How to Create Apartment Rental App like Airbnb?

Both travel and hospitality industries have been changed due to the economic demand which shapes the way we perceive different things today. For this reason, apps like Airbnb are hitting the headlines; apartment rental apps boast billions of dollars in revenues. For less than five years, leading services managed to gain billion-dollar valuation in addition to millions of active users.

Rental apps for Android and iOS have turned into efficient business tools which able to generate huge revenues. For this reason, different startups make numerous efforts to follow the success of some of the biggest names in the industry.

A few of them really succeed, but there are always plenty of essential points to consider whenever one wants to create room rental app. In this article, we will define:

  • major steps of the development process;
  • potential target audience;
  • efficient channels to attract users;
  • revenues to expect;
  • problems to solve;
  • alternative services of apartment apps for Android and other platforms.

Developing a great room rental application

The first thing you need to do is to find out who may find your future application really useful. Let’s define people who might be interested in the product. To do it, have a closer look at how actually Airbnb interacts with its users. It is all about interaction design that enables 5 major models:

  1. Hosts get a chance to show off the list of their property advantages and details, descriptions, facilities and other issues that are of a great importance for the traveler.
  2. Airbnb provides photography services in case a host cannot afford hiring a photographer or make high-quality photos.
  3. Travelers choose a city they want to visit and look for accommodation price, location and other filters they need.
  4. Guests pay for the apartment without leaving the app with only one tap.
  5. Guests receive the official confirmation of the payment and approval directly from the host.

You will hardly think of a more efficient interaction model of a reservation room app. Now, let’s have a closer look at one of the most popular accommodation applications on the market.

Airbnb – A Brief Review

Airbnb is probably the most popular app for renting apartments. It lets travelers from different parts of the world rent a flat any time at the prices and facilities that suit their demands. The application is available for all major mobile platforms as well as on the web. Once you create your own account, you get a full access to all its features. The registration is free. You pay only for an apartment you want to book as well as small commission. The service is the best bet once you look for a short-term accommodation while on business or vacation.

A digital platform has turned from a typical make room app into a global marketplace. On the one hand, we have estate owners who can show off some of the best features and prices to attract customers. On the other hand, we have tourists who can book a flat in the most appropriate location, watch real professional photos and book a room with only one tap.

The latest stats reveal the following figures:

  • 150 million active users according to Wiki;
  • over 600,000 hosts from different cities around the globe;
  • 2+ million insights;
  • 65,000 cities to choose from;
  • revenues go up to $1 billion.

Some experts consider Airbnb as the main competitor for hotels in the nearest future. Nevertheless, hotels and their services like still shape the online traveling and accommodation market featuring over 248 million guests.

The numbers are really overwhelming. Even the main competitors like or can hardly boast such a success. Nevertheless, the niche still has a great potential from business perspective. How to gain the same success? How to create apartment rental app like Airbnb?

Defining the Problem

The first step of every development process is defining the problem. You need to know exactly what users are looking for and how you can really help them with your application. The best bet is to put yourself in travelers’ shoes. Most people are eager to follow different destinations. Here are the main obstacles they typically face:

  • unclear pricing policy;
  • inappropriate location of a hotel;
  • no efficient connection between a host and a guest.

Users are looking for an amazing hospitality and travelling experience. At the same time, they look for the slightest chance to meet new people and make friends with locals, build relations and more things to benefit from.

Providing a Solution

The only way to succeed in the mobile market is to provide an efficient solution to existing problems. When it comes to apartments for rent, you are supposed to establish an effective digital network to link hosts and travelers together within a single mobile platform.

The main mission of your app is to put an ease on hosting and booking process. You need to implement safe and secure payment systems to let users reserve a flat or complete the transaction with only a tap.

You can follow some other examples. Users can benefit from a selection of web and mobile services that have turned into the biggest traveling and hospitality industry names. They include:

  • – the biggest website for online accommodation and hotel search;
  • – vacation rental platform offering more than 1 million variants for accommodation;
  • – hostel housing service mainly focused on business.

We should also mention Trivago that has proved to be a promising startup. It lets users choose from a vast selection of hostels, apartments, vacations and more.

Channels For Attracting Customers

For Airbnb, customers are hosts and guests. Both are the key participants in the app business model. They pay commissions every time reservation is completed. Today, the service features its mobile application available for Android and iOS users. The brand cooperates with different labels and takes part in social sponsorship activities.

Airbnb currently uses the following channels to attract new users:

  • Social networks and media platforms;
  • By word of mouth;
  • Paid ads and digital marketing;
  • Special offers, loyalty programs, and promotions;
  • Affiliates and partnership models.

All 5 channels have proved to be efficient enough when it comes to generating higher traffic and new users. However, it does not mean you cannot think of your own channels when developing a new application. Just do not forget to define your future unique selling point.

Why Users Opt for Airbnb?

We are going to define the key benefits for all groups of Airbnb customers including hosts, guests.

  1. Hosts mainly benefit from their spaces being rented through the app. The application guarantees insurance and free professional photos in case of necessity.
  2. Travelers/guests have a chance to book a flat in accordance with their price and location preferences. They can pay immediately for the apartment they choose.

Considering the abovementioned, a good rental app should have a number of vital features to implement those functions. The number of features to implement will define the total cost of your app development.

How Much Does a Room App Cost?

The cost depends on the complexity of the application. We have calculated the approximate cost of the Airbnb clone with some slight differences. Here are the factors that affect the total price of the service the most:

  • UI Design Features – one of the most challenging stages. It may take up to 350 hours. Creating an intuitive interface and user-friendly design is essential when it comes to a mobile rental service;
  • The Development Process – the most time-consuming and tough stage. The implementation of all features may take up to 500 hours;
  • Backend Development – the professional team may require up to 350 hours to complete the stage;
  • QA and Testing may last up to 225 and is typically 30% of the total cost of the development process.

Considering all the above-mentioned, the total duration of the process may go up to 1570 hours while the MVP cost may range from $40,000 to $60,000.


You now have a clear vision of how to build an application for apartment rentals. The process itself yet is rather tough and time-consuming. You might need a team of professional developers, as you want the app to run 100% flawless to make your users stay within your service.

We introduce a team of dedicated developers, UI/UX designers, project managers and QA engineers. They will bring your app ideas to life and add all functions you want to see in your product. We boast a huge portfolio highlighting award-winning mobile applications for different business needs. Get in touch with us to find out more about services we deliver.