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Turned on Smart Pricing but didn't like it

So things have been dead here - my last guest left this morning and I have NO bookings or inquiries. I think summer is the slow season in Houston (it’s my first year so I’m figuring out the traffic).

Just to see what would happen, I turned on Smart Pricing. The recommended price for my new listing with no reviews was $12 a night. Yes, you read that correctly. The recommended price for my existing listing with all 5-star reviews and superhost status was slightly better at $23 a night.

My usual rate is $46 during the week and $51 on the weekends. I set the minimum price to $41 and the max to $75 on both listings to see what would happen. Immediately all my available dates changed to $41 and I got a suggestion that they should be $17. :frowning:

I think that Smart Pricing is not for me and went ahead and turned it off. Maybe I should just go on vacation myself. It’s hot here.

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People on the forum are mostly don’t look the smart pricing

I’ve found that you need to give Smart Pricing time to get ‘educated’. When I started I adjusted it regular;ly and it began to ‘learn’ more. It tends to price as I would now.

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I tried it but I like having a constant price.

I’ve come up with my own pricing and set it for a year ahead. This accounts for MY local school holidays, seasons and most importantly the other listings. No way can “smart pricing” know all that.

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Haaaa!!! Enjoyed your post. Definitely do not use smart pricing. Settle on ONE fixed rate for all days and forget it. Also, you are right about things dying down in summer in Houston as far as visitors go. It’s hot. Lower your rate a bit maybe, and then just hang tight.

This would definately not work for me. I can more than double my price in the high demand times.
Each house/town/country will have it’s own appeal at different times.
Some places (like yours I’m guessing) maybe pretty much the same all year round. For those listings to set a fixed price all year round would be the simplest answer (and so easy to manage)
Everyone needs to assess what their particular listing can demand and when and set prices accordingly.

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You are right. I forgot that I also have a listing in Palm Desert in California. Rates go way up in winter so I do take advantage of that for sure. And it’s a set monthly rate–30 day minimum. But when winter is over and it starts roasting in the Coachella Valley, I put the rate way down.

But for my little operation here in Long Beach I don’t bother with the smart pricing because it drops way too low, even the “price suggestions” are pathetic sometimes. I’d rather not have anyone here. But the fixed rate has worked out just great.

Smart pricing compares looks at the average prices for the rooms available in your area.

Did you do some research? Have you looked at the prices of the competition.
It could be that others have dropped their prices far below yours. Then you have 2 choices, stay empty, or follow the smart pricing and generate some income.

I do not think smart pricing is that bad, but it needs some time to learn and adjust.

I had smart pricing on for 2 weeks. I’m quite busy with back to back bookings for the past 4/5months and the upcoming 3months. During the time using smart pricing my minimum was €40 and my max was €55. A number of instant bookings were made during the time it was on and I’ve noticed that some of the bookings were made under a price of €33 & €37, both less than the minimum I had set. Having gone back and forth with Airbnb for almost a week, they finally told me that was because of demand in the area or for the times of the month the guests were booking. I asked what was the point in setting a minimum price if they weren’t going to abide by it and they said it’s just a guideline!

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Hi Chris,
The average price for single room in my immediate area is $63, so I am already under. However, it could be that all the rooms are empty because they are priced too high. There are a lot of new - and not so new - listings here with no reviews and they might be throwing off the price. I had been doing well at my rate until recently.

It’s ok, I could always use the time off to paint and do other maintenance / repairs.

Hi @Maggy,

Yet another reason not to have Instant Booking.

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I don’t use the smart pricing either. Airbnb could help us and do a comparison with low priced hotels in our area and set the price at that. THAT would be helpful! But now they put the price so low, that I can not even consider using that system.

Indeed it would be. booking.com supposedly does something like that. But as far as I can see, Airbnb’s smart pricing could be better described as quasi-random-that-you-may-mistake-for-useful-information pricing.

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I turned off smart pricing as well. I had it on for a few months to give it a try. I was impressed when my August prices were steadily rising (August is one of our busier months in L.A.). So, I let it run for a while, and then when I got a couple of bookings I saw that they inquiries were at ridiculously low rates. All the prices for August had dropped to below my minimum.

Oh, HELL no. Don’t let Air’s robots set your pricing for you. It’s too random and unpredictable and you end up getting screwed. I would rather decide myself what a fair price is and go with that. It’s very easy to adjust your calendar throughout the year to account for holidays, peak seasons, special events, etc. So, I say keep smart pricing out of the equation. It doesn’t really add any value and can end up making your life miserable.

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That’s really useful to know as that happened to me. But they are also lowering my regular set pricing so I don’t feel I have control over the price.I don’t know how to stop this.

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I don’t understand. They aren’t respecting your regular price? Can you provide an example? Bear in mind that the price you give and the price they use is not exactly the same thing, because of currency conversions, rounding, who knows what. But the two prices should never differ more than slightly. The price I’ve set is Rs. 1950, but I’ve seen it go befween 1940 and 1977.

If any case, if there is a problem, you should definitely complain to them. I’ve found Twitter a relatively reasonable way to do so.

I’m having a conversation on twitter so will report back.

How did you get on? Did they resolve the issue for you?

I discovered a trial I had on beyondpricing was still running months later. I was convinced I had turned it off. It was difficult to get it to stop. By searching gmail I discovered beyondpricing had messaged me ‘begging’ for payment keeping the trial running even without it. I never received the emails as they didn’t come to my primary account and I never check the others.
Airbnb therefore didn’t need to resolve the problem.

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