• Vacation Rental Holiday Tipping Guide

    The holidays are here. As you take stock of what's important to you, don't forget your valuable, trusted vacation rental staff and crew.

    After all, if you're running a successful vacation rental, you're probably not doing it alone. Your housekeepers, property managers, maintenance team, caretakers, vendors and landscapers are all an essential part of what keeps you going strong (and looking good). 

    In short? These are the folks taking care of your most valuable assets: your home and your guests. 

    Show you appreciate it with a tip or gift.

    What to Give

    A monetary gift or gift card can be a lifesaver for staff during the time of year when shopping is like a full-time job you pay to do. (Sure, giving gifts is rewarding...but it's also very hard on the wallet). 

    If you can swing it, try to get the staff their monetary gift before mid-December (that is, ASAP!). This way, they can use the extra cash to help ease the financial burden of our most expensive holiday. 

    I sent out my gifts a bit early this year, and I'm glad I did. I just surprised my caretaker with an Amazon gift card and got this heartwarming thank-you in response: 

    Thank you so much for the gift card, I'm so grateful.  I've been trying to figure out how I was going to buy my son a bike for Christmas...Thank You.

    How great is that?

    Only you can determine what amount works for your budget. But know that every little bit helps. 

    In fact, you don't have to give money at all. A plate of fresh-baked cookies or a handwritten card is certainly better than silence.

    I do recommend taking a look around and determine who among your "pit crew" are the most valuable. Who, if he or she were to leave tomorrow, would you miss the most? 

    And then tip or gift accordingly. 

    How to Give

    Be sure to consider regional customs for tipping. Some places handle this differently. 

    In some instances, you may want to consider giving a small, personal gift instead of cash or gift cards. If you know the names of the person's kids and/or pets, then you likely know them well enough to give a personalized gift, delivered in person if you're located nearby. 

    Otherwise, sending your tip or gift through the mail is just fine. Whatever you end up giving, I recommend adding a short, handwritten note of personal thanks.

    A note: don't tip or gift because you want or expect good service in 2016. Tip out of goodwill and generosity, especially if your vendor has gone the extra mile for you. If your vendor, manager, or service is not meeting your expectations, consider switching to another provider. 

    If, on the other hand, you have great people on your side helping care for your vacation rental, they deserve a little "thank you."

    Happy holidays!