Close this search box.

Airbnb’s Business Model: How Does Airbnb Make Money

Airbnb's Business Model: How Does Airbnb Make Money?
Photo by Karsten Winegeart, Edited by Grey Knight

Are you curious about how Airbnb, a company that started from scratch, turned into one of the world’s largest hotel companies with millions of rooms available worldwide? This article will explore how Airbnb makes money, its business model, and the secrets behind its success.

Customer Segments: Guests and Hosts

Airbnb divides its customers into two groups: guests and hosts. Guests are people who book and stay in rooms, while hosts are people who provide the rooms. Hosts can be ordinary people like you and me renting out a spare room or house. Companies also use Airbnb to rent out rooms in their hotels or other properties. Airbnb’s value proposition is to offer unique accommodations that are easy to book anywhere in the world for a short period.

Unique Accommodations: A Break from Traditional Hotels

Traditional hotels have high fixed costs, which often result in high prices for guests. Also, staying in hotels can be boring, as rooms are identical and lack personal touch. In contrast, Airbnb offers accommodations that are more interesting, affordable, and provide a sense of personal touch. With Airbnb, guests can choose from dozens of different types of home experiences, including unique properties like treehouses, boats, or castles.

Maximizing the Utilization of Properties

For hosts, Airbnb is an opportunity to maximize the utilization of their properties and generate rental revenue from their unused spaces. For instance, if you have a five-bedroom house, and you’re only using two bedrooms, Airbnb provides you with an opportunity to rent out the remaining rooms and make extra money.

Customer Relationships and Channels

Airbnb provides a self-service platform where guests can book and stay in accommodations without any intermediaries. The company also has robust customer service that ensures guests’ safety and security, and hosts can resolve incidents quickly and efficiently. Airbnb has a large website where hosts advertise their properties, and guests can search for accommodations. Hosts can also advertise their properties on other channels like social media and other online travel agencies.

Revenue Model: Fees and Commissions

Airbnb’s primary revenue model is based on commissions and fees. The company charges guests a service fee that ranges from 0% to 20% of the total booking value. Hosts also pay a commission fee ranging from 0% to 14.2% of the booking value. Additionally, Airbnb charges hosts for using its platform to process payments, including taxes.


In conclusion, Airbnb’s success lies in its ability to provide unique accommodations, maximize the utilization of properties, and offer excellent customer service to both guests and hosts. The company’s revenue model is based on charging commissions and fees to guests and hosts. Airbnb has disrupted the hotel industry, and its business model has become a blueprint for many other sharing economy platforms. If you’re thinking about listing your space on Airbnb or booking an accommodation for your next trip, knowing how the company makes money can help you better understand the value proposition it offers to both guests and hosts.

Additional Resources

To keep learning and advancing your career, we highly recommend these additional resources:

TikTok’s Business Model: How the App Attracts Gen Z and Brands

Microsoft’s Business Model: How the Tech Giant Makes Money

Spotify’s Business Model: How Spotify Became the King of Music Streaming

7 Financial Models Used by Investment Bankers

Asset Management Explained in 60 Seconds

Receive Daily Startup News

Explore The Pulse of Global Innovation

Delve into the latest news, trends, and insights from startup ecosystems around the world. Stay informed, inspired, and connected to the dynamic landscape of entrepreneurship.

Read by professionals from Y Combinator, AngelPad, 500 Global, and more.

login to your account