This year, we turned on smart pricing.
On some bookings we are getting 15c to 20 percent more per stay.
Admittedly there is high demand.
We kept our base price the same as our normal price, only allowing smart pricing charge more, never less.
It was that simple. We followed sage advice from experienced hosts on this, make your bottom price your usual price, and what have you got to lose.
It remains to be seen how guests perceive "value" as star ratings in their reviews, but for money in the bank we have already seen a boost.
So I'd give this a cautious thumbs up.
How are other fairly new hosts finding smart pricing?
I didn't think you were stupid @Mike-And-Jane0 🙂 Yes, you're right that Airbnb is obsessed with occupancy, homeowners and their budgets be damned.
To speak to the whole idea of "competitive" if I may: Do all of your neighbors offer accommodation in old rectories? Are they all overlooking 13th century churches? I didn't think so. I want you to practice regarding your property as unique. I know that smacks faintly of braggadocio and is therefore un-English to do so, but facts are facts: You have a unique property that is not subject to the same rules as people who are all in the same apartment block putting their places up for rent.
You will be pleasantly surprised at the bookings that come in at the new rate. A place like yours must require a lot of maintenance so you're just doing it for the good of the building after all is said and done.
@Ann72 Thanks for your post - Indeed this place needs constant maintenance and costs a fortune to heat in winter as double glazing and insulation wasn't invented in 1750. Next week we are having 1/8 of the roof replaced as my daughter is objecting to the water running down her bedroom wall. Thankfully the roof on the holiday let portion is somewhat more waterproof.
The heating costs are why I don't lower my price in the off-season @Mike-And-Jane0. People occasionally try to get a discount by saying "something is better than nothing," but it costs three times as much to run the place in the winter with people in it so the fact is something is not better than nothing if my cost to accommodate them exceeds what they pay.
@Ann72 The little graph thing that appears when you edit smart pricing suggests a price of £66 per night and yet the listing just shows £60. Any idea why the suggested price in smart pricing isn't making it through to my listing?
@Ann72 No I set my minimum at 60 (about 20 more than the suggested minimum), the graph suggested 66 but the calendar said 60. However I persevered and after a few days the calendar said 66 so all is well.
That is my problem right now! I have a set price but when someone sets a reservation, it changes the price (tip price) and I MIGHT make 96% LESS than i am asking!!!
HELP PLEASE! Customer service cant seem to help! Am i the only one this has happened too?
However, like @Emilia42, I've been overriding my Smart Pricing prices all year for the same reason - demand is through the roof. I simply average what VRBO is charging for the same dates and put those in.
I like @Elaine701's brilliant idea of having two listings to accommodate high and low season.
@Michelle53 and @Ann72 It is a really good question though as to how (or if) smart pricing takes into account extra guest fees and cleaning fees. Some people have both, some have neither. I struggle to believe that the algorithm can cope with such variation - I just wish Airbnb were more up front with the principle of how the system works as it would give me more confidence in it.