New Airbnb tool helps hosts figure out how much to charge

The company is also making some of its machine learning software open source

Mike Curtis, VP of engineering at Airbnb, speaking during the company's OpenAir summit in San Francisco on June 4, 2015.
Mike Curtis, VP of engineering at Airbnb, speaking during the company's OpenAir summit in San Francisco on June 4, 2015.
  • Mike Curtis, VP of engineering at Airbnb, speaking during the company's OpenAir summit in San Francisco on June 4, 2015.
  • Airbnb's logo, at the company's headquarters in San Francisco.
  • Tagline is AirBnB's new price tips tool
  • Tagline is AirBnB's new price tips tool
  • Tagline is AirBnB's new price tips tool
View all images

Roughly half a million people now stay in AirBnB accommodations worldwide each night, double the number from a year ago. But a big question AirBnB hosts wrestle with is how much they should charge their guests.

AirBnB is releasing a new tool Thursday called Price Tips to help answer that question. It looks at a range of signals, including seasonality and the unique features a host has to offer. It also looks at demand, so if there's a big conference in town, the tool will suggest a higher price.

Price Tips can also tell a host how likely it is their property will be booked at various price levels. The tool will be available Thursday in the calendar section of Airbnb's website.

In its tests, Airbnb found that if hosts set their price to within 5 percent of the recommendation, they're 5 times as likely to receive a booking, Mike Curtis, vice president of engineering at Airbnb, told reporters at the company's OpenAir event in San Francisco.

It's the second time AirBnB has hosted the annual event, for engineers and third-party developers. Roughly 800 people attended, up from 300 last year.

Price Tips is based on machine learning and data analysis technology that AirBnB has been developing. The company sits on a wealth of data about how people search for and book places to stay, and it's only just starting to make full use of it.

On Thursday it said it will open source some of the software that underpins its machine learning system. Called Aerosolve, the software has been posted to the GitHub software repository.

AirBnB uses it for a variety of purposes including fraud prediction and ranking search results.

Last year, it began analyzing its hosts' preferences for bookings, such as if they prefer frequent but shorter stays. Now, when travelers search Airbnb's listings, the company presents results based partly on what sorts of bookings the hosts prefer.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Is AI on course to take over human creativity?

Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.

Jason Dooris

CEO and founder, Atomic 212

Are you leading technology changes or is technology leading you?

In a recent conversation with a chief technology officer, he asserted all digital technology changes in his organisation were being led by IT and not by marketing. It made me wonder: How long a marketing function like this could survive?

Jean-Luc Ambrosi

Author, marketer

Disruption Down Under – What’s Amazon’s real competitive advantage?

Savvy shoppers wait in anticipation, while Australian retailers are gearing up for the onslaught. Amazon’s arrival is imminent.

Online brands are increasingly becoming important. It’s essential that all your digital assets have brand values that are in sync with th...

R6S Marketing Agency

Predictions: 16 digital marketing trends for 2016

Read more

Oracle is toothless, it has zero. They don't understand what AI is.

Ilya Geller

Exclusive CMO interview: Where Oracle is heading with AI in marketing

Read more

The concept of liquid expectations is on the rise, and happy customer experience directly relates to the ease of finding a solution. Most...

Karanbir Singh

New digital trends report predicts a year of liquid customer expectations and design thinking

Read more

Great article, Thanks for sharing with us. I would like to recommended list of top customer loyalty software for small to large scale of ...

Matts Frigian

How brands are ramping up customer loyalty program spending in 2017

Read more

“We’re in an arms race for finite attention.”What a statement that is. I am so glad that someone of Steve's caliber comes out about the m...

Peter Strohkorb

Marketo CEO: Ditch the volume game, focus on value

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in