How to Create app Like Airbnb: Feature List and Cost to Develop

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.

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

  • 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. 

How to establish an app like Airbnb on the market?

Below we describe the top four travel app revenue models so you can choose one for your future travel startup.

Peer to peer network

Advertising

Subscription

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 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.

When visitors pay for their subscription, they can check hotel contact details as well as descriptions. Users can also buy air tickets, rent a car, or even book a holiday package from a travel agency.

Airbnb business canvas

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

Host 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. To help users to find the perfect place to say, Airbnb allows selecting filters, such as Guests, Home type, Geolocation, etc. 
  • 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. 
  • Notifications. With this feature, guests receive instant notifications about booking confirmation or new messages from other app hosts.
  • Booking. The app should include a calendar so that the traveler could select desirable dates. 
  • Reviews. Here, guests can tell other travelers their experience with accommodation and the host, which is essential for new travel apps. 
  • Experience.  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. 
  • 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.

We used geolocation search 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. 

Travel API

When developing a travel app, consider that API could be a 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
  • User-generated content
  • Customer review

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 
  • a number of platforms and devices app is being built for 
  • the technical complexity of the features
  • design - custom vs. standard 

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 for the future app. This phase usually takes up to 50 hours:

  • about 20 goes for the 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

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.

 The Airbnb-like app development process 

Feature

Description

Estimation is hours

Investigation stage

  • the 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 

Estimate the cost of Airbnb website

Use our calculator

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 a 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.

The cost to develop the admin back-end of the Airbnb-like app starts from $25K

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. 

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Daria Dubrova

Content Marketing Manager