Price tips are annoyingly ignorant. Fix the algorithm!

Status changed to: Archived

Even though we stay 92-96% booked every month, month after month, year after year, the silly "price tips" continue to chime in that we should drop our rates by some percentage (8%, 11%, etc) or by some dollar amount (which always seems randomly made up) because "131 people looked at your listing this week but booked elsewhere for $XX less. Consider reducing your rates by X%".

The reason that all those people booked elsewhere is because WE ARE ALWAYS FULLY BOOKED even at the rates we charge.

Please add some f'ing intelligence to your simplistic algorithms, AirBnB. For example, try learning how to analyze dates way, way off in the future (3-6 months) and offer suggestions for that. Or figure out how to compare the booking statistics for various places in an area and take into account which ones book up 80% 3 months in advance and 95% 2 months in advance versus those that are only booked 45% for the current month.

My point is that your current analysis and algorithms are essentially meaningless and, most likely, leading new, inexperienced hosts astray. Also, they're quite annoying.

Cormac in
Kraków, Poland
Level 10



Mark has mentioned this before; this algorithm seems to be including Host who are fully booked in its evaluations, which is obviously complete tosh.

Do Hosts really have to be told that if they lower their prices its doing to spur demand?

Another problem, with this not so smart pricing, is it has no exposure to our cost and in my case, it has driven me to below cost selling, in fact Airbnb have made more money on my last two booking then I did.

One Host suggested that it's up to me to get a handle on my costs and pointed out the bulk of my cost where fixed she was referring to my Mortgage (I have 65% equity and tracker mortgage with a margin of .75% over euro bar essentially, I'm only paying the capital back) so other than owning the property outright or subletting someone else property I don't know how to lower my cost further.

Airbnb are presenting Hosts with Hobson's choice, have a price that you can make money on and get no bookings or a price that will attract guest that one loses money on, while Airbnb are making money on every transaction with zero risk, I would like to know how that is equitable?

On the face of it if one compares Airbnb fees to turnover they seem low but if you compare them to your profit they extremely high unless of course you're in the top 20% of earners.

I have asked many times before that Airbnb conduct a root and branch review of their smart prices algorithm and get some heavy weight players in the data analytics business to build a model that works, one thing that they could include in the model is rental price per m2 for the location one is in which usually is a fair indication of the status of the neighbourhood and rental price below they should not go.

If google can build a map of the world down to street view level I can't understand my Airbnb not so smart pricing is so dumb.





The Explorer's Club Krakow III (but not much longer)

Tish in
Troy, MT
Level 2

Price tips are so annoying. I tried it once, just to make sure I was evaluating this correctly. It didn't work at all.


Kelly in
Austin, TX
Level 10

@Dede Yep, smart price can’t even tell the difference between a weekday & a weekend. Or between a legal or illegal listing. Or know that my calendar is blocked on abb bc I have a HomeAway reservation those dates...

smart pricing — not so smart

Yoav in
Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Level 4

This is my experince as well. For upcoming new year eve the "smart" price was almost 50% less than the price that I set (and got booked in a few days after I unblocked these dates).

Cathy in
Bloomington, IN
Level 10

They are not offering these price tips to be "helpful" to hosts.  They are doing it so as to try to force us to take cheap rates -- making no money, essentially -- while they increase their fees. 


And I say "force" because that's the reality.  They have aggressively recruited a glut of hosts.  My market was reasonably supplied and now, one year later, it is glutted.  And given the glut, especially the newbie hosts will peg their rates at rock bottom.  So if you try to charge a reasonable rate -- the guests want to know why you are so expensive -- if they contact you at all.


As someone else pointed out, the choice is between charging reasonable rates, and getting no bookings, or giving your place and your labor away practically for free -- while ABB rakes in the billions.  Corporate greed run amuk -- they have become just like Uber, evil overlords.

Gaz (Gary) in
Frankfurt, Germany
Level 2

"The reason that all those people booked elsewhere is because WE ARE ALWAYS FULLY BOOKED even at the rates we charge."


I think, for this statement from the OP to true, then the guest is "just browsing" and not a serious booker.  If they had entered their dates into the search filter, your property wouldnt appear.


But I agree with your sentiment.

Jessica in
Los Angeles, CA
Level 10

I agree with all your comments, and I don't know any host who is happy with Airbnb's "price tips". These "tips" don't take in consideration the charm of a listing, the attentiveness of a host, and whether the host could actually be making a profit. Airbnb has every reason to give hosts an undervalued, dirt cheap "price tip" for their listing: Airbnb will take its commission no matter what, even when the host's prices are so low that they do not even cover the costs associated with hosting.

Dede in
Austin, TX
Level 10

Jessica -- I don't think that AirBnB is actually "evil" with this; I think that they're simply just stupid. And by that I mean that their software (which is what we're really talking about here) is among the dumbest in the entire travel industry. They know this. They do this on purpose. They've done it this way for years, intentionally. Why, I can't really fiigure out -- probably some whacked-out actuarial calculation (cost vs benefit, etc).
But trust me -- they have the WORST software team in the industry. One could go on and on and on with concrete examples. I gave up giving them feedback long ago.

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