This article is reprinted by permission from The Escape Home, a newsletter for second homeowners and those who want to be. Subscribe here. © 2022. All rights reserved. Like many, Lisa Schroeder and Rob Sample found themselves unemployed during the pandemic. Sample was laid off from his job of 28 years as a sales manager and trainer, and the couple was forced to temporarily shutter their beloved Portland, Oregon, restaurant Mother’s Bistro, where Schroeder is the executive chef.
Then they heard about Swimply, an app that allows homeowners to rent out their pools by the hour. People like to say it’s “the Airbnb
of swimming pools,” but Swimply cofounder Bunim Laskin said while that’s the easiest way to explain it, it’s not really an accurate comparison. “The biggest difference is obviously we’re hourly, we’re not daily. But the bigger difference is that we are used by the community,” Laskin says. “So the hosts and the guests are from the same schools, the same neighborhood, same town. And so they’re really supporting their own neighborhoods and community, as opposed to being an alternative to a hotel for somebody from another community.” Then-20-year-old Laskin came up with the basis for Swimply in 2018, stuck at home in Lakewood, New Jersey, with his 11 younger siblings. Their neighbor had a pool, but she was hesitant to let the family use it. “She figured if we used her pool once, we would live in her backyard, so she was very protective,” he says. “So I offered to pay her. And she said, ‘instead of paying me, why don’t you help me with the expenses?’ So we agreed to pay 25% …