Family ValuesJuly 10 2020

Family Values: Well Beings – Property and the Pursuit of Happiness

4 mins read

“Wellness and wellbeing in the world of modern high-end property management, involves supporting productivity, managing lifestyles and providing sophisticated monitoring across a client’s global property portfolio.”

Caroline Baker

The dawn of a new decade seems to have coincided with a significant change in sentiment. One that is altering the way wealthy people think
about their lives, their goals and the impact their decisions have on their families and the world around them. While the rise of the younger generation’s interest in impact investing and environmentalism grabs headlines, a trend that certainly travels in tandem – and is of equal
importance in wealthy circles – is the pursuit of wellbeing. In fact, the Wealth Report Attitudes Survey shows that 80% of UHNWIs across all generations are dedicating more of their time and money to their personal and wider family’s wellbeing.

Alternative thinking relating to wellness and wellbeing, and its implementation into our client’s everyday lives, is driving important and
exciting changes across the prime property management landscape.

Let’s begin by dispelling outdated preconceptions. Put aside those popular media clichés – mystic gurus, celebrity “science” and Silicon Valley CEOs attending bizarre retreats. Wellness and wellbeing in the world of modern high-end property management, involves supporting productivity, managing lifestyles and providing sophisticated monitoring across all of a client’s properties globally. Add to this, the peace of mind and time-saving advantages of having a trusted professional handling everything from your day-to-day expenditure to party planning or personal shopping and you start to understand the true wellbeing benefits of discreetly executed property management services.

My personal path to “enlightenment” began 12 years ago when I set up my own business. My mandate at that time was to provide executive level PA support in a private capacity, and on a part-time basis. My vision was to have a portfolio of three to four people and their respective families, all with lifestyles that required complex management and tailored systems. I, in turn, would relieve some of the heavy burden of administration.

“In short, being based in New York, my client didn’t want the headache of how things would “get done” here in London.”

Caroline Baker

That business model changed 10 years ago. A still current client asked me for a proposal that would take care of the administration of both he and his wife’s lifestyles here in the UK, while providing a management solution for his property. In short, being based in New York, my client didn’t want the headache of how things would “get done” here in London. He wanted a holistic service and one point of contact that could be entrusted with the efficient management of his affairs at home.

While many recent commentators have concentrated on the physical aspects of wellbeing – air quality, wellness amenities or environmental
surroundings – which are all extremely important elements of the equation, they seem to overlook one important fact. Courtyards, meditation rooms, resistance pools or nearby green space can provide undeniable benefits, but if maintaining the complex lifestyle of a family is a considerable source of stress, then the benefits of installing a basement pool will be offset by juggling a portfolio of properties and their associated upkeep. Our work begins with addressing one of the most important aspects of wellbeing; quality time.

To effectively “return quality time” to a client’s busy schedule there are a number of factors that need to be in place. A constant point of contact is critical. Managing properties and lifestyles globally is best directed via a central Client Manager who can attend to client requirements, oversee a
network of staff and report regularly, building long-term trusted rapport.
To support that relationship, the property management service needs to deploy highly sophisticated IT systems, with client portals enabling
individuals to monitor their properties and ongoing costs remotely. It is also crucial that the client is given access to the broadest suite of services. As our expertise has grown both strategically and organically over the last decade, we seamlessly handle everything from full residential refurbishments via our in-house Project Management Team of Chartered Surveyors, to food storage and fridge rotation executed by our full-time uniformed Housekeepers. We provide an analysis of costs relating to household expenditure in separate categories in the form of quarterly accounts. Bookings, travel plans and diary management can all be undertaken by your dedicated Client Manager.

We go to the greatest lengths to find and recruit the finest people for every job. And we employ them. So they can build relationships – giving clients the reassurance that the same people will be working for them, day in and day out. It’s very simple; this is a service industry and as such, you need to consistently provide the best for every client, whatever the request.

Wellness and wellbeing is an important part of our ongoing success as human beings. It helps us live more fulfilled, healthier lives. Our homes and property are at the forefront of that conversation and as such, we are paying greater attention to where they are situated, the facilities they boast
and the sanctuary they can provide – whether from noise or air pollution.
While we continue to have that narrative with our clients, we never lose sight of the significant mental and physical benefits that an immersive
service built to alleviate anxiety and save quality time can bring.

Caroline Baker Ltd consists of two separate companies delivering family office services and a property development offering in London, Paris, New York and Los Angeles. From design consultancy through to project management and construction; full property management and administration services, clients’ needs are managed by a single organisation in which they can place their full confidence and trust.

To view the full designed article in our recent issue of Family Values magazine click here and view pages 12-17.