AirBnB/VRBO "Intelligent" Pricing

5 Replies

EDIT: Not sure how to delete this but found the thread I wanted: https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/530/topics/460056-anyone-using-automated-pricing-tools

This is a discussion I have seen get blown way out of control. You need to have a normally operating listing (not brand new or out of season) and you need to try each one for a month or two in your area. The algorithms that they run on operate fundamentally differently based on their perspective when they created them. This matters a lot when you account for where your listing is geographically. 

For instance, Beyond Pricing does not really bump the needle as it should when accounting for things like the NHL all star game and Gasparilla that are both happening here in Tampa on the 28th of Jan. These are both huge events for us and looking ahead, the prices haven't really budged.

In the end, no one will know this better than you. These services really only help me price for seasonality. Not events.

Hope that helps brother!

I see where Airbnb suggests I use the not so intelligent pricing. I have looked and it is about half what I'm getting on Homeaway. I already have to discount nights on Airbnb just to pickup a few rentals per year. Homeaway and VRBO is keeping my calendar full so it's no big deal to me that Airbnb doesn't work very well. I rent my whole house and am not running an Airbnb so maybe that has something to do with it. I have a high priced lake house and people seem to be bargain shopping on Airbnb. At least that is how it is working for my area.

@Andrew Wong - I think it doesn't make sense to use the automated tool after you have 10+ reviews, but in the beginning- I've heard it can help on Airbnb. My brother just listed his second place and had the nightly rate cut by $5-10 (from smart pricing) and was showing up on the third page. Once he switched it to Smartpricing, he was ranked third and started getting bookings. That said, I would put a basement price in there so that you aren't getting cheap bookings on holidays. I'd also take it off after awhile because I think it can undercut your longterm profits. For the first 10 or so reviews though, it's worth keeping it on.

The whole idea wouldn't be terrible if they would IMPROVE the feature!  I definitely haven't used it, but I might consider it if we were allowed to pick and choose specific dates.  Like it was said above, there are always important events on certain days, and we wouldn't want to screw up a hugely profitable timeframe because of an automated system that's oblivious to what's going on in our areas.  On top of that, in our area, as in many, we are booked completely solid, at full price, for a certain stretch of time, and there's no way I'd want "smart pricing" to come along and screw me over during those months.  If they would get it together and let us choose dates, I'd probably do it during our off-season.

Originally posted by @Erin Spradlin :

@Andrew Wong - I think it doesn't make sense to use the automated tool after you have 10+ reviews, but in the beginning- I've heard it can help on Airbnb. My brother just listed his second place and had the nightly rate cut by $5-10 (from smart pricing) and was showing up on the third page. Once he switched it to Smartpricing, he was ranked third and started getting bookings. That said, I would put a basement price in there so that you aren't getting cheap bookings on holidays. I'd also take it off after awhile because I think it can undercut your longterm profits. For the first 10 or so reviews though, it's worth keeping it on.

 This is insightful for people getting started! Thank you @Erin Spradlin. It seems like a lot of the guest booking process comes down to Airbnb's algorithm. And smartpricing being a piece of that. Cheers!

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