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Possibly falsely inflated pricing on a ghetto budget - Introduction and critique me please!


#1

Hi Everyone that has the patience to read this, muttering under their breath…" why can’t she search through old posts? What a selfish %#$@&~ taking up our valuable time when we could be washing sheets or re-reading our glorious reviews?!" :wink:

This is actually only my second posting (I believe) though I have lurked here, gleaning valuable information from all of you!
We started Air in Fall of last year. We have a mid century home (always at least a small reno in progress). We slowly are building reviews, gained Superhost in January (not that that matters I’ve learned) and I’ve increasingly become more addicted to the allure of hosting, investing in the in-law private suite we rent (on a ghetto budget) and tweaking here and there on a consistent basis.

My question today is: I’m just starting to see the value in continually adjusting listing price, ignoring the smart pricing tips (generally) and setting my calendar to accommodate me as well as the guests. I’ve slowly learned the art of not tripping over myself to please the pleaseless :wink: and enjoying the guests that are enjoyable.

So, (ok I have two questions)…1) Though Air smart pricing usually is outrageously low (instead of fair or mid-range), it is suggesting pricing for July that I would never think of asking…
(Ie,) I have it listed for $88 on a weekend and it is suggesting $120 or $150.

We do live in a touristy area ( near Vancouver, BC, CANADA) BUT this suite is a modest, small (cozy) suite. It is not near as fancy as some of yours with the beach across the street, the heated ceramic flooring (I still have an oven from 1978 in there…yes, am looking into getting a new one :slight_smile: or the Infinity pool on the roof. As I mentioned, I am working on a non-existent ghetto budget, replacing and renewing and painting and adding to the suite when I can.

Take a look if you can. I’m just not sure I can ethically move pricing from approx $50 per night (or is that too low? ). That’s an average after measuring myself against the competitors.
You all seem to be very adept in being able to search for specific things in the market (like competitors for example. Me, I just look at similiar listings that are presented at the bottom of the page and then act as if I’m a prospective traveller). If there is a better way of doing this, please advise!

So, I’ve bumped it up to almost double the “average” for July but who to believe? AirBnB and their algorithms or you fine folk?
Thoughts? Criticisms?
Here is our space: https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/17781730?location=New%20Westminster%2C%20BC&s=iYSsHx0c
(hopefully that link works?)

Also, is it a good idea to not allow checkins or outs on Saturday? It seems as if when guests checkout on a Saturday, that’s half the weekend lost, and common sense tells me that people will look elsewhere for their short stay getaways if that is all that is available? Does setting a 7 day minimum during Summer help this?

Thanks again! I know this has been covered in a myriad of ways, but I can’t find specific info to my situation.
Syd


#2

I think you can get at least $120 for a “modest suite” in Vancouver without even doing research. It’s a very nice looking place I think and having things like parking, private entrance, full kitchen are very desirable.


#3

I am like brand new to hosting, but I’ve been researching madly for months. First, change you main photo to something else. Some of your photos are blurry too.

The way I research is I look up a place as a traveler (usually without dates) that are similar to mine, so “whole place, sleeps 4, etc”.I write down their price, reviews, abd a note about whether they look generally bigger/ better or worse than mine. I make a big list and fit my price into the middle, below the obviously nicer ones and above the yucky ones. Your place looks nice enough it shouldn’t be the lowest price.

Sometimes I check dates if I am thinking about pricing for a specific weekend. If the other listings are going up, put your up to stay in that middle zone.


#4

But yes, like K9 said, I haven’t done research but $120 for a suite in Vancouver doesn’t sound crazy to me. Maybe summer prices are a lot higher than winter?

Edit wait- you are only charging $33 a night now? That is insane I would put it to like $65 immediately. I also see you are booked a LOT very far in advance, that means you are priced too low I think. According to something I read, you should try for a high enough price that you are 50% booked in the next month, 30%of the month after that, abd 10% of the month after that.


#5

First of all I would like to congratulate you with your problem, you must be one of the first where AirBnB suggests a much higher price :grin:.

I had a look at your place, and it looks really nice and neat. There’s always scope to make it better and nicer, but I don’t think it looks ghetto. If the location justifies it, I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t ask a higher price.

You can always pull up the price to the level you’re comfortable with and if it doesn’t rent at that price, lower the price step by step as each weekend approaches.


#6

I don’t know how your area is priced but for what you offer your rate seems really too low. You might want to take some clearer pictures with a slight wide angle lens if you have access to a camera like that. I also think you can pare down your photos to the most relevant areas and yes, they are a bit grainy and blurry. But overall it seems like a great deal and I’d certainly book your place.


#7

And yes, some of your outdoor photos are blurry. Maybe you don’t realize it if you are on a phone.


#8

Hi All!
Thanks so much for the insights! Although it says $33, it always says something different for me (when I ‘pretend’ to book, before it says “you cannot rent your own place” ). That is my lowest price because that is what I was priced at when I wanted to attract guests and get good reviews in.

Now, it’s not that much higher on a slow month weeknight. I think I have the base price on a weekend set to $54 and weeknight $37. But as the summer approaches, my price increases in increments (the highest being in July (the first week still not booked) but the last 3 weeks were booked months ago and I took the reservation reluctantly as it is an older italian man and his son (and my listing does state that ‘it is not suitable for kids’ but with the IB feature, it doesn’t stop anyone from doing so. ) They also have zero reviews and to be honest, in the back of my mind, I am fearful (And hopeful) that they will cancel. At least then I can re-book it for what it’s worth in that time period.

I will take a look at my pictures. Yes, I only look at them on my phone generally! Oh no…I will switch them up!
Does everyone think that the living area or the bedroom is best for cover photo then or the best feature? That’s why I put the river down the road (haha).

Thanks again and I will tinker with it!


#9

Oh, and technically, I’m in a suburb of Vancouver, though we just moved from the city a year ago. It’s a 30 min train ride downtown but is very close to the general areas of the city (17 minutes by car to a hub).
And luckily, it’s a picturesque suburb! Some are not!


#10

When you have IB you can cancel penalty free for things like not allowing kids and they have a kid. Since he booked months ago and time is now getting short I wouldn’t cancel, but you could have cancelled at the time.

I’d make sure your base price is raised since you won’t be booking at that $33 price in the future. Many guests get annoyed to see a low teaser price in s general search and a much higher price when we put in dates. I know prices change seasonally but that just seems misleading.


#11

nothing about ur listing but ur reply to vikki is really well handled. 5 stars!


#12

Thanks much! I just tried to be honest. I cant believe how nice as pie, everything is alright, guests are to your face and yet leave a scathing review, hiding behind her keyboard. Im actually lucky she ran out of room as her private response to me was worse ( she misunderstood and thought private feedback meant that i wouldnt see it and that Air would). For example, she said to Air that I lied about having a pool. What? Its an outside pool and it was December I think? Winter anyway…Now I feel a little more guest savvy!


#13

Thanks about the suggestion to cancel penalty free! Did not know that!


#14

I’ve had a few people try to book with their children, usually as an enquiry but sometimes on IB. Our aged house, staircases and garden are simply not safe for kids under eight. After learning my lesson swiftly, I made sure “no children” is mentioned several times, including house rules. Then I always call Airbnb to say why I have asked the guest to cancel or to. withdraw their enquiry. I’ve learned to cover my backside as much as poss.


#15

Thanks Joan! I have only realized that there wont necessarily be a penalty if I turn such guests down…


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