When Robert Gertz began orchestrating luxury events for high-profile clients more than two decades ago, he had no idea that he would eventually wind up finding his niche as a global jack of all trades. Today, as head of Modern Butler, the Los Angeles-based boutique luxury lifestyle support company he launched in 2011, Gertz and his team of skilled professionals assist a highly successful clientele that includes the likes of Cindy Crawford and Robbie Williams, Fortune 500 CEOs, royalty, athletes and other affluent individuals with an array of bespoke services.
For starters, Modern Butler’s vast repertoire of offerings includes the usual caretaking — handling maintenance, relocation, remodeling and landscaping — to more elaborate requests like hiring a helicopter to whisk folks away to dinner, and even helping their clients buy and sell properties.
“The more I worked with clients, the more I came to understand lifestyle as a big picture,” says Gertz, the company’s managing partner and real estate specialist. “Everything is connected: the house and the people in it, what they eat, how they socialize, where they go and so on. It’s all about luxury and ease. So, we kept expanding our offerings with the idea of being single point of contact for all those lifestyle services.”
Because his grandfather ran a successful real estate company — Fetzer Realty in San Jose, Calif. — Gertz also was well-versed in the world of real estate from an early age. “Properties and everything about them always seemed interesting and exciting,” he adds, “so real estate was a natural fit for Modern Butler.”
Gertz’s original vision was to provide a concierge service that would focus on his areas of expertise — luxury branding, creative design, marketing and events — but clients responded immediately and seemed to want more. So, he decided to expand, adding international hospitality expert and his spouse Mario Seiler, a former front office manager for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, as managing partner and real estate management specialist in 2016. And that opened up new capabilities for Modern Butler in the estate-management, travel and real estate arenas.