Meet the creative couple that turned a livestock farm into an artistic Sniffspot

Dianne is a creative professional who has no shortage of ideas, physical space to call home, and desires to beautify and improve her surroundings. Born and raised in Oregon, Dianne lives with her husband, Dale, in a home that was built in 1896, and both have been making improvements to the place since they moved in 24 years ago. “I’m semi-retired from a sales/marketing career, and a mixed media artist who also loves to decorate,” she said. “We already loved the character of our home, but the boring metal beige barns in the back were drab. Dale is usually going along with my crazy decorating ideas, so I hired several muralists over the years, mostly through Craigslist, to work their magic on four of our accessory buildings and barns.” 

At first Dianne and Dale used the farm for livestock, but decided to move on from that. “First we had horses, then we had cows, but they didn’t bring in the extra income that we needed for the farm, and so we decided, ‘what other ideas can we do to make money on this place?’” Dianne said. “It’s through Sniffspot that we have pretty good income coming in every month.” 

Making the most of their space 

Dianne has an eye for art and a drive to create, and put these tendencies to work on her home early on, making a truly unique space for people to enjoy and adore. “I made about 98% of the windows over the years that are stained glass mosaics, and started hanging them off our fencing and buildings, and I also got a bit addicted to buying mannequins through Craigslist and propping them up around the property,” she explained. “Then, through word of mouth, we started getting people wanting to get married here. We never really advertised it, as it was just people that had come here as friends or as guests from previous weddings. We’ve had about 35 weddings here now.”  

Using two of their buildings to host Airbnb guests, the pair were hitting their stride in finding uses for their property that would prove to be financially lucrative. When met with limitations that were out of their hands, however, the two had to put their creative minds to work to find more long-lasting entrepreneurial pursuits. “After the 2008 recession, we tried developing income ideas using the 7.5 acre farm we bought in 1998,” Dianne said. “Then, when COVID hit, there was obviously no place for people to run their dogs. Our neighbor across the street asked if she could come over with her kids and run her pup around, and so I kind of had the same idea that Sniffspot did without knowing about Sniffspot yet. I posted on a Facebook community page offering one of our fields for use, and they would pay me through Venmo or PayPal. After about a month, someone asked me if I’d heard of Sniffspot yet. I looked into it, and decided to sign up right away and now here we are.”   

Keeping things easy with Sniffspot 

Although Dianne was already renting their enormous field to dog owners and their canine pals to use for exercise and play time, she’s found that doing so through Sniffspot has made handling the logistics of it all so much simpler than going it alone. “It’s way easier hosting through Sniffspot than from the way I was initially doing it. I had to stay on top of the calendar and payments constantly,” she said. “Sniffspot manages the calendar for us, they manage the payments for us, so even handling last minute bookings hasn't been an issue so far.” Thanks to a tight calendar, which allows her to focus on hosting Airbnb and events guests on her property, Dianne is able to utilize their space while earning extra, reliable income without leaving home. “The main benefit of hosting is the extra money, as I don’t work outside the farm. We lucked out with the way the property laid out, which gives everyone their space when it comes to the cottages and the Sniffspot fields,” she said. “The year-round income is great. Plus, we meet the nicest people. People who spend money on their dogs to come play for any hour, they’re good people.”  

What to expect in a visit 

Every host does things their own way, this pair has found that what works for them is to supply their guests with plenty of information up front, and stay out of their way as much as possible. “I give detailed descriptions for driving directions within the ad profile on where to park, where the gate is, where the hose is, etc...,” said Dianne. Dale added that the pair always try to meet first-timers “to show them the entrance and show them around, but if they’re a repeat guest, there’s not much else we need to do.” With several recurring guests visiting their spot, it’s apparent that renters appreciate the privacy, and keep coming back because of it. 

Interested in hosting?

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

Of course, it’s not just the alone time that guests appreciate about this one of a kind Sniffspot rental. After hosting on Sniffspot, they used some of her earnings to improve the property, for both their canine and human guests. “We installed double fencing around our field to secure smaller dogs, and bought a portapotty for customer use,” Dianne said. “Offering a hose and bowl is a plus, and placing comfy chairs and a table in the shade helped too.” 

Because terms are all laid out on their profile, they haven’t had many issues with guests not following the rules she sets, and keeps a laid back approach to maintaining her area, within reason. “So far, we haven’t had any major issues with guests being disrespectful or a nuisance, but occasionally poo piles will be overlooked, and the next renter may mention it,” Dianne exlained. “We personally don’t examine the fields after renters leave, but do keep up with mowing and general yard work around the property.” 

The secrets to success

A well-maintanined yard, fenced in property, and plenty of personal space are, according to Dianne and Dale, what they’ve found to be the keys to success as a host. “There’s really nothing that would hold anybody back if they’ve got the space,” said Dale. “There’s no downsides to it, and I don’t think it fits any particular personality, you could be a dog lover or not, you’re just providing the space. It’s easy, it’s simple, it’s time most people would be spending on their yard anyway.” 

For anyone considering getting into the Sniffspot hosting game themselves, she offers a few words of wisdom that she’s picked up along the way. “Be friendly when you see your guests, but quickly get out of their way – many times their dogs are anxious, which gets their owners anxious too. Especially if they bring a reactive dog that doesn’t do well around others,” she said. “Plus, be sure to be accurate with your descriptions, as well as offer many photos on your profile.”

Making twice the income with a second Sniffspot 

In the future, they plan to keep hosting through Sniffspot, on not just one, but two locations. “We plan to continue hosting through Sniffspot, as we make more money this way than we do if we sold crops/livestock,” Dianne said. “We offered up our second spot early this summer, and we’re glad we did, as now we make twice the money. Thankfully our farm is set up in a way that is able to separate the two fields and has two separate entrances, so there’s little chance one guest will see the other guest or their pets. The way we have it set up, it’s not a nuisance.”

In the meantime, Dianne, Dale, and their cats will continue hosting, earning income, and making improvements on their home and farm. “We save or spend our Sniffspot earnings however we want,” she said. In addition to making material gains, the family also appreciates the memories made through hosting, and have found their communal, artistic atmosphere to be a perfect place for dogs and people to congregate together. “We’ve had different dog parties, and some of them have been groups of litter mates, we’ve had some come from as far as Texas, they all came and played for two hours,” Dale recalled. “It was fun seeing the whole group playing and getting reintroduced to each other. We love spending time and interacting with different people too. It’s been a lot of good memories, with dogs, with people, and just with the whole experience.” 

Interested in hosting?

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