Evolve Property Management Review: Is Evolve Worth It?

May 13, 2024

In recent years, Evolve has gained position as one of the most widely known vacation rental property management companies in the US market. But is Evolve property management really worth it for hosts? The short answer is: In most cases - no.

Summer, the top ranked short term rental management company, is doing something different in the vacation rental management industry. The company is selective about the properties it signs based on its ability to operate a specific home. This results in a smaller portfolio of very valuable homes that consistently outperform both host and guest expectations. 

Evolve Company Overview

Evolve is a half-service Airbnb management company, which means that it focuses on the automation of the most time-consuming tasks associated with managing a short term rental. To do this, the company is heavily focused on technology that can help hosts remain in control of their rentals without wasting time unnecessarily.

Brian Egan and Adam Sherry established Evolve in 2011 with headquarters in Denver, CO. Building on their experience in hospitality, the two founders aimed at changing the status quo in the vacation rental management industry to relieve owners from the stress and to provide better standards and support to guests.

Currently, Evolve works with more than 30,000 Airbnb hosts in hundreds of markets across the US and other parts of North America.

What Evolve Property Management Does for Vacation Rental Owners

As one of the leading half-service short term rental property managers in the US, Evolve helps investors and owners streamline and automate the property management process. However, it does not take over the management of Airbnb properties, which means that hosts need to remain personally involved and invested in the activities and tasks required to run an Airbnb business.

Thus, Evolve could be a good fit for hosts who invest close to home, who have the necessary time, and who have hospitality experience but need some extra help in managing their properties more efficiently. But it cannot work out for those who invest remotely, have demanding full-time jobs, and do not want to deal with the constant needs of their rentals and guests.

The benefits that Evolve offers to hosts include:

Over the years, Evolve has helped owners earn over $3 billion in rental income.

According to data provided on the company website, owners earn 36% more revenue than the market average with Evolve property management services.

Evolve Property Management Markets

Evolve vacation rental management services are available in multiple markets across the US. However, the company doesn’t have nationwide coverage, so interested hosts would need to submit an online form via the company website to make sure their market is eligible.

In general, Evolve focuses on popular vacation destinations including beaches, lakes, mountain and ski resorts, and other locations that offer outdoor activities. Some of the biggest markets for Evolve include California, Florida, Hawaii, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, Vermont, South Carolina, Alabama, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

What Property Types Evolve Manages

Due to the nature of the provided services, Evolve is able to work with different types of real estate properties rented out on a short term basis. These include:

Eligible properties need to have:

Property types that do not qualify for Evolve property management services are:

Some popular types of properties managed by Evolve include:

Qualifying short term rentals need to meet the four core Evolve principles of being:

Before onboarding, Evolve vets the owner and confirms that the rental meets all requirements and expectations.

Evolve Property Management Services

An Evolve review shows that while the company handles many important tasks, other crucial services are missing from their portfolio.

Core Evolve Property Management Services

Being a half-service vacation rental management company, Evolve offers the following services that help with the streamlining of the process:

So, all in all, Evolve helps with services related to listing, marketing, guest support, reviews, and some taxes.

Extra Evolve Property Management Services

In addition to the standard services listed above, Evolve offers some additional services for hosts who need them, including:

Alternatively, hosts who already have their own vacation rental management team of cleaners and others can continue working with them.

What Is Missing from Evolve Property Management

As a half-service vacation rental property manager, Evolve does not cover a wide range of tasks that are absolutely required for a successful short term rental business. These include:

If they choose to hire Evolve, investors remain responsible for multiple tasks that are absolutely indispensable and that take a lot of time, especially when not performed by professionals.

How to Get Started with Evolve

The first step in getting started with Evolve property management is filling in an online form on the company website that includes details about the property. This information will help the team get an initial understanding of whether the property might be a good fit. It’s important to note that Evolve does not work with all interested hosts and their rentals.

As a next step, both the owner and the property are vetted. Hosts need to go through a background check to confirm identity and property ownership and to review their financial and criminal history. Co-owners, service providers, and guest contacts might also be required to go through financial and criminal screenings.

Once the owner has been checked and the property has been confirmed to be a good fit, a vacation rental management agreement is signed. Afterwards, Evolve sends a professional photographer to the property and starts working on a listing.

Evolve Fees and Costs

Evolve claims to offer an industry-low property management fee of 10% of monthly revenue, but this is the standard cost of half-service vacation rental property managers. This fee covers the core services provided by Evolve, listed above, and remains the same for all property types and sizes and across all markets.

In addition to the Evolve fee, hosts need to pay for housekeeping as well as property inspections, preventive maintenance, and urgent repairs. This can add up to another 10-15% of rental income. On top of that, owners have to design and furnish their property before getting started. The average cost to furnish an Airbnb ranges between $10,000 and $60,000, depending on the market, the property type and size, the outdoor space, the furniture quality, and the attention to detail.

Evolve Property Management Terms and Conditions

To qualify to be managed by Evolve, properties need to meet certain eligibility standards and requirements, outlined above. Only certain property types that offer specific amenities and are located in covered markets are eligible.

Hosts need to sign a written vacation rental management agreement in order to work with Evolve. Contracts can be canceled with a 15-day notice. In case a host wants to cancel services within the first 90 days upon onboarding, they need to pay a cancellation fee of $250.

Under the Risk-Free Guarantee, Evolve refunds all property management fees to owners who are not fully satisfied with the provided services after six months of an active rental listing. Refund requests can be made between 180 and 210 days after the listing activation date.

Evolve Reviews

When evaluating the extent and quality of services offered by Evolve, hosts should check out customer reviews provided by those who have already worked with the company.

Evolve reviews are available on:

Based on online reviews, Evolve property management has good overall ratings.

Positive Evolve reviews by hosts and guests highlight the comfortable properties, the smooth processes, the clean and well-stocked properties, the accurate listings, the available customer support team, the ability to solve urgent issues, and the good communication.

Meanwhile, negative reviews mention misleading revenue estimates, low income generation, extremely high and extremely low daily rates, no flexibility, dirty rentals, misguiding listing photos, and lack of competence.

Moreover, over the course of the last three years, customers have filed 200+ complaints via the BBB website. Some complaints focus on very few bookings, loss of revenue, last-minute cancellations, filthy properties, slow owner payouts, and no communication.

Evolve Competitors and Alternatives

While Evolve might be able to meet the needs of investors who’d like to be actively involved in the management of their vacation rentals, it is not the right fit for owners looking for passive income from real estate investments.

Following are the top Evolve alternatives that offer full-service short term rental management:

Evolve vs Summer

Summer is the best Airbnb property management company in the US market that provides comprehensive services at competitive prices. What makes Summer different from other Evolve competitors is that it carefully vets properties and only works with rentals where it can deliver top-quality, highly efficient services. The company manages properties that generate a minimum of $50,000 of rental income per year. Summer-managed properties perform better than 95% of listings in the local market owing to the optimal mix of real estate technology and local expertise.

The full-service property management provided by Summer starts with listings and marketing and goes all the way to maintenance and repairs. Moreover, Summer offers vacation rental furnishing and design, led by their experienced New York-based interior designer. Design and furnishing services are entirely customizable to meet the needs of all properties and the preferences of all hosts.

Summer works across the US market and focuses on locations where it can guarantee best-in-class services.

Summer property management fees start at 20%, which is below the industry average of 25-35% of rental revenue. Moreover, Summer calculates their fee based on booking revenue excluding cleaning fees, while other property managers calculate their fees based on revenue including cleaning fees. Additional fees include smart home device installation and home interior design and furnishing.

Evolve vs Vacasa

Vacasa is the largest full-service vacation rental property management company in North America. At the moment, they work with more than 44,000 short term rentals, which is an indicator that the company might be spreading too thin and not be able to customize services based on the needs of each property.

Vacasa takes care of most tasks needed to run a vacation rental business. However, some - like the linen program and hot tub maintenance - are not included in the standard package and need to be paid for additionally. An important service not provided by Vacasa is design and furnishing. The lack of professional design and furnishing might negatively impact revenue potential and performance.

Vacasa property management review shows that the company operates in over 30 US states and manages most residential property types rented out on a short term basis.

Vacasa fees depend on the market and the property, and the company does not provide information on the exact range. Owner reviews report rates that frequently exceed 35% of rental income, which is high within the industry.

Evolve vs AvantStay

Another Evolve alternative that might be worth it for some owners is AvantStay. This is a relatively smaller property management company that specializes in group stays, so it generally works with properties that have 4+ bedrooms. In addition, AvantStay favors rentals that offer multiple amenities, such as a patio, BBQ, swimming pool, hot tub, and others.

Similar to Evolve, AvantStay offers half-service management, under the Master Lease contract. But AvantStay review reveals that they can offer all-inclusive services too, under the Vacation Rental Management program. However, some services are not part of the core package and have to be requested additionally. These include interior design and furnishing as well as professional photography.

AvantStay has limited market coverage, operating in about 40 markets in a few different US states.

AvantStay does not provide pricing information, but according to customer reviews, fees for full-service management start at about 20% of monthly income and quickly go up.

Bottom Line

Based on our Evolve review, the company might be worth it for some owners who invest locally and have the skills, time, and experience to participate in the management of their properties. However, it’s not worth it for the majority of vacation rental property investors who are looking for passive income.

Owners searching for full-service management at competitive prices should check out Summer. The company covers all tasks necessary for having a successful Airbnb business. Moreover, monthly fees start at only 20% of revenue.

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