As an Airbnb host, you need to ask yourself: How will the constant addition of new places to rent affect my ability to consistently get bookings at the best possible rates? The first step is to identify your direct Airbnb competition. Identifying your competition will give you insight into the constant movement, rates, and supply within your neighborhood or market. We have given you two ways below; the easy way and the hard way.
The Easy Way
to identify your Airbnb competition.
“If you’re a new host, identifying your competitive set is crucial to determining your initial base rate and how to market your listing.” says Evan Hammer, CEO and co-founder Smart Host, a startup that helps hosts with pricing and market intelligence.
He went on to give us some advice, “For a new listing without reviews, we recommend setting your nightly rate lower than the lowest rate found within your competitive set. If you’re not getting many inquiries, it’s not low enough. Once you’ve earned three reviews, you can start to raise your rates towards the market average. ”
Using your Airbnb competition for dynamic pricing
After taking a look at Everbooked, it seems that their dynamic pricing service is based on analyzing your competition.
“Each one of our price recommendations comes with a set of similar listings you compete with. It’s important that we show the context of who you are competing with on a daily basis, as it’s one of the main factors that determines your listing’s value in the market”.
A service like Everbooked or AirDNA
can save you a ton of time on the research needed to get the most bookings at the best possible rate.
The Hard Way
Since Airbnb is a true marketplace, there is very little control when it comes to quality and booking activity for each listing. By doing some research on the active listings around you, you can see pricing, photos, headlines, or descriptions that make up a successful listing in your market. The best way to identify the active listings around you starts with using Airbnb’s powerful search functionality.
Use Airbnb’s search filters to narrow down your competition
Luckily, Airbnb’s search functionality gives travelers the ability to filter results based on dozens of listing features and amenities. These same search filters make it easy for you to identify all of the listings that are similar to yours. You can also use Airbnb’s interactive map and neighborhood filters to define your competitive area.
Let’s say you have a 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom apartment in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. You offer the entire place, two beds, internet access, and a kitchen. From Airbnb’s initial Brooklyn search page, you can filter your selections by the dimensions seen below.
Using these filters, Airbnb lists 242 rentals in the area. You know that Williamsburg is a large neighborhood, and parts are more popular than others (This is relevant to many neighborhoods throughout the world). You can zoom in using the map to find the exact area you’d like the listing results to be located. Once you’ve made your selections on the map, the search results will refresh, leaving you with 110+ listings
Make sure to bookmark the URL with your filtered search results so you can go back and reference the changes within your market on a regular basis. If you are trying to figure out your Airbnb competition for a certain date range, add check in and check out dates into the search to only see the available listings you’ll be competing with. Setting the dates will make the nightly advertised price more accurate without having to go into the listing’s calendar.
Compile the results into a spreadsheet
Now that you have your set of similar listings, it’s time to compile them into a spreadsheet for analysis. There’s the obvious manual data entry process, but that would take hours. (We’re all about efficiency!) We recommend using a web data extraction tool liked Import.io to help you automatically pull the search results into a spreadsheet.
Pro Tip: When using Import.io, be sure to navigate to the second page of Airbnb results to get the entire set of search results.
Analyze the spreadsheet to find trends
Once you download the information into a spreadsheet, you can then parse the data to identify important intelligence about your Airbnb competition. Narrow down the results to match the number of reviews you have on your listing.
Out of the initial data pulled from Import.io, you’ll be able to determine metrics such as:
- Average number of reviews
- Average nightly rate
- Average rates filtered by number of reviews:
- Less than 5 reviews
- 5-20 reviews
- 21+ reviews
It’s worth narrowing the list further to only listings that closely match yours by type, location, and reviews. Information like cleaning fees, deposits, and minimum stay will give you guidance of what is common within your market. Another fruitful tactic is reviewing the listing’s calendar to see which dates are available or have been booked. The availability of a listing is one of the leading indicators for how active it is. Add these additional data points to your spreadsheet for future analysis.
When building or updating your listing, content is also important to catching a traveler’s eye. Look for common words or phrases used in the titles and descriptions on the most booked listings. These words or phrases could be referencing events, landmarks, or nearby transit options.
The constant growth and change of Airbnb’s marketplace will definitely affect the future performance of your listing. Analyzing your competition on a regular basis with Smart Host will help you make adjustments to book more and earn more as well!
What other tips do you have for analyzing your Airbnb competition? Have you walked your neighborhood? Talked with other hosts in the area? Let us know below!
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Great points on pricing — thanks! We also find that it is important to know your competition for other reasons — mutual support.
When you get to know your “competition” personally, they can become your colleagues and support system.
When we started hosting in Jan. 2014, we reached out to the hosts within a 3 mile radius of our Pasadena, CA home — https://www.airbnb.com/users/show/389657. After the first year we had a solid group of 20 hosts who meet monthly in each others’ homes and discuss issues concerning Airbnb hosting. We also help each other with guest check-ins, guest referrals, and last minute issues when we need coverage.
If you’re in our area, join us — email: [email protected]
If you like the idea, reach out to hosts in your own area. When each of us becomes stronger as a host all of of us benefit because the Airbnb experience is strengthened for each guest.