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Diving into pool-sharing apps: How to rent a swim

We rent houses, cars and now, pools. A service available in the Indianapolis area let's you rent out your pool like Airbnb.

INDIANAPOLIS — We rent houses, cars and now, pools.

It's a service available in the Indianapolis area that works like Airbnb.

Who are the hosts?

William Smith and his wife, Greta, enjoy being outside. William is a retired chef and Greta is a school teacher. 

"We just both love water, we love the sun," William said.

That's why they bought a house in Old Noblesville with a pool.

"We have grandchildren now, and it's just a fantastic place to bring neighbors, friends together," William said. 

But the Smiths can't be in the pool 24/7, so they decided to rent it out on Swimply, a site that lets people rent out pools by the hour. 

"It has exceeded my expectations," William said.

How does it work?

People rent pools for a variety of reasons.

William said he's had renters use the space for family time, parties and private swim lessons for a child with special needs.

When guests arrive, he walks them to the pool, shows them the ropes and heads inside.

"Shut the shades. I have a nice place upstairs where there's no windows that face the pool, and then, I'll let them know to communicate with me via Swimply," William said.

Restrooms are considered an additional amenity, however, Swimply said most of the owners offer them. 

What does it cost?

Pool owners decide how much they want to charge per hour.

The Smiths charge $50 an hour on the weekends, and $40 an hour during the week. In less the two months, they've made more than $3,000.

"That's not bad, you know, for a retired man," William laughed.

Swimply makes its money from fees. Renters pay a 10% fee on top of the pool price, and hosts fork over 15% of what they charge. 

Sonny Mayugba, vice president of growth at Swimply, said hosts are covered by Swimply's insurance policy, of $1 million in liability and $10,000 in property damage.

"These hosts in July, some are taking home $22,000 in their pocket in one month -- $18,000, $15,000," Mayugba said. 

But for William, who describes himself as a people-person, the money has become secondary. 

Through the app, he's been able to connect with members of his community. 

"The most gratifying part is seeing children smiling, and you hear them laughing and all of that. So it's been really a good positive for me, mentally."

Swimmy, which is different from Swimply, is another available pool-sharing app.