Your Airbnb pricing strategy is the one factor that will make or break your vacation rental business. One of the keys to your success in running profitable rentals is pricing correctly. A lot of hosts make the mistake of pricing too low, or worse, using Airbnb Smart Pricing. The key indicator of this is that their calendar is full months ahead of time. They proudly brag about their rental’s success, but they don’t realize one huge thing. They are earning way less than they could be.
Some people might not even think to ask this question. The answer is not a simple one, and that is: it depends. If your calendar is full a few weeks out, that can be a good sign. However, if you are booked entirely for the next 90 days, you might not be charging enough. Most vacation rental bookings happen less than 30 days from the date of check-in. So, if you are booked a large amount beyond 30 days, maybe your listing is just that awesome. But it is far more likely your Airbnb pricing was too good a deal for guests to pass up!
There are multiple Airbnb pricing platforms with which you may have better results. In our experience, Wheelhouse and BeyondPricing have been the most successful. Wheelhouse offers slightly lower fees and has better results. A good pricing app will give you a good benchmark to see how you’re doing. In the case of Wheelhouse and BeyondPricing, each gives you a score out of 100 to see how you’re doing. Both apps recommend a starting base price to you, but Wheelhouse offers superior flexibility and automatically adjusts your base price as it sees fit. Fine-tuning the base price is necessary to ensure success.
Your pricing has a huge impact on your Airbnb search result ranking. This is the most important component of vacation rental success. If no one can see your listing, they can’t book it. Airbnb’s algorithm makes its own determination on whether your pricing is a good value or not for any given date. You can check your ranking by searching for your own listing.
The trick to finding your listing is to first activate Private Browsing Mode or Incognito Mode on your browser. Otherwise, Airbnb will usually show your listings at the top of the results and other people might not be seeing it that way. When you search for your listing you’ll want to search for specific dates and always use your maximum guest occupancy.
It’s important to search for the location that the most guests will be searching for when they find your listing. Instead of Los Angeles, narrow your search to Hollywood because you probably won’t want to price competitively with the entire city. Once you run the search, take note of what page your listing is on or how far you have to scroll to find it. Do you have to do this every day? No! One of our favorite hosting tools, Hospitable (formerly Smartbnb), will do it for you. Check out our article here that gives the full rundown on Hospitable.
If you’ve gone through a lot of pages and can’t find your listing, then chances are you are either looking at dates too far in the future, or your Airbnb pricing is too high. Read the next section before making any decisions on what this means for your listing.
Now that you know how to figure out your ranking for any given date, let’s look into what this means. If you are looking at dates more than 90 days away, you don’t want to see your listing anywhere near the first page. If you are looking at dates a few days from now, you want to be toward the top of the search results.
People won’t look through too many options before making their choice, so visibility is very important – especially when the clock is ticking. Our rule of thumb is we want to be on the page corresponding to how many weeks away the dates are. So if the date is two weeks away, we’d be happy to be on Page 2. Page 2 allows us to have a slightly higher price while still having a very good chance of people finding us.
Search ranking is extremely important and relies on a combination of many different factors. While we touched on how it relates to Airbnb Smart Pricing here, there are many more ways it can be affected. It is highly recommended that all hosts, both new and advanced, check out our article on search rankings.
Originally from Connecticut, Kevin moved to Los Angeles in 2013 and worked his way up to becoming an editor on award-winning reality TV shows. Kevin owns 4 short term rentals in Southern California and founded AirHost Academy to help other hosts improve their business.
Top 4 Reasons Why ResortCleaning is Must-Have Software for Property Management Companies
Elevate Your Vacation Rental with AI: A Quick Guide for Hosts
How to Use Canva to Make Your Short-Term Rental Stand Out Among The Best
Boostly, Lodgify, and OwnerRez: 3 Direct Booking Options For Your Short-Term Rental
6 Top New Features for Airbnb Hosts in 2023: What You Need to Know
How To Sell Items in Your Airbnb With BnSellit
The Best Smart Home Devices for Airbnb in 2023
Do You Need Vacation Rental Management Software?