Estate Manager Benchmarks - Responsibilities, Salary, Hours, and Job Satisfaction

Thanks to all the Estate Managers who participated in my recent benchmarking survey. There were thirteen participants, ten of whom are located in the SF Bay Area.


Oversight of multiple properties and the staff at those properties is an Estate Manager's core responsibility. The scope of management responsibility does vary widely, though, from job to job.

Across the thirteen Estate Managers who participated in this benchmark, the number of staff they manage ranges from 1 to 12 and the number of properties ranges from 1 to 7.

  • 50% of participating EMs manage more than 6 staff (and half manage fewer)
  • 50% of participating EMs manage more than 3 properties

I was able to get a better feel for these EMs' management responsibility by combining the number of staff and properties each manages into what I call "Management Scope."

  • Management Scope for these Estate Managers ranges from 2 to 16, and
  • the median was 10, so half the EMs manage more than 10 staff and properties combined.


Estate Managers reported working an average of 10 hours per day Monday to Friday, and on weekends only one is in the office rather than "on call."

Interestingly, the number of hours EMs work varies with Management Scope of the job. EMs who manage less than 10 staff and properties report working an average of 10.75 hours per day, compared to an average of 9.67 hours per day for those with a Scope greater than 10.


All participants are full-time employees with an average salary of $146,173. Salary correlated with Management Scope, but there were some significant outliers.

  • $151,500 was the average salary for EMs managing more than 10 staff and properties
  • $113,750 was the average salary for those managing fewer than 10

Just one EM reported receiving housing or a housing allowance.


Tenure for the participating Estate Managers averages 3.14 years and ranges from one month to sixteen years.

Eighty-five percent predicted they will be working for the same principal in one year's time.


EMs' feedback on their job likes and dislikes was very similar to the feedback we received from PAs in my recent benchmark for Personal Assistants.

The top three items these Estate Managers like about their jobs:

  1. Diversity and variety was the most common item mentioned by respondents. EMs used phrases like "always doing something different."
  2. The fast pace and demanding nature of the job. One said "it is always gratifying to pull off the unthinkable" and another appreciated the "opportunity of growth as a professional."
  3. Also mentioned often was compatibility with, and respect for, the principals. "I have a great deal of respect for my employers."

Flexibility in managing tasks and schedule came up often, too. But the extreme flexibility EMs are expected to provide has a toll on their personal life as these dislikes exemplify:

  • "on call literally 24/7" and "always being on call"
  • "lack of consistency with the schedule so I can't plan for personal life"
  • "long hours and lack of work life balance"


Thank you again to all the participating Estate Managers.

I think it's clear that being an Estate Manager is a challenging, full-time plus role. But Estate Managers are well compensated and find much about the job rewarding.