Uberization of private swimming pools: threat or opportunity for the pool market?

Private swimming pool rental results directly from Airbnb trend, A new behaviour pattern to anticipate for pool professionals!

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Every summer since 2016 comparison platforms between owners of private swimming pools and bathers make the news. What are their promises? To make swimming pool rental accessible to all and to help owners amortize maintenance costs. A trend which, although recent, could impact everyone working in this sector.


Swimming pool rentals, a trend reflecting new consumer behavior patterns

If the presence of a swimming pool is already one of the most popular filters when making reservations on Booking, Agoda and Airbnb, some companies have gone even further with the creation of platforms dedicated to swimming pool rental between individuals.

Swimply covers about twenty states in the United States with rates ranging from $50 to $200 an hour in the biggest cities like New York and Los Angeles. On a roller, the company moved into Canada in 2018. Its French alternative, Swimmy, has already notched up 15,000 rentals in 500 pools since it started in 2017 (1).

The success of this new swimming pool trend is explained by the uberization effect on spending patterns, increasingly frequent heat waves, saturated public swimming pools, and people’s demands to swim together in small groups. If this trend goes on growing, swimming pool market will have to adapt. 

What should pool professionals expect?

A potential threat to public swimming pools…

Although the pool rental rates charged do not make this system accessible to all, public authorities can nevertheless expect that fewer people will use their pools, with a consequent fall in income. 

Developing extra services (such as aquafitness sessions, for example, see our article on how to promote them) is a good way to generate value-added. The presence of a swimming instructor is also a meaningful argument on which to communicate, since there are no regulations about renting private swimming pools and swimming involves risks, more especially if users are not familiarized with pools. 

4 public pool activities that can attract more customers

… And an opportunity to seize for others

Despite risks of damage and accidents, the possibility of letting out their swimming pool could encourage many owners to invest. Manufacturers and suppliers should adapt to this new demand by proposing appropriate equipment, specifically if it concerns safety — obligatory in public swimming pools in several countries.

The question of water quality must also be considered when building pools to let out from time to time, as the filtration capacity and water treatment system is different for a couple or for several families. Pool professionals must adapt to these new needs and expect more interventions to correct water quality disturbed by inappropriate use of the initial equipment.

Concerning private establishments, like holiday home rentals, the possibility of renting their swimming pool to locals in off-peak seasons is also a way to reduce their overheads.

Read also: The evolution of the swimming pool market over the last 40 years

In the long run, easy access to a pool contributes to reinforcing the swimming pool as essential equipment in the minds of consumers. However, the swimming pool sector must expect an adaptation stage to fully absorb and make the most of this trend.

(1) Le Parisien: Swimmy, le Airbnb des piscines, fait un carton

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