This Side Hustle Spotlight Q&A features Kyle Kazmer, a wealth partner at J.P. Morgan Advisors and avocado farmer who has a side hustle listing his property on Sniffspot, a marketplace that allows you to rent out your yard as a private dog park.
Image Credit: Courtesy of Kyle Kazmer
When did you start your side hustle, and what inspired it?
I first listed on Sniffspot in spring 2023. Sniffspot is used by dog trainers and dog owners wanting a space for their dogs to run outside and play without having to go to a public dog park, and I thought it sounded interesting since we have a large yard that we just don’t have enough time to fully enjoy. I also wanted to teach my young children to be entrepreneurial, and the value of work, and this is something they could be a part of. (Fun fact: They are enjoying it so fully that my youngest son named our new puppy “Sniffspot!”)
Sniffspot was incredibly turn-key: Just upload some photos of your yard, set a price per hour and include some details about your spot, and it does the rest, allowing users to look up nearby spaces to rent by the hour.
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The immediate passive income with no upfront cost was the inspiration to start, but it turns out I love hosting on Sniffspot because of the stories, experiences and memories that are made on our property without us having to do anything. It is very rewarding to consistently have very thankful people telling us their stories and that bringing their furry friends to a Sniffspot was the best experience they’ve ever had with their dog: whether it is watching their dog swim for the first time, seeing an anxious dog be stress-free and playful, a family having the opportunity to have a stress-free hike with their dog letting them run wild without a leash — we even had a man propose to his girlfriend here with their dogs! And sadly, last week someone brought their dog the day before they would put him down to have one last sweet time together. It is truly rewarding, and I never imagined the stories we would hear from opening up our yard for dogs.
What were some of the first steps you took to get your side hustle off the ground?
There are many gig economy options out there, but a lot require significant time and ongoing maintenance. We created our profile with tons of photos, and then it just exploded. Word-of-mouth has been the biggest driver, especially among dog trainers, but our reviews and user images really took our spot to the next level.
Were there any challenges that came with running your side hustle? If so, how did you navigate those?
The biggest concern was safety with having strangers on our property and worrying if they would treat our backyard and property with respect. We’ve all heard horror stories about other short-term rental options — but dog owners must be of a different breed because that concern was completely unfounded for Sniffspot users. Everyone is overwhelmingly considerate, respectful, caring and overall professional. Sniffspot has an insurance policy that brought us some peace of mind as well, and the support staff is also incredibly helpful and responsive, which makes hosting a breeze.
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How long did it take you to begin seeing consistent monthly revenue?
The first partial month we made $1,500 on our spot. The second month we generated $3,700. But really, the highlight for me is the truly passive nature of Sniffspot with no cost to set up and minimal upkeep. Many will just unlock their side gate and let the dogs, and money, roll in.
How much average monthly revenue do you earn now? How much total revenue have you earned to date?
An average month is between $4,000-$5,000 on Sniffspot. Summer months range from $6,000-$7,000 for us in the sunny Southern California area. Since last spring, we’ve made over $40,000 on Sniffspot.
What sets Sniffspot apart from other gig platforms?
The users are friendly, caring and respectful. We’ve had over 700 guests, and I can count maybe one or two times someone did not clean up after their dog. The platform is automated, so it is completely passive as a host. Bookings are immediately accepted, and the only task required by hosts is to have your calendar up to date and the property accessible.
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What do you enjoy most about your side hustle?
The revenue stream is great, but what I love most is how appreciative everyone is and the opportunity to share our beautiful property. We fell in love with it, and it makes us so happy to share it. We are truly motivated by the love of dogs and the owners who know what a difference it makes for their best friend. We are filling a need in the community of dog-lovers.
Our guests tell us they absolutely love being able to have their dog off leash and play or train and that they are truly creating memories with their dogs. We consistently get guests driving two-plus hours each way for their dog to come visit our Sniffspot. Someone even recently drove more than six hours to make a trip out of it.
We’ve heard stories of proposals happening here, dates between dog lovers, dog birthday parties, dogs learning to swim, anxious dogs coming alive for the first time, etc. — the stories keep us on Sniffspot, and it’s truly so rewarding.
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Do you have any advice for others interested in this gig? What should they know before they get started?
If they’re considering the gig economy or passive income for their space, Sniffspot is the best platform out there. It is consistent, reliable, automatic and has the best users. Because you can choose your own price point per hour, play around with what works. Do your research with other comparable spaces near you. You don’t want to price too much beyond other spots in your area, but don’t undercut yourself. Be sure to provide great experiences and be client-obsessed. Some may choose to offer dog toys, blow-up pools, etc. We have paddle boards, kayaks, homegrown fruit that guests can pick and buy, a petting zoo and even working fire trucks. Be sure to have decent photos of your space with details on what guests can expect. And feel free to ask for reviews in any follow-ups. Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool.