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How Much Does It Cost to Develop an App Like Airbnb?

App Development

Jun 2024
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cost to develop an app like airbnb

The travel industry is one of the most explosive and booming industries globally. Many travel app development companies are interested in hiring a dedicated developer team to create an app similar to Airbnb. Airbnb is a trailblazing pioneer when it comes to vacation rental aggregators in the travel industry. They have a profound presence and an international market with a resounding spectrum of rental properties matching every budget. Such a level of presence has inspired many entrepreneurs with a vision to curate or develop an app like Airbnb as an entryway into the rental marketplace apps.

Even the founders and team of Airbnb took approximately 9 years to generate sustainable profits from this business model. If you're on the verge of developing a travel app like Airbnb, possible questions such as the cost of making an app like Airbnb, choice of app development frameworks, and whether travel app services need backend app development might be on the rise. Airbnb remains the benchmark when it comes to travel app development solutions, in terms of finding exquisite properties with flexible deals. Their excellent customer service and hosting within your preferred budget, along with exclusive deals on booking, is something to accomplish first.

In this blog, we will dive deep into the factors affecting the cost of making an app like Airbnb, potential features to add, and the potential cost of building a similar travel app development solution similar to Airbnb-like app.

What is the Airbnb Business Model and How Does It Work?

Airbnb is one of the best online marketplaces and hospitality service providers, yielding some of the top-class vacation rentals and a plethora of other travel experiences. With over 150 million users, the presence of over 167 countries, and over 4 million hosts across 100,000 cities, Airbnb offers convenient apps and websites. Users can connect with hosts to clarify accommodation details, which gives hosts an equal chance to lease their space to users looking for reasonably priced vacation rentals that aren't generic hotels.

It's important to understand the Airbnb business model before developing a travel app like Airbnb. Airbnb has a pretty simple and not-so-complicated business model. The portal enables hosts to lend their property for custom durations and can add vital information about ownership, timings, rentals, check-ins, check-outs, and integrating payment gateways. Users have the flexibility to refine their search using advanced filtration options for rental properties. Users can choose their preferred dates and time slots,and even chat with the hosts to understand the amenities and features offered by any particular property. Airbnb’s business model primarily works via a shared economy, where the platform itself works as a mediator between providers and seekers.

Business Benefits Of Building An App Like Airbnb

There are several benefits to creating an app similar to Airbnb, especially if you wish to enter the fruitful vacation rental market via an app or a website:

  • Big Demand

The travel industry, and specifically the vacation rental market, is an ever-evolving arena that offers immense growth, plenty of demand, and people on the lookout for unique places to stay. A steady demand for unique living experiences with locals over conventional hotels opens up many avenues for businesses looking to provide travel app development services.

  • Revenue Opportunity

Explore the best of recurring revenue via incentives, commission fees, subscription plans, and host verification fees on every app booking. Your revenue potential can triple when you expand your streams by adding multiple conveniences and additional feature upgrades that are exclusively added to the subscription plans for hosts.

  • Scalability

Developing an app like Airbnb can offer incredible options to scale on an international level. By adding new locations and functionalities alongside your growing user base, you can gradually expand from your humble beginnings into a niche market. Add unique accommodation types and services to explore the travel industry on a deeper level.

Factors Influencing the Cost to Build an App Like Airbnb

The cost to build an app like Airbnb keeps changing based on a variety of factors, determining the end outcome. Let's understand the primary factors that affect the creation cost of Airbnb-like apps on iOS or Android:

  • Third-Party Integration

Embedding or incorporating third-party services, such as multiple payment gateway APIs, social media, and network integration, can heavily advance your app interpretation, improve the user experience, and overall provide excellent performance. Regardless, every single integration comes with its own set of complexities, hence increasing the cost. Similarly, ensuring seamless integration with any third-party service needs additional development and testing efforts, all while affecting overall development expenses.

  • IoT Device Amalgamation

Integrating your travel app services with IoT sensors and devices such as wearables, smart watches, locks, home automation systems, thermostats, etc. can yield exceptional experiences for both guests and property hosts. For instance, visitors can connect their iPads or smart watches to control the room's temperature or alter physical objects in the rooms, such as doors, curtains, or windows. However, it's important to remember that integrating IoT capabilities will increase testing and development expenditures.

  • Virtual Assistance or AI/ML

Integrating artificial intelligence, machine learning, and NLP can provide your customers with top-notch assistance, quickly answer queries, provide recommendations as per their app usage and behavior, track their usage patterns to generate individual-specific algorithms, and ease the booking process. Chatbots offer individual support round the clock 24/7 without any disruptions, hence enabling all time zone users to get on-time answers. This leads to an increase in customer fulfillment but also requires a hefty level of investment for AI technology and NLP infusion, hence increasing the cost of make an app like Airbnb.

  • Security and Compliance

Adhering to all the industry's standard rules and regulations, especially security norms, is paramount in protecting user data and maintaining user trust. Robust security requirements such as two-factor verification, profile authentication, data protection, and encryption require a substantial amount of development expense. Obtaining these mandatory security audits and compliance certifications to meet regulatory standards will automatically direct an increment in cost to make an app like Airbnb.

  • AR/VR Features

Augmented and virtual reality are some of the latest technologies that are changing the way you travel. This feature heavily improves and sweetens your travel app development's user experience in an organic manner. Exploring virtual property tours, unique hotels, and locations, or leveraging augmented reality to preview rental space before paying the deposit, will not just increase user engagement but also generate substantial revenue. Implementing AR and VR technologies in your backend app development significantly increases the cost of creating an app similar to Airbnb.

  • Developer Location and Strength

The complete cost of creating an app similar to Airbnb varies depending on the number of hours your dedicated developers' team is putting into your project. Development costs vary across the globe; for instance, the price of travel app development in the United Kingdom (UK) will be higher than in other Asian countries like India, China, Indonesia, and more. Many travel app service providers look for Indian developers for hire as they're highly skilled, and reasonably priced, all while not compromising on quality. Leveraging such developers' expertise, technologies, and resources will not only improve productivity but drastically reduce the cost of development.

  • Chosen Development Platform

Selecting the correct platform for launching your app will directly add to the cost of making an app like Airbnb. Whether you want your app to be on Android, iOS, or cross-platform frameworks, the additional time and development resources will mandatorily increase. Developing native apps needs frequent bug fixings, periodic app updates, and ongoing compatibility testing, that again come under regular maintenance expenditures post-launch.

  • Quality Assurance & Maintenance

To provide a flawless user experience, it's important to conduct rigorous testing for quality maintenance and dependability. It's paramount to invest in extensive testing across all your chosen devices, network scenarios, and operating systems in order to detect and fix any bugs or vulnerabilities and raise issues before the development process. However, it's important to understand that enabling automated testing techniques and stringent testing will severely increase the cost of making an app like Airbnb. After this comes your post-launch maintenance and support to keep your app's functionalities running like a smoothly oiled machine while ensuring prior bug detections that arise over time. Ongoing maintenance includes bug repairs, security patches, software upgrades, and adding custom or new features that'll ensure your travel app services' long-term viability.

Must-have Features for Developing a Travel App Like Airbnb

In order to develop an app like Airbnb, incorporating custom features to meet the needs of users and hosts alike plays an important role in the success of your travel app. Let's understand the essential as well as additional features that'll enrich your Airbnb-style app development process for good.

Host Panel

  • Listings

Hosts have the liberty to add, edit, remove, and create their choice of property listings by uploading photographs, providing property dimensions and descriptions, listing their offered amenities, setting any ground rules for houses, and setting their price ranges.

  • Manage Finances

Hosts can keep track of all their earnings and transactions, monitor live payment transactions, generate invoices, handle payouts, and have complete access to their financial reports all inside the app to monitor their listings financial performance.

  • Managing Requests

Hosts can receive alerts and push notifications for potential reservations on their property and respond as per availability. They can choose between negotiating booking conditions, adding or removing amenities, in addition to accepting or rejecting reservation requests.

  • Availability

When you're in the process of developing an app like Airbnb, ensuring property availability features is a must-have. It includes date blocking, calendar updates, and any other pricing anomalies that could happen during seasons, demands, or festivities to make the decision easier for users.

  • Communication

Guest communication is one of the most important features of an app like Airbnb. Enabling a feature that lets hosts connect with their guests, answer their queries, and offer extra information on the rental property in addition to offering check-in instructions helps ensure a smooth arrival and stay experience for all.

Admin Panel

  • Guest Management

This feature will consist of quicker and swifter user administration by providing them unrestricted access to their user accounts and also offering them complete control over their platform accessibility.

  • Reports and Stats

By leveraging the latest analysis and report generation software, administrators can obtain valuable insights via research,  enabling them to make more data-driven decisions and focus on strategic planning to enhance the overall business performance.

  • Listings

This feature helps the admin streamline all their listings on the platform by automatically accepting or rejecting new listings depending on the previously fed data into the system and making changes to existing data, in addition to tracking their visibility and cross-platform performance.

  • Payment Options

Enable complete admin control over every financial transaction on your travel app, like Airbnb. This feature will help the admins manage all kinds of transactions and payments and add/remove the number of payment gateways available for users, helping them maintain a safe and transparent payment methodology.

User Panel

  • Custom and Multiple Settings

Having several settings options that can be modified at any moment allows users to organize their personal information, manage active notifications, select or switch between payment methods, and modify their wishlist or cart. The more alternatives you provide to your consumers, the more they will become accustomed and comfortable with your travel app, similar to Airbnb. It's vital to realize that adding extra setting features would raise the cost of developing an app like Airbnb, even if the underlying tech stack would stay the same.

  • Advanced Filters

One of the most beloved features of the Airbnb application is its multi-filter search capability. Enabling advanced search and custom filters will help guests sift out the type of property, number of guests, pet-friendliness, cost per season or date, and exact location of the property. This also helps users identify their interests and become more aware of their surroundings before making a final decision.

  • Profile/Accounts

Since your travel app, like Airbnb, has three versions: user, admin, and host, there will be three unique profile versions, with the guest and host sections requiring more information from both parties simultaneously. When your user is inputting information for creating their profile, collecting vital data like name, contact, email, city, dates of birth, choice of payment methods, and more can help you with a more robust backend app development and infrastructure.

  • Room Attributes

Your entire business revenues will heavily depend on this particular feature; hence, ensure no compromise occurs on this front. When creating an app similar to Airbnb, users prioritize the kind of rooms depending on the property photos, the view from windows, reviews and ratings, property description, location of the room, rent per guest, instructions during check-in and checkout, and other variables. Users mainly make their choice via the rating of the hosts, in addition to amenities provided, on-site payment options, and the duration of the visit. Hence, creating a detailed and intuitive room interface is important for your travel app development, like Airbnb.

  • Robust Backend

The server-side aspect of any program is the most difficult and time-consuming to develop, especially if several users will interact and make payments in real-time. Ensure that you prioritize backend app development and hire a dedicated developers’ team who have proficiency in the travel industry to build a cloned app like Airbnb.

  • Incorporating Maps

When developing a travel app like Airbnb, integrating a precise map feature is something that shouldn't be disregarded. The cost to make an app like Airbnb severely depends on the kind of maps you decide to input inside the solution that help users find exact locations, explore nearby areas, and discover tourist spots to better enjoy their vacation. Make it a goal to integrate a robust map that can track and locate even the most remote areas.

  • Registration

This is one of the most important features you should consider adding while making an app like Airbnb. Generally, users add in all their information while creating accounts, it's more lucrative to authorize them to sign up or log in using multiple social network credentials.

  • Translate

Enabling multiple language translations in your app helps users decipher your property descriptions in their native language. Using such a level of localization enables a travel app like Airbnb to attract a global audience and significantly improve engagement. It's also important that you consider the app localization processes and potential issues associated with them, which will help you appropriately estimate the creation cost of Airbnb-like apps on iOS or Android.

Cost to Build an App Like Airbnb

The app development cost of creating an app similar to Airbnb varies depending on a myriad of factors, such as app complexities, potential times, and other inclusive capabilities. Let's check out the breakdown of all key cost components:

  • Features

The MVP, aka Minimum Viable Product, means the general or mainstream functionalities will obviously cost less than a travel app that is feature-loaded with modern capabilities like AI/ML, advanced search filters, virtual chatbots, secure payment gateways, and AR/VR.

  • Team Location

Hiring a dedicated developer team via freelancing or outsourcing from regions with lower rates will automatically be more reasonable than partnering with renowned agencies or brands that charge in bulk. However, it also depends on the level of expertise and experience you're looking for within the developers' squad.

  • Platform

The creation cost of Airbnb-like apps on iOS or Android will quickly shift and fluctuate depending on the platform. Decide whether you want cross-platform compatibility or native app development to get an approximate cost estimation.

Here's a ballpark figure for your reference:

  • Introductory MVP (one platform): The price shall start and go up to anywhere between $30,000 and $70,000.
  • Full-feature (one platform): The price shall start and go up to anywhere between $75,000 and $100,000.
  • Advanced Cross-platform app (iOS & Android): The price shall start and go up to anywhere between $90,000 and more, depending on the level of functionalities and security measures you incorporate.


Traveling has become way more convenient and accessible for people today. From choosing assorted hotels to multiple modes of transportation, along with peculiar amenities, travelers have the ultimate level of flexibility. Travel app services are constantly working in collaboration with top travel app development companies like Hyperlink InfoSystem to keep their concepts creative and instill value-added services to make user journeys easier and enjoyable. Whenever you're developing an app like Airbnb, it's important to predefine the features and functionalities that are beyond your mainstream capabilities and a USP that'll set you apart from the competition.

It's also important to keep in mind the two beneficiaries, hosts and travelers while planning or estimating the cost of developing an app like Airbnb. Protecting their interests gets you halfway there, even before the app development process. Building an app similar to Airbnb needs a significant amount of finance, time, and resources. By examining the expenditures, potential platform benefits, essential features, APIs, and payment gateways, and working with a reliable app development partner with an experience like Hyperlink InfoSystem, you can help meet both property owners and user demand.

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Frequently Asked Questions

To begin your travel app development for creating an app similar to Airbnb, here are some of the steps you need to follow:

  • Create a solid business strategy
  • Decide your app platform: iOS, Android or cross-platform
  • Curate an intuitive UI/UX design
  • Add MVPs and differentiating features
  • Prioritize backend app development
  • Leverage API testing tools
  • Future-proof with innovative features

The typical app development cost of developing a travel app like Airbnb depends on a variety of factors, including general MVPs. General estimation could range from anywhere between 8 months and over a year. Considering elements such as app development frameworks, APIs, payment gateways, and cost of making an app like Airbnb, timelines fluctuate.

In order for a travel app development company to monetize an app similar to Airbnb, they must leverage a combination of business tactics, for instance, collecting fees from hosts, listing their property charges, sponsoring property fees, property validation fees, booking charges from your guests, enabling in-app advertisements via relevant businesses, in addition to many other ways.

The creation cost of Airbnb-like apps on iOS or Android varies greatly depending on the complexity of the features you put inside them. Other things such as tech stacks, design requirements, and your dedicated developers' team location and strength. Typically, it could start from anywhere between $50,000 and over $500,000.

Harnil Oza is the CEO & Founder of Hyperlink InfoSystem. With a passion for technology and an immaculate drive for entrepreneurship, Harnil has propelled Hyperlink InfoSystem to become a global pioneer in the world of innovative IT solutions. His exceptional leadership has inspired a multiverse of tech enthusiasts and also enabled thriving business expansion. His vision has helped the company achieve widespread respect for its remarkable track record of delivering beautifully constructed mobile apps, websites, and other products using every emerging technology. Outside his duties at Hyperlink InfoSystem, Harnil has earned a reputation for his conceptual leadership and initiatives in the tech industry. He is driven to impart expertise and insights to the forthcoming cohort of tech innovators. Harnil continues to champion growth, quality, and client satisfaction by fostering innovation and collaboration.

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