Collecting Airbnb Data
Airbnb doesn’t offer an official API for collecting public data on its listings, occupancy rates, reviews nor pricing - making it tricky to conduct research in the short-term rentals or real estate markets using Airbnb data. However, many other websites & services are regularly collecting data from Airbnb, so how are they doing it?
Although Airbnb offers a Partner API, it is locked down and only appears geared towards Airbnb property hosts; not for collecting public data from Airbnb.
Unofficial Airbnb API
If we inspect the network traffic on Airbnb’s mobile app & website, we’re able to reveal an unofficial API that Airbnb uses (in tandem with its official website and mobile apps) to send & receive data to and from Airbnb’s servers. Since this unofficial API provides structured data on what publicly appears on Airbnb’s app & website, it’s a great source to collect structured data from compared to screen scraping from HTML (which often breaks) or hiring someone to copy and paste the Airbnb data into a spreadsheet.
You can read about Scraping ALL Airbnb Listings from a City for the cities you’re interested in. If you follow the article’s instructions, you could get back thousands of listings per city, with each listing containing basic information on its ratings, pricing & host. You can also perform all of this manually, intercepting the listings endpoint as described in this video:
One you have a list of Airbnb listings you’re interested in, you can get further details about them using the following methods.
Future Occupancy Rates
Airbnb shows a booking calendar on each listing’s page, allowing you to see the future availability for each listing. Using the underlying data endpoint, you can get the future availability data for any listing(s) up to 1 year into the future. You can read How to Scrape Airbnb Occupancy Rates in Any City for more information or see this video:
What would Airbnb be without reviews! Since Airbnb also serves back reviews data over its unofficial API, you can get historical reviews for any listing(s) very easily. To get the reviews data, you can import the Airbnb Reviews Formula and follow the steps to see the endpoints involved, or watch this video for more information:
Open Source Software
If you need additional functionality or want to learn more about the underlying unofficial Airbnb API, please see these open source libraries from where most of these endpoints were uncovered from.
Be warned: Some open source libraries no longer work in 2020 after Airbnb began cracking down on automated bots (a separate issue from scraping), so be sure to check the issues for each repository and make sure the library is still operational.