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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Cannes Part 1: Why brands must put human interactions at the heart of their business

As a Media Juror at this year’s Cannes Lions, I was fortunate enough to attend the world’s most influential festival of creativity and listen to thought-leading marketers from around the globe.

Nickie Scriven

CEO, Zenith

4 creative skills that will be useful forever

In recent times, the clarion call from futurists, economists, marketers, educators and leaders the world over is one of slight panic, “The world is changing and you’re not ready for it!” And of course, they make a very good point.

Kieran Flanagan and Dan Gregory

Speakers, trainers, co-authors

Why defining brand strategy is vital to capitalising on quick wins

Big brands were once protected from small brands by high barriers to entry. Big brands had the resources to employ big agencies, to crack big ideas and to invest in big campaigns. They had the luxury of time to debate strategies and work on long-term innovation pipelines. Retailers used to partner with big brands.

Troy McKinnna

Co-founder, Agents of Spring, Calm & Stormy

Being an investor who has an understanding of the finance industry, I would question the validity of this article, judging by the impairm...

Rowan

How a customer-led digital transformation has helped this CMO generate $6m in incremental business

Read more

An interesting update considering that today is the easiest way it has ever been to measure contribution to the business as well as the h...

Frederic

State of the CMO 2019: Tenure shortens, pressure is on as marketers strive to demonstrate impact

Read more

I thought this was what Salesforce Audience Studio (formerly Salesforce DMP) was supposed to do. How are a CDP and a DMP different? I'm c...

Tony Ahn

Salesforce announces customer data platform

Read more

Well written Vanessa!! Agreed with your view that human experience is marketing's next frontier. Those businesses who are focused on the ...

Clyde Griffith

Forget customer experience, human experience is marketing's next frontier

Read more

Great tips for tops skills need to develop and stay competitive

Nick

The top skills needed to stay competitive in a rapidly changing workforce

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in