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As the short term rental market grows more and more competitive, everyone is looking for the best way to get a leg up in the game. Some of the newest and fastest-growing services available to Airbnb hosts are data analytics subscriptions like AirDNA.
These services are high-powered and often high-priced. As such, many people find themselves looking for a lower cost or even free alternative. But are there any good ones out there?
Is there an AirDNA FREE alternative?
In short, not really. There are competing programs out there that all price differently when compared with AirDNA. If you’re willing to put in a lot of your own work, you can get some of the same results to help grow your short term rental business.
Follow along for more!
What is AirDNA?
AirDNA is a super powerful data analytics company that was formed to mee the needs of short-term rental owners looking to grow their business efficiently. Since then, they’ve branched out and begun catering to investment-minded people across the US to help them seek out rental hotspots and plan their next move.
AirDNA pulls data from several real estate and rental websites to give its users an idea of the value of their property and the properties nearby. With this data, they can price more strategically and (hopefully) get more bookings.
On the investment side of things, AirDNA looks at thousands of real estate markets across the US and analyzes trends in sales, house prices, rental income, occupancy, and more to help people decide where to buy the rental property of their dreams. This is currently only available in the US, so investors looking for foreign data will be out of luck.
AirDNA doesn’t currently offer automated price changes the way that some of its competitors do. This requires a bit more legwork on your part, but I think they more than make up for the lack of automation with how robust their dataset seems to be.
What makes AirDNA special?
AirDNA has made a name for itself in the short term rental management community for its startup vibe and its impressive analytics services. While there are definitely other smart pricing tools out there, not all of them are as transparent as AirDNA about the numbers behind the magic price they spit out at the end of the equation.
AirDNA provides users with downloadable data in the form of spreadsheets for anyone who wants to do some analyzing of their own. For non-Excel wizards, their easy to understand interface will give you all the information you need to form your pricing strategy with colorful charts, graphs, and icons to point you in the right direction.
My favorite feature is their Market Minder, which is an interactive map reminiscent of homebuying sites like Zillow (in fact, Zillow is one of their data input sources!). It’s fun to use, and doesn’t even feel like research!
You can literally spy on your competition, as the map will show you what others around you are charging, what their occupancy percentage is, their estimated revenue, and even their reviews. What more could you ask for? You’ll have all the information you could hope for in order to make an educated pricing decision and be able to reap the benefits in real time.
AirDNA charges a monthly fee for users to gain access to analytics for their market area. The monthly fee varies by user and is based on the size of the market you’re living in (or rather where your rental property is located). The market size is determined by how many active listings are in your set area.
Think you’re ready to give it a try? How about a FREE AirDNA promo code!
Rental Recon Tip: Not ready to pay a monthly fee for pricing information? As long as you’re not afraid of a little hard work, you can still find valuable insights on your own for free! See below…
Mashvisor is one of AirDNA’s competitors that offers a very similar product for a (sometimes) lower price. They also feature pricing tiers based on the level of amenities your business needs, so it may or may not be cheaper than AirDNA. They also don’t price on market size, so it will depend on your location as well.
Unlike AirDNA, Mashvisor only focuses on the investment and real estate side of things. They do not cater specifically to Airbnb or short term rental hosts and don’t offer smart pricing tools. Due to this, Mashvisor is not a complete substitute for AirDNA.
They do offer some short term rental data to users, but this is more through the lens of investment property opportunities and not as a dynamic pricing tool. They help people find where in the US to invest in a place that they’re specifically to rent out as an Airbnb or other short term rental.
Want to learn more about how these two analytics giants stack up? Head over to my Mashvisor vs AirDNA review for some in-depth information!
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The closest company that I have found to AirDNA is called Alltherooms Analytics. They offer essentially the exact same thing as AirDNA and cater specifically to short term rental hosts while also providing services for real estate investors.
Like AirDNA, they price their packages by market size. The size options are small (0-99 active listings), medium (100-999 listings), and large (1000+ listings). They do also charge a setup fee no matter what package you choose. However, their monthly rates are significantly lower than AirDNA.
I couldn’t find many reputable reviews on them, so tread lightly. As a new company, I expect their presence will grow quickly if they provide everything they advertise.
If you don’t want to pay for any analytics software at all, there are still ways to get quality results and improve your business completely on your own for FREE. Obviously, it will require a lot of work and data gathering on your own, and your results still might not mirror what these high-powered companies and their algorithms can give you. Nonetheless, it’s absolutely worth a shot!
The best way to gather information on the competition is already at your fingertips. In fact, you may have already been doing this without knowing it! Searching on Airbnb, Booking.com, VRBO, HomeAway, and wherever else you list your property will help you gather intel on what others are charging.
It won’t be quite as easy as looking at an AirDNA dashboard, and you may not get all the information such as occupancy rates and estimated revenue. However, it’s still very worthwhile and definitely something you should start doing ASAP if you’re not already!
Another way to test the waters and predict your future success is to Airbnb multiple listings for the same property. While you technically cannot do exactly that, you can try something similar like renting out different rooms separately, and at different rates, to see which strategy works best for you. Try offering different things like last-minute deals, weekend rates, seasonal discounts, and more to find out what gets you the most bookings!
Finally, don’t forget to track your data! Doing the experimenting is the fun part, analyzing the numbers… not so much. But how will you learn if you don’t take a step back to figure out what was really worth the effort? Keeping a simple Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheet going of your attempts and how much revenue you’ve earned is the best and most accessible way to do this.