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Preparing property for the guests Step by Step

Hello, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, visitors of this page and, of course, Booking staff that might want to have their own property rented out :)
Small introduction:
My name is Kathy, and I just got a newly turned over unit (apartment, condo), which I have to furnish and prepare for guests (clients). 
Let's do it step by step together! Target time - 1 week.
The property is located in Manila, Philippines, but never mind, this topic is created for everyone in the world, who look into renting out their property or want to share useful tips and tricks.
Here is the unit:

I am looking forward to:

Tips and tricks - what do you want to see in this unit?

What to avoid?

What things I have to buy? (let's create the List).

Criticism - I welcome positive criticism as I honestly believe that we can learn from each other, always!


Thank you, Laura!

I guess people do not know where to start...

So, let me ask some questions!

First question for gentlemen. Intimate question! (Adamopoulou is smiling:))

How important the hot water to you when you shave? Can you survive with room temperature water when you are shaving and is it comfortable?

I need your advise from both perspectives - as gentleman, who shaves :) and as property owner.

Here is my dilemma. We don't have hot water here and in order to have hot water I have to buy water heater. There are 2 kinds of water heaters sold here: single point and multipoint. Single point means having hot shower, while multipoint will allow to have hot water both in the shower and sink. The problem is... that multipoint is a way more expensive (plus $100), not to mention increased electric bills (correct me, if I am wrong).

So, on the scale from 1 to 100 how important is hot water for shaving (and other reasons, if any)?


Bed frame: metal, solid wood or fabric?

Mattress is my never ending headache... Foam or spring? Soft, medium or hard? Height? Brand?

My caretaker is very easy to suggest Ambassador, which is known for "good hotel quality".... But... I have high class mattress in my other unit, and no one ever said "thank you" for it. Instead, we had people wee wee on it and when we tried to talk to them, they didn't even find it unusual. Very normal for them.

Of course, we can put water resistant cover to protect it (as Zsolt suggested). But my main problem is... We are not 5 star hotel. 5 star hotel and 6 star hotel are just in 5 minutes of walk from us. They charge $350 up. We charge $30 up. Do you feel the difference?

Should we still opt for Ambassador mattress? What kind of mattress would you expect, if you are catching your flight and need to stay overnight in very expensive area, which is in walking distance from airport, surrounded by posh malls, boutiques, restaurants (hundreds), 2 casinos, cinemas, etc and yet, you are paying the price of 2 stars, not 5?

M Adamopoulou

Hey Katerinka12 what a post!!! Yes I’m laughing my heart out. First thing, start painting... make the difference...
Katerinka12 have you moved to Manila???



There is a painting which developer did. It's light beige. It's fresh, but it's not expensive paint (Boysen brand). I am planning to either paint or put wallpaper on the wall, just to make an accent.

And here is another dilemma: paint or wallpaper? What would you suggest?

As usual, I am in between two continents and running business long distance. It works very well for me.

Actually, even buying the unit and furnishing it could be done long distance. Many homeowners here just rely on their caretakers, who take care of Everything. It's very usual thing. People make money abroad or if they are in Manila, time and very high transportation expenses can kill anyone's efforts.

As for me, I have created another problem for myself, additional expenses and I call it Challenge :)

M Adamopoulou

Katerinka12 Yes, yes, I have all the answers for you...

Hot water: Last October I had a reservation from a couple for four days. When they arrived, the very first thing the beautiful lady asked me was if the Studio had hot water. I informed her that we have solar system and she was thrilled. As for shaving info I just asked my husband and he answered, it depends whether the temperature is hot or cold. To tell you the truth in our country we have similar problems with hot water. In the summer time we prefer not to consume hot water. Cold water is good if you have puffy-looking skin that could use some tightening. Splashing cold water can not only wake you up but can also feel refreshing on your skin.

So if you cannot afford hot water make sure you outline the benefits of cold water...

Bed frame: My favorite is wood and old metal.

Mattress: Well said...You dont have to buy a very expensive one but find one of a good quality. A water resistant cover is more than necessary whatever the mattress is. ... I feel the difference but a good night’s sleep is very important even if its for a night and it makes the difference.

I wish you a well start Katerinka12...

M Adamopoulou

I love your Challenge Katerinka12... Go for it, you can do it....

Painting or wallpaper? It depends. In Greece wallpaper is used by very few. Wall painting using new techniques is more prefarable.Wallpaper on average is more expensive to purchase the rolls, supplies and to have it installed. Paint on average is cheaper and requires very few supplies. Why not have both. In some rooms wall painting while in other ones wallpaper.

The option is yours Katerinka12 and that’s why home decorating is so exciting!!!


Is monetary reason only reason for people in Greece to use wallpaper? No climate reasons?

So, what's the final answer of your husband? :) The choice is between hot water and room temperature water (not cold!) in hot tropical climate.

M Adamopoulou

No its not because wallpaper is more expensive. Has nothing to do with climate. Greeks like to paint their houses in regular times in order to refresh the colours and feel the cleanliness.

Every Spring, in many greek villages, Greeks whitewash their houses, walls, sidewalks, steps, pots, kerbs, as well as the tree trunks.and everything gets spruced up.

Room temperature in hot weather is just fine. If you have guests complaining, then you can see what you can do about it..

Katerinka12 I wish you good luck...


After long thoughts and doubts I got 8 inches premium foam mattresses (2 pieces). I think the higher mattress is, the best impression it makes. As for quality, I use this kind of mattress myself now for 2 weeks and I sleep well. In past 4 weeks I compared: premium foam, spring type and luxury memory foam. I think I like the premium foam the most. Spring type is too hard for a lady. Luxury memory is great, but it lucks "the discipline".

Waterproof mattress and pillow protectors:

Do you use pillow protectors?

As you can see on the picture, the waterproof is only the top. What do you do with the sides as someone can also wee wee on it, spoil the wine and wild imagination makes me go crazy thinking about what people can actually do with my 2 babies - new mattresses :)

M Adamopoulou

Katerinka12 many congrats... You are going fast.... Your two new babies are very nice. Hope nobody wee wee on them. You did a wise decision. As far as I can see half of the sides are covered. Dont over worry. Yes I use pillow protectors and also protect my sofas with similar protectors. You know people do all kind of things on them. As I can see from the picture your property is getting ready. Are you now in Manila? My best wishes to you for starting this new project...

Laura, Communi…

How's your refurbishment going? What type of treatment did you decide on for the walls?

Share photos so we can see :)

M Adamopoulou

Yes Katerinka12 we can’t wait to see more photos of your new establishment...


I have painted one wall to make a headboard accent, but I am ashamed to take pictures as it came out not as I wanted. I got disappointed and feel sad. I am trying to fix it now with wallpapers and let's see how it will come out (still in process).

What will you do with photo frames if they will fall on the head of your guest?..

M Adamopoulou

Good luck Katerinka12 but are you sure your painting is not nice... I prefer good quality wall stickers they are more safe... Nice summer hats are also an idea...
Have a pleasant day...


This is the result.

By the way, I tried to Maximize the property.

Putting 2 beds was a very brave decision. My heart was beating fast if that even "normal". Considering that property is located in the most populated city in the world it worked. Worked very well, no day without booking (the area itself is a high demand).

Despite of me sending numerous messages to Booking to verify the property, they miss the money. Airbnb takes them :) But that's another story.

Lesson: I have received a comment from the guest, who said "modern and simple". Putting wallpapers in the country where is a tropical climate was very expensive. For that price I better put 2 oil paintings. Next time.

I spent a lot on expensive TV. No feedbacks so far. Let's see.

How about you, how do you try to Maximize? Should I open another topic on this?

M Adamopoulou

Congratulations Katerinka12 beds are enormous and beautiful. Good work.. Nice and simple as your guest commented.
Keep well and wish you all the best...


I have been dreaming about blue beds. You know, just like in Greece.. blue and white... I kept this picture not only in my mind, but I found supplier who had blue beds.

Had :) When I needed to buy, there was no blue bed available. What even worse, no good bed was available except for luxury ones.

Again, I am trying to fit to "2 stars". I hope this "lesson" will make someone's life easier.

And thank you for warm words, you have been extremely (!!!) very, very, very attentive and very helpful and positive always, to anyone. A good person who accidentally (:)) happens to be a host.

M Adamopoulou

Thank you Katerinka for your kind words... Yes hosting is my hobby not business so I am just being myself and try to enjoy having people in my Studio from all over the world. If I have to face serious problems I will just quit. So simple... Life is too short for worries and I prefer to spend good time with my family and good friends. I just delete people that make me unhappy and go on. I have worked for almost 40 years so enough is enough...

Katerinka I like blue beds but I dont know if I would like them the same if I saw them somewhere else then in the Greek Islands.

You have managed very well to fit in to two stars. Your place looks nice, clean and very elegant. Five stars are five stars but sometimes they are over rated.

Wish you ideal guests....

Mashi Niwarthana

Ms. katerinka,

Good Luck for your new apartment..!! This Post is so important to me to know the people's ideas..

M Adamopoulou

Katerinka is a master in helping us to make our places look better. I always follow her valuable suggestions in every way...
Take care...


I had some challenges:

1) Expensive TV

So far I don't know if it's a good investment. No one gave feedback so far.

2) 2 queen beds in a studio

I am only home owner in my area, who has 2 beds (not bed + sofa bed). It was a big risk, but considering the property is located in the city #1 in the world by population density, it worked well. The place became popular among families and groups of 4 people.

3) Wallpapers vs. Paintings

I guess I got tired of paintings, that's why I chose wallpaper. It was better to put some paintings instead of "simple design" (as guests said). Paintings are more classy and unique than wallpapers. Next time - only paintings!

4) Facilities

Location is much more important than facilities. We suppose to have swimming pool and gym (I am paying for them each month). But...they are not built yet. Other home owners opted for a long term lease, but not me. I took a risk. So far no one asked where is swimming pool and gym...

5) 1 week target time

1 week was enough time to prepare the property. With good planning (what to buy and budget), it's possible to prepare the property for rent.

Unfortunately, it is not rented through Booking. I sent numerous messages to ask for verification, but almost 2 months passed and Booking is loosing their money. The unit is rented through Airbnb, Facebook and we have some walk ins.

The average time of booking is 3 days.


"I just delete people that make me unhappy and go on."

You can't imagine how my life got improved after "deleting" all toxic people in my life. I guess I am not a kind of person who can just delete people. I try to understand, find compromise and there is always a time to say sorry (at least for me it's not that hard). I like to keep long term relationships. But some (only some) people change... Their priorities change and behavior... So, better to spend time among those who appreciate you for what you are.

And going back to the setting up property. It's my first time to set up property without anyone's advise and participation. I followed certain rules, such as:

1) no big mirrors

Mirrors keep and multiply energy. We never know if the guest was angry or tired, disappointed, etc looking at the mirror. I wish all my guests to have high quality of life, as I do have (I almost don't look at mirrors, and if I do, I do that only in the best mood).

Besides the energy effect, mirrors look cheap. Some put them as headboard. It's even worse. What do you think?

2) no dust collectors

Unless your property is luxury, don't put a big carpet. And other unnecessary staff like small items that women like. I mean they just put so many. There are other ways to stand out and show the taste rather than putting cheap staff everywhere.

3) Pictures that are happy and meaningful

No autumn, no winter, no sad face, no people that don't look at you... Not to mention any battle or fight. What should you put? Smiling face, blooming flowers or at least printed words of success.


List of things that I bought (please, add your own items)
- 2 queen size beds
- premium mattresses and water resistant protection covers
- high quality bed sheets

- curtains

- 49 inches Samsung Smart UHD TV
- split type air-conditioner (provided by developer)
- wardrobe closet (provided by developer)
- 4 seater dining set
- refrigerator (inverter type)
- microwave
- electric kettle
- rice cooker (a must in my country)
- electric stove (provided by developer)
- shower heater
- dinnerware (good quality, not plastic ones)
- kitchen utensils
- towels

M Adamopoulou

Katerinka12 you forgot to mention decoration details. Last but not least did you stock your fridge with champagne???
Wish you all the best with your new property.


Nope. That's for Michael and Rita, if they come. And you. Its not a decoration. You MUST drink it :)

M Adamopoulou

Oh! that would be really nice if we could all come and drink your champagne!!!