3 TIPS ON
• CREATE A marketing plan and
have a budget set aside for it as there are a lot of options and
they can add up to a big cost - you’re going to need to carefully
monitor which ones work best for you. • DO YOU want to have a website,
and if so do you want one that is capable of taking online
bookings? • THERE ARE subscription-based
B&B directories, many of which charge a set annual fee
so you’ll need to decide which ones are best for you to
reach clients, nationally and internationally, using the right tag
words in your listing.
WHO: Mark & Kanani Thornton WHERE: Miranda, 80km south-east of Auckland
Valarie and Jeff Alley run their homestay dairy farm at Hikutaia, just north of Paeroa.
“Jeff was contracting during the summer. We have a big house and I needed to remain here so we decided to do up a very big room at the far end of the house. We also added an above-ground swimming pool and ping pong table so we would be family-friendly.”
An added attraction is that visitors are offered a hands-on farm stay experience.
“People can get involved with the farm activities and animals as much as they want,” says Val. “Some people do, but more come simply because we are cheaper than elsewhere. Mind you, people all say they have slept really well so there must be something about the country air.”
Val created their website herself and said it was easy to do using Vistaprint. She also promotes thro through as many websites as possible, including www.bookabach. co.nz, www.travelbug.co.nz, www. holidayhouses.co.nz, and truenz.co.nz Some offer a free listing, then charge 15% per booking; others charge a set annual rate but nothing additional for bookings. Val also has brochures placed with the Paeroa Information Centre and a listing in the Hauraki Rail Trail booklet.
The best part of having a home stay is the extra source of income, particularly because Jeff and Val milk only 110 cows. There is no downside according to Val.
“There is some extra cleaning but I don’t actually mind because it’s only one room. It doesn’t take me long.”