How do you calculate your listing price?

Lizzie
Former Community Manager
Former Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

How do you calculate your listing price?

Pricing.jpg 

Hello everyone,

 

When you first set up your listing, one of the first things you need to think about is how much you price your home per night. From hearing from several hosts here in the CC, I understand that many of you take into account a number of different factors.

 

Plus, I bet even if you have been hosting for a while, this is something you keep a close eye on.

 

How do you calculate you prices? Perhaps you consider overheads or consider other listings in your area. What tips would you give a new host?

 

Thanks,

Lizzie


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55 Replies 55

That was in bad taste

 

Cherlouise0
Level 2
Wick, United Kingdom

Hi all (new here), this is a tricky one. Prior to joining Airbnb:

 

:  I too started with my price undercutting the competition, and was busy - for a while.

: in my second year, my prices crept up - still busy

: my third year, just a little bit higher  - bookings less frequent 

: by my fourth year, had to reduce my prices - and my bookings dried up

: since I joined this site I use the ‘smart price’ tab, I’m getting bookings - even though my prices are now higher than prior joining this site

: so now I’m even more confused on how to price my rooms 

 

 

Jennifer976
Level 8
Calgary, Canada

I'm booked solid for both my rooms until mid October so it makes me wonder if i've not been charging enough??

@Jennifer976 first of all, congratulations on the full booking calendar and all the great reviews! You are clearly doing a great job.

 

Although many would automatically say a full calendar indicates your price is too low, I think there can be more to it than that. You haven't had the chance to go through a whole calendar year yet, so you don't yet know how seasonal bookings might be in your area (although I certainly hope you get all the bookings you want all year round).

 

Just for fun, I put your listing into the free Wheelhouse demo (Note: I use Wheelhouse myself), and it priced your Blue Room listing from CA$34 to CA$42 in November and December.

 

You are really the boss of your listing, so no one will complain if you experiment with some different prices.

(You can even look at the free demo of Wheelhouse, copy the pricing they suggest, and not even sign up while still getting to use their suggested pricing for free.)

 

Ger15
Level 1
Tramore, Ireland

Ermmm I meant doing! What Am I doing? Not KISSING!!!!

Ger15
Level 1
Tramore, Ireland

Help! Please. Airbnb keeps throwing up random low offers for our room, which is instant book. Our price is €45 per night. Guests have been charged random prices from €27-€45. I’ve checked over & over & our price is listed as €45. What Am I kissing? 

Ger. Ireland 

Jennifer976
Level 8
Calgary, Canada

I've had the same thing happen....my minimum is $35/night and I just had a gal instantly book for one month at $27????  How does that happen?

Mark26
Level 10
Melbourne Beach, FL


@Ger15 wrote:What Am I kissing? 

 


 The AirBnB Pricing Blarney Stone.

Emilia42
Level 10
Orono, ME

As many hosts said I looked at other listing in my area, comparable or not. But I also thought to myself how much would *I* want to spend for a night in my place. Personally, I think I would be a perfect guest and hopefully my price would attract other perfect guests like myself. 😉

An-Maré0
Level 6
Cape Town, South Africa

I just ignore any price suggestions and remind myself what income I need to be a happy host.

Helen427
Level 10
Auckland, New Zealand

I also have taken into account with longer stays that Guests generally want to and do use the stove to cook, may want to do ironing, plug in electronic devices for longer periods of time, use of fridge / freezer for storage of perishables, they tend to need clothes etc washed, in winter power / electricity use increases it doesn't decrease, food costs, etc.

 

 

 

 

I also factored into account my experience in the Tourism industry & years of experience in hospitality which I am aware is a key factor in ensuring guests stays & experiences whilst staying with me are enhanced.

 

Airbnb should not be encouraging Hosts to reduce weekly rates at anytime of the year as we have a number of factors to incorporate in our lives.

Helen427
Level 10
Auckland, New Zealand

Just an observation, none of you have mentioned your own time value.

With all the international arena and Councils etc wanting to impose extra regulations & conditions it's timely to stop & consider your own labour in your pricing, just like people in bureaucracy get paid by the hour we to are worthy of our services.

 

My time is valuable and is something I factored into my Listing.

It's important to compare rental rates for rooms to let in the wider communities that people who are staying in Rentals, local camping ground, hostels & motels - I pointed that out to a Guest in a Review reply and suggest others who may receive negative review feedback or value ratings to reply kindly as I have to your Guests who may not have considered prices locals pay is often different to their own quality of accommodation & costs of living.

 

Motels do offer weekly rates to guests over 28 days in NZ.

 

We base our price on two factors. One what is the standard around our area, we are in between the really pricey and some inexpensive, so we set it .. in between. 

Second, what we are comfortable with.. If I feel like we are giving it away then it is not ok. we have a room in our home..... and we do it for a little extra fun money... so we do not need it to be rented.

 

We have found that it is better to lose a guest reservation then take one below value... 

That is just us... We do have a cleaning fee... 

 

It works for us... but my one piece of advice.. Make sure you as the host is comfortable with your listing price... 

Alex939
Level 10
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

At the beginning I just looked around and put a price as the competition had, then Airbnb suggested 10% off for the start, I made it and the bookings came. Later I set it up according to the season, day of the week, number of guests, duration etc.

Sally98
Level 2
Blenheim, New Zealand

I would like to know how much to guest is paying in total, so including all airbnb fees as well. I can't set my price until I know exactly what the end user is paying and I don't know where or how to find out his information before setting my prices. 

@Sally98

It would depend on whether Airbnb collects any taxes on behalf of the host, but based on my experience guest service fees are usually about 12%, and then there is the host service fee (3%) too.

Also the cleaning fee to consider into the total. (same amount regardless of # of nights)

 

Fyi~ I don't have a cleaning fee so I simply assume there will be a 15% difference between what the guest pays and the payout I (host) receive. This has been accurate enough for me. 

Kevin740
Level 2
Washington, DC

I live in Washington DC.  It’s a very expensive city in which to live and visit.  Neighborhoods change in terms of demographics, location, crime, etc., from several blocks to the others.  As a result, Airbnb has an algorithm on charges based on these criteria and also  prices of nearby Airbnbs.  

 

The electric company raises prices prices dramatically during air conditioning season; I just received a bill higher than ever (living in the house for 15 years).  I’ve had a guest for two months who uses lots of energy: running and air conditioner and ceiling fan when it’s 57 degrees outside (beyond my comprehension and sensibilities).  This activity—set in context—is a house where 15 windows are open and the owner spending most time on from porch (no

AC), yet he’s in his room with the AC blowing and a ceiling fan cranked.  He leaves lights on 400 Watts in the kitchen when I have under counter lighting that draws only 7watts.  Granted, I am not 24 like this guest, but the electric AND water bill I just received is more or less has created a net loss.

 

my question is: how much are we reasonably required to provide when a host sees ridiculous waste?  Why does someone need AC AND a ceiling fan on high when it’s 57 degrees?  I am holding my tongue, but I want to inform him that the windows in his room actually open.

 

i am considering closing Airbnb to long-term guests because I realize I’m losing money and patience.  Not to mention the multiple showers per day; acquisition of mold in the bathroom because he’s clueless about taking care.

 

has anyone else run into these negative numbers with long-term guests?  Can we limit the number of showers a guests takes per day?  Can we tell a guest that all the windows in the house—front and back doors too—indicate that weather at 57 degrees does not necessitate AC?

 

I am not cheap, but I am thrifty.  I cannot wait until this fellow moves out because of the amount of money he’s costing me.  And his living habits are so foreign and expensive to me.

 

what is our obligation?

 

i look forward to your assistance.

 

kevin

@Kevin740

I host long-term guests in their early 20s so I have an idea of what you are going through.........for long-term guests one thing many hosts seem to forget is they need to factor in the cost of utilities/internet/cable etc. into the total monthly payout, and the cost of in-between cleaning/laundry (sheets/towels)/amenities  - things a normal renter would spay/supply themselves - when deciding on the monthly discount which will determine the total. Also like you are experiencing, because the guest is not the one paying for utilities, they have no reason to be "thrifty" and won't care. Why do you think hotels have systems that shut off automatically when guests leave the room 🙂

 

The way I manage is to not hand over control of the AC/heating thermostat to the guest (but considering your current situation, I would do what @Sarah977 suggests). Henry and I are the only ones that can turn it on/adjust temp settings. I also state in my listing description that AC/heating is turned on when indoor temp exceeds/drops below a certain point. If a guest seems to take exceptionally long showers, we will temporarily adjust the hot water setting (make it lukewarm) after 15 mins - we've only done this a handful of times 🙂

 

Henry and I are not shy about asking the guest to open/close windows and turn lights off. When we find the guest has all the lights in the kitchen on, I will just walk in and turn off the ones I feel don't need to be on, then with a smile say "Still bright enough, right?" In most cases, I notice guests follow our lead after a while and get the hang of which lights to use when doing what/where. We emphasize the importance of not being wasteful with water/electricity and the fact that we recycle. We also ask guests to use towels more than once and to do larger loads of laundry to conserve water.

 

IMO, you can and should express your expectations to guests.......you don't have to tip toe around them and put up with bad, wasteful behavior. Maybe they will change, maybe they won't but at least you tried. Hope this helps~

Sarah977
Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Kevin740   57 degrees and he has the AC on? If I were in your shoes, I'd turn off the breaker to the AC unit , or otherwise disconnect it and tell this clown to open the windows if he's hot. You don't owe him a break-even stay. Young people need to be educated. If his parents didn't do it, it falls to anyone who has the misfortune to be in his clueless path. He's probably never had to pay an electric bill in his life.

Esteemed hosts, friends, ladies and gentlemen, the time has come: the serious problem that has always plagued most hosts everywhere must be faced once and for all, and, therefore, it will be done here and now, without hesitation, without stupid indecisions. However, the right listing price. I mean: how do you calculate it?

 

An answer to this question today is given by a woman named Emily who is neither a host nor a guest. It’s not to be believed.

 

To be fair, I used AIRBNB with a satisfying outcome on the behalf of my father some time ago.

Not now. Not anymore now. I do not intend to give that old host a new life.

 

I have hosted anything and everything: California dream men, tuaregs without a camel, melomaniacs, Barbie girls with a change of clothes to make Lady Gaga envious, dancers, dentists, Miami beach lifeguards, Middle-earth dwarfs, Indian paleontologists, Olympic athletes, Japanese androids and Dublin electricians. In short, a cast for a film by Federico Fellini.

 

A memory that still tickles my heart, and lives in the flavors of a past more than ever present. For example, the guest book, which I still keep locked in a drawer of my desk in Milan, and occasionally smells to soothe this feeling of nostalgia. What remains is the love and the longing.

 

Do you want to know what my approach to prices was?

 

And so it shall be, ladies and gentlemen. I am referring to Milan. Art city. Strong flow of visitors. Well connected area.

 

When I started (in the Jurassic period: I still remember the Brontosauruses in the cathedral square) I had absolutely no idea of ​​what price would have been appropriate. So, I looked around  (ads for rooms similar to mine in that area of ​​that neighborhood and services offered) and I tried to figure out how the bloody  algorithm of AIRBNB worked. The first results generally corresponded to the best ads for that category.

 

At the beginning, to climb the summit, I did prices slightly below the average to get bookings and good reviews.

 

Then, reached the coveted summit, disregarding badges, trophies, scores, pressing invitations to lower prices, I raised the prices, but not taking them “off the market”.

 

Price differentation: weekend, weekly, monthly, seasonal (September-October = students and teachers, March-April = beginning of exhibitions, events (Furniture Fair, Fashion Week, etc.), synchronizing the calendars on multiple platforms to avoid overbooking.

 

But I had not considered two variables: cleaning costs (independent of the number of nights) and AIRBNB charges: I thougt I need to reconsider my marketing policies.

 

I had some limited success, but more needed to be done. So, I asked myself: "What are you doing wrong, bad girl?" I saw the top ads, the most glamorous ones that I had not previously considered.

I tried to understand what really made those ads really special. I decided to expand my range of action. A small makeover, some slight modification of the offer (better quality) was enough to make the difference, to make the stay more comfortable and "exclusive", intercepting a higher target market. Result? My occupancy rate suddenly rose.

 

Without listening to the melodious song of AIRBNB sirens (with warm wax, plug your ears, like Ulysses, and let yourself be tied by the co-host to the ship's mainmast), finally you will understand in which price range you can put your room/flat reaching your Ithaca!

 

But be careful, ‘cause the right price should not be established forever, but it’s something that must be conquered with the sweat of your brow: in a hypersaturated market, constantly keep an eye on your price, taking account of competition and escaping the pitfalls of Scylla and Charybdis, Circe and Polyphemus.

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