We’ve been listed for 4 months and have used Smart Pricing (and Instant Booking) from the outset. We have a ‘whole house’ listing but it is attached and linked to our house. We set a below average default minimum price at the start and have gradually raised it - now being around 22% higher which is still good value compared to other listings we feel. We do some benchmarking with comparible listings for quiet and busy dates.
We did this to generate interest and get bookings and it has worked. We’ve had circa 50% occupancy rate to date and 55% for the next three months. However, maximising this is not actually our aim; with us both working full time and with two kids it isn’t possible. So we moderate the price and often adjust it - making it higher by a futher 10-20% when we’re ‘busy’ and are happy with income/need a break/can’t make the changeover. We try not to block dates. The Smart Price is typically overriden 2-4 weeks in advance this way and 2-3 months for weekends and event days.
Adjusting the prices has been learned over this time. In hindsight there were missed opportunities for higher, event led pricing, where Smart Pricing undervalued the accomodation. However, we’re learned and are far better informed now. For example the prices were hiked for one long weekend literally minutes after a new major event in 2 months time was announced; which we’ve booked out. Smart Pricing did not and perhaps could not pick up in such a spike quickly enough.
Because of our circumstances we’ve also started to place ‘rules’ for certain dates for a 2 night minimum (our default is 1) in an attempt to increase the average stay and reduce turnaround work for our lifestyle. Most stays are 1 night but we’re extending this gradually.
So, back to your questions:
- we use a hybrid of Smart Pricing and manual.
- in our circumstances this solution would not work as a definite solution - simply an information source.
- other useful info would be a linkage between prices and events/local and national holidays. A tool that indicates a new event being announced. In our market even small events can have a big impact.