I got a big red warning about raising prices today

Laura2592
Level 10
Frederick, MD

I got a big red warning about raising prices today

As I have posted many times here, we started off way too low on our initial pricing. We were one of two remote host, full house rentals in a certain radius. The other place is much larger and can accommodate many more people-- they were priced in line with ours initially. Over the ensuing 3 years we have raised our rates, and they have as well. 

 

Now we have several properties listed in our area, all running neck and neck with what we are charging, some much higher. Today I booked some dates that were hanging out there, so we went to increase prices again. I got a big red warning saying "Your prices are far higher than your market" and a suggestion that we LOWER to about $50 less than we charge. I had to acknowledge this warning before moving on.

 

This is absurd. A place that opened not long ago is half the size of ours, half the capacity and about $50 a more a night. It has similar historic features. There is NO WAY that I am "above market" as I am booked out with a rate that is $50 a night higher than ABB suggests and very competitive with others in the area.

 

What possible good could it do to post these scary "warnings"? I suppose we should just offer our space for free (so long as we pay our ABB fees....)

20 Replies 20
Pete69
Level 10
Los Angeles, CA

Prices in Los Angeles are up at least 15% because so many people are resuming traveling after being locked down for over a year.  There are not enough hosts to meet demand. I'm lovin' it like McDonalds.

John5097
Level 10
Charleston, SC

@Laura2592 

 

So Airbnb wants to issue refunds to guest who cancel in violation of host cancelation policy when covid spikes, or face retaliatory review if host don't issue refunds, but when there is increased demand when covid is low, they don't want you to increase rates, and instead cater to hyper violent coupon clippers who don't even bother to read the listing, and encourage them to leave negative reviews to get out of paying host, like people who use a tool from Lowes then return it for a refund after they are finished with their project. Mine is very popular in very competitive area, $7 below what smart pricing recommends but its way more stressful than it should be. Would it be too difficult for Airbnb to send a message "If the listing was accurate, clean, and well maintained, please show your appreciation to the host who worked very hard to make it possible on their end." Vast majority of guest understand this but Airbnb is activity cultivating scammers and if your rates aren't high enough it puts host at higher risk. I don't mind a misunderstanding from guest if they mean well and great behavior, but its quite another to be subjected to guest dissatisfaction who don't bother to read the listing or want to get out of paying already great value.  Maybe that's it, if rates are too low it attracts guest who won't bother to read it. The highest priority for Airbnb is to have guest make a reservation and collect the money and invest it in the stock market, after that its all the host problem to try and mitigate the risk and develop a strategy to maintain their listing.  

John5097
Level 10
Charleston, SC

I just got a 4* in value, my second one this entire time hosting, with rave 5* overall review. So its really just guest now using feedback in hopes Airbnb will lower the rates. I'd like to find another platform. Not burning any bridges with Airbnb that keeps me booked all the time but when you buy something on Amazon they don't ask if it was a good value. Guess I'll need to go up in rates. 

Andrew0
Level 10
Berlin, Germany

@Laura2592    Re:  "I don't know why anyone,  anywhere would ever assume an entire house or condo would cost the same or less than a hotel room. "

 

Conventionally, the price of a hotel room includes full-time service staff, daily housekeeping, and access to all the hotel's other amenities. Even before the pandemic hit, hotels were already laying off huge amounts of staff and automating more of their old roles to compete with Airbnb. One more way that wealth and stability have been siphoned away from wage workers and redistributed to homeowners with surplus housing.

Jd11
Level 2
Breckenridge, CO

airbnb only cares about their fees coming in, not your amounts.   

 

Their system, says hey will make money if you do this.

Liv
Former Community Manager
Former Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

Hey everyone, thanks for the feedback. I'll make sure it's passed on to the team 😊

 

Also, I'd like to ask that we please refrain from making assumptions. I'm sure you all know by now that criticism towards Airbnb is always welcome, however targeting employees - as well as fellow Community members - will not be allowed.

 

Bear in mind as well that generalisations based on age go against our Community Center Guidelines. Let's please remain respectful and constructive.

 

If you have any concerns, feel free to DM me.

 

Thanks,

Liv

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Helen427
Level 10
Auckland, New Zealand

@Laura2592 @Elaine701 @Michelle53 @Colleen253 @Mark116 

@Emilia42 

 

Thanks @Laura2592 for this topic.

 

Have any of you had any challenges trying to adjust the lowest and highest pricing options when searching a Private room, or other property, on the ABB Platform?

 

We tried to do a search at a local internet cafe on another device and it wouldn't allow us to adjust it to suit our choice of pricing options to suit our budget - it appears to be stuck with no movement at all!!

 

It came up with the average price for Auckland is xyz for the dates we entered.

 

Not allowing consumers an adjustable option is hardly user friendly

 

@Catherine-Powellhas this changed?
Or is it a bug in the system?

@Nick @Quincy @Stephanie @Katie @Liv 

 

Colleen253
Level 10
Alberta, Canada

@Helen427 That explains the increase in discount seekers lately. 

Helen427
Level 10
Auckland, New Zealand

@Colleen253I did a search for a 2 day stay, maybe try it for a 1 day stay and see what pops up.

Elaine701
Level 10
Balearic Islands, Spain

@Helen427 @Liv 

 

I don't know, I haven't tried. 

 

But I can say that this is one big reason booking.com is so wildly popular (for booking anything, not just STRs). They have comprehensive search filters that are incredibly clear, easy to understand and use. Really simple. And they work. And people absolutely love it. 

 

Airbnb would be wise to look closely at booking.com user interfaces and filters. It's one thing they're incredibly good at. And their millions of dedicated users are a testament to that. 

 

Disclaimer: I'm not in any way suggesting that booking.com is a good place to list your Airbnb property. If you think Airbnb support leaves something to be desired, booking.com has none at all. It's all instant book, and you have to accept whatever you get, per T's & C's. No complaints, please. 

Colleen253
Level 10
Alberta, Canada

@Laura2592 But you just grabbed your handy dandy Airbnb fly swatter and whacked that annoying warning to the floor, right? Happy price increase day! 😎

Emilia42
Level 10
Orono, ME

@Laura2592 

The murmur out there on the street is that Airbnbs are becoming expensive (rightfully so) and many guests are now comparing Airbnbs to hotels. Whereas pre-pandemic they were the cheaper option. I imagine this is the first step in Airbnb's newest endeavor to get hosts to lower their prices to be more competitive. 

Michelle53
Level 10
Chicago, IL

@Emilia42  @Laura2592 @Colleen253  I guess people forget that costs have gone up dramatically. Licensing for many of us is a new cost. So is the continual adding of amenities to deal with the complaints of "no toaster", "no coffee maker"  etc etc.   It's really not like rolling out the old sofa bed and blanket for a cheap price any more. 

 

Also, we don't get the bulk utility pricing that hotels do.  If my guests charge up 6 devices, they're at my regular rate !

 

For people who just shop on price, without the ability to consider pros and cons like amenities, distance, convenience, shopping, entertainment, wifi, space etc. etc, it's a no-win situation. 

 

Happy Price Increase Day to me.....

Colleen253
Level 10
Alberta, Canada

@Michelle53 And then of course there's the need to raise rates to cover the continual cost of guest damage, because Airbnb won't allow us to collect what's due from the damage deposit.

Michelle53
Level 10
Chicago, IL

@Colleen253  Oh yeah... the damage fund.  Painting over roller bag tracks, spackling out gouges in walls, replacing door hooks pulled out from hanging 4 heavy, wet towels on one hook....

 

Missing parts of sheet sets, broken crockery, the list goes on. 

 

For me, it's the time, too.  I'm the maid, the janitor, the repair person and the gardener 😉

 

I'll never forget having to clear a toilet blockage on Christmas Day. Thank goodness I never had to call a plumber !

Mark116
Level 10
Jersey City, NJ

@Emilia42  That's very true, the taxes in NJ add now almost 25% to the price, its still a good value if you want to use the kitchen or want more privacy, space or a more unique type of stay, but for a certain kind of traveler it will definitely have lost some of its luster due to price increases.

Laura2592
Level 10
Frederick, MD

I don't know why anyone,  anywhere would ever assume an entire house or condo would cost the same or less than a hotel room.  It makes no sense. But I know they do. 

Elaine701
Level 10
Balearic Islands, Spain

@Laura2592 

 

Being in a popular tourist destination, we see this phenomenon frequently. Not necessarily with inquiries, but on the travel forums. Like TripAdvisor. 

 

Many people are stuck in a mindset that their holiday can only be in a crowded beach Hotel, surrounded with high volume, low quality, and expensive restaurants, bars, and trinket shops. Perhaps even "all inclusive", with free beer and ice cream 24x7. That's a "holiday". And that's just fine, if that's what they fancy. 

 

A whole house with their own private pool, large bedrooms and kitchen, lots of creature comforts, and normal prices at local supermarkets, and great restaurants at half the price of beach resorts,  they'd never find in a beach Hotel at twice the price, is often considered to be "something less", despite the fact that it's quantifiably significantly more. 

 

Many people just don't know the difference. We've had a few guests from the "Beach Hotel" set, who for whatever reason decided to try "something different", and every time, they've been really surprised at how much more enjoyable it is, at comparable or lower cost. A few even have written that in their reviews, vowing never to go back to the crowded beach hotels. 

 

There's certainly advantages to "being in the middle of it all", but it's often a real eye opener for those who take a chance and choose "something different".

 

The pandemic led many people to "choose something different"; private homes, villas, etc, just for the isolation from crowds. In fact, here the "resorts"  were all boarded up, while private accommodation remained pretty well booked. It might continue to be a trend... 🤞

 

Oh, I'd like to add, as @Michelle53 pointed out, that costs have risen. All the obvious stuff, of course, but also, in our case, the hotels really, really don't like competition from private Airbnb style accommodation, and the (rather powerful) hotel association has been aggressively lobbying to impose more taxes and hefty licence fees in private accommodation for years now, and they've been pretty successful at that.

 

 

For example, to obtain a licence now is ridiculously expensive, and once you have a licence, every public service goes up in price. We now pay *triple* the normal rate for rubbish collection just because we have a tourism licence. And they don't even collect it. We have to bring it to them!

 

Water and electricity rates are elevated for licenced tourist accommodation. And then there's "tourist tax", which for our property, is in the highest bracket. 

 

So, yeah... It's expensive to run. 

Christine615
Level 10
KCMO, MO

Always ignore the Airbnb bot suggestions on pricing. They are not accurate and don't take in to account. the different aspects of our properties.

 

Branka-and-Silvia0
Level 10
Zagreb, Croatia

@Laura2592  **

 

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