Are you using Smart Pricing?

Former Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Former Community Manager
2,743 Views

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Hi everyone, 

 

Price is one of the most important factors for travellers before booking. For Hosts, it is crucial to price their listing correctly, but it can also be a riddle, especially if they are only beginning their hosting journey. 

 

To get the price right, many refer to Smart Pricing and use it to their advantage (you can read how on this great post by @Ann72.)

 

Having said this, do you use the Smart Pricing feature, and if so, how? 

 

I look forward to reading your replies.

 

Thanks

Nick

29 Replies

Re: Are you using Smart Pricing?

in
Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
Level 10

I use Smart Pricing for all my listings, but with a very small bandwith.

The bottom limit is set to  the price i would have set when not using Smart Pricing.

it works well for me, now there is high demand in my area and it has increased my prices for the upcoming months.  I also can be turned off during certain time periods, without having to turn it off for the whole listing.

A major disadvantage is: it does not work together with some features like pricing-options in Rulesets (fe: increase/decrease price by %) and the Price Calculator.

Also the  "price-suggestions" are rather ridicilous, better ignore (but is same story for "normal pricing")

Re: Are you using Smart Pricing?

in
Chicago, IL
Level 10

I just switched on Smart Pricing,  as a test.  I added a number of new amenities this year, including whole-house mesh Wifi, so adjusted my base price higher that it was (not following pricing recommendations).  Costs, including new city registrations fees, have gone up, too. 

 

I let the system calculate the highest price and used that for the max.

 

 I actually haven't taken any new bookings with the new pricing, but, since I'm pretty full out through October, I can't tell if it's the new pricing or that nobody is booking out to October at the moment. 

 

The booking frenzy seems to have tapered off somewhat, since June. 

Re: Are you using Smart Pricing?

Former Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Former Community Manager

It would be interesting to share the results after a while @Michelle53 

 

Let's see how it plays out during the holiday season, after November. Are you adjusting the price in different seasons, or leave the same throughout the year? 

Re: Are you using Smart Pricing?

in
Orono, ME
Level 10

@Nick The problem (as other hosts have mentioned here) is that you cannot adjust the price for different seasons. Your base price is your base price. 

 

@Michelle53 be careful with smart pricing for "busy times." I always have to override it for local events and can only use it for one "season". For instance, my rates in the winter vs. summer fluctuate a lot. So if I have smart pricing on in January I have to keep my summer dates blocked or override it in the summer months.

Re: Are you using Smart Pricing?

in
Chicago, IL
Level 10

@Emilia42   In the past, I haven't updated my prices for local events, since, in "normal" times,   special events start for us in late March, and run well into October, almost continuously, and we have people coming into town pretty much very weekend for those. 

 

What I'm hoping to get out of this is that Smart Pricing recognizes busy booking periods and increases prices appropriately for that, so I don't have to think about it, while at the same time, keeping a floor I can live with, cost-wise, the rest of the time.

 

 

Re: Are you using Smart Pricing?

in
Orono, ME
Level 10

@Michelle53 @Nick 

My struggle is that I can rarely get the summer minimum prices in the winter and if I were to charge my winter minimum prices in the summer, I would burn out so quickly that I might as well quit now. In a perfect system, I would be able to have one minimum all year round (which would basically be my winter prices), and then for the summer "smart pricing" would increase my prices by $35-$55 per night which I can successfully charge. But it doesn't. Quite often it hovers around my minimum. So I cannot use it for every season while having a completely open calendar. 

Re: Are you using Smart Pricing?

in
Chicago, IL
Level 10

@Emilia42  @Nick   That's something I'm going to watch.   While my calendar is identifying "popular dates", the price recommendations aren't much more than a few dollars higher than my base rate, and they don't seem to go out further than a couple of months.

 

Right now, for example, the December holidays aren't showing up any better than my base price. Since my guests tend to book a fair amount of time ahead, if someone decided to book today for the Christmas holiday, they'd get my minimum price. 

Re: Are you using Smart Pricing?

in
Chicago, IL
Level 10

@Nick    I haven't done seasonal pricing in the past, but it would probably make sense since  April - October is very busy and November - March is very quiet, but at the same time, I still need to make a decent minimum to cover costs, especially factoring in my time.    I never bothered with adjusting prices for holiday periods and popular long weekends. I'm hoping Smart Pricing deals with that so I don't have to. 

Re: Are you using Smart Pricing?

in
NY, NY
Level 10

The first year I used Smart Pricing, 2019, it really drove my prices up.  Then I wrote that piece about it, and about a month later, the algorithm changed drastically and the prices only went a dollar or two over the minimum, even for busy periods, @Michelle53.  

 

However, I think there's a cumulative effect where the more Airbnb tools you use, the better you place in rankings, and the more bookings you get.  The first year I used SP I saw a 54% increase in income.  Last year's longer bookings meant a lower average nightly rate but still a year-over-year increase of 20%.  This year is 46% over last year.  Still, SP can't take all the credit.  It's a combination of SP, InstantBook, regular changes to the listing description, and generally a lot of activity - reviews, inquiries, bookings.  The one thing that has NOT happened is that SP has not learned my price points.  In spite of constant evidence proving my minimum results in bookings, SP never fails to suggest a much lower minimum.  However, it's finally stopped saying "lower your minimum to get more bookings," so maybe we're getting somewhere.

Re: Are you using Smart Pricing?

Former Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Former Community Manager

Exactly on the same boat @Michelle53 - Leaving the price as is for winter period (there isn't much traffic anyway) and then increasing between Apr-Oct. It has worked ok so far. I would experiment more if I was there, but the last few years been following this pattern and I'm ok with it. 

Re: Are you using Smart Pricing?

in
Troy, MI
Level 2

I am a relatively new host and I do use smart pricing. However, I set the minimum price to what I want to charge (regardless of the recommended price) and leave the max too high in case smart pricing can get me even higher prices. The way I look at it is, as long as I get at least the minimum price I set, why not use it? it may bring me some extra some time!

Re: Are you using Smart Pricing?

in
Citrus Heights, CA
Level 2

same here, I just started, and all my price recommended so far by the system is my minimal price set up. I realized that I had the lowest price in the city for my listing, so I get a lot of those guests who book and they get refund from the Airbnb for being some type of scammers or those who love parties at someone's Airbnb residence. So, I had to adjust the bottom price to a bit higher to reflect what I actually want. It seems the system suggested a way low price point. 

Re: Are you using Smart Pricing?

in
Troy, MI
Level 2

I'd never use the recommended price by the system. It is always much lower that what I want to charge and what the market is actually. Having a higher value for the minimum price helps weed out many of those who you described as people who want to party at someone else's Airbnb. Also, I use explicit rules about partying and make sure in my communication with renters that they review and agree on the rules (no loud noise at night, no smoking, etc.). Furthermore, having a high value for the minimum price helps have fewer rentals but almost the same revenue with the bonus of lower risk of the property getting used and abused by others 🙂 

Re: Are you using Smart Pricing?

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

We would use smart pricing on all our listings if we could modify the min and max prices by season (ideally via a ruleset) and by weekend/weekday.

Season is probably more important than day of the week but both would be awesome and we would switch over tomorrow.

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