Pricing, smart pricing, and other magic?

I tried using smart pricing on my listing, but the prices it suggests seem painfully low.

What formulae do the rest of you use for your pricing?

Fwiw, my occupancy this month (my second month as a host) will be 83%, and about half the bookings are only a few days in advance. And it’s middle of winter here.

Does any of this mean I should start bravely increasing prices? I’ve looked at other listings nearby, and I’m priced slightly lower than private rooms (my listing is a fully self contained RV, so I usually compare against private rooms as it’s too small to compare with whole place listings though it technically is one…).

Do not compare against private rooms. Fully self contained RV are much more expensive.

I am using the demand and offer of our city and had increased my price from our beginning by 50%.
83% booked for a beginning is high.

edit: air bnb smart pricing gives very very low price


Thanks for that! I thought so, but wasn’t quite sure. Does getting bookings almost right on the day mean my prices are low?

Do you mean you have clients that are booking for the same day or the next day or clients that are booking for far in advance?

Basically you can start to increase your price and see if you still have same amount of booking, I am adapting my price considering the prospective price in my city and start to decrease my price the few days before. I am around 95% booked (started our place 4 months ago)

My guests seem to fit into two categories - 7+ days who book 2-4 weeks in advance, and 1-3 night stays who book 1-5 days in advance…

I just switched to “Travelling” view in the AirBnB app, and found that with minimal filters (3 guests, whole place/private room only) my listing is the first search result out of 300+ Auckland places!!!

I’m almost certain my listing is undervalued… But I’m a little scared to crank prices up tbh :sweat: :hushed:

Hi @Sonya_Wilson,

You are aware that if you are logged in, your listing is automatically first, right? Try in a browser you don’t normally use, preferably having cleared the cache, and not being logged in.

You could wait to increase your price till you have some good reviews. How many do you currently have, and how many are 5 star?


Hi @Sonya_Wilson

It seems to me that you should put your prices up. When you are a new listing Airbnb boosts your listing to the top (or near the top) of results. Make the most of it while you can :slight_smile:

Regarding Smart Pricing be sure you have set a maximum and minimum price. Then the price will never go below the minimum you set or higher than the maximum. (We have $120 to $300). For the first few weeks, check it regularly and adjust the prices on the calendar if you see anything wrong. You’ll get a popup that asks you why you’ve changed the price. This information eventually ‘educates’ the system.

Don’t worry about other listings in your area. Calculate all your expenses - cleaning, supplies, insurance, taxes, maintenance, wear & tear, any payments you might have on the RV and so on. This will show you how much you need to charge per night to make a decent profit. Remember to include your time answering enquiries, updating the calendar, new photographs, tweaking your listing. Even posting here (it’s ‘business education’, after all!)

Airbnb’s advice is to be priced slightly lower than local listings when you first start. We didn’t do that but nevertheless were totally back-to-back for nearly five months. Aitrbnb’s advice isn’t always the best :slight_smile:


This is the $60,000 question, isn’t it? Even with pricing aps such as Beyond Pricing, you have to know what to charge as a base price. Comparing airbnb listings is a nightmare as they are all so different, and so many new hosts intentionally, or unintentionally, low-ball the price.

I would raise your price a bit and see what happens. If you can afford it, use it as an experiment time. The friends that have been on this forum for awhile know that I’ve struggled with this issue painfully, especially as I looked at ‘price tips’ as valid, and they are totally shameful.

Yesterday I had my base price at $109 ($20 cleaning fee, $20 each person over 3 people). I was tempted to lower it. Then remembered advice I gave to @faheem and thought ‘let’s experiment’ and left it at that price. Just 10 minutes later I got a booking, filled in an empty spot in August perfectly. Best part of this was I was on my way out the door to my LAST DAY at one of my part-time jobs, one that I’m quitting because of airbnb (and other reasons, but airbnb is replacing that income).

And listen to @jaquo. Sit down and think ask yourself ‘how much do I need to earn?’. For me, I’m replacing a part-time income, and rental income from a student. I have to know that I’m making at least that much. Then, I calculated how many weeks of the year I want to be committed to this - we rent in our home so have to be here (at this point). I decided we want 5 weeks off a year. Then I calculated what I need to earn, on average, each of the nights we want to book, to make the money I want to make. It comes out to $100 a night for 21.5 nights a month. So my base price is (for now) $109 plus the cleaning fee. Since most of our groups are 4 or more, I’m looking at making that average easily.

Except that I booked a chunk of my summer at a stupidly low price. I was almost fully booked by February or March :cry::cry::sob:. Next year = PROFIT. Now, thanks to the help I’ve gotten here, I’ve blocked off the week of (US Presidential) inauguration until after the election. Beyond Pricing was increasing my prices for those days almost every day, so I’m waiting until we know who the winner is

One more word - since you are unsure of the price, block a portion of your calendar so it doesn’t get booked up and then you realize (like me) that you are giving it away. I think it was @Rory_Taylor that also learned this lesson. He had some cancellations that he can rebook at his glory-price, but my guests rarely cancel as my place is a stop on a planned vaca from Europe or Asia.

Good luck! May we see your listing?

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learn something new every day! Here’s me thinking I’m special …

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I just listed a new apartment, and decided to use smart pricing as an experiment. I am 100% sure that using Smart Pricing and Instant Book will boost rankings, as ABB wants hosts to use these tools and they need hosts to be successful with them.

So I took my desired base rate for a two bedroom which is $160 per night, and I put that as my minimum. I also set an extra guest fee for over three guests, so $20 guest fee. I put the maximum at $260, which is an amount way lower than the suggested “highest rate” (which is ridiculous). I manually updated the pricing for New Years Eve week which is our biggest week in my area, as I don’t want to get caught with an assumption that Smart Pricing is smarter than me. So let’s see - it may work or it may not, but I’m guiding the ship and not letting the Smart Pricing suggestions determine my success.

I’ll report back in a few months as this is a discussion that is important to continue.


Yes, that’s just Airbnb trying to foster that kind of thinking… Or should that read - that kind of delusion? :slight_smile:

I guess I’ve become cynical in my old age because I first saw my listing showing at the top, I blinked, and thought, hang on a second, that can’t be right. (Now, there was (probably) a time I would have thought nothing of it.)

I then logged out, and sure enough, I was nowhere to be found… :slight_smile:

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You may be right @faheem - this was on the AirBnB android app. I tried searching a few upcoming weekends, but only on one was my listing first…

Here’s the link if anyone wants to look it over -

Thanks for the advice @jaquo and @dcmooney! Much appreciated. I’ll certainly start putting my prices up… :slight_smile: Still winter here, but hopefully I can still get a good occupancy rate!

They always list you first. Use Chrome in incognito mode to see where you really are.

sure did… thank goodness I raised my base price dramatically back in the spring before i got too booked. Ha that group that canceled on me and had rates that were $100-nearly$200 a night cheaper—so glad they canceled, I keep thinking I am pricing my place ridiculously high but every new reservation continues to amaze me---- $518 payout for a 1 night stay next month. 2.5 bedroom home.

The real key to making serious extra money is your turnover rate, another valuable lesson BP taught me. I average just above 2 nights per reservation. So if I get 15 reservations a month at for examples sake, $200, I’m getting an extra $100 for the cleaning fee. I also am totally against offering discounts of any kind for week or month long stays, just eats into your revenue. But it all depends on the host, some do it for fun I guess and the company from other places in the country/world plus the bonus extra revenue and don’t like having to flip the place 15 times a month. Me on the other hand am always trying to maximize that revenue (as most people here probably are)

What do ya’ll think about the extra person fees? I allow up to 8 guests, and charge $10 bucks a head per night after 1 single person. Pretty ridiculous but no one has ever complained or had a problem with it! – IMO-- another good way to get some extra cash.

:laughing: i just came to realize this the other day too. I really believed I was top 20 listing in my city too hahah

I am having a problem with the system. Not sure whether to make another post about it. I set my prices but airbnb lowers them. I even set weekend prices and they lowered them. Didn’t lower them to the price tips ones which are pathetic. I tried smart pricing but it kept pricing below my minimum. Has anyone else had this problem? I set my base price to 702 and it puts it on my listing as 698 (Thai baht)

I have 200 sek per extra person 23,4 dollars

Yes, there are minor variations like that. I think it might be currency conversion related. India here. The variations should always be small, though. And you could raise your base price a bit if you wanted.

How wrong are their price tips? Well, they were suggesting under my minimum for the first week of November. Why yes, someone just booked at a price equal to 40% higher. Clearly they want to give away our space to fill their coffers. IGNORE smart prices.