We are pretty sure that you must be feeling excited to know about the process and the cost of building a vacation rental app like Airbnb and the several innovative features and functionalities it offers. But before we jump on it let’s get some information about Airbnb and the business idea behind it.
Travelling has been a convenient source of excitement and thrill for most people around the world. Travel not only offers an opportunity for cultural exchange but also helps travelers to understand the perspective of other people. However, people often face challenges while planning their destination, keeping that under their budget and several other preferences.
Although, with the tech innovation, we have seen many task-specific applications, which assist users to complete a specific task. Airbnb is one such app, which fulfills the requirements of travelers, who want to rent a place for a temporary stay, that too while keeping budget, facilities, and other preferences in consideration. Let’s unroll some exciting information about Airbnb, it’s a business idea, features, etc.
How Airbnb started?
Table of Content
- 1 How Airbnb started?
- 2 What is Airbnb Application?
- 3 How Does Airbnb Work?
- 4 Airbnb Business Model
- 5 Who are Airbnb’s competitors?
- 6 Core Feature for an application like Airbnb
- 7 Niche Features of Airbnb – Airbnb Plus
- 8 How much does Airbnb Plus Cost?
- 9 What is the difference between Airbnb and Airbnb plus?
- 10 Airbnb like Application – Development Process
- 11 Technology Stack Airbnb built with
- 12 Airbnb like Application Development Cost
- 13 Additional Features to improve Application usability
- 14 How to promote an Airbnb type application?
- 15 Revenue Model for proposed Application
- 16 Let the Ideas Roll!
It was started in 2008, by two friends who had ample space to host 3 travelers, and they were looking for interested people who wanted comfortable accommodation at a low cost. This was a simple idea, but it inspired them to coin an exceptional platform, which acts as an online marketplace for travelers and hosts.
Airbnb has attained a massive following in the last couple of years. As per Statista report, Airbnb currently has 43.3 million registered users and is expected to reach 45.6 million users by 2022. It is available in more than 100,000 cities in 220 countries across the world. The name Airbnb is inspired by “Air mattress B&B”.
What is Airbnb Application?
Airbnb is a renowned vacation rental platform that connects the people who are looking for budget-friendly accommodations with the local people who are renting out their properties to travelers. The platform gained immense popularity due to its innovative offerings and today we have millions of registered users who are using Airbnb to fulfill their traveling needs. Airbnb provides an experience of a lifetime to its users and hosts.
Today we are living in a Technology era and the way the traveling sector is transforming, we can say that it is a brilliant idea to build robust and fastest-growing property rental booking apps like Airbnb. It could be a win-win proposition for startups and entrepreneurs. But the biggest question is “How much does it cost to build an application like Airbnb?”
Well, we may provide a straight answer, but before jumping over the app cost, it is important to understand what Airbnb does, how it operates, Airbnb business model, what sort of features it offers, and how it can help you to earn revenue. To answer all your concerns, we have prepared a full-fledged guide that covers all aspects of app development and cost to develop a mobile app (both Android and iOS) and web version of the service.
How Does Airbnb Work?
Airbnb offers two basic interfaces for Guests and Hosts. Airbnb provides complex services with tons of features to its users. If you want to develop an application like Airbnb, you should understand the functioning of the platform and its backend logic.
This is How Airbnb functions for Guests:
- The Guest opens the mobile or web app and registers or logs in as a Guest.
- User completes his/her profile and adds necessary information, address, payment-related information, ID number, and more.
- The Guest can apply various filters and select an appropriate place to live, based on his/her preference of location, dates, price, type of accommodation, and more.
- Then guest places the request for a stay and receives a booking confirmation.
- Guest makes the required payment for reservation and other services.
- The final step is to travel and enjoy the stay.
This is how Airbnb functions for Hosts?
- The Host also needs to register or log in and create the profile.
- The host must register a property on Airbnb, by adding the information of the property, its pictures, location, facilities available, type of apartment, number of guests allowed, etc.
- The host needs to upload real photos of their property and put the price as well.
- Once the guest places a request for a stay, the host can initiate a conversation and discuss further details like quiet hours, drinking and smoking availability, cleaning standards, pet friendliness, etc.
- If the host has the availability, then he can approve the stay and notifies the guest. At the same time, the host can reject the Guest’s request as well.
- The host gets the payment 24 hours after the Guest checks in. The Guest can post the reviews and ratings for the property.
Airbnb Business Model
Airbnb allows Hosts to put their spare property or house on rent to earn extra money. On the other hand, it enables any guest to book an apartment, flat, or house at various locations from all over the world. Airbnb is available as a web application and people can access it on leading mobile platforms such as Android and iOS, and now it can be accessed on smartwatches as well.
The revenue model for Airbnb is quite simple; it takes a share of the booking fees.
- The guest is supposed to pay 6-12% of the booking fee, which depends on the size and type of the reservation.
- The property Host must pay 3% for every transaction to Airbnb.
Who are Airbnb’s competitors?
Airbnb competitors include websites like Booking.com, Trivago, Vrbo, Tripadvisor, Expedia, Agoda, TUI Villas, HomeToGo.
Core Feature for an application like Airbnb
The Airbnb application is developed while keeping a two-sided marketplace in mind that is Traveler and Host. Here we are mentioning some must-have and core features of Airbnb. These features must be included in the travel application.
|For Travelers||For Host|
|Log-in / Sign-up – Users can Sign up and create a new account using an email address or mobile number. The login process should be easy and must offer a log-in facility via social media profiles, like Facebook, Twitter, or Google.||Log-in / Sign-Up – Host can Sign Up and create their account using the email address or mobile number. Just like travelers, hosts should also be able to log in via social media profiles.|
|Profile Management – The user can create and update the profile and add information such as name, contact information, address, and date of birth.||Profile Management – Host can create and update their profile. They can add personal information, contact information, and payment details.|
|Favorites – This feature enables users to select apartments and create a list for future use.||Activity Type – Here the host can mention additional activities and facilities available at their property that may provide some unique experience to the travelers.|
|Search and Filters – Using this feature the travelers search and select the destination and the accommodation they prefer. They can use multiple filters such as location, price, accommodation type, availability, etc.||Property Listing – This feature allows Hosts to list their property on the platform. They can put detailed information of their accommodation, facilities they offer, number of guests they can accommodate, high-resolution photographs, location information, and other facts.|
|Chat – This feature is important, as travelers always seek additional information from hosts about the accommodation, and they can chat with the Host at any point in time to clear doubts.||Reviews – The host’s profile must incorporate the reviews of previous guests, as this gives an impression of the quality of accommodation and service offering of the host.|
|Notifications – This feature helps Guests to receive instant notifications about their booking, payment, and other important information.||Requests – The host can access all the requests made by the travelers, assess them, and accept or reject them as per feasibility.|
|Booking – This is a must-have feature, from where the Guest can select the dates, property and make the booking.||Notifications – This feature helps Hosts to receive instant notifications of Guest requests, payments, booking confirmation, booking changes, unchecked requests, and more.|
|Reviews – By using this feature, the Guests can put their reviews and share their experience with the host and accommodation. These reviews help other travelers to make decisions, and it also helps Host to improve their services.||Chat – This feature is important for Hosts, as travelers always seek additional information about property, facilities, additional activities. The host can chat with the travelers to address their queries.|
|Experience – This is an innovative feature, where Guests can avail additional experience while staying at the property. The traveler can go for adventure sports, learn cooking, music, and other exciting opportunities during their stay.||Payments – This feature helps Hosts to keep a track of payments, generate invoices and other important billing-related documents.|
|Payments – This feature enables guests to make the payment against the booking. We must have an integrated payment gateway with multiple payment options to make this process seamless.||Booking listing: This feature enables Hosts to manage upcoming bookings, which could be listed on the calendar.|
|Cancellation – This feature helps a Guest to cancel the booking without any hassles. The application must have a cancellation and refund policy in place. This is quite important as sometimes travelers have to cancel their bookings due to unforeseen circumstances.||Ratings and Reviews – Hosts too can rate and place reviews of their guests as per their conduct and behavior.|
|Maps: It is a must-have feature, as it simplifies the booking process. It showcases the available properties on the map, from where the Guest can select them easily.||Cancellation and Refund – This feature helps Hosts to proceed with booking cancellation and process the Refund to the travelers.|
Niche Features of Airbnb – Airbnb Plus
Although we have covered most of the features of Airbnb hey, we have an extraordinary feature that gives Airbnb a leading-edge ahead of its competitors.
What is Airbnb plus?
Airbnb Plus is a niche offering of a company, where guests can book the highest quality homes with hosts known for attention to detail, brilliant service record, and review. Every listed property on Airbnb Plus is verified in-person by the quality inspection team to maintain a higher level of accommodation Quality, Comfort, and Design.
How to be listed on Airbnb plus?
In order to get Airbnb Badge, one must tick all the checkboxes on the Airbnb parameter list. Airbnb has listed these must-have parameters to apply for this service.
- Your property must be in the cities where Airbnb Plus is available.
- You must have at least one stay already
- You should be among the top reviewed hosts with an average rating of 4.8+ stars
- You must have accepted 95% of reservations
- You must have had no last-minute cancellations in the past year
- You must offer a private room, or an entire home, with a private bathroom.
Once Airbnb validates your application, then they proceed with the quality inspection process.
It starts with a Design test Airbnb sent a professional photographer along with a Quality inspector to the property, who clicks the photographs and inspects the accommodation based on a 100-plus-point checklist. Airbnb’s Design consultants verify the property and provide their scores on Design, Maintenance, Equipment, and Comfort.
They check if the interior design coupled with personal touches, the furniture layout is thoughtful, sophisticated artworks, clutter-free cabinets, and counters, necessary equipment that can reflect the host’s personality and style. Once all parameters are fulfilled then Airbnb provides an Airbnb Plus badge to the host.
How much does Airbnb Plus Cost?
Airbnb Plus accommodations are costlier than the standard Airbnb listings, largely due to the quality, conform and facilities they offer. A host can apply for Airbnb Plus program by paying a non-refundable application fee of $149, this fee covers the expense of your in-home inspection, quality report, and photography. Travelers have to shell more money to book these accommodations.
What is the difference between Airbnb and Airbnb plus?
The primary difference between a standard Airbnb and Airbnb Plus accommodation is in-person property verification, higher standards, and exceptional quality. Other important differences are as follows:
A guest can expect enthralling interiors, furniture, a beautifully designed house, and other aesthetics.
Airbnb hosts are responsible for maintenance, and a guest can expect regularly maintained exterior, interior, electrics, toiletries, and bedrooms.
Airbnb Plus accommodations are cut above standard Airbnb properties, so one can expect WiFi, house manual, TV, safety equipment, Iron, kitchen essentials, bathroom essentials at Airbnb Plus accommodation.
Airbnb Plus is famous for providing best in class guest experience. With Airbnb Plus, the guests can expect easy check-in, private bedrooms, separate storage space, and private bathrooms.
However, Airbnb Plus is available at limited destinations, therefor not all can avail this feature.
Why Airbnb plus is not operating?
Airbnb Plus program was launched without proper planning and assessment. In the initial year, less than 10% of the expected host applied for this program. Past that Airbnb faced lots of logistic, financial, and technical constraints which pushed them to abandon this program within 2 years of its launch. It was not beneficial for Airbnb and its hosts, hence it was ended.
How many days a year can you Airbnb?
An Airbnb host can’t let out his/her property for more than 90 days in a year, as Airbnb has put a limit on the number of night guests who can book your property per year.
Airbnb like Application – Development Process
Airbnb has attained unprecedented success in such a short time, which has inspired many developers and organizations to develop a travel application like Airbnb and aboard the success bandwagon. There could be some high-level business, Technical, and Architectural challenges while developing this application, but still, it’s a good idea to develop the app from the scratch.
We need to follow the below steps to build an Airbnb clone app. These steps will help you to initiate the development while saving money and time in the entire process.
- Set the Goal – An idea itself is not enough you must identify the goals and objectives of the proposed application. It is necessary to document the idea along with high-level objectives, as it forms the foundation of the entire app development life cycle.
- Document the Core features – In this phase, we will identify and document the core and additional features that need to be integrated into the app. You may list down some unique features, which may become a USP for the application.
- Select appropriate Platform – While designing an app, it is important to select the appropriate platform, as it helps us to identify the kind of system the app will execute, and what kind of technology we may have to use to develop it. The best approach is to decide if we are designing an application for iOS, Android, or it will be a mobile app or a web application.
- Application Design – This is an important phase, as we transform the requirements and ideas into visual features. The software developers can follow the visual guideline to write the codes in the next steps.
- Custom backend Development – Backend acts as the backbone of any application. Developers utilize various technologies and frameworks to develop a customized backend that helps developers integrate more benefits and features to the app.
- Develop Frontend – Once the Backend is ready, the developers can build attractive and user-friendly UI/UX for the app, as this entices the users to download the application and use it.
- App landing page development – An application landing page is an important component of an application, as it gives the end-users a first and the foremost impression about the application. It should be beautiful, crisp, and easy to navigate.
- Testing and Quality Assurance – In this phase we perform several types of software testing to identify and fix the programming bugs. This step is important, as it assures the quality and usability of the software.
- Application Release and Regular updates – Once the application is developed and tested, it could be released on various application platforms, from where the users can download it. It is critical to launching regular updates and bug fixes to enhance user data security and launch additional features to make the application popular among the users.
Technology Stack Airbnb built with
Airbnb is a reliable application, and it has gained massive popularity due to its robust architecture, which makes it easy to use and high performing. It is a Cloud-based app that allows it to scale quickly while handling heavy user workloads.
Airbnb is developed using the following Technology stack:
- Framework – Ruby on Rails
- Web server – Nginx
- Key-value storage – Redis
- Cloud storage – Amazon S3 and EBS
- Cloud hosting – Amazon EC2
- Cloud database – Amazon RDS, MySQL
- Big Data tools – Druid, Airpal, and Presto
Airbnb like Application Development Cost
The cost of developing an Airbnb-type application is very much dependent on the hourly rates of the team you are going to hire. This is the basic reason why most of the western countries outsource their projects to Asian countries like India. Here we have a comparison of average hourly rates in different regions.
|Region||Price Range||Average Price (Per Hour)|
So here it is quite visible that the application development cost of Travel app cost in USA and UK is quite expensive, whereas the cost is comparatively lower in India and South American countries. It is recommended to outsource the app development work to these countries, as they can offer the same product quality at fraction of the cost.
This is a rough cost estimate for the development of Airbnb type application. Though it still gives us a good insight into the efforts involved and costs incurred to make a successful online Travel app. However, this does not cover other efforts, such as project preparation, project release efforts, project promotion, communication efforts, and several other supporting activities during the shopping app development process.
Additional Features to improve Application usability
The above-mentioned core features can make your app convenient and user-friendly. However, in order to acquire a niche space among the competitors, we may have to add advanced features to make the application stand out.
- Voice Search
- Multiple Language support
- Currency Converter
- Weather updates
- AI aided Recommendation
- Super Guest and Super Host
How to promote an Airbnb type application?
So, by far we have discussed the application development process and its cost, but there is another aspect that contributes to the success of an application, that is promotion.
If we don’t promote an application properly, then it may be doomed. Below are the most common methods and strategies to promote a travel application among users.
- Social Media Campaigns – Targeted Social media campaigns can be used to promote the application on social media application platforms.
- User-generated content – Such type of content can be utilized to promote the application not only on social media but at other avenues as well.
- Customer review – Users can be asked to add reviews and ratings of applications that can encourage other users to install the application.
Revenue Model for proposed Application
Apart from the standard commission-based system, we can also use the following Revenue models to increase the earning and ROI.
|Peer to peer network||Advertising||Subscription|
|Our Application can act as a mediator between travelers and the property hosts. The travelers will pay rent for their stay, and we can charge a specific amount as a commission from both Host and Travelers.||We can place clickable buttons for making bookings, and charge commission only if a user clicks on that button. The button will redirect the user to a hotel website to process the booking.||We can offer subscription-based services, where additional services shall be provided to subscribers only.|
The travel industry has enormous potential for growth. Even amid the COVID situation, this industry is going to witness a massive growth in coming years, and investing in travel booking applications like Airbnb is a win-win decision for any startup or mid-sized organization.
We have covered all the aspects of app development in this blog, and we are pretty much sure that with the help of this blog, you will be able to determine the core components and features along with the efforts and cost it may incur to build a travel solution.
You may engage in-house developers or hire a software development company, as they will help you to evaluate the business requirement and integrate the latest technology and tools to develop a suitable application.
If you want to get our help to develop such an automated system for your organizations, then please get in touch with us. Our team of seasoned developers will develop a top-notch solution, with all the beneficial features at an affordable cost.
FAQs for Airbnb App
- How does Airbnb function for Guests?
Guest must follow the below process to use Airbnb
1. Register and login as a guest.
2. Create the User profile and submit personal information like username, age, and more.
3. Search accommodation using various filters and parameters
4. Choose suitable accommodation.
5. Make a request for a stay and get confirmation.
6. Make Payment using the credit/debit card via the Airbnb service.
7. Initiate the Traveling.
- How does Airbnb function for Hosts?
Host must follow the below process to use Airbnb
1.Register and Login on Airbnb service.
2.Host must list their house or apartment.
3.Host must upload real pictures of accommodation and provide further description.
4.Communicate with the potential customer by initiating a conversation with a guest.
5.Host can Accept or Reject the stay request from Host.
6.The Host receives the money once the guest check-in.
- How do Hosts can list their property on Airbnb?
Hosts can list their properties by following the below process.
1. Sign up and create account on Airbnb
2. To list the property, click on “List My Space” button.
3. Upload pictures, add description, location, features, and facilities offered.
4. Select if Hosts allow Instant Booking.
5. Select if you prefer to vet guests via booking request procedure.
6. Keep updating the listing once it is Live.
7. Address queries promptly to improve their ranking.
- How do Hosts receive payment from Airbnb?
Airbnb collects the payment from Guests on behalf of the Hosts, and it strictly discourages any sort of direct cash payment. The received money is held till 24 hours after Guest check-in, and then payment is transferred to the Host’s banking account. Airbnb deducts the 3% fee it charges as a commission on every booking.
- What is Airbnb Instant Book?
Airbnb Instant Books is a unique facility offered to Airbnb Guests. The guest can make these reservations directly and they do not need to ask or inquire about the host beforehand. The service allows guests to choose their travel dates, adhere to the house rules, and then book the stay and make the payment The hosts must update their listing and must make them ‘Instant book enabled’ so that guests can search these accommodations using the search filter “instant book”. This feature is quite popular among the guests as they don’t have to wait for Host approval, and this comes in very handy while making same-day bookings.
- What is ‘Airbnb Experiences’ Feature?
Airbnb Experiences is an innovative service offered to customers. It provides a plethora of activities and other engagements that locals in the area develop and lead. These activities are beyond the usual travel and Guest can avail these activities by paying a certain amount. Airbnb Experiences is a wonderful method for Hosts to share their skills, interests, and hobbies with the Guests and make their stay memorable.
- How a User can set up Multi-factor authentication on Airbnb?
User can either visit the Airbnb website or open the mobile application and then follow these steps.
1. Click on the Profile icon.
2. Click on the “Personal information.”
3. Tap on “Add” next to your number.
4. Airbnb will send you an automated Text, a 4-digit passcode, or the user can prefer a callback from Airbnb.
5. Setup Multi-Factor Authentication to enhance security.
- What measures Airbnb takes to prevent theft?
Airbnb employs strict validation protocols to assist the Hosts to screen and validate potential guests. Airbnb also offers a Host Guarantee program to provide adequate compensation in event of any property damage or theft.
- What are Airbnb House Rules?
Airbnb has laid down some important house rules, which every Guest must adhere to :
1. Loud noise is not allowed after 11 pm.
2. No drinks and food in bedrooms.
3. No events or parties are allowed.
4. Smoking is strictly not allowed.
5. No Pets allowed.
- Does Airbnb report to USA’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS)?
Yes, Airbnb reports to the IRS. The US IRS (Internal Revenue Service) mandates it for US companies that process payments to report gross earnings for all US customers who have earned more than $20,000 and have made 200+ transactions in a calendar year. In case any customer exceeds both IRS thresholds in a calendar year, Airbnb is liable to issue Form 1099-K to that customer.
- How does Airbnb function for Guests?
Satyam Chaturvedi is a Digital Marketing Strategist at Arka Softwares, a leading mobile app development company dealing in modern and futuristic web and mobile app solutions. He loves to spend his time in studying the market trends and helping startups and enterprises in achieving their business goals.