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Pricing strategies

When scrolling thru other listings in my area, my place seemed too expensive. I wasn’t offering 1 night stays and those that offered 1 night stays were getting a lot of reviews. I then noticed that with the addition of a cleaning fee I could drop the price of my listing. I also noticed that if I made these prices for one person only with a surcharge for subsequent guests then I could further drop my basic price. This now enables me to have 1 night bookings and a lower price in my listing. I don’t know if it’s working for me yet as we are in the low season and I am using the airbnb pricing suggestions which are crazy, crazy low! I’ve had no enquiries under this new system but have been able to drop my basic price by $20 per night which looks better in the search engine! Am I doing the right thing?

I have often felt that the majority of my guests are poor noob saps who are poor readers. There are so many sneaky ways to screw a guest over with unnoticed cleaning fees, late check-in and early check-out times, strict cancellation policies, not telling them they are sharing a home with pets, children or other guests or family members, etc etc etc.

You have to decide how much you are willing to host people for. One night I looked at my smallest room and thought - Ech - It is not worth it to rent that room for $29 for one night ($28 really) just to do the laundry and clean it and the bathroom all over again for the next night. I thought about making a 2 night minimum stay for that price to avoid doing laundry so much. I thought about raising the price at the cost of losing bookings to people who post rooms cheaper. The great thing about AirBnB is you can change your mind CONSTANTLY and change your rates, amenities, and conditions every minute of the day if you felt like it.

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@Patsy - do you mind sharing a link to your Airbnb listing? I can take a look and let you know some suggestions based on your neighbors pricing.

Generally, we (Beyond Pricing) recommend setting your cleaning fee to the amount you actually pay to clean your place between guests, or whatever that time is worth to you if you do it yourself. That way, you can accept last minute or 1 night bookings without worrying that it’s not worth your while.

We also recommend not charging an extra guest fee until after the number of guests that is equal to your number of bedrooms. Generally, however, we suggest doing 2x the number of bedrooms. So if you have one bedroom, you can charge for extra guests beyond 2 people. If you have 2 beds, charge for beyond 4 guests.

Hopefully that helps!

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Thanks for your advice Ian. My airbnb website is:-
www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/1910400.
I don’t think I’m too expensive for what I offer but there is a lot of competition in this most unique of country towns!
I’d love some feedback from anybody other than a guest.
Cheers

Patsy, you’re moving in the right direction. First, you mentioned you were priced high relative to comparable listings that are getting more reviews and presumably are showing up higher in Airbnb’s search results. We (Everbooked) generally recommend hosts’ price at a discount relative to top ranked listings unless you offer more value - in the form of amenities for example - at the same price. Lowering your base price will attract the attention of more prospective guests so again, a good move. I like your change to a more competitive minimum stay as that will likely increase your conversion rates for guests inquiring about your place and will give you the chance as well to gain more reviews. Finally, you will want to lower your prices toward a minimally acceptable nightly rate as unbooked nights approach in your calendar. That will make you more money and continue to demonstrate to Airbnb that you are a more active host which helps with your momentum. This is important all year round but may be especially important during low season. Your minimally acceptable nightly rate should be just enough to cover the small costs to actually host your guests (utilities, small gifts, etc but not your cleaning costs) while being just enough to meet your hassle factor. Best of luck!

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I tried beyond pricing, and the rooms of my house which currently are at around $30/$40/$50 and $60 a night, suddenly were rated at $80 to $115! So, it didn’t work for me. It didn’t account for the lower-income neighborhood, the eccentricities of the rooms, or the fact that it is a shared house with shared bathrooms.

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@cs2015 - I’m guessing that the default base price was too high for your listings. We don’t do as great a job as we should at communicating how to set your base price so many people don’t realize that they should adjust their base price until the prices look similar to what you’ve been getting bookings at (n your case $30-$50/night). Do you mind sharing your Airbnb listing URL and I can take a look, or you can send me an email at: ian@beyondpricing.com

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@Patsy - You actually seem to be doing quite well! You seem like the best-priced place with over 10 reviews in your area, so keep up the good work!

Patsy,
Your place is charming. I looked at other local rentals and they are crazy cheap, but you are underestimating the advantage of being in the middle of town. Also the amount of work to keep a garden like yours will not go unappreciated.
Airbnb people are kind of divided between price people and experience/location people. There are plenty of both.
Many people would prefer to not have to walk a mile to a pub or have to have a car. The ones who want the beach will go to the beach.

I dont know the cost of the local hotels, but as long as you are under that, the right people will pay and be happy to. My place just opend at the end of the season in Nashville and my prices were a good 30 -50% over other in the area and I have had 6 rental in two months…1 was for a full month.
Also a slightly higher price will keep out kids who want to party hardy. Learned this from 30 years of property rentals.

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I don’t use airbnb price suggestions!
They don’t make any sense to me! They may get you bookings, but I wouldn’t make any money!

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Ian, I checked you guys out a week or so ago and sent an email with questions; I never heard back. Again last night my husband and I spent a lot of time reviewing our competition and agonizing over price. The name if my lisitn is ‘2 cozy bedrooms’. Do you have my inquiry?

Hi @dcmooney ,

Sorry for the slow reply - I just checked our support team’s tickets but didn’t see anything, but it may have come from an email I don’t recognize. Do you want to forward me the inquiry to: ian@beyondpricing.com?

Thanks!

AirBnB’s price tips have been insanely low. I know this is low season, but still the price tips they give are a steal! I even had one potential guest question me if towels/linens are provided. They thought the low price with all the amenities provided sounded too good to be true and wondered about some “hidden costs” . It is true, prices too low can be a red flag. I stopped charging cleaning fees as that seemed like a “hidden cost”. Other hosts in my area don’t use Everbooked, but the prices Everbooked give are more comparable to other hosts in my area.

I’m curious a bit more about what the benefit of lowering the base price is. I have my calendar set with individual prices for busiest vs. slower months, but recently raised my base price to discourage undercutting from competitors, and because I have my first three reviews on my listing and they are all raving five stars. I had assumed my potential guests were looking at prices by their desired dates.

@ianmchenry - I’m finally ready to get on board with you guys. I really like the ‘health’ scores and good advice.

Do you offer an additional service of giving a closer look to an appropriate base price? https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/6690856?guests=5&s=eLfTIYK7

My strengths are: friendly, helpful family, hot breakfast served at their convenience, 5 minutes from the bus stop, two bedrooms and private bath, along with kitchen area. However, the space is not completely finished. We’ve had to contractors drop us. It still looks great, but not completely polished. I haven’t done any actual decorating - we got it furnished and then stopped.

I can’t list it as ‘entire’ because I don’t have a door between us. However, interestingly, when I did list it as ‘entire’ last week I dropped in the search. So I changed it back - besides, it’s just a better feeling.

To complicate things I really want more money when they have four people and use both bedrooms. I love having couples on occasion as they are so much less energy, but I make more money with 4. I’m just so confused, lol!

Also, do you think it is a negative to have a high price per extra person? Typically I thought $69 for 3 people and then $25 for every person over 3, so if they are a large group, really using the space, they are paying r $119.

btw I do collect the sales & occupancy taxes in cash when they arrive.

I’ve just clicked ‘sync prices’. Would love an expert to give me more counsel on the base price and am willing to pay for it.

Thanks!

Since both @dross of EB and @ianmchenry of BP are here, I’d like to ask them (and any users here) what the advantage of their pricing models are over airbnb’s own Smart Pricing, which just rolled out to my listing?

We have found Air BNB’s Smart pricing to be far to low for what we are able to consistently get for our flat and house. We have migrated from @dross and Everbooked to at @ianmchenry at Beyond Pricing, because BP’s calendar showed ‘up ticks’ in more local events and gave us a fairer weekday price than Ever Booked. However, I still subscribe to EB for the reports, they are gold if you want to judge comp in your area or look into buying elsewhere.

As @dcmooney mentioned I love the Health Score on Beyond Pricing. We have been consistently raising, and booking (!!!), our price to the point we are halfway through ‘the season’ and will easily make 1.25-1.5x what we did last year with less guests, which is great from a wear and tear perspective.

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CMIIW but doesn’t Smart Pricing also allow you to set a minimum and maximum price, like BP? I’m not talking about Price Tips, which is different.

Yes, but, while Beyond Pricing will increase your prices for events, seasons, and days of the week, Air just keeps the price tips low low low. While Air may have a ‘price tip’ for me of $55, my base is $79 and Beyond i setting my prices even higher - and what do you know? I’m booking at that price!!

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