Many of the most successful hosts notice something in their experience reviews – their guests raving about the great “value” of the experience. Guests feel like they got a good deal for what they paid. So, 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.
Pricing and setting expectations
When guests view your experience, they carefully evaluate the price based on what’s included and decide whether it feels reasonable for what they’re expecting. To imagine how guests might react to different prices, it’s helpful to put yourself in their shoes.
For example, a higher price might lead guests to expect a higher-end experience. Or a seemingly reasonable price of $75 for a dinner experience might seem expensive to two guests booking as a couple. Those guests will be considering what they could get for $150 if they went to a restaurant instead.
Guests may also calculate in “hidden” costs (such as transportation to/from the experience location if it is outside of the city center, any necessary equipment rental, etc) into their total. What “hidden” costs may be in your experience?
Guests often calculate the cost of what is included in the experience, compare this to the price they would pay to purchase on their own, and then deduct that from your experience price. The reality is that many are wondering, “Could I do this on my own without booking the experience?”
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 [Hollywood] sign…We also take many creative photos for our guests so that they have something to remember their experience by. – Thomas and Jessie, Hollywood sign hike hosts in Los Angeles
Demonstrating unique value
Keep in mind the value you, the host and expert, bring to your experience and try to find ways to highlight that in both your experience description and during the experience itself. For example, you could share the story of how you got started in the activity, or mention times you were recognized with awards or certifications for the activity.
We’ve heard from guests that they’re willing to pay more based on the host’s expertise and the feeling that they are receiving special or unique access they couldn’t otherwise get.
Share from your passion and love. This is what makes your offering unique. People are coming for something they can’t find elsewhere, so don’t be afraid to let your uniqueness shine through. – Alesha, yoga host in Barcelona
I tried to describe myself in a more personal way, but above all I understood that my guests were looking for my family stories and my cooking secrets in the same way. My experience is more than a cooking class, every time they take away recipes and a little piece of me. – Silvia, cooking host in Rome
Experimenting with price
You always control your price, so feel free to experiment to find what works best for you and your guests. You can even change the price for specific dates if no one has booked them yet to see how that impacts demand.
You can also experiment with what’s included, thereby potentially reducing your fixed costs. For example, Gabriela, a walking tour host in Rio de Janeiro, found that she could stop including a caipirinha (a Brazilian alcoholic drink) which allowed her to reduce the price and also open up her experience to families with children, which expanded her audience.
Find your pricing sweet spot, if it’s the right price you will get customers of a consistent basis. – Korey, photography host in Washington, DC
Many successful hosts start out at a lower price in order to attract early attention and get some feedback. You can read more about other hosts’ pricing strategies in this article.