We asked a few hosts to share what’s worked for them when experimenting with the pricing and availability of their experiences. From launching with a lower price, to adding additional availability during peak seasons, these hosts share how they’ve been able to attract and book even more guests. While the pricing and availability settings of your experiences are entirely up to you, we hope these tips provide some inspiration to help you reach your hosting goals.
Start with friends and family
When you first publish your experience you have the opportunity to make initial improvements that could set you up for long-term success. These hosts have found that hosting friends and family on their first few experiences gave them a chance to practice, and solicit feedback on pricing, timing, and value.
Get a ton of feedback from friends, and family, and play around with different prices to see what works best. When you’ve hit that sweet spot people will start to book, and then their positive word-of-mouth will spread. —Travis, San Francisco: Host of Lands End Rock Balancing
When we first launched, we asked our friends to book our experience…This allowed us to get their honest feedback, highlighting the needs to adjust the times we were offering to avoid the midday heat, start offering snacks, sun protection, and that the highest demand was on the weekends. —Jessie and Thomas, Los Angeles: Hosts of The Hollywood Sign Hike
When I was first starting my business, I tried to get people in my network (family friends, friends of friends) to go on my tours at a discounted rate. —Alexandra, San Francisco: Host of Hike to the top of Twin Peaks and Pacific Coast Hiking
Build social proof by starting with a lower price
Temporarily dropping your price was a top tip from successful hosts—helping them build reviews, credibility, and establish trust in the Airbnb community. While pricing is entirely up to you, it’s a good idea to set a price that balances your guests’ expectations with what your experience has to offer.
We decided from the beginning to start at a lower price. We wanted people to start to know us and start to do reviews…We started with €109 then €119 and then €123. —Luca and Lorenzo, Florence: Hosts of Cooking in the Chianti Hills
Regardless of how much traffic you get to your experience you have to get people to press the ‘book now’ button. That’s why pricing is important – don’t price yourself out of the market. —Travis, San Francisco: Host of Lands End Rock Balancing
Fun fact: Many of the most booked experiences are under $50
Add some extra value
When guests walk away from your experience, ideally they feel like they got a great value for the price they paid, and the time they spent with you. Little things can make a big difference! Some hosts offer sunscreen, snacks, or water, while others provide insider information, or their photography skills. Thoughtful gestures can go a long way toward helping guests feel like you went the extra mile.
Our approach is to always surpass our guests’ expectations, leaving them with a feeling that they’ve received more than what they paid for. We entertain our guests with amusing and historic stories surrounding the sign…We also take many creative photos for our guests so that they have something to remember their experience by.—Jessie and Thomas, Los Angeles: Hosts of The Hollywood Sign Hike
I take pictures of my guests’ activities…A few days after they’re gone, I send them email with their pictures and warmhearted messages. I’m doing this to let my guests remember the moments we had together…Another benefit of sending email is that I can remind them to write a review of my experience. —Hogan, Seoul: Host of Korean Home Food Cooking at Home
Go the extra mile on every experience in the beginning, even if you over capitalize, as the reviews you get will pave the way for your future bookings. —Paris, Cape Town: Host of Sunset Biking Under Table Mountain
Experiment with your calendar and availability
Some guests like to search and book last minute, while others search and book far in advance. That’s why it’s a good idea to have at least a few available experiences a month, for at least 2-3 months out. Just remember that guests can instantly book any dates you’ve made available on your calendar. Experimenting with the availability within your market was a top tip from hosts.
Doing photo shoots on a regular basis has helped me become more creative, while keeping the experience fresh for me, since I do not repeat the exact same locations. It’s also allowed me to become a better entrepreneur and problem solver, as I grow my business and brand. —Raul, Miami: Host of Street Cinema
I offer two different experiences and quickly found which was the most popular, so skewed my calendar to having the most popular experience available 5 days a week, and the other experiences for the other 2 days. I saw a good uptake over [peak] season, and was able to get frequent bookings from Nov through March. —Paris, Cape Town: Host of Sunset Biking Under Table Mountain
– The most booked days: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday
– The average traveler starts booking 7 weeks from their trip
– Most locals book on a Thursday for that upcoming weekend