I’m getting increasingly frustrated when I see people in my area (Minneapolis/St Paul Twin Cities) underpricing themselves. My prices are low, especially considering we include breakfast. I’d like to increase my prices for the summer, but when I see a single room in a house in a desirable area going for $20 per night, it would make my prices seem high. Of course Airbnb doesn’t allow us to message another host to discuss such things. The only messaging can be for requesting a booking. Any suggestions?
I wouldn’t worry @LizinMN we have new hosts who regularly come along and undercut established hosts.
They often don’t last long as it’s not sustainable/profitable.
I still get bookings even though there are those around me that are a third cheaper.
Focus on making your listing stand out, great photos, descriptions and reviews tailored to your target market.
What is your listing for? Room in a home? And what is your target market? Tourist families, singles or couples staying a night?
We list two rooms in our home. One is larger and has two beds, and the other is smaller and has one bed. We attract tourists, people moving to the area and staying until they get their own place and people coming to the area periodically for work.
I understand your frustration. I’ve had the same issue, places that seem incredibly nice for the money. But I always think, they won’t last at that price. After they replace a few sheets, get 3s on cleanliness because they are cutting corners at that price, or get tired of waiting in the evening for check ins they will raise their price. Another thing that happens is that they get booked first but you get the last minute people at your higher price. Also if you lower your price too much, some people with higher standards just won’t search for you. I had a guy marvel at what a nice place I had (at $46 for two) and said he set the search for $40 and up.
That said, competition is increasing and we have to be aware of that. You have the advantage of a head start in reviews. It’s taken me 3 years but I now have the 2nd or 3rd highest number of reviews in my city. I’m always on the first page of search results. The one listing that started before me and has more reviews has experimented with lowering his price and whereas he used to be same or a little more than me, he’s now less. I offer ensuite bath but other than that we are similar. I’m still getting all the bookings I want and have to block of days during the month so I can catch my breath.
Make sure you stay active on your listing. Update every day or several times a week, keep those good reviews coming and you should be okay. Also see what you can offer that they don’t. Late check in? Same day arrival? I get last minute bookings and I wonder if I’m one of the few available same day or after 5 pm.
Contacting a host to tell them that they ought to charge more money is over-reaching. People can underprice themselves all they want and if they want to work for free or even at a loss, that’s completely up to them no matter how frustrating it might be to others. They only have a room or two – once the cheap rooms are booked, no one sees them.
You’re right, of course. But I wish I could make a forum just for Twin Cities hosts. Based on my travels around the country and staying at other Airbnbs, I think we’re all underpriced here.
Why don’t you try the Airbnb community forums? Search Minneapolis and try posting to people there who say they are from Minneapolis.
I can’t seem to find the Airbnb forums any more. How do you get to them?
Airbnb Community Centre
Don’t message other hosts. They have to decline you as it will appear as an inquiry. The only time I ever did it was to ask about bad guests that they had also had. Even in that circumstance, they were underwhelmed to hear from me. Talking about their prices is not a legitimate reason to message them. Just focus on your own place, at a price that you think is fair. You will still get bookings.
Another local host once messaged me to tell me about bad guests he was kicking out of his place for using drugs. I was happy to hear from him.
Yes, things like that are important but bugging a host about his pricing is a nuisance and serves no purpose. I might report another member who did that.
A couple of months ago, the guys at the local German Airbnb office in Berlin actually encouraged me to organize a meet-up for local hosts. They helped me invite other hosts, and it was great. There were more than 20 hosts, and we met in a local restaurant and talked for hours, exchanging news, addresses and telephone numbers.
I am sure Airbnb would be happy to help you do the same in your area. I’ve got a link for the German meetup page here, but I am sure this should be displaying in English if you click on it.
It’s trying for sure. I have new Airbnbs popping up all the time and my bookings are way down.
I’ve been tinkering with my prices a little but refuse to reduce them drastically.
I would not book a room at $20 anywhere. I’d be too worried it would have an inaccurate description or worse. I suppose I have a feeling that you get what you pay for.
@KKC has it absolutely right. In the very next building to me, just a stone’s throw away, there are three newish Airbnb listings. They are one third of the price and, although ours is a full (small) apartment and they have rooms with en suite, the location, view etc. are the same
But there’s no way I’m lowering our price.
It only starts a price war which isn’t constructive for anyone. These new hosts with their low prices will soon become totally fed up with the whole thing (well before they have to deal with as many bodily fluids as I have )
Just as guests sometimes think they will be happily making crepes with their host in a sylish French kitchen with a view of the Eiffel Tower, so are new hosts seduced by the idea that all guests are somehow ‘superguests’ who will leave their places in immaculate condition. Once they have a handful of guests who show up at midnight when they said 4 pm, leave bloody (literally) sheets, leave beercans all over the place, drunkenly sing at the tops of their voices at 2 am, bring extra guests that they’re not paying for, etc. etc. etc. then these new hosts will soon be in the real world.
Furthermore, they will realise that Airbnb isn’t necessarily a ‘fun’ way to make extra money because, with those low prices, they are probably operating at a loss. Especially if they factor in their time. I have spent most of the day on the phone to Airbnb today sorting out a problem booking. I didn’t need to lose that time.
Cheap new hosts will also realise - if they are doing things properly - that it’s bloody hard work!
Most guests say my reputation as a,helpful host,is why they book. Not everyone cares about the price. I would not.book a,low.ball place. I’d be too worried it would be some newbie who might cancel on me. Just like I wouldn’t hire a super cheap writer. I would know they would be an amateur.
I know it’s a corny expression but as my old mum used to say, you get what you pay for.
There will always be amateurs in any walk of life who think that they can take on the professionals because they have a cheap price — but this cheap price is reflected in the product they offer.
I’ve had a guest stay with me twice who raves about how great I am. She is on a budget, she’s having a good bit of bad luck and she’s willing to give hosts with no reviews a chance. I told her “no more going off platform, no more booking with new hosts!” She elderly and vulnerable and there are some really crappy people (including air hosts) out there.