How to Build a Rental Marketplace [Full Guide 2021]

The enthralling world of rental marketplaces: Definition, types, and examples

  • living spaces (Airbnb, HomeToGo, Flipkey);
  • workspaces (WeWork, LiquidSpace, MatchOffice);
  • clothes (Rent the Runway, FashionPass, HURR);
  • jewelry and accessories (Rent Jewels, Happily Ever Borrowed);
  • carpooling (BlaBlaCar, Comovee, Twogo);
  • bikes (Spinlister, Mobike, O.Bike);
  • sporting goods (Sports Rent, Sharewood, Quipmo);
  • technology (Rent A Computer, Grover, IT Xchange), etc.

How does a peer-to-peer rental platform work?

How to create a rental marketplace with 14 features

1. Account creation (sign up)

2. User profiles

3. A product listing

4. The search

  • the product’s category (for example, “laptop” or “suit”);
  • trademark;
  • size;
  • the number of rooms;
  • color;
  • location;
  • dates, etc.

5. Recommendations

6. Map integration

7. The product’s availability

8. Favorites

9. Booking

10. Messaging

11. Notifications

12. Online payments

13. Reviews & ratings

14. Account management

How to make money with an online rental marketplace

  • Commission. The most widely-used and most well-known model in sites like Airbnb. The renter’s payment consists of two components: rent plus commission (a percentage of the rent).
  • Payment for a listing. Product owners pay for the listing’s publishing. It’s a good option if you attract many owners to the platform or if there is a wide variety of products.
  • Selling ad space. You may include advertising blocks in the website’s interface and sell them to the companies promoting their offerings. It’s better to collaborate with businesses somehow linked with your main offering (for example, bicycle riding events on the bike renting platform).
  • Premium listings. Those willing to promote their listings can pay for putting it at the top of the search. It’s a win-win collaboration for both an owner and a mediator.

Things to consider before starting an online rental marketplace

Eliminating frauds

Facing the competition

Attracting first customers

Airbnb example: Statistics, features, and a success story

Current numbers

  • 5.6 million active listings globally;
  • 100 000 cities with active listings; and
  • over 220 countries and regions with active listings.

The foundations of Airbnb workflow

  • most hosts pay a 3% fee; and
  • most guests pay a fee under 14.2%.
  • a variety of options to stay in for the most friendly prices, and
  • passive income for accommodation owners.
  • Service consistency: The user base is growing regardless of world crises. The hosts are usually not trained to communicate with customers in the way that hotel workers do. The platform takes care of this issue by providing a hosting checklist first and then following up the reviews on every host and listing.
  • Growing the user base: Regardless of any crises around, the number of platform users should increase, creating a global community of locals and travelers. It’s “a network effect” that creates an atmosphere of trust around the platform, and it’s the most potent way to attract new clients.
  • Enhancing and improving the core value proposition: Considering trends and market conditions, the platform should adapt and transform its offering. Let’s review a couple of innovations.

How to improve UX (and conversions) of an app like Airbnb

Search results presentation

Urgency hints

Search with a map

Demands on the images

  • A large number of images;
  • Images demonstrating key accommodation characteristics: sleeping areas, a kitchen and bathroom with their facilities, available tech tools, etc.
  • Images with a view from the apartment and of a courtyard.

Well-structured listing description

  • The space: the number of bedrooms (and beds), bathrooms, house rules (if there are any), etc.;
  • Amenities: availability of TV, heating, Internet, etc.;
  • Prices: how the price may vary considering the number of people, weekly or monthly discounts, a cleaning fee, etc.; and
  • Description: here an owner may include any general information of their choice, describing a place, area, and city.

Neighborhood guides

Forms to fill in


Eastern Peak is a custom software development company which possesses deep expertise in working with startups and building intuitive mobile apps from ground up.

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Eastern Peak

Eastern Peak

Eastern Peak is a custom software development company which possesses deep expertise in working with startups and building intuitive mobile apps from ground up.

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