As with other shared economy services like Uber and Airbnb, pool owners use the app to charge hourly rates for the private use of their pool, while shoppers can find a cool escape, along with extra amenities like access to a grill, a bathroom, a Jacuzzi and more.
Bradenton's Buffy Stachorowski listed her heated saltwater pool on the app just three weeks ago for $45 an hour. She hasn't hosted anyone yet since “the public is still learning about it,” she says, but she’s looking forward to getting the word out.
“There’s so much time it's not being used," says Stachorowski. "It has so many great features and I'm excited to host people soon. It also can help cover the cost of maintaining it.”
The pool rental app kicked off in 2018 and now features 20,000 private pools for rent worldwide. Swimply vice president of growth Sonny Mayugba points to 2020 as the company’s “breakout year,” probably in part due to the safety, fun and accessibility of a private pool. In Florida, 700 pools are listed. In Sarasota, North Port and Bradenton, swimmers can find roughly 50 listings.
Hosts set the hourly rate and Swimply collects 15 percent. Hosts also set the ground rules, like restricting the use of glass items and limiting the number of guests and the times when guests are welcome. At Stachorowski's pool, she and her husband are home, but guests can still have privacy.
"We close the curtains, but if they need help with something we’re there if they need anything,” she says.
Pool scenarios can differ. Guests can search listings based on whether they’re pet-friendly and have a diving board, a grill, a bathroom or a spa. But some hosts offer amenities beyond what’s in the Swimply search tab. One in St. Petersburg has a game room, for instance. Another pool is on a lake.
Homeowners don’t have to update their insurance policy. By booking through Swimply, up to 10 guests are protected by a $1 million dollar personal liability policy and a $10,000 policy in property damage insurance. Hosts and guests are vetted through the app.