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With a plethora of Airbnb and vacation rental pricing tools available, how is a host supposed to choose just one? An even better question: will the one they choose even help them in the long run? Rental Recon is here to help you decide!
AirDNA is a data-rich service that claims to help hosts make decisions on pricing, competitiveness, and even investments as easily as possible. But as a paid service, are they worth your hard-earned money?
So Is AirDNA Worth It?
AirDNA is a great value for the services they provide. In depth analytics, customized reports, and investment advice could cost thousands from other companies. AirDNA provides these for a low monthly fee and is an extremely beneficial service for Airbnb hosts!
What is AirDNA?
AirDNA is a powerhouse of data processing designed to help short term rental owners optimize their pricing strategies to maximize income and competitiveness in their area.
AirDNA offers a few different kinds of accounts. The most popular one amongst Airbnb hosts is their Market Minder service. This allows you to use an interactive map to browse Airbnb listings in your area and view data such as occupancy rates, revenue, daily rates, and more. Knowing the competition is the best way to gain the upper hand, after all!
Another account type that they offer is the Investment Explorer account. This allows potential real estate investors to view tons of different markets across the US and see which areas are on the up-and-up in terms of revenue from short term rentals. If you’re looking to start your real estate empire, this is the account for you!
AirDNA charges a monthly fee for their Market Minder accounts based on the size of the market your Airbnb is located in. The larger the market, the more the monthly fee.
AirDNA Pros and Cons
AirDNA’s strongest feature by far is the breadth and depth of data they offer. No one else that I am aware of offers property-specific analysis that essentially allows you a glimpse into the way that others are running their Airbnbs.
The reach of their data is even more evident to users with Investment Explorer accounts. Imagine being able to look at just about any city in the US and see which locations are forecasted to make you the most money in the short term rental business. With AirDNA, you can do just that!
A major drawback to AirDNA (at least in my opinion) is the fact that they charge for Market Minder accounts based on market size. This could essentially unfairly punish someone for living in a larger metropolitan area simply because they have more competition. This pricing scheme puts AirDNA at a disadvantage when compared to some of its more cost-effective competitors.
AirDNA also doesn’t currently offer any automated pricing options, which means it requires constant checking and manual price adjustments on the part of the host. Some people might not view this as an issue, but I would love to see automation implemented in the near future.
Rental Recon Tip: Don’t let cost alone dissuade you from (at least) trying a service. Most of them offer some sort of free trial, and at the very least you can always cancel after a month or two if the service isn’t working out. There’s a reason that there are so many popular options out there, so get used to the idea of investing in your business and watch it grow!
Looking for more options that cater to landlords or larger property managers? Don’t forget my Buildium review!
Check Out These Other Articles on Rental Recon:
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- Dealcheck Vs. DealCrunch: Here’s The Best Option for Investors…
- DealCheck Free Alternatives: Here Are Your Options
How do you use AirDNA?
Using AirDNA is pretty simple. Once you sign up for an account (there are several types available, with Market Minder being their most popular amongst hosts), you can connect you Airbnb and VRBO accounts. It will then begin to pull analytics for you and you’ll be on your way to simplified competitive pricing!
What is an AirDNA score?
AirDNA offers a feature to Airbnb seekers where they can see a sort-of “grade” given to each listing by their algorithm. These grades are calculated by factoring in a number of things like customer satisfaction, Super Host status, reviews, instant bookings, host responsiveness, and more.
The listings with the highest AirDNA score can earn “Gold Medal Property” status, giving them priority in guest searches (not to mention how great a gold medal looks next to your listing!).
It’s important to mention that these scores only show up to guest searching on AirDNA’s website, NOT Airbnb itself. In spite of this, I find them pretty neat and a great compliment to the sometimes oversimplified star-review system currently used by Airbnb.
Is AirDNA accurate?
We’ve found AirDNA to be very accurate, and since it uses an algorithm that “learns” as it goes, it only gets better with time! You’re still always in complete control of your listing’s price, especially since AirDNA does not offer any automated pricing service as of yet.
Since the prices are a suggestion for you based on the current best available data, it is always up to you to make the change (or change nothing at all!). One of AirDNA’s most helpful tools is their trend reports which can help you predict when your best and worst rates might happen. Using this in conjunction with their price suggestions is the best recipe for success.
How do I price my vacation rental?
The age-old question: how much should I be charging? There isn’t a simple answer, unfortunately, or none of these pricing services would exist! However, there are a few tips and tricks to help guide hosts looking to maximize their Airbnb’s economic potential.
The most important (and most often missed) part of the pricing equation is that you don’t forget to pay yourself. You might think that the nightly rate of your Airbnb is automatically your “payment”, but does it truly cover the amount of time and work you put into running it?
Consider how much you would pay a cleaning person hourly. Then how much you might spend at a laundromat washing bedding. How much you pay to keep the lights on, the water running, the yard landscaped, and so on… Does your rate reflect these costs? If not, make the change!
Second, consider your competition. If you can’t afford to price ultra-competitively to get more bookings than them, what else can you do to set yourself apart? Maybe you offer extra amenities, allow pets, or offer late check-outs. Whatever your assets are, emphasize them!
Third, change your prices frequently. Airbnb is not a “set it and forget it” business, and hands-off hosting isn’t very attainable without using some kind of automation software. What happens if you increase your prices over a weekend? Decrease them to encourage last-minute bookings? Trying a few different strategies is the only way to find out!
Finally, give pricing services a try! AirDNA is a great one, as we’ve mentioned in detail above. Their approach takes the guesswork out of pricing and gives you a scientifically calculated methodology to follow.
After a while of shopping around for pricing tools, they can all start to look the same. If you want a direction to get started, check out my in-depth Mashvisor vs. AirDNA head-to-head review today!