Private Estate Security

Thinking through private estate security for high-net-worth families

Why private estate security services? Criminals target the homes & estates of high-net-worth and high-profile individuals— either with designs against the residents— or their valuable assets. 

If your home is left unprotected, the place that should be your refuge may instead become a threat to your safety.

Social unrest and increased impunity from crimes has created a high threat level in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. The most aggressive way to defend yourself, your family, and your property is private estate security services.

Types of Criminals 

There are predatory criminals and opportunistic criminals. Predatory criminals seek you out.  They make sophisticated plans against you and your estate because— if successful— they know that the payout will be worth their effort. Opportunistic criminals are people that randomly come across you or your estate in daily life, see an opportunity, and either react in the moment or start making plans against you.

Types of Crime

Crime is constantly evolving, but there are certain recurring crimes to be aware of:

  • Motor Vehicle Theft
  • Home Invasion and Robbery
  • Identity Theft and Fraud
  • Stalking (and other crimes involving mental health issues)
  • Trespassing and vandalism, including squatting
  • Extortion plots
  • Kidnapping and ransom
  • Grievance-based assault and homicide
  • Rape
  • Crimes of passion, including violent domestic disputes
  • Cybercrimes, including ransomware attacks
  • Crime targeting your guests during family events and parties.  To read more about event security, we offer protection for parties & any type of event – large and small.

Estate security can help protect you from these and other threats. 


Mansion with private estate security

What is estate security? What does it include?

Estate security often includes:

  • The strategic development of a customized security plan for your home and lifestyle
  • Professional security guards
    • Trained guard(s) performing Close Personal Protection (usually one or more security guards working in shifts).
    • Armed or unarmed, depending on the threat level and your personal preference.
    • Security guards execute the security plan and serve as a strong visual deterrent.
    • Security guards respond tactically to physical security threats.
  • Access Control
    • Security always includes limiting access to your property. Home security guard services engage in active access control by screening visitors and monitoring the property for trespassers and would-be intruder.
    • Visitor checkpoints are essential. And individuals living under the threat of kidnapping and personal assaults may want to have themselves or their vehicles screened before entering their property.
    • Often, regular guards can visually recognize authorized residents and guests.  However, more sophisticated approaches include ID badges, face recognition, or biometric identification.
    • A guardhouse or booth is often the hub for access control.  Located near an entrance, the guardhouse typically includes electronics surveillance and communications capabilities.
  • Perimeter monitoring
    • Security guard patrols.
    • The installation and management of state-of-the-art security systems.
    • Security system monitoring.
  • Active threat monitoring 
    • Personalized threat levels.
      • Social media threats.
      • Threats by specific, known individuals.
      • Generalized threat levels based on personal or family exposure and scrutiny.
    • Neighborhood crime trends.
    • Local city and regional crime trends.

Securing a private estate should always include, at a minimum, trained security personnel combined with camera monitoring, system alerts, and communication systems.

An estate security company can provide a tailored plan and active security oversight.  Estate security managers also provide ongoing personnel and systems management.

Social unrest and increased impunity from crimes has created a high threat level in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.

Closet safe in a home with private estate security

How much does estate security cost?

Private estate security is undoubtedly a luxury reserved for wealthy individuals, public figures, and executives of successful businesses.

A single armed guard starts at $65/hr in the San Francisco Bay Area, but that number can be higher depending on the guard’s experience level. That’s half a million dollars a year for 24/7 protection. Some estates will select partial coverage, while others may need more than one guard at a time. The recommended coverage varies based on your threat index.  

Remember that an actual security guard only earns about one-third of their hourly rate as a salary, as the rest goes to security licenses, insurance, taxes, and company overhead. However, this formula is standard for the security industry, and it is the only sustainable way for a security company to safely and legally provide reliable coverage.  If you want to know more about the factors involved in pricing, please check out this article.

Securing a private estate should always include, at a minimum, trained security personnel combined with camera monitoring, system alerts, and communication systems.

But I pay taxes for the police. So why do I need to pay for private security?

While the police in your area may be well-trained for their job, they are inherently a responsive force. Police do not actively defend your property; they respond after a security situation has already occurred.

Private estate security is laser-focused on keeping you, your family, home, guests, and assets safe. Professional security guards are often former police officers, military, or specially trained security professionals.  Instead of protecting the entire community, their mission is to protect your specific interests.

basic home security systems

What about ADT, Simplisafe, or Ring?

Like the police, ADT and other security services are delayed by their response times. And like the police, these security services do not actively protect your interests. Instead, ADT – and the myriad of other security services like them – still rely heavily on the police and their response times to keep you safe.  

They may have a patrol service in the neighborhood. These are usually low-level security officers with limited tactical experience. They are not trained to engage an attacker but alert the authorities. Will they help you during a threat?

Still, estate owners often rely on private security systems and monitoring services. These systems can monitor, alert, and connect you with help; they do not provide much real physical protection. The wrong security system – or a poorly maintained system – can quickly be hacked and turned into a tool for criminals worldwide to exploit. Homeowners have found themselves stalked, blackmailed, extorted, and threatened due to insecure and poorly designed security systems.

There is no such thing as a “smart” security system.  There are only intelligent humans who design, install and maintain good tech.

Police do not actively defend your property; they cannot be in more than one place at one time.  

high-net-worth individual on phone

Can I just hire a guard (or two) myself?

Some estate owners or managers have tried to hire security guards directly.  The goal is to save 60%+ on the cost.  We get it.  However, there are no shortcuts— because, in effect, these estates are now attempting to become security companies themselves.  Here are some of the pitfalls that you avoid by hiring a reputable security company instead of trying to do it yourself: 

  • Untrained or lower-performing agents
  • Guards with a lack of physical or mental fitness
  • Guards with hidden substance-abuse problems
  • Guards with an inability to handle conflict
  • Guards with poor communication skills
  • High turnover and other HR-related frustrations
  • Requirement of taking disciplinary measures directly, which can lead to employee resentment and a bad home environment
  • Lack of support staff to monitor and detect threats
  • No protection or insurance against guards who commit crimes or are complicit in criminal schemes
  • Legal liability of unlicensed or uninsured security agents or the high cost of carrying the appropriate policies and licenses.
  • Extreme civil or criminal liability in the event of a security situation.  You may face multi-million dollar lawsuits for cases involving the death or injury of a security professional or even criminals – the simple accidental discharge of a firearm by an unlicensed security guard could lead to serious consequences.

If you just want peace of mind, hire ADT (or another service like it) instead of trying to do it yourself – this way, you will avoid severe liability.  However, if you want proper, active security, hire an experienced company with excellent references and well-trained security professionals to protect you.

We have a more complete article that you’ll want to read as you navigate the actual hiring of a bodyguard or bodyguard company.

There is no such thing as a “smart” security system.  There are only intelligent humans who design, install and maintain good tech.

woman overlooks amazing view on her private estate

Residential Security Assessments - How you get started

Your security service begins with a comprehensive threat assessment and analysis. We need to understand potential threats, find weak spots, and understand your estate’s unique risks and most significant vulnerabilities.

Some topics we discuss in a security assessment may include:

  • Status of background checks for estate personnel and contractors
  • Review of existing security protocols
  • Personal questions on your daily activities, lifestyle, and habits
  • Evaluating your neighborhood during different times of day
  • Thoroughly checking the home’s interior, including windows, doors, locks, attic spaces, basements, bedroom security, and cellars
  • Assessing the exterior of the house, including crawl spaces, corners, and the roof
  • Checking the protection of any exterior standing structures, such as pool houses or garden sheds
  • Evaluating the home’s landscaping for security risks like potential concealment areas and dark spots

Additionally, securing your home against threats may include new upgrades, repairs, or home additions. You may need to:

  • Upgrade doors, windows, and locks
  • Add exterior lighting, including spotlights or floodlights
  • Adjust landscaping in certain areas
  • Install or upgrade fencing and physical boundaries
  • Install an up-to-date security system
  • Add a panic room

There are many pitfalls to hiring security staff directly - those estates are essentially trying to become a security company themselves.

beautiful night vista of San Francisco

Secure Your Property with Private Estate Security

Upscale neighborhoods, multimillion-dollar mansions, and prestige estates make enticing targets. As a result, these places are regularly scoped out and patrolled (physically or digitally) by would-be criminals.

While most estates rely solely on insurance to protect their assets, private security can work together nicely with the right policies. 

One Toronto neighborhood had over 150 break-ins in less than a year (2017), with millions of property stolen.

Private estate security makes it clear that your home is protected, defended, and not an easy target.

If you live in California, please connect with our team at Global Risk Solutions.  We are here to protect your interests.

...securing your home against threats may include new upgrades, repairs, or home additions.

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About Global Risk Solutions

Global Risk Solutions, Inc. is professionally licensed, and our team carries over 100 years of industry expertise at the highest security levels of government, corporate, healthcare, energy, and private industry.

Ultimately, clients who meet with us for a consultation get an immediate sense of our breadth of knowledge and insight for security challenges. We built our success on a team of experts specializing in crucial operational disciplines. As a result, we are not a one-dimensional event security company; we are a multifaceted security organization with access to intelligence tools, advanced surveillance methods, elite field agents, and tactical risk mitigation and crisis management tools.  

Our on-the-ground agents have extensive experience in law enforcement, military, and other protective agencies that provide the same high level of proactive services.

If you are planning an event and want to start a no-obligation conversation about your security plan, we’d love to connect with you!

The Bay Area is currently experiencing heightened threat levels, which makes it more important than ever to have a security plan for your estate.