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.

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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicese-commerceAirbnbmobileinternetsearch engines

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?