I make $3,000 a month renting out my backyard as a dog park. I spend 10 minutes a day on this easy side hustle that cost me nothing to set up.


I was a senior manager for an application-development team, and due to the instability of the industry, I had been searching for ways to supplement my income. After the company I was working for underwent a restructuring, I opted for their severance package and left. Eight months later, still unemployed, I discovered an ad for Sniffspot on Craigslist. Sniffspot is an online platform that allows people to rent out their backyards as dog parks. Fortunately, I had a five-acre backyard that was fully fenced-in, so I decided to give it a try. I went to the "become a host" page, read the information, and signed up for free. I provided the necessary information about my backyard and uploaded the necessary photos.

In March 2020, my wife and I registered with Sniffspot and began renting out our backyard to dog owners. We were responsible for ensuring that the renters knew how to access our backyard after booking, and Sniffspot provided $2 million of liability coverage. We charged guests $15 an hour to rent our backyard. 

We slowly gained traction on Sniffspot via positive reviews and referrals, and in October 2021, we created a membership program through Sniffspot for repeat guests. The memberships started at $30 a month, and members got two hours each month. We also had two other packages that gave people a discount for booking more hours, four hours for $66 a month and eight hours for $120 a month.

By December 2021, we had crossed $1,100 a month while working less than 2 hours a week on the side hustle.

 We began to make small investments in our listing in order to increase revenue, such as purchasing a pavilion due to the wet weather in the Pacific Northwest. We added more gates so owners could drive their dogs into the backyard, close the gate, and allow them to run around freely. We also took the time to greet our guests, although it is not necessary, in order to make them feel more at ease. Our app is very user-friendly, and we have automated messages which walk our guests through everything they need to do in order to get into our backyard and what they can do once they are there. 


 We spend about 10 minutes a day managing our bookings, and on average we host 8 guests a day. We have not spent any money on advertising, and our business has grown organically from word of mouth. We have 64 paying members and our recurring revenue is $2,555 each month. Our members are able to pick a designated time each month to book our backyard, and the window between 7am and 12pm is exclusively for members' bookings. 

Sniffspot has enabled us to make a great passive income, and we average $3,000 each month between memberships and off-membership rentals. We spend just two hours a month monitoring our yard and mowing the lawn. With the money we have made, we have been able to remodel our property and set aside money for our daughter's college tuition. 

Overall, we have had a positive experience renting out our backyard, however, we had one demanding guest which we asked not to return. This guest was rude to our daughter, who helps out with the guests, and they wanted to drive into a part of the property which was not available to them. We asked them to find another Sniffspot. 

Renting out our backyard as a side hustle has given us peace of mind and has been a great way to make extra income.

Renting out our backyard will always be only a side hustle for me because it can't match the benefits I get from my career. But it's good to know I'm fine if I lose my job. I have $3,000 a month coming in, and it's passive.

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