Author Topic: Holiday gifts or tips for apartment staff?  (Read 4122 times)

lizzzi

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Holiday gifts or tips for apartment staff?
« on: November 21, 2017, 03:10:38 PM »
This has been my first year renting an apartment in a large, professionally-managed complex. The office manager and the maintenance man and his assistant have been pleasant, professional, and helpful, although they have not done anything out of the ordinary in terms of service. Should I give them something for the holidays, like $10 in a card, or maybe a food gift from a good bakery? What do MMMers do? I know a lot of you are tenants.

caffeine

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Re: Holiday gifts or tips for apartment staff?
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2017, 03:14:10 PM »
I've done nothing, but I thought being a good tenet is gift enough. Zero complaints and I've only made 3 requests in 6 years.

I am interested to see if anyone else does anything nice.

Maybe a nice handwritten note thanking them and wishing them a happy holiday would be nice. They probably only have stressful correspondents with tenets.

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Re: Holiday gifts or tips for apartment staff?
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2017, 03:40:38 PM »
This has been my first year renting an apartment in a large, professionally-managed complex. The office manager and the maintenance man and his assistant have been pleasant, professional, and helpful, although they have not done anything out of the ordinary in terms of service. Should I give them something for the holidays, like $10 in a card, or maybe a food gift from a good bakery? What do MMMers do? I know a lot of you are tenants.

Of course not.    They are doing their jobs is all.   

Sloeginfizz

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Re: Holiday gifts or tips for apartment staff?
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2017, 06:07:39 PM »
My condo building (high rise with 24 hour security desk people and 2 office management staff on site, plus a couple of maintenance guys), does a Ďvoluntaryí gift fund, where you send in one check for whatever you like but the suggested amount is $150, and supposedly itís equally split among staff. I say voluntary in quotes because last year our emails were spammed multiple times a week through the whole month of December with reminders about the gift fund.

Also, I donít like the idea of an equal split. I want to give a nice big holiday tip to the one desk guy who tells me welcome home every time heís on desk and a much smaller one to the dude who can hardly bother to look up from his phone when I walk past.

We still give to the fund even though I find the way itís done annoying. My thoughts are that a holiday tip is both traditional and a very nice thing to do for people who make our lives easier.

lbmustache

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Re: Holiday gifts or tips for apartment staff?
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2017, 06:59:13 PM »
I wouldn't do anything unless you have a friendship with them or they have gone out of their way for you. However, a fresh batch of cookies, etc. can go a long way, and less $ out of your wallet :)

okits

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Re: Holiday gifts or tips for apartment staff?
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2017, 11:14:38 PM »
I do not think this is commonly practiced in Canada in regular/not-high-end buildings.  We don't do this.

lizzzi

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Re: Holiday gifts or tips for apartment staff?
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2017, 06:37:43 AM »
Thanks for the replies. My "gut" instinct tells me it is not necessary, but being new to apartment living, I want to do the correct thing.

simonsez

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Re: Holiday gifts or tips for apartment staff?
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2017, 09:55:39 AM »
I just moved out of my apartment of six years a little earlier this year but I never tipped the office manager or the maintenance people.  I didn't come into contact with those people nearly enough.  They were all friendly and we knew each other pretty well but a few smiles while changing my air filter once every few months and be able to sort the larger packages didn't warrant anything.

If I had a doorman I probably would have given them a tip.  I did tip our shuttle driver. every December.  That dude is a badass and got me to/fro the metro in the most efficient way possible all the while being hilarious and jovial.  We usually chatted for a couple of minutes whenever I stepped foot onto the shuttle.

I also tipped the newspaper guy at the metro station nearest to work but that was a one-time thing after I knew I was moving away (and it wasn't during the holiday season).  He was so bubbly I always got a boost headed into work.  It was refreshing to encounter someone on the daily commute that isn't grumpy looking or glossy-eyed and scrolling mindlessly on their phone.

Aside from that, exceptional service normally gets kudos via a phone call or email to their supervisor instead of $.

SimpleCycle

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Re: Holiday gifts or tips for apartment staff?
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2017, 10:25:55 AM »
I'm pretty shocked at the responses.  Maybe this is regional, but tips are expected and considered good etiquette in full service buildings in major cities.  $50-100 for doormen, $20-$100 for building supers/managers, and $20-$50 for maintenance people.  More in NYC.

I was raised with the idea that anyone who provided an ongoing service to you during the year got a tip at the holidays.  As such, I tip my hairdresser (cost of one service) and give a holiday bonus to daycare teachers ($50 each plus a gift from the kids).  It is custom and not required, but it goes a long way toward building a good relationship with people who I count on to make my life easier.

ohsnap

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Re: Holiday gifts or tips for apartment staff?
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2017, 11:51:29 AM »
I'm pretty shocked at the responses.  Maybe this is regional, but tips are expected and considered good etiquette in full service buildings in major cities.  $50-100 for doormen, $20-$100 for building supers/managers, and $20-$50 for maintenance people.  More in NYC.

I was raised with the idea that anyone who provided an ongoing service to you during the year got a tip at the holidays.  As such, I tip my hairdresser (cost of one service) and give a holiday bonus to daycare teachers ($50 each plus a gift from the kids).  It is custom and not required, but it goes a long way toward building a good relationship with people who I count on to make my life easier.

Oh my.  I typically get my hair done 5 times a year.  If I gave her a Christmas tip of one service...that's adding another 20% tip on top of what I've already paid her for services during the year, plus tip!  It's not going to happen.  And so far she hasn't ruined my hair over it.

lizzzi

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Re: Holiday gifts or tips for apartment staff?
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2017, 01:34:50 PM »
OP here. In our somewhat sprawled out complex of 10 buildings at one location and several buildings up the road, there are no doormen. Maintenance did repair my refrigerator for me when the fan went out, but they don't do small things such as help fix a broken toilet seat, put the screen back on the rails of the slider when the dog pushes it out, or affix the dishwasher tabs so the machine doesn't fall out of the cabinet when the bottom rack is pulled out. These last three things I just dealt with myself--it isn't that I couldn't do it--but I didn't have my tools, and had to buy a couple things to effect the repairs. Not a biggie...but for this I'm going to give a yearly tip? Also, maintenance leaves a snow shovel and a bucket of rock salt in our entryways--they tell us we don't have to shovel the snow, but the complex is large, and they can't get to everybody first thing. So the reality is that we do shovel ourselves out the door and down the stairs to our vehicles, and salt our own stairs and sidewalks.  Again, not a biggie, but it's not that helpful, either. And I keep my own snow shovel--better than theirs--and my own bag of rock salt, because theirs always runs out. The rental manager treats me with business courtesy and nothing more--she is not warm or schmoozy--and I see her at most once a month if she is in the office when I drop off the rent.

I am not cheap about tips--I pretty much tip people it's generally agreed we should--such as waitstaff in restaurants. (Not that I eat in restaurants much.) Just felt a little puzzled about apartment etiquette, and don't like to ask other residents, as I'm sure replies would differ widely...I'm sure some genuinely couldn't afford to tip if they wanted to.

lizzzi

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Re: Holiday gifts or tips for apartment staff?
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2017, 01:36:23 PM »
OP here. In our somewhat sprawled out complex of 10 buildings at one location and several buildings up the road, there are no doormen. Maintenance did repair my refrigerator for me when the fan went out, but they don't do small things such as help fix a broken toilet seat, put the screen back on the rails of the slider when the dog pushes it out, or affix the dishwasher tabs so the machine doesn't fall out of the cabinet when the bottom rack is pulled out. These last three things I just dealt with myself--it isn't that I couldn't do it--but I didn't have my tools, and had to buy a couple things to effect the repairs. Not a biggie...but for this I'm going to give a yearly tip? Also, maintenance leaves a snow shovel and a bucket of rock salt in our entryways--they tell us we don't have to shovel the snow, but the complex is large, and they can't get to everybody first thing. So the reality is that we do shovel ourselves out the door and down the stairs to our vehicles, and salt our own stairs and sidewalks.  Again, not a biggie, but it's not that helpful, either. And I keep my own snow shovel--better than theirs--and my own bag of rock salt, because theirs always runs out. The rental manager treats me with business courtesy and nothing more--she is not warm or schmoozy--and I see her at most once a month if she is in the office when I drop off the rent.

I am not cheap about tips--I pretty much tip people it's generally agreed we should--such as waitstaff in restaurants. (Not that I eat in restaurants much.) Just felt a little puzzled about apartment etiquette, and don't like to ask other residents, as I'm sure replies would differ widely...I'm sure some genuinely couldn't afford to tip if they wanted to.

Just clarifying--the major appliances are owned by the apartment complex--it wasn't my personal refrigerator or dishwasher.

okits

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Re: Holiday gifts or tips for apartment staff?
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2017, 02:13:20 PM »
I'm pretty shocked at the responses.  Maybe this is regional, but tips are expected and considered good etiquette in full service buildings in major cities.  $50-100 for doormen, $20-$100 for building supers/managers, and $20-$50 for maintenance people.  More in NYC.

I was raised with the idea that anyone who provided an ongoing service to you during the year got a tip at the holidays.  As such, I tip my hairdresser (cost of one service) and give a holiday bonus to daycare teachers ($50 each plus a gift from the kids).  It is custom and not required, but it goes a long way toward building a good relationship with people who I count on to make my life easier.

How "full-service" are we talking, here?  I don't think my building is fancy enough to warrant tipping.  I have overheard other people, living in luxury condos with services for seniors, discuss holiday tipping, though.

With two kids in daycare I'm undecided who, exactly, we will be giving gift cards to at Christmas.  Each kid has about six teachers that do some work in their room during a regular day.  So potentially 12 teachers (who are unionized and paid decently); if gifted $50 each = $600.  That's more than I'll spend on gifts for my DH, kids, and parents, combined!  We will be gifting a lot less than that, and probably only to those who work most of the day in their classrooms.

slappy

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Re: Holiday gifts or tips for apartment staff?
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2017, 02:21:23 PM »
I'm pretty shocked at the responses.  Maybe this is regional, but tips are expected and considered good etiquette in full service buildings in major cities.  $50-100 for doormen, $20-$100 for building supers/managers, and $20-$50 for maintenance people.  More in NYC.

I was raised with the idea that anyone who provided an ongoing service to you during the year got a tip at the holidays.  As such, I tip my hairdresser (cost of one service) and give a holiday bonus to daycare teachers ($50 each plus a gift from the kids).  It is custom and not required, but it goes a long way toward building a good relationship with people who I count on to make my life easier.

How "full-service" are we talking, here?  I don't think my building is fancy enough to warrant tipping.  I have overheard other people, living in luxury condos with services for seniors, discuss holiday tipping, though.

With two kids in daycare I'm undecided who, exactly, we will be giving gift cards to at Christmas.  Each kid has about six teachers that do some work in their room during a regular day.  So potentially 12 teachers (who are unionized and paid decently); if gifted $50 each = $600.  That's more than I'll spend on gifts for my DH, kids, and parents, combined!  We will be gifting a lot less than that, and probably only to those who work most of the day in their classrooms.

We had three teachers in my son's classroom, plus floaters. We gave a group gift. A $50 gift card to a local lunch place near the daycare, so that they could all get lunch one day. I guess they liked it, since they said they used it that day.

He is in preschool now and has two teachers. I was thinking of a $15 coffee gift card for each and a small note or drawing from him.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Holiday gifts or tips for apartment staff?
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2017, 02:40:00 PM »
My condo (far from fancy) HOA has a "no tip" policy, though I used to tip for packages anyway.  The HOA has a holiday fund split among staff.  I do not contribute once I found out they are all union (engineer, janitors, front desk person, even garage attendant) with built in pay raises (which I am NOT) and paid way too much.  The engineer makes more than I do and has a "housing allowance".

noplaceliketheroad

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Re: Holiday gifts or tips for apartment staff?
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2017, 03:40:21 PM »
I'm pretty shocked at the responses.  Maybe this is regional, but tips are expected and considered good etiquette in full service buildings in major cities.  $50-100 for doormen, $20-$100 for building supers/managers, and $20-$50 for maintenance people.  More in NYC.

I was raised with the idea that anyone who provided an ongoing service to you during the year got a tip at the holidays.  As such, I tip my hairdresser (cost of one service) and give a holiday bonus to daycare teachers ($50 each plus a gift from the kids).  It is custom and not required, but it goes a long way toward building a good relationship with people who I count on to make my life easier.

+1 to SimpleCycle!

I find tipping apt staff/maintenance to be one of those things where if I DON'T do it, I feel horrible, cheap, like a leper. I slink around and avoid eye contact. I try to get in the elevator before I'm noticed. If I DO it, I feel generous and kind. Seems like an easy choice! And why not share your good fortune with others?

I like giving gift cards, usually will pick them out according to what each worker is into. Specific restaurants or a local bookstore that may have come up in conversation. If I don't know them that well, a local coffee shop or Starbucks card is my go to.

lizzzi

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Re: Holiday gifts or tips for apartment staff?
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2017, 06:59:21 PM »
OP here again. I did talk on the QT to one of the long time residents who has always seemed pleasant,  sensible and down-to-earth. He says some of the tenants tip the two maintenance guys, and some don't. He says he and his wife do tip, because the guys seem to expect it, or at least make themselves oddly available--vacuuming hallways just before the holidays, for instance--and are more apt to be helpful to people who give them a holiday tip. The resident says he does not tip or give a gift to the rental manager, whose office is not in our section of the development and whom we seldom see.

AMandM

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Re: Holiday gifts or tips for apartment staff?
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2017, 11:17:49 PM »
When I lived in an apartment (low-end) I gave the super a bag of homemade treats and a card at Christmas. There was no door man or other staff.  Now I live in a house and I tip the garbage and recycling collectors and give cookies to the mail carrier.

CogentCap

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Re: Holiday gifts or tips for apartment staff?
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2017, 09:47:05 PM »
It doesn't sound like you live in one of those places described by other posters where tipping is expected.  Tipping apt staff is something I've never heard of before.

If where you live is anything like where I live, apt staff don't get tips.  Maybe they'll get a batch of cookies from a really nice tenant who is in the holiday spirit, but almost certainly nothing else.  Like one poster said, they're just doing their jobs, nothing more.

That said, if you DO tip them, or you're the one to bring the cookies, they'll remember you.  Especially if you deliver in person and with a smile, and remind them of your name.

That is very, very good for you for as long as you live there. 

So I say follow through.  Butter 'em up.  There are some people you really want on your side.




Goldielocks

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Re: Holiday gifts or tips for apartment staff?
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2017, 09:56:19 PM »
I'm pretty shocked at the responses.  Maybe this is regional, but tips are expected and considered good etiquette in full service buildings in major cities.  $50-100 for doormen, $20-$100 for building supers/managers, and $20-$50 for maintenance people.  More in NYC.

I was raised with the idea that anyone who provided an ongoing service to you during the year got a tip at the holidays.  As such, I tip my hairdresser (cost of one service) and give a holiday bonus to daycare teachers ($50 each plus a gift from the kids).  It is custom and not required, but it goes a long way toward building a good relationship with people who I count on to make my life easier.

LOL,  I was going to say, no tip unless you live in NYC or Chicago... (or maybe Atlanta, too many people make too little for regular wages in Atlanta, IMO)

Goldielocks

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Re: Holiday gifts or tips for apartment staff?
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2017, 10:03:18 PM »
I'm pretty shocked at the responses.  Maybe this is regional, but tips are expected and considered good etiquette in full service buildings in major cities.  $50-100 for doormen, $20-$100 for building supers/managers, and $20-$50 for maintenance people.  More in NYC.

I was raised with the idea that anyone who provided an ongoing service to you during the year got a tip at the holidays.  As such, I tip my hairdresser (cost of one service) and give a holiday bonus to daycare teachers ($50 each plus a gift from the kids).  It is custom and not required, but it goes a long way toward building a good relationship with people who I count on to make my life easier.

How "full-service" are we talking, here?  I don't think my building is fancy enough to warrant tipping.  I have overheard other people, living in luxury condos with services for seniors, discuss holiday tipping, though.

With two kids in daycare I'm undecided who, exactly, we will be giving gift cards to at Christmas.  Each kid has about six teachers that do some work in their room during a regular day.  So potentially 12 teachers (who are unionized and paid decently); if gifted $50 each = $600.  That's more than I'll spend on gifts for my DH, kids, and parents, combined!  We will be gifting a lot less than that, and probably only to those who work most of the day in their classrooms.

Ask daycare owner / manager if they have a tip pool for the teachers set up.   We had one primary teacher only an a couple of regular assistants, so could tip directly to the regulars, but I know what you are saying.  In our case, I knew that the assistants in particular, were not highly paid so tried to get the tip to them directly in a card.