Smart Pricing is Useless Without Non-Airbnb Pricing Data

Status changed to: New

One of the factors that apparently influences Smart Pricing is Bookings History, and this is incredibly problematic.  Many hosts only get a fraction of their bookings from Airbnb, and they often do not get their more advanced bookings from Airbnb.  So not only is the Smart Pricing algorithm biased by not having pricing data from most bookings, but the bookings for which it does have pricing data will tend to be lower priced bookings since they are usually nearer term when prices have been lowered to fill up the calendar.

 

There may be other ways to fix this, but the only solution I can think of is to allow hosts to enter pricing data for their non-Airbnb bookings.  Otherwise, Smart Pricing and Price Tips are essentially useless, and even worse are deceptive, since they only include a fraction of the real pricing data.

Comments
Skye15 in
Seattle, WA
Level 1

Just set your minimum that you will accept and your maximum price. Smart Pricing allows you to set parameters.  

AirBB are not hotels that have excessive opportunities to book at lower prices in advance, then jack up the prices with higher occupancy, to average out a sweet profit.

Control your rates manually, set parameters...otherwise, you don't have the luxury of making up higher prices during high season with prebook

Stephanie588 in
Denver, CO
Level 2

I appreciate the effort of a response, @Skye15, but this is not about setting parameters.  This is about the fact that the Smart Pricing algorithm is fundamentally and significantly flawed when it doesn't take into account the pricing from at least more, if not most, of the reservations from one's comparable set of properties in addition to the Airbnb reservations.

 

We do not use Smart Pricing because of this fundamental flaw (and others), but if we were to use it we would have to set the minimum and maximum parameters so high that effectively the Airbnb algorithm would not be used at all.  We would, however, like to be able to use the Price Tips (which are presumably generated by the same algorithm that determines Smart Pricing), but as it is these are useless also because of the vast amount of missing data from non-Airbnb bookings.

 

This is a serious problem for anyone who does use Smart Pricing or depends on the Price Tips.  Even if the vast majority of your bookings come from Airbnb, that may not be the case for the rest of the properties in your comparable set.  Many of these properties may be using the algorithm to set prices, which in turn influences your suggested prices.  So the algorithm is still likely generating your prices based on vastly insufficient data.

 

The only solution is to allow hosts to enter pricing data for non-Airbnb bookings.  Smart Pricing is likely so seriously flawed without a more complete data set that not only is it not helpful overall, but it is actually detrimental because many hosts may believe it is much more accurate than it is.

Cormac6 in
Kraków, Poland
Level 10

@Stephanie588

 

I'd go further by saying "smart pricing" is useless... 

Linda844 in
Odiham, United Kingdom
Level 2
Does anyone actually take any notice of smart pricing other than airbnb?
Dede in
Austin, TX
Level 10

Using AirBnB's "Smart Pricing" is (pardon me; no offense intended) a dumb mistake in ANY situation. Whether 100% of bookings are through AirBnB or not. Personal judgement and awareness of past history, local events, etc will yield far better results than Smart Pricing.

 

The only reason I can imagine for using it is for large-scale commercial listings, or if a private host has multiple listings that are hard to tweak on a regular basis.

Stephanie365 in
Fredericksburg, VA
Level 10

Smart pricing is a joke. So are pricing recommendations. Do your own market research and set your price accordingly.

I say this based on the algorithms endlessly trying to get me to undercut my neighbor who offers individual basement bedrooms with all other spaces shared for $35/night even though I have a private 1 bedroom suite with no shared spaces. 

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