How to Create a Website Like Airbnb and How Much Does It Cost

How to create  service like Airbnb

Airbnb has changed the way people tend to search for accommodations all over the world. This online room rental has conquered a global market of the apartment rental, though it does not mean that Airbnb like services cannot cut at least a small piece of this pie in frames of a local business. How to make a website or app for renting apartments?

Apartment rental costs are quite high that is why many travelers look for cheap offers in order to spend as little money as possible on accommodation.

In October 2023, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan, New York, amounts to $4,350. This represents a 6% rise when compared to the preceding year.

Entrepreneurs have realized that they can make a profit by creating services like Airbnb even without owning real estate assets.

Booking services like Airbnb:

  • Roomorama;
  • Flipkey;
  • SellMyTimeshareNow;
  • HomeAway;
  • OneFineStay;
  • HomeStay;
  • Trivago.

However, such services can have some issues with functioning in particular countries. On February 6, 2017, Singapore parliament passed a law that prohibits a short-term rental. If a property owner does not have a special permission from the Urban Redevelopment Authority, he or she cannot rent out rooms or apartments for less than six months. Therefore, entrepreneurs have to take such nuances into account before developing a room rental app or website. Furthermore, an apartment rental service must enhance the functionality of ordinary classified ads sites to become successful.

Learn about Other successful online marketplaces.

How Websites and Apps Like Airbnb Differ from Other Apartment Rental Solutions

develop website like Airbnb

Classified ads websites are the common alternatives for Airbnb like solutions. They are online platforms where property owners post their offers for a specific fee or even for free. Customers visit such sites and choose a needed category: a car sale, apartment rent, services, etc. Then they find an advertiser’s email or phone number and contact that person. Classified ads websites contain many different categories and they are actually multi-purpose platforms. Services like Airbnb have the another working principle and business model.

P2P Marketplace

An apartment rental app or website is a peer-to-peer online marketplace that is focused solely on the specific type of service and connects property owners (mostly individuals) who rent out their real estate and customers who have the need for finding an accommodation for a specific term. Similar marketplaces may focus on another type of services: car rent, appliance or tool rent, etc.


 Airbnb geolocation

The main difference between classified ads sites like Craigslist is that they provide users with information, but Airbnb like services help customers solve their problem. In the first case, users have to find a convenient offer and only make a choice in the second one. That is why geolocation plays a crucial role in apartment rental apps or sites like Airbnb. Customers often need to be physically near a place which is for rent. Being in another country, tourists can easily and fast find an accommodation that is geographically close to them.They have a problem: to find a cheap apartment within a couple of quarters as fast as possible. Such marketplaces provide users with a solution by allowing them to find a place by location and showing a search result on a digital map.

Online Payments

Another difference and advantage of such marketplaces is that they allow making a payment online without leaving a reservation room app or website. This feature is convenient for renters and it protects property owners by ensuring the transaction security. Furthermore, online payments let a marketplace owner charge a service fee and build an effective business model.


Classified ads sites are not responsible for a deal between customers and those who rent out the belongings. Therefore, renters entrust their money to the person they know nothing about. On websites like Airbnb, customers can leave reviews about the property owner whose apartment they have rented. These reviews form a host profile and its rating that will influence further deals. The higher rating is, the more customers trust this specific host.

Why It Is Important to Make a Room App for an Airbnb Like Service

app like airbnb

Many business owners create a mobile application besides the main website they already have (e.g. Facebook and Twitter). Others focus on a mobile app and a website is a supplementary tool (e.g. Shazam, Uber, and Instagram). E-commerce business owners develop an app to increase sales. Why did Airbnb founders Joe Gebbia, Brian Chesky and Nathan Blecharczyk design a room app for their service?


The development team has managed to make each user feel like the app is created specifically for him or her. Trips are the sweet memories that warm human hearts during the whole year till the next journey. That is why it is so important for rental apps for Android and iOS to provide users with the best experience through a personalized and intuitive UI.


A smart linking strategy is one of the reasons why the app has become even more popular than the site. When users realize the advantage of your app, they will associate their positive emotions with your solution. As a result, a word of mouth is guaranteed. Users will gladly share their experience with others that is why you will get two profits at the time: user-generated content and free advertising.

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Website like Airbnb

In preparation for your platform development and launch of online room rental, we've put together an estimated cost for creating a peer-to-peer marketplace similar to Airbnb.

It's important to note that the ultimate price of such a platform is greatly influenced by several factors:

  • The specific features and functionality you desire for your rental marketplace platform.
  • Your chosen development approach.
  • The location, and consequently, the rates of your development company.

Considering all the discussed functionalities, the average cost of a rental housing website is $ 80,000.

In conclusion, it's important to emphasize that the ultimate cost can vary, and only your chosen software development partner will be able to furnish you with a precise quote.

Nonetheless, you can rely on the provided figures if you're seeking an estimate for the creation of a quality vacation rental website in collaboration with a development company located in Eastern Europe.

Our Experience

Discovery Phase for a Real Estate App

Our venture into the US real estate market, with a focus on the processes related to property rentals and sales, aimed to create a competitive platform that meets the diverse needs of end users seeking real estate for personal use and offers online communication capabilities for agents and their potential clients.

The initial phase of transitioning from a concept to a finalized product involved the discovery stage. During our comprehensive exploration of the US real estate landscape, we unearthed a crucial detail: engaging in real estate activities necessitates the acquisition of licenses, which are region-specific. These licenses grant access to databases containing pertinent real estate information for a particular area.

Consequently, we decided to initiate our product's minimum viable product (MVP) in the Miami market, where our client procured the necessary license. Our plan entails a gradual expansion to encompass the entire US market in subsequent releases.

Read the full case study

Discovery Phase for a Real Estate Company

A client approached us with a multifaceted request, encompassing the development of a web dashboard for existing tenants, the creation of a real estate marketplace for potential clients and agents, and the design of a mobile application enabling existing tenants to request services and manage payments.

In our initial discussion with the client, it became apparent that our project would involve three primary roles: property owners or agents, existing clients (tenants), and potential clients (new visitors). To comprehensively understand the unique requirements and processes associated with each of these roles, we embarked on a research phase.

Read the full case study

FAQ About Building a Site Like Airbnb

What are the key features that a platform like Airbnb should have?

When you build a site like Airbnb, you should keep in mind the following core features: authorization for different roles (travelers, hosts, admins), profiles with personal data, property listing, search and filtering functionality, calendar with flexible dates, online maps and geolocation, messaging options, translation engine, booking system, cancellation options, notifications, online payments and gateways integration, reviews and feedback, and admin panel.

What marketing and growth strategies are effective for launching and scaling a platform like Airbnb?

o answer the question of how to make a site like Airbnb popular, you should split your marketing effort. You should promote your product, place, and website. So, you can advertise properties online, and attract influencers to promote property objects, website services, and your application, if there is any. You can also make e-mail outreach and showcase your objects on social media. To improve the positions and visibility of your platform, consider content marketing, SEO strategies, referral marketing, and paid search options. Do not underestimate community, create it for your brand, as the Airbnb website does. Consider offline promotions at local events or in local public places and communities. Partner with event organizers and make special offers or event pricing. During the high season, you can benefit from underpricing sometimes. To name a few growth strategies, we suggest introducing upsells, offering extensions, varying prices as it’s best for your clients, going for incentives for group stays, making your properties pet-friendly, and so on.

What are the key revenue streams and monetization models for a business like Airbnb?

The key question is how to create a website like Airbnb and profit. The major revenue stream is surely charging fees from property owners for their rented objects and travelers. However, it’s not the only way to monetize the website. Airbnb offers different programs charging additional fees, like Airbnb Plus or Airbnb for Work, consider creating some. Cleaning and photo services can be offered to property owners at additional costs. You can make paid advertising and paid search available to your clients, to promote their objects on your site. The revenue from travel-related services and products can also become a source of additional income for a site owner. You can always extend your profits through new monetization channels, just stay business-smart and follow the trends.


In this blog post we looked through how to build a website like Airbnb. Creating apartment apps for Android and iOS is the must for accommodation rental services. These tools provide users with a greater UE and allow business owners to implement a more effective marketing strategy.

In our latest whitepaper we analyze the main areas to consider for innovations within the travel industry and aim to help you set the right investment priorities. Download our whitepaper “Travel Industry: Where to Invest” and make sure you can always expand and integrate your service, product or solution later.