It's time to jump into the high tech part of setting up your Airbnb listing! As you take your listing live you will need to manually adjust your calendar prices, turn off the suggested monthly discount from Airbnb, and plug in your PriceLabs account to automate pricing for the best possible occupancy and revenue numbers. Don't worry! In this post we cover all of those steps in depth.
Step 7: Publish Your Listing and Manually Adjust Your Calendar Pricing Rates
It is critical to manually overwrite your Airbnb calendar pricing as soon you click the Publish button. Go to the Calendar tab within your account and highlight all available days in the current month by dragging your cursor over the dates. Then click the X next to the Smart Pricing option, showing in the right column of your computer screen. This turns off the base rate suggestions from Airbnb. Type in a new high interim nightly rate of $300–$400 per night and click Save to have that price applied to all highlighted days in that month.
Scroll down to the next month and highlight all days in that month as well. Follow the same process of turning off Smart Pricing and adding in your new interim nightly rate. Repeat this for the next twelve months in your calendar. For example, if you are publishing your listing in January 2022, fill in the monthly pricing through January 2023.
Inputting your new interim high pricing across your calendar will both give you breathing room to set up and connect PriceLabs and will protect you from guests booking several weeks in your calendar for very low rates. You do not want someone to scoop your place for Thanksgiving or Christmas at $89 per night while you are in the setup process. This has unfortunately happened to me in the past.
You have now manually overwritten the SmartPricing suggested by Airbnb. It is wise to turn off Smart Pricing completely so it does not interfere with other tools you will plug in. Go to the Menu tab; select Listing from the drop-down menu; click Pricing, and click Availability. Then click Edit to the right of the pricing block and slide the toggle for Smart Pricing to the off position. You will need to confirm that you are turning off Smart Pricing and select your reason, which you will do in a pop up that appears.
While you are in the pricing section of your host account, you should turn off the Suggested Monthly Discount. One reason to do this is at $350 a night, it is not feasible for a guest to book your rental for an entire month at $10,500. They will ask for a discount. The second reason to avoid bookings over 28 days in length is that your role as a short-term host legally shifts to landlord. This makes evicting month-plus guests very difficult. Skip the lower rates and drama associated with long-term stays by sticking to your original pricing and short-term stays.
Note that Airbnb automatically blocks the first week on your rental calendar. This is something you must manually unblock. If you as a host and your property are completely ready for guests, highlight the entire seven days that are blocked, click Available, and enter your interim nightly rate.
Step 8: Create Your PriceLabs Account and Connect It to Your Listing
As an overview, you will create a PriceLabs account and connect it to your new listing. Then you will experiment with base prices and review suggested prices. When you are comfortable with the base rate, you will do some manual discounting to attract those first few guest stays. Finally, you will sync PriceLabs with your Airbnb listing calendar,which will overwrite the high interim prices you initially set up.
PriceLabs is an extremely helpful and powerful tool that dynamically sets pricing based on real-time and historic Airbnb rental data in your market. It takes into account historically booked prices, other competitors’ listing occupancies, and current search volume for available booking dates in your area.
For example, you may not know that there is an upcoming festival in your market on a particular weekend. While PriceLabs may not know about the festival either, it knows that searches in the area are up 80 percent that weekend, and it will increase your nightly rates for high-demand dates. On one occasion, a family booked my cabin for over $800 per night, comprising two weekdays and two weekend nights. I had no idea why the nightly rate was so high. Upon further research, I found out that there was a college graduation that weekend in a neighboring town. PriceLabs made me an extra $400 per night for that four-night stay!
Other third-party dynamic pricing tools, such as WheelHouse and Beyond Pricing exist as options. But PriceLabs is the tool I use and recommend to my clients. To set up your PriceLabs account, close your Airbnb tab as you will be prompted to do so during the account validation process. Next, go to pricelabs.co and create a login. Then click Add Your Listing. You will need to confirm your Airbnb login and enter a PriceLabs verification code that will be sent to your cell phone.
When your screen refreshes, click the Review Prices button under the Calendar section. This allows the PriceLabs software to sync calendars with your Airbnb account, pull all pricing information, and make nightly pricing suggestions. You may be surprised by the variations you see. Take note of the suggested pricing for the month of December, presented below.
The next step is to click Help Choose a Base Price on the left side of your screen. PriceLabs will show you a suggested median price based on rentals in your market with a number of bedrooms equivalent to yours. This number is a suggestion that is typically a little high when first launching your short-term rental. You are not in livemode yet, so I suggest plugging in an experimental rate just below the median
area rate and then clicking Confirm.
Review the nightly price suggestions that result from your experimental rate. How do you feel about them? Are they too low or too high? There is an art and science to setting pricing. Click on the first day of the month and highlight through the last day of the month to get an instant overview. This will calculate the average nightly rate and totalrevenue for that month. Make sure to review these numbers for several months.
If you are getting started in a low season, you may be surprised by how different your price suggestions will be later in the higher season. Rental rates are often higher in spring and summer months, as more people travel during those seasons. Test the intelligence of the PriceLabs algorithm. Look at the nightly rates for holidays, such as Fourth of July or Christmas. Open a peak month in your market, such as July for ariverfront property. Your nightly rates for those dates should be much higher
than the base price you entered.
Your goal is to find a base rate with which you are comfortable and to allow PriceLabs to adjust nightly pricing according to its calculations of your market’s supply and demand. Once you are happy with your base rate and overall PriceLabs pricing structure, toggle the Sync Prices button to on, and then click the Sync Now button. Next, open your Airbnb listing in a web browser. All pricing from PriceLabs should appear in your Airbnb calendar immediately.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the concept and implementation of dynamic pricing, head to pricelabs.co. Their website offers numerous demonstration videos explaining how their tool works, best practices, and how to set up your account. Applying the level of technology offered by PriceLabs to your pricing is one of the main ways to reap maximum profits from your short-term rental property. It is a total game changer.
If you jumped into our setup series here, head back to our posts on signing up as a host and creating a new listing, on nightly pricing and creating your title and listing description, or on photo selection and pre-launch listing review to-do's to make sure you have the first six steps of setting up your Airbnb listing squared away before following the advice of this post.