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Running an Airbnb without a dynamic pricing tool is like selling your car without looking up the blue book value. In other words, you’d be guessing at its value.
Airbnb pricing tools give you an in-depth view of the market you’re involved in and help determine exactly what your rental is worth on a seasonal basis and what days you can boost your rates and ultimately boost your income.
I took the guesswork out of finding the right pricing tool by comparing three major pricing programs by services offered, ease of use, data sources, and cost to the owner. These four factors should give you an overall idea as to whether a pricing tool is right for you.
What is the best Airbnb pricing tool available for vacation rental hosts? How do these smart pricing tools stack up?
- Our Top Recommendation: Wheelhouse
- Runner Up: DPGO
- Notable Mention: PriceLabs
- Notable Mention: Beyond Pricing
I’ll go through all of the options and features for each of these platforms in the company summaries below. The chart below encapsulates a side-by-side comparison as well.
What is a Smart / Dynamic Pricing Tool and How Does it Work?
A dynamic pricing tool is a program that looks at your rental history and compares it with outside data. This data can come from a variety of sources but, all pricing tools compare your information with the information provided by other, similar rentals in the area to develop an ideal price point for your rental property.
Additional data is used as well, and this is where different pricing tools can become very different. Anything from local hotel information, seasonal changes, local celebrations, or even a college home game can change the ideal price point for your rental and different pricing tools use different data points to develop a recommendation.
Other factors that can set pricing tools apart include availability in your area, ease of use, features offered, and the cost to the owner. Pricing tools also give you the ability to track data associated with your rental so both the tool and you can mine the data for future pricing decisions.
Take a look at the three great services listed below and see if any are right for your rental investments.
Don’t forget to check out our Best Tools for Airbnb hosts article here…>>
Our Top Smart/ Dynamic Pricing Platform Recommendation: Wheelhouse
Wheelhouse is available in almost all US markets and even has options across the globe. Their pricing tool uses “conservative,” “aggressive,” and “recommended” pricing models to simplify the overall process for their clients but, you can customize the base price and maximum price which changes Wheelhouse‘s pricing recommendation.
There are also ten other adjustments you can make to pricing models including last-minute discounts to fill beds or adjustments for local special events.
We found that Wheelhouse significantly boosted our rental income, compared to doing pricing manually. Wheelhouse generated more income than when we were using the other pricing platforms mentioned in this article. DPGO also increased revenue significantly but not quite at the level that Wheelhouse did. Check out our DPGO section below.
We feel that Wheelhouse’s fees of 1% are reasonable for the features and capabilities that they provide.
The Wheelhouse platform is simple to use, and has great customer service to back you up. Their "conservative", "aggressive", and "recommended" pricing strategies are easy to understand and implement for your listings.
- Integrates with Airbnb, Trip Advisor & More
- Great Customer Service
- Easy to Use Platform
- Straight-Forward Percentage- Based Pricing
- Doesn't Integrate with VRBO/ HomeAway
- Might Price Your Listing Higher than Market Allows
I do like that Wheelhouse is strong when it comes to customer service. I tested each pricing tool on how responsive they were when contacted and Wheelhouse gave me an immediate response near midnight on a Monday night.
Summary of the Wheelhouse Platform:
Overall, we are really impressed with how Wheelhouse works. It has boosted our rental income about 21% when we average together all of our properties. It really has taken our business to the next level in terms of income.
A couple items that could use improvement: On several occasions, we had to save uploaded or inputted information several times for the info to become permanent. We also think that the suggested prices were too high for some weekends.
In addition, we felt that linking up Wheelhouse to our Airbnb account was a little clumsy and not very intuitive.
Check out our in-depth Wheelhouse Review article here…>>
Beyond Pricing Vs. Wheelhouse Vs. PriceLabs:
|PRICING PLATFORM:||WHEELHOUSE||BEYOND PRICING||PRICELABS|
|SERVICES OFFERED||-10+ Pricing Modes |
-Dynamic Pricing Algorithms
-Dynamic Pricing Algorithm
|-Multiple Channel Listings |
-Dynamic Pricing Algorithm
|EASE OF USE||-Chat & Email Communication Available |
-Good introductory information.
-Platform is well explained and easy to use
|-Only a Few Guides Available |
Good Search Feature
-No Chat Option
|-Comprehensive Learning Guides & Videos |
-Chat and Email Offered
-Detailed Pricing Layout and a Bit Complicated
|DATA SOURCES||-Historic/ Upcoming |
|-Days of the Week |
-Your Property’s Rental History
|-Historic Local Data |
-Projected Rental Supply & Demand
|COST TO OWNER||-1% of Nightly Rate (1-9 Listings)|
-.75% of Nightly Rate (10+ Listings)
|-30 Day Free Trial|
-1% of Nightly Rate
| -30 Day Free Trial |
-Set Price: Billed per Listing/ Month
-$19.99/ month for 1 Listing
Our Runner Up: DPGO
DPGO uses AI-driven software to analyze over 200 market data parameters to help Airbnb hosts increase occupancy rates by up to 90%. DPGO software reviews live data like reviews, local booking trends, and competitor’s pricing and makes predictions based on data so your Airbnb listing price will always be ahead of the curve.
When I used the DPGO dynamic pricing program, I was impressed with the control I still had over my listing. DPGO allowed me to set pricing rules for every aspect of the booking process. There are over 30 user input settings that I could adjust, like minimum price, maximum price, discounts, and weekend and holiday options.
My favorite part of the DPGO software that sets it apart from the competitors is its combination of dynamic pricing and property management software. I could use DPGO to also set booking rules for my Airbnb rental like minimum stays, time-based rules, and date-specific rules.
The growth performance feature was another benefit that allowed me to easily track how my listing was performing. DPGO provided me with a health score that allowed me to understand the performance. The health score is based on the frequency of bookings and how the property is attracting bookings.
DPGO offers competitive pricing with two options for payment. Airbnb hosts can either pay 0.5% of the booked price, or they can pay $1 per booked night. Both options include all of DPGO’s features and a 30-day free trial of the program.
Click button to get $10 off your first month at DPGO >>
- AI-Driven Dynamic Pricing
- Customizable Strategy Settings
- Real-Time Local Market Data
- Flexible Payment Options
- Shorter Price Forecasting Range Than Competitors
Beyond Pricing is available in over 7,000 cities worldwide. This company serves most major cities in North America – but some rural areas and medium and small cities are not covered without a large vacation rental market. Between the pricing tools covered here, Beyond Pricing currently offers services in most rental markets.
Most of Beyond Pricing’s function occurs on the Dashboard and Calendar. You can manually change the pricing recommendations directly on the calendar though they strongly encourage you to use their default automated pricing settings.
This pricing tool is the simplest tool to use but is also the most limited in functionality. Beyond Pricing uses a composite measurement called the “Health Score” for determining how your property is performing in its market.
This score is marked with red, yellow, and green – red being the worst health and green best health. Compared to the wealth of information given by the other pricing tools in this article, this seems a little elementary for the savvy consumer. It definitely was for us…
Beyond Pricing only uses email for customer support, so if you want immediate assistance with rental pricing issues, this may not be the best pricing tool.
Our Overall Impression of Beyond Pricing:
We felt that Beyond Pricing was a satisfactory pricing tool. The “Health Meter” was not an overly useful tool for our business, but the rest of the pricing tool/ platform was easy to use and did a fair job in establishing competitive rates.
Check Out Our Other Reviews on Rentalrecon.com:
- In-Depth Beyond Pricing Review: Best Pricing Tool for Hosts?
- [*VERIFIED* 20% OFF MASHVISOR PROMO CODE ] DISCOUNT / COUPON CODE 2021
- [Our In-Depth Wheelhouse Review] 2021: Best Dynamic Pricing for Hosts?
PriceLabs has the most customizable pricing tool with the largest capacity to analyze your rental data. You can view statistics for revenue, booking rates, the average price per booking, and much more. PriceLabs is designed to manage large amounts of bookings for property managers as well as smaller, individual rentals.
Pricelabs is more complicated to use than Beyond Pricing or Wheelhouse, but the data mined from your rental and the surrounding community gives you wonderful insight into the correct pricing for your rental.
I do have to warn you that almost every time I attempted to chat with PriceLabs customer service, I received messages that they were offline and to try emailing them. I find that the inability to easily contact a company can dampen my enthusiasm for their product.
How Does PriceLabs Stack Up?
I was satisfied with PriceLabs‘ pricing results and I can report that higher revenue was generated using the platform than not using the platform. We did find that the service was quite expensive for the return. Some in the hosting community have complained about getting availability in their local market.
We strongly recommend Wheelhouse. They generated the most income overall, their platform was easy to use, and their customer service was quick to respond to any questions that we had. Wheelhouse has the user support structure needed to get your properties uploaded and running efficiently. The education tools are well designed and include video, manuals, and an efficient search menu.