During the last decade, Airbnb has grown into one of the most well-known and thriving rental marketplaces.
What are the main factors for its uniqueness and success? What monetization strategy the platform follows to get profit? Is there any efficient method to create a similar platform?
- Choose the software option
You can create a similar platform using the following solutions:
- A ready-made solution;
- Custom development.
Each point has its own pros and cons that stand upon the demands of customers. Now let’s see when and why you should use each of them.
If you need to launch the platform rapidly and at low pricing, an off-the-shelf solution will become a perfect choice. There are both non-customizable and customizable templates available that provide you with more freedom in actions.
Custom development from scratch
If you need to implement special business logic and give maximum value to the customers, we recommend you to choose custom marketplace development.
The solution is cost- and time-consuming, but you will receive a complex and unique web solution built by a professional team at the end. They will definitely take into account all your demands and requirements to create a thriving platform.
2. Choose the technology stack
So, let’s now discuss the custom software development option in detail and begin with the tech stack.
The technology stack is crucial for a project for several reasons. Firstly, it has a large bearing upon the budget as all the programming tools differ by complexity. Secondly, it affects the further platform scalability and time required for the development.
We recommend you to start the development process with an MVP as it saves time and funds. Let’s take a look at the tech stack options for your marketplace development:
- Application Framework — Ruby on Rails
- Automation Frameworks — RSpec, Capybara
- SQL data storage — PostgreSQL
- Data storage — Redis
- Web server — Nginx
- Web application server — Puma
- Hosting — Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Thus, we offer RoR as the main application framework. It will help you in developing your MVP website rapidly and affordably.
3. Define the functionality required for a rental marketplace
Let’s now take a look at the core functionality you need to implement to build a similar platform to Airbnb. It includes a set of features for both travelers and hosts so you cover the demands of all the parties.
- Authorization and roles
On one hand, this feature allows hosts to post their property and specify its details. On the flip side, it allows travelers to monitor the existing and available options, read the description, book lodging or contact the homeowner.
Furthermore, authorization allows platform users to swap their roles at each point in time.
- Personal profile data
You need to allow clients to manage their settings easily and quickly. For example, they may need to modify their account settings like phone number, password, or email.
Both travelers and homeowners fill out a lot of important information. Thus, suppliers specify the description of provided property like facilities, number of beds, accommodation type, and pricing.
- Booking system
When guests look for lodging, they want to book it for a specific date. Thus, a seller gets a notification and decides whether to confirm or decline the customer’s request.
Apart from the functionality mentioned above, here are some additional features that will be useful and will boost the user experience:
- Online maps
- Notification system
- Online payments
- Community support.
Let’s take a look at the following table that compares the required features for all Airbnb parties.
4. Create the marketplace MVP
We suggest you develop an MVP initially, instead of building a fully functional solution at once. The main reason is that the Minimum Viable Product technique will allow you to save valuable time and funds. Moreover, you will receive relevant feedback from investors and early adopters that will help you validate your idea.
When building an MVP version of your marketplace, you should implement only the basic functionality. In the long run, you will grow the platform including additional features.
Let’s take a look at the set of core functions for your Airbnb-like marketplace MVP:
- Sign up/Sign in
- Guest and Host roles
- Search option
- Search results
- Property page
- A host contact form
- Communication channels
- Relevant recommendations.
5. Follow common design principles
It may become difficult to conclude whether a platform similar to Airbnb needs a high-quality design. The core grounds for this question is that most people believe such e-commerce platforms put functionality and conversions first.
Notwithstanding, the first layer you see when visiting such a marketplace is its design. Thus, your potential purchases greatly depend on your first impressions.
Airbnb perfectly understands the importance of intuitive and attractive design and it follows two core principles: designing for trust and designing for everyone. To prove that, in 2016, the rental marketplace made everything to match people to houses and let them feel like at home.
6. Key e-commerce design standards
Let’s see the most crucial principles that will allow you to build a visually appealing web product for your lodging rental platform.
- Simple message
- Intuitive navigation
- Trust level.
It stands for a time- and cost-consuming process to build a platform like Airbnb. We recommend you to stick to the specified above principles, techniques and customize your solution to transform it into a unique web product.
You are looking for a team that can help you create a high-quality and money-making accommodation marketplace? AppClues Infotech team has built multiple marketplace platforms, and we will gladly help to create yours.