Pricing for demand

I was looking for opinions and advice on pricing for demand.

Our listing is new, having only been live 2 weeks. We’ve now had two guests and a third is staying tonight. We’ve noticed a trend already for people looking for one night’s stay with a day’s notice (the last two guests). We have our listing under the ‘Smart Pricing’ system and these bookings have been to the value at or £1-2 above our minimum. This is the case for several weeks ahead.

However, Airbnb’s calendar indicates that for tomorrow and the following night there are only two places (including ours) available for two guests. This seems to be under pricing our place. I had commented on the thread about Airbnb’s algorithm and was encouraged to set my own destiny - be bold in fact. I’ve therefore increased the price by 33%. This is to try and capitalise but also, we wouldn’t mind a break if we don’t get a booking.

I’m assuming this is typical of their pricing policy. How frequently do people actively monitor and change their prices?

After almost 4 years I don’t have to monitor pricing and competition every day. But I look at my calender or listing or my profile almost every day so I’m an active host.

There are a few things you need to know: smart pricing sucks. Don’t use it. Check your market and set your own price. If the supply is low the price should be higher. Second, you get a boost in search when you are new. We don’t know how long it lasts. Don’t waste it by underpricing. The busier you are the busier you will be. If you can do same day and back to back bookings and rack up the good reviews that will help you later.


Thanks @KKC, I am beginning to see smart pricing sucks. I think I’ll take a look at other dates and set different prices accordingly. We are aware of the ‘new’ sticker on the listing which might be helping our visibility. We’ve also just had all 5* reviews from our two completed stays which we’re happy with. We hope that raised our appeal. The guest staying tonight is in fact our first back-to-back; just a little snag of putting on the pillow cases as they arrived (20 minutes early)! Lesson learned there.

I do a lot of back to back and I always clean first thing after the guest checks out, unless I literally can’t. No saying “well I don’t have a booking tonight” or “tonight’s guest said they’re arriving at 10pm.” Do it first. OTOH the guests will think you really did wash the linens. LOL

It’s not just that, you’re higher in the search results when you are new.

It was the case that we literally couldn’t today - we were leaving about 20 minutes after the guests checking out to go and visit family 1 hour away (this is a traditional new years day thing in Scotland). We came back with an hour to finish the cleaning, which was not quite enough. Our usual approach will be to clean immediately as you advise.

I had contacted Airbnb about our address being wrong (which they fixed) and I queried the listing’s visibility too - we are showing second for whole places in our city which is pleasing.

Well if there are only two places then that makes you last!

There are only two places available for the next two nights. There is a decent amount of competition for all places listed.

Ha! Having a little joke! I understood that it’s two place just for tonight.

In the future you may want to block off days when you have activities. What if today’s guest checked out late. What if you were delayed in a traffic jam on your drive. One bad review when you only have 3 reviews could be hard to recover from.

As soon as we got the booking I said to my wife we should have blocked it off. A rookie mistake we’re owning up to. We had knowledge the departing guests were likely to be prompt. We should have known the Swiss couple arriving would have been equally as punctual however!

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I had a guest here and her boyfriend for 5 days over Christmas. She had a 10:30 flight out the 26th so an early check out, right? The morning of the 26th she texts me saying she’s been vomiting all night and isn’t going to make her flight and could they book another night. But I was booked already. I did extend check out time for two hours to 1 pm due to the guest of the 26th being scheduled to arrive after 9pm. As it turns out the sick guest left for the ER around 10 am. But if she had stayed until 1 pm and my other guest had unexpectedly showed up early the room wouldn’t have been ready. I’ve had multiple guests arrive earlier than what they previously told me.

I’m not scolding, just sharing scenarios that might not have occured to you.

You cannot be totally sure that everything is showing up accurately in search.

Just don’t look at the competitors at all. It will drive you nuts. Price your place fairly to get people who appreciate what you have to offer at that price. You are not going to want to go for the lowball bookings! They make terrible guests in many cases.

When you suddenly get back to back booked two or three months in a row, that is when you know you are priced too low!

@K9KarmaCasaand @konacoconutz, I do take the feedback constructively and we’re aware there are a lot of variables not in our control.

We didn’t get a booking yesterday (Monday) for tonight. We have our booking settings so that at least one night’s notice is required.

Do most allow same day bookings? We would find it hard to honour earlier check-in times without notice I think given our work commitments.

I have taken same day bookings but I am a fly-in destination. My most recent one was a couple who wrote that they couldn’t wait to set their bags down and enjoy Hawaii, but I felt compelled to ask why they arrived in Hawaii with no place to stay. They replied sheepishly that they had booked the wrong COUNTRY. Yes, they had booked my town name but didn’t look closely enough at the country. :rofl: So their reservation was canceled and they had nowhere. Sad! I was at work that day but told them I could take them if they were okay with a late check in. Two hours later so I would have time to clean. In return, I extended their stay by three hours on the check out day. They left early and didn’t need it, but I cannot even begin to describe how grateful they were. Oh, and I got five stars from them and I left the same. :heart_eyes:

So yes, I do take same day, but I do have to ask the guest why…why are they in Hawaii without a place to stay? Sometimes the story is good! :joy::joy:

Our city is a visiting destination but it is a crossroads in Scotland so a lot of people booking may be passing through - that’s why, in an ideal world, same day booking would be great to do.

There’s potential to have bookings for the Australian city of the same name to create confusion. It winds me up every time I Google something and it returns, without fail, Australian results!

Due to this thread (at least in part) I had a bad dream last night about airbnb. I realized last night that I have appointments and lunch dates and dog pick ups scheduled today such that I’ll be leaving the house around 9 am and returning no earlier than 2pm. Maybe one appt will end early enough for me to come home between 10:30-11:30. My check in is 3 pm and I thought “damn, I was just telling jamjsco not to do this.” I’m pretty sure my guest tonight won’t arrive until after 9 pm but still it was in my head.

(I also thought I heard last nights guests opening the two doors that lead into my part of the home. The dream involved having them come into my house with a bunch of dogs and take over and dogs were running around and getting loose and running away and I kept thinking how do I get this under control before the next guest arrives. There was a lot more of course and it’s kind of funny picturing it now but I woke up cranky)

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I do and if I didn’t I’d have about 20% fewer bookings. Another 40% are one or two days in advance. I am along a major east-west highway and it’s a looonggg way between major cities. Road trippers are my main source of bookings.

I am retired and work from home. When I was airbnbing and working as a teacher I had to have a day between bookings on days that I worked.

I play around with prices all the time . If you don’t really mind any income just put very low price and you won’t have to do anything else.
But I need to maximize my profit. I always look what’s available and for how much hotels are priced.
Smart pricing ignore . They will offer you less of any amount doesn’t matter how low


Sounds like a stressful dream @KKC!

I’m playing around with prices and we’re allowing same day availability for the next couple of days while we’re home. We’ll see but no bookings for tonight so we won’t expect any given the time of day (16:45).

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I got same day booking at 22 one time…

@KKC, I was trying to figure out how long the ‘new’ enhanced status lasts. Ours disappeared after 14-15 days and/or after three reviews. These two events coincided so I’m not sure exactly. We have moved down the listings now I think.

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