Pool rental website allows people to enjoy privacy and cool off
James Borden, along with his wife, kids and in-laws spent most of the afternoon battling the heat by jumping into the pool. However, it was not his swimming pool.
Borden rented the pool from Joel Haywood to Martinez through Swimply, a website that allows people to rent private pools for events or just for family fun for a few hours. The website is known as Airbnb for Pools.
“My wife came across it on the Internet, via Facebook. We took a look at it and it immediately interested us. I spoke to Joel over the internet via text, he was very welcoming and answered questions very quickly, ”Borden said.
Haywood, the owner of the pool, started listing and advertising his pool on Facebook and via Swimply a few weeks ago and has had great success over the next three weeks. He said they’ve hosted parties for more than 40 people and families like Borden, with the townspeople for Peach Jam being his first guests.
“It’s just absolutely crazy. I’m busier now than I’ve ever been in part because it takes so long to put everything in place, ”said Haywood. “I find people are shocked that it’s even a thing and most people say, ‘Why haven’t I thought of that sort of thing? “”
Learn more about Swimply
Haywood said he heard about the business while watching ABC’s Shark Tank. The company appeared on the TV show a few years ago and Haywood said he enjoyed watching the show with his wife and they were still doing research to see if the company ended up being successful.
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Although the company did not receive any funding from the show, it has grown into different markets, primarily on the West Coast. Haywood said it was fairly new to the Augusta area with just 11 pools listed online, most in Columbia County and one in northern Augusta.
“My biggest disappointment is that we didn’t start this sooner,” he said. “I hadn’t realized how popular it could be, especially now that the password is at CSRA. It just keeps growing.
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Haywood said people across the country are making more than $ 16,000 a month renting their pools to strangers. As great as it sounds, he said there is still a lot of work to be done to prepare the pool, clean everything and add the necessary chemicals to the pool.
“The more the pool is used, the more chemicals I have to put in to make sure all the chemicals are balanced,” he said. “We don’t pay anyone at the pool, I do everything myself. ”
Currently Haywood is offering the pool for rent at $ 32 per hour for up to six people on weekdays, $ 40 per hour on weekends, and an additional $ 5 per hour for each additional person up. to 40 people. Each person who rents has access to the pool, private bathroom, locker room, tiki torches, lounges, basketball court, woodland fire pit, towels , an ice water dispenser and a drinks cart with ice.
Additional upscale amenities include an outdoor kitchen, fire pit table, air-conditioned billiard room and movie screen. Haywood said they are also considering adding a hot tub.
Pool tenants are billed through a secure payment system and down payments are made after each reservation less the 15% reservation fee which Swimply retains.
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When deciding to list his pool, Haywood’s biggest concern was liability. However, Swimply offers up to $ 1 million for liability claims as well as $ 10,000 damage insurance.
“Once we found that Swimply is very generous in offering this insurance protection to hosts, for us it wasn’t a lot of risk,” he said. “We had no problem with noise. We ask people when they come, (to be) very respectful of our neighbors.
For anyone interested in listing his pools, Haywood said to be sure to check with the Homeowners Association, City and County Ordinances to make sure they are authorized to do so. Haywood is sometimes at home while people are renting out his pool, but he only interacts with them if they have requested something or if this is their first booking so he can show them around.
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Borden said he could see himself using the pool for parties or just hanging out with family and friends and sharing the costs. Because it’s an affordable alternative, Borden said he plans to use it again.
“We had a great time here. I wish we had stayed longer. We booked five hours, we could easily have spent eight, ”he said. “It makes you feel like you’re in your own backyard with all the extra stuff.”
Pools available for rental in Columbia County and North Augusta can be found on swimply.com.