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My 10 tips that have saved me!!!

Hi! Guys,

I would like to share my 10 tips that helped me since I started hosting two years ago:

  1. White sheets - I love colours so I bought sheets with nice and warm colours but also solid White ones.  I was very sad when my guests almost ruined my brand new coloured sheets... White sheets are here to stay... too easy to clean with personal care products such as white vinegar and baking soda....  White sheets assure guests that the bed is clean and fresh.  White is luxury in simplicity.
  2.  Don’t Buy Cheap Sheets and Towels -  They won’t last more than a couple of weeks before they start to pill.  Buy best quality during sales....Egyptian cotton sheets are more durable and feel cooler to sleep on. Egyptian cotton towels are soft and more absorbent.
  3.  Use Message Templates. - I used to write each guest a personal note when they booked. I saved myself a lot of trouble by using   message templates  and just formatting key parts to match the reservation.
  4. Always Follow Up & Review Immediately.   I’ve gotten much better results by contacting guests immediately after they leave to tell them how great they were.
  5. Meet and Greet in person Some may prefer self-check-in but I think most guests highly appreciate a warm welcome.   Meet and greet makes guests feel special, and it’s an opportunity for them to ask any questions they may have about the property or the area. Show them around the property and make them feel at home.
  6. Never Get Angry – Sometimes guests can be rude...Calmly handle your guests, be firm, tell them what you expect, apologize if it’s something you did, even if that’s unfair.  They might not be right but they are the customers.  With kindness,  bad guests can turn into  good ones.
  7. Forbid Early Check-In - If  guests  shows up at 11 a.m. and check-in time is 2 p.m., please don’t be upset if your accommodation isn’t ready. Kindly explain to them that you  can’t make the housekeeper go any faster... and you don’t want them to rush... Of course I offer to hold their bags for them as an alternative.
  8. Make A List Routine - It is so easy to forget things as you are cleaning up and preparing the property. In my iphone notes I have a list of things to-do in the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, dining room, verandas etc. and go through the check-list  again and again.  It really puts my mind at ease being able to look back at the completed list and know for sure everything was done.
  9. Always Ask for Advice -  My guests have given me  ideas for great new features and how to improve my property, since many of them have more experience in travelling than me.  (Actually, thanks to recomendation made by my guests,  we finaly have wifi connection since we live in an area without internet network).  It’s a great way to avoid issues, add value, and show guests you care.
  10. Professional Photography - Pictures are very important for your listing, so take clear and realistic pictures as a professional.... if you cannot afford one, like me.  I found helpful tips in.... step-by-step visual guide, and don’t  forget the first eight pictures make the difference.

Every little detail makes the difference....

Please, share with us your experience.

M Adamopoulou

Thanks Barry, please post yours and some photos of your beautiful accommodation...

Take care...



Hi Maria,  As an Irishman , I have a more call-it-how-I-see-it approach. And I do a lot of the above list too.


Yes I know we should try be nice, and typically we Irish are but when someone blatantly ignores the house rules, policies and then leave unconstructive feedback comments, I tend to let loose the dogs of war... lol, in a somewhat polite, firm but fair way. I'm sure a few times I have made BDC cringe at my rating replies they review, LOL.  

In a some what diplomatic way I call them out on their unconstructive and mis information , and highlight the parts of the rules, policies they ignored or missed  I try to point to where the real correct info is  so they learn from their mistake.

If they were particularly disgusting by things they did, then I future block them. e.g. urinating in our coffee maker due to the bathroom is busy, then leaving negative comments and not mention the 'incident'. CTTV  is a great invention, lol. [Amazon Blink Cameras]


I politely remind them of the 'incident' and how all feedback must be constructive as per my policy for leaving rating  feedback comments..


I had someone today leave decent rating, but the feedback single comment had nothing to do with the property nor constructive.

It was a sly remark about the sign in the bathroom above the toilet in the form of a cartoon, insisting all males note that the toilet is not a urinal and need to sit down in order to use correctly.

As you probably know its can be quite disgusting how some males use a normal toilet like a urinal and then walk out not cleaning up the 'bad aim' splashes.   

Kind Regards  


Most men pee standing up. To ask them to sit down is not reasonable and won't happen. A sign asking them to aim straight will get better results!

Rick Wysynski

Plus I show our guests each and every amenity in their room, explain how to use each one, then show them how to access the Firestick to watch unlimited movies etc. After that I take their personal breakfast orders and ask what time they would like it served. I then ask what they desire for supper and give directions to 5-8 best restaurants within 10 minute walking distance to our B&B. Each room gets an access code for the front door and I also show how to lock/unlock the door so they can come/go at their leisure!!

M Adamopoulou

Dear Barry, 

Thanks for sharing your post...how disgusting situation....

These guests you are describing are outrageous.  I would have kick them out of my property....

Thank God, I have not been faced with such dreadful incidents...

Wish your future guests behave more...


Isle of Wight …

That is a brilliant list Maria - of course, we all do some things a bit differently. I don't meet and greet - I own and manage too many properties to do that.


I'd like to add a few more things I think are important.


11 Guest Information - Make sure to leave good information for the guests. Include instructions for things like heating, appliances, WiFi etc in one information pack. Include instructions for check-out, including "please leave the property clean and tidy, empty the bins" and so on. Add local information for public transport, taxi numbers, doctor, dentist, hospital, shops etc. Keep it simple, easy to read. Guests appreciate this and will not need to contact you so often.

12 Deal with problems quickly - sometimes things go wrong. Maybe the kettle breaks. Maybe the TV stops working. Be prepared to deal with problems quickly - don't leave them till later. The sooner you fix a problem, the happier the guest is. Make sure you put your contact information in the Guest Information in case there is a problem.

13 Clean clean clean - Always clean every part of your property. If there is one cobweb, one dog hair, one biscuit crumb, someone will notice. Cleanliness is the biggest thing for all guests. That extra 10 minutes for cleaning will pay you back.

14 Presentation - Step back to look at your property and think about the little things - the attention to detail - it's often those little things that make all the difference. Our cleaners turn cup handles all the same way, neat and tidy, they put sofa cushions in the right places, all puffed up, they open curtains and make sure they are all hanging straight. That few minutes just gives a better first impression. If guests see cups just shoved in a cupboard, the cushions just thrown on the sofa, the curtains not straight, the lack of attention to presentation, they feel there is also a lack of attention to cleaning. Once you get in the habit of paying attention to detail, you do it automatically.

15 Safety - Always best to take this seriously. The last thing we want is guests to be injured in our properties. We do a full fire risk assessment and safety risk assessment every year and review it frequently. Get electrical equipment checked. Look for slip and trip hazards, finger traps etc. Have working smoke and CO2 alarms and make sure they are tested regularly. Something I often see when I go into other people's properties is electric cables on the floor - a guest might trip on it and pull wiring loose in an appliance and this can start a fire. I don't want crispy fried holiday guests in my property. Would you? You can find guides for safety and fire risk assessments online. Use them!

16 Avoid Overcrowding - When I first started, other owners would always tell me that I need a travel cot, sofa bed, dog bowls, etc etc. But, the more things you have in a holiday home, the less space you have for guests. Sure, having a sofa bed means we can sleep 6 instead of 4, but if 6 people come, that's 6 suitcases, they'll want seating for 6, more tableware in the kitchen cupboards, 6 using the one bathroom, so 6 taking turns in the shower and the toilet etc etc etc. Some guests can then feel the property is too small and crowded, they're less happy. Less than 10% of our bookings use the sofa beds. Less than 10% of our bookings bring a dog. We've only been asked for a travel cot maybe twice, ever, even though we have multiple properties. I find it better to just not provide sofa beds and travel cots.

I'm sure I can think of more things later .....


M Adamopoulou

Dear Isle, thanks for continuing my tips and tricks...adding so helpful tips.

Of course we all do somethings a bit different...it depends what the property is where the location is, the occupancy  etc.

Overcrowding..you are so right!!!

Last year a guest left me not an excellent review because although accepted  to allow an extra guest in my Studio he mentioned that they were overcrowded.

It was the one and last time I let this happen.

People, sometimes are  ungrateful.

Thanks again for sharing.


Hallo Partner, 

Thank you so much M.Adamopoulou and Isle for your Wonderful tips. Some of them l have putted them into practise since Long but some l would polish on them.

Thanks once more and wish you two Successful Business Moments.


M Adamopoulou

Hi! Ziporah,

Thank you for your kind comments.

Please remember to edit your profile....add your photo....add your property...

Wish you well.

M Adamopoulou

Dear Rick, please add  some of your suggestions and experience...



Janet McMurray

What a great checklist, thank you for sharing, Maria and others. Agree with it completely!

M Adamopoulou

Hi! Janet and welcome to the Partner Community.

Please share your thoughts and please remember to introduce yourself.

Take care!!!

Richard Chacon

Thanks a lot dear Adamopoulou!!!

I needed that tip about white vinager and soda... so nice!

Being a small Inn, We use to greet and meet in person also. Guests love that.

We also help with transportation and money exchange as guests asked!

Bye dear!


M Adamopoulou

Dear Richard, thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

Sharing is caring...


M Adamopoulou, those are really great tips.


I would perhaps add that white sheets, white linen and white towels is definitily more recommended since it is well known that white laundry is more hygienic because you can wash them on a high temperature (90˙C), killing bacterias etc.. with the colored ones you basicly can't do that.

M Adamopoulou

Thanks pibomarco for sharing your thoughts...

I absolutely agree with you.

 Being married for 40 years...I can certainly say that white laundry is much more hygienic and easy to do.

Wish you a good day.

Paul Colley-Davies

So do you wash all your sheets every time at 90 C then? Its just that one of our biggest environmental footprints is washing and we are told 30C or less. I try to get guests to stay two days but booking com doesn't make this easy. I will explain if people show interest. We all need to encourage longer stays

Lisa Caine

Really helpful list Thanks M!  Appreciate you taking the time

M Adamopoulou

Dear Lisa, massive pleasure!!!

Thank God, I have a lot of time to myself...I am retired!!!

Please introduce yourself and share some pictures of your beautiful property!!!

M Adamopoulou

Michael, Thank you very much....for your comment and for joining our conversation!!!

You have been an inspiration for me since I joined this Community so please don’t stop inspiring us... Your enormous experience in making guests have unforgettable moments  and memories is more than vital!!!






Hi and thanks for the list even if some of us already do those things it is still a good refresher. I constantly add info to my guest folders especially instructions for using even the simplest item such as a kettle as it is a licencing requirement in Spain.  I also add addresses/pictures of shops, bars, chemist etc. with a little map showing best route/distance from property.  Regarding bedding/laundry I use things such as pillow and mattress protectors which help protect the more expensive items. Simple little trick/tip for the waste bins is that I always put a folded spare bin liner under the inserted one so if guests use up the current one another is available thus keeping bin clean.

M Adamopoulou

Thanks Andy for your comment. 

I agree with you...Partners do a lot more but as you said a little refresh doesn’t hurt.  

Your trick with the bin is very smart...

Thanks for sharing and wish you a Merry Christmas to you and your family...

Paul Colley-Davies

I don't put a bin in their room so they have to think carefully about what they use and recycling and use a bin in the bathroom or kitchen. Its time to change perspective on what service is

M Adamopoulou

Yes, of course bin in the bathroom and in kitchen is more than enough...

Don Burns

Extra things we provide our guests:

  • 12-cup coffee maker, with jars of ground regular and decaffeinated coffee, sugar and cream.
  • Free snack tray of packaged pastries and granola bars.
  • Free 17-ounce bottles of water.
  • Paper coffee cups, with plastic lids, for departing guests to take their coffee on their drive home.
  • Free Wi-Fi in our home for Internet connection.
  • Small bars of unscented soap that are individually wrapped for shower and bathroom sink.  Guests find this more sanitary than a large soap bar used by several previous guests.
  • Family board games and playing cards, if guests wish to stay indoors and entertain themselves.  We have a folding card table and folding chairs for guests to play card and board games.
  • Large bottles of shampoo and body wash in shower and a hair dryer.
  • Plastic writing pens and small 25-page notepads that have our website, telephone number and e-mail address.
  • Framed wall map of our area.  This helps guests plan their day’s adventures.
  • Large rack of take-away brochures of regional tourist sites.  Our local tourism office gives us these brochures for free.
  • Dining plates and bowls, utensils, glasses, coffee mugs, paper napkins, wine bottle opener, and salt and pepper shakers.
  • Folding lawn chairs for guests to borrow for local outdoor concerts.
  • Take-away lists of area restaurants (including addresses and phone numbers for dining reservations) and fun things to see and do in our mountain region.
  • Guestbook for departing guests to leave their written comments.
  • Each bedroom and the TV lounge have a large clock to remind guests of their 11 a.m. check-out time.
  • We give each arriving guest our business card that has our street address and telephone numbers.  This helps them remember how to return to their guestrooms after their day or night’s adventures.
M Adamopoulou

Hi! Paul,

Please remember to edit your profile...add photo...add your property link.

Wish you well.

M Adamopoulou

Don, your guests must appreciate your extra things very much.

All of your extras are very helpful and thoughtful...Love your frame wall map...

Best wishes for the holidays...


Marcus Hacquebord

Great tips, thanks a lot. Especially the cleaning one is bugging my head when I'm standing in the rooms during a full clean-up. Not to forget the guests stuff that is everywhere and I am wondering, do I reorganize it or not so it looks neat and tidy or do I leave it, because perhaps they are afraid I have gone through their stuff. We just opened our first homestay this month so much to learn, first guests leaving today. Fully booked for the next week so quite the challenge. Not to forget to mention: how to manage intercultural differences when managing a hospitality business with your partner...

M Adamopoulou

Marcus, thanks for your kind comment and wish you a great start with your new home stay...

I checked your listing and I love your colors...Green with grey is a very nice combination...

Have a nice weekend.


Ronald Chanthunya

Thank you so much for brilliant ideas. I loved the sketch map and the listing of what to do. However i am still not getting the answer on charging cancellation fees  on non refundable rate plan for the systems tell us that we do not have a right to view the credit card details of the guest. I have accumulated over $1800 which I cant claim. How do you claim these since booking.com refuse to collect such charges on our behalf.


Best option for this is:

Payments by Booking


Online payments by Booking.com (VCC)


The question is why the CC details are hidden? Do you accept CC's as a payment method? If you accept only cash, that could be the reason why CC details are not shown. 

M Adamopoulou

Very bad situation you have Ronald.

Booking.com facilitates my Payments and until now have no problems.

Maybe some other partners using credit cards can help you with this.

Best wishes.

Judith Hoelscher

Several of my friends take a security deposit which is returned if the house is left correctly.  I don't do that.  Its a lot more work and creates a bad feeling when less is returned.  I just add a $65 US Security wavier to each stay.  So I have extra monies to fix what ever got broken or needs extra time to make it correct.  I have been renting a home that sleeps up to 22 guests in 15 beds with 9 sleeping areas and I am money ahead since 1999.  That small fee is so low, most guests don't even notice or comment about it.  Best of luck.


M Adamopoulou

Hi! Judith and welcome to the Partner Community.

US $ 65 seems too much for me but if that works for your property that surely is great....

Thanks for sharing your tip and wish you a healthy and a Happy New Year.

M Adamopoulou

Thanks William and welcome to the Partner Community.

Search and you will find many interesting posts that our partners share in this Community.

Wish you a great start.


You are so right, I have done all of the above and it works so well, I think the personal touch is great as most people enjoy a quick chat about the area and facilities.

M Adamopoulou

Hi! Margo and welcome to the club... 60s are the best...kids have their kids...we are independent free to do whatever we Please and still young enough to experience new things make new friends and enjoy life...

A dear Partner has said...”we only live once but if you do it right it’s enough....”


M Adamopoulou

Thanks pibomarco...this is so important...and partners tend to forget  that a negative review can change to a positive review...

Positive thinking does not hurt...

Take care.