How Much Does it Cost to Develop an app Like Airbnb ?

 

We all know that it is better to see something once than hear about it a thousand times. That is why everyone likes to travel. Thanks to online travel apps as Airbnb, people can book accommodations, buy tickets, and compare prices using their smartphones or laptops.That is why online travel industry continues growing. According to Statista, global online travel sales have increased in 2019, counting 755.94 billion U.S. dollars, compared to 564.87 billion U.S. dollars in 2017.Therefore, the online travel niche will stay perspective. And if you plan to develop the travel app like Airbnb, continue reading. 

In the article below, we share current Airbnb stats and tops competitors, the guideline on how to make an app like Airbnb and how much it will cost. Let's start!

Global Airbnb stats for 2019

Airbnb company logo

Being established in 2008, currently, the app has over 150 million active users worldwide. As a traveler, you can choose from 650,000 hosts worldwide. Airbnb lists hosts from over 81,000 cities and 191 countries. By 2019, Airbnb’s value worldwide counts $38 billion, and by 2020, Airbnb’s revenue is expected to reach $8.5 billion. Since you know almost all about this app, let us look at some Airbnb competitors.

 

Current Airbnb alternatives

Despite using similar algorithms, all online travel marketplaces are different. Let’s check Airbnb competitors and their main features.

Flipkey

 Since 2006, this online vacation marketplace has gained 34 million active users and lists 300,000 properties in 179 countries. It offers users numerous vacation home rental for single travelers and group booking in popular destinations.The website also includes advanced filters so the users can find the exact apartment they want. For social proof, the app has its wiki that contains reviews of other users.

TurnKey

Founded in 2012, TurnKey is another online travel marketplace where travelers can find and book accommodation in any US city.The main TurnKey feature is using the door code instead of keys. To receive such code, you need to download the application, book the apartment, and make a payment. Travelers receive additional freedom to enter and leave the room at any time.Moreover, the app also suggests restaurants and entertainment nearby, which saves travelers’ time.

HomeAway

Being on the market since 2005, HomeAway lists 2,000,000 vacation rentals in 190 countries. This travel website list only professions hosts for travelers with high rental standards. Unlike other travel marketplaces, HomeAway also offers holiday homes for families, old couples, and big tourist groups, who want to rent the entire house.

How to establish an app like Airbnb on the market?

How do apps like Airbnb make money 

When searching for information on how to build an app like Airbnb, choosing the right business model is essential for your travel app success. Below we describe the top four travel app revenue models so you can choose one for your future travel startup.

Peer to peer network

If you consider developing a host-traveler online marketplace or a vacation rental marketplace, this is the best option.

In this business model, your website or app becomes a mediator between property owners and travelers. It allows travelers to book and pay for the rent. At the same time, you can charge a commission from both sellers and buyers.

The most famous example of this business model is Airbnb. The marketplace charges property owners a 10% commission for listing on the platform and traveler a3% transaction charges for every booking made through the platform.

Advertising

You can use this business model for online travel agencies, booking platforms, or travel marketplaces.

The app or a website perform as a type of search engine that allows travelers finding pricing and availability of accommodation in real time. It also shows the description, location, and reviews of other travelers for travel packages and hotels around the world. Such marketplaces also allow travelers comparing accommodations and book the apartment at the best price. The platform shows visitors clickable buttons for booking and charge commission only in case a user clicked in such a button, was redirected to the hotel website and made a booking.

TripAdvisor uses media advertising model. The platform charges cost per click commission from hotels, when travelers choose them among other search results. Also, TripAdvisor charges travelers a booking fee that varies from 5% to 20% of the total booking value.

Subscription

In case you want to develop a social travel platform or an online travel agency, this revenue model is your choice.

Such platforms belong to the B2B sector, connecting hotels or resorts with travel agencies or even individual travelers. When visitors pay for their subscription, they can check hotel contact details as well as descriptions. Users also can buy air tickets, rent a car, or even book a holiday package from a travel agency.

One of the most famous representatives of this model is the MakeMyTrip website. It offers users air ticketing and hotel bookings, holiday planning and packaging, rail ticketing, and other services for a great vacation. While users pay only $4 per subscription, the platform also charges a 15% service commission on accommodation, air and railway tickets booking.

Partnership

You can consider such a model for your startup if you want to create an online, travel agency, or a social travel platform.

As you might know, travelers like to check descriptions, reviews, and advice from other travelers. For that, online booking platforms and agencies are always looking for cooperation with social travel platforms, since such platforms have active travelers community. So you can adopt such a model for your future travel startup.

The example of such cooperation is Skyscanner application. This app allows travelers booking flights and hotels, providing personalized recommendations. Skyscanner charges a service fee for each completed booking made on the travel agency website.

So, you’ve decided on a business model or even models.

App pricing factors and cost of features

Let me start this part by saying that there are some factors, which influence the cost to create an app similar to Airbnb. Not to mention, you can choose diverse modes of crafting it, which is likely to project onto Airbnb app development cost as well.

Here are the major aspects for you to consider and keep in mind:

  • the size of the development team - if you are enthusiastic enough to do a part of a project manager and manage closely the whole process then you can keep your team short and sweet. Otherwise, except developers and designers, you’ll require project manager, system administrator and a couple of more insider managers;
  • a number of platforms and devices app is being built for - iOS and Android, add up a number of different screens to adjust the app to - all this should be considered beforehand based on target audience location, their preferred device environment, and stuff. FYI - Android app development takes about 20 to 30% more time than iOS (IPhone) one;
  • the technical complexity of the features - you decide what range of elements you want within your mobile application, so rate them from simple to medium and high complexity. Mind that the price is mostly shaped by how long it takes developers to implement each of these;
  • design - custom vs. standard - if you prefer some unique visuals and tools instead of ones based on pre-built sets, it’s about to change price quite a bit too.

Moving to particular features, it’s important to mention - rough timing indicated below covers all stages of creating a feature - from drawing logic to testing. Elements are also listed from basic and simple to additional and complex. So let’s dive right into how much does it cost to develop an app like Airbnb.

Prep stage for app building

Every app building project starts with creating an overall strategy and fixing technical base for further operations. These are inevitable steps, which basically create a ground to the future app. This phase usually takes up to 50 hours:

  • about 20 goes for overall setup of the project
  • the same 20 - for implementation of API
  • around 10 for database pattern
  • 5 to 10 more hours - for implementation of various services and libraries

Feature list to build an app like Airbnb  

From the technical view, Airbnb is built with two-sided marketplace tech stack, where there are a seller and a buyer. Below we describe the Airbnb feature of traveler and a host cabinet so that you can consider them for your app.

Traveler cabinet

Log-in / Sign-up

Such websites as Airbnb ask for an email address to create a new user account. But to make the log-in process even more seamless, your app should include the log-in via social profiles, like Facebook or Google+. 

Manage account

The user profile should include the name, phone number, address, and date of birth.

Search

Here, travelers choose the destination and the room they like.

Filters

Airbnb app filters

To help users to find the perfect place to say, Airbnb allows selecting the following filters:

  • Guests. Here the traveler can select the number of guests, together with the information about children.
  • Home type. Users can also choose the type of accommodation.
  • Price. Here travelers can select the price with is the most suitable for them.
  • Trip type. Using this filter, you can find a place to stay with the family or for a business trip.
  • Geolocation. With this feature, guests could find apartments nearby and get information about local restaurants and entertainment. 

We used this feature in our recent project, Quepro, a social network, where users can find local experts and communicate with them in real time. The geolocation radius can be manually adjusted, starting from 100 meters to 100 miles. Besides, users can also use the app in any city in the world by manually changing the location on the map.

  • Other filters. Here, users can select even more parameters for their accommodation as the number of beds, accessibility, house rules, etc.

Social sharing

With this feature, users can share information about the apartment in social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. This way, you can receive even more users to your travel app.

Favorites

This feature allows users to create a list of selected apartments.

Messages

In most cases, travelers want to receive additional information from hosts about the place they would stay. For that, your app should include messaging function or a live chat, where guests could discuss all the information about the apartment with the host.

Notifications

With this feature, guests receive instant notifications about booking confirmation or new messages from other app hosts.

Booking

booking feature for Airbnb-like app

When guests found the perfect place to stay, they can book via the website or the app. The app should include a calendar so that the traveler could select desirable dates. Airbnb also includes such features as: 

  • snapshots of the apartments,
  • their availability,
  • sleeping arrangements,
  • and the house rules.

Reviews

Here, guests can tell other travelers their experience with accommodation and the host, which is essential for new travel apps. With travelers reviews, other users see social proof and start to trust your travel app.  

Experiences 

The recent Airbnb update is the new Experience feature. It means that guests can book some entertainment or activity provided by experienced hosts. The traveler can learn how to cook the traditional pizza in Italy, make massage in Thailand, or attend Flamenco workshop in Spain. This way, tourists have an opportunity to find out more about foreign countries and their traditions.

"The most important metric I always look at is, ‘Do people like what I’m making?’ Because if they love what I make, then it’s going to grow into something trendy. If they don’t like it, it’s not going to grow. Nearly 90% of experiences that people book get five stars." 

Brian Chesky CEO of Airbnb  

Host cabinet

Log in

As travelers, hosts could also log-in with their email address or social networks profiles

Profile

Here hosts can edit personal information like email address, mobile number, etc.

Types of activities

Here hosts could choose whether they want to provide guests with some unique experience in their city or just accommodation.

Listing

In this section, hosts make a detailed description of the accommodation they offer, the number of guests they can accommodate, sleeping arrangements, and address, followed with good quality photos.

Or, they can describe what type of experience they can provide to guests, their location and their language.

Reviews

The host profile should include the review of previous guests together with host rating.

When we are done with the feature list, let move further and discover another component for a successful online travel app.

Travel API

When developing travel app, consider that API could be very useful part of the project. API allows the app to receive access to specific functions and databases. And the best part is that your developers could easily access almost any API from scratch. Airbnb already has its own API. The Airbnb API allows developers to retrieve and integrate the functionality of Airbnb in other applications.

By integrating the existing Airbnb API, you can save a significant amount of budget and decrease the development time.  

If you want to develop another kind of travel app (not Airbnb clone) read our article

How to market a travel startup like Airbnb?

Let’s imagine that you have a ready travel app with all the necessary features. But to make it successful, you should know how to grow it. Below we share the most effective options to make your travel startup popular among users.

  • Social Media

Social media presence of your travel startup is a great way to attract new users. You can make a business page on Facebook or Twitter to share useful travel content can communicate with users. Besides, many travel bloggers have YouTube channels. By cooperating with them, you can receive even more active users to your app and enhance even broader target audience.

  • User-generated content

Everyone likes to share their travel experiences with others. So you can use it to promote your traveling app. Create a blog where users can post photos from their trips and their stories. This way, you can build trust your app and make it even more popular.

  • Customer review

Reviews are very important for all travel applications and websites since a lot of prospective customers rely on them. For that, you can encourage users to leave reviews about your app in exchange for some bonuses or discounts. This way, good reviews create credibility for your traveling app and motivate other travelers to use it.

How much does it cost to build an app like Airbnb 

There are some factors, which influence the cost to create an Airbnb clone. Not to mention, you can choose diverse Airbnb app templates of crafting it, which is likely to project onto Airbnb app development cost as well.

Here are the main aspects for you to consider and keep in mind:

  • Size of the development team - if you are enthusiastic enough to do a part of a project manager and administer the whole process closely, then you can keep your team short and sweet. Otherwise, except developers and designers, you’ll require project manager, system administrator and a couple of more insider managers;
  • The number of platforms -  iOS, Android, iOS and Android, add up several different screens to adjust the app to - all this should be considered beforehand based on target audience location, their preferred device environment, and stuff. FYI - Android app development takes about 20 to 30% more time than iOS (iPhone) one;
  • The technical complexity of the features- you decide what range of elements you want within your mobile application, so rate them from simple to medium and high complexity. Mind that the price is mostly shaped by how long it takes developers to implement each of these;
  • Design - custom vs. standard - if you want to use unique visuals and tools for Airbnb app design instead of standard design, it’s about to change price quite a bit too.

When talking about features, it’s important to mention that rough timing indicated below covers all stages of creating a feature from drawing logic to testing. Elements are also listed from basic and simple to additional and complex. So let’s dive right into how much does it cost to develop an app like Airbnb.

 

 Airbnb-like app development process 

Feature

Description

Estimation is hours

Investigation stage

  • overall setup of the project
  • implementation of API
  • database pattern
  • implementation of various services and libraries

 60 hours

Registration/ login feature

This is one of the fundamental segments of any app. 

To start using it, you need to register and, this way, agree with the conditions and policies of the app usage.

 10 to 16 hours

User profile 

It will be two sorts of profiles:

  • guest
  • host (owner of the place)

Basically, users add varied pieces of personal info to the profile like:

  • name
  • gender
  • contact info (e-mail address, telephone number, actual living address, etc.)
  • personal description
  • some optional bits of info

 16 hours

Airbnb app framework Settings 

This feature allows users to customize and configure all personal data and preferences such as:

  • updates notifications via SMS or push
  • wish-lists
  • payment currency and method

 24 hours

Filtering element

In the guest mode within Airbnb, you have a wide range of options to choose from in order to find a suitable location. These are, for instance:

  • the spot you want to visit
  • number of people
  • check-in/check-out dates
  • room/house type
  • price spectrum etc.

 24 hours

Descriptions of chosen rooms

So once you’ve executed all desired filters, you see a list of search results. 

Every item in this list has a wider description with ratings, photos, reviews, available dates, map and terms of getting the place.

 up to 150 hours

Maps implementation

That is a visual and natural alternative to searching for your perfect location - just check various ones on the map, tap to check if it’s important for you to stay near definite sites or something.

 24 hours 

Signing up as a host

This is the full function, which enables hosts to place adverts, communicate with potential guests, provide booking and stuff.

100 to 120 hours

Adding to faves

 

This feature allows users to create the personalized shortlists of locations to be able to come back to these at any time, pick and choose.

10 - 12 hours

Embedded messenger

 

This is a truly meaningful tool for communication of any sort within a community.

 Live talk opportunity makes users feel high reliability and authenticity of the service and its’ participants.

Up to 40 hour

Friends invitation feature for your Airbnb-like app

Not much to say, you can recommend the app to your friends through invitation.

 10-11 hours

 

Nota Bene! Backend 

Each feature you decide to pick for your product requires time to craft and configure on both client-side (how it interacts with a user) and server-side (functionality, connections with servers, etc.).

The server-side stack is crucial as well as wide-scale part of every app building process. It’s also going to be the most time-consuming one. After all, you want an app to perform as a killer, right?

You’ll need to add around 600 hours for these operations to the entire timing.

And now, when we’re done with calculating time for building your Airbnb-, it’s the right time to choose who will implement it for you. It basically covers a cash part of the question “how much does an app like Airbnb cost”.

Globally the price differs for hours of developers. Here are average region hourly rates down below:

  • USA/Canada-based dev teams - $50 to $250/hour
  • Western Europe - $30 to$170/hour
  • Eastern Europe - $20 to $150/hour
  • Australia - $50 to $150/hour
  • India - $10 to $80/hour

Conclusion

The industry of online travel continues to grow. That is why investing in a traveling app like Airbnb could bring a significant profit to your startup. When you know about essential Airbnb features, its competitors, and the development cost, you might think about your traveling app. And we are here to bring your idea into reality. 

To receive a more detailed estimation of your future travel app, you can use our app cost calculator or fill in the contact form.

 
Valery Filipets

Developer

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