How Much Does It Cost to Build a Website like Airbnb from Scratch
Today’s modern world has changed beyond recognition. Each year, millions of people travel around the world for work or vacation. They need facilities while traveling to a different place. However, either it turns out to be very expensive or cheap with inadequate facilities. This is where homestays and private apartment rentals become significant.
Airbnb is one such successful rental business that allows people to rent private apartments, houses, or even rooms. Born out of a necessity of Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky, to pay their rent, Airbnb is currently present in 190 countries with over 150 million users. While it’s not the only player in the segment, Airbnb is indeed the market leader. That is why, on a global scale, people with similar business instincts are trying to build various vacation rental management software like Airbnb.
If you are wondering how to use this idea to make a profit, you are in the right place. In this blog, you will find information about Airbnb’s business model, essential features, and an estimate about the cost to create a website like Airbnb.
In this article, we will cover the following topics-
- How does Airbnb work?
- The business model of Airbnb
- The core features of a similar solution
- How much to build a website like Airbnb from scratch
- How much does Airbnb app cost when building from readymade solutions
Before getting into the core of how much to build a website like Airbnb, let’s explore how Airbnb works.
How does Airbnb work?
Airbnb is an online platform that connects hosts renting out their living space with guests seeking accommodations for affordable prices compared to hotels. More precisely, Airbnb is a peer-peer or P2P marketplace where one party offers access to services or products to another party for a price. This is also called as P2P renting. Before learning how to make a site like Airbnb, you need to understand how this P2P model works here.
Airbnb offers a platform to connect hosts and guests directly with a variety of on-site features for the host to set up listings, guests to find the right accommodation and both hosts and guests to connect, while the platform takes care of the secure transactions. Airbnb takes a 3% commission from hosts and a servicing fee of 6%-12% from guests in return.
This is a brief on how Airbnb works.
- Listing: Hosts list out properties with details and other information like amenities offered, pricing, etc.
- Photography: Airbnb sends a team with professional photographers to the property location to click high-quality pictures of the property.
- Search: Users search for a property in a city they wish to stay and browse options.
- Booking: Travelers make a booking through Airbnb and pay the amount mentioned by the host along with the transaction fees.
- Confirmation: The host confirms and approves the booking.
- Fulfillment: Travelers stay at the place and finally, Airbnb pays the amount to the host after deducting their share of the commission.
The Business Model of Airbnb
Firstly, Airbnb solves a common problem of finding unique and affordable accommodations when traveling to a different city. The Airbnb business model is made for a mass market that uniquely connects different markets- travelers, tourists, and experience providers.
If you have used Airbnb, you probably know that it employs a full-fledged digital channel. There are no third parties involved like front desk executives or booking agents. You can search, make reservations, manage listings, and experience through their website or mobile apps.
What are the core features of an Airbnb like rental marketplace website?
Despite the seeming simplicity, there is an entire set of functions in the backend of a website like Airbnb. To answer the question- “how much does Airbnb app cost, understanding the core features of Airbnb is essential as it covers the major portion of the total costs. When you build a website like Airbnb, ensure that the following essential features are enlisted:
Both hosts and guests must register and fill in complete details to start using the platform. A social media login feature is critical for Airbnb like websites, as users prefer signing up via their Google or Facebook accounts.
- Filtered search
Strong filtered search is the core feature of Airbnb. They make it quite easy to find accommodation by location, price, preferred time of check-in, and various other parameters.
This allows users to find nearby available houses, which is crucial for a tourist who is traveling to an unfamiliar place.
- Booking management
A strong available and booking management is essential so that service providers can specify their ability. Users can book on dates that are convenient for them. This feature facilitates the successful booking and avoids double bookings.
- Secure online payment
Websites like Airbnb must make sure that providers deliver what was booked and buyers pay the agreed price. The best way to achieve this is to take payment from the buyer in advance and transfer the payment to the provider only after delivering the service.
- Review system
Any peer-peer marketplace works based on the trust between strangers. Each user has a detailed profile page with their real names, pictures, and other essential information. Both customers and providers can view and leave reviews after being indulged in business.
- Communication between guests and owner
The ability to exchange messages between guests and hosts and communication between users also leads to the efficient operation of the business.
What is the technology stack for building a website like Airbnb?
If you want to make an app like Airbnb, you know that implementing great functionalities and features like Airbnb won’t be achievable without advanced technologies.
Airbnb uses efficient and flexible technologies that speed up the development process, ensure scalability and security, and process heavy traffic. You don’t have to choose the same tech stack Airbnb used, to repeat its success story. However, choosing the right technology stack is important to build a website like Airbnb.
According to Stackshare, here is the complete list of tech stack Airbnb uses.
While Airbnb uses the above-mentioned technologies to work seamlessly, the right technology for your Airbnb like website depends on your requirements, budget, and time constraints. Before you jump into the phase to create a website like Airbnb, be sure to have a thought out plan that meets your unique requirements and expectations.
Here are some of the suitable options you can start with. Later on, you can expand to bigger technologies as your business grow.
The best framework to choose your Airbnb like the website will be the one your developers are familiar with. You can pick any general-purpose stack like MEAN, LAMP, Python, or Ruby.
LAMP offers powerful back-end technologies like Laravel. It’s popular for its capabilities and familiarity among the global developers. It’s easier to speed up development and reduce costs with LAMP.
For starters, MySQL and can add to maintain more specific parts of your site. Alternatively, MongoDB can be used for storing cache, S3 for storing documents, and LongStash to store logs. For cloud storage, you can use Amazon S3 or EBS.
To incorporate powerful search capabilities to your website, you can use Solr and Elastic.
How much to build a website like Airbnb?
Peer-peer marketplaces are quite complicated to create and require a lot of work. However, with modern technology and advanced tools at your fingertips, it no longer takes months of work and fortune to make your project happen.
Let’s break it down in a clear way to understand how much does an Airbnb app cost. We will cover two alternatives here:
- How much to build a website like Airbnb from Scratch?
- How much does the Airbnb app cost when built from a readymade script?
How much to build a website like Airbnb from Scratch?
The cost to build a site like Airbnb depends on your project requirements. Moreover, there are other factors as well that influence the cost such as the size of the development team, the number of platforms, technical complexity, and mainly the design- whether it is customized or a standard one.
Building a website from scratch is the most elaborate, time-consuming, and expensive way to create a vacation rental software like Airbnb. This involves developing the whole website by dividing it into parts and considering each part microscopically. The whole process includes frontend and backend development. It is a time consuming and laborious process, which will take a minimum of 2-3 months.
If you are looking for information on how to make the Airbnb website, here are some elements of the development process.
|Feature||Description||Estimation of hours|
|Investigation phase||Overall project planning and setup||60+ hours|
|Sign up & Login||Fundamental feature for any app||10-16 hours|
For an Airbnb app, there are 2 sets of users: Guests and Hosts. A basic user profile will have personal information like name, gender, contact info, personal description, and some optional fields.
Framework settings allow users to customize personal data and preferences like wish lists, SMS and push notifications, payment methods, etc.
|Search and filters||
For guests, Airbnb offers a broad range of options to customize their search like the place you want to visit, check-in and check-out dates, room/ accommodation type, number of people, price range, etc.
|Description of accommodations||
A valid search will give a list of search results. Each item will have a detailed description with photos, reviews, and ratings, available dates, maps, etc.
|Signing up as a host||
This is a full-function that enables hosts to create listings, offer bookings, communicate with guests, etc.
|Implementation of maps||
Airbnb like apps offers map integration to make it easier for users to find a particular location.
A communication tool to facilitate interactions between the guests and the hosts.
Each feature you add to the app needs time to create and configure on both client-side and server-side. The server-side tech stack is a crucial part of the entire app building process. Hence, it is going to be the most time-consuming part of the development process. After all, you want to build a site like Airbnb that functions the same as Airbnb. For that, you have to add an extra 600+ hours to the entire timing.
Once you are done calculating the total hours to build your Airbnb, then comes the question of who will develop the app for you. This makes up a large part of the question “how much does Airbnb app cost”. Globally the price differs for hours of developers and it ranges from $20-$250 per hour.
How much does Airbnb app cost when built from a readymade script?
Using an open-source marketplace platform or Airbnb clone script is another way to build a site like Airbnb. A script is packed with all the features and functionalities to generate revenue from a vacation rental business. An Airbnb clone script saves you a lot of time, effort and of course, money. You get all the features that Airbnb has and the features that fulfill the requirements of your customers. The idea of making an app like Airbnb with the same quality and user experience is easy with a solid Airbnb script.
Any good script comes equipped with all the features like advanced search filter, guest-host communication, wish list feature, multi-currency support, and additional features like server requirements, admin dashboard, and monetization features.
Moreover, you get a 100% open source-code, which you can install on multi-domains and use for various niches. Clone scripts come around $1000 for a regular license with free installation and 1-year free support and upgrades. If you also want mobile apps for Android and iOS, the cost might go up to $2000, which is still lower than the cost of development from scratch.
Whether to make an app like Airbnb from scratch or use a readymade script?
Why thinking about how to make Airbnb website, when the work is already automated for you. If you are looking for different ways to make an Airbnb-like website, an Airbnb clone script is the ideal choice for your project, as you don’t have to spend your valuable time and money on building the base of the platform. Instead, you can focus on other areas of your business or adding more features to the existing solution.
The clone scripts are nothing but ready to deploy programs, which help to create a website like Airbnb or any other application with full functionality in just a few minutes. Choosing an Airbnb clone script is a quite affordable solution as there is no hidden fee included, unlike SaaS-based website builders. There is an only one-time payment to get and set up your Airbnb website according to your needs and goals.
Here are some strong points on why you must consider using an Airbnb script overusing a SaaS eCommerce solution or developing it from scratch.
- Customize it your way
A clone script is 100% customizable and you can incorporate any kind of personalization you need in order to make the product unique. You can easily add new designs, features, or any alterations in requirements.
- Faster turnaround time
When you consider creating a website like Airbnb from scratch, the turnaround time to launch an Airbnb website from a clone script is much less.
- Mobile friendly
Airbnb clone scripts are mobile friendly and work well in both Android and iOS browsers. Both guests and hosts have the same features and functionalities as in the web portal. Switching over to the host profile from a guest profile is a smooth experience in the mobile version as well.
- SEO friendly design
Clone scripts come with on-page SEO and marketing modules integrated into it so that you can have the marketing part covered, too.
When you buy a clone script, it is more than a one-time deal. You get free support for a year including the setup and deployment part. In the case of customizations requirements, you just need to pay for specific customizations.
To Sum Things, up: How much did it cost to build Airbnb
When you consider how much did it cost to build Airbnb, now you know what all aspects come under the overall costs. Website development itself can cost around $1000- $50,000 or even more depending on how you choose to develop the site. It will cost you around $40,000-$56,500 or even more create a website like Airbnb from scratch considering the individual cost of each module and functionality. However, to make an app like Airbnb from clone script, it just costs you around $1000 or less.
Besides the development costs, there are other costs involved, which are as follows:
- Domain name– Registration of domains costs around $10-1000. Whereas, if you want to buy a domain that belongs to someone else, it can become more expensive.
- Web hosting– Web hosting charges can come around $50-$300/ month. Make sure you choose popular services with good reviews even if the cost is more as you will work with confidential data and money transactions.
- Content development– As you need high-quality content and images for your Airbnb like website, content creation costs will also be added to the total costs. This might come around $500 per month, which includes the costs to hire resources to work on content creation regularly.
- SSL certificates- Securing your Airbnb website with SSL technology is very important if you want to offer a securable and reliable service to your users. The 128/256 bit encryptions come within the range of $149-$1500 per year.
How do websites like Airbnb make money?
Now that we have learned about the core features and how much does it cost to build Airbnb, it is important to understand how to make money from an Airbnb app.
The primary source of Airbnb’s earnings comes mainly from service fees from bookings. Depending on the size of the reservation, guests are supposed to pay around 6%-12% service fee. Here a break up of how Airbnb generates revenue:
Host commissions– Airbnb takes a 10% commission from hosts for every confirmed booking.
Transaction fee– Hosts have to pay a 3% transaction fee to cover payment processing on the site.
Service fee– Airbnb charges the guest a service fee of 6%-12% of the total reservation.
Promoted listing– Airbnb takes an amount from hosts to promote their listings over others to gain more visibility.
Don’t just build an Airbnb Clone
If you are looking for an overall solution for this question- how to make Airbnb website the easiest way, an Airbnb clone script comes handy. These solutions also come with a common problem of replicating the same website like Airbnb.
What is the need for an exact website like Airbnb when Airbnb is already ruling the market?
With an Airbnb clone script, don’t try to copy what Airbnb has already done. Try incorporating a unique feature or a set of features to fulfill the needs of your target market. A good clone script is not for creating another Airbnb clone. Instead, it offers a personalized solution to provide much more value to your target audience with your peer-peer marketplace.
When you think about traveling to a destination, what is the first thing you search? Certainly an exciting and incredible travel experience at a reasonable price. This is the reason behind the ever-growing popularity of Airbnb- the one-stop destination for all backpackers to discover renting choices in terms of a small apartment or a luxurious resort stay. With people nowadays who love going on vacations often or travel for work purposes, no wonder apps like Airbnb have emerged as an impressive business idea.
The development cost depends on several factors like:
-Type of platforms- iOS, Android, or both
-Number of people employed in the project (project manager, designers, developers, testers)
-The technical complexity of features and testing.
While an app like Airbnb with basic features starts from $25,000-$30, 0000, the price of an app with advanced features on all platforms starts from $40,000.
That’s why, building an Airbnb clone could be a better alternative over building a website from scratch, as it comes with different advantages to boost your rental vacation rental software via new and exciting features, rather than re-inventing the wheel repeatedly.