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Deciding on the right price to charge for your listing can be a challenging task for anyone. You search your area to see what other hosts are charging, compare your listing to theirs, and wonder how you measure up. But what you don’t know is the price those listings actually get booked for (and how often they, in fact, get booked). You can’t tell how much interest your own listing is generating, or if travelers are willing to pay the price you’re asking. This is where Smart Pricing comes in, by keeping your nightly prices competitive as demand in your area changes. The goal of Smart Pricing is to increase your chance of getting booked.

We’ve heard feedback from hosts that the suggested prices you see can sometimes be higher or lower than what you expect. So we asked Smart Pricing experts to share some insights on how our models determine pricing suggestions. Here’s what they had to say!

How does Smart pricing determine its suggestions?

When you have Smart Pricing turned on, your pricing suggestions reflect the controls you’ve set, combined with a lot of data. In fact, Smart Pricing takes into account over 70 different factors that could change your price. These factors, plus your controls, determine the best price for each available night on your calendar, and your price updates to reflect changes in factors like:

  • Lead-time: as a check-in date approaches, your price will update
  • Market popularity: if more people are searching for homes in your area, your price will update
  • Seasonality: as you move into, or out of high season, your price will update
  • Listing popularity: if you get a lot of views and bookings, your price will update
  • Listing details: if you add amenities, such as WiFi, your price will update
  • Bookings history: as you get bookings, your future prices will be partly based on the prices you got for successful bookings. So, for instance, if you set your price higher than Smart Pricing suggests, and you get a successful booking at that price, the algorithm will update to reflect that.
  • Review history: Your prices update as you get more positive reviews from successful stays.

There are lots of factors at play—Smart Pricing even evaluates how many travelers look at your listing every day and how long they view it for! We really have built this tool to reflect factors you can’t discover just by simply comparing your listing page to others in the area.

What control do hosts have over setting their prices while using Smart Pricing?

Smart Pricing lets you set your prices to automatically match demand, with the goal of attracting bookings. To make sure you’re always comfortable with your listing’s daily prices, we give you a couple of simple settings to establish the boundaries you’re comfortable with:

  • The minimum price you set is the lowest your price will go when demand for your space is low. This means nightly prices may drop to attract more guests to book, but never below the threshold you set.
  • The maximum price you set is the highest price your listing can be booked for, even on high demand nights. You can set this as high as $10,000 per night, and it is not publicly displayed. Currently, every listing that uses Smart Pricing must include a maximum price setting.

At any time, if you see prices you disagree with for a date, you can just type a new price in your calendar or adjust your minimum or maximum price in your Smart Pricing settings.

How does Smart Pricing interact with other pricing settings?

Prices guests see can be adjusted based on some other settings you have in place, but not all.  For example:

  • If Smart Pricing is turned on, your weekend price setting will not be used. However, we will make sure the recommended price stays above your minimum price setting, including on weekends.
  • Extra guest fees and cleaning fees are applied to stays in the same way whether Smart Pricing is on or off.
  • Weekly and monthly discounts get applied to the prices on your calendar for longer stays whether Smart Pricing is on or off.

We’re always adding flexibility to Smart Pricing, such as the ability to turn it off for certain days only. And we appreciate hearing your ideas on how to improve this feature. We do this by surveying and interviewing hosts all over the globe, staying current on topics and comments in the community center, and testing new features with small groups of hosts.

That’s a long way to say, we appreciate all of your feedback and how much you care about helping improve the Airbnb products hosts use every day. Stay tuned for updates. And to see what other hosts are saying about Smart Pricing, join the conversation in the Community Center.