Meet Janis Spindel, Matchmaker Extraordinaire

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"They've been calling me clairvoyant and I guess I am because I just get these weird 'flashes,' I call them, or premonitions at the oddest times and in the oddest places."

I know I'm not the only one who reads something like that and thinks "Oh thank you. Not in a million years would I trust someone who speaks like that to find the partner I'm going to spend the rest of my life with."

For the past 21 years, however, Janis Spindel has been proving my prejudice wrong. As a professional matchmaker, she has helped everyone from politicians to business magnates find lasting love. She estimates that her matches have led to about 1,000 marriages, even more relationships, and over $5 million in revenue in last year alone.

Sure, maybe it's clairvoyance that tells her who's likely to hit it off, but I think the explanation she gave to Forbes is more likely: "I am a people person from the get-go," she said. "I can talk to anyone, anywhere, any time and in five minutes I can find out more than you could in dating somebody for six months. It's mind-boggling. I ask the questions, I fire them away, and they just answer them."

Spindel turned her natural talents into a professional pursuit after the fourteenth couple she'd introduced called to tell her they were getting married. She began with a 51-gues networking party at Ovo Café in New York City in 1993. 34 people connected in the party, and her business has been successful ever since.

Today her company has 17 employees and a yearlong contract with her (which is good for 12 introductions) runs NYC-based clients $50,000 upfront plus another $50,000 on the backend if they are successfully matched and stay with that person for a year. If you're out of state, the $50,000 on the backend stays the same but the upfront cost doubles to $100,000. And if you'd like Spindel and her staff to travel to you, you're look at a $250,000 fee and another quarter million on the backend if your match is found.

There are other options for those who have less disposable income, but nothing that comes close to "economic." Love is big business, and clients are expected to pay up for Spindel's unique expertise.

Janis Spindel explains her 3 date rule:

Most recently, Spindel has expanded her services to include a gay division and online dating. Her company has started its own free dating site, 2LoveToday, that uses her staff to make matches for customers who want to pay a premium fee. Her next move is to build a presence in India and begin her expansion into Asia. Clairvoyant or not, the woman certainly seems unstoppable.

It's Just Lunch Celebrates 20 Years

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Last month It's Just Lunch celebrated their 20 year anniversary. Since 1991 they have not only been matching singles in the United States but in a number of countries around the world. It's Just Lunch is not an online dating site, they are a service run by matchmakers who help busy business people to meet other singles. Everything has the personal touch from meeting with clients face-to-face for the important first interview, to setting up the dates between matched clients.

To find out more about this matchmaking service please check out our It's Just Lunch review.

Types of Online Dating Services: Personal Matchmakers

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In the search for Mr. or Mrs. Right, wouldn’t it be great if you had an advocate who was going to bat for you? That’s what personal matchmakers do. Services like It’s Just Lunch have grown in popularity over the past few years as many people feel more comfortable with people doing the people-matching instead of computers.

As with any type of dating site or service, personal matchmakers have their pros and cons. This type of service won’t be for everyone, but if you review these features and still think they’re right for you: good luck! You’ll be moving forward with a personal dating coach in the world of romance!

Benefits of Personal Matchmakers

What’s not to like about having someone who has met you, knows your quirks and has spoken with you at-length doing the matching for you? Personal matchmakers have the one thing that most online dating sites lack: personal, one-on-one service. They can put people together based on first-hand impressions instead of computer matching algorithms and give some inside scoop on who you’ll be sitting across from on that first meeting instead of a page of pictures and standard questions.

Drawbacks to Personal Matchmakers

There are two significant drawbacks to personal matchmakers: cost and level of service. While an online dating service will cost you anywhere from nothing to fifty or so dollars per month, personal matchmakers often run into the hundreds to many thousands per year. While many personal matchmakers have outstanding reputations among their clients no matter how successful their matches may ultimately be, you have to be able to justify each matchmaker’s services with the price they’re charging. Many will simply interview you and set you up on dates. Others will go the extra few miles and do exit interviews after unsuccessful dates, do periodic check ins and see where your personal life is at and offer to make introductions out of the norm.

Tips for Personal Matchmakers

If you’re considering using a personal matchmaker, ask for a list of references of current or past clients. If they won’t provide one, how do you know they’re any good? It’s their word against your wallet, hopes and dreams at that point. In addition to references, interview multiple matchmakers in your local area first before looking for one outside your geography. Being familiar with your local social scene shouldn’t be underrated. Ask about contracts, payment terms and how they handle complaints or conflicts.

If you are interested in a Personal Matchmaker service, check out our review of It's Just Lunch.

For the first article in this series, read: Types of Online Dating Services: Overview

Wall Street's Expensive Matchmaker

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I found another expensive matchmaker. The first one I talked about 10 days ago was named Janis Spindel (see Story). She charges clients upwards of $50,000 for her services. This new matchmaker named Samantha Daniels runs a matchmaking service called Samantha's Table whose clients are mainly financial whizzes and bankers from Wall Street in New York. She charges clients close to $25,000 a year for her matchmaking skills.

Daniels clients have shifted somewhat from the big banks and hedge funds. With the recession in the past year her clients now deal more with asset management, private equity, and venture capital. A lot of her current clients are from companies in the Goldman Sachs Fortune 500.

Samantha's Table revenue so far this year has climbed 30 percent. Daniels attributes this increase to people wanting a stable personal life in the midst of the crisis of the economy.

For the full article on Wall Street's matchmaker Samantha Daniels, read CNNMoney and for another traditional matchmaker, who is much cheaper, read our review of It's Just Lunch.

Expensive Matchmaker - Janis Spindel

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Janis Spindel, a matchmaker by trade for 18 years, connects right minded singles. One way she does this is by holding match parties. These are not your run of the mill single events. A dinner party in August at Ms. Spindel's Bridgehampton home was for 10 bachelors from Manhattan which shared a 5 course meal with 20 single beautiful women. Women, if they meet the qualifications can attend the event for free, but men are required to pay $10,000 for the privilege.

Her matching service which only accepts men as clients is called Janis Spindel Serious Matchmaking. Their annual fees start at $50,000 USD and can increase substantially depending on the client's location and bonuses like, if the client gets married. Ms. Spindel says she is worth the price,

If you want the Rolls Royce of matchmaking, you pay for it.

She has over 1,200 relationships and 800 marriages credited to her. Ms. Spindel has yet to hear of one of her marriages ending in divorce. She employees about 20 "scouts" which help find potential clients and matches all over the United States.

For the full story, visit 27East and you can find Janis Spindel's website here. For our complete list of personal matchmaking services (which cost a lot less money), check out our Matchmaking Services category.

Matchmakers - Premier Match & Modern Matchmaker

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For those of you who want a personal matchmaker and have been checking out either Premier Match or Modern Matchmaker here is a bit more information about these two services including cost and number of clients:

Premier Match

  • First launched in 1999. The owner is Christie Nightingale.
  • Have offices in Philadelphia, New York, and Washington.
  • Have signed up nearly double the number of new clients this year, when compared with the same time period in 2008.
  • The cost of a full-year membership starts around $5,500 and guarantees 10 to 12 introductions (cost of dates not included).
  • Have signed up between 32 and 47 new clients each month since October.
  • Has over 2,000 Philadelphia clients.

Modern Matchmaker

  • Located in Pittsburgh. The president is Susan Dunhoff.
  • Charges $1,250 for a six-month package (cost of dates not included).
  • Has over 500 clients.

For our list of similar services, check out our Matchmaker Services category.