too late for a quick organization. It’s
essential that your have the right service management tools in hand do a good job. Starkey’s Service Management System will help
you gather all the essential information and also presents a process of evaluating each staff person.
It’s essential that each staff member have the right technical skills for their position or you may also find yourself spending valuable
time training in addition to assisting the family with their needs. A normal time for fully organizing a residence is from 3 months to one year depending upon its size and the knowledge of the current staff. This needs to be communicated to your Principal when you are hired to set up appropriate expectations.

As you will be seen as the expert and are being well paid to be one, let them know you will be providing as needed: Identifying
individual Service Standards in ten service categories, learning about vendors, ascertaining priorities and special projects, overall
staff training or hiring new staff, setting up discipline, correct hours, and schedules to meet the families and environments needs,
and developing team work before real positive changes will be seen. Household Management is“ Service as an Expertise”.
This article was contributed by:
Xavier Medecin
Executive Director of Development Starkey International
Starkey Certified Household Manager
The International Butler Academy Certified Butler


Core Professional Duties in Private Service

logoSmallThe following article was authored by Starkey International.
Positions in a Private Home need to be clear and concise to be successful. This is the profession of the Business of Household Management. It literally means setting up a structure much like you would in a business, to effectively manage the home. The Principals depend on their staff and may not be able to manage the home themselves due to personal commitments. Thus, this administrative piece is most important and is typically given to the Estate Manager, the Household Manager, and in some cases where there is a full time Principal actively involved in the home, the Personal Assistant.

Core Professional Duties in Private Service

Positions in a Private Home need to be clear and concise to be successful. This is the profession of the Business of
Household Management. It literally means setting up a structure much like you would in a business, to effectively manage the home.
The Principals depend on their staff and may not be able to manage the home themselves due to personal commitments. Thus, this
administrative piece is most important and is typically given to the Estate Manager, the Household Manager, and in some cases where
there is a full time Principal actively involved in the home, the Personal Assistant.

In all cases, it is important to set the tone of the environment right away and establish who the staff and vendors are, and what their responsibilities
and duties are in the home. This can be accomplished with listing Core Professional Duties or Position Descriptions of each staff member.
If this task is still unclear, Starkey offers a short one-week, 40 hour “Systems Course” via Correspondence or at Starkey to teach the Principal or
Family Office staff person who is responsible for accomplishing this task.

Core Professional Duties of the Estate Manager

iStock_000004801707MediumOverall Management of an Estate, or multiple Estates, is quite different from the detail of daily service delivery. Understanding the difference can make the difference of preventing turnover. An Estate Manager’s position is to take on the responsibilities involved in upholding the Service Vision and overall quality of life of the Principal and their family. The Estate Manager should approach a Private Service Management position with the following perspective:

Over all Service Vision
Learn the depth of clarity necessary to execute all operations within a Service Environment; utilize the Starkey Service Management Model taught in the “Systems Course” with careful, skillful and intentional listening to the Principal’s Service Vision.
This written Customized Service Management Plan process will reveal and summarize the economic, human, and social factors required for the successful completion of setting up all aspects of the Principal’s overall Lifestyle, Service Vision and their Environments.

Be sure to achieve agreement with the Principal on the Service Vision, Service Goals and the overall Service Management
Plan, including the staff and resources needed to fulfill the service expectations for each home and Service Environment.

Service Management Blueprint and Budget Use the now-complete Service Management Plan Blueprint to gather
and analyze the overall budget necessary for the Household/Estate and Service Environment fiscal management. Create and refine monthly, quarterly, and fiscal year budgets in cooperation with the Family Office or Accountant. In some cases, manage the Household/Estate operations and project-specific purchasing, payroll, insurance, etc. specific to those budgets as directed.

Family Office Administration

officeManThe Family Office, at the Principal’s direction, is responsible for interfacing with specific professionals including insurance, legal, CPA, architecture and design, human resources and building contractors. They might also oversee the detail associated with invoices; maintain the files and historical data necessary to protect the owners and their private/personal corporate entities. It is always essential to maintain confidentiality agreements to minimize Principal exposure. Vendors, Contracts and Resources Locate ethical and reputable commercial service providers within the immediate community, as well as for any remote locations or projects. Maintain highest standards of integrity, steering clear of the unethical “kickback” practices of some vendors.
Develop relationships with vendor owners and managers – communicate the Service Standards and behaviors necessary for the privilege of ongoing contracts with the Principal, Household or Estate. Maintain the records, relationships and protocols to ensure quality product delivery.

Staff Training & Management

Utilize the Technical Skills Qualifier™, the Personal Style Identifier™ and the other Service Management Tools of the System to achieve the necessary depth of clarity with the Principal and with staff to articulate the expected Service Standards, Service Styles, and individual and team productivity, expectations of conduct, requisite skill levels and pertinent behaviors. Create and deliver the expected atmosphere and Lifestyle throughout the household or Estate.

Service Relationships

Nurture the relationships and protocols in all areas to minimize Principal exposure, and to ensure quality service and product delivery. Whenever possible, cross-train to empower staff, control laborcosts and promote the lowest possible turnover.

Service Environment

Educate, develop, manage and nurture talented and committed teams of Private Service Staff, Vendors, and Resources to produce excellent delivery service in the interior and exterior physical Service Environments and Grounds and Property.

Charities and Community Interface

Represent the Principal, Family and Guest priorities within the local and extended community with discretion, gracious yet confidential behavior, intuitive and empathetic service to extended family, friends and neighbors, charitable institutions and professional service providers. Nowhere is the Private Service Manager’s Code of Ethics more important than here. Expect high standards of behavior in all Estate staff.

Safety and Protection Protocols

Complete understanding and support of the Safety and Protection Standards and Security Systems required by the Principal with respect to the Household, the Estate, Transportation and Travel, additional homes, security information, special Guests, and Events of the Principal and immediate Principal and Family.

Project Management

Communicate on behalf of the Principal regarding Design/Build operations: management of contractors, analysis of estimates, quality standards, research and recommendation of contractors and projects.

Core Professional Duties of the Household Manager

A Household Manager (occasionally called “Butler”) is responsible for daily operations of the interior environments and will pay attention to the many subtle details of the Administrative Standards in addition to recognizing and distinguishing specific Service Expectations.

Initial endeavors will include the following:
Immediate Tasks within the first days:

  • ƒƒ Development of a working Service Management Plan Blueprint
  • ƒƒ Supervision of Household Staff and Vendors
  • ƒƒ Preparation of weekly Day in the Life™ Schedules
  • ƒƒ Support or preparation of weekly menus and preparation of meals
  • ƒƒSupport of the Principal, Family and Guests in their daily routine
  • ƒƒInventorying of china, silver, crystal, art work, antiques and other collectibles
  • ƒƒInterfacing fully with Family Office, Accountants, Vendors and Resources

Additional Tasks within the first weeks:

  • Storing resource books, smart home technology information, warranty and maintenance information
  • Maintaining a Safety and Protection Management Plan for the residence and monitoring the security measuresƒOrganizing the pantry and developing weekly menus and grocery, paper products and other household goods ordering lists
  • ƒƒDeveloping entertaining schedules, ordering of service and wine cellar management procedureIf there is a Family Office or Estate Manager to pay bills and issue payroll checks, that person will have a list of vendors, budgets, insurance information and other resources. This is invaluable systems
    information for the Household Manager.

Most families have vendors they have worked with over the years that the House hold Manager will need to continue to work with.

A House hold Manager or Butlerwill scrutinizeand supervisethe level of service that each vendor is providing and what they are charging for the product or service they are delivering.

Words to the Wise for Staff:
Never attempt to change an existing Service
Delivery System until you have had a chance to learn what the System is, what the politics of the House holdor Service Environment are, and the reasons things have been done a certain way. Then, have frank conversations with your Principals and learn their perspectives and share what you have observed.

Core Professional Duties of the Personal Assistant

Emily Morrill_smThe Personal Assistant can often function as the Household or Estate Manager in “smaller” Service Environments where a Principal is the acting Household or Estate Manager and requires Personal Assistant support or as a fully integrated Personal Assistant for a highly recognized Celebrity, Public Personality, CEO or Retired Billionaire.

A Personal Assistant is primarily responsible for interfacing on behalf of the Principal with the Family as needed, their family office and Private Service Staff. The main goal is the support of the Principal’s Life Style Goals, Service Standards, Administrative Tasks, Entertaining, and Event Planning and Travel and Concierge needs.

  • Manage all Correspondence and the Household, Children’s and other Family members’ Personal Calendars
  • ƒƒInterface and Communicate for Principal with Household
  • Staff, Vendors, and Resources ƒƒMaintain Contact Databases
  • ƒƒResearch Specialty Products, Professionals, Vendors and Network Contacts
  • ƒƒManage budgets and bill paying
  • ƒƒSupport the Planning of all Entertaining and Charity Events
  • ƒƒManage Invitations and RSVPs
  • ƒƒAttend Board Meetings and provide Meeting Minutes
  • ƒƒManage International and Domestic Itineraries, Reservations,
  • Transportation, and Travel
  • ƒƒWork with their Principal’s Charities and Non-Profit commitments

Written by: Mary Louise Starkey
“First Lady of Service”
Excerpts from the Original Guide for Household Management 2007

Contact us at
Telephone 720-788-3398 or 303-832-5510

For Employers Only

Greetings from Starkey! Family life during holidays is always stressful when running a large home with multiple staff. Many of our clients are now new employers with greater assets and multiple properties, but without the experience of what should be expected from staff. We frequently receive calls from our clients requesting what is most often done within homes.

While we train our Starkey Graduates to become “Persons of Possibilities”, it is up to employers to clearly state overall priorities, levels of service standards, and details as to how they would like tasks accomplished. Often it’s a learning process to be able to articulate your expectations. Starkey trains its Graduates to know exact questions in 10 service standard categories to begin to set up the overall container of what quality of life is to you. If your Household Manager has not been trained in the Service Management tools unique to private service, they will typically do things as they would do them, not necessarily how you would want them done. Having this written container of service standard information also takes everyone off of crisis mode!

mansionHousekeeping staff genuinely want to know the specifics of what it will take them to succeed in your home. This requires real knowledge of your expected detail. Our Starkey Certified Managers understand this and can quickly get this information at the beginning of their tenure with you through Zoning and customizing (time and product oriented) Task Sheets for them to follow on a daily basis. Your Management staff must have real Household Management education to know how to do this! Reference our Original Guide to Private Service Management publication for specifics or learn about our Private Service Educational options at

Professional staff should expect to work holidays, with alternate days off.   This is when you need them for holiday entertaining, caring for visiting family and friends, and “Home for the Holiday’s Experiences”. It makes good sense to inform your management staff members three months ahead of time your intentions such as: “We will not need you for Thanksgiving as we will be in Turks and Caicos, but will need you for all of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.” This will give them time to make their own family plans. Often employers give a holiday bonus as well. However, most employers typically combine the staff’s yearly bonus with the Christmas bonus. Some clients do not give regular yearly increases in salary; often they


provide between 5% and 20% of annual salary as yearly bonuses (paid and taxed through regular payroll) depending upon length of employment and level of position and responsibility.

Families are often traveling for the holidays or at another residence. A question often asked is, “Is it ok if staff members earn extra money serving at another family’s holiday?” I state clearly, no! It’s bad business for staff to establish relationships with other families in the neighborhood or even other family members at other homes. It’s a good way to lose your staff. We have learned loyalty and privacy should be a clear boundary for clients and staff: Your staff works for only you!

If you are traveling, your home and property should be checked daily by your management staff, some cleaning needs to be completed to keep things in order and special projects can be completed in your absence!

It’s another reason salaries should be appropriately paid for the business and responsibilities a staff member holds. Staff should be paid well enough that they are able to easily meet normal bills, and they themselves also experience some quality of life. A Starkey Standard is “Staff should understand what it takes to serve themselves in order to appropriately serve another.”  If you have other homes and it is part of the agreement for the Household Manager to also manage additional homes, it is fair to take them along to create quality of life at the other home.

At Starkey, we make ourselves available to all our Clients and Family Offices to answer these and other questions in this unique profession. It is our intent to keep you in control of your staff members with good management techniques for long and mutually respectful relationships. Have a wonderful and safe Holiday Season.

Mary Louise Starkey, First Lady of Service

Contact us at

Telephone 720-788-3398 or 303-832-5510

The Challenge of Multiple Home Management

When Principals have multiple homes in need of oversight, management, operational staffing, financial budgets and security, it typically falls under supervision of the Estate Manager in cooperation with the Family Office.  One might believe that the same standards that are adhered to at the Principal’s primary residence will also stand for the other homes. This is generally not the case. Each home has been purchased for an area lifestyle, overall purpose, location, size and frequency of use by the Principal or Guest.

It may be an original family home one of the Principals has inherited, or in which they grew up.  It may be a home or condo in the mountains, by the ocean or in a home town. It may be provided to parents, grown children, extended family members or close friends as a retreat.  It may be rented out during high seasons for additional income or left uninhabited for the strict personal use of the Principals.  I have seen entire second homes as estates that have multiple historical structures on hundreds of acres that hold the family’s hobbies such as a regulation hockey rink, collections such as historical dinner ware, fine linens, art, or crafts indigenous to an area or culture, used for corporate gatherings or just valuable land held for long term investment purposes.

roseA Starkey Certified Estate Manager would be well advised to look at the following outline of questions to be answered and placed in a written Service Plan for overall management and care of each home and property.  Answer each question:

1.  What is the primary purpose for each residence?  Think in terms of descriptive adjectives such as “for principal’s family rest and relaxation”; for parents to live and be cared for in close proximity to the Principal’s primary home; for business members to gather for private “think tank” meetings; for Family Foundation purposes for inner city children to experience fly fishing, horseback riding or mountain camps; ranches for paid guests wanting to experience country living; religious retreat centers to support the Principal’s faith.


2. Based upon its use, learn what Service Standards will be adhered to.  Go through all of Starkey’s ten Service Standards with your Principal to learn the experience they would like all those using the homes to have.  Be sure to note that Principals and Guests often have different culinary expectations such as fresh sea food near the ocean, deer or buffalo in the mountains, and family “comfort foods” when staying in the home in which they grew up. Families will often have special clothing they will leave at the residence.  As children grow, this clothing will need to be re-purchased to fit. Clothing will also need to be cleaned and readied including equestrian wear, water skiing and diving wear, snow skis waxed with accompanying equipment well-maintained.

3. Identify what services are expected and needed so that the unique Service Standards can be provided by appropriately skilled and trained staff.  1350-Logan-Ext_01Some staff may come from the family’s primary home or special staff will be hired seasonally for use at the alternative homes. This will always include Housekeeping or Household Manager to welcome family and guests; provide bedroom turn-down, serve meals and afternoon drinks. Be sure food, clothing and amenities are in place and other services as requested. Maybe a Chef for daily meals and Entertaining support, a Boat Captain to drive, help with water sports/equipment, a Grounds and Property worker to keep the grass cut, herb or vegetable gardens attended to and flowers cared for.  Paying Guests will want all or a portion of the above services.

4.       On-going Maintenance and Security for each property.  Each Maintenance project should have its own budget based upon multiple estimates. The Estate Manager will need to visit each property at least quarterly depending upon whether or not there is a permanent staff member or caretaker caring for the residence. Security is required based upon location and visibility.

5. Create a household budget using Starkey’s 10 Service Standards as a Chart of Accounts for each home. Present to the Family Office and Family Principal for their edits, understanding and approval.  Using Starkey’s Ten Standards Chart of Accounts makes the cost based on its use understandable for all concerned.

Alternative homes are always seen as personal, investments and assets that must be cared for on an on-going basis. The challenge of on-going care is often seen as just an occasional cleaning. Take Care of your Principal and all of their property as though it is your own.

Written by Mrs. Mary Louise Starkey

First Lady of Service

Starkey International Institute