Yvette Meader is kicking back by the pool, a special treat since she doesn't have her own.

"Times are a little stressful right now, so this is a great way to relax and get some pool time," she said.

What You Need To Know

  • Swimply, which launched in 2018, soared during the pandemic as people were looking for a private escape

  • Website connects local pool owners with others looking to go for a swim

  • There are more than 19,000 hosts using the platform, with the average pool owner earning $5,000 per month during swim season

  • Southern California is Swimply's largest market, but the company operates in all 50 states, Canada and Australia

She's renting this 40,000-gallon pool in North Hollywood for an hour through an online platform called Swimply

"Not being around too many people, this gives you some security in knowing that in times of COVID, you don't have to worry about it," she said.

"There's 20 cities alone, just in Southern California that we're in," said Sonny Mayugba, Swimply's vice president of growth.

The company has been called the "Airbnb of pools," and Southern California is its largest market.

"You see very basic 10,000-gallon pools that you can book for $15-$20 up to these incredible resort-style backyards that have swimming pools with fountains and slides and lounges," Mayugba said.

Those pools can run closer to $100 per hour.

"It's like a breathing place, paradise," said Cooky Bali, who rents out her home pool with her husband, Alain.

The couple charges strangers around $63 an hour during the week and $70 on the weekend. Unlike some other hosts, they pretty much offer an all-inclusive experience in their backyard.

"[If] they want to barbecue, they can barbecue. We offer cold drinks. There is no charge," Alain said.

There is also a private bathroom, inflatable rafts, a diving board, and lots of places to lounge around.

"The first year was very calm, and when COVID hit, it exploded," Cooky said.

The Balis said they were booked solid during the lockdown, scheduling close to 40 sessions a week. Everyone from competitive swimmers to families, couples and young people having a birthday party came over. 

"I had to fight to have my two hours," Cooky laughed.

They even installed solar panels to cut down on the cost of heating the pool. So far, the Balis say they have raked in about $37,000 in the past two years, but with those rewards come risks.

"We work from home, and for safety, it's better to be here," Cooky said.

They make every pool guest sign a waiver, and Swimply provides a $1 million liability policy. The Balis haven't experienced any major issues. Instead, they say it's been a great social experience.

"People are really nice. We get along. We talk. People do barbecues and invite us," Alain Bali said.

Meader said to make sure to do your homework.

"I definitely go based on the reviews and a little research on the area," she said.