Airbnb Answers: Pricing tools that drive host success
You asked: Can Airbnb offer hosts more flexibility and options to set our pricing?
Leading up to the last Host Q&A, you asked for more flexibility with your pricing options. We went straight to the team that plans and builds these tools to see what’s on the horizon. What we learned was surprising. It turns out we’ve built solutions for much of what you’re asking for, but lots of hosts don’t know about or use the pricing settings available. We also found out that sometimes offering certain types of discounts harms rather than helps your business. Intrigued? We were too.
To make sure you have the latest insights on pricing, let’s take a look at what your options are and how your feedback influences what we build.
Current pricing options
You specifically asked for the ability to set different prices according to a guest’s length of stay, or based on the days of the week (for example, charging a different price for middle of the week vs. weekend stays). We actually have tools that help you do both! You can offer a discount for stays longer than a week or a month, and you can set up custom weekend pricing.
You also asked about charging guests based on the number of beds they use, rather than the number of guests staying in the listing. While we understand that more beds used means more linens to clean, it’s sometimes difficult for guests to anticipate how many beds they’ll use at the time of booking. For example, not every listing describes if beds are queen-sized or double, how many sleeper sofas there are, or how the beds are arranged in a room. Some guests may want to see the place before deciding if they’ll share a double bed with a friend or sleep on the pull-out couch. However, guests can accurately and confidently say how many people will be staying, and you can charge an extra guest fee to account for that. If the cost of cleaning and check-in for shorter stays is a concern, you can add cleaning fees to offset those costs.
How host feedback is shaping our work
Your feedback shows us where things aren’t working for you, and where we can do better. Based on what you’ve told us, we’re focusing our efforts on making every tool more accessible and intuitive. And we’re helping hosts understand how pricing tools work together, which rules take priority when multiple rules overlap, and how to use the tools you have for maximum benefit to you.
When it comes to building new pricing tools, we try to account for a multitude of host preferences while keeping things simple enough for guests to still want to book your space with Airbnb. To do this, we solicit host feedback, test new ideas, and notice what happens to bookings when we add new options.
Here’s a little insight into how we test and pass along our learnings to you: Sometimes we can anticipate reliable opportunities to boost your earnings. For example, you may have seen insight messages on your calendar and emails highlighting discount opportunities for specific dates that would otherwise go unbooked. When you apply these discounts, we highlight to travelers the value you’re offering and that attracts bookings.
Alternatively, sometimes we find that less is more—like in a recent test in which hosts added discounts for 3- to 6-night stays in areas we noticed travelers were searching for accommodation, and it turned out the guests who booked those discounted spaces would likely have booked the listing at the regular price for the same duration. It’s these types of insights that we pass along to you in how we build and what we recommend.
You always have control over the price you set for your space. And we’re committed to sharing what we learn about pricing best practices. We’re excited that Airbnb offers competitive pricing flexibility for you, a simple booking experience for your guests, and the promise that we’ll continue to listen to your ideas about how to make pricing even better.
Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.