How do Airbnb and 9flats differ?

Airbnb and 9flats are both online platforms - accessible via mobile device app, tablet or computer - that allow users to list their properties for rent as well as search for unique accommodations around the world. Both companies provide stays in igloos, treehouses and boats as well as in more traditional housing like apartments, homes, single and shared rooms. Airbnb currently has more listing inventory and is based in the U.S., versus 9flats which is based in Europe.

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What do their missions and histories differ?

Airbnb History

Airbnb is a privately owned company based in San Francisco, CA, which was founded in August 2008, by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk. The company started as a way to help the co-founders pay rent by hosting guests on an airbed in their apartment – hence the name Airbnb. Their company mission is not only to make accessible renting out homes, apartments or extra rooms, but also to provide guests with interesting places to stay around the world while fostering a sense of belonging amongst their user community.

9flats History

9flats is a German company based in Hamburg, founded in 2011 by entrepreneur Stephan Uhrenbacher. He started the company as a way to bring a sharing economy to the vacation rental space in Europe.

What is the size and scale of each company?

Airbnb has approximately a million listings at a range of price points in over 34,00 cities in 190 countries while 9flats has listings in more than 200,000 locations worldwide.

How do I make a booking on 9flats and Airbnb?

Users can browse listings on each site for free, inputting their desired destinations and travel dates. Both sites also have their own mobile app that allows instant booking and search. On 9flats, users can filter their search results by price (per night), space offered (ie. ‘entire place’, single or shared room, place type (barn, apartments, castle etc.), or map. Users can also find pet-friendly accommodations under the “amenities” tab next to the search. Then, once users have found their desired accommodation, they input their travel dates, number of guests, and payment information to book. Guests can either ‘instantly book’ or make a booking request. Once their booking is accepted, the amount is debited but not paid to the host until 24 hours after the guest’s arrival.

To book on Airbnb, the process is similar. Guests can either request a booking from a host on their listing page, or use instant booking, which doesn’t require communication with hosts: only the input of arrival and departure dates, number of guests, and payment information. It is suggested that users on both sites complete a profile for safety reasons before booking. Guests on Airbnb can book a space on both desktop and mobile device via the Airbnb App.

What are the costs? Is there a membership fee?

It is free to browse listings on both vacation rental sites. There is an optional member Log in on both sites, although before a booking is made, users are prompted to create a username and password for better communication and access to the site in the future. There are no membership fees on either site. On 9flats, creating a listing is free: users only pay when they confirm a booking. 9flats takes 15% of each booking; the rest is paid directly to the hosts.

Airbnb has guest and listing fees. Guests pay the cost advertised on the listing plus a 6-12% guest service fee, a regressive fee dependent on the price of the listing, which goes directly to Airbnb. Hosts receive the listing price of their accommodation, minus a 3% host service fee.

What are the differences in Privacy / Type of Accommodation?

Both 9flats and Airbnb offer both the reservation of an entire place, and a single or shared room, as well as accommodation in unique spaces like castles, tree houses, igloos, wagons, and boats.

Does each site have ratings and reviews? What else should I know about the process?

Listings on both Airbnb and 9flats are reviewed on a 5-star system basis, which is visible on each listing page. Guests can rate their overall experience in addition to different categories like: accuracy of description, cleanliness, location, value etc. The listing descriptions also both have availability calendars, listing descriptions and a list of available amenities. Learn more about Airbnb's review and rating system here.

How do I become a host on site?

For Airbnb, users can register themselves as a host and choose to go through a verified ID process. Then hosts will need to create a detailed listing of the space for rent including photos, as well as set a checkout method and guidelines for who can book their space. Finally, hosts communicate with potential guests on the site and respond to inquiries in order to assist the booking process.

On 9flats, the process is similar: users are required to create a free online profile through the site. Once an account is created, hosts need to complete a profile detailing their accommodation including photos, a listing description, and the price they select to rent out their space for before the listing is pulbished.

How do I contact Airbnb and 9flats?


Airbnb Customer Service

Airbnb App

Airbnb Fees


9flats FAQ

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