Yes, if you host on Airbnb, the company is going to send you ‘price tips’. And so many hosts are insulted by these…

‘My nightly rate is $150 per night and Airbnb tells me to reduce it to one-third of that – how dare they?’

Well firstly, they are not ‘telling’ you anything. The messages and emails are computer generated (and we all know how stupid computers can be, right?) And as pricing experts from Airbnb itself say:

‘Nobody understands the value of your listing the way you do. and the value of your home – and also the hos[itality that you provide.’

Okay? Let’s just have a quick example here. Our rentals are full apartments. We have two of them. They are very special and offer our guests plenty of fabulous amenities. We have many great reviews. The owner of the building right next door also offers hosting.

The accommodation offered is a third of the price of ours. So, thinks the computer program, the rentals are in the same location, it’s the same distance to the beach, the restaurants, the shops, the tourist sights… so they should be the same price right?

Well no, for a lot of reasons.

Their offering is a bedroom with a private bathroom. Ours are whole apartments with extras like luxury toiletries, fluffy bathrobes, on-site concierge, welcome package – oh, far too many extras to mention.

So the prices are fine. We both have our markets. Some guests want cheap and cheerful, others don’t. We don’t compete in just the same way that Ferarri or Rolls Royce doesn’t compete with Ford or Kia. No one is better, no one is worse, just different.

Airbnb goes on to say:

‘And it’s our intention that you always remain in control of your pricing and that you have responsibility for setting your pricing for your listing and for your goals.’

So far so good, yes? So just why do we get these price suggestions? Are all hosts really able to do so realistically? Airbnb goes on to say:

At the same time, we feel like it’s our responsibility to provide you with the data that is going to help you figure out the price for each night so that you’re achieving whatever goals you’ve set out for yourself as a host. To this end we often put pricing information in front of you. 

We tell you what the prevailing demand is in your market, or we might make specific pricing recommendations.

And I want to underscore that even when we put a specific price in front of you, this is not a judgment as to what we believe your hospitality and what your home are worth. It’s not an indication of how you should be pricing that night. We believe that we’re just putting information in front of you that you can use to determine the right price for your listing.

Some hosts have told us that they really appreciate the information and they love this information and other hosts have told us that it’s not so useful.’

That’s good then. You are one of the hosts who doesn’t find the information useful? Then if you get an email with pricing suggestions you’ll see that you can click a link on the email to tell Airbnb exactly that. You can educate the system so down the line, they know your preferences.

Remember that Airbnb (and especially its computer programs) need to know. They need to learn and you can help them.



JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.
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