Home Rental industry People are renting boats, swimming pools and more this summer

People are renting boats, swimming pools and more this summer


It’s the summer of sharing, as people looking for a luxurious lifestyle book everything from boats to swimming pools in booming Airbnb-style rental markets.

Why is this important: People can increasingly rent the lifestyle they want for a fraction of the cost of ownership. This has created a cottage industry for entrepreneurs to run their own mini-fleets of rental cars, boats, or homes to list.

The big picture: Fifteen years after Airbnb’s debut as a budget hotel alternative, peer-to-peer sharing is entrenched in our culture. Now you can rent someone else’s house, car, pool, garden, private tennis court and more.

  • Pool-sharing site Swimply, for example, exploded amid the pandemic. It has welcomed more than 150,000 bookings on its platform this year, compared to just 800 in 2019, a spokeswoman said. He now plans to add tennis courts, private gymnasiums and more.
  • Explore Eden is building an online marketplace to connect campers with private landowners.

Driving the news: Miami-based Boatsetter raised $38 million this week to grow its business, which has 50,000 boat listings across 700 locations globally and aims to reinvent the $60 billion boating industry.

  • The Series B round was co-led by Level Equity. Reddit co-founder and entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian is also an investor, along with Certares.

Details: Boatsetter, co-founded in 2014, connects boat owners with people who want to get out on the water.

  • Users can rent boats by the hour or day – or take yachts for longer luxury vacations.
  • Inexperienced boaters can hire licensed captains.

To note : Unlike other boat rental companies (like GetMyBoat), Boatsetter is the first to offer peer-to-peer boat rental insurance, says Jaclyn Baumgarten, co-founder and CEO.

  • “The No. 1 challenge I had to solve was insurance,” Baumgarten told Axios, noting that most recreational boat insurance policies are void if the owner rents out their boat.

What we see: Peer-to-peer sharing becomes more professional and less about earning a little extra cash to offset the cost of your car or boat.

  • Airbnb’s founders started out renting inflatable mattresses on the floor to offset their rent, but many of its listings are now owned and managed by real estate professionals.
  • This is also true at Boatsetter. One Miami-based captain, for example, lists six boats for rent and makes about $100,000 a year from his charter business, Baumgarten says.
  • The same is happening on peer-to-peer car rental site Turo, where a Miami entrepreneur lists 22 vehicles for rent, often packaging them with Airbnb properties he also manages. He told Axios he could pocket a profit of $30,000 in a good month.

A different business model comes from Kindred, a members-only home exchange network that started with a group of friends looking for a change of scenery for remote work during the pandemic.

  • It’s a “give to get” model: you earn points for securing a place by renting your own home.
  • Membership costs $300 per year and lets you rent other members’ homes for around $30 a night, well below a typical hotel or Airbnb. Longer stays are cheaper and cleaning fees are extra.
  • “Psychologically speaking, there’s something good about knowing that everyone staying in your home has also listed their home on the platform,” says Talia Goldberg, partner at investor Kindred Bessemer Venture Partners. “There’s a level of trust; I want people to respect my house, just like they want someone to respect theirs.”

The catch: You must be “accepted” as a member while Kindred matches supply and demand. Currently, Kindred lists over 500 homes in 20 US cities.

The bottom line: What’s mine is yours — for a fee — in the new sharing economy.