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How To Develop A Vacation Rental Mobile App Like Airbnb?

App Development

May 2022
597 Views 13 Minute Read
how to develop a vacation rental mobile app like airbnb
What is the fun thing about a trip? An amazing place to explore, The nicest place to stay, or amazing hospitality that just makes your trip the most lovable? It could be one of these things or just every above-listed thing right? Airbnb has taken a step forward to make the travel experience amazing for travelers. But first, what is Airbnb? And how does it differ from other traveling mobile applications?

What Is Airbnb?

Airbnb is much more than just a vacation rental mobile application. It allows travelers to find the place for the accommodation for their short trip at the same time hosts can list their property available for rent for the travelers. The property could be anything: a treehouse in the middle of the forest or an apartment on the 20th floor.

Working of Airbnb

Airbnb is much more than just marketplace travelers and hosts. It allows the host to list their property with pricing, facilities, rules and various other things. It allows the travelers to search for their vacation rental place by setting up the location, zip code, radius, price range and various other filter and sorting methods.
Browsing through the various properties, travelers can book the property for the particular dates and the host will accept the request if the property is available for rent for the specific dates. The host has the right to approve or reject the booking request. Travelers can initiate the payment for the booking once the host accepts the booking request. After the stay host and the traveler, both can review each other. It can help other hosts and travelers with decision making.

Important Features of the Airbnb

Even though it sounds like just another vacation rental place, there are various features that make Airbnb unique. Employing those features with all the basic features in the home rental mobile application can help your mobile application stand out just like Airbnb.

I’m Flexible

It happens to all of us that we want to go somewhere but are not sure where. So, we always end up traveling through various mobile applications rather than actually traveling somewhere. No one else but Airbnb has understood us so well. Airbnb has released a new feature called I'm flexible that works on 3 major functionalities.
  • Flexible Locations
Airbnb provides various types of accommodation options for us to choose from. We can choose any from the accommodation list and it will list a broad range of matching destinations.
  • Flexible Matching
It will show the accommodation list a bit different from the actual search queries providing a broad range of vacation rental options.
  • Flexible Dates
If you have no date bar restriction, Airbnb can provide you with a list of amazing destinations and accommodation options for various dates for your desired location.

Last Minute Accommodation

Most of our sudden trips never happen just because we could not find a place to stay at the last minute. Airbnb has got our back for sudden trips as well. It asks hosts to allow same day booking. We can browse through the properties available for rent on the same day and book them at our convenience.

Add to Favorites

We have seen the wishlist in various e-commerce mobile applications. It allows us to add products we like to the wishlist which we don't want to buy instantly. We now can add our favorite destination to the wishlist of Airbnb along with the rental place we want to stay at. Basically, Airbnb allows us to make our traveling bucket list.

Plan A Trip Together

We always have to switch between various mobile apps whenever we want to plan a trip together with friends. Now Airbnb allows us to plan a trip together with friends. We can invite friends and browse through multiple locations together. You can chat with each other, recommend places to each other and book a place after finalizing everything in one single place.

In-app Messaging

The in-app messaging feature of Airbnb allows hosts and guests to contact each other. The host can contact their guests much faster and easier. They can view the entire conversation history with the travelers directly in the Airbnb app and respond to their queries more quickly and easily. Airbnb allows friends to communicate with each other as well as to plan a trip together.

Push Notification & Real-Time Alerts

What if you are planning a trip but the pricing seems too high at the time and decide to postpone a bit but just forget about that. Push notifications and real-time alerts can help you out over here. Airbnb now sends notifications and alerts about the booking confirmation, price changing alerts, booking cancellation alerts and various other real-time notifications about the trip to the travelers and even to the hosts.

Ratings and Reviews to Share Experiences

Various vacation rental mobile applications allow travelers to rate their stay but what about the hosts? So, Airbnb allows both travelers and even hosts to rate their experience with each other. It can help other hosts and travelers to schedule the trip accordingly.
Apart from that, Airbnb has come up with various other amazing features and functionalities throughout the years that have been enhancing the mobile application experience for travelers, hosts and for communities around the globe. But if you want to introduce your own vacation rental mobile application, you should introduce the features that are unique to your mobile application just like Airbnb has.

Things to Keep in Mind While Developing a Mobile App Like Airbnb

Amazing features right? But those are making Airbnb stand out. What about your mobile application? You can not stand out integrating the same features as Airbnb. Don't worry. App developers at Hyperlink InfoSystem will help you stand out. Here are some of the things to keep in mind while developing a mobile app like Airbnb. It will help your vacation rental mobile application stand out.

Search Functionality

Various people out there browse through the vacation rental mobile applications more like a search engine to search about the destination they want to visit, places they want to stay at and so on rather than actually make the reservation. So, the search functionality of your vacation rental mobile app is one of the features that can make or break your mobile app.
So, hire mobile app developers that can make proper use of the search functionality of the mobile app giving equal or more attention to the booking feature. Even if you enhance the usage of search functionality, it should not keep the booking functionality out of the focus. Being the core feature of the vacation rental mobile app, the booking feature should always be the first priority.

In-app Chat Functionality

You might say, this is not a social networking mobile app, why should we provide real-time in-app chat functionality? Your mobile app does need chat functionality. It makes communication easier for the host and traveler. As mentioned above, even though Airbnb does have chat functionality, you can take a step forward with it. You can make communication effortless for the group of friends who want to travel together, allowing them to create groups and discuss the place they want to visit together. You can even allow travelers to reach out to the host directly and clear their queries about the property or get accurate information about their vacation rental place and destination once they finalize the booking with them. Your mobile application development can enhance the trust factor between hosts and travelers.

Multi-language Support

As the target user base of your mobile application are travelers and you are thinking of launching your mobile application in just a single language then you are going to eliminate the actual target user base on your own. According to the stats, even though English is the most spoken language in the world, Chinese, Hindi, Spanish and French are giving tough competition as well. So, developing a mobile application that supports various languages is not an option but a compulsion for the vacation rental mobile app.

Auto Saving Functionality

Adding details about the property is a somewhat tedious task for the hosts. They have to mention various details including images, descriptions, and videos of property tours and that's just the tip of the iceberg. As you can not negotiate about that part, you can at least make it more feasible for them with auto-saving functionality. It should allow them to add the details as per their convenience rather than expecting them to spend a continuous half an hour filling in the entire details about the property.
The auto-save functionality of your mobile app should allow the hosts to add the property details in smaller segments of time and continue filling in the details after some time. The autosave functionalities may seem insignificant but they can minimize your chances of losing the users who have just spent an entire half an hour filling in the details precisely and failed to submit them due to loss of internet or just pressed the back button by mistake.

User Verification Process

You can lose the actual user base of your mobile application if you will allow anyone to register and allow your mobile application without verifying their authenticity. It can enhance the chances of fraud and cheating and hackers will get open access to the user details to attack them maliciously. The user verification process will generate and maintain a trusted environment. It will prohibit the hosts to provide fake details and cheat the travelers by any means and vice-versa.
  • For Host
You can authenticate the listing of properties and actual identity by asking them to provide scanned copies of a government-issued ID, passport, national ID card, or driving license, actual photos of their properties along with the proof of ownership and so on.
  • For the Travelers
You can ask travelers to submit their government-issued ID proof, selfie or actual image of their own as their profile images and so on. You can further leverage the machine learning functionality to validate and verify the user identity.

Property Details

The comfort and facilities have always been the top priority of the travelers even though they are not going to be in the rental place for long. But to get a place where they can sleep peacefully after a long tiring day is not much to ask for. So, you can ask the host to add all the significant details about the property so the user can get clear about what to expect from the place before actually being in the place. You can even ask the host to post the place tour video on the portal that can prove the authenticity of the place and users can get a clear idea about what amenities they will get prior to renting the place.

Rental Properties Comparison

Even if it does not seem like a necessity for the vacation rental mobile app, you can benefit much from the rental properties comparison feature. You can allow users to shortlist the properties they like and allow them to compare them manually which can help them with decision making. Users can manage their comparison list by adding and removing their desired properties and to get a clear idea about the property they should rent. As not many vacation rental mobile apps including Airbnb have this feature, it can help you stay ahead of the competition.

Last-minute Trip Cancellation

What if you plan a trip to your dream location and at the last moment your best friend back out from the trip, will you like it? Well I know that happens to all of us and it just makes us so angry but we can not do anything about it as they are our best friends, right? Just a similar thing can happen with hosts as well as travelers but not doing anything can cost a bit more to them and they can not just stay there and accept the situation as we are not their favorites nor the best friends. You can provide security from the last minute trip cancellation to both hosts and travelers.
There are various options exist that can help you deal with the trip cancellation without affecting your user base such as:
  • Cancellation Fees: One of the basic methods is to add the cancellation charges. You can charge the cancellation fees from the person who initiates the cancellation at the last moment whether it could be the host or the travelers.
  • Cancellation Count: You can mention the reservation cancellation count on the user profile. It will enhance the trust factor between the host and travelers at the same time it will also force the users to cancel the reservation only in unavoidable circumstances.
  • Block The Calendar Dates: If the host tends to cancel the reservation at the last moment often, you can block the dates from the host end to accept any other reservation for that specific date.
Even with all these safety measures, it is not easy for travelers to deal with the last-minute cancellation as they have to restart the entire process of finding another place and make the other arrangement accordingly. So, you can also offer a list of nearby similar alternative places if the host cancels the reservation at the last minute.

Usage of Calendar Functionality

If you think the calendar of our mobile device is the most useless application you have ever come across then you are underestimating the power of a mere mobile application as a calendar holds. You can integrate the calendar in your vacation rental mobile app that will block the reserved date for the host notifying them about the reservation any travelers have made. It should also reflect on the travelers' end as well. It should reflect the blocked reserved date of the host's calendar so that travelers can make the reservation accordingly. You can even integrate your mobile application with the users' default calendar that can notify them about their reservation whenever they open their calendar. It can avoid the overlapping of the plans and reservations for both hosts and travelers.

Customer Support

No matter how efficient your mobile app can be, your users will need customer support at some point in their life whether it could be about the reservation process or refund process or anything related to your mobile app. No matter what, you can not totally eliminate the customer support feature just by adding in-app functionality. You should be there for your users whenever they need you. You can even provide an offline chat or call support as it won't be possible for the travelers or hosts residing in the remorse area to have an internet connection all the time.

Usage of GeoLocation

A Geolocation can be more helpful rather than just showing the route navigations. You can integrate Geolocation into your mobile app that fetches and displays the nearby places available for rent with the basic details such as rent, distance and so on as per the users' search. You should manage the back end of the map by providing accurate details whenever users interact with the map by dragging, zooming in and out and so on.
To put it concisely in technical terms, to make it more understandable for the mobile app development company, map listing should handle a user's directions, search areas, collect the data of the property such as cost and property type and so on, and show the relevant information on a Map.

The Usage of AR-VR Functionality

Augmented reality and virtual reality have been enhancing various industries out there. So, why are you staying behind? You can leverage the usage of AR and VR in your mobile application that can attract a more loyal customer base for you by enhancing the user experience. It will help the host to showcase the property well including all the facilities mentioning micro details about the properties. It will provide a better visual representation of the property to the travelers without even stepping into the location.
Along with that, the host can mention the operating instructions about the digital amenities such as how to use the special oven, or mention the technical fault of the electric heater informing not to use or a password of numerical door lock and so on. The usage of AR and VR will provide an enhanced user experience as the travelers will have end-to-end instructions about the properties and amenities.

Push Notification

Not all push notifications are useless. You can use the push notifications to notify the host about the new reservation, new views they have received, the payment they have received or can inform them about the arrival of the guest prior to the day of the reservation. You can even send them a push notification about the new features introduced in the mobile app that can enhance their property visibility. And for travelers, you can send push notifications informing them about new property listings that can fit their search requirements, the price drop of their searched property, the new message they have received, the payment confirmation, the reservation confirmation notification and so on. A perfect blend of push notifications and perfect content can work as the magic for your marketing strategies. As a push notification, a day can enhance the app's visibility.

Technology Stack of a Vacation Rental Mobile Application

  • Programming Language: Javascript, Kotlin or Swift
  • Front End Frameworks: Angular, React.js, Express.js
  • Backend Technologies or Frameworks: Ruby on Rails, Django, Node.js, Meteor.js
  • Server Side technologies: AWS, Azure, OpenStack, DigitalOcean, Google Cloud
  • Network-level Caching Services: Nginx, Redis
  • Databases: MySQL, MSSQL, MongoDB, Azure DocumentDB, Cassandra, PostgreSQL


Wondering if it would be crucial to develop a vacation rental mobile app just like Airbnb? That's why we are here. Even though it looks like a tough task to develop a mobile application including all these features, it is an everyday task for our app developers. You can reach out to us with your project requirements. We will make sure to develop a customized mobile app integrating each and every feature and functionalities you have mentioned.
Hire the top 3% of best-in-class developers!

Harnil Oza is the CEO & Founder of Hyperlink InfoSystem. With a passion for technology and an immaculate drive for entrepreneurship, Harnil has propelled Hyperlink InfoSystem to become a global pioneer in the world of innovative IT solutions. His exceptional leadership has inspired a multiverse of tech enthusiasts and also enabled thriving business expansion. His vision has helped the company achieve widespread respect for its remarkable track record of delivering beautifully constructed mobile apps, websites, and other products using every emerging technology. Outside his duties at Hyperlink InfoSystem, Harnil has earned a reputation for his conceptual leadership and initiatives in the tech industry. He is driven to impart expertise and insights to the forthcoming cohort of tech innovators. Harnil continues to champion growth, quality, and client satisfaction by fostering innovation and collaboration.

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