Wednesday, August 10

Want to cool off in a swimming pool? There’s an app for that

If the ferocious heat gripping much of the U.S. has you dreaming of a cool swim, but you don’t have a pool, let technology be your guide. An app lets you peruse private pools in your area and rent them for a fee. 

The Swimply app, launched in 2019, matches more than half a million people looking for a private pool with homeowners who are looking to pick up some extra cash. All types of pool owners are listed on the app, which categorizes roughly 25,000 different pool rentals into four tiers: standard, comfort, luxury and VIP. Hourly rates run from $30 to $100.

“Our supply is very diverse, from more modest homes to classic suburb pools, all the way up to the most luxurious Hamptons pools,” Swimply co-founder and CEO Bunim Laskin told CBS MoneyWatch.

More than 8.7 million homes across the U.S. have their own in-ground or above-ground pools, according to market research firm P.K. Data.

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This private pool is available to rent in Austin, Texas for $35 an hour.

Swimply


The app has risen in popularity along with the thermometer. Since temperatures began rising in May, Swimply has seen a 75% increase in bookings.

“There are a lot of trends working in our favor,” said Laskin, adding that its revenue has doubled over the past year. 

“We’re noticing increased usage in specific markets where there are heatwaves. We’re seeing an extra spike across Texas and the Tri-State Area,” he said.

For pool owners, Swimply can help offset the impact of inflation, Laskin said. “It’s something that helps people earn additional income in financially confusing times.”

He said that even owners of deluxe pools, who can presumably afford to maintain them, have signed up for the platform. 

“Some people do it for the money, a lot of people do it for the community,” he said. 

Roughly 25,000 hosts serve a community of about 500,000 Swimply users, according to the company.

Earning over six figures

Hosts’ incomes through the app depend on how ambitious they are about monetizing their pools. While some users earn between $2,000 and $3,000 a year, mostly enough to cover the costs of having a pool, others can make over six figures, according to Laskin.

“Other hosts make it a full-time job,” he said. “They make their pool available on weekends and allow larger groups for which they can charge more.” 

The top-earning host on Swimply makes just under $200,000 a year, according to the company. Swimply charges guests a 10% booking fee and takes 15% from the host. 

The company also has plans to expand into renting tennis courts, private gyms and other spaces.



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