02-14-2017 09:00 PM
I have received an email from Airbnb notifying me of the number of views I have received, suggesting that my prices have resulted in lost bookings, and recommending that I lower my prices to attract more bookings.
This is flawed advice. Airbnb hosts should be encouraged to be price makers, not price takers. It is in the host's and Airbnb's interests to keep prices up, no lower them. I differentiate my property using non-price criteria. If I compete on price, then I end up supporting a race to the bottom. I am not going to do that.
Airbnb should re-think this short-term, flawed price-based policy!
02-14-2017 11:11 PM
02-15-2017 08:45 PM
Actually, @Gerry And Rashid, I think you're giving AirBnB at large too much credit for their apparent greed. The whacky advisories about how hosts should set their rates are really only coming from the 1 or 2 or 3 loose-cannon developers within AirBnB who, on any given day, happen to have checked in some code that affects and pushes out that sort of message. Based on my info from AirBnB insiders, AirBnB at large has little internal control of their code. Individual coders (I'm loath to call them "developers", as that lends too much credence to their quality) are constantly making willy-nilly modifications without any sort of overall planning.
But back to the original host's issue -- I fully agree that altering one's rates based on recommendations from AirBnB is the wrong way to go. Take their recommendations under advisement, yes; all input helps. But follow them blindly, no. As a host, one knows far more than AirBnB about the local conditions and the specific desirability of your own listing. I set my rates based on my "gut" and my history. Sometimes that ends up being lower than AirBnB's recommendations; usually it results in higher rates. The proof is in the pudding -- we're consistently 97% booked, 2-3 months in advance. (And we really, really cherish that one unbooked day per month!) Our guest ratings and reviews are all pure raves. When AirBnB suggests we drop our rates, they're usually wrong. And when they suggest we increase our rates, they're *always* wrong.
02-15-2017 10:13 PM
I base my pricing on data. I know my site views, and I calculate my booking rate. I target a monthly occupancy rate, and I calculate the 12-month moving average. I never lower my price, but I do increase my price when the occupancy rate is higher than my 50% - 60% target band.
For me, in my shared home, the occupancy rate is better performance indicator than the revenue. The revenue falls out of the KPI. I have successfully met my objective since I introduced it 9 months ago.
Dede, in my analysis, if you are booked more than 2 months in advance, then it indicates your price is too low. You are attracting too many bookings too early. If you were to nudge up your prices, you could monitor the forward bookings and keep it at no more than 2 months ahead.
02-16-2017 11:31 AM
Thank you I am new at this and your comments have helped me. I recently raised my prices because I wasn't going to break even let alone make any money and have been wondering if I was correct in doing this. I'll sit tight and see what happens. Alice
02-16-2017 05:50 PM
Hi Alice, I also felt that it was unfair to be told that we missed bookings and to lower our prices. I have just raised the nightly rate by a small amount and we have had non stop bookings. This tells me that as hosts, we are the best judge of the worth of our accommodation and not everyone offers quality linen, breakfast etc. Good luck and enjoy hosting. Cheryl
02-16-2017 08:08 PM
@Peter Thanks for your input, but I truly believe we're priced at the sweet spot for both maximizing income AND making our guests feel that they've gotten good value and had a good experience. We have, over the past year, increased our base rates by about 12%, and increased our special-event rates by over 50%. We also have our rates set higher than comparable listings in our area, which we can do because of our consistently high ratings, reviews, and 100% enthusiastic guests.
Our actual booking percentages tend to be 94-97% one month out, 85-97% two months out, and 30-60% three months out. We rarely open up dates more than 3.5 months out, with exceptions made for big special events, for which we double or triple or normal rates.
Lastly, I don't find much value in AirBnB's presentation of views vs bookings, especially since their last changes which made it even less informative. We get a ton of views, but the booking ratio is (non-worryingly) low because... most of the people are looking 10-30-60 days ahead, and find that we're already booked.
And lastly lastly (unless there's something even lastlier...) I've often experimented with still higher rates out three months ahead, but it has never attracted anyone at all. Like I say, I think we've found our sweet spot.
Will you reach out to us on this topic?
I also think that AirBnB's price suggestions are always
founded on nothing but hot air. Each market, each season,
has too many unique elements. And with particularly nice guests, we
often feel like discounting or accepting nothing or exchanging favors
to make friends.
Mind you - we're certainly not as busy as you.
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I hope this helps.
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02-17-2017 05:30 AM
Well, that test worked.
The Admin staff, in this case yourself, do have instructions to contain discussions
within the boundaries of this online forum. That's fine - but of little importance.
The Great Matter in host lives right now is that the software is behaving unpredictably against
host actions and settings. Obviously, you closely monitor these forums. The issue
is everywhere. This particular thread on price advice being misleading and false is
secondary, but also of concern.
Robin has been waiting for three days to get a repy from the executives. They know. You read these forums,
and tell them. He has shut down his listing!
Here's something else you can forward to those in a position to act - the difference between host payout and
guest payin is an increase of 21%!! Those funds go to AirBnB. That is even more than the huge 20% that Booking.com
forces major hotels to pay, and has these hotel owners very upset. Someone ought to think about this seriously.
Have a nice day.