My house is in the Adirondacks and it is remote. I am very grateful for my cleaning crew. They are a grandmother (granddaughter) team and they work they’re butts off. It’s tough work up there in the mountains. I give them the full $200 that I charge the renter.... but the granddaughter is always asking why no one leaves a tip. They are used to working the hotel circuit where tips will happen.
My house is 9 beds and we get huge groups of like 10-13 people. The work is very daunting and take a long time and they DEFINITELY deserve tips. Has anyone found a good way to ask for tips? OR is it even appropriate? Thanks for any feedback.... Mary Jane (triple super host!!!! LOL)
@Mary-Jane15 Yes, I think it's inappropriate to ask for tips. And if I were a guest, I would find it off-putting. Your cleaners just need to understand that cleaning for a hotel is different than cleaning for Airbnbs.
When guests pay a $200 cleaning fee, I think it's not surprising that they wouldn't consider leaving a tip. Of course, when they pay for a hotel room, cleaning is factored into the rate they pay, but psychologically they don't see it like that, because it isn't separately itemized.
I know there are some hosts of places that accommodate a large number of guests who top up the cleaning fee they pay the cleaners a bit, beyond what they charge guests, especially if they have cleaners who are reliable and do an excellent job.
@Mary-Jane15 I worked housekeeping in the ADKs once at a hotel where a gratuity was added to the overall bill as an (easily seen) line item - $3.50 per person per night (housekeepers got a fraction of that.) Because of this included gratuity (known as a cleaning fee in the vacation rental world) finding a tip left in the room was very, very rare.
I would give your housekeepers a percentage of the extra person fee in addition to the cleaning fee. Increase your rates a little if you need to. I wouldn't count on people tipping.
@Mary-Jane15 When I give tips to waiters, drivers, and other service providers, it's not just a matter of custom - it's because I know they're being paid a substandard wage and that the customer is expected to make up for that. That's a really lousy system and I disagree with it, but I don't want the worker to be the one punished for it.
If I were to rent a nice chalet like yours instead of a luxury hotel, I'd really want to assume that all of the money (less Airbnb fees) was going to local people in the community and contributing toward a living wage. Tipping cleaners in an Airbnb doesn't really make sense here - plenty of hosts are perfectly capable of doing their own cleaning, thank you very much. If a host made any suggestion that on top of the rent and cleaning fee I should also leave a tip, my impression would be that they were underpaying their workers, and I would not hesitate to express my anger at their pettiness in the review.
As an employer, I recommend that you establish a mutual agreement with your housekeepers about how their work will be compensated and ensure that they are getting the appropriate rate for every job without any consideration of tips. There's absolutely no rule that the Cleaning Fee you charge guests has to be equal to what you pay cleaners; that number has nothing to do with cleaning, it's basically just a penalty charge for shorter stays.
@Mary-Jane15 many guests see the cleaning fee as an extra (and annoying fee). They see the price per night advertised but by the time they are done booking, it is double after taxes and fees. They are hyper aware of having paid that and are not paying a penny more. A number of times guests complained about having to clean after themselves when they paid so much already. All I ask for is to take the food they brought out of the fridge. No need to strip linens or anything like that.
To clarify, I am not against you charging that amount at all, in fact I charge around that amount myself, this is just my explanation as to why the guests are not tipping.
I would be personally very annoyed with a host who asked for tips. I see airbnb as an "all in" kind of deal. Also, this will be the last thing your guests will remember about your place- having to leave a tip after they paid all that money because the host guilted them into it.
One last thought: the cleaning is done after the guests are gone, there is no attachment to your cleaning crew. Guests have moved on. Literally. As opposed to the hotel where some of the cleaning is done during your stay.
@Mary-Jane15 I agree with others, suggesting a tip may backfire. Maybe consider a yearly bonus, or some kind of profit-sharing that rewards them for high cleanliness ratings, and/or raise your cleaning fee. (I charge $200 for a 1750 sf 3/2 house that sleeps 11 max, and nobody bats an eye.)
Also agree with others that guests should not be expected to tip cleaners AFTER paying a cleaning fee. In addition to the cleaning fee, a fixed sum or % from the host payout should be provided to ensure fair compensation for the amount of work the cleaners do for each turnover. Imo, what your cleaners deserve is to receive a fair sum from you (the host) which reflects the amount of work they do.... not tips.
I agree with others here. It's not appropriate to ask Airbnb guests for tips for cleaning staff.
$200 doesn't sound like a huge amount between two people to clean and prepare a nine bedroom property. How long does it take them to clean and prepare?
With my cleaners I pay them more than my cleaning rate as I know if I added their full cleaning rate it would make me uncompetitive.
Perhaps you could look at increasing your day rate slightly and use this to pay them an additional amount as you have such a great cleaning team.
Once upon a time, I had a lovely housekeeper.
She could help me to clean my home when some travellers arrived.
I never imagined that travellers would give a tip because we are not professional - like a hotel.
When I was a student, i worked as a chambermaid in a 4 stars hotel in the UK, there was no tip.
As my housekeeper was great, she had a tip every year that was one month's salary (we call it "the 13th month").
You could do it yourself.
Instead of relying on travellers, you could give a big tip once a year based on the work she did.
You may have to slightly increase your price but based on a whole year, it is quite small.
@Inna22 In Mexico it is part of labor law that employees be paid a bonus in Dec. that is basically equal to 2 week's pay. Additionally employers have to pay vacation pay (regardless of whether the employee uses it for a vacation-that's up to them) that is based on how long someone has been working for you.