Ms. Jennifer Laurence is an Estate Management Consultant, Author, Speaker, Educator and trained Butler in luxury household management.
A very niche field, she is one of only a handful of these types of consultants in the United States, and possibly the world, who specialize in helping High Net Worth families operate their household staff and properties more effectively. She assists her clients by training household staff (such as nannies and housekeepers,) providing home hospitality best practices, and analyzing weaknesses in operations that can be improved through standardizing procedures and implementing better communication tools to improve workflow. For over 18 years she has worked in all areas of hospitality and private domestic service, as well as in commercial property management and facility services.
She holds a BAS in Hospitality Management from a school with a domestic service focus, a Wine Sommelier certificate, a Visual Communications certificate, and graduated top of her class with honors from the prestigious Charles McPherson Academy for Butlers and Household Managers. This blend of experiences has made her a very successful estate management consultant because she can use her strong hospitality and facilities management business foundation and balance it with the grace and decorum needed to work in private domestic service.
Throughout her career she has served High Net Worth clients, celebrities, and successful business professionals in their home and office settings, making even the smallest details extraordinary for the people she serves. Ms. Laurence travels frequently to meet client on-site consulting projects as well as to travel for speaking and training engagements.
Q: Who is your role model or hero?
My role model is Mr. Charles MacPherson of the Charles MacPherson Academy where I attended butler school. He personifies what it means to be in private service and a professional butler, and I continually strive to live up to his example for my clientele.
Q: What is your favorite book?
Because my industry is so niche, and there are not a lot of business books specific to my industry, I tend to take my professional development from business classics such as "Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ" by Daniel Goleman or "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen R. Covey. There are periodicals that I often read often that speak to the things my clients care about like the Robb Report, Wine Spectator, & Condé Nast Traveler, all of which I subscribe to. These up to date publications tend to be on the cutting edge of the latest trends and newsworthy advice, which I appreciate so I that I can be more knowledgeable in a wide variety of areas for the estates I serve. As far as reading for pleasure, I enjoy novels on long haul flights such as Crime/Legal Thriller Fiction such as books by John Grisham, Conspiracy Thrillers such as Origin by Dan Brown, or Historical Fiction such as Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.
Q: Do you use any specific method or system to run daily operations?
As an operational consultant, I am continually innovating for my clients on how they can streamline their daily operations at their estates to run their properties more effectively. I do this by taking the fundamentals of the hospitality industry best practices and tailoring each aspect for a domestic service setting. I look for shortcomings in each area’s workflow and then brainstorm with the client on how to improve task management in these key areas, while also being sensitive to their unique circumstances or wishes. From standard operation procedures for simple tasks, to providing policy and procedures on all levels of household operations, and then scaling them for multiple properties, I continually look for ways to improve workflow for each silo of luxury home management. Because I am very systematically minded, this level of organizing comes easily to me and I implement similar structure into my consulting firm by documenting each case, having an efficient method of data collection and record keeping, and digitizing as much as possible to reduce paper clutter and keep operations more accessible on the go.
I was fortunate that I found my passion early in life.
~ Ms. Jennifer Laurence
Q: Why did you choose your present industry at this time?
I have loved all things domestic from an early age, and when I found out in high school that I could work in a professional environment in a home setting, I knew I had found my calling. This industry is the best of both worlds: it gives me the ability to use my business, administrative, and customer service skills to the highest level while encompassing variables that I love to work with like flowers, wine, food, and décor. I was fortunate that I found my passion early in life and this has given me many years to perfect my knowledge and hone my skills as I tailored my career path to where it is today, and I am grateful for the opportunities I have had in the luxury services and domestic services industry.
Q: What is the best/worst moment you can remember in your career?
The domestic service environment is a unique and challenging work environment, and it presents unusual scenarios unlike any other industry because of the close working proximity of the clients and employees in a home environment. These conditions can lead to miscommunications, awkward situations, and a host of efficiency breakdowns if not managed carefully. The best moments in my career have been when I have been able to bring positive change to a family and domestic service team in a profound way, and I’ve been able to see lives changed for the better. The times when I’ve struggled to drive home my message of effective communication and best practices have been the times in my career that have been most frustrating, but each situation brings a unique opportunity to improve for the next client and showcase my skills in bringing teams together.
Q: Looking back - if you could advise a younger version of yourself to do something different - what would it be?
Before I started consulting in this industry, I worked my way up the ranks at individual private assignments presented to me by domestic placement agencies. I think because the luxury service environment is such a unique space that often I was pressured to take positions that I didn’t feel comfortable with due to the scarcity of job opportunities. If I had to advise my younger self, it would have been to hold out for better opportunities as ultimately I would have been happier and stayed longer with the positions. However, it was this dissatisfaction in the roles I was assigned in the early years of my career coupled with my overall love for the industry itself, which lead me to consult rather than take on other private employer role, because I knew that I could improve working conditions for fellow private service members and elevate my industry overall because I had seen the ways it needed to be improved. So, in the end, even though a variety of positions that I held early on in my career were difficult, I would not change anything because it gave me the drive to open my own consulting practice and led me to where I am today.