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"smart-pricing" questions

I’m new to AirBNB and have my second guests staying now. I know that much of the pricing is based on what is also available in the area. I offer a 500sq.ft. “mother-in-law” style apartment with a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and large living space. AirBNB recommends $45/night. Um, my husband recently stayed in a hotel in a neighboring city for $150/night.

So, will the smart-pricing adjust after I start getting reviews? There are very few similar places on ABB, mostly just a single bedroom in someone’s home. In a neighboring tourist area I see prices that are double, and I live in a metropolitan area? Just wondering if someone knows how the system works, or if the pricing goes up after you get reviews.

Hi @Sarah_Warren,

The concensus here seems to be that the smart pricing is nuts, and you are better off ignoring it. But there’s been plenty of discussion on this topic already. Do a search. If you can’t find anything, ask, and I’m sure people will be able to dig up relevant threads for you.

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Do not give in to ABB’s recommended prices. There are so many things that are not figured into those numbers. Charging a fair price is good business. Keep researching communities near you to get a handle on how you should charge.

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True, that is definitely the consensus but I find that the smart pricing system uses higher prices than I do. As long as you set the minimum and maximum price levels, it stays within the parameters you set.

I agree but it’s always show us our minimum price so not so usefull…

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How long have you been using it? I think it did the same for me at first - it took a while to kick in but I forget how long.

I have the same and they are suggesting $49 per night. That is laughable. Why they would even offer such a non intuitive thing I have no idea. Ignore.

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We started our place in April

If that’s when you turned on Smart Pricing then it should have sorted itself out by now. I think it was a few days, that’s all.

For now I just plan to slowly raise the price every few weeks as I get reviews. It’s not all that glamorous, but it’s clean and functional. As we reinvest money into the apartment and update the bathroom and kitchen, I will definitely be raising my prices!

Good plan. Altho depending on your location, seasonal highs and lows may play a part. Right now, I’m at dead season low, and I can’t give it away for $79, which was my original price when I started hosting. What part of the country are you in?

MIdwest, suburb of St Louis

I spent 15,000 adding a bathroom, separate entrance and extending the porch roof over the new doorway. I can’t raise my prices because the competition has increased. I didn’t do my remodeling only for ABB but as you make improvements keep a close eye on your competition. Also, it depends on what kind of guest you are getting. People staying a night or two are less picky than longer visitors.

@Sarah_Warren, you may also want to become familiar with popular events that draw large crowds near your area. Things like Phish concerts, Dave Matthews concerts, any large festivals, conferences, if you are near a university, graduation weekend. You will want to, despite lack of reviews now, raise your prices for those dates because demand will be greater. Remember to always think about when and why people come to your area and need accommodations. Don’t forget to update your calendar every few days, the more “active” you are, the higher in search rankings you so rumor has it. What I often do is open up a day I had blocked off, or change the price on one day (always UP), log out. Go back in and undo what I just did if I need to.

This is another advantage of Smart Pricing. The calendar is automatically updated every day or so. So if for any reason you can’t do it manually for a couple of days, your calendar remains up to date.

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The good thing is my husband and I are very handy and have now renovated 2 houses and now this apartment. As its a SEPARATE (edit: fixed it!) structure, we tend to get longer stays. So I definitely think renovating it will be worth it, especially since there are so few comparable places and mostly only rooms in someone’s house.

Gosh I hope you mean separate structure. LOL. When I started there were about 16 comparable listings in my area, now there are about 50. Being able to do some work yourselves makes a huge difference. Also keep abreast of local laws to make sure they don’t make hosting illegal or limit you to so few days you couldn’t recoup your cost.

I have a similar situation. 540 sq ft MIL studio with full kitchen and bath. Just started hosting this month. The smart pricing wanted to price it at $35. It was also ignoring big conventions in town listing at a fraction of the city’s going rate. That’s not even worth my time. I’ve been using price labs. Beyond pricing says it’s not available in my area. I’ve kept my minimum at $40, but it doesn’t drop that low unless I’m not booked within a few days. I keep my base at $50, but it only goes down that low on low demand days. The best part of using the outside service is that they know when the big conventions are in town and raise the pricing appropriately. I hoping as ski season kicks in this winter that prices will increase.

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Haha, yes, separate! Stupid autocorrect on my phone!

Yes, we’ve been rehabbers and do things to code, with permits, etc. It just saves 75% doing it yourself which makes this more financially sound for us.

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Hi All,

This is my first post around here and this is my “favourite” subject.
i am sure that accepting the suggested price helps the ranking. I check my listing on a daily basis and it happened to me several times that right after accepting a very low suggested price (for a midweek period) I immediately received a booking.
right now i am super furious as in the middle of the tourist season, for the formula 1 race weekend when normally there are no available rooms in the entire city, airbnb suggests me to lower my price to 24,-euros. last year when smart pricing was not an issue i rented it out for 120,-euros…
I understand that airbnb wants to gain market but these dumping prices are just not serious.

i have another issue as well. if you check out of your account and try to find your own apartment are you always able to locate it? i am a super host, have 65 (95%) 5 star ratings and even when zooming to our own street airbnb does not show our place as available…

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