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Learn how Armchair Airbnb expertise is beaten by MBA behavioural science


Blogspam is a writing a post to in order to attract traffic from online forums and then posting on said forums to lure users in.

Basically a spam which is disguised as a post.


hm, what makes you think I am angry? link is right below the posting, it goes to medium blog.

I see you are moderator, one would expect moderator to notice links… but that’s just me.


Thank you random person over the internet for thinking about my family on some random forum, Highly appreciated.

P.S. Seriously though, whats with all around butthurt?


You are completely right. He did link to his article which could be categorized as a blog. I don’t see the spam part but I’m probably blinded by all the references to actual research. I confess I’m interested in him sharing what he is studying about guest behavior from an academic perspective.

As for your anger I’m just commenting on the tenor of your posts.

I look forward to you making valuable contributions to the forum soon in order to disabuse me of my misconceptions.


I enjoy writing and I find in writing about my reading and then explaining it to others so that it helps my understanding. This is called the Feynman Technique. Frankly, my partner gets the brunt of my explaining most of the time!

Because of my student status, I get access to the libraries of universities around the world. But most of the papers are written in an academically dense way that is not always an easy read. My master’s degree has me write a similar essay that is just as dense called a dissertation that when finished gets added to the university’s library. But, if my knowledge is any good I also want it to be read by non-academics… ie Airbnb hosts too.

My dissertation is on the subject of benevolence by Airbnb guests. In short, some guests seem to be nicer than others. What’s interesting is that I think that this can be triggered by the way you communicate and with artefacts left in the house. It sounds crazy, but as Kahneman’s work shows people are not always aware of why they do the things they do.

FWIW My work will be submitted in February.

What I have taken away from this thread is the idea rooted around host identity. Maybe there is evidence that maternal, paternal or fraternal artefacts trigger guests to increase their benevolence. ((My new ideas is that items left in the home make guests think of your Airbnb as a “family” home rather than a hotel )).

Yada yada academic stuff sorry :face_with_raised_eyebrow: I need to process this some more and add some research to see if anyone has researched it.

Thank you for your support in helping “my” understanding. With your permission, I hope to add bite-sized and hopefully not too academic essays that I truly hope improves the Airbnb community and… cough me.

Kind regards Paul


I am certainly interested and look forward to your posts.


Sounds like another load of spam to me mate :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

It’s an interesting concept, in your research have you categorised the type of hosting, i.e. shared room, entire place with host onsite and entire place with host off site? I think the type of hosting can make a big difference to guests attitudes and behaviour.



I made experiments with 4 entire homes with host offsite. I ran randomised control tests over two months to see if I could use nudge theory to have guests become more benevolent towards the host… I have interesting results that are in the process of being reviewed.


I’ve been reading your thread and find your incites very interesting and would love to hear more. We managed to identify our Airbnb host personality early on and personify the “experience” aspect of our home listing successfully. When we get exactly the type of person we were targeting, we get exceptional results. Happy and satisfied guests (self sufficient professionals) and a positive experience. When guests we were not targeting (high maintenance families) we get treated as if our home is a piece of garbage.

Oftentimes, those are the guests who feel the need to make comments such as “for the money I paid” or “for a luxury home [insert complaint].” Which is always funny to me, because we are Super Hosts with 100+ reviews. Not once, do they think, I did not pay any more than anyone else who has stayed here. Value is truly a perception.


@AFineHouse that’s really interesting. i’d be really interested to hear how you managed to market the personality in your listing.


Here’s a 4 minute read that I have been stewing on for the last week. It repeats some of what I chatted about above and mashes it with what has been shared here.

It feels to me that Chesky must have read Pine and Gilmore’s “Welcome to the experience economy” in particular.

I’ve been practising what I am saying in my Airbnb and it seems to be working.

Cheers Paul


One possible method of stamping your personality on a listing is in your replies to a review.

We always post a public reply to reviews and try to make each one personal to the guest - has it helped us? No idea as we’ve nothing to gauge it against.



Getting my red pen out…

The classic solution to this is to address the imbalance of the information available before the gest commits.

and basic facilities may be the most important. But later in life, desires change. Fragment sentence or awkward? Maybe a pro will chime in.

As for the article, I like it. Being a former teacher I love when people have evidence or research to support their claims. I think you are correct in identifying a factor which can lead to better review or guest behavior. What we’ve discussed here is “under promise, over deliver.” For example in my listing I don’t say coffee or bottled water is supplied. They know there is a fridge and kettle which helps book but when they find the supplies to make an okay cup of emergency java they are “surprised.” The nice quality but tiny Belgian chocolate costs me 11 cents but buys me a surprised guest. A littler softer towel than expected or the magnifying makeup mirror that is there but wasn’t pictured may help.

I’m going to credit @jaquo (who has been in the business as long as anyone on the forum) with moving my attitudes towards amenities supplied. Her approach was to offer above average service (like not getting annoyed when guests have a million questions before booking) and amenities (a bottle of wine on arrival). Spend $10 extra, raise the price $15, get happier guests was the gist of it in my mind. So rather than buy the cheapest sheets, provide nothing extra and mentally demand that guests conform to what I offered I moved more in a hospitality direction. Frankly, some hosts really don’t seem to like people and guest interactions are like the Hunger Games. It’s not a surprise that they have more problems.


I’m another academic and public scholar (though in a very different discipline), so I have been enjoying your posts. I hope to implement your findings if you are gracious enough to continue sharing your research and writing.


@JohnF That’s a good idea, guests definitely read the reviews. I make a point of answering all mine, good and bad. It would be interesting to try and work out an experiment to test this. I cant think of one off hand.


Thank you @Xena. I appreciate you feedback


@K9KarmaCasa Thanks for your proofreading. Points are taken and the post has now been edited. (Thanks Teach):blush:

Managing expectation by using surprises is a great strategy. Gifts I think can result in an arms race which as I think you have struggled with too. That said, guests are indeed surprised by hotel like hospitality in an Airbnb context and frankly I do it too.

I have to say that I have seen comments by Hunger Game hosts that surprise me. It seems to me that these people are corporate in nature. They approach the Airbnb as a business machine where rules and structures are created and followed. Failure to comply with mechanical rulesets results in distress for host and guest.

On the other hand, Artisan hoteliers can outperform corporate machines using authentic experiences. Authenticity is very difficult for corporates to make. Artisans who enjoy the hosting experiences, however, find it very easy. This explains why @jaquo has time for needy guests and Hunger Gamers don’t.

As @JohnF says Airbnb is a performance art form. The Airbnb business is more like an organism and as such requires a nurturing attitude.

I have written about Artisan Hoteliers too… (if you fancy proofreading it?)

2 posts in one week… I worry I am over sharing…


I enjoyed your latest article and think I’m doing well at “underselling and over-delivering” and delighting guests. My struggle, then, is to attract bookings without undercutting myself.

I think many of us need proofreaders. I’m an English prof and I reread my posts here and am aghast by some of my typos. I blame smart phones but really I’ve always been terrible at proofing my own writing.


I corrected his post and then found multiple errors in mine!


Paul, you need to find the thread where someone experimented with two similar units, if I recall one with nice "touches,"and one plain as a post as to decor and amenities, and found it made no difference in bookings. I think there is a balancing point somewhere as more surprised and more delighted guests may not necessarily maximize profits. This may be related to the target guest demographic. I like getting a gusher review that says “it was amazing, had wonderful amenities and extras,” but maybe I would net just as much investing less in nice touches and getting reviews that say “Clean, adequate lodging, met my needs.”

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