Home News Splash for cash: Homeowners rent out swimming pools by the hour

Splash for cash: Homeowners rent out swimming pools by the hour

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A drone flew over Middle Island’s backyard pool to deliver a ring box to Carly Jean Charles.

Jean-Charles, a 32-year-old school social worker from Brooklyn, said he wanted a “grand gesture” of choosing a pool setting over a catering hall. “It wasn’t our home, but it felt like ours,” he says Jean-Charles.

Homeowner Kyle Williams had to keep rings from falling into the pool and making sure guests were happy. said Williams. But everything went smoothly, and Charles’ fiancée Akira Mara, 31, a nurse from Brooklyn, said yes.

With his 10-year-old son, Cayden, Charles Barrott holds his daughter, Katri Rose, at the Middle Island pool he rented for his daughter’s birthday celebration.
Credit: John Roca

Like Williams, numerous Long Islanders have treated pools as moneymakers through Swimply, which launched three years ago as a marketplace for private pool rentals called Pool’s Airbnb. Some homeowners were drawn to headlines for the Oregon couple, who made him $177,000 in less than two years. But most people sign up to probably make thousands of dollars a summer to cover costs like pool upkeep and medical bills. You say you don’t use the pool much anymore, so why not make some money.

And with the recent rise in inflation, some people who rented out pools say they’re thinking about expanding and renting out other areas of their homes to increase their income.

fashion designer movard "snow est" Thomas shoots model Christine Brooks...

Fashion designer Movado “Snow Est” Thomas shoots model Christine Brooks for his company, Established Lux, at his rented Dix Hills swimming pool.
Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

more than swimming

There’s little swimming as the backyard pool paradise transforms into a venue for events like baby gender reveal parties, bachelorette parties, birthdays, kids’ get-togethers, and family reunions.

“I thought it was just people looking for pools, just families,” says Matthew Williamson of East Moriches, senior manager of a medical supply company and owner of a new saltwater pool overlooking Moriches Bay. (47 years old) said.

His first appointment was a training lesson for one-year-old Boo, a water-loving Samoyed.

That all changed when Medford-born fashion and social media influencer Boo owner Mae Sitler and her boyfriend jumped in Williamson’s pool. “She was jumping constantly after that,” said Sittler, 27, during her hour-long visit to Boo. She later posted a photo on Boo’s Instagram account titled “My parents rented a pool for me.”

East Moritch homeowner Matthew Williamson pictured with his Bernese Mountain Dog...

East Morwich homeowner Matthew Williamson, pictured with Stout, a Bernese mountain dog, and Liberty, a Newfoundland, is one of the few to welcome dogs at Swim Ply.
Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

Williamson says he loves meeting fellow dog lovers and offers free dog biscuits. By the end of August he had made about $1,000 on five bookings. He is one of the few who welcomes dogs in his Swimply.

At Dix Hills, fashion designer Movado “Snow Est” Thomas rented a pool for a two-hour swimsuit photo shoot.

“He wanted a nice backdrop setting,” said pool owner Emmanuel Katekis. “You have palm trees, you have waterfalls, you have caves.” Katekis, 46, a branch manager at a mortgage lender, says he charges $150 an hour for using the pool. He claims he’s already making five-figure profits this summer, he said.

Emmanuel Katekis has rented out his Dick's Hills pool for fashion...

Emmanuel Katekis rented the Dix Hills pool for a fashion shoot. He lists his property on his Swimply as ‘Palm His Tree Resort’.
Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

growing business

All of this had a big impact on Swimply, founded in 2019 by Valley Stream-based Asher Weinberger and California-based Bunin Laskin. Part of a growing sharing economy where people monetize their assets, the company hosts in the US and Canada, where bookings have doubled year-over-year since its launch in 2019 and new A 225% increase in hosts, the spokesperson said. .

Despite the fact that home-based rentals like Swimply and Airbnb are illegal in some Long Island towns, the movement hasn’t stopped. Some hosts are wary of the publicity, saying they know pool owners have received decommissioning letters.

Weinberger said Long Island is one of Swimply’s strongest markets. This summer, the island had about 100 pools. The popularity is fueled by New York City residents who lack pools. Others want pools away from the crowds due to religious requirements or a desire for privacy.

The pandemic struck shortly after Swimply’s launch, so the founders were worried about the viability of their business, but when beaches, parks, restaurants and entertainment venues closed, people started looking for safe havens. I was.

“We may have been the only game in town,” said Weinberger, 36.

Weinberger and Bunin recently added Swimply Spaces. Homeowners can list sports courts, movie theaters, yoga yards, and other rental spaces.

Demand for private rentals, from cars to homes, tends to be driven by younger generations, Sittler said. Mr. Sittler went to Williamson’s pool with his friend and dog for the second time.

“People really enjoy having different experiences like this,” says Sitler. “Especially in my generation, we can’t afford a house. People are spending money on experiences instead.”

Homeowner Ana Menendez, center, pink, Alexis Quinones and...

Homeowner Ana Menendez, center, in pink, with Alexis Quinones of the Bronx on the right, a friend she brought to a birthday pool party at Menendez’s Westbury home.
Credit: Linda Rosier

Usage

Pool owners set hourly rates. With up to 5 guests on the island he ranges from $20 to $200 and goes up from there for more guests. Facilities such as barbecue grills, heated swimming pool, speakers, and sports courts are available for a fee. They can list their own rules, from no weapons to no pets to maximum occupancy, and can refuse reservations that they feel are not appropriate for their property.

Weinberger said Swimply insures pool organizers of up to $1 million in general liability claims and up to $10,000 in property and casualty insurance.

There are tasks such as cleaning the garden and pool, sanitizing furniture, preparing bathrooms, ordering portable bathrooms for guests (if the owner does not want them to enter the house). Water functions, maintenance, and impact on cesspools come at a cost of electricity.

An important factor is the comfort of strangers in your home. Swimply will verify the identities and backgrounds of both the pool owner and the renter before allowing reservations, but neither party obtains names and contact information, and contact is made through the site’s message function. is done through

Swimply receives a 15% commission on each booking from hosts and another from users, depending on the number of guests.

Pool users can rate hosts on the website, and behind the scenes hosts can rate pool bookers as well. This is how Swimply cracks down and kicks out rule-breakers.

A pool organizer found an online user trying to book a house for a large party. That’s when she realized the person’s Facebook page was advertising tickets to a party at a “secret” location. Swimply kicked the renter off the platform.

Others cite obvious red flags such as renters promising to bring their own security and speakers. We share tips, caveats, and updates in our Swimply Host Community.

Williams and his wife Fabiola suggest looking out for their neighbors. They once asked a DJ playing music on the block to turn the volume down a bit. (He did.)

$75 an hour Fabiola and Kyle Williams...

Fabiola and Kyle Williams want to rent out the pool at their Middle Island home for $75 an hour, as well as their home’s movie theater, video game room, and basketball court.
Credit: John Roca

Their guests, who pay $75 an hour to rent “Bay Paradise,” have paid tribute, said Fabiola Williams, 40, associate director of human resources. As of the end of August, the couple had earned about $9,000 from 20 bookings, according to Kyle Williams. I rented a garden. Next, the Williams are considering renting out their home’s movie room, game room, and other areas.

Ana Menendez (right) helps prepare for Alexis Quinones' birthday party.

Ana Menendez (right) helps prepare for Alexis Quinones’ birthday party.
Credit: Linda Rosier

connection host

West Hempstead real estate attorney Michael Mandelstam, 38, said word of mouth built a pool about 200 feet from his home to ensure privacy and was popular with the Orthodox Jewish community. I said yes.

He understands the needs of religious people who require humility and kosher requirements for his barbecue grills. Recently, when one of his guests was leaving, Mandelstam asked him if he wanted to accompany him to his synagogue.

His pool was then reserved by Queen’s University college student Kinza Sheikh, 19, and her sister, who both told him to stay away from the pool while he was there and instead asked his wife if she needed anything. I asked you to send me a These women turned out to be Muslims. “I thought it was interesting that these Muslim women had the same religious requirements,” Mandelstam said.

Sheik didn’t know until he got there that he would be having his first conversation with a Jew whose pool he chose after his first swim-ply experience in a different pool wasn’t very comfortable.

“We started comparing religion and life,” Sheikh said, noting that “even though our religions are different, we are the same.”

Mandelstam’s pool is now the only thing Sheik rents. “I know her beliefs will be respected,” she said.

Westbury’s Ana Menendez was on board this summer and titled ‘Peace and Quiet’ on the pool list.

By the end of August, she had made about $4,000 on 19 bookings, calling it “the best decision ever” until her 20th booking.

Four young people’s birthday party turned up with about 25 extra guests, and although it was polite and loud, many of them drank alcohol and smoked marijuana before being killed on the neighbor’s lawn. They said they had a fight. “It was like my backyard smokeout,” she said.

At the time, a Swimply representative was only available via live chat and told them the main guest’s credit card had declined to charge the additional guest, Menendez said.

“I made good money, but like any business, I learned some lessons,” she said. I need it.”

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