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As an Airbnb host, you know how important it is to set the right price for your short-term rental.

But, there’s a lot of work that goes into calculating the best price to charge. Your pricing strategy will depend on factors such as location, amenities offered, and home size.

It can be tempting to do some market research, set a price, and never touch it again. While that might work in the short-term, you’re going to hurt your business in the long-term. If you’re not adjusting your prices based on market fluctuations, seasonality, and special events, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.

Because these adjustments take a lot of time and effort to manually calculate, many hosts use dynamic pricing tools. These tools have helped countless hosts earn up to 40% more revenue.

This article will compare three popular automated pricing tools: Wheelhouse, Beyond Pricing, and Pricelabs.

Wheelhouse, Beyond Pricing, Pricelabs

While I will go through these in detail later, here’s a chart summarizing some key information:

Automated Pricing Tool


Pricing

0.75-1% of total revenue

1-1.25% of total revenue

US, Canada, Europe: $19.99/month/listing

Other countries: $9.99/month/listing

Free Trial

30-day free trial

No free trial

30-day free trial

PMS Integrations

Hostfully, BookingSync, Guesty, MyVR

Smoobu, Direct™, BookingSync, Rentals United, Guesty, Orbirental, Beds24

Track, Streamline, V12, Escapia, Guesty, Barefoot, BookingSync, Ciirus, HostAway, Hostfully, LiveRez, MyVR, Smoobu, VRM, Vreasy, Rentals United, Kigo, Your Porter

Coverage

577+ global markets

7,000+ global markets

300+ global markets

Channel Integrations

Airbnb, TripAdvisor, Booking.com, HomeAway, VRBO

Airbnb, Booking, Homeaway, VRBO

Updates prices via PMS

In terms of features, here’s a chart comparing each pricing tool:

Automated Pricing Tool


Calendar Management

x

x

x

Data Synchronization

x

x

x

Price Management

x

x

x

Revenue Management

x

x

x

Demand Forecasting

x

x

x

Event Tracking

x

x

Cell

Predictive Analysis

x

x

Cell

Discount Management

x

Cell

x

Personalized Health Score

Cell

x

Cell

Chat and Email Support

x

Cell

x

Filtered Views

x

Cell

x

Customizable Pricing Models

x

Cell
Cell

Dynamic Minimum Stays

x

Cell

x

Multi-Currency Support

Cell

x

Cell

Occupancy-Based Adjustments

Cell
Cell

x

Retention Management

Cell

x

Cell

Why You Shouldn’t Use Airbnb’s Smart Pricing Tool

For hosts looking to automate their Airbnb pricing, it can be tempting to rely on Airbnb’s Smart Pricing. This tool is available through the Airbnb platform and is free to use.

Here’s an excerpt from Airbnb’s blog describing what Smart Pricing does: 

Smart Pricing described

Notice how Smart Pricing aims to “increase your chance of getting booked”? For many hosts who use Smart Pricing, this means lower nightly prices. Airbnb wants to maximize your occupancy rates, so it can maximize its own profits.

Another excerpt, this time from a Reddit thread on Airbnb’s Smart Pricing:

Airbnb’s Smart Pricing excerpt from reddit

Therefore, if you’re looking to maximize profits, it’s better to use an automated pricing tool instead.

Wheelhouse’s Strengths

When it comes to pricing, Wheelhouse emphasizes personalization. The tool seeks to build a strategy around your goals. For instance, when you set your base price, Wheelhouse offers three approaches. Your approach can be “more conservative”, “recommended”, or “more aggressive”.
Weelhouse base pricing

If your goal is to maximize occupancy, you can be more conservative with pricing. But, if you want to maximize your average daily rate, you can be more aggressive with pricing.

For hosts who are uncertain, Wheelhouse offers a balanced option that it calls “Recommended”.

Wheelhouse offers 10+ settings you can customize so your pricing is truly personalized. Some of these include last-minute discounts, weekend adjustments, and far-future pricing.

Another strength of Wheelhouse is its transparency. The platform breaks down its recommendations, so you know exactly why it’s suggesting a certain price.

Weelhouse calander

On the Calendar page, you can see Wheelhouse’s pricing recommendations. If you click on any of the days, you’ll see all the factors affecting pricing.

Weelhouse pricing

In this example, Wheelhouse recommends a price of €1,250. This is based on a variety of factors such as local demand, listing available, and timing.

Wheelhouse goes above and beyond its competitors in terms of event tracking. While most pricing tools acknowledge the impact of local events, Wheelhouse actually tells you what that event is.

In this case, there’s a baseball game between the Seattle Mariners and the Detroit Tigers. By knowing this, you can tailor your listing to appeal to these baseball fans.

Wheelhouse is also known for its user-friendliness. The platform is easy to use, and the user interface is top notch. The many charts and graphics provided make understanding market insights almost effortless.

As a GPFYP reader, you get your first 10 bookings free if you sign up now.

Beyond Pricing’s Strengths

Beyond Pricing distinguishes itself from its competitors with its unique Health Score. This score is a measure of how well your listing is doing at its current base price. In other words, the Health Score is based on your profitability, not your occupancy.

A Health Score lower than 60 indicates that you’re significantly overbooked or underbooked. If you book up too quickly, Beyond Pricing will recommend increasing your base price. But, if you book up too slowly, Beyond Pricing will recommend lowering your base price.

Ideally, you’d want your occupancy rates to be around 80% in the next 30 days and 30% for the next 90 days.

What’s really cool about Beyond Pricing is that it uses its Health Score to give you a better understanding of the local market.

Beyond pricing health score example

Beyond Pricing shows you the average prices, occupancy rates, and Health Scores of nearby listings. This helps you understand how your listing compares with its competitors. It recommends setting your base price based on Health Scores, instead of average prices

Beyond pricing calendar

Like Wheelhouse, Beyond Pricing is transparent in its pricing recommendations. You can see a breakdown of what’s impacting your prices.

For instance, the algorithm subtracted 32 Rands because Tuesdays are usually cheaper days.

While all prices in May 2020 are predicted to be lower than the base price, this is not always the case.

In some instances, the recommended price is significantly higher than the base price.

Beyond pricing example

Because of New Year’s, Beyond Pricing adds 1,344 Rands. 

Combined with other factors, this results in a new price of 2,523 Rands, an increase of over 180%.

While most hosts know to increase prices for New Year’s, it’s often a question of how much they should raise them.

Beyond Pricing solves this issue by looking at historic and current market conditions.

If you’re interested in trying out Beyond Pricing, you can use the discount code GP4YP for $60 in credits.

Pricelabs’s Strengths

In terms of customization, Pricelabs has the most options. One of the more unique settings is its occupancy-based adjustments.

Pricelab occupancy adjustments

You can set discounts and premiums that automatically kick in when your listing reaches a certain occupancy rate. For instance, Pricelab’s Default profile will discount your price by 30% if your occupancy rate is 20% or lower and it’s 0-15 days before the date.

Another advantage of Pricelabs is its extensive use of past data. Its algorithm looks at four years of local booking data to suggest historically-backed prices. It also looks at future bookings at other listings to identify potential trends.

Pricelab past data

Out of the pricing tools discussed in this article, Pricelabs is the most data-heavy. It gives you a lot of data about your listing and neighborhood. While these insights can be extremely helpful, it does make the platform a bit more complicated to use. As a result, there’s going to be more of a learning curve but the additional data insights can be invaluable.

Pricelabs is offering GPFYP readers a $10 discount (50% off your first listing) if you sign up now using the code GPFYP.

Conclusion: What’s the Better Pricing Tool?

Each of the pricing tools mentioned in this article has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. Wheelhouse’s personalized approach to pricing is great for hosts looking to tailor their strategy to their goals. Beyond Pricing’s Health Score allows hosts to better understand their listing’s profitability. Pricelabs’s analysis of extensive market data leads to highly applicable insights.

Users of each platform have seen their revenues increase by up to 40%. The “best” pricing tool for one host might differ from another’s. It’s about seeing which tool matches the best with your hosting style, needs, and preferences.

March 24, 2020
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