A Portland, Oregon-area couple has raked in $111,000 in less than a year after hosting some 2,700 guests who booked stays at their home through a site known as ‘the Airbnb for backyard pools.’
Jim and Lisa Battan of West Linn, Oregon have managed to generate a six-figure income using the online platform Swimply, which offers homeowners a chance to rent out their swimming pools at an hourly rate.
The Battans offer up their 15,000-gallon pool for rent at a fee of $75 per hour for a minimum of five guests. They also charge an additional $10 per hour for each guest above five.
Jim and Lisa Battan of West Linn, Oregon have managed to generate a six-figure income using the online platform Swimply, which offers homeowners a chance to rent out their swimming pools at an hourly rate
The image above shows the Battans’ swimming pool as seen at night with the LED lights activated
The pool also boasts a mini-waterfall alongside other amenities on the property, according to its owners
The pool and in-pool spa can be heated. It is situated in West Linn, Oregon on a two acre property surrounded by trees
The pool allows for a maximum of 23 guests.
The Battans’ pool measures 26 by 18ft. Its most shallow end is 3.5ft deep while the deepest part of the pool is 6ft.
‘If there’s a particular day you’re looking for and we look booked, reach out and we’ll see if we can get creative,’ Jim Battan writes in his listing on Swimply.
In less than a year, Jim and Lisa Battan (pictured) have generated $111,000 after hosting some 2,700 guests
‘We designed our pool and had it custom built in the backyard on our two acre property, surrounded by trees, with a view of the barn.
‘No worries during chilly weather: We keep the pool at 90 degrees; you can adjust the spa up to 104.’
Jim writes that his property includes ‘lots of amenities,’ among them a heated pool house and dressing room with toilet and sink.
There’s also a separate pop-up changing tent. According to Battan, the in-ground pool has enough room for 16 people while the in-pool, which can accomodate eight people, measures 7 by 9ft.
Guests can also enjoy spa jets and bubblers that can be activated by a 10-button controller.
Battan writes that he uses ultraviolet light to sanitize the space while the water is purified using IntelliChem automated liquid and tablet chlorine feeders.
Cleanliness has become even more of a priority during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has benefited Swimply users like the Battans as public swimming pools were forced to close down.
This summer has also been a scorcher in Portland and the rest of the Pacific Northwest, where a ‘heat dome’ pushed record-high temperatures into the triple digits – a rare occurrence in a region used to year-long mild weather.
Jim told The Wall Street Journal that the pool, which cost $110,000 to build, was not being used in the last two years ever since his youngest daughter moved out.
Last September, he learned of Swimply. He then decided to list his pool for rent on the platform.
Within the first two hours, he had three bookings.
The platform currently numbers around 13,000 pool owners in 125 cities nationwide.
Since the start of 2020, Swimply has recorded around 122,000 bookings.
Bunim Laskin, the company co-founder and CEO, said the opportunity to use a pool during the pandemic was therapeutic for people eager to get out of the house.
‘We’ve seen a lot of families [and friends] rekindling with Swimply,’ said Laskin.
Asher Weinberger, the chief operating officer who co-founded Swimply with Laskin, said that hosts earn on average between $5,000 and $10,000.
The Battans’ pool is a bit more expensive than most listings on the site, as most owners charge anywhere from $35 to $50 an hour.
For each booking, Swimply takes a 15 percent cut from the hosts and another 10 percent cut from the guests.
The additional income helps pool owners cover the costs of maintaining their pools, which have only gone up during the pandemic due to disruptions in the chlorine supply chain.
Jim Battan says that it may look easy, but renting out the pool to guests is hard work.
He told the Journal that he wakes up at 5am on most days to remove leaves from the water.
His wife, Lisa, cleans the pool-house bathroom and lays out rows of pool toys before each guest arrives.
One of Swimply’s main competitors is Peerspace, an online marketplace that offers venues for rent for those looking for locations to film a movie or take photos.
Peerspace also offers customers locations with a pool.
Swimply hosts, however, must also manage risk alongside the reward.
Guests could drown or cause property damage, which may possibly lead to legal action.
Loud alcohol-fueled parties could lead to guests vomiting in the pool and the property while prompting noise complaints from neighbors.
Weinberger said that hosts mitigate risk by staying home while guests use their pool.
Swimply also offers its hosts liability insurance that covers as much as $1million. The service also offers a property damage protection policy.
‘There are too many risks with unattended guests,’ Jim Battan told the Journal.
He said that’s why he prefers to stay home while he rents out his pool.