Hey guys! I’ve been hosting for a while now, and I’m getting a better and better idea of what it takes to provide an enjoyable experience. But the one issue I consistently struggle with is pricing. It’s impossible to know whether I’m pricing my property efficiently, or how prices should be increased/ decreased on certain days or around certain events.

And this is something that comes up again and again when I talk with other hosts - there seems to be very little consensus on the best way to manage pricing. Manually pricing is a game of guessing, Airbnb's automated system massively underprices (in my experience), and I know of a few dynamic pricing services but haven't had enough exposure to know whether they're efficient.

What are your experiences with pricing? Have you found anything particularly effective? What things should I be considering when pricing my property, or more importantly what will make the process easier?

I wrote a brief blog post on the topic here, but I'd love to hear your guys thoughts.

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RichardVRichardV
7 months ago

Depends where you want to price. Seasonal destinations tends to match each other's pricing as shown on listing sites or competitors sites, These prices have been tested and challenged over the years to determine highest price and provided supply is less than demand then its stable. Seasons are easier to fill and lowest price is easy to determine for and owner or a manager representing an owner. (fixed management fees, minimum days, owner "not worth it" attitudes etc).

Cities are different. More access to labour, higher footfall and increasing inventory. From what we can see the rules are slightly different on pricing metrics. Sea views is replaced by "how far to the tube" for example. Rate managers work better here for sure as there are more events (seasonal places have few and they are are always in the season).

Some tools are available that show Airbnb pricing such as [https://www.airdna.co/] or you an contract scrapers to show local pricing such as [http://propertymanagertools.com/]. We all agree on Airbnb's pricing tool, ii under-prices by significant margins.

That said we met a chap last night so happy he was getting £40 a night for a lovely 2 bed place in one of the nation's best sailing resorts. Had no real idea he was 50% below everyone else's price (70% occupancy) and had relied on their pricing! He is full of course but working like a trojan.

jbozekjbozek
7 months ago

Hi David,

Pricing is hard. Are you getting too many bookings? Increase prices. Are you not getting enough bookings? Decrease prices. But by how much? What about other factors? Seasonal pricing? What are the prices of similar rentals in your area? How much is your rental actually worth? What are the costs involved? Are you making enough margin?

You're right it's not easy and I definitely find it to be a balancing act.

My experience with dynamic pricing bots is not great. I also find them slightly inaccurate. Or is that my human error? I tend to just use the classic "trial and error" technique.

I'm sure in the future they will be great - but if everyone used a perfect pricing bot - it eliminates competitive advantage - everyone is on an even boring playing field vying for guests attention.

The DudeThe Dude
7 months ago

Check the booking.com pricing in your area and then decide if you are higher or lower quality than what they offer and go from there. Do a airbnb search for your own property and see how it compares. If a busy weekend is coming up, raise your price ahead of time and if you get higher price, great. If not, lower at last minute if your area gets lots of last minute traffic. Would you rather do more work for the same amount of money or less work for more money. Once you are a superhost, you can definitely raise prices. Learn the supply/demand for your area. Booking.com searches and airbnb searches invaluable and free intel.

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