- Demand for apps that operated as an “Airbnb for pools” surged during the pandemic.
- On apps like Swimply and Peerspace users can rent outdoor spaces by the hour.
- Here’s how you can rent a pool in your local neighborhood.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
An app that has been dubbed the “Airbnb for pools” and allows people to rent out pools by the hour has boomed over the course of the pandemic.
Swimply was founded in 2018 as a way for customers to rent private pools, but has grown 4,0000% over the past year. Its cofounder Bunim Laskin told The Wall Street Journal that hourly rentals on the app have surged to over 120,000 bookings over the past year, as the pandemic shuttered many public pools.
The app is home to about 13,000 pool owners across the country from Los Angeles to New York City. Prices on the app average between $35 to $50 per hour depending on the user’s location.
One pool owner told the Journal that he expects to make over $110,000 this year from renting out his luxury pool. The app’s cofounder Asher Weinberger told the publication that pool owners earn about $5,000 to $10,000 per month on average, while the company takes a 15% cut from hosts and imposes a 10% fee on guests.
How to find a pool near you
In order to use Swimply’s services, a customer can sign up on the app or website swimply.com using their email, Facebook or email logins. Users must be over 21 year-old to rent a pool space.
Then a prospective pool hopper can enter their location to find a nearby pool through the map view or list view on the site.
Each location listing operates similarly to an Airbnb listing and includes pictures of the property, lists of amenities like a barbecue grill or sound system, as well as the host’s rules.
Weinberger told the Journal many hosts choose to stay at home during the rentals to alleviate potential risks associated with or with damage to the property, especially for larger events like pool parties. The startup also offers a host liability insurance that covers as much as $1 million, as well as a property-damage-protection policy.
Some locations even include additional amenities that can be tacked on to the purchase, including alcohol and snacks.
Many pool owners rent the space out to several different groups in a day. Pools can also be rented out in advance or even the day of, depending on availability.
Other companies have also gotten in on the pool rental business, including Peerspace, a marketplace for booking film-production locations and event venues. The company offers thousands of spaces with swimming pools at hourly rates. Peerspace cofounder Matt Bendett told the Journal the company has also seen a spike in interest for outdoor locations with pools. Customers can also rent locations with pools by the day through Airbnb and Vrbo.
Swimply’s popularity comes at the same time that costs for pool chemicals like chlorine are surging after a fire last year at chlorine manufacturer BioLabs spurred a national shortage of the product.
Peerspace, Airbnb, and Vrbo didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment; Swimply referred their comments to those given for the Journal article.