Red Farmily Barn - A Great Way to Share our Amazing Horse Farm
Just driving into the property feels good
When you drive into the property, everything about the place says the owners care. From the unique design of the “Barndominim” all the way to the policies and practices that its owner Danielle has put into place. Everything communicates that these guys “get it” and want you to be a happy, satisfied guest.
Rooms rented about 1/3 of the days each month
The Bardominium is advertised on AirBNB, GoHorse.com and several other sites currently and Danielle has had great success with renting out her extra downstairs accommodations. She says that the occupancy rate of two rooms combined is about 34% rented month-to-month which is a great bonus income for the family. March was a great month (fourth full month in business) where the entire mortgage was covered!
Understand all the costs involved
Of course there’s some cost to this great source of income. First, designing and building the great barn/living quarters (but they were doing this for her parents anyway). Then, taking inquiries from guests, sending welcome instructions and cleaning once they leave. So Danielle says “I like that we’re not fully occupied, as I use the space as a remote office and/or sometimes it’s just nice to have the property to ourselves. Plus, I wouldn’t want to be cleaning the rooms daily. However, the guest flow we have now provides a great unexpected source of income from a space that we aren’t currently needing otherwise, and we’ve met some very interesting and lovely people.”
The price is the price - keep it simple
Danielle has done a lot to make the place super visitor friendly. She has an email welcoming package that lets them know the entry codes and all sorts of things to expect while visiting. Guests are even invited to accompany her mom in the feeding routine for the horses each morning. Danielle says, “I don’t like all those extra charges that places add on, so I keep it really simple. The price is the price. No extra deposit, no cleaning fee, no extra pet fees, no cancelation fee. My guests really appreciate that. Also I don’t require advance reservations. Guests can arrive up to 10pm on any available night! Many guests find the Barndominium by searching for an overnight reprieve from a long day’s drive, as the Barndominium is proximally located off of I-75 (North/South) and I-20 (East/West). Where these guests started out just looking for a bed and bathroom, they end up in total comfort, often sleep in or hang around the following morning, and several have returned for a longer stay at a later time.”
Keep it manageable
Danielle has a “day job” so she hasn’t yet gone the route of really expanding her services to include other things such as breakfast, trail riding or horseback-riding lessons. But she’s very accommodating and might just add in an extra service when requested, depending on her schedule.
We asked her what her biggest pieces of advice might be for people thinking of doing this. These were her remarks:
“If you need a set revenue stream, it’s important to do some due diligence. Think about supply and demand. Check your area for what others are doing, how many options are out there already and whether you might have something unique to offer. Consider the costs to furnish and accommodate, clean and maintain. Wear and tear comes with traffic.”
“If you’re not targeting a set revenue stream and just seeking bonus revenue, list any space/offering you have and see what results. An attitude of openness can really expand interest and possibilities beyond what you might originally envision. In addition to renting the overnight rooms, people contact me proposing all kinds of ideas. They’re seeking wedding photo locations, wedding party locations, event locations, team-building environments, horse-back riding, RV parking for an overnight or for months, a Producer’s retreat to write, etc. Instead of holding fast to rental space only, I talk with everyone about any idea to find out what they’re thinking and how it might work for the property and all parties. This leads to increased value and improvement. If we only offered rental space, however, it is already a pretty sweet situation for everyone involved.”
Links to the Red Farmily Barn “Barndominium”: