A Hotel Rental App Building: Costs, Features Guide and More

A Hotel Rental App Building: Costs, Features Guide and More

A Complete Guide for Hotel Rental App Building

The examples of Booking.com and Airbnb’s success were so bright that various companies started thinking about building their own accommodation booking software. If you're wondering about the same, this post will give you information on e-travel app building, such as categories, monetization options, and application functionality. And a cost-effective and top-grade solution would be easily built.

An E-Travel Market Survey

Smartphones are reliable assistants for 70% of people while they search for a traveling place. Today's tourism market growth isn’t limited by the world's pandemic preventive measures. According to the industry forecasts for 2025, it will achieve $833.5 billion.

Moreover, the e-travel and hospitality market is also rapidly progressing. Numbers speak for themselves: an increasing e-rental market will bring $823.6 million for the industry before 2024. Stats also mark that by 2025, more than 70% of the global travel sales will be carried out online. It would be done through mobile apps because their conversion rate is five times higher than those of the websites.

So, this industry is entirely digitized, and this interaction will be tighter during the time. Growing demands show: there’s no time like the present to develop a booking app passing through healthy competition.

Things to Do for a Successful Start

Before developing your booking app, you need to clarify the points mentioned below to find your target audience and achieve a winning start.

Define your booking app type. There are 3 following categories you can choose from.

  • Hotel chain applications are designed to reserve a room inside a specific hotel chain (or a separate hotel that belongs to this chain). The Marriott Rewards and Hilton apps are two of the most well-known hotel chain apps.

  • Online travel agencies (OTAs) allow users to book rooms and plane tickets, cars, and other items. OTA apps include Hopper, Trip.com, and KAYAK.

  • Hotel aggregators are apps like Hotels.com, Booking.com, and TripAdvisor. Their primary objective is to deliver gathered hotel information to users.

Booking aggregator applications or online travel agencies (OTAs) may be the most comfortable and prospective options, especially for newbie business owners.

To get started with the rental application development, take a look at the tips below.

Choose a distribution zone. If you're dreaming about expanding your company to the worldwide market, keep in mind that this will take money and energy. Because haste makes waste, start with a small local market and gradually scale.

Choose your users' unique value proposition (UVP). It's a crucial point to remember when looking for your target audience. So, what exactly would the customers get?

  • There’s no difference for some tourists (especially young ones) where to sleep over in another city or country. That’s why they look for a low-cost accommodation rental. HostelBookers, HostelWorld, and others all support such an option.
  • For people who need to stay in a cheap hotel for one night, one-day booking alternatives are useful. The Dayuse.com service offers it.
  • Room sharing/apartment booking became required and popular courtesy of Airbnb. Moreover, short-term rent is also available in the company’s list of services.
  • Thanks to Couchsurfing.com, 12 million tourists worldwide can stay in someone else's accommodation free of charge.
  • Trivago, HotelTonight, and Booking.com attract people with last-minute rental offers, also in-demand for travelers.

Find and specify sources of hotel information: booking apps need it so much. How can it be done? Agreements are made between aggregators (such as Booking.com) and hotels, for example. Thus, when booking businesses place their software products in hotels, they may track numerous hotel parameters and receive the most up-to-date possibilities.

The hotel parameters can be integrated into the app via the API. In the list below, you'll find the most well-known ones.

  • Using the Amadeus API, customers may search through over 300,000 properties and compare them to one. The system gives free quotas to build and test your API. After the bug-hunting period has expired, you can continue to utilize your free quotas, but you will have to pay for any further calls.
  • Customers can use the Travelport API to browse and inspect rooms in their hotels, as well as pay charges, rent, and cancel their reservations. API vendors offer the hotel managers various financial plans.
  • Sabre APIs allow you to search for rental information, book at the best prices, shop, and manage your data all from within your account. When it comes to the pricing structure, various aspects (such as support and transaction fees, service type, and so on) might influence it.

To add more relevant information to your rental app, the following additional APIs can be used:

  • Uber API (for a car rental)
  • Google Places API (data about the nearest locations)
  • izi.TRAVEL (multilingual stories about the cities)
  • Google Maps API (charts to show)

Create a proper Admin Panel. It is also required for your rental app's long-term success because you have to handle the created functionality effectively.

An MVP Skeleton to Develop a Rental App

MVP is a reliable assistant in testing your idea’s viability and showing what is good and what should be improved. To use it, you should follow a roadmap given below:

  • Conduct the e-travel market survey
  • Pick a rental app type
  • Make a list of the competitors for your rental app
  • Pick an app’s distribution location
  • Make a Unique Value Proposition
  • Create a feature list for the MVP version (also list up an additional functionality if you plan to implement it)
  • Hire a hospitality-focused IT company to build a rental software or gather an inside (in-house) staff
  • Explain the priorities of your organization
  • Participate in the building workflow
  • Ascertain that your team or software company accurately conveys your viewpoint
  • Develop and implement a marketing activity
  • Launch the hotel rental application on the destination marketplaces
  • Gather feedback, scale, and roll out new features

Such a plan should be applied if you don’t know where to start. The question is, what functionality should be implemented?

Sign up/Login allows you to contact every consumer by applying a marketing toolset (as well as retargeting one). It’s worth foreseeing an opportunity to use the upcoming app in a guest mode without account building. You should also provide different registration variants for them to suit their tastes. Users will find it easier to log in to social networks; yet, registration via email may help you expand your customer base.

Any booking software's primary goal is to make finding a place to stay as simple as possible. This is why a thoughtful booking screen is necessary while creating a rental app. The most important features for engaging with the user, such as geolocation or the "Near me" button, which displays information about nearby places, should be included.

Customers are constantly searching for locations in a booking app. To make it easier, the following points should be presented:

  • The position (city, hotel date & address), a map showing
  • Date of arrival (as well as departure one)
  • Number of guest rooms, amount of people allowed
  • Pet-related information
  • Data filtering

A Hotel Rental App Building: Costs, Features Guide and More

Data filtering interface in TripAdvisor and Booking.com apps

Every user should be able to get more information about the rooms they've rented using the Lodging screen. The hotel address, the number of stars, price list, hotel policies, and other data have to be notified every tourist. They should also have a sharing button and use the "Add to favorite" option.

A Hotel Rental App Building: Costs, Features Guide and More

Lodging screen details in Booking.com

It is the most important information that users should be made aware of. Keep in mind that further data about hotels given by your rental software helps clients make judgments about property booking.

You've given the user all the data they need via your app, and they've decided to book and pay for hotel accommodation. What needs to be done then? First off, a checkout screen should be provided where consumers can check or enter their personal information (if they haven’t been logged in yet) prior to payment. The charges should then be paid and processed through your app's integrated payment system.

A Hotel Rental App Building: Costs, Features Guide and More

How to choose and confirm actions, see booking data, and more in Booking.com

However, keep in mind that such integration is a challenging process, including many specific details. That’s why it should be carried out in close collaboration with a capable IT company.

According to the cancelation policy, your customers can rebook their rooms or cancel their rent as quickly as possible until the last day. Because of the problems for OTAs and hotel managers, most hotels do not allow this option.

Implement More Functionality into Your Booking App

Your booking app should have not only basic features but also unique ones for customers to attract. You can add them after the MVP version release, analyzing all the obtained users’ feedback. Some concepts to implement are represented below.

A user account is a place for storing all the necessary data like personal information or booking one. You can use this information to make personalized emails and send them to your customers. Moreover, the users themselves would interact with your app more, choosing language or currency or making wishlists.

You can inform your customers about offers and discounts or exciting places near them through push notifications, remind them when to check-in or checkout, and even tell them the weather forecasts. Moreover, this is a great way to improve the UX and earn money at the same time.

The customers should be provided with predictions of the accommodation availability and costs according to holidays or seasonal demands. For providing this feature, such information as special airline/railway offers, seasonal trends, and so on should be included in the prediction algorithm. So, you can care about the customers while earning.

A Hotel Rental App Building: Costs, Features Guide and More

Accommodation availability & cost predictions in Airbnb

You can also add an opportunity to clarify something with the hotel through the implemented messenger. This way, such a prominent player as Airbnb has already built it for the customers to speak directly with accommodation representatives. A chatbot answering FAQs and allowing the writing to property owners was developed by Booking.com.

A Hotel Rental App Building: Costs, Features Guide and More

Airbnb & Booking.com chat examples

Such features as virtual travel assistant, currency exchange, and language detection or recommendation engine can also be implemented into your app according to your business needs and financial resources.

Monetization Strategies for Your Travel App

If reading this article, you ask yourself how you can earn with your newly developed booking app, we’ll provide you with monetization strategies suitable for your application. This list isn’t completed. Though there’s always room for improvements: their samples are provided below for your inspiration.

  • Allow hotels to pay a charge to use your resource as a marketplace if they want to be mentioned in your app.
  • You can also use the experience of Booking.com or Airbnb to collect payments from hotels, users, or both for each booking made through your app.
  • Users may purchase a subscription to receive more information about exciting events, promotions, and access to premium features.
  • You can contact hotels and negotiate advertising fees for using your app as ad space with them.

Development Prices for Your Booking App

Even if the features are similar, each platform is exceptional and should be estimated separately. Keeping this in mind, we provide you with an approximate time and cost estimate for the rental app building. It is based on MVP features and is meant for your awareness.

The Development Timing Needed for Booking Apps (Android & iOS)

The development timing needed for booking apps (Android & iOS)

App part to develop

Minimum viable product functionality

Rough time estimate for backend 

Rough time estimate for frontend (iOS & Android)

Sign up screen

  • Email+Password Registration

  • Policies and Terms



Login screen

  • Email+Password login/Logout

  • Social login

  • “Forgot password” feature



Screen for search

  • Accommodation list

  • Date settings

  • Suggestion-based search

  • Number of guests



Trips screen

  • Future trips list



Favorites screen

  • Accommodation list



Order screen

  • Checkout via card



Personal account screen

  • Edit account

  • Settings, payments & feedback screens



Message screen

  • Screen for archives

  • Message list

  • Conversational details



Functionality for property owners

GPS location

  • GPS



Push notifs

  • Notifications



Screen for ads

  • Query management



Overall building time



However, the functionality won’t be completed without an admin panel.

Admin panel time estimation

App part to develop

Minimum viable product functionality

Rough time estimate for backend 

Rough time estimate for frontend (iOS & Android)


  • Sign up/out



Management of customers

  • Manage the customers



Management of reports

  • Report management



Accommodation management

  • Manage the rooms



Management of categories (CRUD)

  • Category management



Overall building time



The tables above mean that it takes more than 1920 hours for iOS and Android to construct all app interfaces and functions. This period is typically split into development iterations (or sprints). We'll have roughly 9 sprints here.

What development team should be required? You must hire the following specialists:

  • Team lead (needed for all the sprints)
  • Frontend and backend developers (who’ll work during all the sprints)
  • Designer (whose work is required from the 1st and till the 8th sprint)
  • Business Analyst (required from the 1st till the 8th sprint)
  • QA engineers (demanded all the sprints)
  • DevOps engineers (if needed)
  • PM (who should manage the workflow during all the sprints)

Thus, because of the work to be done and the team size above, the anticipated price will be $159,175.

Booking App Building Workflow

You can use one of two effective ways to make a rental app: template-based construction and custom software development.

First, let's learn how to create a ready-made booking app. You have to:

  • Choose a template with a fully functional feature set.
  • Choose appropriate visuality to complete your brand book
  • Create an app that has all of the information that clients require.
  • Launch the application on the market to get feedback and test your ideas

Such a development process seems to be quite simple, but keep in mind that it can’t meet all the particular company’s needs. This way, you should consider the custom software development process. Now, we’ll look through all the development stages of the custom booking app.

  • To begin, send a query to your possible IT partner and then discuss the details of your project.
  • Obtain a total budget/time estimate from business analysts by performing the discovery stage. During this time, the designers are also working on the wireframes for each screen.
  • The design stage itself indicates mockup creation based on previously built wireframes. The designers then hand over the project to the programmers.
  • The development process's major purpose is to create a seamless booking application that meets the specifications, as well as to test, code, and deploy the future app.
  • QA verification specialists must test the program to guarantee that it is problem-free or file a bug report if it does not. The information given in the bug report is critical for the developers to correct the issues that have been discovered.
  • The launching and maintenance stage comes when the app is finalized and released to the public. The interaction, on the other hand, does not end with the release. The team continues to work on the program, upgrading it and fixing bugs as they arise.

However, the functionality won’t be completed without an admin panel.  Admin panel time estimation App part to develop Minimum viable product functionality Rough time estimate for backend  Rough time estimate for frontend (iOS & Android) Authorization Sign up/out 4h 3h Management of customers Manage the customers 41h 38h Management of reports Report management 15h 20h Accommodation management Manage the rooms 38h 35h Management of categories (CRUD) Category management 16h 10h Overall building time 114h 106h

How to conduct the custom software development process

  • You can also construct a top-grade rental app by using this toolkit:
  • Programming solutions made by Cendyn that help marketing tasks to be solved
  • Social network APIs (for Social login embodiment)
  • StayNTouch software assisting you in solving communication problems, team onboarding, etc.
  • TripAdvisor Content API is needed for adding opinions from different services.

Wrapping Up

You should realize that a complex procedure as rental app building requires collaboration with an experienced development team if you decide to construct a rental application.

The specialists will assist you in resolving all of your nerve-wracking app development challenges, providing you with time and price estimates for your project, and transforming your idea into a perfectly created final product that will generate profit.

Vitaly Kuprenko is a writer for Cleveroad. It’s a web and mobile app development company with headquarters in Ukraine. He enjoys writing about technology and digital marketing.
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