Challenge: Help a rookie vacation rental owner maximize her rental income with minimal effort.
Robbie Marshall and her husband purchased their Hilton Head, South Carolina condo as a vacation property, anticipating happy weekends beachcombing. Being savvy owners, they elected to rent out their 2-bedroom property when they weren’t enjoying it with their two sons.
They decided the best approach was to rent the unit to a long-term tenant for a year while preparing it for eventual use as a short-term vacation rental. Robbie knew she would need time to purchase the furnishings and learn more about the process of running a vacation rental business before taking on the challenge of renting to travelers.
The first property manager Robbie contacted refused to manage a short-term rental, and the second bailed at the 11th hour. The third management company wanted to charge a whopping 30% booking fee and asked Robbie to sign a complicated and inflexible contract. Robbie was starting to worry that her dream of having a successful vacation rental simply wasn’t in the cards – until she stumbled on an ad for Evolve.
“The team at Evolve has been great from day one. Everyone has been friendly and patient, starting with answering all my questions about the program and guiding me through the entire process.”
Robbie called us and was thrilled to hear about our low 10% fee and the wide reach of our marketing channels – not to mention our ability to handle all of the traveler inquiries, since both Robbie and her husband have full-time jobs. She was a little cautious about the property management aspect, but when we introduced her to a great on-the-ground partner, the decision became a no-brainer.
“Evolve was exactly what I needed to finish the project without losing momentum. Without them, I think it would have taken much longer to get the listing up and start paying off the expenses we had incurred.”
Evolve quickly helped Robbie get professional photos (at no cost) and created an amazing listing for her property. We advised her on the optimal nightly rates to ensure the home would be competitive, and covered the cost of listing her home on top websites like VRBO, HomeAway and Airbnb.
Robbie’s property went live on January 18, 2015, and it generated $5,808 worth of revenue within the first six weeks. Over the next year, Evolve outperformed her long-term rental income to the tune of 155%, netting Robbie and Robert an amazing $26,044.79 for 2015.
Robbie credits us not only with helping her meet her financial goals, but for keeping her on track as she made the transition from a long-term to a short-term rental. Investing in a vacation rental was a gamble, and Robbie says she would have felt discouraged if the property had underperformed while she got her footing in the business.
With Evolve, Robbie never felt uncertain about the decision to own a vacation rental. The proof that she made the right decision was in her bank account!