Airbnb Smart Pricing and Its Alternatives

airbnb smart pricing

By  The Hospitable Team

An effective Airbnb pricing strategy is crucial for your success on the platform, whether you rent out an apartment in an urban area, a ski house rental in the mountains, or a treehouse surrounded by nature. However, finding the right, competitive nightly rates for your listings can be tricky.

That’s why Airbnb offers hosts the opportunity to turn on its Smart Pricing tool, which can help you adjust the nightly rates for your property based on different factors. But is Airbnb Smart Pricing the right option for your listing? Can it help keep your rates competitive and optimize them for maximum revenue?

In this blog article, we’ll discuss how Airbnb Smart Pricing works and look at its alternatives to help you set the best nightly rates for your listing.

What Is Airbnb Smart Pricing?

It’s a built-in dynamic pricing tool that helps Airbnb hosts adjust their prices over time to respond to travel trends in their local area. Airbnb Smart Pricing analyzes and evaluates relevant data for each property listing to calculate and adjust the nightly price.

The tool uses various factors about your listing and area and automatically updates the nightly rate to match the demand of the relevant market. But it does it only within a minimum to a maximum price range you have set.

This tool can be helpful if you want to continue to optimize your Airbnb pricing without constantly monitoring it. Implementing smart pricing aims to increase the chances of getting booked for your vacation rental property.

When you get a lot of bookings, managing them can be rather time-consuming. That’s why savvy Airbnb hosts use vacation rental software like Hospitable, which can help you streamline almost all operations and put your STR business on autopilot.

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It’s up to you to decide whether, when, and how to use Airbnb Smart Pricing.

  • You can turn this Airbnb functionality by switching the Smart Pricing toggle in the Base price section under Pricing. You can also turn it off at any time.
  • You can set the minimum and maximum nightly prices that your listing won’t go below or above unless you also decide to set discounts or promotions.
  • You can override Smart Pricing on any date—you need to select specific unbooked dates in your calendar and turn off this feature on those dates.

Airbnb Pricing Algorithm: How Does It Work?

The tool works on an algorithm that generates price recommendations from metrics related to the property. After analyzing the relevant data, the Airbnb pricing algorithm will recommend the optimal price based on its calculations. It takes into account hundreds of factors, including:

  • Your listing details, like location (local demand), property type, amenities you offer, and guest reviews (their number and your average ratings)
  • Search activity in your local area, including how many travelers are searching certain dates and the average number of people who view your listing
  • Number of bookings in your local area, including those with similar types of property and amenities

Should You Use Airbnb Smart Pricing for Your Listing?

On paper, the platform’s built-in tool seems almost perfect, and it works for some hosts, but the general consensus on vacation rental host communities is mixed. Here are some reasons why Airbnb Smart Pricing may not be the best option for you:

  • The tool is aligned with Airbnb’s interests and prioritizes bookings over host income because of the commission that the platform takes for each booking.
  • Airbnb’s pricing decisions may favor guests over hosts, so the algorithm may lower prices to attract more guests.
  • Airbnb smart pricing is limited to Airbnb, so if you list on multiple channels, controlling prices and ensuring parity will be challenging.

What Are the Alternatives to Using Airbnb Smart Pricing?

You can set your prices yourself based on your market research, adjusting your pricing based on seasonality, events, and spikes in demand. But this process is very time-consuming, especially if you list several properties on multiple channels.

A better alternative is to use a third-party dynamic pricing tool that will give you the insights you need to set more profitable prices and help you maximize your profits. The good news is that Hospitable has integrations with several industry-leading dynamic pricing solutions with more advanced algorithms that automatically set prices for your properties based on thousands of data points. With Hospitable, updating prices won’t be confusing or time-consuming.

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Hospitable integrates with top dynamic pricing tools that respond more effectively to the slightest changes in market trends, fluctuations in demand and supply, seasonal changes, etc. They are designed to work for hosts and property managers and will help you stay competitive 365 days a year and maximize your revenue.

PriceLabs

PriceLabs is an easy-to-use revenue management tool for vacation rental owners and property managers powered by the Hyper Local Pulse (HLP) algorithm. It will provide intelligent price recommendations based on market data, considering factors like supply, demand, seasons, events, holidays, and your listing performance.

The tool directly integrates with OTA platforms, including Airbnb and Vrbo, as well as multiple property management systems and channel managers. This allows you to synchronize your nightly rates across your channels and avoid discrepancies.

Wheelhouse

Wheelhouse is a complete suite of revenue management products for hosts and property managers. It includes a fully transparent dynamic pricing engine powered by many years of cutting-edge data science research led by the company’s in-house PhD Data Science team. Wheelhouse breaks down its recommendations to help you understand why it’s suggesting a certain price.

Wheelhouse allows you to build your pricing strategy around your operational and financial goals and customizations, such as dynamic minimum stays, last-minute discounts, weekend rate adjustments, seasonality adjustments, and more. It also offers important comp sets to help you understand how your short-term rental is performing against the market.

Beyond

Beyond is a revenue management platform for vacation rental hosts and property managers. It offers an automated dynamic pricing solution that uses real-time market data to provide price recommendations for their hosts.

Beyond directly integrates with all the major OTAs and allows you to optimize prices to increase conversion rates on all your channels and maximize your revenue. The platform also gives you access to smart industry insights in real-time to help you make better business decisions so you don’t have to spend time researching your competitors.

DPGO

DPGO is a dynamic pricing tool for hosts, vacation rental owners, and short-term rental managers. It uses Artificial Intelligence to analyze over 200 market data parameters and provide hosts with price recommendations. Hosts can expand the AI recommendations with their own strategy preferences, taking advantage of last-minute and long-term discounts and seasonal and weekend price adjustments.

Buoy

Buoy is a dynamic pricing platform for vacation rentals launched in 2021 to enable vacation rental owners and managers to make data-informed decisions on pricing. Unlike other solutions that use a standard “base rate” set by users, Buoy uses an in-house developed “buoyancy point” algorithm derived from market conditions.

Buoy’s proprietary dashboard overlays disaggregated data. Users can filter it only to show what is relevant, such as their relative position to direct competition and how professional revenue managers predict upcoming demand. Users can then adjust their rates directly relative to their competition.

Rategenie

Rategenie is a dynamic pricing tool for short-term rentals that uses data-driven algorithms. It integrates with many OTAs, including Airbnb, HomeToGo, Expedia, Booking.com, and Agoda, and will automatically update your daily rates with the perfect price across multiple channels. Hosts can use pricing rules and additional customization options to create advanced rate strategies tailored to their business needs.

Rankbreeze

Rankbreeze is listing optimization software that helps vacation rental hosts get their Airbnb listings onto the first page of search results and attract more bookings for their properties. It enables hosts to track their Airbnb listings’ search rankings and provides them with tips for optimizing their titles, photos, and descriptions.

The tool also helps hosts optimize their nightly rates. Hosts can monitor their closest competitors that match their quality, location, and property type and know exactly when they should raise or lower their prices.

airbnb pricing strategy

Airbnb Pricing Strategy: Getting Started

When starting your STR business you have to decide on pricing strategy. In the back of your mind, you realize this could have a huge impact on how much money you make. But where do you start?
Start right here!

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Airbnb Accounting: Best Practices for Hosts

You need to keep track of your income, calculate expenses, take advantage of tax deductions, and make financial projections. That’s where Airbnb accounting comes in, and it’s an essential part of running a successful short-term rental business.

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