Did you hear the news? We’re building an Airbnb home on our property! It’s pretty exciting! We actually announced it on the podcast a few weeks ago. You can listen to that episode here. We’ve received a lot of questions on how and why we’re doing this, so I figured I’d share the details here!
Why build a Airbnb?
The reason is twofold. First, we’re trying to bring Travis home. Blogging has been a great addition to our income, it’s such a natural part of our life at this point and I couldn’t imagine not doing it. We basically share what we’re doing around the house, recipes, remodels, all the things, and I make an income from the number of users that frequent my blog for the info we share. I do this in addition to working with brands and producing content for other companies. Oh, and affiliate links. Making a small commission on items I share. (Only items that I love/have purchased.)
It’s wonderful to have these income sources, but it can also be very volatile. Some months are great, others it’s crickets. Until I can get it more regular, (meaning I need more time to work on projects and developed content, another reason to bring Travis home.) we need additional income. Plus, it’s always a good idea to have several income streams in case one dries up. We don’t want all our eggs in a single basket. And, having 120 acres, if we can’t figure out how to bring in some income streams from that, well then, I’d question if we’re being good stewards of what we’ve been given.
Along with being an additional income stream, we want our friends & family to visit!
This is also huge for us. With the amount of work our house needs, and the fact that at this point we’re functioning with one bathroom (a bathroom that’s in bad need of a remodel), it’s not feasible to think we could comfortably host another family in our home currently.
And we want people to visit. So, when we put our thinking caps on, it made sense to construct a small home on our property that would be finished much sooner than our current house would be, and that when not being used by our visitors, could be rented out for a profit. It also affords our guests a level of privacy that staying in our home wouldn’t give them. We want our visitors to come here and feel like they’re on a mini vaca! For these reasons, to us, it seemed like a win-win.
Why do we think anyone will want to rent our bnb? What’s in the area we live to draw people?
We live just outside Henderson, our small, adorable little town. Henderson is also a college town. We have Freed-Hardeman University which takes up a huge chunk of downtown. This means parents travel in for college events, and families with students also visit to check out the campus to see if it’s the school for them. They hosted a music event this past spring and every hotel room and bnb within the area was basically sold out. The town was buzzing with people.
The K&M Precision Rifle Training complex is near us. This is a huge training facility for military, law enforcement, and civilians that specializes in long-range firearm training. It’s a huge place and people fly in from all over America to train there. They also have competitions frequently. It’s a big draw to the area and another reason we’ll have some bookings at our Airbnb.
We have a stunning wedding venue close to us and we’re hoping to snag a few out-of-town guests to stay on wedding weekends.
Chickasaw state park is a 30-minute drive from our home. It’s a beautiful, 1,400 piece of land where lots of activities and events are hosted. From family reunions to weekends away, we’re hoping to draw a few of those visitors.
Just next to the park is Chickaway golf course, and it’s always busy. This course has tournaments throughout the summer, as well as hosting events such as weddings.
There’s also Goodman Hunting Ranch near us.
Plus, we think we’ll grab a few people who just want to escape Jackson for a weekend of relaxation in the country. Or, perhaps, snag people who were like us and came to the area to check out a house and are considering moving.
How big is it and how many will it sleep?
Our bnb will be just over 500 square feet. Don’t let the size fool you though, with how it’s laid out, it will feel cozy, spacious, and relaxing. A cute porch off the front will be perfect for sipping morning coffee while enjoying the forest views. We’ll also have a cut flower garden next to it and that will be gorgeous to wake up beside.
The house will comfortably sleep 6. We will have a master bedroom, and one bathroom/laundry room. It will have two loft areas, one on the front of the home and one in the back. The back loft will be above the master bed. Each loft will sleep two.
What will it look like?
I want it to be very similar in style to what I’m doing for our home, which is French country cottage. My hope is when you pull up the driveway and see the home, you’ll instantly feel relaxed and excited. That upon entering, you’ll swoon at the details, wallpaper, and cozy little touches that make you feel transported in time. That even if you did nothing else while visiting except snuggling on the couch and reading a good book, that it would be worth the stay.
The future of the bnb
Long term, we want the Airbnb to not only be a mini getaway, but a chance to experience a real farm and enjoy all that it offers. From hours to visit and walk the gardens, to gathering eggs, visiting the goats, or milking a cow, if someone wants a farmstay, it’s an option that will be available to them. We also hope to soon have trails through the woods we can offer our guests to enjoy. The ideas are endless, and we have lots of layers to add. But first, we must get it up and running and go from there!
Stay tuned for all the updates as we share the process in real time. And if you want to be a part of the day-to-day, make sure we’re friends over on Instagram. I show up in stories with the tasks we’re accomplishing daily. And to delve deeper into what we’re doing, read about the nitty gritty, not so glamours parts in Becoming Whalen Farms.