How Sniffspot Enabled This Host To Fund Their Dream Garden

Evan M. has always considered himself to be a person who has many projects around the home. “I've always had busy hands and a curiosity for building and improving. My passion for home improvement comes from the blue collar childhood I had. I went to a trade school for high school and got into HVAC,” he explained. Although he went to school to study criminal justice, he ultimately landed in a trade that allows him to fix things around him, which bleeds into his home life as well. “When my wife and I moved into this home, there was already an established, albeit neglected, garden bed,” he added. “I could not watch the weeds overrun the bed so I took action. From there, it was immensely satisfying to have fresh vegetables throughout the dry season, and it's certainly taught me a lot.” 

Using what he knows about home and yard repair, and putting his energy to use as always, Evan and his wife opened Meadogdale, a Sniffspot in Edmonds, Washington, that makes their garden renovation projects possible through a steady stream of passive income. 

A new dad and a new endeavor 

While rarely idle, Evan found himself with time to think after the birth of his daughter. “I was once again awake at a terrible hour of the night, doing what any new dad does, having trouble falling back to sleep,” he recalled. “During these long nights, it was not unheard of for me to purchase the ‘Deal of the Day’ when a new house fixture or tool that I wanted was available. Realizing I should put this time to better use, I stumbled upon and was immediately interested in Sniffspot.”

Evan and his wife are no stranger to dogs and their needs, having always grown up with canine companions, and fostering with a local rescue organization. Despite having the room for a dog to roam at their home, the timing just wasn’t right to have one of their own. “We welcomed our first born in late 2020 and have decided that now is just not the right time for us to own a dog. Sniffspot is a great little way for us to feel like we are supporting the needs of pups in the community,” he said. “I figured it would be a nice way to help out the neighbors which I always saw dog walking by our home, and would help fund some of the home improvements I had been longing for.” 

Building a dream home with Sniffspot 

Sharing their space with dogs in their community has been a blessing for both Evan’s family and their neighbors, and things were off to a successful start right from the jump. “The first day I was a bit shocked at how much demand there was. There were immediate concerns that I wouldn't be able to keep up with the demand of prepping the yard between visits, and that I'd be forfeiting one of the best aspects of our home, our yard,” Evan explained. “After the first week, things began to settle down which was assuring.”

On weekends, Meadogdale sees anywhere from three to five guests, while weekdays bring less busy days – usually around one to three guests. “It was very reassuring after the first month or two when I noticed that almost every guest was clean, timely and respectful of the property. If not for the amazing guests, I certainly would not have continued this venture,” he said.

Obviously a great need in his community, Evan and his home have benefitted from the relationship he’s built with visiting dog owners and their canines. He was quickly able to address some long-awaited needs around the home with the income hosting was producing, namely in the yard. “One improvement I wanted to accomplish long before becoming a Sniffspot Host was to add a raccoon barrier over our garden,” he said. “A second improvement was to relocate our compost enclosure and create a second gardening area in an unused corner of our property. Using proceeds from being a host allowed for this to happen with new pots, soil, plants and vegetables.” 

Interested in hosting?

Learn more here about how your land can help dogs and you can earn up to $1,500 per month!

What to expect at Meadogdale

Every host has their own personal style that works with their space, schedules, and goals. For Evan, Meadogdale is kept simple and streamlined for everyone’s convenience. “Setup is relatively easy for us as the host: I have a saved introduction where I message any new guest. Guests' prior feedback has helped shape what communication is important to inform a future new guest to Meadogdale,” he says. “We have our settings applied so no booking can occur within one hour of the scheduling time. I try to be prompt with that initial communication about what they can expect.”

While some hosts insist on meeting first time visitors, Evan and his family actually don’t ask for that unless the guest prefers it, allowing them as much private time with their dogs in his yard as possible. We prefer not to meet new guests unless they request it. Sometimes we are home, sometimes not. Whenever we leave the home, we make sure the yard is prepared should a booking occur while we are away,” he said. “For our part, we refill the dog bowl, ensure toys, sanitizer wipes and dog bags are available and cleaned if necessary. Additionally, we have a smaller back yard that is fenced off separately for our use as homeowners should we need to grill, or enter/exit while a guest is visiting.” 

Recipes for success 

Evan saw Sniffspot as a possibility after noticing multiple dogs being walked by his home, either by their owners or dog walkers. He used the foot traffic to his advantage, and credits some of his success to making his services visible and easy to access. “Having seen many dog walkers go by our house over the years, I ordered a custom yard sign with a QR code generator on it and placed it out by the sidewalk,” he said. “This has resulted in some additional visits and brought more visibility to the Sniffspot Hosts Community in general.”  

To make visits memorable for dogs and their owners, Evan offers a few extra amenities to show both his welcoming and appreciation of his guests. “In the heat of summer I purchased a dog pool 'extra' and that was a big hit,” he said. “It didn’t take long to recuperate the expense of the pool. The dogs had a great time, and it was just a little extra communication and site prep time.” For his human visitors, Evan taps into the sense of community that encouraged him to start Sniffspot in the first place, offering them to share the abundance of his now well-maintained garden. “We have left out freshly picked green beans, lavender, tomatoes, and peppers for their taking,” he said. “We have a few repeat guests too. One in particular brings their toddler with them most of the time. Our shed has a chalkboard door so we've left out chalk as well as bubbles and an insect net to help entertain the little one.” 

For anyone considering hosting with Sniffspot at their own homes, Evan encourages people to assess the needs of everyone involved, especially themselves, and ask themselves important, logistical questions beforehand. “How will they enter/exit when a Sniffspot is scheduled? How much advance notice will they require? What other Sniffspots are nearby and how do they compare?” he said, suggesting possible questions to consider when thinking of inviting someone onto their property. “Be ready to communicate and answer questions. Be agile and open to guests' needs and recommendations.” 

Community building with guests and fellow hosts

One hurdle hosts need to consider is enforcing rules and regulations, which keeps everyone safe and happy. For Evan, who works in Facilities, he knows that not everyone will read or even notice every sign that’s left out for them, so he handles communication up front and via the Sniffspot website to make sure all bases are covered. “All communication is through the Sniffspot messaging platform. We have been fortunate that nearly all of our guests are respectful of the property,” he explained. “In the event a guest was not, I will leave an honest review on the visit summary. In that review, I will reference the Sniffspot article that they should become familiar with.”

A community-minded person, Evan’s goal in leaving honest feedback is to ensure that everyone within the Sniffspot community, guests and hosts, are able to experience and provide the best visit possible. “As a host, I feel we are the responsible ones to be honest in our reviews so future hosts can have transparent expectations when a new guest visits their location,” he added.  

A look into the future 

As for what’s to come, Evan and his family intend to keep doing more of the same by hosting and using the income to make their space the home of their dreams. “In the future we plan to continue improving upon amenities available and the conditions of our yard. Not only for the guests but also for aesthetic purposes,” he explained. 

Having had some time to see how much revenue they can expect to earn through hosting, the crew have some big projects in mind for the new year, all of which will not only improve the guest’s experience at Meadogdale, but will also increase the overall value of their property, and create a safe, comfortable home for their little one to grow up in. “The first couple months we really used the money for gardening or small exterior improvements. Now that we have a better idea of how much money per month we can expect we are saving to have the yard leveled out and new top soil laid down in Fall 2022,” Evan stated. “We have a great yard but there are some lumps/root systems. There’s a lower spot in the middle of the yard that can take a minute to dry out in the wet season too. Leveling it out will provide better drainage and a safer environment for humans by having less trip hazards. Especially when thinking of our little one who will be goofy running all over.” 

Appreciating the memories being made 

It’s been a relatively short amount of time since Evan started hosting with Sniffspot, and already he’s accumulated memories that will last forever. “I'm always going to remember how my daughter who's not even one yet will stand on the back of the couch and peel back the drapes so she can pop her head around and watch the dogs playing,” he said. “She's always so amazed and amused by the dogs and watching her watch the dogs will always be memorable for me.” 

Along with having time to reminisce over in the years to come, hosting has come with the added benefit of providing a service he can be proud of, and the home with a working garden to show for it. “One of the main benefits is hearing from guests how much they appreciate our yard. There is a clear demand in the market for yard space and the guests are very appreciative,” he said. “As lessons were learned, this passive income has become so easy – it’s easy for the hosts and very much appreciated by the guests. A win for everyone.” 

Interested in hosting?

Learn more here about how your land can help dogs and you can earn up to $1,500 per month!