If you’ve ever spent a summer peering over your neighbour’s fence in the hope they’d invite you over for a swim in their pool, this website might significantly reduce the time you spend in longing this hot season. Swimply, was the first online marketplace for pool sharing launched last year in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney, and is back for a new summer also in Perth and Adelaide.
Founder, 22-year-old Bunim Laskin, came up with the idea after his parents paid their next-door neighbour to let him and his 11 siblings swim in her pool. He launched Swimply in New Jersey, in the US, and has expanded it to cities such as Los Angeles, New York and Miami.
Like Airbnb, it lets owners put their pools up for hire and gives the pool-less a chance to take a dip for an hourly fee. Before they’re allowed on the site, pools are thoroughly vetted by an independent local maintenance company to make sure they’re adhering to local health and safety standards.
Those looking for a pool can search their location to see nearby hosts. Details listed on the site include hourly rates, a description and photographs of the pool, amenities such as Wi-Fi and towels, and whether loud music, smoking and children are permitted. Some pools have barbeques, spas and cabanas, and some allow swimming lessons and have pool toys for kids to play with. As with much of the sharing economy, pool renters are given the chance to rate and review their experience.
While it’s still early days with the business in Oz, Swimply says more are coming online as people become aware of the service. The pools vary from simple salt-water pools like this one in Sydney, to this one in Perth with Versace-style vibes. In Brisbane, this one has a waterfall, swim-up bar, television and fire-pit with seats to take in the mountain views for $75 per hour. This one in Sydney's East Ryde, with a glass edge, is $60 per hour. Pack some food for a barbeque and bring some friends so you can also play pool after a drip in this kidney-shaped one in Epping, Melbourne, for $50 an hour.
Pool owners are given the freedom to set their own hourly rate, stipulate rules and choose whether or not they’d like to accommodate particular requests such as parties or loud music. They can also specify the maximum number of people allowed in their pool.