This app lets you rent a stranger’s swimming pool on a hot day

·2 min read
The platform hosts over 20,000 pools across the US, Canada and Australia  (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The platform hosts over 20,000 pools across the US, Canada and Australia (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

An online marketplace has made it possible to rent someone’s pool for a swim, or to rent out your own pool and garden to strangers.

Swimply is described as “Airbnb for swimming pools”, with listings for over 20,000 pools across all 50 states in the US, as well as in Canada and Australia.

The platform launched with a pilot programme in the summer of 2018, to “democratise the pool experience so that everyone can enjoy an instant escape from reality”.

Due to the closure of many public pools and recreation spaces during the height of the Covid pandemic, the platform gained plenty of traction and has continued to grow since the world opened up again.

Homeowners can sign up to list their pools and set up an hourly rate based on details such as pool size, timing, and amenities - which might include an accessible bathroom, barbecue or pool toys and floaties.

The average rental price ranges from around $30 (£25) per hour in Houston to $45 (£37) per hour for a pool in Los Angeles.

It is also up to owners to decide if they will be at home or not while guests use their pool, so the level of privacy differs with each rental.

The company takes 15 per cent of the booking fee from hosts and 10 per cent from guests, and hosts are provided a $1 million insurance policy.

“As the largest swimming pool rental platform in the world, we see a huge market opportunity here as people seek experiences with their families and friends that they can’t get at home.

“In fact, our motto is ‘Escape Locally’ – offering unique access to nearby private pools,” Sonny Mayugba, VP of Growth at Swimply told Forbes.

He added: “Interestingly, we have also seen our customers use Swimply while traveling to enjoy the great outdoors. For example, this pool in Temecula would top off a perfect day of wine tasting in California’s wine country.”

Swimply estimates that there are over 10 million pools in the US, but 96 per cent of Americans do not have access to one, and the average pool owner uses their pool 15 per cent of the time.

Airbnb itself recently overhauled its booking platform, allowing users to search rental properties by categories including extraordinary design, amazing views and historical properties.