Would you pay to use someone’s swimming pool?
Well there’s now an app for that.
Just a 15 minute drive from Midtown Manhattan
Carmen Sanchez is renting out her backyard by the hour on Swimply
which calls itself 'the Airbnb of private swimming pools.'
CARMEN SANCHEZ, SWIMPLY HOST, SAYING:
"At first, I was a little reluctant because I said, oh, you know, I don't know who's coming. I want to make sure they feel comfortable and I feel comfortable. But it's been the best experience. To have someone enjoy my home as much as me and make it feel like their own is something very special."
And it’s not just the pool – people can also pay for access to showers, freezers, coolers and restrooms.
Sanchez charges $75 an hour and said she can earn about $8,000 a month.
Her pool’s become so popular that she’s had to hire someone to help her clean and maintain it.
"I call it The Oasis in Queens. People come here and they feel just at home. It's very relaxing, as you can see, a lot of seatings and plants and flowers. Usually I get a lot of renters from the city who are living in apartment buildings and or in homes with probably no backyards. And they come here and they have a wonderful time and they call it a staycation. Yes."
The pair started in 2018 by offering some neighbors cash for access to their swimming pools.
Since then, the idea has grown into a website booking platform that offers access to about 15,000 pools in the United States, Canada and Australia.
Swimply makes money from each transaction - 15% from hosts and another 10% from guests.
The company's co-founder and chief operating officer Asher Weinberger explains:
[ASHER WEINBERGER, SWIMPLY COFOUNDER AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER]
"Our vision, really is the extension of the sharing economy beyond the functional. The sharing economy, Uber, Airbnb, very functional, hospitality, transportation, things you need every single day. What we're trying to do is extend the sharing economy to the experiential, things you want to do, to give you a feeling of luxury, a feeling that... of a lifestyle that you couldn't necessarily afford, but now you can. That's what we're trying to do. It's an extension of the sharing economy. And to those ends, we're going to explore every possibility."
There are safety and hygiene guidelines.
For example, Swimply conducts site inspections and offers host liability insurance with coverage up to $1 million.
Sanchez said she set a few of her own guidelines after noise complaints from neighbors.
Now, group size, swim times and alcohol consumption are limited.
Weinberger says the idea behind Swimply could extend beyond swimming pools.
"We have a waiting list now for thousands of listings that ranges from private tennis courts to private home gyms, home theaters, private beaches, petting zoos, music studios, you name it. We've got a long waiting list and we'll be launching that after the summer."