The companies like Amazon, PayPal and Uber are showing marvelous performance and the success as well as fast growth of such companies trigger the entrepreneurial spirit of many enterprising youngsters the world over. The list of the upcoming startups that could trigger the curiosity of budding entrepreneurs will not be complete without the addition of “Airbnb”. Today Airbnb is a leading online marketing firm in the field of hospitality and rental service. Airbnb acts as the intermediary between owners of houses as well as other places of accommodation and people who are interested to take them either on lease or on rental.
This will enable tourists to book their accommodation during holiday trips for the most competitive prices. Why most of the property owners the world over make it a point to sign up with Airbnb as soon as they decide to rent out their homes, villas or apartments? The reason is quite obvious – Airbnb has successfully established its online presence in not less than 190 countries and the list prepared by the company comprises more than 300000 lodge listings spread over about 65000 cities in the world. Here are a few very exciting facts about Airbnb:

  • The awesome Airbnb App was developed in the year 2007 by Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia
  • The total value of the company is about USD 31 billion
  • As an online market place Airbnb is a boon for travelers. They can make all the arrangements for their holidays through this app instead of depending on the tour operators thereby saving substantial amount of money

Many innovative and dynamic young entrepreneurs take inspiration from the success story of Airbnb and show great enthusiasm to develop a new app similar to Airbnb.

Cost of developing the app – a lot of factors to take into account

In spite of the different approaches by different developers, the basic structure of the app will be the same since it has to resemble the Airbnb app. There are many factors that influence the app developing process. We will examine them one by one.

iOS or Android

The cost for developing the Airbnb like app will be different for Android platform and iOS platform. The app which is to be developed for the Android platform will be about 30% costlier than the app for the iOS platform. The developer has to consider whether more number of screens are to be provided considering the preferences of the target customers.


The developer may have to appoint technical professionals to execute the app development project. In order to minimize the app development cost the developer has to ensure that the size of the team is the minimum. Each team member should have sufficient expertise in the relevant field and should ensure perfect coordination with other members.

Designing the App

When we plan to develop a new product for a very competitive market, we expect the new product to standout in all aspects. Due importance is to be given for the aesthetic appearance and stylish and unique design of the new app. Hence the app developer will be incurring designing expenses.

Addition of features, complex technical issues, testing of the new App

Addition of different features with some of them unique will cause a considerable impact on the cost of the project. Solutions are to be found out for various complex technical issues that may arise and also the newly developed app should get through the final testing. All these factors will contribute to the cost of development of the app.

Separate costing of the different sections that constitute the entire project

The companies that undertake developing of apps for their clients charge on hourly basis. However, the entrepreneur who plans to develop the new app has to divide the whole project into different sections and carry out the costing of each section considering the same as a mini project. This approach will enable the app developer to complete the project within his budget.

Section.1 – Preparing the ground

In the initial section the app developer has to discuss in detail with the professional team and prepare the final plan to execute the project. In case of the project to design and develop an app which resembles the Airbnb app, the initial section of the project will take not less than 50 hours to complete. The cost to complete Section.1 will be in the range $1300 – $1500. It may take 18 – 20 hours to set up the project base and about 25 hours will be required for incorporation of the API. Each of the remaining two tasks – preparation of the database model and implementation of the libraries and services may consume about 10 hours.

Section.2 – Registration of users

The users of the travel apps are required to get registered through their email id or mobile phone number. The registration process is complete when the user confirms his acceptance of the terms and conditions. Not less than 12 hours will be required to develop the registration process of the new app and this part alone will incur an expense of around $300.

Section.3 – User Profile

Creation of the user profile is an important part of the project. The developer of the app should provide a platform for the user to create his personal profile by entering his name, gender, date of birth, mobile number, email id, address and other particulars. User profile of each user is a useful record for the company. From the profile they can find out the preferred holiday destinations of the user and the type of accommodation he or she will prefer. This information enables the company to email special notifications to the users. In the case of an app which is similar to Airbnb, the developer has to create the user profile platform which can accommodate two user profiles – one is of the guest and the other is of the host. Creation of user profile will take about 24 hours to complete and the approximate cost will be in the range $550 – $650.

Section.4 – Providing the information required by the user

The users will start using the app once they are registered. The user who is planning his holiday trip will use the app to find out the suitable accommodation in the city which will be his destination. There will be a lot of options for different budgets. Those who offer house, villa or apartment on lease or rental for limited number of days or months will provide the various details of the house or villa, description of the rooms as well as other facilities that are provided and also the prices. They will also mention whether it is for private occupation only or the guests can share the house. In order to extract the exact and specific information the guest has to provide the particulars such as the exact place where he wants to stay, the type of accommodation he prefers, the date of arrival as well as departure and total number of people.
The person who searches for the accommodation can also find out information regarding type of bed as well as furniture and other amenities that are available in the house. Information regarding nearby markets, parks, tourist spots and places for entertainment also will be available through the app. Guests can also search for details about restaurants, local travel facilities, local cuisines and languages spoken. The ‘search and find out’ is indeed a vital feature of a travel app that resembles Airbnb. The developer team has to spend 32 – 36 hours for developing this feature and for this feature alone the developer has to spend $800 – $900.

Section.5 – Details of the particular room

After searching and finding out the suitable options for accommodation, the traveler or the user of the app will start filtering the details of the particular room which he considers the best option. Apart from the location, price, terms and conditions the guest will choose a room finally only after going through the images of the room interior as well as the view from the room, the reviews and ratings on the room and details pertaining to various other aspects of the room. In the cases of houses, villas and apartments that are offered on lease or rental, the traveler may check with the owner of the house or the guest about various aspects of the accommodation. The user of the app may also want to know the maximum number of days he can stay in the house and also about the services provided to the guests. They will also ask whether they have to pay extra for availing those services. Developing this feature in the new app is a time-consuming as well as complicated task and for developing this feature alone the developing team has to spend 180 – 190 hours. They may have to split Section.5 into sub sections such as including all the variants in a particular order, details about the room, owner/host profile, booking the room, availability of rooms and the like. Developing of Section.5 is very expensive also and the approximate cost will be $4600.
In order to make the new app more efficient, the app developer can opt for third-party applications to book the room.

Section.6 – The Translation Feature

It is quite natural that people from different parts of the world may choose the same city or the same place as their holiday destination and hence the newly developed travel app will be used by people speaking different languages. Hence the translation feature is quite essential for the Airbnb type apps. The text to be translated will be sent to the Google Translator which will immediately translate the same into the language sought by the user of the app. This great feature will be highly appreciated by the users. This feature can be developed within 8 hours and the cost incurred will be about $200.

Section.7 – Maps

The ‘Maps’ feature is an additional facility for the app user to locate a particular place. The map will also provide them idea about the neighborhoods as well as surroundings of the place where they stay. The Maps feature can be developed in 32 hours and it will cost around $800.

Section.8 – The Backend

Since the Backend of an app is directly linked to the server, developing the Backend is a significant part of the app developing project. Without developing the Backend the project cannot be taken as completed. For the app the Backend is its backbone. This is the most difficult section of the project and requires a lot of patience. The app developing personnel must be very cautious an alert while developing the Backend of the app. Not less than 160 hours will be required for successful implementation of the Backend feature. For this section alone the app developer may have to spend approximately $4000.

Section.9 – The Tourist Guide feature

Normally the two features – Maps and Tourist Guide – are linked. Once the user chooses a particular place for his stay during the holidays, the Tourist Guide feature becomes functional and provides information regarding the nearby places for sight-seeing, other places of interest which the traveler should not miss. This feature can be developed within 10 hours at a cost of about $260.

Section.10 – Messaging

Messaging is a prominent feature of the Airbnb app and this feature facilitates quick communication with the target audience. The newly developed app which is similar to Airbnb must contain this feature. The messaging feature also enables the user of the apps to make queries regarding room booking and receive replies in the form of push notification or SMS. Developing of messaging feature may require 80 – 90 hours to complete and the cost for developing this feature will be around $2600.

Section.11 – Feature for the Host/Owner

The hosts or owners of the houses or villas can use this feature to offer their houses or villas on lease or rental and they can quote the prices also. For each booking, the host or the owner should pay commission to the company. An account must be created and the details are to be provided. This feature can be created in 80 – 84 hours at a cost of approximately $1800.

Section.12 – Settings Menu

The settings menu will ensure that the existing users of the app are provided with the various facilities like sending push notifications, various payment options and adding wish list. This feature can be developed in 18 – 20 hours at a cost of about $450 – $500.

Section.13 – ‘Adding to Favorites’ feature

This feature enables the user of the app to choose the best places to visit as well the best accommodation according to his tastes, preferences and budget and can look for them again. This feature facilitates responses from targeted audience. This feature can be created in 6 hours and the cost will be around $150.

Section.14 – Invite a Friend

The ‘Invite a Friend’ feature enables the user of the app to send invitation to his or her friends to join the app. This feature can be integrated into the app in 6 – 7 hours and it will cost $180 – $200.

The total cost of the App like Airbnb

A rough estimate is provided here for developing all the features of the App which resembles the Airbnb app. It is estimated that developing a new app which resembles the Airbnb app will cost approximately $18000 and the project may require 760 to 800 hours to complete.
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About the author

My Self Rajeev Dave and I am Owner of BRTECHNOSOFT TECHNOLOGIES LLC, I am passionate about digital marketing and implementing new ideas of digital marketing and updating innovative content and also latest digital marketing brand awareness.

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