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    Bài viết của Airbnb, đăng ngày 8 thg 2, 2021
    Bài đọc 18 phút
    Đã cập nhật vào 28 thg 4, 2021

    Điểm nhấn

    • By hosting a unique, off-grid tent, this Superhost keeps her costs down and earnings up

    • Those earnings afford her more time with her husband and young kids

    • She loves sharing the minimalist space on a quiet corner of her parents’ idyllic farm

    Superhost Donna of Egmont Village, New Zealand, has always loved creative problem solving. Just a few years ago, when the dental assistant and her husband, Shane, moved to a small mining town in Australia, she drove a truck to make ends meet.

    After having their first child, the couple returned to New Zealand to be closer to family. They bought a house next to Donna’s parents’ farm and, with a second child on the way, brainstormed how they could avoid working full-time just to afford childcare.

    Donna had her hosting epiphany the morning of January 1, 2019, on a camping trip to celebrate the new year. She awoke to find a tent erected nearby, and a vision formed: A tent like that would look stunning on her parents’ farm. Surely guests would flock to it.

    “I fell in love with it instantly,” Donna says. “Before the poor lady who owned the tent had poured her coffee, she was talked into giving me a tour. When she told me the cost of one, I practically ran back to hubby to start the hard sell.”

    That bell tent, Donna thought, was their ticket to financial flexibility. The collapsible canvas structure supported by a single pole—a classic design that’s been around for centuries—was both affordable and beautiful. By hosting a tent on Airbnb, Donna could share their family’s magical property with others—and afford to stay at home with her kids.

    ‘Reconnection and romance’

    Before buying a Lotus Belle tent, Donna knew how she wanted to market it. This would be a romantic off-grid retreat for couples looking to connect to each other, not to wifi.

    “We were sort of struggling a bit ourselves,” Donna says. “We hardly ever saw each other, and I know other couples struggle with that too. I really wanted to create that space for reconnection and romance.”

    She felt confident in her vision for a couple reasons. First, she believed that guests would find the farmland as captivating as she did. And second, she figured there was a market for people like her looking for the chance to spend quality time with their partners.

    “I wanted to create a place where you come out, unplug, and reconnect—and remember why you got married and why you had kids,” Donna says. “And recharge to go and do all of that again.”

    Piecing together the puzzle

    With Shane’s experience in cabinetry and Donna’s own passion for reclaimed objects and DIY projects, the couple set out to inject creativity into a minimalist motif. “We try to provide everything that you need and nothing that you don’t,” Donna says.

    The tent is perched on a broad wooden deck that leads to an alfresco clawfoot tub they rescued from a farmhouse, plus a separate room they built for the toilet and kitchen. Lavender plants fringe the deck, and a path leads down to a fire pit, tree stump seats, and a boat they cut into a chair facing a stream.

    A rooftop solar array, one of the few new objects, powers the whole operation, including electric blankets. Inside the tent, there’s room for a bistro table, a tiny wood stove, and an old storage chest filled with books and games. Shane made the base of the bed, and Donna made the headboard.

    “We call it Kiwi ingenuity, which is where you can find something and be like, ‘Oh, I can use this for something else,’” Donna says. “I didn’t want anything generic—I wanted to make it special. And this is what I always get complimented on: the personal touches.”

    Reaping the rewards

    Donna’s confidence in her vision was, it turns out, well placed. There have already been four wedding proposals in the tent, and she and Shane have to block out nights to fit in their own stays.

    When they made the initial $25,000 investment in the project, Donna calculated that if guests stayed most weekends, they’d pay it off in 12 to 18 months. But even weekdays filled up, and the property paid for itself in six months.

    “It's just been insane,” Donna says. “Sometimes I still shake my head; I've been booked solid.”

    Donna says hosting on Airbnb has reaped many benefits, both tangible and intangible. She now works one day a week as a dental assistant, and spends a couple hours a day maintaining her property and managing bookings. She spends the rest of her time with her family.

    “This has ended up being the best choice that we could have made for our family,” Donna says. “This gives me the flexibility to still be a mom who’s here at the gate to pick up the kids. And it gives me a sense of pride too. I’m actually doing something for me as well.”

    This gives me the flexibility to still be a mom—and it gives me a sense of pride, too.

    Being part of something bigger

    When they first set up their glamping site, Donna and Shane figured that if the hosting business didn’t take off, they’d at least have a unique retreat for themselves. But it’s been so successful that they’re now planning to buy and host a geodesic dome as well.

    “I really love all the feedback,” Donna says. “I love that people have these really neat moments, and just get what we’re trying to do here.”

    For Donna, hosting has turned into much more than a means to an end. “It’s so rewarding,” she says. “I have control over my end, and Airbnb makes the business side of it really easy. And I know I’m part of something.”

    Interested in hosting your own tent stay?
    Get started

    Điểm nhấn

    • By hosting a unique, off-grid tent, this Superhost keeps her costs down and earnings up

    • Those earnings afford her more time with her husband and young kids

    • She loves sharing the minimalist space on a quiet corner of her parents’ idyllic farm

    Airbnb
    8 thg 2, 2021
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