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The migration of wealthy individuals from high-tax states to Florida has created a booming demand for household staff in exclusive areas such as Palm Beach. Staffing companies are reporting a surge in the need for butlers (now referred to as “hospitality managers” or “estate managers”), nannies, chefs, drivers, and personal security.

Despite the high demand for household staff, the shortage of housekeepers has posed a challenge for wealthy homeowners. The influx of affluent individuals purchasing large homes in Florida has led to a significant need for housekeepers to maintain and clean these properties. As a result, the pay for housekeepers has skyrocketed from $25 an hour in 2020 to $45 or $50 an hour today, according to some agencies.

Experienced housekeepers in Palm Beach are now earning between $120,000 and $150,000 a year, in addition to 401(k) plans, health care, benefits, and overtime. Some housekeepers, particularly executive housekeepers who oversee a team of staff, can make even more. There have been instances where head housekeepers in Palm Beach are making $250,000 a year, including overtime, and traveling with the family to different homes.

Bidding Wars and Frustrations

Bidding wars between wealthy homeowners have become commonplace, with clients often willing to pay top dollar for experienced housekeepers. Staffing agencies are struggling to keep up with the demand, posting “Help Wanted” ads online and throughout West Palm Beach. Clients who initially resist the high salaries for housekeepers often realize the value of experience and expertise in maintaining their lavish homes.

Housekeepers working for the wealthy require specialized skills to navigate discreetly through the house, clean antiques, flatware, fine art, and handle delicate linens. The demand for qualified candidates with these specific skills has prompted discussions about launching a school to teach high-end housekeeping skills and address the shortage of housekeepers in the elite sector.

The surge in demand for household staff in Palm Beach and South Florida, driven by the mass migration of wealthy individuals, has led to a shortage of housekeepers and bidding wars between mansion owners. The high salaries, benefits, and specialized skills required for housekeepers working in affluent homes highlight the unique challenges and opportunities in the luxury staffing industry. As the demand for elite household staff continues to rise, innovative solutions such as training programs may be necessary to meet the growing needs of high-net-worth individuals in Florida’s exclusive enclaves.

Wealth

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