Skills Of A Good Estate Manager


Published on February 25, 2021

Do you know what an estate manager is? Do you think you have the skills and personality to become an effective estate manager? What skills do you need to become a top estate manager?

Firstly, it is important to understand what an estate manager is. And what roles they are typically tasked with. The role of an estate manager is commonly mistaken for being the same as a house manager. However, these are two completely different roles that require separate skills. A few tasks may be similar between the two. But there is one major difference. Whereas a house manager might only have to deal with one house. An estate manager is in charge of a whole estate or set of properties with acres of land. This is why the role of an estate manager requires certain skills in order to achieve the upkeep of the property.

So what skills will a good estate manager possess?

  • Time management and dealing with schedules

    This is a vital skill that a top estate manager would possess and be effective at. Depending on the property the estate manager may have to prepare for social events, weddings and family events for example. It will be their responsibility to ensure that everything is prepared for the event. And the estate is in perfect condition. The estate manager is normally in charge of most of the domestic workers at the property. So it will be their responsibility to ensure that everyone is working effectively to avoid any problems when the events come around. This is why time management is so pivotal to the role of an estate manager. As the principal could call up on short notice with a list of tasks and they have to try and fit everything in.

  • Leadership and management

    An estate manager will most likely be in charge of some, or all of the domestic staff around the property. Leadership is very important in this role. As an estate manager needs to make sure that everyone is doing their job and isn’t falling behind or slacking. Depending on the estate or property the estate manager could be in charge of different members of staff. If they are working on a smaller property they might have an active role in the family house. In this case, they could be in charge of the butlers, private chefs and other domestic staff working in the house. Whereas, they could also be put in charge of the whole estate other than the family house. In a case like this, they would most likely be in charge of farmworkers or gardeners. To ensure that the grounds are kept in pristine condition. There are also instances where the estate manager will be in charge of the payroll for the other domestic staff working on the estate. So, having leadership and management skills would be extremely helpful to an estate manager. As part of the job is to be in charge of other workers.

  • Finance management skills

    The estate manager would normally be in charge of the finances of the estate and keep track of the money coming in and out. This is why budget and finance management skills are so vital. Any maintenance issues that occur on the property will be down to the estate manager to rectify. Of course, the principal will have the final say, but the estate manager would have to try and work out the best options to present to their principal. In the cases mentioned earlier where they are in charge of the payroll for the other domestic staff on the property, a strong knowledge of finance would help. Finally, some estates have business elements to them, in that they run events or host weddings, and the estate manager may be asked to help with profitability from these events. For these reasons having finance management skills is key to being a  successful estate manager.

  • Knowledge of farms and animals

    Some estates will have farms on the property or animals that the family own. An estate manager would be in charge of the upkeep of the farms and the well being of the animals. So having knowledge of these areas would definitely be helpful. Any agricultural issues will be down to them to solve, so having experience or knowledge of working on land would be beneficial.

Due to the wide array of tasks an estate manager could be given, it is important to have the skills listed above. However, it is also key to have more generic skills and traits to become the ideal estate manager. An ideal estate manager isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty and help. They are also polite and professional in everything they do.

If you would like to train to become an estate manager, Polo & Tweed are world-leading training providers to students all over the world, with an online academy for all the courses too. Why not check out all the different training options we offer, or if you would like to know more information, please do get in touch and we can help you further.


  1. Marley Finn says:

    Being a farm manager i believe i would suit being an estate manager, but obviously there are differences and id like to know what i need to become a successful estate manager.

    • Aafke Meelen says:

      Great question! Yes, there will indeed be some differences. Many households would prefer you to have (at least some) experience in a private household setting already, or perhaps hotels. If you are really interested and want to investigate further, we do offer online versions of our House/Estate Manager training course too. This will give you a lot of knowledge and understanding of the role, and is a great way to find out if that type of job would indeed be suited for you too!

      • Josephine Nicholls says:

        Hi there I am working as a senior housekeeper in a state house. Do I still need to take the course as a state manager in order to get this higher role in the future??

        • Aafke Meelen says:

          Great questions! An estate manager training course can really help in giving you the confidence, skills and also the knowledge that an estate manager role would need. Working your way up in a household is an excellent way of getting to a higher position or role, as you will know a lot about how everything works already. The training will just give you those new skills that will be new to your job!

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