Holiday Tipping Guide - Building Staff

The holiday season is upon us, which means it’s time to start thinking about what gifts to get family and friends. But what about the individuals who work in your building? You know, the ones you see every day? The ones that greet you when you come home, look after your apartment when you’re gone, fix broken appliances and make sure you receive that important item you ordered off Amazon?

Some apartment buildings have on-site staff, such as doormen, garage attendants, porters and managers that take care of a variety of things for tenants/owners. Depending on the type of building, additional services such as valet, laundering, and housekeeping may even be available. Staff in these buildings cater to those that live there and act as security and concierge, providing safety and convenience that often prove invaluable to residents.

While it’s certainly not required, it is encouraged that both renters and owners alike tip or give a little extra to building staff as an appreciative gesture during the holiday season. Not only is it a nice thing to do, but also helps build a rapport with staff. But how much should you give?

Below are some basic guidelines to help you decide how much to tip, broken down for each member of the staff (should your building have one).

  • Super, resident manager: $75-175 on average (broad range: $50-500)

  • Doorman, concierge: $25-150 on average (broad range: $10-1,000)

  • Porter, handyman: $20-30 on average (broad range: $10-75)

  • Garage attendant: $25-75 on average (broad range: $15-100)

Keep in mind that these numbers are a basic guideline, and don’t reflect the numerous times your doorman went above and beyond his call of duty (ex. watching your dog as you ran back up to your apartment to grab your forgotten wallet). Oh, and seniority matters; a senior porter that’s been with the building and helping residents for 20+ years merits a larger tip than one that just started a few months ago.

Also, while the gesture may come off as kind, it’s best not to bother with non-monetary gifts (cash is preferred). Like you, your doorman probably doesn’t want a fruitcake or a gift card to an unfamiliar restaurant. Think of your tip as a seasonal bonus to the people who support you and your family throughout the year.

Kim Hill