Pool-sharing app diving in the deep end in Australia

The greatest opportunity to incorporate Australia’s passion for having fun in the water into a successful business has been lost – again.

If ever a book about sharks should have been written by an Australian and not American Peter Benchley, it was Jaws.

And now another imaginative American has jumped in the deep end with a plan to turn backyard pools into money-making machines.

He’s making a marketing splash with a website and an app which enables home owners to rent their pools for around $A54 an hour

Bunim Laskin, a 22-year-old from New Jersey, is marketing Swimply.

It provides images and reviews that allow people to see what pools are available in their neighborhood for hourly rent.

In five months Swimply has made big waves, attracting 15,000 downloads it the first two weeks it came on line. It is especially popular in the hotter American states like California, Nevada, Florida, Alabama and Texas. Not quite so popular in densely urbanised places on the east coast and other States prone to cold weather.

Swimply expects to launch operations in Australia next year and it’s a big pool to dive into.

Roy Morgan Research says nearly three million Australians live in a house with a pool – that’s the biggest number in the world per capita.

Laskin has publicly explained his brainwave to create Swimply as a matter of timing and entrepreneurism.

During a steamy New York summer he noticed that neighbourhood pools were often unused for long periods. He negotiated a deal with his own neighbours to use their pool at certain times, along with his 11 brothers and sisters, in exchange for help with its running costs.

From there Swimply came to life.

Catering to people who don’t like the sand, crowds and travel of going to beaches or the crowds at public pools, Swimply matches pool owners with people looking to spend a few hours poolside.

Pool owners set the hourly rate and boundaries about where guests can and cannot go on the property.

Swimply take 15 per cent of the rental feel as commission and contributes to pool hygiene costs.

As much as Australians love the water and having a pool in the backyard is a social attraction there are disadvantages as well.

Pools are expensive, hygiene costs are high and when children get past their childhood years pools seem to lose their magnetism for family swim meets. Swimply’s experiment with Australian family life will be interesting.