Michael Serra has been working on his solo record for months. And while one side of his garage is focused on making music, the other side is making money.
Serra’s been renting out half of his garage space since the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
"I'm a touring musician, so all my gigs were canceled. My wife unfortunately got laid off, so we were just looking for ways to make more passive income," said Serra.
One night on Instagram, Serra came across a sponsored post for Neighbor.com.
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"I checked it out and it said, you can rent out garage space, driveway space, basically anything that you have on your property to make extra income."
Serra took a photo of his space, put it on the app and has had a long-term renter ever since. He makes $180 a month which covers his HOA fees, and now he’s looking to rent out his driveway.
Christina Yin is also on the Neighbor app. She rents out a parking space in Brookline outside of her mother’s apartment.
"My mom's always pushing me to do side hustles," she said.
Yin takes home about $170 a month after Neighbor takes a percentage of the cost.
And then there’s Linda Doucette, who rents out her pool on Swimply for $60 an hour. She sets her own availability, her own price, and her own rules. So far, Doucette has made thousands on the app.
"I give them some water and towels, and I just tell them to help themselves to whatever they need. And if they need to use the bathroom, they go inside and they just hang out," she said.
Asher Weinberger, Swimply’s co-founder and COO told NBC10 Boston, business boomed during the pandemic.
"You can be sitting at the office, and you get a push notification that someone wants to use your pool, and you say, ‘Sure.’ You come home and there's no trace left behind. It's a very seamless and contactless experience," he said.
"Your property is earning money for you," Weinberger added.
Swimply provides each of its hosts with a $1 million liability coverage plan per booking. Michael Mahoney, a personal injury attorney urges people renting out their pools to go one step further.
"That's an inherently potentially dangerous product to be renting out," said Mahoney. "So along with the coverage that the apps are provided, I would also go see my trusted insurance agent and run it by them and say, is this enough insurance or do I need more? And tell me why."
Mahoney also said it’s a good idea to have a conversation with your insurance company before renting out any part of your property. Talk about worst-case scenarios and whether you need any additional coverage to protect yourself in case something goes wrong, and always read the fine print before signing up.