Tinder for sheds

By Rebecca Greaves

In Solutions3 Minutes
Heybarn co-founder Tom Brownlie (left) with shed owner Barry McClellan.

THE UNUSED SHED ON YOUR farm or lifestyle block could be the solution to someone else’s storage or workspace needs.

Heybarn is the new online platform that connects shed owners (hosts) with those looking for space (renters) – kind of like Tinder for sheds.

It is a two-sided marketplace that caters for both property owners and renters online. It was designed specifically with farmers and lifestyle block owners in mind.

Co-founder Jaimie Hunnam first hit on the idea when she struggled to find a place to advertise a shed on her property for rent.

Launched in the Manawatu and lower South Island, the plan is to extend the platform to the whole of New Zealand, and eventually Australia.

Jaimie said security and privacy were top concerns, and the exact location of a shed was never disclosed on the site.

The host has the opportunity to look at a renter’s profile before approving their interest.

“You have complete control over access and viewing, down to the times of the day the renter can access the shed.”

Jaimie said research showed there was not enough storage available in NZ and even if someone lived in the back blocks, it’s likely someone would be interested in shed space.

“It’s an opportunity to do something new and creative with what you have, gain some passive income for minimal work…”

It is free for renters and hosts to list on heybarn. There is a $20 connection fee where a renter or host can ‘hold’ an advertisement and contact the person before anyone else does. The recipient can accept or decline that interest after they’ve viewed the profile of the other party.

Additionally, a 3% commission is charged per month to the host for use of a heybarn rental agreement, and to run rental payments through the site.

“That’s what we recommend as the lowest-risk path, but there’s no obligation to go through us, you can do your own rental agreement. The feedback we had was that people preferred to go through a third party and be hands-off.”