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How to Develop an App Like Airbnb: A Complete Development Guide

how-to-develop-an-app-like-airbnb

When we asked several Americans which platform they prefer to book home-like stays online, most voted for Airbnb. If you also travel a lot and prefer budget-friendly staying, we are pretty sure you, too, use Airbnb. 

Started in 2007, Airbnb is now one of the leading homestay booking apps people use to find and rent out their properties. The app’s growth has made homestay booking app development a profitable idea. So, if you are wondering how to develop an app like Airbnb, you are in the right place. 

We have provided you with a detailed guide where you can learn how to develop an app like Airbnb. We have covered the topic in detail to cover all aspects of Airbnb app development, its features, functioning, growth statistics, and more.  

So, without further ado, let’s start by learning what Airbnb is and how it works. 

What is Airbnb and How Does It Work? 

Airbnb is one of the leading online marketplaces that connects hosts, or homeowners, with guests (mostly travelers) looking for short and long-term accommodation. 

How Does Airbnb Work?

Airbnb, or Air Bed and Breakfast, is an online platform that acts as a middleman that helps users or guests find their ideal stays as per their budgets in a particular area.

For hosts or homeowners, Airbnb markets their accommodation to millions of users worldwide, enabling them to rent out their properties, reassure them to take care of payments and assist them by providing other services, such as property maintenance and addressing customer grievances. 

In between, Airbnb makes revenue from both guests and hosts through commissions and other ways, which we will discuss in further sections.

Airbnb App Development: Some Current Market Statistics  

Here are some latest numbers related to Airbnb-like app development: 

Source: Statista

  • The global travel accommodation industry will reach $1974.30 billion by 2031, at a CAGR of 11.3% from 2022 to 2031.
  •  Approximately 45% of travelers use mobile apps to find and book accommodations. 
  • Airbnb is one of the leading online stay-booking applications in the USA. 
  • Airbnb has over 150 million users worldwide, with over 45 million users in the United States of America. 

Evaluating these numbers, it is clear that developing an app like Airbnb will be a profitable idea. So, without any delay, let’s proceed to the development process of the Airbnb-like mobile application. 

How to Develop an App Like Airbnb?

Follow the step-by-step guide to developing an app like Airbnb:

1. Planning and Ideation

For the successful development of an online stay-booking app similar to Airbnb, we need to plan and brainstorm various app development ideas related to the accommodation industry. 

Airbnb works on the booking fees model. That means the online platform charges fees from both guests and property owners. You can also plan to build an app similar to Airbnb and leverage various models monetizing models to generate revenue.  

Before developing the app, you must research the market thoroughly and ensure your target audience. The market has numerous home-like stay-finder apps. Hence, it is crucial to offer Unique Selling Propositions (USPs) that make your application differentiated.

2. Competitor Analysis

You need to know your competitors in and out to compete and win. You must know their working, strengths and weaknesses, and what value they provide to their users. 

After analyzing, you will understand what you must create to make your space in the market. Thus, analyze your competitors carefully to develop an app like Airbnb.

3. Set Up Your Development Team 

After evaluating your competitors, now it’s time to build your mobile app development team, which will help you build your custom accommodation booking app like Airbnb. 

Developing an app like Airbnb requires deep knowledge of programming languages, mobile app development frameworks, third-party API integration, cutting-edge technologies, and more. 

Therefore, you will need a mobile app development team consisting of: 

  • Project managers- To manage the overall Airbnb-like app development project. 
  • UI/UX designers – To design the user interface, focusing on aesthetics, usability, and brand consistency.
  • Frontend developers – To build the user-facing components of the mobile app. They consist of Android app developers, iOS app developers, and cross-platform mobile app developers. 
  • Backend developers- To develop the server-side logic, manage databases, and handle user authentication. Moreover, you can consider hiring full-stack app developers to create both frontend and backend for your app. 
  • Quality Analysts or Testers – To conduct thorough testing of the app and identify and fix bugs to ensure its smooth functionality. 

The number of members in your app development team depends on the specific requirements and deadline of the project. Now that you know all the key players you need in your team, read further to learn how you can set up your team to build an app similar to Airbnb. 

You can leverage the following methods to build your mobile app development team: 

  1. In-House Development Team

You can build an in-house development team i.e., hiring all the team members in your organization and providing them with infrastructure, tools, and more. They will act as your full-time employees and work dedicately on your project. 

But, for the in-house development team, you need to find the right development members, interview them, discuss the terms and conditions, onboard them, and give them facilities like other employees. It will be a tedious task. 

  1. Hire Freelance Developers 

Another option you can choose to set up your app development is hiring freelance developers. You can hire your team members, including Android app developers, iOS app developers, and full-stack app developers from various websites and online platforms. 

But, it will also be a time-consuming task, and there will be a lack of coordination between the team, inefficient communication, project delay, high chances of information leakage, and much more.  

  1. Outsource your Project 

Outsourcing your mobile app development to a leading mobile app company in countries like India would be a great option. You only need to share your requirements, and the app development partner will take care of all the elements.  

The company will manage the project, communication among developers, paperwork, and more. It is the best way to develop a mobile app like Airbnb, and outsourcing is used by numerous businesses and startups worldwide. 

4. Create Wireframe and Prototyping 

Begin with creating the wireframe of an app like Airbnb. Remember to design the wireframe by keeping the features and functionalities you want to add to your mobile application in mind.  

The features for users (guests), hosts (property owners), and admin are different when it comes to Airbnb. Similarly, you must integrate the features and functionalities according to the user (guests, hosts, or admin). 

Read the next section to learn more about the features of an app like Airbnb. 

5. Designing the UI/UX 

Now, it’s time to design the UI/UX of an app like Airbnb. Designing the UI/UX beforehand will help the backend developers code the user interface and save time.  

With the help of top app developers, you can design the UI/UX using various tools, such as Sketch, Adobe XD, Origami Studio, Adobe Illustrator, and more. 

When designing the user interface, remember to keep it simple, intuitive, and decluttered to provide an enhanced user experience. 

6. Developing the App like Airbnb 

Here comes the most crucial stage of the entire development process of the app similar to Airbnb. Begin developing frontend and backend with the help of full-stack developers simultaneously. 

You can leverage the latest tools and mobile app development frameworks to develop your app, similar to Airbnb. A few recommended cross-platform app development frameworks include React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, Ionic, and others. 

For native app development, you can use Android Studio with Kotlin programming language for Android app development. For iOS app development, you can use the SwiftUI framework with Swift programming language. 

Additionally, integrate third-party APIs to empower your application with functionalities like real-time maps, payment gateways, instant messaging, ChatGPT-powered chatbot, and more. 

Moreover, keep tight on the entire development process and coordinate with project managers and developers regularly to provide them with instant feedback, ensuring a smooth and effective development journey. 

For developing an application like Airbnb, we recommend you create an MVP(minimum viable product) and then proceed with the final development. 

Developing an MVP will provide various benefits, such as: 

  • Faster Development 
  • Iterative Improvement
  • Cost Efficiency

Thus, for a successful app development, you must develop an MVP, gather feedback, make required changes, and build your final product. 

7. Testing 

Once you are done with the app development, you need to test your application thoroughly on various platforms and devices. Testing is done to ensure the application is bug-free and functioning seamlessly without any errors or faults. 

Team up with your testers and quality assurance analysts and test your app like Airbnb. You can also opt for Beta testing to gather feedback from users and make changes accordingly if required. 

8. Deployment 

Post-testing, deploy your application on Playstore and App Store so that your users can install it from there and use it. Remember to ensure your app, like Airbnb, meets the requirements and guidelines of the app stores. 

Once deployed, market your application using app store optimization, ads, SEO, influencer marketing, collaborations, and more. 

9. Maintenance and Update 

You need to track the performance of your application and keep it updated to stay relevant for a long time. The accommodation booking app development industry is evolving every moment. 

Thus, you must keep your app up-to-date by implementing advanced features and functionalities, providing new services, changing user interfaces according to guests’ requirements, and more.  

So, this is the complete guide for developing an app like Airbnb. Following this guide, you can easily develop your custom stay-booking app. Moreover, feel free to contact a top mobile app development company if you require any assistance regarding your mobile app development. 

Also Check: Metaverse for Travel and Tourism Industry

Top Features of a Mobile App like Airbnb 

Below are the features you must integrate into your mobile app like Airbnb, to offer your users a unique and uplifted experience. 

Features of Accommodation-Booking App for Guests

  1. Instant Bookings: This feature allows users (guests) to book accommodations instantly with just a few taps. 
  1. Advanced Search Filters: The ‘Advanced Search Filters’ feature allows guests to search their preferred stays using filters, such as the number of beds, amenities, breakfast availability, and more. 
  1. Integrated Real-Time Maps: Your mobile app, like Airbnb, must have integrated real-time maps that users use to find nearby accommodations, facilities, public transport, places to visit, and more. 
  1. AI-powered Recommendations: This feature will recommend available places for bookings based on the user’s preferences and past booking history, using the potential of Artificial Intelligence to provide personalized experiences. 
  1. Multi-Currency Payments Options: This feature will allow guests to make payments in the currency of their choice. Moreover, you can also integrate Blockchain-powered cryptocurrency payment options to allow users to make payments through Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and more. 
  1. In-App Messaging: This feature allows guests to communicate with hosts in real-time. 
  1. Chatbot: A Generative AI-driven chatbot can understand the guests’ queries using machine learning and provide them with personalized solutions instantly.
  1. Easy Cancellations:  This feature allows guests to cancel their bookings with ease. 

Features of Accommodation-Booking App for Hosts 

  1. Listing Management: This feature allows hosts to manage their listings of the properties, including descriptions, pricing, and availability. 
  1. Booking Management: This feature allows hosts to track and manage the bookings done by the guests and ensure seamless check-in and check-out processes. 
  1. Dynamic Pricing: This feature allows hosts to optimize rates dynamically according to demand, seasonality, local events, etc. 
  1. Review Management: This feature allows hosts to view, respond to, and manage guest reviews to maintain their reputation and improve guest satisfaction.
  1. Safety and Security Guidelines: This feature provides resources and tips for hosts that help them ensure the safety and security of their guests and property. 

Features of Accommodation-Booking App for Admin 

  1. Dashboard and Analytics: This feature provides the administrator with an overview of key metrics such as number of bookings, total revenue, user activities, and customer feedback. 
  1. User Management: This feature allows the admin to manage user accounts, permissions, and access levels to maintain platform integrity and security.
  1. Dispute Resolution: This feature will help the admin to resolve the disputes between the guests and the hosts. 
  1. Payment Management: This feature allows the admin to track and manage the payments. Refunds can also be managed within the same feature. 
  1. Promotions: This feature enables the admin to create and manage various marketing campaigns to attract guests and convince them to make bookings through the application. 

Thus, these are the top features of a home-like stay booking app like Airbnb. You can add these features to your mobile application.


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Technology Stack to Develop an App Like Airbnb   

You will require a robust technology stack to develop an app like Airbnb. In this section, we have provided a table of a technology stack you can use for mobile app development. 

Purpose Technology Stack
Frontend DevelopmentReact.js, Vue.js, Angular 
Backend DevelopmentNode.js, Express.js, Django, Flask
DatabasePostgreSQL, MongoDB, MySQL, Redis
HostingAWS (Amazon Web Services), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure
AuthenticationJSON Web Tokens (JWT), OAuth
Payment GatewayStripe, PayPal, Braintree
GeolocationGoogle Maps API 
Search & FiltersElasticsearch, Algolia
MessagingTwilio, SendGrid
TestingJest, Mocha, Selenium
AnalyticsGoogle Analytics, Mixpanel

Please note that this is just a recommended technology stack for building an app similar to Airbnb. You can use other tools and technologies according to your business requirements. 

How to Monetize an App like Airbnb? 

When you invest in something, you will expect good returns from it. It is the regular mindset of every business. When you invest in app development like Airbnb, you expect returns on your investment. 

Therefore, to gain ROIs, you need to monetize your mobile app similar to Airbnb. Monetizing is simply implementing different strategies to generate revenue from the mobile app. 

Hence, we have provided a few proven monetizing models you can use to monetize your app and generate revenue from it. The monetizing models are as follows: 

  1. Commission

You can charge a commission from guests and hosts on every successful stay booking. It is the most common strategy used by various accommodation booking apps, even by Airbnb. 

  1. Premium Listing  

You list high-end accommodations and properties under the ‘Premium’ tag. Guests pay more to book these stays, and hosts pay extra listing fees to list their properties under the ‘Premium’ category. 

Using this model, you can generate revenue from high-end customers and hosts. 

  1. Listing Fees

Another way to generate income from an app like Airbnb is to charge listing fees from hosts to list their properties in your application. 

  1. Ads 

Using this model, you can run relevant advertisements for different brands and charge them accordingly. It is another proven monetizing strategy used by various home-like stay-booking apps. 

  1. Collaborations

Last but not least, collaboration with local businesses is another monetizing strategy you may use to generate additional revenue. You can collaborate with local businesses, providing services that may be required by your guests. 

For instance, you can collaborate with a local cab booking service to provide cabs to the guests for additional charges. 

Thus, these are the monetizing strategies you can use to make extra income from an app like Airbnb. 

Must Check: How Artificial Intelligence is Changing the Travel Industry

Top Home-Like Accommodation Booking Apps 

Here are some popular online accommodation booking platforms available in the market: 


  1. Airbnb

Airbnb is one of the top home-like accommodation booking apps worldwide having millions of users. The app has distinct features such as advanced property listing and management, property map view, multi-currency support, 24/7 customer support, and more. 

Downloads: 100M+ 


  1. Expedia 

Expedia is another all-in-one travel booking mobile application people use to 

plan, book, and manage their trips, find accommodations, and earn rewards, all in one place.

The Expedia app has stay recommendations, cutting-edge search filters, payment options features, and more.

Downloads: 50M+ 


  1. TripAdvisor 

TripAdvisor is a popular travel and accommodation booking app used by travelers to book flights, find home-like stays and book them, make reservations in the best restaurants, and more. 

The application has features, such as AI-powered recommendations, ratings and reviews, real-time maps, etc.

Downloads: 100M+ 


  1. Agoda 

Next comes the Agoda mobile application on the list. The Agoda app is one of the leading travel and stay booking apps used by numerous people worldwide. 

Launched in 2011, the Agoda app is available for Android and iOS platforms. The application has various distinct features that attract and retain users. 

Some of them include high-end search filters, accurate maps, high-quality accommodation descriptions and pictures, ratings and reviews, and more. 

Downloads: 50M+ 


  1. HomeToGo 

HomeToGo is another homestay-like accommodation booking app people often use to search and book home-like stays while traveling. It has numerous features which make searching and booking accommodations easy. 

The HomeToGo app has features like cutting-edge search options, a wishlist, smart property comparisons, real-time notifications, and more. 

Downloads: 1M+ 


Therefore, when you are building an app like Airbnb, these are top contenders you must analyze carefully and proceed with your application development.

Benefits of Building an Airbnb-like App

The following are the benefits of developing a mobile application similar to Airbnb:

  1. Custom Solution for Accommodation-Booking 

When you develop an app like Airbnb, you provide your users with a custom solution to find and book home-like stays, i.e., a home away from home. If you understand the needs of the guests and hosts carefully and fulfill them with your mobile app, it would be highly beneficial for you. 

  1. Additional Source of Revenue

By building an app similar to Airbnb, you set up new opportunities to generate additional revenue and ensure your business growth. Although commission from successful bookings would be your major source of revenue, by implementing other strategies, you can add more bags of money to your account. 

  1. Enhanced Brand Image

When thousands or millions of people use your application to search and book stays, your business’s brand image will skyrocket. More people worldwide will know about your business. 

Moreover, you collaborate with more property owners and brands worldwide, ultimately enhancing your brand image. 

Therefore, these are the top benefits of developing an Airbnb-like mobile application. 

Conclusion 

Mobile apps similar to Airbnb are in great demand these days. The great reason behind this is more people prefer budget-friendly home-like stays over highly expensive 3-star and 5-star hotels. 

By developing an accommodation-booking mobile app like Airbnb, you can cater to this segment of people. Now, there would be a debate that the market already has key players, such as Airbnb, Trivago, Agoda, and others will it be profitable to develop such an app? 

The home-like accommodation industry is transforming, and people ( guests and hosts) face new challenges. So, if you plan carefully and develop an application that can tackle these challenges, there are high chances that you will beat the existing competitors and make your place in the market. 


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Get Started With Quytech!

So, now that you have decided to develop an app like Airbnb, reach out to experts at Quytech.  

Quytech is the leading mobile app development company that understands the requirements of clients and delivers them the best quality mobility solutions. 

Equipped with in-depth industry knowledge and hands-on experience with cutting-edge technologies, the mobile app developers tackle any challenge that arises during the mobile app development and develop a one-of-a-kind mobile app that fully aligns with the client’s business goals. 

Because of Quytech’s forward-thinking and strategic development approach, numerous notable businesses have collaborated with the company to develop custom accommodation booking mobile apps, and it delivered high-end results with a 100% success rate.