Local Backyard Couple Rated Top Hosts on Swimply

Need a quick dip to beat the heat but have nowhere to go? Through Swimply, these local pool owners have just what you’re looking for.

By Sarah Leahy, CPT – May 1, 2023
Photos Courtesy of Crail Bench and Joey Lazeren

Austin summers are hot, y’all. What better way to cool off on a long, humid, 105-degree day than with a dip in the pool? But let’s face it — with the current state of the real estate market, not many of us are lucky enough to have a backyard oasis to enjoy.

Enter Swimply. Often described as “the Airbnb of pools,” Swimply is an app-based platform that allows you to rent swimming pools by the hour all over Austin and in other spots across the country. Austin-based Crail Bench and Joey Lazeren are rated as top hosts, with their backyard destination not only being number one in Austin but also within the top three in Texas and one of the top 10 rentals in the country.

Crail and Joey

Crail and Joey




“(Our goal is) to become a positive force in our little town,” Bench says.

Their pool and yard rental, dubbed The 6612, is a Palm Springs-themed resort-style space, where no detail has been spared. With its heated pool, multiple lounge areas, hot tub, bar and careful landscaping, their colorful, inclusive space has been described as “walking into a Katy Perry video.” And the journey to becoming the top listing was an adventure.

Though hosting with Swimply has allowed them to put more money into backyard upgrades, they initially started customizing the space for their own use and to share with family and friends. You could say that they were Swimply before Swimply.

In the summer of 2020, their desire to host grew as they set up a Google calendar and invited their neighbors and kids over to enjoy the space safely since places were closed because of COVID. When Swimply came to Austin in June of 2020, Bench and Lazeren heard about it in August and started getting their listing finalized for the fall. In September, they had their first booking within 24 hours of listing it. Within their first two months, they had immediate success with 16 listings and it only continued to grow from there.

“We’ve been very fortunate and have priced ourselves in a way that gets the clients we would want,” Bench says. “This is not the Dirty 6th ‘woo girl’ experience.”

And it’s no wonder their space is so popular as the couple goes above and beyond when they host. They’re on-site to greet their renters but leave them to enjoy the space solo. When someone books their backyard for a bachelorette party or birthday, Bench and Lazeren provide personalized decorations and finishing touches for renters. They’ll even sneak in subtle questions during the booking process so they can hone in on details like the guest of honor’s name and favorite colors, hobbies and snacks to surprise them with.

Bench and Lazeren estimate almost 80% of their Swimply guests are repeat renters, and some have even become good friends.

“We’ve created a place for everyone to enjoy themselves and a place to give back to the community,” Bench says.

The couple also hosts parties for other Swimply hosts and those who wish to get started on the platform. Lazeren, a local listing coordinator for a real estate broker, even meets with people to help improve their listings and space or to give general advice on how to get started hosting on Swimply and what homeowners should expect.

“Just because you have a swimming pool does not mean you are ready to do this,” Lazeren says. “People don’t want to swim in a pond; they need an experience.”

Though Bench and Lazeren thought they’d eventually open a bed and breakfast, Swimply has allowed them to realize this dream in a whole new way.

“It still astounds me to this day that people pay money to hang out in my backyard,” Lazeren says. “It’s very humbling.”

About the Author

Sarah Leahy, CPT is a Minneapolis transplant in East Austin, certified personal trainer, award-winning interior designer and former gym owner. She offers in-person and online training with an emphasis on strength training and building confidence in and out of the gym. Leahy’s passion for strength extends to your business, with a full offering of gym design and business consulting services.


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