Swimply’s Airbnb-Style Pool Rental Expands to Pittsburgh Area

Dubbed “the Airbnb of swimming pools,” Swimply has seen significant growth since its launch in 2018, including in Pittsburgh.

Although the Pittsburgh area had no pools available for rental in 2019, there were 19 as of the end of July.

According to VP of Growth Sonny Mayugba, Swimply follows the sharing economy business model.

Hosts rent out their pools to guests for a few hours at a time, allowing the host to enjoy and the guests to enjoy the space.

Registering a pool on Swimply is free, and the company takes 15% of the host’s profits. Additionally, Swimply offers $1 million in liability insurance and $10,000 in property damage to protect guests and hosts.

Mayugba said hosts determine the times and days they rent out their pools to guests and can offer other amenities including extra garden space, towels, bathroom access, internet connection. Wi-Fi and electrical outlets.

Hosts can also set preferences for party size, parties, whether they allow pets, alcohol and smoking restrictions, and age requirements.

Reserve Township’s Ron Young joined Swimply just after July 4th. So far, four groups have rented his space, including a return guest and a same-day reservation.

Young said he heard about Swimply through a Facebook ad and thought it would be a good way to earn some extra income since he only uses his pool a few days a week.

Young was also inspired to join after reading about a Oregon couple who made a great profit from the service. Swimply spokeswoman Kristen Marion said the couple hosted 2,700 guests and earned $111,000 this summer alone.

Similarly, Jennifer Hanuska decided to “sign up and see what happens” in late June after hearing about Swimply from a neighbor and a news article.

Hanuska, of Springdale, has so far rented a family. She rents out her pool for $36 per hour on weekdays and $45 per hour on Sundays, plus an additional $10 per hour per person in groups larger than eight.

Hanuska also offers bathroom access, a patio, deck, furniture, and coolers for guests to store food or drinks.

Guests can also rent Hanuska’s fire pit and grill for an additional $10.

Young rents out his pool for $24 an hour on weekdays and $30 an hour on weekends. There is an additional $5 per hour per person in groups larger than five.

It also gives its guests access to a variety of pool toys and floats, as well as its patio and garden. Towels can be rented at an additional cost.

Mayugba said Swimply saw 4,000% revenue growth from 2019 to 2020, which he says is partly the result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Because the pandemic has caused various businesses and entertainment facilities to shut down, Mayugba said Swimply’s pool-sharing service has become a popular option. He said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announcement the fact that outdoor chlorine pools are safe has made more customers feel comfortable renting.

Hanuska said the family who rented her pool mentioned that they felt safer swimming with each other in a private pool than going to a public facility, which is part of the reason for their buy-in.

“I thought (joining Swimply) might be a great way to make money and help people at the same time,” Hanuska said.

This rate of growth only continued into 2021. Mayugba said hosts are available in all 50 states, as well as Canada and Australia.

Although growth in the United States is Swimply’s focus this year, Mayugba said he hopes to expand internationally in the coming years.

He would also like to continue the trend of expansion into smaller cities across the country.

According to Mayugba, there are 45 Pittsburgh-area hosts in the onboarding stage, which will translate to nearly 65 total pools for the region once officially registered. He said it’s exciting to see this growth happening organically because Swimply is intended to be a “hyper-local community site.”

Two swimming pools are available for hire in Westmoreland County, one in Irwin and the other in New Kensington. Owners of those properties declined to comment.

Pools can also be found at McKeesport, Bethel Park, and Washington.

Mayugba said he hopes these local expansions will continue to connect communities and “democratize (the) luxury” of swimming pools, especially because that’s the main reason the company was founded.

Mayugba said one of the founders is the eldest of 12 children and was often on the lookout for a pool to take his siblings to in the summer. After a neighbor mentioned he’d like to make money renting out his pool, the two came together to form Swimply.

The Brackenridge man signs up

Swimply host Sean Dicer of Brackenridge said he wished the service was around when he grew up.

“I would have loved to rent a pool just to spend a few hours on a hot day,” he said.

Reflecting this sentiment, Hanuska believes Swimply’s flexible, community-focused design creates a “nice gig” for hosts and a good entertainment option for guests.

“They do this with motorhomes, houses – why not with swimming pools?” said Hanuska.

Dicer said he heard about Swimply when his kids noticed ads on popular TikTok accounts. Dicer, a teacher from the Highlands School District, joined Swimply towards the end of July to earn money in his spare time in the summer.

Dicer said his pool is available for reservation on weekdays and weekends for $40 an hour, plus $3 an hour per person in groups larger than 10 people. It also offers its terrace, towels, Wi-Fi, electrical outlet and bathroom at no additional cost.

Mayugba said hosts aren’t required to open their bathrooms to guests, but those who choose not to must limit bookings to one hour at a time. So far, 80% of hosts allow bathroom access.

Dicer said he hasn’t received a reservation yet and isn’t sure if people would feel comfortable renting a pool in Brackenridge, but he thinks there may be an increase in numbers. of guests if pandemic restrictions remain lifted.

Young plans to continue hosting on Swimply for years to come and hopes to attract more guests through Facebook advertising.

“All the families have been very respectful of my property,” Young said. “I haven’t had any bad experiences so far.”

Quincey Reese is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Quincey by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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