31 Replies Latest reply: Mar 1, 2015 11:11 AM by trish RSS

    Anyone familiar with Evolve?

    loscuatrotulipanes Community All-Star

      I am curious if anyone's had an experience (good or bad) with http://evolvevacationrental.com/

       

      Considering lots of owners would love for an entity to fully book their rental and manage their reservations, this Evolve network, if as good as advertised seems like it could be ideal at free setup and only 10% comission.

       

      I just spoke with a couple of their representatives and they seem to be in-tuned with what we're asking for.

       

      Curious for anyone's experience...

        • Re: Anyone familiar with Evolve?
          New Member

          I am an Evolve customer who is new to the game this yr., and didn't think 35% was reasonable being I live a half mile away, and can do the property mgmt. part. Where I need the help is in the front end (website/marketing visibility, dedicated 18 hr./day call center for prospective renter inquiries / ultimate bookings; nice website for owner mgmt. tools, insurance and legal contract already taken care of, and credit/debit processing. Yes, Evolve did all of that for 10%, and even though I went fully live just over a month ago, I already have 10 bookings continuously through mid-August. Service, knowledge and responsiveness are all 2 thumbs up!

           

          Craig

          San Diego, CA

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          • Re: Anyone familiar with Evolve?
            loscuatrotulipanes Community All-Star

            What I'm curious about is their model. Of the bulk of services that have arisen over the past few years, I think this is the first one that just everything for the owner. It seems like there are owners who want involvement (those who use listing pages, built their own website...etc) and those who want to be totally hands-off: the latter of which Evolve seems to be going after.

             

            If anyone else has been a client of theirs, I'm very curious to hear the experience.

              • Re: Anyone familiar with Evolve?
                New Member

                There are companies that offer full property management services, including booking and upkeep and maintenance of properties. Those are the ones that charge around 35%. Then there are those, like Evolve, that are basically just booking agents.

                 

                We have been with Evolve for a little over a month now, and while we do like their service, we've had quite a few bumps along the way.

                 

                Pros of using Evolve:

                - Your rental(s) get listed on all of the major VR sites  like VRBO, Homeaway, Flipkey, Tripadvisor, etc at no cost to you, which is a BIG savings.

                - You don't have to deal with the headaches of follow-ups, chasing leads, responding in a timely manner. As I work 50+ hours a week and take care of my wife while at home, this takes a big burden off of me.

                - They're there 24 hours a day to answer questions about your rental to prospective renters.

                 

                Cons of using Evolve (from personal experience):

                - Changes to your listings are slow. Have had to remind them several times to make the changes across the many VR websites.

                - No control over who rents your VR. We used to do basic background checks of prospective renters, but they don't do anything like that.

                - Took several weeks to get our listings up on the major VR sites after we joined them. Evolve attributed it to an issue with VRBO.

                - They use a lot of 3rd party services (like VacationRentPayment), so if you have a problem, you have to contact the 3rd party directly to get it resolved. This has become a major thorn with us lately because we are trying to get payment information changed, but haven't been able to reach anyone at VRP all week. Evolve hasn't been much help other than giving us a phone number which leads to nothing but voicemail boxes. And, as of right now, we have rental money sitting in limbo because we can't get the issue resolved which doesn't help when you have bills to pay.

                 

                I am still up in the air as far as wondering whether Evolve is worth it or not. As far as the savings goes for listing your rental on all of the sites, it's definitely worth it. But, their customer service needs some work it seems, and they need more reliable 3rd party vendors.

                  • Re: Anyone familiar with Evolve?
                    New Member

                    Hi bryan.gilchrist,

                     

                    Thank you for the candid feedback.  I am sorry to hear that you've had some issues with your listings and the merchant account set-up.  I will personally look into resolving these for you.  Please don't ever hesitate to contact me directly if you need assistance with anything.  I can be reached at adam @ evolvevacationrental dot com. 

                     

                    Adam Sherry, Co-Founder/Chief Customer Officer, Evolve Vacation Rental Network

                  • Re: Anyone familiar with Evolve?
                    New Member

                    I am biased because of all the rental experiences I had, Evolve is the first and only rental company that has been efficient and cost effective, and yes, they are very hands on or not, the choice is up to the member.

                    You can use all your personal photos you want, write your own profile, list your own ammenities, list your own requirements of guest, the number of guest you accommodate,  what you permit i.e. smoking, children, crowds, parties etc.
                    You list your own bookings, block out your 'owner occupied' days, which is great.   Plus they are so cost effective,.
                    The payment plan they do for you. 
                    I am so glad I went with Evolve,   I'm telling you, the hands on option is there for those who want it.
                    If you don't, the help is there, and everyone needs help getting started.
                    I hope this helps.

                  • Re: Anyone familiar with Evolve?
                    New Member

                    I am extremely happy with Evolve. They advertise on 4 sites and and their services are well worth the 10%. After seven months of advertising in various venues and no bookings, my sister suggested I try Evolve after she read an article in the Denver Post. I have had several bookings over the summer and have found Evolve invaluable. They are always friendly and willing to help. Special thanks to Alex V.

                      • Re: Anyone familiar with Evolve?
                        sophie Senior Contributor

                        pvh,

                         

                        I see you are also part of the "evolve group". I noticed you have over 200 properties listed on vrbo all across the nation but you have NONE of these properties listed on evolve. YES, I TOOK THE TIME TO CHECK. Why would you come across as an owner with one property and in fact you have NO PROPERTIES on evolve but claim you have been using them all summer?

                         

                        It doesn't come across very well when people come on these boards with untrue statements about themselves and their properties. I see you also joined this community just to leave this message.

                          • Re: Anyone familiar with Evolve?
                            Contributor

                            Thanks for your comments Sophie.  I had the same impression after reading most of the posts here, including wondering how Evolve_Adam learned of this forum?  The only legitimate post appears to be from Bryan.  I guess we never know who is trolling the forums we participate in.  "If it sounds too good to be true..."

                            • Re: Anyone familiar with Evolve?
                              New Member

                              The 200 properties you see are listed by Evolve, PVH doesn't own them, and they are on Evolve. If you look at the bottom of any listing on VRBO, Homewaway, etc. for Evolve, they all say "Contact the Manager: Evolve Vacation Rental Network".

                               

                              My property is on Evolve at http://evolvevacationrental.com/united-states/florida/tampa-bay-area/new-port-richey/house-ski-inski-out-471. Our house is also listed on VRBO, Homeaway, Flipkey and Trip Advisor, all through Evolve as well.

                               

                              Evolve's search option is a little clunky as I had a hard time finding my house on there, but properties aren't really meant to be searched there. Evolve's site is more for homeowners/landlords.

                               

                              After getting things cleared up with Vacation Rent Payment, everything has been smooth sailing since. As PVH mentioned, we weren't able to get our house rented prior to hooking up with Evolve, but have rented it three times since, and that's only since June.

                               

                              I believe the 10% is well worth it. And Carter at Evolve has been VERY helpful and patient with us as we've had to make a lot of changes along the way.

                            • Re: Anyone familiar with Evolve?
                              New Member

                              I am familiar with Evolve and love their customer service, their professional set up, the ease to work my account as well as their assistance when and I need such.

                              They are a good company, do use Evolve as your Vacation Rental Service.

                              They are a 5 Star service and very personable. They are there for you.

                               

                              Carol Hartman. member

                            • Re: Anyone familiar with Evolve?
                              loscuatrotulipanes Community All-Star

                              All, after starting this discussion thread in June (and in the process of putting together a database of recommended resources for owners) I decided to do some due diligence and research Evolve a little more. I spoke with some of their clients, I did a test run of the service, and I also spoke with one of the founders of the company Brian. In the end, I believe it's a solid service. They basically do everything for the owner (and take a 10% fee of each booking) and from the looks of it, they generate great bookings.

                               

                              While I'm here, I'd encourage other members to be less critical/suspicious of forum threads. If you don't agree with something or if you think it sounds fake, go and investigate for yourself like Sophie. (However in Sophie's case, she didn't realize that "the 200 properties" are not PVH's properties but Evolve properties and that's what Evolve offers as a service -- doing all the listing/management activity for an owner in their own name). The Community isn't a journalistic publication: it's a forum where people should be able to express themselves freely. And it's up to you the individual to synthesize from it what you wish.

                              - M

                                • Re: Anyone familiar with Evolve?
                                  gymbeau Senior Contributor

                                  >While I'm here, I'd encourage other members to be less critical/suspicious of forum threads<

                                  >The Community isn't a journalistic publication: it's a forum where people should be able to express themselves freely<

                                   

                                  As I read this thread, I see 'new' members posting, in this thread only.  Then I see posters with many post, stating their personal experiences, and offering up their perspective.  For me, it is a matter of credibility.  I am not suggesting that the new posters, that appear to come out of the woodwork to sing the praises of this new venture, are not credible, just less credible than those of owners with personal experience.

                                   

                                  I am all for members being as critical and suspicious as they feel the need to be, and express themselves however they see fit, as long as it is within community guidelines.

                                   

                                  I do think that it is 'ironical' for VRBO to be promoting property management that all but removes the owner from the process.  If we wanted such, why be on VRBO at all?  Time for a name change?

                                • Re: Anyone familiar with Evolve?
                                  New Member

                                  I am a property manager and just signed up half my properties with Evolve. I'm going to compare how many bookings I get on my own vs Evolve. What I do like is that all my properties will be listed on these sites instead of just a couple and paying the large yearly fee on each listing. The 10% is coming out of our 35% managing fee. I'll keep you posted!

                                    • Re: Anyone familiar with Evolve?
                                      New Member

                                      I have also had a really hard time reaching someone at Vacation Rent Payment.... Just an FYI...

                                        • Re: Anyone familiar with Evolve?
                                          hill5185 Community All-Star

                                          Well it's a Sunday and I called VRP today connected with a rep right away- got an answer and corresponded with the guest having an issue. Done and done!!

                                           

                                          gymbeau

                                          "As I read this thread, I see 'new' members posting, in this thread only.  Then I see posters with many post, stating their personal experiences, and offering up their perspective.  For me, it is a matter of credibility.  I am not suggesting that the new posters, that appear to come out of the woodwork to sing the praises of this new venture, are not credible, just less credible than those of owners with personal experience."

                                           

                                          It's odd to have so many new posters jump on a thread - especially an older thread. Wouldn't it be more appropriate for evolvevrn to post in the Vendor forum? Especially given a detailed post of services, privacy policy etc. and sharing an "account executives" direct contact email. That's selling anyway you slice it.

                                           

                                          I personally have nothing against Evolve, but they are a property manager which negates the term VRBO. I'm interested in the owner side of the market not the property manager side. Heck why not invite Turn Key Vacation Rentals to the table and let them debate who provides better services. Of course Turn Key is founded by a HA exec.

                                           

                                          The whole scenario smacks of solicitation- MHO!

                                        • Re: Anyone familiar with Evolve?
                                          wimbushmansion Active Contributor

                                          How can you accurately compare?  When you sign up with Evolve they take over all your Home Away, VRBO, Flip key listings.  As these are major advertising sites, the only way to compare, unless you pay for separate and additional listings on each of these in addition to evolve (expensive test!).  Am I missing something?

                                        • Re: Anyone familiar with Evolve?
                                          mike Contributor

                                          We work very closely with Evolve Vacation Rental Network as a partner and ground support services provider in Summit County, CO. I have personally visited the Evolve offices in Denver many times and work closely with Brian and Adam and their entire staff on a regular basis and can assure you Evolve is the real deal.

                                           

                                          Brian and Adam have extensive backgrounds in the resort / vacation home industry, extremely successful track records and have assembled a team of young, talented individuals with a genuine passion for the vacation rental industry that any business owner would be envious of.

                                           

                                          I would strongly encourage any owner who is not interested in handling the advertising and booking process of their vacation rental to work with Evolve. At 10% commission with no start up costs or long term commitments its a NO BRAINER!

                                           

                                          Mike Cushing

                                          President

                                          Book by Owner - Vacation Rental Solutions

                                          www.bookbyowner.com        

                                          • Re: Anyone familiar with Evolve?
                                            crescentbeach4u Community All-Star

                                            After looking at this company, I believe that they could really compete well in this industry.  I noticed that they also post your listings in VRBO, HA, Flipkey, etc for free!

                                             

                                            This got my mind to wondering!

                                            1. In my area there is a PM that has posted many listings on our beach and they are not even close to being there. HA allows it because they make more money.  This PM company saturates my area and when his customer service reps get a call they sway them away of their original place they wanted to be.   With this in mind I ought to get all of the legitimate property owners in Crescent Beach to join me and we put our 76 locations in Palm Coast via Evolve to saturate his area to create ebb and flow!
                                            2. I wonder if they allow a home owner to use multiple pipelines for promoting your property?
                                            3. Their website is very classy, clean, and they have a rate matrix that LOOKS EASY TO USE by the owner or PM.

                                             

                                            Doug

                                            • Re: Anyone familiar with Evolve?
                                              New Member

                                              There were a couple of RED flags in terms of SAFETY and RISK in  the signing  process- I am an owner- I didn't sign. I think that if the company fixed issues they would be a great business to deal with.  For instance : the company

                                               

                                              1. Evolve claims that they have been in business for two years- Official Records show that the company was incorporated in 2013.  Might be a glitch in official records - I would fix that.
                                              2. They ask for FULL personal data- even getting a loan requires a SSN for verification only.  I have never submitted ALL that info to ANY of organizations- interested parties are usually buying credit reports that have your info Evolve does NOT probably. Why?
                                              3. In addition when you click on privacy link – it is
                                                empty! The same with terms of use! I read it: send us ALL your personal info at your own risk!  No legal commitment on our side!
                                              4. Evolve raised 2.6MM from VCs? - great ! Then they should have a legal advisor to draft a privacy and terms of use contract, right?

                                               

                                                     I think Evolve’s business type is a great idea, however those gaps and glitches above
                                              make a BAD impression , and that could be a really good company. I didn’t sign.

                                                • Re: Anyone familiar with Evolve?
                                                  evolvevrn New Member

                                                  Hi liliacan610@gmail. com,

                                                   

                                                  We appreciate your feedback, and thought we'd take the opportunity to address the concerns you listed below...

                                                   

                                                  1. Evolve Vacation Rental Network was incorporated in the state of Delaware on November 30th, 2010.  We launched the service in "beta" in August 2011, and had a "public" launch of the service in November of 2011, which was publicized in the media (see the Press page on our website for coverage).  We were required to file an Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation in 2013 following the recent financing event, which is why the public records you saw indicated that. I hope that clears up any confusion.
                                                  2. The request for personal information you are referring to has to do with setting up a credit card merchant account through our partner, VacationRentPayment (a division of Yapstone).  VacationRentPayment is the leading provider of credit card payment services in the vacation rental industry, and  is the same payments provider used by HomeAway.  We have integrated VacationRentPayment's technology into our sign-up process such that we never have your personal account information - it goes straight through to VacationRentPayment so that they can underwrite the merchant account to accept traveler payments.  In fact, we do not hold, nor can we access, your account information.  We've set up this process specifically to protect all parties (owners, managers and Evolve), given the sensitivity of the information being provided.
                                                  3. Thank you for noting the issue with the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use links in our extranet.  This is indeed an error, and is being fixed.  If you'd like to review either of those, you can review them on our main website by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page. 
                                                  4. You can find copies of our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, Promotion Agreement, Rental Policy, as well as any other relevant legal documents that have been instituted throughout our website, or by requesting copies of them from an Evolve Account Executive (sales@evolvevacationrental.com). 


                                                  We hope this helps clarify some things for you.  Please don't hesitate to reach out to us directly if you have further questions or concerns -- we welcome an opportunity to work with you.

                                                   

                                                   

                                                  Adam Sherry, Co-Founder/Chief Customer Officer, Evolve Vacation Rental Network

                                                • Re: Anyone familiar with Evolve?
                                                  janloh1 New Member

                                                  I have been very satisfied with the booking service at Evolve. However, I was very dissatisfied with the way in which my particular Success Manager handled insurance claims, Evolve booking mistakes, and other issues. He was NEVER on my side. No matter how egregious the Evolve error, he simply told me NO. NO, they would not correct the error and I had to take the financial hit; NO they could not pay for the guest damage. There was a fresh excuse every time.

                                                   

                                                  What I learned from this is that I must carefully and immediately check their calculations each and every time time and do my own very thorough inspection of the home immediately after each guest. I don't think these are unreasonable expectations, I just didn't realize how tight their policies are.

                                                   

                                                  I have asked for a new Success Manager not because of these policies, but because the one I have was not even mildly flexible or sympathetic toward us when these problem arose. His motto seems to be, "Just say NO."

                                                  • Re: Anyone familiar with Evolve?
                                                    ttaylor0 Active Contributor

                                                    I am trying to find a way to contact the owners of VR's who are listed with Evolve to see how they feel about Evolve. There are no homes listed with them in my town so that could be a problem with cleaners, etc. Can anyone help me. The closest town that they have clients is South Fork, Co. Thank you.

                                                      • Re: Anyone familiar with Evolve?
                                                        wimbushmansion Active Contributor

                                                        It is my understanding, when I spoke with an account rep last year, that they do not provide housecleaners ect.  They only handle advertising, inquiries, booking payments.  They are located in Denver, but mostly work with another forum poster (see his comments above) in Summit county, but were very willing to take our Denver listing.  I decided not to use them, only because they don't do any guest screening and are not responsible for any problems with guests that they accept.  The financial incentive for Evolve (as all commission based plans- inc. FlipKey, Airbnb, HA ect) is to BOOK- they have 0 care for caring about knowing WHO is booking and 0 responsibility if a guest breaks rules (occupancy, damage, ect). 

                                                      • Re: Anyone familiar with Evolve?
                                                        marina243 New Member

                                                        I am Living in Asia, and have a rental property in California,

                                                        I have been browsing for the right PM,

                                                        I think I will contact Adam..

                                                        Thank you for the reviews and tips,

                                                         

                                                        ~~*~~

                                                          • Re: Anyone familiar with Evolve?
                                                            kayzzze New Member

                                                            We are a ground support vacation guest services company, we are seriously considering becoming a partner with Evolve. 

                                                            It's the perfect arrangement, you rent your home to the client and we take it from there when they arrive we are there to personally greet them, check them in and out give them the rules of YOUR home. Our company makes sure the cleaning service and other services (you hire or if you want us to we will) will clean and get the property ready for your next client. We also charge a percentage of the rental fee and sometimes for special services but all in all it's a great deal for anyone who doesn't live near their vacation rental and we are on call 24/7 in the neighborhood. 

                                                            We are anxious to learn everything we can about this company.

                                                            Would also love comments from any of you that has used a service like ours, we are licensed bonded and although we have owned vacation rentals and used PM in the past, we are semi-retired and learning everyday...this business is our exit from the corporate world. 

                                                            Thanks, Kay

                                                          • Re: Anyone familiar with Evolve?
                                                            eem Active Contributor

                                                            Just noticed this "Evolve" property that is listed as being in my resort complex. It is not even close to our area and that in itself is very misleading, but the thing that caught my eye was the number of words allowed in the title. I went back to check to see if the number of characters allowed in our listing titles had changed and it has not. I'm sure that surveys have shown that 60% of travelers prefer Evolve listings to have more information in their listing titles, so I guess this is another change for our benefit.

                                                            new listing.jpg