When you catch a glimpse into the life of the wealthy and elite, first impressions often leave you with a tranquil feeling. Everything is in its place, manicured and well attended to. A majestic house, coterie of cars, a fine art collection – all look incredibly desirable to own. But often it is unfathomable to imagine the amount of work that goes into making an estate look perfect and serene.
Shaheed Mohammad, an estate and lifestyle manager with 15 years of service under his belt can attest to the diligent work that goes into making a fine home look and work perfectly. Over the course of his career he has been a butler, a personal assistant, chief of protocol and estate manager in homes of royalty and dignitaries around the world. His skills as an expertly trained English butler make him one of the most in demand domestic staff professionals in the Washington DC area, where he practices his polished manners and expertise with his current client in the prestigious complex of Watergate.
Mr. Mohammed’s career in estate management began at the pinnacle of the profession. He had the great fortune to study directly with Ivor Spencer in London, England at the Ivor Spencer International School, and recalls that Mr. Spencer was a walking encyclopedia for the domestic field. “I am so grateful to Mr. Spencer, that even years after completing my education, if I had a question or concern while working for a client, I could ring him at any given time and he would advised me accordingly,” stated Mr. Mohammed. “One phrase that follows me around is “the art of service.” I was taught to always remember service is an art and it remains a constant mantra in my life today. Practicing this keeps me grounded in this field.”
Currently clients hire him as a consultant at the planning stage of designing a home allowing them to integrate staffing plans into the design of the property. His vast experience helps him listen closely to his clients’ requests, devise a plan of action and help carry it out.
He advises that the profession can have many challenges but also many rewards, financially and emotionally. He reminds those interested in getting into the field that getting to the top of the ladder is very difficult and once up there, it is very easy to slip down.
For now, he enjoys his perch, keeping the estate he manages with “the art of service” pristine and finely composed.