Do you keep an eye on the competition?

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager
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Hello everyone, 

 

Several of you have mentioned in the past keeping track of the prices charged by other Hosts in your area in order to better adjust yours. 

 

Whether it’s in terms of pricing, decoration, house rules or interesting extras to offer, there is a lot to learn from our competitors these days.

 

Do you keep an eye on your competition, and what do you look for when doing so?

 

I look forward to reading your anecdotes and experiences 🙂

 

Quincy  

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36 Replies

Re: Do you keep an eye on the competition?

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

Yes, traditionally, every couple of months or so, I'll take the time to look at the local competition (of similar class of listing). Although this year has been exceptional for bookings, and we're completely booked for the high season and into the autumn. So it hasn't occurred to me lately. 

 

But when I go on my "spy mission", I find places of similar size (bedrooms, living space) with similar amenities (pool, views, etc) and compare their prices for any range of dates. I'll look at their photos and descriptions and reviews. I look at the things that stick out for prospective guests; the quality of beds, the kitchen, the living areas, and how it's styled (the things that attract eyeballs) and how they're rated by previous guests (you can learn from this). 

 

Generally speaking, I keep my prices a little above the competition. Then just be patient. When the competition is booked, I and a few others become the "only game in town". And as I said, this year has been extraordinary so far. 

 

This seems to work for us, but then we're in a massively popular tourist destination. It's rather a seller's market here. Your mileage may vary. 

Re: Do you keep an eye on the competition?

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

@Elaine701 It sounds like you don't just watch the competition but adjust your business strategy to them as well! It can be difficult sometimes to step into the shoes of a guest and try to keep an open mind when looking at others' listings and comparing them to yours.

 

You mentioned you try to find listings similar to yours. Do you sometimes look at listings that don't offer the same amenities (maybe less, maybe more) and see how you could try to get prospective guests to settle for yours instead?


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Re: Do you keep an eye on the competition?

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

@Sybe 

 

Well, not exactly. We're in a popular tourist destination, but we are at somewhat of a disadvantage because we're not on the beaches or in popular tourist resorts.

 

So, what I've tried to do is appeal specifically to those who aren't necessarily looking for that, by emphasizing that we're isolated enough to have lots of peace and privacy, but offer more space and more amenities than a "tourist resort" (the competition I believe you are referring to) .

 

Yet we're only 15 minutes by car from the beaches and resorts, which means you can have all the action of a resort, then come "home", fire up the grill, crack open your favourite wine, turn up the music, and jump in the pool (naked, if you want) , and not be amongst thousands of tourists. Also in this pandemic era, it's turned out to be an attractive proposition. 

 

This has managed to attract a few historical  "resort" dwellers, you can see in a few of our reviews that they were "converted" 😉. But it also helps ensure we're attracting guests who really want what we have to offer. And that helps to facilitate guest satisfaction, and ostensibly, good ratings. 

 

It also helps with our winter bookings because the "resorts" tend to close down to a large extent in the winter. Yet everything local to us is open and active all year round; Restaurants, bars, shops, cycling, golf, sightseeing.. All open and busy as usual. Why choose a mostly closed up "tourist resort"? 

Re: Do you keep an eye on the competition?

in
El Paso, TX
Level 2

Yes Elaine that is the same here, I live in an area that has become competitive. During holidays they were all booked and I was one of the only options left.  I am thinking of renting the whole house instead of private rooms. What do you guys think of renting private rooms? has it worked better for any of you ? or is it better to rent the whole house for one familly?

Re: Do you keep an eye on the competition?

in
Gros Islet, Saint Lucia
Level 10

@Quincy,

Like @Elaine701, every couple-few months I want to assess if my prices need to be adjusted.  I look at listings in my area that: are within 10% above and below my current price to make comparisons.  I factor things such as location, proximity to transportation, furnishings, amenities, and the length of time the listing has been up and how long the host has been on the platform.  The last two points are important, because new hosts with new listings tend to have lower rates to attract guests, may be inexperienced to price setting, or use ABB's price suggestions.

Re: Do you keep an eye on the competition?

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

Good one @Debra300 ! A very low price may make guests suspicious as well, thinking it's "too good to be true".


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Re: Do you keep an eye on the competition?

in
Greece
Level 6

Hello, yes I do look at competition, who can host a similar number of guests with the same amenities eg swimming pool. I mainly look at their calendar to see how many bookings they are getting as well as their description to read what they offer. Also if needed I can suggest a fellow host to a guest searching. Knowing your competition is important and will make you improve and maintain your good quality of hosting.

@Quincy 

 

Re: Do you keep an eye on the competition?

Level 1

Yes.  It's important.  It's the only way to gain and maintain the competitive advantage

Re: Do you keep an eye on the competition?

Level 10

@Quincy 

 

Absolutely.  I keep a fairly regular eye on not only comparable STR but local hotels, motels, as well. By watching the nightly rate of a local motel with no amenities, I can more easily justify my listing prices, especially with the 40-50 amenites.

Re: Do you keep an eye on the competition?

in
Florence, Canada
Level 10

Because I'm in a non-touristy area, @Quincy , I watch for competition to spring up so I can work with them. 

The only other guy in town was great for working with, but he threw in the towel during the pandemic.  However, just recently three places have started up -- a farm stay upstream and both a cabin and a more urban spot downstream from me. We're working together on a canoe package tour. 

 

Re: Do you keep an eye on the competition?

in
Canada
Level 10

@Lawrene0   I love this!!  I cohost for other people, in addition to my own listings and I love the community in doing that. Some people look at it as your competitor but honestly we can all win by playing our unique strength. And I find when I’m booked but I can refer them to someone else,  based on their needs and requests, I know we have won over another traveler. 

Re: Do you keep an eye on the competition?

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

@Lawrene0 That sounds amazing, I might come over just for that! 😜

 

Competition doesn't always have to be against each other, it can mean community as well and like @Normen0 helping one another out to grow the business.


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Re: Do you keep an eye on the competition?

in
Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
Level 10

No, because there is hardly no competition, as i am the cheapest in town.

2 of my rooms are even in the top 10 of cheapest accommodations in the whole country regarding stays for 1 week or more.

Re: Do you keep an eye on the competition?

in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Level 10

Hey @Emiel1 

Just out of curiousity... Why do not you raise the prices a little bit? 

By the way, your listings looks clean, neat, comfortable and moderm furniture.

 

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