Airbnb Mobile App Success: How Airbnb Did It?

Airbnb Mobile App : Everyone loves traveling and wants to explore exotic locations, and if you’re one of them, then the Airbnb app is the right solution for finding the best places for rent. Simultaneously, if you have some extra space and want to offer some room to travelers, Airbnb is the answer to the scenario.

Nowadays, if you want to establish a company in this digital age, you have to develop an app for your users. Because with over 3.2 billion smartphone users worldwide, it’s no surprise that the mobile app industry is thriving. As per a report by Statista (a German company specializing in market and consumer data), as of 2019, over 2.5 million apps are available for download on the Play store, while 1.86 million apps are available on the Apple App Store.

With the above stats, we want to show how big the market is, and it shows how important it is if you want to become a market leader. Developing an app is not the solution because it is a bitter truth that many mobile apps fail, and some succeed. 

When Airbnb stepped into online tourism activities, competitors have not expected the massive success of Airbnb; now the question is why Airbnb is so successful?

Before we answer this question, always remember if you facilitate and value your customers, your business will grow. Here, the company developed an app that helped travelers and hosts find rooms and allot rooms for vacation rentals, making them easy to find a location to stay. In fact, as we told above, it also gave new business opportunities to host who offer rooms and earn. Therefore the app made traveling more accessible, and it’s a win-win situation for both ends (travelers and host).

Every traveling or tourism company wants to make an app just like Airbnb, and why are companies not successful like the US rental company Airbnb? To solve this puzzle today, we will highlight app development and its process, which will give an idea about how to develop an app like Airbnb.

Now you must be thinking about what unique Airbnb did in their app? To find the answer, kindly read till the end.

Airbnb Availability

Featuring more than two million+ listings in over 34,000 different cities, Airbnb was designed for tourists and residents alike looking for rent, a new mansion, or holiday lodging. Including both business locations and unused spaces, the app allows you to find a last-minute residence in up to 200+ different countries. What separates this company from the other competitors on the market is its users with a consistent, extensive community and a safe payment system.

Airbnb Founder’s Idea

Brian Chesky and his partner Joe Gebbia came up with the idea for Airbnb when they couldn’t afford to pay their rent. This is the time when the seed of Airbnb started to take shape. They planned to transform their living room into bed and breakfast for three guests. And they get some amount of money, and then they started to hunt investors to fund their startup.

Airbnb business model


  • Host — Those people who own a house or provide rooms and want to rent them. Airbnb receives commission (some fixed percent) from hosts upon every booking. And this way, they earn a profit in the form of commission.
  • Guests — Travelers and families are going for a vacation who want to stay at affordable prices. They get a commission from guests upon every booking.
  • Freelance Photographers — Most of you might not know that Airbnb has a team of professional photographers across the globe. They click high-quality pictures of the property, and they get directly paid from the Airbnb portal.

Airbnb’s target audience

  • Travelers who out for an affordable options
  • Business travelers
  • Travelers looking to explore new places
  • People looking for additional income who can hosts

Modes of distribution

  • Official website
  • Supporting mobile app on both iOS and Android platforms
  • Digital marketing
  • Social media
  • Paid promotions

According to the latest statistics, the company now has:

  • Over 100+ million users
  • 650,000+ hosts
  • Around 2+ million listings
  • Approximately 500,000 guests stay per night via Airbnb mobile app
  • Available in 191 countries and 65,000 cities
  • Estimated revenue of $900 million

Note- The figures might change later.

Airbnb Mobile App Features


  • Log-in / Sign-up details— The users are supposed to log in with their pre-registered IDs or create a new account by filling in their details like name, number, etc. they can also sign in via their email address or various social media platforms.
  • Manage account — Edit and update personal profile information like mobile number, email id, date of birth, gender, permanent address, etc. Change and generate account password.
  • Chat and push notifications — Users will get the instant notification once they book the room. And every time, they will get the notification if they change or move to some other place.
  • Search Filter — Users get an option to set for desired accommodation by filtering their travel like dates, price range, facilities, and much more.
  • Host interaction — Guests can communicate with their host via messages even before booking and can take all the information related to rooms. 
  • Payments — Users can pay from various payment options available, and it also provides a safe payment system. You can even access the pay details of the transaction.
  • Create wish lists — Just like Amazon, you can create your own wish list, where you can check the price and compare your current and previous price rentals. And book the property when the price comes down.
  • Maps — Airbnb simplifies the whole booking process with maps (make sure you turn your current location on). They help in showcasing the location with rentals around the preferred area the user wants to stay in.
  • Ratings and Review — Users can share their experiences with the hosts by rating and reviewing them. It will enhance the customer experience and encourage building trust.
  • Sharing — Users can invite friends through social media accounts to download the app.

Hosts App (Property owner)

  • Registration — The Host can fill in their details and register themselves by listing their available property or rooms.
  • Log-in or Sign-up — The hosts are supposed to log in with their pre-registered details or create a new account by filling in their details like name, address, number, etc. They can also sign in through their mail id or various social media channels. (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)
  • Manage listings — Highlight listings like the property’s overall details like the amenities available, pricing, and additional facilities come under this section. The latest images can be uploaded whenever required.
  • Booking Listing — All the latest or upcoming bookings can be seen systematically, in the form of a calendar view. Each date of the month will show the bookings in sequence-wise.
  • Request — This is a route for accepting or declining the user’s request for your property.
  • Messaging feature — Hosts can communicate with their guests through this chat feature. They can reply to all the queries of the guests even before booking or confirming their stay. 
  • Rate and review guests — Feedback back is vital when it comes to improving customer service. Therefore, each visitor can be rated and reviewed according to their behavior and approach.
  • Account Details — This helps in adding or eliminating information in the account.
  • Help — Guests can check the FAQs sections and ask for any help in case of any doubt with the listing of their property or in case of seeking any booking or guest-related help.
  • Sharing — Hosts can invite friends through social media accounts to download the app.
  • Booking History — All the previous bookings can be tracked down here along with the payment received. Also, the total revenue generated can be estimated.

Admin Panel

  • Dashboard — The admin dashboard is used to view all the users registered (new and old), hosts (new and old), and the photographers.
  • Manage new listings — All the new listings uploaded are scrutinized and processed further. The admin panel issues the liberty to edit, add or delete listings, according to the requirement.
  • Booking History — All the previous and latest bookings can be checked here. There is also an update on the current status of each booking. These can also be edited, updated, or deleted as per need.
  • Feedback and complaints — Each feedback provided by the guest and hosts can be viewed here systematically. Any complaints about the hosts or guests can be processed here.
  • Insights — All the information on the previous and current activities can be observed here. These detailed insights can help in future decisions.

Listing out the technologies used in Airbnb App

  1. Programming languages — Ruby, JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3
  2. Application Framework — Ruby on Rails
  3. JavaScript Framework — React.js
  4. Automation Frameworks — RSpec, Capybara, PhantomJS
  5. SQL data storage — PostgreSQL
  6. Global Payment — Braintree
  7. Messaging & Communication — Twilio
  8. Cloud Storage — Amazon S3, EBS
  9. Cloud Hosting — Amazon EC2
  10. Voice and SMS API for SMS, Voice, and Phone Verification — Nexmo

Development cost of an app like Airbnb? 

Determining the price of developing an App like Airbnb is influenced by a significant factor: rate per hour. The number of hours multiplied by a rate fixed by the company will be the estimated price of developing the app.

Before stepping into the details, let’s take $50 as an average price from the industry.

Now, let’s dig into the details of developing the app one by one and how much cost it would incur in each step?

Without some crucial steps, it is challenging to develop an app. For building a similar or an app like Airbnb, the process may take approximately 1000-1100 hours.


Like other apps, users will have to register first with their valid email ID. Then accept the terms & conditions of the app.

Estimation: The estimated time required to develop this feature will be approximately 40 hours.

Create a profile

The user must enter their details as per details on the government ID. However, the developer will have to create two separate profile pages, one for the guest and one for the owner (host). The user must enter information such as phone number, email ID, username, birth date, gender, address, and a few other crucial details.

Estimation: It takes around 50 hours to integrate this feature.


There are two options, if the user is a guest, then he/she can start searching for the susceptible host, but if he/she is a host, then he/she can add his/her property and mark their availability.

To find the appropriate host, a user might need to enter the following details like the house, apartment, accommodation, price, photos, etc.,

Being the guest, the user gets to choose the best host, and there are so many filters to choose the suitable accommodation:

  • Place you are going to visit
  • Check-in and Check-out dates
  • Total number of guests

Estimation: The filter feature may take up to 30-40 hours to develop (depends on the developer’s speed).

Room Variants (facilities)

After applying the filters, the results page will satisfy all the options as per the filters. After tapping on a result, the user will see the following information:

  • Reviews
  • Ratings
  • Pictures
  • Description
  • Live map
  • Terms and conditions and Price

This information helps users to familiarize themselves with the selected accommodation. The user will also see the property rules cancellation rules, minimum booking period, check out & check-in time. 

Estimation: This particular process takes about 300 hours or more to complete:

  • 40-50 hours for the list of variants.
  • 40-46 hours for details about the property.
  • 27-38 hours for the host’s profile.
  • 21-29 hours for rating and reviews.
  • 40-44 hours for the booking feature.
  • 23-26 hours for setting up the check-in and check-out dates.
  • 40 hours for the calendar view of available dates.
  • 40-50 hours for developing the ‘message/text the host’ feature.


From the settings menu, the user can configure:

  • Push and SMS notifications
  • Change Theme, etc

Estimation: It will take around 30 hours to develop.

Chat & Push notifications

On-time notifications help to stay updated with the services you’re using. When you book, leave or hunt for property, you will get a notification that declares the confirmation of the services you switched. 

Estimation: It will take around 60 hours to develop. 

Secure Payments

Whenever anyone pays the amount, the biggest question that comes to mind is whether it is safe to make online payments? With Airbnb’s secure payment system, users get a facility to pay through various payment methods safely.

Estimation: It will take approximately 90 hours to develop a secure payment system.

Note: The cost estimation is based on the User app development.


Finally, we came to a point where everyone wants to know the average cost like an Airbnb app.

After summing each process, it is clear that it takes around 1000-1100 hours, and multiplying the hours by $50 (the average development price), we get a sum of $50,000 to $55,000.

The particular price range gives you the estimated costs required to develop a $900 million revenue-generating app like Airbnb.

Ultimately, how much it would cost to develop will depend on the number of features and the design you choose for the app, and it might be completely different from this estimation price bracket.

Cmile has a team of experienced team developers who are capable enough to develop an app like Airbnb. If you wish to hire our team of experts, we are just a call away!


Posted in

Related Posts

Leave a Comment


Get to know your app development cost

Check out our new designed user-friendly app development cost calculator now.


We focus on solving the issue via apps. We don’t go with the trends, we analyze the issue and try to develop the apps which can improve your life.

Ready to Discuss Your Project?