Shacky: Farm-stays in a Tiny House

Shacky is a new start-up enterprise that places tiny houses on rural properties, allowing farmers to generate income from renters who lease the space as holiday accommodation [1][2]. The first Shacky has been set up on Tarndie Farm in Victoria [3].

Shacky makes it easy for rural landholders to diversify into farm-stay activity. To join, interested rural landholders undergo a four-step process: initial registration allows the Shacky administrators to get some details about each applicant; the suitability of the property is then evaluated and an implementation plan is made; next, a site visit occurs to find the best installation site on the property and to discuss the practicalities of hosting; then marketing commences through the Shacky website [2].

Farmers can choose their preferred style of Shacky [4]. The Shacky administrators buy the tiny houses from Studio Trucks in Victoria. Each tiny house includes a solar panel, battery, antique lights that run on solar, loft bed, potbelly stove, couch, storage and roadworthy trailer [4]. The tiny houses are built on trailers that can be legally transported by road to their sites [4]. However, as the tiny houses do not include toilets, farmers must also provide their own toilet facilities for guests. The Shacky administrators sell the tiny houses to rural landholders at the starting price of $13,500 [4]. The fee structure for stays varies according to each owner of the Shacky; and when a Shacky is rented out the landholder pays a proportion (10%) of the income to the Shacky platform to support the website marketing and administration [1][4].

The Shacky concept spans aspects of product, process and management innovation. Product innovations are “changes directly observed by the customer and regarded as new…[as in] never seen before, or new to the…enterprise or destination” [5]. The tiny house concept provides a new twist on a typical farm-stay, so in this respect the Shacky is a “product innovation” [5][6]. However, Shacky is also a process innovation, and management innovation too. Process innovations are “backstage initiatives…escalating efficiency, productivity and flow” [5]. From the vantage of the rural landholder, Shacky provides a relatively easy process for establishing and managing an on-farm accommodation venture, providing the administration and marketing system to support the implementation and management of the tiny house farm-stay accommodation; so in this regard, Shacky brings a degree of process innovation to the farm-stay market. Management innovations are “new marketing concepts …[changing how] overall communication to, and with, customers is undertaken, and how relationships between the service provider and customer are built and withheld” [5]. In this respect, Shacky has used a Pozible crowdfunding campaign to finance the product and help to raise market awareness of the concept [1], and the website marketing interface takes care of channel management for the participating rural landholders.

 Recommended Citation

Reid, S. R. M. (2016). Shacky: Innovation in Farm-Stay Accommodation. INNOTOUR Innovation Cases. From http://www.innotour.com/innovationCases/?p=3504

References

  1. Barnes, A. Shacky tiny house startup supports Australian farmers. 2016  1 August 2016]; 2 February 2016:[Available from: http://www.domain.com.au/news/shacky-tiny-house-startup-supports-australian-farmers-20160201-gmif8k/
  2.  Joep Pennartz. Shacky: Become a Host. 2016  1 August 2016]; Available from: http://www.shacky.org/become-a-host/.
  3.  Joep Pennartz. Book a Shacky: Tarndie Farm. 2016  15 August 2016]; Available from: http://www.shacky.org/properties/the-tiny-house/.
  4. Leigh, L., Melbourne startup Shacky is like Airbnb for farmers renting out ‘tiny houses’ on their property, in Startups. 2016, Startup Daily.
  5. Hjalager, A.M., A review of innovation research in tourism. Tourism Management, 2010. 31(1): p. 1-12.
  6. Tidd, J. and J. Bessant, Managing innovation: integrating technological, market and organizational change. Fifth ed. 2013: John Wiley & Sons.

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