How to Create an App like Airbnb [Features & Cost Included]

Redbytes UK
  • Date Published
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Do you want to create an app like Airbnb? Here is where your search stops. Read about the features, functionalities, design, development teams and cost.

The world around you has undergone a tremendous transformation. The economy has become more on-demand which has even forced industries like travel and hospitality to make changes in how they function.

That is probably one of the reasons why organizations such as Airbnb are at a billion-dollar valuation in less than five years. Or why apps like Airbnb are in great demand worldwide.

The Airbnb Story

Everyone knows the story of Airbnb and how it took off. Many say it was pure coincidence coupled with a little bit of luck and an idea that was genuinely creative.

2007 was when it started with a small but life-changing incident. Founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia decided to rent out a mattress in their room using a bed and breakfast model just to earn a few bucks to pay for their own accommodation.

And Air Bed & Breakfast was born. The potential of the idea hit both the founders pretty much instantly. In spite of several rejections from angel investors, the founders kept it going and managed to grow into Airbnb by 2009. As of March 2018, the platform hosts rentals across 65,000 cities in 191 countries.

Why Airbnb?

It is a universally known fact that Airbnb as an application is considered to be progressive. It propagates ways of human interactions within society. Two key factors that can help are:

  • By developing the concept of a ‘sharing economy’ model, the app promotes a system where services or assets are shared between individuals, either for free or for a fee
  • They contribute towards building the ‘trust loop’ which creates an environment of reliability and dependency among individuals through the usage of their service or assets

Since you are living in the time of the internet with globalization phenomena working in full force, there is more interest and space for people to travel and experience foreign cultures.

But there are basic hurdles such as the price of accommodation, hotels that leave you disconnected and there wasn’t an easy manner of booking a room from a local host.

When you travel, you want to experience unique hospitality where locals are willing to share, make friends, build relationships and more.

Imagine that you can find all of this in a single platform. A home away from home.

Airbnb can be best described as a peer-to-peer marketplace.

What it does is to offer the functionality that is provided by any booking website, that is, aggregate offers for hotel and motel rooms. However, there is a distinctive difference.

Airbnb acts as an accommodation letting service that facilitates private owners of the property to let out their living spaces to individuals, looking for short-term rentals during their travels.

Lately, the over-saturation of the vacation rental niche has been the topic of discussion. In the current landscape, 10% to 15% of the market is owned by Airbnb. This leaves a lot of untapped opportunities for new start-ups to enter and disrupt the dynamics.

So, the questions that arise are how to create an app like Airbnb and how much it will cost?

Core Features of an Airbnb-Like Marketplace

Take a look at the essential functionalities to create an app like Airbnb.

Features for Guests or Travelers

Log-in or Sign-up

Users can sign-up by creating a new account. The details required to be filled in includes name, number, email id, etc. Sign-ins can be made via integrating your Airbnb account with your Google or social media accounts like Facebook. In case you have an id, you can use your pre-registered ID to log-in.

Manage Account

Users can edit, manage and update their profile information, for example, email id, mobile number, date of birth, gender, permanent address, etc. whenever they wish to do. They can also change their account password as per their convenience.

Chat and Push Notifications

Airbnb offers instant chat notifications like any other messaging application.

Search Filter

You can filter by parameters like your dates for travel, type of accommodation, your budget, must-have amenities, and more when you are looking for your desired short-term rental.

Host Interaction

Before booking your stay, the Host Interaction feature allows users to communicate with their host through messages. It also enables them to freely accept or decline offers and generate new requests.


Users have a choice of payment avenues. They can access the receipts post making the payment and check on the details of the transaction. Repeated payments create a transaction history which the users can also view at their end. The currency can also be selected as per user convenience.

Create Wish Lists/Saved

You can create a Wishlist of holiday rentals and save them, in case you have missed out on a place where you wanted to book but it was unavailable at that specific time. With the Wishlist in place, if the rental falls vacant, you get an immediate notification.


Users can check their bookings at any time. This is applicable for past and upcoming bookings too.


The app allows users to apply coupons on checkout. These coupons are generally earned through referral codes.


Maps have significantly simplified the booking process for Airbnb users. The users can exactly pinpoint the location or area where they wish to stay. All available rentals are then showcased on the map.


If the users need help, for instance, if there is any confusion with the booking or they need any booking or hosts related help, Airbnb offers a self-help knowledge base access such as the FAQ section.

Rate and Review

Rate and review are the lifeblood of any booking app like Airbnb. Users can share their experience and rate and review the rental as well their host which can be made live to the general public.


To earn referrals, users can invite their contacts on social media to download the application.

Apart from these standard functionalities, Airbnb has made some recent feature additions to their application to make it stand out even more.

Receive SMS Notifications

Users can now receive instant SMS notifications once their booking has been confirmed. They can also receive any applicable promotional offers.


The app has an in-built scope to add on more social media channels and payment methods.

Features for Hosts


To register themselves on the application and list their vacant property, all that the hosts need to do is to fill in their details. 

Log-in or Sign-up

Hosts can create a new account by filling in their details like name, number, address etc. Using their email addresses or social channel can also help in the sign-in process. If they are already registered on the application, they can log-in using their pre-registered ids.

Manage Personal Page and Profile Information

The hosts, too, can make changes to their email id, mobile number, address, or any other personal profile information. They can also change their account password at any point in time.

Manage Listings

Hosts can manage their listings which includes all details related to the property, for example, pricing, amenities, experiences offered, etc. The hosts can also upload new images under this section.

Booking Listing

Hosts can systematically view all their upcoming bookings, generally in a calendar view format. Upcoming bookings are showcased against each date of the month.


The host with this feature has the power to either accept or decline any request from the user for their space.

Messaging Feature

The chat interface allows hosts and guests to connect freely. Hosts can resolve any queries that prospective guests may have before booking or confirming their stay. Create and send new requests to guests.

Rate and Review Guests

Hosts too can review and rate their guests as per their behaviour and conduct.

Account Details

This is specific to adding or removing information in the account.


The FAQs section can be accessed by hosts if they need any help regarding the listing of their property or if they require any booking or guest related help.


Hosts can also invite their friends to download the application by sharing via their social media accounts.

Booking History

Hosts can track past bookings along with payments received in their Booking History. Also, the revenue generated can be estimated.

Features for Admin Panel


This is a single platform to view all new or old registered users and hosts along with photographers.

Manage New Listing

Airbnb scrutinizes any new listing that is being uploaded by the host before processing it further to make it live on the app. You can edit, add or delete as per your requirement using the admin panel.

Booking History

Previous and new bookings can be viewed using the Booking History along with functionality to receive an update on the current status of each reservation which can also be edited, updated or deleted.

Feedback and Complaints

Feedback received from both hosts and guests can be checked on this screen. Complaints received from both ends are also processed through this feature.


All previous and current activities along with any relevant details can be observed here. These detailed insights help in future decisions.

Taking Airbnb as A Role-Model

Following the Airbnb model, you have to focus on security which is an exemplary feature on the app. It combines three types of safety within the app which are:

  • Deposits for the services rendered which will not work if the client works with a service-provider intermediary.
  • While social media accounts offer the required information, when you decide to create an app like Airbnb, it should have a verification process to ensure that the individual you intend to share space with is not fraudulent.
  • With a post-charge option, a credit card gets linked to a specific account so that it can be charged for the assistance provided to the guest. Even though it is a slightly risky move, you can opt for a ‘no card’ option. Therefore, sanctions for these should be accounted for as well.

A blended model where deposit and verification systems are combined is the ideal model for a start-up aiming to create an Airbnb clone.

Create An App Like Airbnb

Choosing the right technology stack can be the determining factor between the success or failure of your Airbnb clone. Here are the proposed components that you can use for your application too.

  • Programming Languages: Ruby, JavaScript
  • Frameworks: React, Ruby on Rails
  • Webserver: Nginx
  • Cloud Storage: Amazon S3, EB3
  • Cloud Hosting: Amazon EC2
  • Cloud Database: Amazon RDS, MySQL
  • Big Data: Presto, Druid, and Airpal

With the basics in place, the next job is to build a team. Check out a must-have team composition to kickstart the project:

  • Business Analyst
  • Project Manager
  • UI/UX designer
  • 1 or 2 Android developers
  • 1 or 2 iOS developers
  • Back-end developers
  • Front-end developers
  • QA engineer

Depending on the core features that intend to include in the app will determine your time and cost for development. Here is a snapshot:

Airbnb Core Features for Guests:

Hours for iOS Development
Hours for Android Development

13 hours
13 hours

35 hours
35 hours

122 hours
122 hours

15 hours
15 hours

127 hours
127 hours

15 hours
15 hours

24 hours
24 hours

38 hours
38 hours

Total Time
389 hours
389 hours

Airbnb Basic Features for Hosts:

Hours for iOS Development
Hours for Android Development

153 hours
153 hours

16 hours
16 hours

Push notifications
14 hours
14 hours

20 hours
20 hours

Total time
203 hours
203 hours

Final Time Estimate:

Hours for iOS Development
Hours for Android Development

Features for Guests
389 hours
389 hours

Features for Hosts
203 hours
203 hours

Admin Panel (One for All Platforms)
225 hours
225 hours

Frameworks and Libraries Integration
58 hours
61 hours

UI/UX Design
150 hours
120 hours

Quality Assurance
342 hours
342 hours

Project Management
171 hours
171 hours

Total Time
1538 hours
1511 hours

How much does it cost to create an app like Airbnb?

Take a look at the software developer rates:

iOS Development Rates in USD
Android Development Rates in USD

North America
$110 – $250
$150 – $170

Western Europe
$37 – $175

Easter Europe
$23 – $80
$35 – $50

$35 – $150

Taking into account all the factors, to create an app like Airbnb will cost you approximately $65,650.


There is something powerful in the Airbnb message – “We Imagine a World Where You Can Belong Anywhere”.

With communication that carries so much emotion, the application does contribute to diffusing cultural boundaries and make the traveller feel like someone has just read their mind.

These kinds of app ideas can shake up the market. So, maybe there is something about creating an Airbnb app clone that leaves its users so attached to it.