The Role of an Estate Manager
Have you ever wondered about what exactly the duties and responsibilities of an Estate Manager are?
Perhaps you are considering employing an Estate Manager and you’re not sure where to start or what to look for.
Here you will find all you need to know. A clear, concise picture of the role and its’ multi-faceted responsibilities.
So, What Do They Do?
An Estate Manager runs the day to day management of a private estate. Every ‘estate’ is unique and could range from a large property/family home with extensive gardens or it could be private farmland with a house and numerous outbuildings. Whatever the size of the estate the manager is recruited to work on, the basis of the role is the same, which is to ensure the smooth running and general upkeep of the estate.
What Responsibilities Are Included in the Role?
An extensive and often complex range of key skills and responsibilities are involved. For example:
- Supervision of staff: farm workers, gamekeepers, gardeners, grooms (horses) stockmen (cattle/pigs), bookkeeper, contractors for building/fencing/maintenance.
- Land Management: if the estate is used in a commercial capacity such as farming, shooting or residential lettings then maintaining the land is crucial for maximizing profitability. The estate manager will carefully implement and execute a yearly strategy for the estate. This may involve budgeting, scheduling and overseeing seasonal/rotational agricultural activities such as ploughing, crop harvesting, haymaking, planting or seasonal planning for gardens regarding vegetables, flowers, shrubs, lawns, ponds/lakes.
- Livestock Management: if the estate has livestock (cows, sheep, pigs, goats, hens, horses) then careful planning is essential to ensure the smooth running of operations such as vet visits (for health checks. injuries and vaccination programmes), general animal welfare, feeding, and cleaning. If there is a private or commercial shoot on the estate then a rearing programme will be undertaken and managed in readiness for the relevant season.
- Buildings Management: where the estate has outbuildings in its’ portfolio (this could be a family lodge/summer house/conservatory or farm buildings that are occupied by livestock), the estate manager would ensure their repair and upkeep on an ongoing basis.
- Event Management: it is possible that the estate is used in a commercial capacity for hire as a wedding/party venue, conference centre, equestrian activities or for use on film sets and these would all be co-ordinated by the estate manager.
What is the Profile of an Estate Manager?
The specific type of skills required for each estate will differ slightly of course, however, as a general guide, they will usually possess the following:
- Practical experience of running an estate and project/budget management
- A qualification in agriculture/land management or horticulture
- A flexible and hands on/sleeves up approach. (Absolutely necessary given the huge range of potential tasks.)
- Team management experience – the ability to lead and organise a team and the ability to delegate and prioritise tasks
- Excellent communication skills. The estate manager will liaise directly with the estate owner in order to ensure that their wishes for the estate are carried out. The manager will also have direct contact with everyone coming in and out of the estate.
A great deal of responsibility rests on the shoulders of an Estate Manager, so a trustworthy person and a capable pair of hands is absolutely necessary. Bags of common sense is essential too!