Brokers’ advice: Keep those tips in the holiday budget

<i>Sure, the boom may be over, but it still pays to be a good tipper for doormen and supers </i><br>

Times are tough, but don’t skimp on the tip. That’s the message from Judi Desiderio, CEO of Town & Country Real Estate on the East End of Long Island, to her brokers.

“We will still be sending gift bags to all our ancillary service providers,” she said. That means people who open lobby doors and deliver the mail.

But tips from New York brokers were certainly more plentiful during the boom.

“Tips for the 2009 holiday season will be in modified form,” said Halstead Property broker Jill Sloane. “However, the doormen and superintendents really appreciate gifts, so it’s important to keep up with tips even though you may have made less money this year,” she added.

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And maybe things aren’t as bad as they seem. Perhaps those bottles of wine and gift baskets won’t disappear from the lobbies of Manhattan buildings.

“Business has been better recently, and brokers are more likely to be generous because they have a lot more in the pipeline right now,” said Barbara Fox, founder of the Fox Residential Group. “If Christmas had come a few months earlier, you would definitely be seeing less generosity in the real estate world,” she said.

Good times or bad, though, Fox agreed that it’s important to remember those who have helped out throughout the year.

“You’ve always got to be good to who is good to you,” said Fox.