Why private service professionals need community
Updated: Jan 12
“I’m alone in my own little world here,” says Shelby Boudreau, an Estate Manager from Maine.
Shelby’s sense of isolation echoes a broader trend in private service — an industry where confidentiality is critical and the “office” is someone’s home.
The best private service professionals in the world too often feel alone. They feel like they can’t take a day off, because no one else has their knowledge. They struggle to find assistants who share their commitment to perfection, their passion for providing the best service, and their unmatched ability to notice the smallest details. And when they have a question, they turn to Google, but rarely have a support system of other experts.
Of course, this solitude is partly by design. Many people in private service careers protect their knowledge, because they want to protect their jobs. But how will the art of incredible household service survive, if the best in the industry don’t connect with newcomers? How will veteran estate managers build teams that run smoothly, if they can’t find staff members with the skills and training they need?
And, most importantly, how will the “unicorns” of the private service industry avoid burning out if they feel so alone in a job that demands so much?
Many of the industry’s top estate managers will tell you, “I wish I could find another me.”
At the same time, newcomers to private service face their own challenges of isolation. Without professional development resources and on-the-job training, they’re thrown into personal assistant and household management roles and don’t know where to turn for help.
When Shelby started managing one property 18 years ago, she relied on her hospitality background and taught herself everything she needed to know about running an estate. As the estate grew, so did her career. Today, she manages 15 properties.
Over the last two decades, she’s watched the number of job descriptions for household management roles skyrocket, while the lack of educational resources and training has remained the same. She says she feels for the growing number of new estate managers who are being tasked with huge workloads without any experience.
“A lot of people are starting with five properties and they haven’t even managed one successfully,” says Shelby. “There are a lot of distressed people because they’re in over their heads and they don’t have a network.”
The bottom line is this: no matter where they are in their careers, private service professionals need a place to network, ask questions, and learn from other people who’ve been in their shoes.
And now, a group of people who love this industry and the opportunities it has to offer are coming together to bring that place to life.
Easemakers is a new community built by and for people who are passionate about the art of private service.
The goal is to give private service professionals opportunities to connect with peers, share resources, ask questions, and get the professional development they need, whether they’re just starting out or looking to take their careers to the next level.
“Principals want to live with ease, and that wouldn’t be possible without their estate managers, personal assistants, and other private service professionals — the easemakers,” says Mohamed Elzomor, Co-Founder and SVP of Nines, the company behind Easemakers, as well as a new household management platform. "We’re building a community where people who are passionate about household management can connect and continue to master their craft.”
The community is private and requires an application. Once members are accepted, they are invited to an online platform where they can start chatting with their peers right away. While members are encouraged to be open and honest, confidentiality is a key pillar of the community and principals are kept anonymous. The community is a safe environment for private service professionals to network and share resources — no vendors or principals are admitted.
Easemakers’ founding members share a commitment to the value of community, and a strong passion for private service.
“Community is what keeps us fresh, keeps us grounded, keeps us accountable, and also keeps us aware of what’s going on in the industry,” says Christopher Milu, one of the community’s earliest members, who found his first job in the industry thanks to a networking organization.
“I love it because I really want to support my colleagues, and I really want a place where we can support each other,” says another Estate Manager, Kimberly Brandon.
The community’s platform allows members to start their own conversations, comment on other members’ posts, and follow along with ongoing discussions.
“Simply observing peer-to-peer conversations is a valuable reason to join, especially since a lot of estate managers might not feel comfortable initiating conversations,” says Shelby.
For both active conversation-starters and quiet observers, the community is an invaluable way to find people who get it.
Another early member, Tina Luther, says she fell into private service in a “complete and total accident.” She worked for her principal for six years before realizing that there was a whole industry around household management. Now, she’s excited to find a sounding board of other people who do what she does.
“It’s funny how prevalent this industry is, but it’s so completely on the low-down,” says Tina. “If you don’t know someone who does what you do, who can you talk to?”
For Shelby, the idea that private service professionals finally have a place to connect holds the potential for a powerful ripple effect.
“This is a 24/7 job, but it doesn’t have to be that way,” she says. “If you know what I know, I can actually take a day off. I am a firm believer that sharing our knowledge as leaders gives us more power than withholding knowledge.”
She’s excited to nurture the next generation of private service professionals, and says the benefits of being open with her peers far outweigh the risks.
“I can share all my knowledge with you, and the chances of you coming and taking my job are so slim, but the chances of you growing in your career because I shared that with you are so great,” says Shelby.
The founders of the community hope Easemakers will help private service professionals at every level, whether they need career advice, tips for building a house manual, or answers to the unexpected questions that pop up every day when you’re running a household.
“We’re on a mission to move the private service industry forward,” says Mohamed. “Estate managers are constantly facing unique challenges — and now, they’ll finally have a chance to talk to other people who understand.”
As the industry continues to grow, the true art of private service depends on the ability for easemakers to connect and learn from each other. Join the conversation.