Swimply Host Made Over $20,000 in 3 Months

  • Melissa Reilly listed her backyard on Swimply, an Airbnb for pools, in 2019. 
  • In 2020, Reilly said she made $22,000 in three months from renting out her backyard on Swimply.
  • She said she gets annoyed that she has to clean up after people, but she said it’s worth it.

In 2019, Melissa Reilly heard about a new website where she could rent out her backyard to complete strangers. 

The website was called Swimply, and it operated as an Airbnb for swimming pools. At the time, Swimply was in its infancy and there weren’t many listings. But Reilly, a retired police officer and mother of four, decided to make a profile, advertising her pool in Long Island, New York.

“Like many other hosts, we don’t use our pool as often as we’d like,” Reilly said. “We figured what does it hurt to rent it out during the hours we aren’t using it to make some extra money?”

Three years later, Swimply is growing, and Reilly is making a large chunk of change from the platform.

During the pandemic, Reilly said she made over $20,000 in 3 months

In 2019, Reilly said she had two to three bookings per week for three months, but that changed during the pandemic as people sought outdoor spaces. Last summer, she was booked four to five times a week at $125 per hour.

“A lot of people from [New York City] were coming to Long Island to rent a pool, and it made my heart melt when people said they could finally have a place to come and cool off or give their kids [a place to have] fun,” Reilly said. 

Melissa Reilly’s pool.

Frank Olito/Insider


Reilly said she made about $7,000 a month in 2020. For the whole summer, she said she made $22,000.

“When I saw how much we made, I couldn’t believe it,” Reilly said. “That was one crazy summer to make that much by just sitting in our house while others have a great time in our pool.” 

She said the money helped her pay off some of her family’s bills, but she put most of it back into the backyard by purchasing a pergola and uplighting.

As Swimply continues to expand, Reilly is seeing more competition and less income this year

Although Reilly is still getting many bookings this summer, she’s noticing there aren’t as many as last year. She thinks it’s because Swimply is more popular in 2021, and there are now more listings in Long Island. There are new pools closer to New York City, so she’s had to bring her rate down to $64 per hour to stay competitive.

Melissa Reilly’s backyard.

Frank Olito/Insider


But the expansion of the company does have its advantages. Swimply now offers Melissa and all hosts insurance in case someone damages her property, and now, there is a support hotline hosts can use if they have problematic guests.

Reilly has had some problems with a few guests

Since Reilly cleans the backyard and deals with the upkeep herself, she said she does get tired of cleaning up after people who don’t follow the rules. She said some people leave garbage behind even though her listing says to throw everything out. One time, she even had to call the police to remove guests.

The bar at Melissa Reilly’s house.

Frank Olito/Insider


“I’d say 95% of people that rent our yard are great and follow the rules,” Reilly said. “You got to take the good with the bad.”

She said she sometimes gets tired of having to be around to greet guests, and her family gets annoyed their backyard is always booked by strangers. However, she thinks she will continue listing the backyard on Swimply for at least the rest of the summer.

“The money is good, and I just love seeing people’s faces light up,” Reilly said. “It makes me feel so nice that I let somebody have that pleasure for the day.”

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