In a word, No.
I was asked this question the other day and I felt the need to distinguish between the two. So, a housekeeper is a service professional, who does or directs the domestic work and planning necessary for the running of a home, such as cleaning or buying food and running errands. The great ones are hard to find let me tell you, I’ve sourced many a housekeeper for clients in my time and the good ones are worth their weight in gold! Now, most Personal Concierges also carry out some of these tasks for their clients too, but they do so much more than that. For a personal concierge is a highly resourceful individual with a little black book to die for, with contacts and connections to assist them in carrying out absolutely any task a client asks of them. They charge a higher rate than a housekeeper simply because you are paying for more than just their time. You are paying for their knowledge, their expertise, their experience and their connections. You are paying them to do the task quicker and better than you would do it yourself.
Let me give you an example, I received an urgent call from a client just before Christmas who needed to purchase a particular toy for his son. It had sold out in Australia, so he asked me to track one down for him. Easy enough…..except that this toy was now only available in a few stores in the states, who wouldn’t ship to Sydney and he was boarding a plane in 5 days for his Christmas family vacation.
After a couple of calls I had managed to track down the elusive toy to a store in Baltimore and arranged for one of my Concierge contacts there to head down to the store personally and purchase it on my behalf. They then express shipped it out to me via courier and I had that toy sitting on my desk with just enough spare time to gift wrap it and deliver it to my client before his flight. So you see, a Personal Concierge is much more than a housekeeper, so much more…..as one of my clients said recently, “you are capable of working miracles!”.
Sometimes I think we do.