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Designing guidelines to make an app like Airbnb

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One can plan and execute a whole vacation via smartphone. The destination is decided via Instagram pictures, flights are booked on apps and vacation rental is also booked by Airbnb or one of the other available apps. As per Travelport, 58% of travelers prefer searching for their trip with a mobile device. The revenue in Vacation Rental segment is predicted to reach $97,010 million by 2023.


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Airbnb is one of the top leading apps for renting accommodation during vacation. This company was founded by Nathan Blecharczyk, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia company in August 2008. Today this app is available in over 220+ countries and has listings in more than 100K+ cities around the world.

How Airbnb works?

Due to digitalization and the Internet of Things (IoT), the sharing economy has evolved and business transactions between buyers and sellers have become faster and simpler. The sharing economy is also known as the peer-to-peer economy. In such scenarios, businesses share human as well as physical resources. The companies make money by connecting customers with the seller instead of directly selling goods or services. Airbnb is a very successful example of such an economy with a valuation of around $38 billion in 2018.

Airbnb is an online marketplace for users who are interested in renting out their prime residences as accommodations for tourists and travelers. These people are also known as hosts on the Airbnb app.

Travelers aka guests are the people who are seeking accommodation with a homely feel and want to experience something that hotels cannot provide. If you have a home or extra rooms, then Airbnb offers a great source of supplement income. A guest must share a government ID proof to be verified.

Now the question arises, how is Airbnb making money. They charge from both parties for their platform. Guests need to pay 6-12% of their booking amount as a service fee. This amount varies according to the size of the reservation. This service fee is non-refundable. For every completed booking hosts are also charged a 3% fee to cover the processing of guests’ payments. In case the reservation is altered, Airbnb adjusts the paid amount to accommodate the users.

Airbnb also provides photography services. In some of the most profitable cities, the company has a team of professionals who are experts in capturing good interior pictures. Good pictures have a huge impact on reservations.

With every completed booking, hosts are also charged a 3% fee to cover the processing of guests’ payments. When a request is booked, guests pay the service fee unless the host cancels or retracts the listing. If the reservation is altered, Airbnb adjusts service fees to accommodate users. Value-added tax and exchange rates also impact the cost of reservations.

Designing guidelines to make an app like Airbnb

The most crucial part of designing a vacation rental app is being considerate towards hosts and guests both. Guests should be able to filter out, search and book smoothly without any hurdles. Hosts should get an opportunity to display their lodgings and services in the best possible way.

A fantastic user-interface encourages users to come back after the first transaction. If they find it easier to book via a particular app, they would always prefer it over all the other apps available in the market unless there is a substantial cost difference (which can be difficult in this price-competitive market).

Adding advanced features like specific filters to help guests shortlist the property, check out the location, read the reviews, look at the pictures, global currency support, live chat and so on saves their time. One of the main reasons how Airbnb got popular was because it was affordable and with time- saving features, it was even convenient. This helped them in getting repeat customers, references and ultimately expansion.

Final Words

Travel and tourism is a vast industry and it’s still expanding. The present generation is traveling more and is looking for cheaper options to continue their journey across the world. The market still has space for apps like Airbnb. So, if you are planning to create a vacation rental app like Airbnb, we at TechAhead can help you in building a great app.