How Much Does It Cost To Build A Website Like Airbnb

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Airbnb has changed the general approach to finding a place to stay. The startup has become a leading apartment rentals service on the global market, but that doesn’t mean, however, that other similar services won’t be able to get their piece of cake in this niche. The question stands – how to create a successful apartment rental service? First of all, let’s learn a bit more about the Airbnb.



Rent is usually quite expensive, that’s why a lot of travelers tend to look for the cheapest offers to save on living. The New York Times, for instance, mentioned that the average monthly rent in Manhattan in the 3rd quarter of 2016 was $3,405. Entrepreneurs quickly realized that they can make a significant profit by creating platforms such as Airbnb without even having assets in the form of real estate.

Site Airbnb Analogs:

  • Roomorama
  • Flipkey
  • SellMyTimeshareNow
  • HomeAway
  • OneFineStay
  • HomeStay
  • Trivago

Services like Airbnb can face certain problems in certain countries, however. Entrepreneurs should take into account regional nuances before commencing the development of a car rental, real estate, etc. website or application. It is important to note that such a service has a number of advantages over traditional online bulletin boards.


How Does Airbnb Differ From Other Services For Rental Housing

As it has already been said, there is a number of Airbnb-like platforms and services where landlords publish their offers using bulletin boards and pay a certain fee to the platform owners (in some cases it’s free though). Customers go to such boards and choose the category that is needed: car sales, rental housing, or other various services. Then, they contact the advertiser by the stated address or a phone number. Airbnb operates by a different principle and has a different business model.

P2P Type Of Marketplace

The Airbnb is a website that is focused exclusively on connecting the owners of a real estate (mainly private individuals) that lease their property to clients who need housing for a certain period of time. Similar services can specialize in other types of rent: cars, appliances, various tools, etc.


The main distinction between online message boards, such as Craigslist, and the Airbnb startup is that the boards provide users with the information while services like Airbnb help solve the issue itself. In the first case, users must find a suitable offer; in the second, you choose from the readymade list. That’s why geolocation plays an important role here. Users mostly look for the rental housing that is conveniently located. When a person travels to another country, the first question is how to quickly and easily find a cheap apartment in the vicinity of a couple of blocks from the point of interest. A similar site to Airbnb provides users with a readymade solution allowing them to choose a convenient location from the search results in a digital map.



Online payments

One more advantage and difference of such services is that they let you make payments via the Internet without having to leave the booking application or website. This feature is very convenient for tenants and it also protects the owners of the property ensuring the advanced security of the transactions. In addition, online payments allow the owner of the service to charge a commission and, thus, lead a successful business model.

Users’ Reviews

The message boards aren’t responsible for the transactions between tenants and those who lease their property. Therefore, the tenants have to trust their money to a person they don’t know anything about. On the sites similar to Airbnb, customers can leave feedback about the hosts whose apartment they rented. User feedback and rating, as you may know, affect the business dramatically. The higher the rating, the bigger number of customers will trust the property owner.



How to Build a Website Like Airbnb?

There are several options for implementing a website like Airbnb:

  • a marketplace SaaS solution, like those that are offered by Near Me, Sharetribe, and Marketplacer
  • an open-source marketplace platform
  • developing a marketplace from scratch

Airbnb was developed from scratch. In 2008, when the service was launched, it was rather a simple MVP and provided few features compared to its contemporary functionality. Back then, Airbnb paid much attention to its main goal – rental services. It brought a great success to the service.


The Main Features Of Airbnb

Starting an MVP, it is important to understand which features are primary and which are secondary. First of all, let’s start with an overview of the functions that should be obviously presented in such a service as Airbnb and similar ones. Considering the fact that the service is used by the guests as well as by the hosts, there are a few types of key features. But it is necessary to start with the common features:

  • log-in/sign-up via email or Facebook
  • user settings
  • profile information
  • notifications system
  • user dashboard



Speaking about the features that are available for guests, it should be possible to:

  • search for a place to stay
  • look through listings
  • manage order requests
  • view reservations and bookings details
  • leave reviews and ratings
  • manage payments

There are some specific functions that are available for hosts either, they should be able to:

  • create their pages
  • deal with the listings’ information
  • communicate with guests
  • create and send requests
  • view reservations details
  • leave reviews
  • manage payout methods

These features and capabilities should be included in any similar to the Airbnd project as they allow creating an appropriate interface for each user.


Technology for Building an MVP for Websites Like Airbnb

In order to make the features listed above work, it is necessary to understand which tools and technologies can let you implement them. It is really important to choose the right technologies as they influence greatly not only the time of the functionality development but also its cost. So, we decided to list a number of technologies that can be used for building sites like Airbnb:

  • programming languages — JavaScript, HTML5, Ruby,CSS3
  • application framework — Ruby on Rails
  • JavaScript framework — React.js
  • automation frameworks — Capybara, RSpec, PhantomJSSQL
  • data storage — PostgreSQL
  • key-value storage — Redis
  • web server — Nginx
  • web application server — Puma
  • hosting — Amazon Web Services (AWS)



These technologies will be of great help while creating an MVP, as well as during its further development. You should remember that even Airbnb uses a number of various tools and technologies; they all are based on Ruby on Rails. It allows building an MVP really quickly, but still guarantees security and fast performance for your product.


How Much Does It Cost To Build A Website Like Airbnb

Starting an Airbnb like website, you should know the two significant points in its development. First of all, it is necessary to understand how much you will pay for the whole project, from the very beginning to the end. Then, calculate the cost of the website development alone.



Be ready to spend $7000 – $10,000 at the least. The price depends on the team you choose, the tools you use, and some other points. Remember that a budget is required to make your project work.

Now, we offer you to find out how much money you need to start your own project. We are going to describe all the stages of the process so you can understand what amount of money you need to have from the very beginning.

An average price for a website similar to Airbnb is about $50 per hour. Of course, the price can vary. It depends on the status, experience, and location of the company you’ve chosen. Knowing the hourly price it’s easy to find out the cost of each stage and of the project in general.

First steps:

  • ≅30 hours for project planning
  • ≅30 hours for rest API implementation
  • ≅10 hours for database modeling
  • ≅20 hours for implementation of services and libs.

All that would cost you about $2500-3000. The listed points are the most important but it is clear that there is a number of other significant features that should be included on the website.



Choosing the team that will be developing your website, pay attention to its location as prices differ greatly due to a geographical position of an IT company or team. To find out the prices for the website development in various countries, you can look through the table below.



As it is shown in the table, among all listed regions India is the cheapest one. If you decided to choose an Indian company, pay much attention to their portfolio and user reviews as there is a number of low-quality companies. Check twice and make sure that the company has a good reputation and is really capable of making your project work.

In fact, European developers, especially from the Eastern part of Europe, are known for the perfect mixture of experience, quality, and moderate pricing.  

American and Australian developers are also great professionals but their prices are the highest among all the regions. Mainly, it is related to the geographical position and has nothing in common with the quality of work.


The Fixed Prices For Each Stage Of Website Development

Readymade script: $600 to $1000

A readymade script is used to make a working website of full value or, at least, to extend the functionality of the program that will be used for the service development. It allows saving much time and effort. Moreover, normally, a readymade script includes all significant features and functions that are necessary for the website.

Social logins Cost: $500

Nowadays, creating new usernames and passwords can be troublesome and that’s why almost every service allows new users register via their accounts in social networks. Due to this feature, clients can register on your website really quickly.



PayPal Integration Cost: $2000

It is clear that the service like Airbnb needs an integration of online payment as it is the only way to let your users make and get payments online immediately. Сonsidering the fact that PayPal is one of the most successful payment systems out there, it must surely be integrated with your website.

Customizations: $600 to $5000

As you are going to make a kind of a website Airbnb copy, it is clear that the service would require some customization to make it look unique and attract new clients to your service.

Support: $1000

You can just order a website and as soon as its development is finished, its stable performance becomes your own problem. It is clear that you are unlikely to cope with it on your own, so you will need a team that will be looking after the work of the website and support its functionality.

There are also some other points that should be resolved and require extra costs:

  • Domain name – $10 to $5000
  • Web Hosting – $60/month



As you can see, there are a lot of nuances in creating web pages like Airbnb. Bear in mind that there are various algorithms, technologies, and tools that allow to create the website and it is up to you which one to use – your choice will influence the functionality of the platform. Also, the cost varies greatly and depends on how the website is going to be created and who will be working on the project. It’s up to you which way to choose but you should remember that focusing on money savings, you are hardly to get exactly the service you want.

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Alex Morgunov

Alex Morgunov

Project Lead

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