Airbnb was launched in 2008 to help two guys rent out a couple of rooms in an apartment. They had nothing grandiose on their minds, only a desire to make ends meet and somehow hold out until normal work appears. Seven years later, this seemingly simple idea turned into a company with a capitalization of $ 10 billion and millions of unique visitors per day.
Interesting facts about Airbnb
The success of Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, the founders of Airbnb, inspired many to create websites dedicated to short-term rental housing. And if you are also attracted by this idea, then you will find a detailed guide on how to create an analog site for Airbnb, and calculate the estimated cost of such a project.
#1 Do market research
When Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia started, they planned to make money quickly by renting out housing to the participants of the World Congress of the the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design / Industrial Design Society Of America (ICSID / IDSA).
This is how Airbedandbreakfast.com looked like in 2008 (first Airbnb domain name)
The guys decided that hotels and hostels would be crowded with congress participants, therefore, they would have no rooms left, and if they did, they 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. And so it happened.
This is an excellent example of analyzing the market and targeting the target audience - Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia paid off their rent for a short time and earned $ 1,000 in addition. And if you plan to create your own analogue of Airbnb, then you also need to decide in advance on the target audience and how to enter it.
Most likely, it will be people who meet the following criteria:
- young (millennials) - they are more inclined to agree to live in someone else’s apartment, even with their owners;
- economical - you need those who are willing to spend time and effort on finding a cheap alternative to a hotel room;
- and, of course, these are people who go somewhere for a short time (tourists, people on a business trip, conference participants and others).
#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 taken and they had no money to buy it. The problem with Airbedandbreakfast.com is length.
Long names are hard to remember and they lack the powerful message that most of short names have. Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia understood this, therefore, as soon as the opportunity arose, they bought out Airbnb.com.
Criteria for an ideal domain name:
- short (maximum length - 12–15 characters);
- easy to remember (it is desirable that the name consist of two syllables);
- not associated with other brands and domain names;
- repeats or beats the brand name;
- “.com” domain zone (top-level domain, or TLD).
If you can’t think of a domain name yourself, use Namestation.com or its equivalent. The Namestation algorithm generates random names based on a list of keywords. At the same time, the site shows which of the generated names are free and which are already taken.
An example of generating a domain name based on the words "rental" and "housing". Two names are taken. Source of the image
If you like some name, but it is already taken, you may be able to buy it. The price may be different - from a couple hundred to several million dollars. View the approximate cost or find another option for purchase can be on sites:
- Afternic BuyDomains;
#3 Develop the concept of the site
To create a site like Airbnb, it is important to determine what we really mean. Here are the main things that define such a site:
- P2P transactions. The site brings private individuals who donate their housing in the short-term, with those who wish to rent someone else's. This may be a room, apartment, bungalow, cottage or any other room in which you can live and which meets certain criteria of safety and comfort.
- Significance of location. On sites like Airbnb, the supplier and the customer must be physically close to each other in order to share the values. Search by using filters and maps.
- Reviews and reputation system. The parties should be able to leave feedback about each other after the conclusion of the transaction (completion of the transaction). Thus, you can create a reputation system that will help to toss out unreliable counterparties.
- Booking management. If the site offers rental services, it will need a booking management system so that landlords can indicate the availability of the service on a particular day, and tenants can book accommodation for the dates they need.
- Online payments through the website. The platform should have the tools to book and pay for services through the site. It is convenient and safe, and also allows you to charge a transaction fee.
- Delay and retention of funds. Protect users from fraud, for example, from fraudulent ads for renting out someone else’s housing.
In addition to these things, the concept of the site should also include the development of wireframe, design and interface elements
. Usually, everyone tries to make the site as close as possible to the design of Airbnb, but this is a bad idea - why use something similar to Airbnb, if there is an original Airbnb. Better to create a unique solution, as did Booking.com, Wimdu, FlipKey and 9flats.
#4 Choose an approach to development
If you have a domain and concept ready, the next step is to develop the site
directly. And here you will have two options: use a ready-made script / theme / template or hire a professional developer
. This is a very important decision, so consider both options in more detail.