Tri-City owners get into pool rentals
When Bunim Laskin was a kid in New Jersey, he was always looking for things to do.
“I am the eldest of 12 children,” he said. “And growing up, I never went to summer camp.”
One day during a long, hot summer, Laskin looked at his neighbor’s swimming pool.
This light bulb led Laskin to launch Swimply, which connects private pool owners with people willing to pay to use them for a few hours.
He realized the number of other pools, many of which were not used much.
The new company, Swimply, has become “the Airbnb of swimming pools”.
“Except,” Laskin interjected, “Swimply rents by the hour, whereas Airbnb is at least an overnight stay. Also, normally people come to your community pool, rather than coming from outside the community. town.
So far, seven Tri-City pool owners have taken the plunge and registered theirs with Swimply.
On the Swimply platform, pool owners rent pools by the hour.
Laskin, 25, and his business partner went on Shark Tank a few years ago to raise $600,000 to launch the business.
All sharks rejected Laskin. But other people watched this show and were ready to dive in.
“Six months later, we had $10 million from other investors,” said Laskin, who later left the school. “The CEO of Airbnb has invested in us.”
Potential customers use Swimply to browse pools available in their area, amenities, prices, reviews, and more.
Once the host approves a request, the time is confirmed. The client receives an e-mail with the exact address, the codes to authorize access to the property, the Wi-Fi information and any other necessary information
For pool owners, it’s just as simple: once they sign up with Swimply, they post photos of the pool and backyard, choose an hourly price, and set the rules for their pool. swimming pool. The pool owners then confirm the booking and are paid within 24 hours of booking.
The Laskin team works with pool hosts to determine the best hourly rate, so it can be attractive to repeat customers.
The benefit for pool hosts is that Swimply provides hosts with a customer base with the app and institutional support, including insurance.
“It’s really user-friendly,” said Jenny Vollmer, a Kennewick resident who listed her pool on Swimply.
Insurance is a key part of the business.
Swimply offers $3 million homeowners insurance and $1 million liability insurance through its partnership with Airbnb.
Swimply charges a 15% reservation fee. Tri-City Area Pools
The entire Swimply process caused a stir in the Tri-Cities.
“Yes. Surprisingly yes,” said Kennewick pool owner Melanie Robertson, who said she was happy with the service. “You never know what you’re going to get when you rent out your private property.”
Robertson said she and her family are going to have a busy summer.
“And we installed this amazing pool,” she said. “I thought why not try the app? It was a bit delayed with the cool weather we had. But when the weather got warm we started renting the pool.
Vollmer was a bit hesitant about renting out her family’s pool to strangers when they first tried the app in July 2020, when Swimply first came to the Tri-Cities.
“I first thought it would be weird. But everyone we’ve had has been great,” Vollmer said. “It was a very good experience. The benefits far outweighed the costs. »
“He more than paid for the excess chlorine and the replacement filter. That more than covered the money for those things,” Robertson said.
Fullmer and Robertson have rules for their pools. Neither will allow more than 25 people at their pool for parties. There is no heckling.
Depending on area hosts, barbecue grills, swing sets, and fire pits may be available with a pool rental.
“When you have a pool, it makes it more affordable,” Vollmer said. “It pays for the chemicals, the heating and the water you put in the pool.”
And while Robertson and Vollmer aren’t looking to get rich off the venture, some pool hosts across the country are making more than six figures.
Laskin says 70% of all bookings come from families.
“It’s definitely family,” agreed Robertson, who had eight reservations this summer (with a regular guest) and three more planned.
“Birthday parties. Parents with kids love the idea of coming to the pool for a big party. Only one group was all adults and they said they would come back with their kids. So far, we average two pool bookings per week.”
Vollmer said she averages one booking per week.
“Our experience has mostly been kids’ birthday parties,” Vollmer said. “Although we recently had a ladies-only 50th birthday party.”
Usually, games last from a minimum of two hours up to about five hours. Rates for the seven Tri-City pools range from $20 to $85 per hour.
Both Robertson and Vollmer have spouses and children, and they make sure to find time for the family to use the pool by blocking out dates just for them.
Swimply employee Cassandra Sosa said there are currently 247 rented private pools in Washington state.
For the week of July 25, Swimply’s gross book value was $95,000 in Washington State, with nearly 1,000 hours booked.
Laskin said 25,000 pool owners in the United States use Swimply.
“I really trusted Swimply with what they do,” Vollmer said. “It’s a real win-win for everyone.”
Laskin hopes to replicate Swimply’s success with the rental of tennis courts, hot tubs, indoor pools or music studios.
Go to swimply.com.