How many times have you been sitting in ungodly heat just wishing you had a pool in your backyard to cool off in?
Personally, there have been more than a few times where I wished I had a backyard oasis so I could escape the insane temperatures this summer, and I was shocked to find out that there is a website that let’s you rent someone’s backyard swimming pool so you and your friends can have an afternoon of relaxation and fun in the sun.
It’s called Swimply, and it’s kind of like an Airbnb for pools.
It pretty much works like if you were renting an Airbnb for the weekend, except instead of renting the house for a few days, you rent the pool (and all of the amenities that come with a pool).
By just doing a quick search on their website, there are dozens of pools to rent by the hour in the area I live for a pretty reasonable price.
Each person who is renting out their pool can set their own prices, and limit the amount of people who can attend the pool party. For instance, I found a listing that allows six guests and charges $60 an hour. The backyard pool includes a bathroom, diving board, pool toys and a bluetooth speaker so you can play music at a “neighborly” level.
Other pools on the site will allow you to invite up to 20 or more people, and they advertise that their backyard pool area is perfect for a baby shower or small birthday party.
It’s a fantastic idea if you and some friends want to soak up the sun without having to find a public pool to do so at.
When it comes to making money renting your pool, the amount of money you can make is pretty much endless. While many pool owners see their pools as endless money pits (just ask a pool owner how much their electricity bill is after keeping their pool heated all summer), people who rent their pools on Swimply are turning it into quite a lucrative side hustle.
One man who rents out his pool to complete strangers claimed to have made $177,000 since he started doing Swimply about two years ago.
“I love to say that [the pool] has paid for itself and more,” Battan, 57, told CNBC Make It in an interview. “I built a man cave last year, and also credit that to my Swimply pool.”
He did say that running this side hustle is a lot of extra work, but when you’ve made back your initial investment in the pool (and then some), it’s hard to argue that it’s a great idea. Hosts do have to give a 15% cut to Swimply, but again, it seems to be totally worth it.
While it is a genius idea and certainly follows in the footsteps of Airbnb and Uber, there are still dangers. In late June, a 7-year-old girl drowned at a pool that was being rented out through Swimply. Pools are a huge liability, and Swimply’s CEO Bunim Laskin acknowledged that in an interview with CNN. He did say the incident was more of a “pool incident” as opposed to a “Swimply incident.”
Swimply has a partnership with a nonprofit called Colin’s Hope to provide water safety resources and education to hosts and guests, but is that enough when pools can be so dangerous? It’s hard to say.
Just like any pool you swim in without a lifeguard, you must swim at your own risk. Most pool owners know how much of a liability pools can be, and for some the risk isn’t worth it to rent out their pool. But to others, it’s a money-making opportunity that is too good to turn down.
Regardless, Swimply isn’t going away anytime soon. They have listings in over 125 markets, and that includes in the United States, Canada and Australia.
If you have a pool, would you rent it out to strangers through Swimply? Let us know in the comments.