Advertise Your Horse Boarding Vacancies Using GoHorse.com

Advertise Your Horse Boarding Vacancies Using GoHorse.com

Keep those Horse Boarding $$$ Rolling in!

As a barn owner, there weren't a lot of great options for filling my open stalls.  I sort of cobbled together a strategy using word of mouth, craig’s list, facebook and a waiting list of people that I had built over time. People that were interested when I had no openings.  It’s always a hit or miss sort of deal because of the timing issues involved and the difficulty of moving a horse. When people are looking I don’t have a spot, then when I do have an opening they have already gone somewhere else.

Here’s how to use the GoHorse system to better plan and fill boarding openings.

The cool thing about this system is that I can highlight my listing when I have openings.  So people searching specifically for boarding in my area will see me and know I have space.  Then they can review my very detailed listing and decide whether they are interested. When they contact me, I know they are well informed and we can spend our time getting to know each other to decide if we have similar philosophies and if we are a good fit.  Saves me a LOT of phone calls and time explaining the basics, because customers have seen all this before they even make the first call!

Here’s how to set up up a business listing on GoHorse.com

First, you need to get your horse boarding facility listed on GoHorse.com if you aren’t already - Your listing is free

  • Go to their home page on gohorse.com and choose "Add New Listing" up on the menu

  • Fill out the details about your business based on what “type” of business you are.  Each type has different fields which then translate to search filters for prospective customers

    • Horse stable facility - breeders, trainers, rescue facilities, overnight & monthy boarding etc.
    • Farriers
    • Vets
    • Health practitioners
    • Other

One of the details areas you will have access to if you are a stable owner/operator is the “Boarding Vacancy” area:

  1. Setting your Vacancy Availability  - There are actually three ways to communicate to your prospective customers regarding your openings.

  • There is a “yes” - which you would use when you anticipate an opening or already have one or more spaces.  This will mark your record with a green banner for “Available NOW” and also change your horse icon on the map to green.  Also users can actually filter by this field when they are looking for openings.

  • a “no” - marking no will place a red “no boarding available” in your listing detail right above your contact information.  This will discourage prospects from calling about that service.

  • “leave undefined” - you can choose  “Leave undefined” and let people inquire if they like about various services.  

It’s pretty easy to actually set and change the vacancy flag.  Just log into your Gohorse.com account and choose the “add/update” feature on your dashboard.  Scroll down below the name and address info and you will see the heading for Boarding Vacancy.  Click the most relevant choice and then save your changes at the bottom.  You can change this any time you like and as often as you like! 

  1. Accuracy - Make sure to turn it OFF when you are totally out of the market.  This will alleviate calls and emails.

  1. Response time - Be prompt with your return emails and calls.  For emails, usually a same day response time is preferable.  On calls - if you can’t call them back, send a text and return the call when you have time.

  1. Price Survey - Use the GoHorse mapping feature to isolate barns in your area, or specific barns that you know are your competitors and check their pricing.  It’s important for you to know where you stand in comparison to these other barns. (consider changing your description on GoHorse to specifically address how you are different that other locations)

It's that simple!  Takes two seconds to do and can really make a huge difference for your daily routine in the long run.  Surely everyone wants more qualified inquiries when they need the business, but could do without the calls when they are “full up!”

Horse Boarding Vacancy - Strategy Tips

Well we haven’t had this tool, so we probably haven’t taken the time to really consider how it might best be utilized.  GoHorse is just getting out into the market, so traffic from users will pick up in 2019 as the name becomes synonymous with “horse stuff near me”.  But here’s some ideas on how to think through this nifty little feature.

Set Vacancy “YES” When:

  • Notice of Customer Leaving - If you are going to have a boarding vacancy spot in the next 60 days and you already know about it.  Set the vacancy flag to YES and write in your description section the date that the opening will occur. Your objective is to get calls coming now, tour the people, get to know them, learn about their requirements and their horseback riding needs ahead of time.  This should allow you to schedule departures and arrivals without losing boarding dollars on an open stall.

  • Increasing your Capacity - Set the vacancy flag to YES when you are increasing the number of paid pasture, stall or training board spaces.  Sometimes barn owners find ways to add space through building additional stalls within existing roof structures. This is an extremely profitable way to improve the income to your facility.  Adding two new stalls under an existing shed or inside an existing barn may only cost $1000 to construct, while you may begin earning $750-1500 more per month once you fill them. Of course this depends on your current set up and whether or not you can handle the additional care requirements, but certainly IF you are planning to do this, get the vacancy flag ON so that you have a paying customer waiting to come in.  In fact, turning the flag ON and then waiting to see if you get the demand is a great way to make that decision if you are not certain about whether to expand.

  • Last Minute Departures - Of course set your vacancy flag to YES immediately.  You may even consider offering some special. You can change your Description to include a “NEW Boarder SPECIAL!”  How about offering first month discount or giving a special gift to each new boarder like a tee shirt with your barn name on it?

  • Testing new pricing? - Sure!  Update your listing with your new pricing to test results.  Entering a base price is much more effective than not having one at all.  Customers like to know a range before they call. You can offer special discounts or speak about specific add ons in your comments area.  Might want to say “These are basic boarding fees, customized services available for additional charges”

Set Vacancy “NO” When:

  • You want to STOP the inquiries - That’s really the main focus of this  feature.  Though GoHorse cannot guarantee that customers will not call or email, it certainly discourages them from trying.  Here’s some reasons you may want to set your flag to NO:

    • Private Barn and you do not do Boarding or horseback riding or take outside inquiries at all.  Turn the Flag to NO

    • All Spaces Full - Just no spaces at present

    • Temporary Out of Market - Going on vacation or too sick to deal with new customers and don’t need the calls?  

Set Vacancy to “Leave Undefined”

  • Like taking the Calls - Maybe you like to stay in touch with inquiries but don’t really have a “vacancy” per se.  Fine leave the flag undefined so people will call but not have the expectation that you have an opening.

  • Have questions you want to talk to potential customers about - Sure let them inquire so you can talk with people to see what their interest level might be.

Hint:

Remember to use your “Facility Description” in conjunction with the Vacancy Flag to let customers know specific details.