Today Airbnb is one of the largest housing rental services in the world offering millions of places to stay in 200 countries - from renting apartments and houses, ending with yachts and medieval castles.

The idea to connect hosts and tourists occurred to the three students - Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk - in 2007. In 2008 they created a website and presented their idea to the world offering only 16 housing options.

The online booking service is a really profitable e-commerce niche. If you want to know how to start a business like Airbnb let’s see how an Airbnb-like website functions.

How Airbnb works

To sign up with Airbnb is free for both the owners of the living space (hosts) and those who want to rent housing. To use the service, you will have to either create an account there or log in using Facebook or Google.

Hosts must first add a profile picture. In addition, you will need to go through verification, which will help prove to potential guests that Airbnb has already checked your account and it is not fake. Verification can be done by confirming the phone number or email address, a photo in the profile and an identity document.

Guests also need to pass verification. The hosts and Airbnb sometimes ask users to verify their identity. In addition, confirmation is often required when you book last minute accommodation.

Guests and hosts can write and receive feedback.

After you have logged in Airbnb management software will offer you to search for accommodation by its location, as well as indicate the date of booking and the number of guests. After that, the site will pull up all available housing listings for your request. There you can already specify the request: for example, if you are not looking for an apartment as a whole, but a bed in a hostel. You can also sort offers by price.

Once you find a place you like, you will have the following options for further action:

  • add housing to your wish list
  • contact the host
  • book accommodation
If you see a place that seems suspicious, you can ask the Airbnb moderators to check the owner again.

If you want to rent an apartment go to your homepage and select the “Rent an apartment” option. You will be prompted to provide details, such as a house or apartment, the location of housing and how many people you are willing to accommodate.

In home-sharing apps like Airbnb, you can adjust the price per day rental, write a review of the premises, a list of attractions and add photos.

As for Airbnb, you can ask them to send a team of photographers who will take professional photos of your premises for free. The service can be ordered by anyone with a confirmed email address and telephone number. It is worth noting that this option is not always available in Airbnb management software.

Rental prices are fully determined by its owners. Payment options vary, but mostly credit, debit and prepaid cards, PayPal and Google Wallet.

The owners of the apartments will have to pay a commission.

How to build a website like Airbnb

So now when you know how Airbnb functions it will be easier for you to choose the perfect software for an Airbnb-like website.

CS-Cart Multi-Vendor provides the user with all the features a camping website like Airbnb needs to function in a proper way and even more:

  • geolocation
  • over 70 built-in payment methods
  • comments, reviews, and ratings
  • a mobile application - to build home-sharing apps like Airbnb
For those who look for Airbnb management software we suggest trying CS-Cart Multi-Vendor free demo to start with. It is available for 15 days and has all the features of the full-pack Airbnb-like website solution.

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

Try Multi-Vendor for free