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Smart pricing needs to be smarter


#1

I’m new to AirBnB, hosting since August of this year. I have Smart Pricing turned on, which supposedly will adjust pricing during peak times (but I honestly haven’t seen too much of a difference, since AirBnB thinks I’m priced too high already anyway - which seems silly because I’m booked every week and even in advance… but I digress). Here’s my frustration with Smart Pricing:

-I would like to set it up so that every weekend is priced slightly higher than mid-week. I haven’t found a way to do this beyond manually adjusting the pricing.

-I allow booking up to 6 months out, I’d like to be able to tell Smart Pricing that during the months of June - August, for example, my price is $X higher than during the winter months. Again, I have to adjust manually and update often, as the 6 month mark adjusts daily.

Any recommendations for doing this that I’m not aware of (besides manually)? I understand that smart pricing is supposed to bump up weekend dates, but since AirBnB thinks I’m too high, they never seem to bump up. FYI: the suggested AirBnB rate is about half my current rate, and I’m pretty dang busy at my current rate. I think using their pricing would have one of two results: 1) people would assume my place is a dump, or 2) I’d end up losing money after paying my cleaner and utilities. To add 3) I don’t really want more bookings at this point, I’m busy enough as it is, and I don’t allow reservations one on top of the other, I have the “preparation time” factored in so I don’t have to rush over to clean between guests.

Thoughts?


#2

The only way to do this is to turn smart pricing off and use the weekend pricing option. For whatever reason, Air won’t let you use both at the same time.


#3

Just do it manually doesn’t take too long at all and as already said you can set a higher weekend price.

It took me about half and hour to set my prices for the year including different prices for key events, festivals and main holidays.

Most agree Smart pricing isn’t smart and don’t use it.


#4

New hosts have to realise that they need to ‘train’ smart pricing to their listing. After all, there’s a world of difference between tourist season and events in Miami when compared to London or Madrid, for example. If Airbnb were to offer us a system whereby we had all the bells and whistles to make it totally programmable to our own listings, if it ‘knew’ when special events were happening in every area of the world, if it could read our minds and know that I want different criteria to the bloke next door, then we’d all be paying an absolute fortune in fees.

Smart pricing is a tool like any other. We need to use it and ‘educate’ it. For instance, when I first started using it, it put higher prices in the summer months than the winter because nobody had ‘told’ it that here, our busy season is the winter months. Now, because I spent time changing it, it’s figured it out. (It’s only a dumb computer programme when all’s said and done).

And it will never go below the minimum price you set so hosts are completely in control. Plus, it shows that your calendar has just been updated even though you haven’t been near it in months :slight_smile:


#5

Check out Beyond Pricing and Wheelhouse. They have free trials. Their systems are very different from Airbnb’s Smart Pricing. I used the free trails at both and continue to use Beyond Pricing for Market Analysis which is free. I set my own prices and use Smart Pricing. I set my minimum price on the high side which I then drop as a the dates get closer. This seems to please Airbnb and they will give me a discount offer which they email out to potential guests and as I have been using a high price to start with the price is ok. Its a good way for me to fill in the gaps.


#6

Dont do smart pricing, it’s dumb. It sets prices WAY too low. Check out your competition and do it yourself. You’ll be paid for your efforts.


#7

I’m not arguing with you Jess, just putting the other point of view for any potential hosts who are reading :slight_smile:

I’ve written above regarding why I like Smart Pricing but I want to mention that it’s not always right for everyone to base their prices on the competition. We are definitely more expensive but (I think) offer extra value for money. We know to the last penny how much our outgoings are and therefore how much our nightly rate needs to be. If we priced to beat (or equal) other Airbnbs, STRs and hotels in the area we’d be working at a loss.

The apartment directly below our rental is also on Airbnb. We are one third more expensive at least.
There’s an Airbnb in the building next door with prices on third of ours.
The cheapest hotel nearby is even cheaper than that.
We are about the same price as the posh hotel nearby (except we don’t charge for parking and other extras so cheaper in the long run).

So I just wanted to point out that it’s not essential to see what your competition is doing. We set our rate simply from our own calculations of costs and it was only afterwards that we saw what others nearby offer.


#8

Yes that’s good to refer to your own measures. I was just saying if you are worried about the competition then check it yourself rather than Airbnb smart pricing. Airbnbs policy is weighted to serving their own needs of cheap places making more profit for them rather than the needs of hosts.


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