Airbnb was launched in 2008 to help two guys rent out a couple of rooms in an apartment. They had nothing special on their minds, only a desire to make ends meet. Seven years later, this simple idea turned into a company with a capitalization of 10 billion dollars and millions of unique visitors per day.

The success of Brian Cesky and Joe Gebbia, the founders of Airbnb, inspired many to create websites for short-term rental housing. And if this idea also attracts you, then you will find a guide on how to create an Airbnb clone with open source code by CS-Cart.

The online booking service is a really profitable e-commerce niche. It doesn’t matter whether you offer to book apartments or goods, vehicles or working space. Before you make a website like Airbnb read some tips that will definitely help you.

How to start like Airbnb did

1. Do marketing research.

When Brian Cesky and Joe Gebbia started, they planned to make money quickly by renting housing to the participants of the IDSA. The guys decided that hotels and hostels would be crowded with congress participants, therefore, they would have no rooms left, and if they did, the suites would be very expensive. And if you advertise cheap housing on the sites where forum participants gather and run targeted advertising on social networks, people will prefer this alternative to high prices in hotels. This is what happened.

This is an excellent example of analyzing the market and targeting the right audience. And if you plan to make a website like Airbnb, then you also need to decide in advance on the target audience and how to find them.

2. Find the perfect domain name.

Initially, the creators of Airbnb launched the site under the domain name Airbedandbreakfast.com, because the option they needed was busy and they had no money to buy it. The problem with Airbedandbreakfast.com is its length. Long names are hard to remember and they lack the powerful message that most short names have. Brian Cesky and Joe Gebbia understood this, therefore, as soon as the opportunity arose, they bought out Airbnb.com.

If you like some name, but it is already taken, you may be able to buy it.

3. Develop the site concept.

To make a website like Airbnb, it is important to determine what you really need:

  • P2P deals. The site links individuals who rent out their housing with those who wish to book someone else's room, apartment, bungalow, cottage or any other room in which one can live and which meets certain criteria of safety and comfort.
  • Geolocation. On sites like Airbnb, the supplier and the customer must be physically close to each other in order to share the values. Search is carried out using filters and maps.
  • Reviews and rating system. The parties should be able to leave feedback about each other after the conclusion of the transaction. Thus, you can create a rating system that will help drop out unreliable counterparties.
  • Manage your reservation. If the site offers rental services, it will need a booking management system so that landlords can indicate the availability of a service on a particular day, and tenants can book accommodation on the dates they need.
  • Online payments. The platform should have the tools to book and pay for services via the site. It is convenient and safe, and also allows you to charge a transaction fee.
  • Delay and retention of money. Protect users from fraud, for example, from fraud with advertisements for the rental of someone else's housing.
4. Select an approach to development.

If you have a domain and concept ready, the next step is to develop the site. And here you will have two options: use a ready-made script/theme/ template or hire a professional developer to make a website like Airbnb.

Outsourcing development is a great option if you need to create a website with unique features, technologies and designs. But it’s really expensive and time-consuming. Besides your developer have to be a reliable professional.

Airbnb, Trivago and TripAdvisor clone scripts speed up and simplify development. But some software has significant limitations on setting up the functionality and design. But it is cheaper and faster than a website development from scratch. Usually, you can try a demo for free to test the script.

If you choose a ready-made solution pay attention to whether the software has an open source code so you could customize it. Also, the booking website solution has to be updated quite regularly.

How to create a website like Airbnb

We suggest you try an Airbnb clone with an open source code by CS-Cart

CS-Cart Multi-Vendor meets all the requirements an Airbnb script must have to function properly:

  • geolocation
  • over 70 built-in payment methods
  • comments, reviews, and ratings
  • a mobile application
  • advanced order management system
  • open source code
  • several updates and releases a year
For those who look for Airbnb, TripAdvisor or Trivago clone script we suggest trying CS-Cart Multi-Vendor free demo. It is available for 15 days and has all the features of the full-pack Airbnb clone open source solution.

Learn what Multi-Vendor is and
how it works in this 5-minute video:

Try Multi-Vendor for free