Challenge: Help small business owners transition into the vacation rental industry by turning their Smoky Mountains cabin into a profitable investment.
After years of struggling to keep their concrete business afloat in a floundering economy, Randy and Freda Higgins were eager to find a new source of income. While on a family vacation in the Smoky Mountains, they noticed that vacation rentals in the area were in high demand so they decided to jump in with both feet.
Randy and Freda sold everything, moved to Tennessee, and purchased a run-down cabin in the historic resort town of Gatlinburg. After spending 7 months renovating the property to ensure guests would enjoy their stay, they began researching ways to market the cabin to travelers.
Hiring a local property management company seemed like the obvious choice, but they were turned off by the 40% commissions and negative feedback voiced by other vacation rental owners in the area.
Randy and Freda eventually discovered Evolve through the popular listing site, VRBO.com. They spoke with an Evolve Homeowner Consultant and were excited to learn about the low booking fee of 10%.
“With Evolve we only pay a fraction of what we would pay for someone else to manage our property!”
They were a bit hesitant at first, but it quickly became clear that hiring Evolve to market and book the property was the best way to ensure their new business venture got off to a successful start.
“We are so pleased with the way our home has performed. It has enabled us to purchase two more cabins and when they are ready to go we will not hesitate to use Evolve!”
Evolve got to work evaluating Randy and Freda’s cabin, Kindred Spirits, in order to develop competitive nightly rates and a hand-crafted property listing that was optimized to attract prospective travelers.
Once the listing was complete, Evolve covered the cost of promoting Kindred Spirits on top vacation rental websites like HomeAway, VRBO and VacationRentals.com.
The inquiries started pouring in almost immediately and Evolve’s team of Travel Advisors followed up with every lead—confirming the first booking within 72 hours!
Within 30 days of partnering with Evolve, Randy and Freda’s property had earned an impressive $33,281 in rental income. The strong booking performance continued throughout the first year with 214 nights booked for a total of $163,718.
Evolve’s low booking fee of 10% has allowed Randy and Freda to retain the majority of their earnings, not only making their investment profitable, but enabling them to purchase 2 additional cabins!