Business Tips: How to Develop the App like Airbnb

What are we looking for when traveling to new places? We appreciate a new exciting experience but at the reasonable price. Imagine that you can find all of it on one platform – and this platform is called Airbnb. Any person discovers renting opportunities for himself no matter if he wants to live in a small apartment or in the castle.

As people all over the world travel more often, Airbnb has become a splendid business idea. The question is how to use this idea to earn your own profit. TecSynt is going to analyze the business model of Airbnb and the features that will be a great investment for a similar platform. So, hold on tight and let’s get down to our discussion.


How It Works: Airbnb’s Business Model Canvas
How the Airbnb-Like Platform Fits Your Business

Factors and Features Affecting the Final Price

Read also: Mobile Technology in Flight Search and Hotel Booking Industry

How It Works: Airbnb’s Business Model Canvas

What do we know about Airbnb so far? This is an international platform for people of two categories: those who like traveling and are looking for the place to stay in and those who are ready to offer their own property for travelers. It sounds rather simple, but let’s look at the facts as of October 2017 (due to the research published by DMR):

  • 150 million active users
  • 640 000 hosts
  • 4 million listings
  • 191 countries where Airbnb is active
  • $2.8 billion is a reported projected revenue for 2017

One platform has become a global movement, and we’re eager to know what’s the basis of its work. There are several points to consider.

App Model

1. Value Proposition

  • A high level of convenience when choosing a place to stay in. No need for newspapers or travel agencies – there are only a few clicks or taps to make a decision.
  • Two sides get what they need in a flash. The deal between a host and a buyer can be made within minutes.
  • The lower price. Thanks to the absence of middlemen, the cost lowers down.
  • A wide variety of accommodations. Any traveler here finds a perfect place for himself.
  • A source of extra income. Hosts can earn some money with little effort.

2. Groups of the target audience

  • Cost-sensitive travelers who need a simple place
  • Business travelers
  • Travelers with families
  • Customized travelers who prefer unique places of destination
  • People who have a free place they want to earn money with

3. Key Activities

  • Attracting more hosts to provide platform users with a wider choice of spaces.
  • Customer services when it comes to any kind of disputes between hosts and guests.
  • Online and offline advertisements.
  • Regular platform updates.
  • Product segmentation to make the choosing process simpler for the user: by the budget, region, season, occasion, etc.

4. Channels of Distribution

  • Website
  • Mobile app on both iOS and Android platforms
  • Digital marketing
  • Social media
  • Promotions

5. Cost Structure

  • Creation and maintenance of the online platform
  • Human capital (Airbnb now has 2368 employees)
  • Online payment processing (fees to MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal)
  • Marketing activities
  • Insurance

Now we know a little more about the general concept of the Airbnb platform. But how to decide if such a solution is worth your investments? Here comes another part of our conversation.

Read also: 12 Tools to Market Your New Mobile App

How the Airbnb-Like Platform Fits Your Business

There are many interesting facts you can get about Airbnb on the web. We’ve gathered some of the strongest arguments to tell you about this platform. If you want to know more, use AirDNA as the guide for your business decisions.

There is some free space in other countries. We already know that Airbnb is active in 191 countries – it sounds a lot! But the fact is the quarter of all bookings are held in the United States. It’s obvious that you have a free hand on many other territories, so you should not be afraid of an intensive competition.

Small cities don’t count… for now. It means that the most of all accommodations are provided in big cities, but the smaller ones also need some attention. Maybe, it’s a hot time for a local startup? This is the best chance to start small and occupy your own niche.

Sharing economy brings its benefits. Even though Airbnb is known in many countries of the world, its very base appeared earlier and got a name of the sharing economy. According to it, businesses don’t have their own goods and services – instead, they connect people with people. Nowadays, this model is a chance to get a continued growth of profits in many industries: real estate, e-commerce, transportation, etc.

Read also: The Top 5 Must-Have Features of E-Commerce Websites

Sharing Economy

Our conclusion is that you don’t need to compare your initial budget with big numbers of Airbnb. On the contrary, a small local business can get its audience much faster than a huge market player with spaces located in the big cities.

Factors and Features Affecting the Final Price

Airbnb is a convenient platform that guests are happy to use over and over again. It happens thanks to the attractive and (what’s more important) intuitive design. Each step is thought through with care, that’s why deals are made so quickly and customers are satisfied with the results. We will start from the very beginning – this is your small guide on the creation of the platform similar to Airbnb.

First things first – you should remember that there are two basic types of customers that should be treated differently: these are guests and hosts. Do they have at least something in common? For sure! Let’s figure out what it is:

  • Registration or logging in using an email or a Facebook account
  • Adapted personal settings (such as changing a password)
  • Notification system
  • The user’s dashboard

This list is longer when it comes to differences. Here is what the guests will need visiting your platform:

  • Adding and changing information in their personal profiles.
  • The search option to find the space.
  • The comfortable review of available listings.
  • A set of communication features: creating and sending new requests, messaging about them, and reacting to incoming offers.
  • The history of the previous bookings and review of the future ones.
  • The history of transactions and ability to pay within the app.
  • Leaving rates and reviews about a certain accommodation.

And this is what the hosts will need for a comfortable work:

  • A customized look of the personal page in the app.
  • Convenient navigation when changing any information in the profile.
  • Ability to manage the data about a certain accommodation: its photos, details, and prices).
  • A set of communications features: sending offers to the clients and making deals without leaving the app.
  • A clear review of previous and upcoming reservations.
  • An access to the transaction history.
  • An opportunity to rate and comment on the guests as well.

This would be enough for the MVP stage to understand your future product better and to add more functionality when you’re ready. But the features are hardly the one and only thing to consider – it’s time to talk about your team and its work.

The chart below shows an optimal number of members to build what you want. The dream team consists of designers, frontend and backend developers, plus one QA engineer. All of them will need a different amount of time approaching the final result (according to RubyGarage):

Team Size

In the end, 7 members are the necessary team size. And summarizing the number of hours, we’ve got 1 281-1 505 hours needed to cope with the initial MVP steps of your project.

Considering the average hourly rates of Ukrainian developers as $35, we’ve got the price of your Airbnb-like project – it is around $44 835-$52 675.

Read also: How to Create an App and Make Money

Giving New Traveling Experience

Modern world gives us lots of options: where to go, which transport to choose, and, finally, where to stay. Traveling has never been easier than it is today. Airbnb has also made a contribution in the comfortable traveling and provided accommodations for every taste. It sounds like a great business idea to us.

The most important thing to remember when building a similar platform is not to forget about two main groups of the target audience: hosts and guests. If you do think about each of them, this is the first successful movement of your project. Our team is ready to share the expertise in building mobile solutions connecting buyers and sellers – contact us whenever you’re ready!

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