How To Get More 5 Star Airbnb Reviews: Don't Fail! It Depends On Making Guests Feel Obliged! | Cape Town Airbnb Management Agency
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How To Get More 5 Star Airbnb Reviews: Don’t Fail! It Depends On Making Guests Feel Obliged!

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How To Get More 5 Star Airbnb Reviews: It Depends On Making Guests Feel Obliged!

How To Get 5 Star Reviews Make Guests Feel Obliged

How To Get More 5 Star Airbnb Reviews? Let’s consider this banking trick. But before we do let’s start at the beginning…

Getting more 5 star Airbnb reviews must be one of the most important goals of any Airbnb host. Read more here on why.

Every day I read Airbnb reviews after guests stayed at one of our Superhost homes in Cape Town. And I am intrigued.

Beyond the review is a (psychological) force driving the quality of the review or getting a review.

The question makes guests not bother to write a review, leave a one-sentence review or what makes them write quality 5 star reviews? More here on asking for 5 star reviews.

Some guests would mention the host in the review, and others would not. Interesting.

Why Is The Length Of An Airbnb Review or Mentioning the Host’s Name an Issue?

The success of an Airbnb home depends on the number of reviews and the quality of reviews. Quality is determined by the review score out of 5 and the detailed review. (Why? It’s all about trust).

Why Does The Length And Detail Of An Airbnb Review Matter?

I believe the length and detail of a review show a guest’s indebtedness or gratefulness in return for the stay offered by the host; the guest is returning a small but important gesture in appreciation of the experience they had at the home. Which the host offered them.

Why Does Mentioning The Host’s Name In The Review Matter?

The host is selling an experience to the guest. The host gives and gives; nothing material but happiness through advice, willingness and exuberance; being full of energy, excitement, and cheerfulness.

If you are a host reading, this doesn’t feel bad if most guests don’t mention your name. But feel proud when they do. You cannot get a mention every time. But you can try to get more mentions.

Let’s dive a little deeper…

Do Great 5 Star Airbnb Reviews Depend On Guests Feeling Obligated?

Yes. More later. Let’s start with..

How do hosts get any reviews, an excellent review and a mention?

Well, I referred to it using words like indebtedness.

And as you know; to be obliged is to be in someone’s debt because of a favour or service.

Every decent living being wants something of value. Our guests pay for their stay. They have high expectations.

They expect a return for their money. And the home you are hosting is that return. We know they want a splendid home. But an excellent 5 star home is useless if the guest does not experience happiness.

The Airbnb Host Sells Happiness.

Happiness is what we all want. We believe a holiday will bring us joy. And hosts are nothing other than sellers of joy.

Again, I must stress that you are not bribing them with material things; wine, flowers, or gifts. Material things are the home they reserved.

They are looking for an experience. They want trust. Trust and happiness go hand in hand. With limited happiness, trust flies out the window. And with no trust, who can find happiness?

When Things Go Wrong Indebtedness Can Save The Host

Was it in the book 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey that I read (many years ago) about relationship bank accounts?

The Airbnb host has a bank account with the guest. And the host deposits large amounts of happiness and trust in the guest’s account. Continuously.

BTW. The guest has an obligation to bank decency with the host.

When things go wrong, and they can, the guest is upset. And the guest debits the happiness account. Depending on the level of happiness credit the host never wants the guest to reach rock bottom.

At rock bottom, the guests will become vicious. And they reflected these problems in negative reviews, no reviews and even brief reviews.

No reviews and brief reviews may be because of limited indebtedness.

Now we are getting into the real stuff of how to get more 5 Star Airbnb reviews…

Guests Return The Favour With A 5 Star Airbnb Review Because They Feel You Deserve It.

The host banked a lot of joyful experiences. The guests cannot believe how friendly, energetic and responsive you were.

They have paid to stay. They have no more obligations. Despite that, they feel, strongly, that they must share their unbelievable experiences with the world. They feel that…

Other potential guests must stay here as well.

Guests writing reviews are returning the favour. They are looking for reasons to justify their expense and their joy. They want friends, family and foes to know. And it’s the host’s task to make them feel obliged.

You gave them so much. They must and will return the favour; the indebtedness.

Human Beings Are Wired To Return Favours

Have you read Cialdini’s book on Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion? It’s a great book.

Cialdini’s first principle of persuasion states that human beings are wired to return favours and pay back debts — to treat others as they’ve treated us.

Psychology explains this by stressing that humans simply hate to feel indebted to others!

We know this is true. Guests take this indebtedness and turn it into a gift for the host.

But to get the ideal gift, remember the happiness bank account. Fill it up. Another way to say this is;

The host must credit happiness into the guest’s indebtedness account.

The more credits by the host, the higher the indebtedness to the host.

Is this how Airbnb hosts get the best possible 5 Star reviews and even a mention?

But This Psychology Trick Is Not Fair Play!

Yes. As you know, psychology is not magic. We read above that humans are wired to return a favour.

By treating guests well, they want to treat the host well. That psychology stipulates humans hate indebtedness is just the way it is.

And if you use it by knowing about it and you make the life of a guest better, why not?

For your effort to sell happiness, you get rewarded with a 5 Star review. And if you really banked a lot, you’ll get the mention.

Examples Of Excellent Reviews And One-Liners

Let’s consider this short review:

Guest Olga said, Beautiful place. Definitely worth the money.

And compare it to this detailed review at another location:

Guest Daniel said (his words),

We had the pleasure of staying in this Muizenberg home for a month over winter. The home is cosy and in a lovely little neighbourhood full of friendly people and wonderful walks over the lagoon. We traveled with our cat and dog who both had a lovely stay, particularly when lounging in the garden soaking up the sun. The fireplace and heaters were an absolute lifesaver in the cold days and nights. The couches are super comfortable, the TV is very large and its an all-round delight to stay in.

Consider this second part of the review:

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our fabulous host Coral. Throughout our stay she went above and beyond to make us feel truly at home. Check-in was a breeze and Coral continued to follow up with us throughout our stay to ensure everything was ok. Truly, we had a blast here. I hope you do too! Thank you so much for hosting us Coral, honestly felt like a home. All the best!

Which 5 Star Review Convinced You?

If you have to pull out your indebtedness measuring tool, it’s obvious which one is the winner review.

If both were exactly the same homes and you (as a guest) only had these two reviews to decide at which one you will stay, where will you stay?

BTW: Our Airbnb host Coral did exactly as I suggested. The guests just had to pay her back. And, you’ll agree that they did it with an excellent review.

The Benefits Of Indebtedness

The guest cannot be happier. The homeowner reaps the benefits; occupancy increases and demand pushes rates higher. And more guests flock to the place after reading the glowing reviews.

Great stuff. Now you have the formula to get excellent 5 Star reviews. Or am I wrong? You may not agree. Let me know in the comments below.

How To Get More 5 Star Airbnb Reviews

I have said it before: You’ll not always get the best possible (detailed with a mention) review. But if you play your cards well, you’ll get it more often than not. The aim is to strive for the best possible review every time.

If you’re aiming for something, even if you don’t achieve it, you’ll still be somewhere better than where you started.

Remember that little pink piggy bank? Use it. Bank kindness, responsiveness, energy and helpfulness continuously and you’ll have a full account. Guests can withdraw when things go wrong and give you a highly valued 5 star rate and review.


What is the definition of a 5 Star Airbnb Rating?

Airbnb’s 5-star rating signifies an experience or property that exceeded expectations and was more than its description.

Why is an Airbnb rating important to the host?

Airbnb host success is all increasing demand. A host cannot increase demand or occupancy without trust. And the only way to increase trust is to get many positive reviews. Read the study for more.


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