ST. LOUIS — This summer is unlike any other with the coronavirus keeping everyone at home. But there is a unique new trend in St. Louis – and across the country – that can keep your family at a safe social distance and create an opportunity for pool owners.
The millionaires on Shark Tank didn't want to take a bite out of this idea, but for the last 13 months, thousands of people are dipping into a new website and app called “Swimply”.
"People are stuck at home, no school, no camp, working at home and even if there are public pools open, many are not wanting to go to them" said Swimply co-founder Asher Weinberger.
Think of it as an Airbnb app but with pools. Costs can range from $15-60 an hour with most pool owners charging around $45 to enjoy some splash time at their house.
St. Louis area pool owner Scott Schumaier already has made a few thousand dollars. He added amenities like a barbecue pit and allows kids and pets, which can let him increase the charge per hour.
But a lot of potential pool renters often wonder, what happens when you need to go to the bathroom?
Schumaier said he originally had an outhouse, but a lot of people didn’t like that. He said he’s usually home when renters come by. He’ll hang out downstairs and doesn’t mind people coming in to use the bathroom. He also lets them use the kitchen to prep food to barbecue.
Weinberger said most people prepare knowing they are only going to be at someone’s house and pool for a couple hours and will use the restroom beforehand.
It may sound like an odd concept, but the idea's taking off — especially for parents wanting an alternative to public pools and more isolation.
If you're a pool owner and want to make some money on the side, here are some tips from Weinberger.
"Take good pictures. You'd be surprised how many have horrible pictures or none at all. And be quick to respond, as many times renters are considering four locations at once and will jump as soon as they get a response,” he explained.
As the summer starts to wind down, spring 2021 might be looking even more inviting to water lovers.
"I am considering adding a heater to extend this season and get a jump start on 2021,” Schumaier said.
He said renting private pools isn’t a fad; he expects the concept to be around for a long time.
If you wonder where the name came from, Weinberger told 5 On Your Side they spent hours in a white board session and kept thinking to keep it simple and a light bulb went off combining swimming and simple. Out of that the name Swimply was born.