Updated: Dec 3, 2020
Tiny Living hit Australia in a BIG WAY in 2017. Indiana Hangan (director of Hangan Construction) and his wife fell in love with the Tiny Home Movement. They decided to build their first Tiny Home and document the journey on social media. The ‘Hillside’ Tiny Home was born and it gathered an enormous social following and interest. They decided to continue building tiny houses and later launched Tiny Homes Australia.
Meanwhile, Daniel and Peta had the dream of building and hosting their uniquely designed ‘Eureka’ Mountain Tiny House' on Airbnb. They became the first customers of Tiny Homes Australia and created their customised tiny mountain getaway, nestled between the Redwood Forest and La La Falls. As an investment, the ‘Eureka’ was always destined to be listed on Airbnb—but the rewards of hosting have gone above and beyond their early expectations as they've welcomed guests into their unique space.
If you, too, are interested in earning money and sharing your passion for tiny living with others, learn more about how to list your space and read on to get the inside scoop on Daniel and Peta's hosting journey.
Q&A WITH DANIEL AND PETA Why did you decide to start hosting? We had always dreamt of a cosy cabin in the beautiful Yarra Valley, and kept saying, "One day." Finally, we asked ourselves, "Why not? How could we offset such a cost?" And Airbnb was the obvious solution. When did you first step into a tiny house? Probably the first was at Tiny Homes by Hangan. Was it love at first sight? Absolutely, we immediately fell in love with Indi Hangan’s enthusiasm —not only did it inspire our tiny house plans, but also our dream of showing people that living off-grid can be done without compromising the modern luxuries we all enjoy. What inspired you to start hosting your tiny house? We wanted people to experience that doing the right thing environmentally doesn’t have to be at a cost to Netflix, Air-con and a hot shower. We really wanted to share our journey and maybe even inspire people to make some minor changes to make a big impact. And when, how, and why did you start hosting your tiny house on Airbnb? We started hosting in 2018. We already had our apartment on Airbnb, which has been fairly successful, and we took the lessons we had learnt and applied them to our tiny house. We lived at Mountain Tiny for approximately six months before listing and put simply, we knew if we loved it, our guests would as well. How hard was it to get started? It was easier than people think to go from a little side hustle to a fully-fledged business. Providing accommodation has traditionally been a space held by hotels and motels, all of which need considerable investment. Airbnb enables everyone and anyone who thinks they have something unique to offer. How quickly did you find success? Admittedly with Tiny homes being very in vogue, success was almost immediate.
HAVING FUN WITH HOSPITALITY
How would you describe your hosting style? Guests are very important and special to us. We treat every guest as if it’s our first, and care a great deal that they have a tailored experience, whether that’s getting local knowledge on the best downhill mountain bike track or where to find the best coffee. Are there amenities or experiences you offer your guests that you’re particularly proud of? It’s really important to find out why our guests are looking for a getaway. Warburton is a magical place, and we want our guests to feel that and to fall in love with it. We share the local favourites—best places to eat, to explore, and to experience. Which aspects of your tiny house or its surroundings seem to resonate the most with guests? Guests often share how much they love the visits from wildlife, especially the cheeky cockatoos that like to take down the giant Jenga set looking for birdseed hidden between the blocks. The location only being an hour out of Melbourne is definitely something people love, and once they arrive it can feel so remote and far from anyone. Oh and the view. Have you noticed unique stays drawing a certain type of person? Absolutely. We love the people that come and stay—we find that people are especially interested in tiny homes and the environment. They are extremely respectful and just amazing people. Any particular guest interactions that have left a particular impression on you? Umm, I would say that I absolutely love when we have someone book for a second time. We have even had a guest book four times. Why do you think guests choose to book your stay(s) in the first place? I think people want to stay somewhere different from home, something unique, and I’d like to think some are in line with our environmental ideals. Which reviews or guest feedback have made you smile? It’ll probably sound cliché, but we love every review we get and we use reviews to stay vigilant and inspired to provide the best experience we can give.
GROWING WITH AIRBNB
What has been the most powerful part of building a business on Airbnb? Airbnb is limitless in its application for small businesses and empowering people to grow in a space that’s usually been the domain of medium to large business. What’s next for you? We have been blessed with a beautiful daughter, and think we’ll be adjusting to life with three for the moment. Finally, if you were talking to someone considering hosting their own unique property on Airbnb, what is one thing you'd tell them that hosting has taught you, or opened up for you, that they might not have already considered? Don’t wait. Whatever you’re dreaming of, be bold and start planning.
Daniel and Peta’s listing is just one of the 450+ tiny house listings in Australia. Guest demand for tiny house stays on Airbnb has shot up in recent years, too. In 2019, more than 10 times the number of guests searched for tiny houses during the months of May through July than during that same time in 2018. There isn’t just interest in tiny houses—there are earnings. Airbnb’s top-performing tiny house hosts in Australia earned on average AU$33,000 per tiny house in 2019. Like Daniel and Peta said, "Be bold" and "don't wait." If you're thinking of listing your tiny house on Airbnb, it's easy to start today!
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