How low should I go to get my first reviews?

I have one booking at a very high rate for the peak demand time during reunions/graduation.

For the regular demand times, how low would you set your prices to entice people to book a property with no host reviews yet?

From reading this forum I know that super low prices can attract cheap people who complain about everything.

When I listed my space three years ago (private room and bath within my own home), I researched all area Airbnb offerings and set my rate $2 cheaper than the lowest, comparable listings to gain a foothold in the market here, and obtain reviews. I’ve actually not raised my weeknight rate since, but have raised my weekend and holiday rates. I received my first booking within 14 hours of listing my space.

Most of my guests are wonderful, offering great communication, respect for my space and belongings, and observant of house rules. I have had some push their limits, but no horror stories here. As far as complaints, there have been surprisingly few (and I don’t offer anything beyond tea and coffee, and have never had a breakfast complaint, either). I just make sure to be clear about what is offered, and what is not (although most of us know all too well that the listing info and messages with check-in info go unread by MANY).

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Don’t set them low. Set them at the full price . Have confidence that what you’re offering is well worth it.


Go higher, you will get the new listing bump take advantage of that. DO NOT listen to airs price suggestions, just delete those emails.
Do not undercut your listing, unless you want to attract cheapskates.


That’s great advice - if you don’t value your offering, you can’t expect guests to! But do keep in mind what the market can bear in your area. I don’t underprice my listing (I consider it reasonable, and can justify a slightly lower price due to the fact that I don’t provide breakfast), but I keep it real. I have an acquaintance in a neighboring town who underprices, and she is booked often, but does seem to encounter more problematic guests than what I’ve experienced.

Yes - what @RiverRock said! Their suggestions are ridiculous most of the time. They’re in business to make money, so a booked room at an unrealistically low price is better for THEM than an unbooked room. I’d rather have a “night off” than to turn over a room and a bathroom for peanuts!


We worked out a nightly base price and priced the first couple of weeks at about 7% less than that and increased it to the base price within about 1-2 months. We got a lot of bookings early on, like you we wanted to get reviews, and this probably helped. Although I think the market conditions and lack of accomodation was a big factor, too.

It’s held at, or in fact above, the base price for several months. We have again lowered in for the current low season (2-3% below base). The competition has increased greatly in that time.

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I agree fully with @jaquo. DO NOT reduce prices. Pick a base price that is based in similar listing in your area, and stick with it or go up at peak times/seasons. Don’t offer discounts for anything, all they will do is make trouble for you.

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This is a tricky situation. I offered a low price, at least 10% lower in my first few weeks, on par with other new listings. Coupled with the new host boost, it got me enough bookings for 7-8 reviews. 1 or 2 of the guests I’ve hosted at this price were not really the kind of guests you’ll want them to come back for another tour. The rest were thankfully fantastic guests.

Pricing low comes with a lot of problems, not just bad guests, but you have to consider your profit margins. Things like consumables may seem like they cost little, but they all quickly add up. In my case, the average cost of consumables (incl. electricity and water) for one booking is nearly $30 per booked day, not counting the mortgage, council fees/charges. There’s also the cost of repairs which is often overlooked. I just spent $160 on broken locks and $100 on protective covers and other adjustments. The dents and minor chips on my timber floor will cost at least a few hundred dollars more to repair.

I was making losses from July - October, and grateful that the coming Dec earnings will help pull it back up a little. I’ve since raised my prices to be on par with those listings with 20-30 reviews and bookings have dropped off completely, presumably as a result of higher prices plus expiration of the new host boost. I don’t have a solution to this problem, but i’m happy with not getting any more bookings because if I price it too low, I’m not actually covering my costs. It really makes no difference whether it is occupied or empty. If its occupied by a low price guest, i’m effectively just trading in my depreciation for cash - it is not profits. I’m literally selling my house one small piece at a time.

I thought my experience was worth sharing to give you some of the pros and cons that may happen with low and high pricing. Obviously, you may experience different results depending on your market and your location, listing etc.


This comment is so true. I keep getting notices how I could be booked more if I would lower my prices. My Units are booked almost solidly from Nov-May (the off-season). This is my first year for that level of booking. I’m not lowering my rates.

I don’t know if this will work for you…I selected 6 units comparable to mine. I watch their rates & booking availability (ok I’m driving up their “number of views”). I try to stay competitive with them.

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