Sometimes it pays to have a pool.
Jim Battan of West Linn, Ore., has made $177,000 in less than two years by renting out his pool through an app called the “Airbnb of pools,” according to CNBC Make it. (The outlet said it verified income through documentation).
Swimply, a venture-backed startup founded in 2019, lets people rent home pools by the hour. Hosts may require a minimum hours when purchasing.
Battan told CNBC how he brings in cash as a “pool provider,” from tracking chemicals to keeping them clean. He and his wife, Lisa, work next door.
“Unless you’re retired or have a day job, it takes a long time to learn about pool chemistry and management,” he told the network. “I look at my pool chemicals probably five to 10 times a day.”
Battan added to CNBC Make It that he initially spent $110,000 on his pool and has spent about $37,000 on maintenance over the past 10 years.
Battan cites his love of luxury resorts for his success in attracting crowds: He estimated that 65% to 70% of his customers were repeat customers.
“My wife and I are very used to five-star luxury resorts, so we know what excellent customer service looks like,” Battan told CNBC Make It. “Part of that is ensuring that every need is anticipated — responding appropriately to inquiries, greeting [guests] with a smile and making sure all their needs are met, then disappearing.”
The reviews are also enthusiastic. On the pool rental page, it looks like all of Battan’s 385+ reviews are five stars.
“This is more than a pool, it’s a little haven!” wrote a Battan pool tenant. “Located in the rolling farmland of West Linn, this pool is on a large, private property… The hosts are wonderful!”
Because the home is rural, there are no HOA regulations to deal with, Battan added to the outlet. (Although one day, she added, the couple hopes to move to Portugal.)
Just like outside, the Swimply competition is heating up. More hosts are joining the platform and, Battan added, people have more options to scratch the swimming itch as they begin to travel more than they did during the early pandemic.
Still, Swimply CEO and co-founder Bunim Laskin said the store’s booking revenue has increased 100% since last year.
In December 2021, Swimply raised $40 million in funding, less than a year after securing $10 million in backing, according to TechCrunch.
“As the word gets out about Swimply and we add additional hosts to the platform, we’re also adding so many additional users… The best pools will always be in demand,” he told CNBC Make It.