Real estate is an ever-popular — and largely safe — investment route.

While buyers have options around what type of investment property they’d like to own (long-term versus short-term rental is a common question second homeowners ask), recent traveler trends suggest investing in vacation rentals is the clear frontrunner for earning more income.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, travelers are getting back on the road in staggering numbers. And in a recent survey of over 5,000 travelers, 86% of participants said they plan to book a vacation rental for their 2022 adventures.   

Experts also believe these new traveler preferences are here to stay, making short-term rental an impressive investment in the long run. 

That said, breaking into the market might be a fleeting opportunity. With demand exploding, competition among investors is growing, too — and inventory is waning. 

“You’ll have to get in now or risk not getting in at all,” says Louis Olds, Evolve’s senior manager of Real Estate Services. 

If you’re still unsure about the opportunity, here are six major benefits to investing in vacation rentals that underscore exactly why it’s your best option as a homebuyer.

In This Article: 

Vacation Rental Creates Unmatched Income Potential

Market Opportunity Is Vast and Varied

Owning a Vacation Rental Offsets Costs

Five-Star Hospitality Drives Even More Revenue

Your Property Can Serve Dual Purposes

Your Home Appreciates in Value

1. Vacation Rental Creates Unmatched Income Potential 

Not only is the vacation rental industry showing unprecedented income opportunity right now, but it’s also always boasted what our Real Estate Services (RES) experts consider a “high-reward profile.” 

Most investors look at cap rate — the ratio between a property’s net income and its market value — as a key measure of success, because it indicates return on investment. Our RES team says long-term rental cap rates can hover around an average of 4 to 5 percent in metro markets (where investors are typically drawn), but short-term rental cap rates can frequently come in at 10% or higher. (In hot markets like the Poconos, for example, a whopping 14% cap rates isn’t out of the question.) 

This means your ceiling for profitability is significantly higher when investing in vacation rentals than it is with other property options — opening up the chance for a whole lot more money to land in your pocket. 

2. Market Opportunity Is Vast and Varied

While finding success in long-term rental generally requires a purchase near a major metro area, homeowners can find vacation rentals with major profit potential in virtually any market. (Evolve owners, for example, are successfully doing business in over 700 destinations across the U.S.)

And since vacationers’ favorite travel locations are scattered in every corner from coast to coast, that means your scope of opportunity extends into more areas, wider price ranges, and bigger profit margins. 

So whether you’re interested in beachfront property, a ski rental, or a cozy cabin, you’re absolutely spoiled for choice.

3. Owning Vacation Rental Property Offsets Homeowner Costs

Creating sizable revenue streams and growing an income property portfolio are the main investment goals for many second homeowners. But there’s also massive value, particularly for first-timers, in offsetting homeowner expenses from the start. 

From mortgage payments and utilities to insurance fees and maintenance costs, solid rental income can cover monthly expenses and help your home pay for itself in a shorter time frame. Vacation rental owners are also eligible for certain tax deductions, which could help close the gap between income and expenses.

Bonus benefit: partnering with a vacation rental management company that has especially low fees (ahem, hi there) helps owners break even and start earning profit faster, because you’ll streamline the process and gain access to professional resources at a fraction of the cost. 

4. Five-Star Hospitality Drives Even More Revenue

The best part about investing in vacation rentals is that great guest feedback makes your home more lucrative over time. 

When new listings hit the marketplaces, they have to compete with established competitors for visibility and bookings. But the more five-star experiences you deliver, the more sites like Airbnb and Vrbo will show your property to browsing travelers — making it more likely you’ll earn additional income. 

Second-to-none hospitality standards also allow you to raise your nightly rates, increasing your profit margins on any given stay as you establish the value and superiority of your vacation rental.  

5. Your Investment Property Can Serve Dual Purposes

Unlike long-term rental investments, a vacation rental is a place where you, the owner, can also escape. It gives you the luxury of carving out time to spend with family and friends, or to switch up your work-from-home space.

In other words, you earn rental income to boost profits when you’re not there, but then save money when you’d like a change of scenery or time off.

6. Your Home Appreciates in Value 

 As with all good real estate investments, you can expect your vacation rental’s market value to appreciate over time. So if and when you become ready to sell, you’d likely earn more than the previous owners did when you purchased it.

Take the Next Step Toward Investing in Vacation Rental 

Getting started might feel like a big undertaking. From how much you can afford to what style and location of home you’re after, there are a number of questions to answer.

And once you’ve actually closed on a home, there are a ton of components to vacation rental management you’ll need to start thinking about for long-term success. 

That’s why we’ve put together a ton of resources to help you achieve your investment goals: 

Peek at our list best places to buy a vacation rental and our Vacation Rental Performance Reports to help find the exact right market for you.

Explore our listings for sale page to look into buying a vacation rental that’s already proven to be successful.

Use our vacation rental income calculator to understand all your income and expense variables, and confidently estimate your property’s success. 

But above all else, remember that our real estate service experts are here to guide you. If you have questions about investing in vacation rentals or want to learn more about the process, our consultative approach can help you get the ball rolling with ease. 

We’ll partner with you on defining your personal and financial goals, and take the stressful parts of the process off your plate — like choosing the right market and local real estate agent — so you can move right into a thriving vacation rental business.

When you’re first starting out as a vacation rental owner, there’s one big question: how much money can I expect to make?

Short-term rental properties can give second homeowners solid revenue returns, and are often more profitable than long-term rentals. But that additional income doesn’t come without costs. From vacation rental taxes and insurance to cleaning and management fees, it’s important to factor a number of expenses into your income calculations to help paint an accurate picture of your home’s profit potential.

That’s where our vacation rental income calculator comes in. Simply plug in your monthly revenue and expenses below, then watch our tool automatically churn out an annual income estimate — all factors considered.

Not sure where to pull all those numbers? Take a peek below our tool to understand your income and expense variables in more detail, and check out our bonus resources that can help you make confident estimates.

Your Income Variables, Explained

The first step in accurately predicting income? Defining each term properly. Here’s a quick-reference glossary of what each variable used in our vacation rental income calculator means.

Moon graphic representing vacation rental nightly rate

Nightly Rate

Avg rate you expect to charge/night

Nights Booked

Avg # of nights you expect to book/month

Mortgage

Your monthly mortgage payment

Utilities

Monthly costs for heat/hot water, electricity/AC, wifi & cable

Insurance & Property Taxes

Monthly costs for homeowners insurance, liability insurance & property protection plan + your state’s property tax rate

Other Expenses

Monthly sum of HOA & maintenance costs + avg cost of stocking/upgrading your short-term rental

Management Costs

Monthly % of income set aside for management/marketing fees (dependent on how you choose to run your property)

Understanding Income and Expenses

Let’s be real: calculating an accurate income for your investment property can be confusing. Certain elements — like mortgage and utility payments — have fairly standard numerical values you can enter into the calculator without much math. But other components require more contextual consideration, so let’s walk through each step of the process in more detail.

Step 1: Calculating Monthly Revenue

To accurately estimate nightly rate and expected nights booked, it’s important to understand the current market in your area.

The good news: we’ve analyzed thousands of listings across North America to aggregate the most influential performance metrics for you. From nightly rate and nights booked to average lengths of stay and prime booking windows throughout the year, all of the results can be found in our library of Vacation Rental Performance Reports. Each gives you a data-backed gauge of how direct competition performs — and, in turn, how much you can expect to charge and book.

You can pull the nightly rate and nights booked averages from those performance reports, then plug them into the vacation rental income calculator above to provide a solid foundation for estimating monthly income (and, ultimately, overall revenue).

But owners who work with Evolve also get the benefit of our proprietary SmartRates algorithm. It adjusts dynamically each night to guarantee your home always paces alongside rival listings — and outperforms in the long run. Case in point: SmartRates has earned our owners 24% more than traditionally-static pricing methods!

Step 2: Calculating Monthly Expenses 

From taxes to marketing fees, your expense estimate relies heavily on custom quotes and individual choices.

First, add up the monthly costs of your different types of insurance — like homeowners insurance, liability insurance, and a property protection plan. (Fun fact: Evolve owners are automatically covered for up to $3,000 in damages and $1,000,000 in liability at no additional expense.)

Then comes property taxes. How they’re applied varies by state, so be aware of your particular municipal requirements. If you’re not sure, you can plug your rental property’s address into this complimentary tool to receive the right rate.

Once you have an estimate for both, combine the numbers and enter the sum into our vacation rental income calculator.

Next, input your monthly mortgage payment and utilities.

To incorporate what we’ve deemed other expenses, first combine monthly HOA and maintenance costs, cleaning fees, and the average expense of keeping your short-term rental well-stocked for guests.

If you need to make furniture or decor upgrades, put a price to those overarching updates and divide by 12 before adding to your total monthly view of those additional expenses.

Finally, there are management costs to consider. This figure will look different depending on how you choose to run your vacation rental.

If you run a vacation rental without any help:

  1. Select the “I plan to manage my property on my own” option in our vacation rental income calculator
  2. Add up the varying percentage costs of the marketing fees for the marketplaces you plan to use (listed below)
  3. Move the marketing fee slider to match the sum of those percentage fees
Graphic showcasing market fees to list your home on Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, HomeAway, TripAdvisor, or Flipkey

If you use a property manager:

  1. Select the “I plan to hire a manager” option in our vacation rental income calculator
  2. Slide the bar to account for an average 30-50% fee

If you use Evolve as your property manager (P.S. we list your home on all the top short-term rental marketplaces at no additional cost):

  1. Select the “I plan to hire a manger” option in our vacation rental income calculator
  2. Slide the bar to our industry-low 10% fee

Maximize Your Income Potential with Evolve

Between the steep fees of traditional property managers and the overwhelming responsibility of a DIY approach, it’s hard to strike a cost-benefit balance that guarantees your success. At least, it was until Evolve came into the picture.

For an industry-low management fee (that’s backed by our Risk-Free Guarantee), we’ll apply a data-proven marketing and booking strategy to your vacation rental, boosting your revenue potential while keeping costs (and stress levels) down.

See if you qualify or call one of our Vacation Rental Advisors today to learn more at 877.881.7584.

Digital nomads, rejoice: Work and play no longer have to be separate. While you’re still remote, get some fresh air without using all of your vacation days. Switching up your routine a little can inspire new thinking and deepen your focus — all while you enjoy all the luxuries of vacation on your off-time. 

Ready to get out of the house? Pick one of these places based on how you like to feel at work and change up the scenery.

Bust Stress: Vacation Rentals with a Pool

Make your co-workers jealous by joining the company meeting poolside. Lounge in the sun while you knock projects off your list, then enjoy a crisp plunge in the water. Bonus: all of our homes are vetted in person, which means these pools are as good as they look. 

Resort-style pool and hot tub at Goodyear, Arizona vacation rental

Private Swimmer’s Paradise in Goodyear, AZ

Soak in the desert sun from this Goodyear home with a resort-style hot tub and pool combo. Work on your tan while you work from the sprawling patio, complete with a fully shaded outdoor area. The interior’s open layout and farmhouse furnishings are so beautiful that you’ll want to stay in and make meals at home — but when you’re ready to get out, grab ice cream at The Frozen Monkey and take a stroll around South Lake Park.

Palatial Luxury Home In Homestead, FL

If you’re feeling fancy, this Florida short-term rental is like stepping into a palace you can call your own. Here, 6,500 square feet of space is yours — meaning you can find a new place to work remotely every day. Sit al fresco in the expansive outdoor cabana or lounge by the palm tree-lined pool worthy of a magazine shoot. On weekends, day trip to the Florida Keys or take it easy with a bottle of local wine from Schnebly Winery.

Palm tree-lined pool at luxury vacation rental in Homestead, Florida
Lush background with in-ground pool at modern vacation rental in Austin, Texas

Modern Poolside Oasis In Austin, TX

The moment you set your bag down, the cerulean waters of this backyard pool will invite you to take a dip. Catch up with your group beneath the pergola, then swim laps in this sophisticated marvel as the sun goes down. Enormous windows let the light in here and make it feel like you’re by the pool, even when you’re hard at work inside. When you need to get out, experience the big city feeling by taking a walk through downtown Austin.

Honorable Mentions: Enjoy views of your own private lake and private pool at this luxurious vacation rental in Norman, OK, visit this meticulously decorated home with its own mini golf putting green and awe-inspiring pool in the Coachella Valley, or swim by day, stream movies in the home theater by night from this Pigeon Forge vacation rental.

Explore All Homes With A Pool

Get Energized: Vacation Rentals With A Gym

Exercise helps mental health and increases productivity — and companies are encouraging their teams to work out more than ever. These vacation rentals are perfect for a getaway that blends work-life balance, with a home gym to break up your day. 

Charming log cabin vacation rental  surrounded by trees and nature trails in Sonoma County, California

Enchanting Log Cabin In Sonoma County, CA

Redwoods and red wine are waiting for you in Sonoma County. This charming cabin is the place to go glamping in the woods while still keeping a wi-fi signal. Nature is your gym here in a home that’s surrounded by trails and a few minutes from the beach, but if you want a more traditional place to exercise, hit the cabin’s small home gym. After a long work week, hop in the car, soak in ocean views, and savor wines from famous vineyards.

Private Forest Mansion In Acworth, GA

Turn your workday into a fairytale at this welcoming Acworth mansion, complete with a pool and its own movie theater. Take your lunch break in the home gym, catch up on emails from the gazebo, and toast to the day by the outdoor fire pit once five o’clock hits. There are so many ways to clear your head — whether it’s playing billiards, or cooking a meal for your group and enjoying it in the sprawling dining areas.

Acworth, Georgia vacation rental with a pool

Honorable Mentions: This budget-friendly vacation home in Glendale, AZ offers all the perks of a private resort, including a pool and a putting green. Or, go big and work remotely from this enormous vacation home sitting over the lake in Kaiser, MO. You can also sit out by your own private creek and access some of Colorado’s most pristine trails from this home amid the treetops in Evergreen, CO. 

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Find Quiet: Vacation Rentals with an Office

Evolve only rents homes with private entrances, which means that every place on our site is perfect for finding focus. But if you’re looking for a getaway where you can separate your 9-5 from your night of relaxation, these picks come with a home office and the bliss of complete quiet.

Living room in an Erie, Colorado vacation rental that also has multiple offices

Enormous Retreat In Erie, CO

This vacation rental is made for remote work retreats with multiple offices, plenty of separate seating areas, and a boardroom-style table. Travel with friends and tackle the workday separately from your own private spaces, then reconnect over a game night in the living room. Wind down while strolling downtown Boulder (just a short drive away) with the Flatiron mountains as your backdrop.

Upscale Cabin In Show Low, AZ

Enjoy a life of luxury from this scenic cabin equipped with its own lofted office for working remotely. Catch up about the day around the outdoor fire pit or sip wine on the sprawling wood patio immersed in the forest. If you feel like getting outside, explore the easy Show Low Bluff Trail on foot or spend a leisurely day fishing at Fool Hollow Lake.

Spacious kitchen in Show Low, Arizona cabin vacation rental, a home that also has a lofted office

Honorable Mention: Work remotely from this vacation rental in Fairplay, CO, and enjoy a cozy, log cabin exterior with a clean, modern interior. 

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Cozy Up: Vacation Rentals with a Fireplace

Good books are meant to be enjoyed next to a crackling fireplace. After a long day at the (virtual) office, sink into the couch at one of these places and find your cozy. All you need to bring is hot cider and groceries — each of our homes comes fully equipped with all the amenities you need to stay in for the night.

Dreamy Dome House In Idyllwild, CA

Hit the road and head to Idyllwild, which sits in California’s San Jacinto mountains. Pets are welcome at this airy dome house that’s a theater to thousands of night stars. Once you’ve closed up your laptop for the day, hit the trails at Mount San Jacinto State Park, then bring home a mountain pie to share from Idyllwild Pizza.

Cozy living room with wood-burning stove and guitar at the unique Dome House vacation rental in Idyllwild, California
Living room with stone fireplace and nature views at Incline Village, Nevada vacation rental

Spacious Modern Hideaway In Incline Village, NV

Rise to the sound of trees rustling out this bright property filled with natural light. Kick your feet up in the loft to get some focus, then spend happy hour in the hot tub before cooking up a feast in the gorgeous, modern kitchen. When you’re ready for fresh air, take an evening bike ride along Lake Tahoe, or just sit out and enjoy the lake.

Cabin In Breckenridge, CO

Breckenridge is an outdoor paradise — and this enormous cabin that sleeps 14 is just the place to enjoy it. Take your calls from the quiet porch, indulge in a midday break to shoot some hoops in the in-home basketball court, and wind down by the fire after an evening of exploring the area’s sites. Window shop along Main Street and grab takeout, or find a hike like Hoosier Pass you can do as the sun goes down over the mountain. 

Rustic Breckenridge, Colorado cabin rental living room with large stone fireplace

Honorable Mentions: Sip a nightcap on a porch overlooking the creek at this vacation home in Frisco, CO, or soak your bones in the hot tub surrounded by trees in this Alto, New Mexico cabin.

Explore All Homes With A Fireplace

Fuel Creativity: Vacation Rentals with a View

Get some new perspective on what you’re working on from one of these places with a view. Find yourself thinking in new ways as you walk along the beach or sit out on the lake, free to let your mind wander. Just be sure to bring a notepad with you as you roam these houses for the moment a great idea strikes.

Exterior view of Bay City, Oregon hilltop vacation rental with stilted decks and lush landscaping

Hilltop Haven In Bay City, OR

If you’ve ever had the dream of looking out to the shoreline from a hot tub, this is just the place for you. This hilltop home in the Pacific Northwest is a destination for remote work, with several cozy seating areas, an unbelievable porch view looking over the coast, and a hot tub where you can dip and drink it all in. After work, take a scenic, slow drive along the Tillamook Bay and end the evening with scoops at the iconic Tillamook Creamery

Lakeview Retreat In Albion, MI

A lake with a private dock is yours at this calming escape in Albion, MI. This home is filled with windows so you never miss the view, even when you’re inside. There are so many places to work at this home on the golf course — whenever you need some fresh thinking, just pick a new room. The spacious kitchen opens right up into the living room, so you can share stories as you prepare the dinner to share. Days off can be spent on the course, dipping in the lake, or curling up next to a roaring fire while keeping the view.

Deck overlooking a private dock and lake at an Albion, Michigan vacation rental
Deck overlooking the ocean from beachfront vacation rental in Topsail Beach, North Carolina

Beachfront Home In Topsail Beach, NC

Creativity is often sparked by a long walk, and here, you can take that walk out on the beach. Sit out on one of the two decks facing the waves, then step out onto the sand when you need a break. Sunsets here look like a postcard, and you can enjoy them from a bright, cheerful house that is decorated to feel like vacation in every room. Spend the weekend grilling up porch on the outdoor barbecue and catching up your beach read in the pristine sand.

Honorable Mentions: Get out into the mountains at this Jefferson, CO cabin with a verdant view of the mountains and its own game room and treehouse. Or, book this cheerful beachfront home in New Smyrna Beach, FL with ocean access and take your morning coffee in the sand

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STAY EVOLVE

Enjoy the freedom to work remotely from a vacation rental anywhere, with all the comforts of home. Find your perfect place to get some fresh air and rest easy knowing that it’ll be professionally cleaned and ready for your arrival.

So you’re thinking about hiring a property management company for your vacation rental. 

Maybe you’ve got an extra home, you just purchased a new property, or you’re exploring ways to make some extra income. It could be your first time dealing with vacation rentals, or maybe you’ve been burned by property management companies before.

A question you might be wondering is — why shouldn’t I just do this myself?

While there are owners who handle management themselves, it can be incredibly time-consuming to promote your rental, field traveler inquiries, take quality photos, write and revise the listing, answer questions about your property, vet potential guests, juggle on-the-ground services like cleaning and maintenance, and follow up for reviews.

There’s a better way. Hiring the right vacation rental management company for your home can take the stress, endless tasks, extra time, and marketing responsibilities off your plate. 

But before you hire a traditional or local property manager, make sure to ask these seven questions to know you’re getting everything you need.

1. HOW IS VACATION RENTAL PERFORMANCE IN THE AREA?

You’re looking for a manager who has a good feel for the local market. A great property manager will know the ins and outs of your location — high season, low season, competing rates, what types of property are most popular in the area, and how local regulations and trends are affecting vacation rentals. You can prep for your conversation with our market-by-market vacation rental performance reports.

Ask your potential manager questions about the local market and feel out their responses. If the vacation rental manager has reasonable answers to those questions, you’ve probably found a solid manager who spends a good amount of time thinking about how to help their clients succeed. 

If they seem uncertain or their answers seem off, you may want to keep looking. Be particularly wary if you know about regulations in the area that they don’t; every manager should be fully aware of the status of local short-term rental regulations. And don’t base their experience on years in the business. There are quite a few longtime property managers out there who haven’t kept up with changes in the industry and don’t perform well as a result.

2. WHAT ARE YOUR FEES AND CONTRACT TERMS?

Many vacation rental property management fees range from 25-50% of your rental income. And, in some areas, the rates continue to rise. 

Before hiring a local property manager, do the math to determine whether you can afford to pay that high of a fee and still meet your rental income goals.

Contracts are the biggest sticking point for owners who have wound up with a poor property manager. If you figure out in the first two months that the property manager isn’t doing their job well, but you’re locked in for a year-long contract, you’re going to be very unhappy for the remaining ten months of that year. You’ll also want to know the payment terms and timing. Some managers can take months to pay and, if you’re caught in an unfavorable contract, it can be a long time until you get paid.

If a management company requires a contract, ask whether there are any out clauses based on performance or poor service. For example, if the management company fails to clean the property three times in one year, or only gets you two bookings in six months, you should be able to leave their service without a penalty.

Above all, make sure any fees and agreements help you build a vacation rental business that prioritizes guest experience over short-term profit.

3. WHAT SERVICES ARE INCLUDED IN YOUR MANAGEMENT FEES?

You’re hiring a vacation rental management company for the high level of services they provide. You’ll want to know exactly what services are included in their fee.

Specifically ask whether the fee covers marketing, photography, writing the listing, updating the listing, observing market trends, cleaning, maintenance, pre-stay walkthroughs, or in-person visits for any issues that arise during a guest’s stay.

You should also ask about any services that are not included in their fee – for example, some property management companies will charge an additional fee if one of their employees has to visit the property outside of business hours to address a problem the guest is having. Excellent guest support should not cost more. 

Once you know what services the fee does and does not cover, ask yourself if you’re getting enough bang for your buck. If your management company covers everything from marketing to maintenance, the fee may be worthwhile. If it only covers cleaning and all other services are a la carte, you should probably keep shopping for a better deal.

4. HOW DO YOU MARKET MY PROPERTY?

This is an important one. Ask them how and where they’ll market your property. 

Many vacation rental management companies prefer to market their clients’ properties only on their own website. These days, that’s not enough. You want to be on all the major websites with highly professional listings. No matter how popular a local manager’s site is, it’s never going to get the same amount of traffic as major online listing sites like Vrbo, HomeAway or Airbnb – which means you’ll be missing out on a lot of potential guests if you’re limited to one website. Make sure you understand their marketing plan.

Marketing is a big word that includes the photography of your rental, a high-converting property listing, framing your rental for current trends and the market, and how it is promoted.

A vacation rental manager’s 25-50% ought to cover the cost of marketing your property on at least one major listing site in addition to any marketing efforts they make to raise the profile of their own site. Listen for words like “appear high in the search results” or “search engine marketing” – these are good indicators your manager has put effort into raising and maintaining their website’s profile online.

Your manager should also actively solicit reviews from happy guests and follow up with guests who have already stayed at the property to see if they want to book again next year. Ask your vacation rental manager what they do to ensure repeat business and 5-star reviews to entice new guests to come and stay at your property. 

5. WHEN AND HOW ARE GUESTS ABLE TO BOOK MY PROPERTY?

Vacation rental managers aren’t awake around the clock, (which is just fine, because most guests aren’t either) but they should be available when people are likely to be making their travel plans: before work, after work, and on weekends.

If your manager is only available to make bookings from 9-5 on weekdays, the odds are very good you’ll be missing out on bookings from people who work standard office jobs at those hours. Believe it or not, the ideal response time for inquiries is 15 minutes, so the bar is pretty high for providing the kind of service that turns into bookings. 

You should also ask if guests are able to book online and use a credit card. The vast majority of guests prefer to book online, and very few are willing to get on the phone or send a paper check in the mail. If your potential manager doesn’t offer any way for those guests to book online, you’ll again miss out on bookings.

6. HOW OFTEN CAN WE EXPECT UPDATES ON OUR PROPERTY’S CONDITION?

After every stay, you should confirm that your guests left your property in good condition and that any accidental damage was documented and addressed. Be sure to ask your potential vacation rental manager how they handle issues like broken dishes or missing items after a guest’s stay.

You’re looking for a manager who performs a post-stay walkthrough after every guest leaves, takes photos of any damages for your records, and takes steps to bring the property back up to good condition for the next guests.

Your property manager isn’t expected to pay for damages out of pocket – that cost will come from the guest’s deposit or a damage protection program like Property Protection Plus (included as part of Evolve’s lightweight vacation rental management approach). However, your manager should notice the damage, report it, and speak to the guest about retaining their deposit to cover the damage if necessary.

7. CAN I SPEAK TO SOME OF YOUR CURRENT CLIENTS?

Always ask to speak with a few existing clients prior to signing a contract. Previous and current owners can share details about working with the vacation rental managers and exactly what to expect from your arrangement.   

If a manager is reluctant to give you references or isn’t enthusiastic about current clients speaking about their experience, that’s a sign this manager isn’t going to be a good fit for you. You should be able to hear or read success stories from customers who endorse the company. 

On the other hand, if their current clients rave about this vacation rental manager and give you lots of insider tips they’ve learned since working with them on navigating the local market, full speed ahead! This manager may well be just the business partner you’re looking for.

IT’S TIME TO RETHINK VACATION RENTAL MANAGEMENT.

The traditional models of vacation rental management are outdated. Doing it yourself is a LOT of work and, as we’ve covered, working with traditional property management companies means less control with fees that are hard to justify.

But there’s a better way. You don’t have to do it all yourself. And you don’t have to sign a contract with an overpriced property manager. Evolve is different.

BOOK MORE NIGHTS WITH YOUR RENTAL

Evolve’s lightweight management approach gives you total marketing, booking, and customer support, plus the power to choose your own “home team” to clean and monitor your property. 

Basically, we drive more guests to your property for maximum income, while giving you more choices with fewer rules – all for an industry-low 10% management fee (that’s backed by our Risk-Free Guarantee.)

See if you qualify or call one of our Vacation Rental Advisors today to learn more at 877.881.7584.

“Aren’t you just like Airbnb and Vrbo?”

We get that question a lot from people who haven’t worked with us yet. It’s easy to see why. We’re all in the same industry, short-term property rentals. You can find and book great properties on our website or on theirs. And the fact that every Evolve property appears on Airbnb, Vrbo, and other online marketplaces just adds a little more to the confusion.

So let’s clear things up and outline exactly how Evolve is NOT Airbnb, Vrbo, HomeAway, TripAdvisor, or any other online marketplace.

They’re Marketplaces, We’re a Management Company

Airbnb, Vrbo, and similar websites are online “marketplaces” where guests find properties and homeowners find guests. Essentially, they act as a distribution channel for owners or property managers, attracting potential guests to their website but leaving the management of the properties and listings to the owners (or whoever is representing the property) themselves.

Evolve is a vacation rental management company. That means we actively manage our properties on behalf of our owners, ensuring maximum bookings and eliminating the stress of the traditional vacation rental process.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Evolve is a BIG customer of the online marketplaces. We have more than 16,000 properties listed on their sites, and we constantly implement cutting-edge strategies to make sure our owners’ homes are positioned for maximum traffic and bookings.

Behind the scenes, we have teams of specialists working on the hardest parts of managing a vacation rental: marketing, booking, and customer service. Our teams do everything from creating search-topping property listings to dynamically setting rates to answering guest questions and asking for online reviews. We even hire professional photographers at no cost to owners to show each property in the best possible light.

As a result of our approach, Evolve properties outperform most others on the online marketplaces. So we don’t compete with Airbnb, Vrbo and the rest. We work with them–and everybody wins.

Our Homes Are Different, Too: Always Perfect for Vacation

Unlike most marketplaces, we don’t offer home sharing, extended stays, campsites, trailers, or other mobile structures. Each Evolve property has its own entrance and kitchen (typically a house or condominium). A lot of Evolve guests appreciate having the comforts of home when they travel, and our properties reflect that.

We take even more guesswork out of vacation rental by making sure our properties meet our four core standards. We believe guests simply won’t have the experience they’re looking for unless the property they’ve booked is:

By focusing on properties ideally suited for vacationing and making sure each one lives up to our standards, we’re building a brand that guests can trust to have the time of their lives.

A Different Experience for Owners and Guests

Since Airbnb, Vrbo, and the like don’t handle property management, homeowners have traditionally been forced to either hire a local company to do it or fend for themselves. Evolve is different.

We give homeowners performance-focused marketing and booking support, plus the flexibility to choose their own partner(s) to clean the property and greet guests. Evolve handles all guest inquiries, bookings, and pre-stay communications. We can also connect owners with hundreds of vetted partners nationwide that can handle cleaning and guests.  

With Evolve’s help, every guest enjoys a booking experience that feels as professional as the world’s top hospitality brands. We handle all inquiries directly, resolve guest and owners questions, and communicate directly with cleaners to ensure the property is ready for every guest. Our unique approach makes vacation rental actually feel like vacation for owners and guests.

So We’re Not Airbnb or Vrbo, But We’re All Friends

Once you work with Evolve, you quickly discover the difference between our service and all of the others. Soon you’ll book — and earn — more for an industry-low fee that’s backed by an unmatched Risk-Free Guarantee.

Owners should be able to relax, trusting that their property is living up to its potential. And guests should be able to relax with an experience that feels like a big hospitality brand. That’s the Evolve difference.

Learn more about Evolve and how we can help you find success with Airbnb, Vrbo, and other online marketplaces.

Your Free Welcome Book Template Is Here!

Sure, your property listing covers a lot of info about your home — but guests will still have some questions when they arrive. Like, which local coffee shop has the best ambiance? What’s that one trick to getting the dishwasher started? How should they handle check-out?

Your welcome book is the perfect place to answer common questions, and it’s also one of the most searched for vacation rental amenities. By providing essential info up front, you can free guests from encountering snags during their stay.

We think that putting together this important resource should feel easy — which is why we made you a free welcome book template. All you have to do is download it and plug in your home’s info!

Why Make a Welcome Book?

Welcome books have a big impact on your guests’ experience. Here are some reasons to block off a few minutes and fill in this template.

Welcome Books Help Others Navigate Your Rental Property and Treat It the Right Way

Guests want to know how to watch a movie at night or adjust the temperature in your house. Giving them a resource on how to get comfortable living in your rental is sure to make their vacation stress-free for both of you.

Welcome Books Provide Local Highlights and a Sense of Your Personality

The reason many guests book vacation rental properties is to immerse themselves in the location. Recommending restaurants, coffee shops, stores, and more can turn a good trip into the best trip ever. Lead your guests to the most delicious slice in town — or teach them how to avoid crowds at a local attraction — and they’ll want to book with you again in the future.

Welcome Books Show Guests That You Care

Your advice on how to make the most of your property gives guests the friendly engagement they’re looking for. It also protects their personal space and privacy by providing valuable information without requiring personal interaction.

Welcome Books Help You Get Great Reviews

Your guests are likely to reward your thoughtfulness in their reviews. Even better, you or your guest contact may get fewer questions during their stay, and you’ll be sending new customers to your favorite local shops and restaurants, ensuring they thrive!

Sounds pretty great, right? But where should you start?

What to Include in Your Welcome Book

From a friendly “hello” letter to your home’s policies, these are the sections you’ll need to put together the most useful welcome book.

A Personal Welcome Note

Guests who choose vacation rental are looking for a unique home with a real person behind it. Writing a note to personally welcome them to your property is another way to separate yourself from a hotel — and reinforce their decision to stay with you.

Helpful Local Contacts

Make sure your welcome book provides at least one name, telephone number, and email for a local contact near your property. This person can be you, a local property manager, or even a neighbor — but they should be easily reachable, and available to come to the home on short notice. Nobody wants unanswered guest complaints to derail a pleasant stay.

You’ll also want to include contact details and addresses for the following emergency resources, just in case:

Remember, guests don’t have all of the resources they’d typically have at home. They’ll feel more at ease if they know you have their safety in mind.

Your Property’s Policies

Even if you send your policies in a pre-stay email, (Evolve does!) it’s still important to reiterate them at the property. Including policies in your welcome book can help you resolve common vacation rental issues and complaints because guests will have a difficult time arguing that they weren’t aware of the rules.

You should include all of the following information in your welcome book:

An in-home reference guide will help remind guests how best to enjoy your home and leave it in good shape for the next guests.  Another perk of including your policies: you’re way less likely to find broken or misused items after a stay!

How-To Instructions

When your guests can’t figure out simple things like how to turn on the hot tub, they can get frustrated and wind up taking out that frustration in their review of your property. Even if every appliance works perfectly, spending valuable relaxation time figuring out how to use it is no one’s idea of a fun vacation.

Include helpful instructions for your:

This is also a good place to note any quirks of your property. For example, if the Wifi works very well all over the house, but not in the family room downstairs, make sure your guests know that. If they aren’t expecting an issue, they’ll be annoyed by it, but with a little forewarning, they’ll feel like they know exactly what they can expect, and it’s less likely to trouble them.

Where to Go and What to Do

You know all of the insights you’ve collected about your neighborhood? Now’s the time to share your expertise — because everyone loves a good recommendation from a local! Try to suggest activities that would appeal to a range of guest types, such as family-friendly museums or romantic places for a dinner out.

Be sure to give addresses and phone numbers for each of your recommendations. Adding the amount of time it takes to get to the destination is a great idea, too. Include at least a suggestion or two in each of the following categories:

And share places where you personally enjoy going. This isn’t to say you can’t include popular attractions you haven’t visited in person. Just let your guests know that you haven’t tried them yourself, but you’ve heard good things and you hope they’ll tell you how they liked them! You can then use the guest feedback to gauge whether that activity merits a mention in your Welcome Book.

How to Get Around

Help guests explore your area by creating a section devoted to local transit. Be sure to include contact info, directions, schedules and any other details that guests might find helpful, like:

Ready to Create Your Book?

Here’s the good news: we’ve already created one for you. To make things easier for you and your guests we created a free downloadable template. Enter your email in the form below to get your free, customizable copy. Then, type your information into our template, print the completed welcome book, and display it in an obvious area of your rental property, such as the kitchen counter. And if you’re looking to start booking more nights on your vacation rental, we can help with that, too.

Home to world-class golf courses, 249 scenic trails, and a humming food and arts scene, Tucson is a growing spot for tourism in the Southwest. 

From retirees seeking winter warmth to families enjoying Tucson’s stacked roster of kid-friendly activities, over 6 million visitors flock to this desert location each year — so it should come as no surprise that real estate investing in Tucson offers major income potential for owners, too.

To help you understand the opportunity this top vacation rental market presents, we created a free, downloadable vacation rental market analysis. Inside you’ll find: 

The findings in this analysis are based on Evolve’s Tucson market averages in the last year and provide a general baseline for performance potential. They’re designed to help inform smart decisions when buying an investment property in Tucson.

Download Our Complete Tucson Vacation Rental Investment Analysis

Purple icon of a Southwestern home with cactus, shrub and stars

Why Tucson Is a Great Place to Own Vacation Rental Property

With great weather and a wide range of exciting things to do,  you’ll find no shortage of short-term rental potential in Tucson. Attractions like the Pima Air & Space Museum, San Xavier del Bac Mission Church, Reid Park Zoo, and a vibrant downtown scene create year-round buzz — meaning occupancy rates are consistently high for vacation rentals.

That said, Tucson does see peak demand at certain times of the year. High season spans November to March, when the area experiences dry, sunny days and mild temperatures ranging from 45 to 75 degrees. Many Tucson visitors consider these temperate months prime for enjoying the outdoors, causing spikes in travel plans (and booking opportunities for investors). A second surge occurs in Mid-August, when classes at the University of Arizona begin and families help their students settle in. 

The median home value in Tucson currently averages just under $329,500. There’s been a significant increase here over the last three years, but it still sits in fairly affordable territory for interested investors (especially when compared to other desert hotspots like Palm Springs). The city also has 175 neighborhoods, giving buyers options to choose from a variety of home types, sizes, and price tags.

Purple icon of a crystal ball with the words "profit prediction" in the middle with stars

How Much Money Can You Earn with a Tucson Vacation Rental?

As a hub for tourism with year-round interest, Tucson offers major profit potential and the chance for vacation rental owners to earn long-term guest trust and repeat bookings. To gauge just how much you might make in this market,  you’ll want to consider these important factors.

Property Size

Go big or go home, right? In Tucson, five-bedroom properties rake in the most yearly revenue by a decent stretch, thanks to their ability to accommodate anywhere from eight to 14 guests and set the highest nightly rates. (It also helps them capture the high demand coming from family travel). Homes of this size make up a very small percentage of local inventory, though, so interested buyers have to act fast if they find one available for purchase.

Luckily, three- and four-bedroom homes are another great option to consider. They see the most nights booked annually of any property size, and the right property even has the potential to earn more than its five-bedroom neighbor. They also happen to be the most common on the market, so investors may have an easier time scooping one up. 

For those seeking an even smaller vacation rental, a one-bedroom property could be the way to go. These homes or condos often attract retired couples, snowbirds, solo adventurers, and business travelers. As a result, owners can earn solid occupancy throughout the year at a much lower purchase price.

Property Location

Though Tucson’s footprint is fairly spread out, our Real Estate Services (RES) team says properties close to downtown (known as Old Tucson) provide travelers with the most convenience. Look for homes within walking distance of popular restaurants and shops, since these city attractions are often a top priority for guests.

Keep proximity to popular local attractions in mind, too, so it’s especially easy for guests to get out and about. You can appeal to families with a property close to the University of Arizona and kid-friendly activities; grab the attention of golfers with a home set right off a course; or entice outdoor enthusiasts with a simple commute to the area’s many scenic trails.

Property Amenities

Speaking of those nature enthusiasts, our RES team says outdoor spaces on-property are crucial for attracting guests to your vacation rental and helping them create long-lasting memories — which in turn earns you five-star reviews

Find a home with a deck or patio, then maximize those spaces with profit-driving amenities like grills, fire pits, shade for hot desert days, and comfortable outdoor seating. Views of any kind — whether of the city, the mountains, the desert, or all three — are another great way to bring the outdoors directly to your guests. 

Pools are also a major draw for travelers of all generations in Tucson, and rank as one of the most searched-for amenities year after year. Though a private pool is ideal, finding a condo with access to a community pool is also a major perk that’s likely to drive more bookings. 

Of course, it’s smart to include touches that make your home accessible to all kinds of guests, too. Kid-friendly amenities like a high chair, crib, or Pack N’ Play make travel less stressful for families. And one-story homes with walk-in showers provide comfort and convenience for older guests.

Download Our Full Tucson Vacation Rental Market Analysis

Flourishing tourism, an appealing climate, and plenty of year-round fun make the city of Tucson a top choice for a vacation rental investment. 

Whether you’re exploring your first vacation rental investment options or adding to a growing portfolio, download our free Tucson Vacation Rental Market Analysis today for an expert look at your income potential. 

Inside you’ll find:

Real estate investing in Tucson shouldn’t be as hard as finding water in the desert. Take advantage of our report and beat the heat with an informed and profitable vacation rental investment.

Known as the Gateway to the Smokies, Gatlinburg — along with nearby Sevierville and Pigeon Forge — offers all-season outdoor adventure, scenic charms, and mountain town allure that keep travelers coming back year after year.

In 2021 alone, Great Smoky Mountains National Park saw more than 14 million visitors. It’s the massive draw of the park and the variety of family-friendly activities in the area that make Gatlinburg a top spot for a vacation rental investment, too.

To help you understand your opportunity in the Gatlinburg vacation rental market, we created a free, downloadable vacation rental market analysis. Inside you’ll find: 

The findings in this analysis are based on Evolve’s Gatlinburg market averages in the last year and provide a general baseline for performance potential. They’re designed to help inform smart decisions when buying a Gatlinbug investment property.

Download Our Complete Gatlinburg Vacation Rental Investment Analysis

Purple icon of a cabin with mountains and stars

Why Gatlinburg Is a Great Place to Own Vacation Rental Property

Beautiful mountain scenery sets the stage for any Gatlinburg area getaway, and amusement park thrills, interactive museums, and endless outdoor activities offer year-round fun for all ages. As a result, occupancy rates remain relatively high throughout the year — giving investors the opportunity to grab consistent bookings and income.

Things really heat up in the summer, as travel to the area soars with warmer temperatures and nature-lovers coming to explore. The Gatlinburg vacation rental market peaks for a second time in the thick of fall, as visitors arrive for prime leaf peeping. This dual seasonality can equate to higher demand (and therefore higher nightly rates and profit) for a large part of the calendar year.

The value of real estate in the Gatlinburg area has seen a significant increase over the last year, too. Gatlinburg’s median property value — currently sitting at $600,528 — has increased at an even higher rate, reflecting the demand for rental accommodations as tourism kicks back into high gear. 

For investors looking for lower upfront costs, our Real Estate Services (RES) team says neighboring Smoky Mountain towns might offer a valuable alternative while remaining close to the Gatlinburg vacation rental market. A Pigeon Forge investment property, for example, lists for an average of $519,818, while average prices in Sevierville come in at an even-more-affordable $379,000.

Purple icon of a crystal ball with the words "profit prediction" in the middle with stars

How Much Money Can You Earn with a Gatlinburg Vacation Rental?

Because of its massive appeal to tourists and its direct access to the Smokies, investors can turn a serious profit in the Gatlinburg vacation rental market. In order to gauge just how much you might make, consider the following important factors.

Property Size

Homes of all sizes perform well in Gatlinburg, as it entices a variety of travelers throughout the majority of the year. 

Since it’s such a family- and group-oriented destination, Evolve’s top-earner last year was a six-bedroom Gatlinburg investment property. Larger homes in this market (think four- and five-bedroom homes, too) earn high occupancy and the most income in general — just note that they’re the hardest kind of inventory to find.

Meanwhile, one-bedroom properties perform best when it comes to total nights booked throughout the year. Since many solo travelers and couples also pass through the area to enjoy the Smoky Mountains, cozy accommodations provide an efficient choice for guests. Plus, they make up a much larger percentage of available inventory — and offer a less expensive upfront investment for those looking to enter the Gatlinburg vacation rental market.

Property Location

While you can’t purchase property within Great Smoky Mountain National Park, our RES team says it’s wise to invest as close to its border as possible. This gives your guests an easy commute to the area’s crown jewel, and mountain vistas overlooking the stunning scenery take the average vacation above and beyond.

Still, since there’s only so much inventory with unobstructed mountain views, you’ll find plenty of other locations for a strong investment in the Gatlinburg vacation rental market. If you can’t get close to the mountains, look for a property with easy access to the main Parkway — whether that’s in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, or Sevierville. Making the drive between attractions ultra convenient is a great way to give travelers the best experience possible while they’re in the area.

Property Amenities

Travelers yearn for the rustic ambiance of a log cabin when booking a Gatlinburg rental home, so look for homes with cozy, woodsy charm. That said, they also expect thoughtful design and desirable amenities, so it’s important to strike the right balance for your guests.

To do so, add touches like homey decor, comfortable outdoor furniture, and modern essentials like WiFi, air conditioning, and laundry machines. Consider getting a hot tub — one of the most popular amenities for travelers in the area — to wow guests after a long day of hiking or entertaining the kids at Dollywood.

You’ll also want to reserve space for family-friendly perks. Large groups love game rooms, giving them the chance to unwind with pool, darts, or foosball. You can even add classic arcade games, board games, and an entertainment system with kid-friendly movies to the mix.

Finally, Gatlinburg is a pet-friendly destination for many travelers, so consider setting your property up for four-legged friends, too. Fence in the yard for an easy game of fetch, and include amenities like a dog bed and food bowls so furry companions can always be part of the fun.

Download Our Full Gatlinburg Vacation Rental Market Analysis

With tourism firmly planted as the area’s biggest industry, Gatlinburg is a hotspot for year-round travel with major income opportunities for vacation rental investors.  

To get a closer look at this booming market, download our free Gatlinburg Vacation Rental Market Analysis today. It’s filled with tons of helpful insights, including:

More travelers visit the Great Smoky Mountains than any other national park in the country, but investing in this “smokin’ hot” market doesn’t have to be intimidating. Use our report to equip yourself with the tools and knowledge needed for vacation rental success.

Luxury vacations were once limited to all-inclusive resorts and high-end hotels. But with the rising popularity (and wide variety) of luxury vacation rentals in the U.S., those traditional spots aren’t the only option for guests anymore.

With the right vacation rental, you can take luxe to the next level — added privacy, extra-large space, and jaw-dropping scenery, all delivered at hotel-quality standards. Whether your dream luxury vacation rental is located by the beach or in the mountains, close to wine country or brimming with family fun, these will have you seeing five stars without ever having to step outside the property.

In This Article:

Coastal Florida Getaway

Ski-In & Out Telluride Chalet

Unique Sedona Retreat

Victorian Catskills Mansion 

Wine Country Villa

Lake Michigan Shoreline Home

Spacious New Mexico Ranch

La Jolla Hilltop Hideaway

Lakefront Michigan Escape 

Los Cerrillos Hillside Villa

Kid-Friendly Disney Paradise

Temecula Oasis

Amish Country Villa 

Luxe Napa Valley Home

1. Coastal Florida Getaway

A hot tub on a large wraparound porch with a gorgeous view of the beach, ocean, and palm trees

If your dream luxury vacation rental in the U.S. makes it easy to relax on the beach and splash in the ocean, this beautiful Wilbur-By-The-Sea property sits just south of Daytona Beach and provides the ultimate access to surf, sand, and sun. 

Follow the back steps down to the no-drive beach to enjoy the water, or take in panoramic ocean views from the all-glass great room, second-story balcony, or furnished porch. On chilly evenings or cooler months, you have your choice of indulgent ways to warm up: take a bubble bath in the jetted tub, cuddle in front of the marble fireplace, soak in the seaside hot tub, or have a steam in the sauna. 

For the foodies on your trip, whipping up an elegant meal is easy in the fully-equipped stainless steel kitchen. That said, this private slice of shoreline is conveniently located less than 10 miles from many fine dining options — so you can always opt to eat out, too.

See More Daytona Area Homes

2. Ski-In & Out Telluride Chalet

Interior shot of a luxury vacation rental in the U.S. with large windows, overstuffed furniture, and a beautiful view of trees and snow

Reserving an entire ski resort might be tough, but staying in this massive 8,500 square foot Colorado retreat can offer many of the same perks. One of the most memorable luxury mountain vacation rentals, it has direct ski-down access to Telluride Ski Resort and a dedicated room to store and dry gear, saving snow bunnies precious time for more playing in the powder.

After shredding the slopes (or playing a round of golf in summer), you can treat yourself to après comforts like a six-person sauna, steam shower, full-service bar, fully-equipped exercise room, and outdoor hot tub. You could also fix yourself a five-star meal in the chef’s kitchen, play a game of pool, or settle in near one of the many flat screen TVs or stone fireplaces. 

With so many incredible amenities wrapped up in a stunning cabin, this home is perfect for a large family gathering or a group of ski buddies looking for one of the best luxury vacation rentals in the U.S.

See More Telluride Homes

3. Unique Sedona Retreat

Evening exterior shot of a luxury Arizona vacation rental with ample foliage including trees and bushes

Nature lovers can discover their own private oasis at this one-of-a-kind vacation rental in Arizona’s luxury home hotspot. Whether you’re planning a spiritual retreat or an unforgettable family reunion, this property’s main home, guest house, and pristine landscaping all offer the space and serenity to relax. 

Welcome the outside in with intricate stone work that mimics the surrounding red rocks of Sedona, or delight in gorgeous details like tall stained glass windows, a claw-foot tub, and a vintage iron oven. 

When you need a moment alone, lounge on the wraparound porch, or soak in the gorgeous gardens and koi pond from the red rock lanai. (There’s also access to nearby trails on-site.) Sedona itself is rich with indulgent activities too, like eating at this acclaimed Mexican restaurant owned by a James Beard Award winner, or booking a unique-to-the-area wine and vortex tour.

See More Sedona Homes

4. Victorian Catskills Mansion

Large white mansion sitting atop a beautiful bright green meadow with an array of patio chairs in the front lawn

When it comes to sharing a spectacular experience (and splitting a splurgy bill), the more the merrier. And with 12 bedrooms and accommodations for 33 guests, the “Windham Manor” is a great luxury vacation rental for friends and family to comfortably come together. 

This remodeled Victorian Mansion sits on 45 private acres of fields and forests, with breathtaking views of the Catskill Mountains from the wraparound deck. You can also enjoy your own slice of serenity with private bathrooms, flatscreen TVs, and picture windows in almost every bedroom. 

For some extra R&R, a full-service spa is even available upon request at this luxury vacation spot. Or you can take a more DIY approach and fix yourself a cocktail at the bar, take a soak in one of the massive tubs, and share a cozy moment around the fire pit.

See More Windham Homes

5. Wine Country Villa

Interior shot of a luxury vacation rental dining room with a long dining table, 12 chairs, and overhead pendants providing soft lighting

If you’re looking for luxury places to stay in Napa Valley, a private, sun-drenched escape can be found at the spectacular Santa Rosa oasis. Perfect for up to 10 guests, the five-bedroom property features panoramic views of the Sonoma Valley and countless nearby wineries to explore. 

Equipped with a stunning infinity pool, private courtyard, and amenities fit for kings and queens, you’ll find everything you need for the ultimate California wine country getaway.

Bask in the sun on your private deck, relax by one of two indoor fireplaces, or cozy up next to the fire pit under a canopy of stars. No matter how you plan to kick back on vacation, this luxury vacation rental is guaranteed to be just as elegant as the Pinot Noir you’ll soon be sipping.

See More Sonoma Homes

Not quite ready to book? Favorite your top luxury vacation rentals so you can easily find them when planning your future vacations.

6. Lake Michigan Shoreline Home

Image of an indoor pool with high ceilings and natural light

Who needs a five-star hotel when you can enjoy top-notch amenities in the comfort of one of the best luxury vacation rentals? The “Asolare is a jaw-dropping property where you and up to 16 guests can bond over amazing activities without having to share. 

Work up a sweat on your own backyard tennis court, then cool down in the gorgeous indoor pool surrounded by a massive atrium. Start an impromptu poker tournament on the screened-in porch, or challenge your guests to a game of pool in the finished basement. When it’s time to kick back after a day of play, take a relaxing steam in the sauna or get cozy around the fire (you have both indoor and outdoor options). 

While you may never want to leave the comforts of this dazzling home, your own private stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline also just happens to be two blocks away — and it’s the perfect setting to share a sunset toast.

See More Union Pier Homes

7. Spacious New Mexico Ranch

Image of a pool table with a red top inside a large rustic game room with wooden beams and pendant lights. A wet bar, wall decor, chairs, air hockey, and foosball table are in the background

Say “Howdy!” to 1,650 acres of sprawling New Mexico terrain and experience cowboy-chic comfort at this massive luxury ranch. It’s easily able to host 24 friends and family for an all-inclusive getaway, and every inch of the show-stopping decor transports you to a modern Southwestern fantasy. 

The sheer number of outdoor amenities helps you unwind, too: there’s a pool, sauna, and hot tub; fully-equipped outdoor kitchen and dining space; yoga deck, gazebo, and fire pit; even a dog run and kennel for your furry friends. (There are also on-site horseback riding and hiking trails, in case you really want to unleash your inner rancher.)

So while this luxury desert vacation rental could be one of the most expensive on your wishlist, the activities, amenities, and atmosphere are well worth the price — especially when you can share all of the fun with a large group.

See More Santa Fe Homes

8. La Jolla Hilltop Hideaway

Interior shot of a dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing the Napa Valley below

For a different take on a luxury beach vacation, set your sights on the sweeping coastal views of this hillside perch in La Jolla. You can step through the airy, open spaces of the modern home and onto the wraparound flagstone terrace, where it’s easy to take in the unreal scenery while firing up the barbecue or sipping cocktails by two gas fire pits. When you’re ready for a dip, you can head downstairs to the private yard to splash in the pool and hot tub.

With multiple living spaces, five bedrooms, and a huge gourmet kitchen, even 15 guests will have plenty of breathing room to discover their own special spot to relax. The ocean also sits just a few minutes away by car, along with Michelin-star restaurants ready to serve you an elegant night out.

See More La Jolla Homes

9. Lakefront Michigan Escape

Image of a porch with furniture and a view of trees and a shoreline

Make unforgettable family memories on the waters of Little Traverse Lake. This five-bedroom Maple City home is dripping with charming nautical touches, including an adorable bunk-bed room that’s perfect for a sea-worthy sleepover. 

Stroll past the sun-soaked porch and to the end of your private 80-foot dock to set course on an aquatic adventure. Skip the grocery store and have the concierge service stock your fridge and bar. Share a meal around the formal dining table. Swap stories (and s’mores!) around the fire pit. Watch films in the movie projector room. Gather the whole gang to play a friendly game of shuffleboard. 

All of that is possible at this luxury vacation rental. And when adult-only time kicks in, you can venture out to nearby Traverse City for fine dining or take the Wine Trail to stop at 10 different vineyards.

See More Traverse City Homes

Speaking of luxury: All of our homes are backed by our Rest Easy Promise that your vacation rental will be safe, clean, and ready for you and your loved ones’ arrival.

10. Los Cerrillos Hillside Villa

Interior shot of a southwestern style home and a large fireplace within a spacious room with chairs

When it’s time to splurge on a big life event, forgo the standard banquet halls for this 13,000 square foot Los Cerillos villa. Centrally located between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, the more-than-accommodating space is the epitome of Colonial Spanish decor, with historical pieces peppered around beautiful old-world architecture. 

You can relax and refresh in one of the nine bedrooms, as each has its own Kiva fireplace and en-suite bathroom. Once you’re hungry, it’s easy to prepare a meal in the commercial-grade kitchen, swap stories in the formal dining room, and share a drink around the grand piano. 

Just don’t forget to give yourself a regal reception in the sprawling stone courtyard, complete with panoramic views, a lovely garden, and room for seating and dancing. It’s the perfect place to throw a celebration that leaves everyone feeling star-struck in the desert.

See More Albuquerque Homes

11. Kid-Friendly Disney Paradise

Interior shot of a Disney-themed kids room with several bunk beds, a colorful rug and pendant light, and teal curtains

In the magical world of Disney, your family deserves a luxury vacation rental that’s fit for a prince or princess — and this beautiful villa in Davenport delivers. Located just 20 minutes from Disney World and Orlando, it’s a convenient home base for your days of sightseeing. When you’re back, you can splash in the private pool and hot tub under a lanai, watch films in the Hollywood-themed movie room, channel your inner Ratatouille in the chef’s kitchen, and play air hockey or pool in the game room. 

Each space is decorated in themes that spark the imagination, from adorable beach vibes and Arabian Nights for the young ones to regal touches in the master suites. On top of all that, you also have access to the shared community amenities, including a clubhouse, fitness center, business center, sand volleyball court, playground, and picnic area. 

In other words, this property lets you think outside the resort and treat yourself to a luxury vacation rental in the U.S. with all the comforts and convenience of home.

See More Davenport Homes

12. Sunny Temecula Oasis

Exterior shot of a beautiful pool with a hot tub, surrounded by palm trees and a bright sunny sky

This Golden State escape is the perfect pet-friendly vacation rental when reuniting with friends for a long weekend at the wineries. Not only is it conveniently located near 10 vineyards, but it offers the ideal tropical treatment thanks to a crystal-clear pool, water slide, outdoor kitchen, and tiki bar in the backyard.

You can start and end each day on the balcony, where shimmering views of the sunrise and sunset can be seen over rolling hills and vineyards. And because this is one of the best luxury vacation rentals, you even have the option to book concierge services, local tours, and horseback riding — all of which help create a truly unforgettable trip.

See More Temecula Homes

13. Amish Country Villa

Outdoor patio surrounded by trees, with lots of patio furniture and grill, and the brick-exterior home in the background.

You can bring the whole family together and still have plenty of space to spare in this sprawling home on 60 acres of woodlands. From the cozy, book-filled study to the private hiking trails that criss-cross through the surrounding forest, everyone can have their own slice of paradise. There’s even a private basement apartment with two bedrooms, a living room, and a kitchen — the perfect opportunity to give kids and teens a taste of independence while making your trip a vacation for the books. 

Athletes of all ages can kickstart some friendly competition on the barn-turned-basketball court or the outdoor tennis court. You can also enjoy the cooking and crafts of Pennsylvania’s Amish country, have a play day at the nearby Dutch Wonderland amusement park, or simply stay put to enjoy the ample amenities at this luxury vacation rental. No matter which route you choose, it’s easy to enjoy the simple life in the most extravagant way possible.

See More Atglen Homes

14. Luxe Napa Valley Home

Exterior of a large house with a sprawling layered garden and steps in front

Invite your seven favorite couples on a lavish wine country vacation where this gorgeous Calistoga home serves as your home base. Natural light flows from room to room, illuminating the eclectic artwork around every corner. The gourmet kitchen is a cook’s dream, equipped with a six-burner stove to feed guests with flair. And en-suite bathrooms offer comfort and privacy, with a gigantic marble bathroom and jetted tub for whoever’s lucky enough to stay in the primary suite. 

The outdoor area is prime for entertaining, with enough seating for everyone to eat lunch al fresco in the courtyard surrounded by a garden filled with lavender and vegetables. Just around the corner there’s a private pool, hot tub, and exquisite fireplace (not to mention views of Mount St. Helena and the Palisades). 

Of course, you can’t come to Napa Valley and not plan a trip into town to explore the nearby tasting rooms. To make it extra special, you can also unwind with relaxing treatments in California’s “Spa Heaven.”

See More Napa Valley Homes

Rest Easy in Your Luxury Vacation Rental

When your heart is set on enjoying one of the best luxury vacation rentals in the U.S., any little hiccup can ruin the mood. That’s why every stay in our homes is backed by our Rest Easy Promise that your vacation rental will always be safe, clean, and ready for you and your family.

Find Your Perfect Home

If you want to discover more dreamy destinations for any size budget, be sure to check out our other travel blogs that can inspire your next itinerary. From unique escapes, tiny houses, and small towns with huge appeal to leaf-peeping destinations and stargazing sites, there’s an endless number of trips begging to be added to your bucket list.

With 32 miles of sandy, sun-kissed shoreline, Galveston is a beachy and booming Texas vacation destination. Located just 50 miles from Houston, this charming Southern retreat has historic architecture, loads of outdoor activities, and over 80 festivals annually — drawing in more than 6.5 million visitors last year.

The island’s coastal climate and wide array of family-friendly fun makes it a location worth returning to — which is also why buying a vacation rental property in Galveston is such a hot topic and major opportunity for investors.

To help you understand the value of a Galveston investment property, we created a free, downloadable vacation rental market analysis. Inside you’ll find: 

The findings in this analysis are based on Evolve’s Galveston market averages in the last year and provide a general baseline for performance potential. They’re designed to help inform smart buying decisions when investing in the Galveston area.

Download Our Complete Galveston Vacation Rental Investment Analysis

Green icon of a beach house with waves, an umbrella, and stars

Why Galveston Is a Great Place to Own Vacation Rental Property

From deep sea fishing and festival-hopping to relaxing on white sand beaches and shopping downtown, Galveston has a little something for everyone. And though the island does have high and low seasons, the area’s annual temperatures (ranging from the low 60s to the high 80s) keep many properties booked all year long. 

The first notable influx of tourists happens in March and April from spring breakers. The island’s true peak season, though, is in the summer — when families take school’s-out vacations and groups of travelers escape for sunny holiday weekends. Demand starts to decline come fall, but snowbirds still migrate south for the winter to warm up in Galveston.

The median home price here currently hovers around $375,000 and has been on a steady increase over the past few years. Though the area continues to grow in popularity, our Real Estate Services (RES) team notes it’s still much more affordable than other coastal vacation destinations (like Northeast or West Coast alternatives). And the Galveston market includes everything from quaint one-bedroom bungalows to sprawling five-bedroom beachfront homes, so potential buyers have a wide range of options.

Green icon of a crystal ball with the words "profit prediction" in the middle with stars

How Much Money Can You Earn with a Galveston Vacation Rental?

With high demand for vacation rentals in Galveston and the chance to earn repeat bookings from eager travelers, let’s look a bit more closely at what can make buying vacation rental property in Galveston a successful investment. 

Property Size

Since family reunions and large-group getaways are popular in Galveston, five-bedroom homes bring in the most annual income and see the most nights booked throughout the year. They make up the smallest percentage of available inventory in the area, though — meaning investors might have a trickier time locking one down.

Luckily, good things also come in small packages. One-bedroom properties in Galveston rank second highest for total nights booked and can be much easier to find when you’re ready to buy. They offer the perfect respite for sun-seeking couples, and can get investors in the vacation rental game at lower upfront costs.

For a happy medium, three-bedroom homes also see solid occupancy, strong daily rates, and often accommodate anywhere from six to twelve guests. They too make up a significant portion of available rentals — and Evolve’s top performer in Galveston happens to be a three-bedroom property.

Property Location

To truly capitalize on a Galveston investment property, our RES team says it’s all about location. 

Whether or not the property is beachfront (or offers ocean views) should be top of mind for buyers, since the water is a big draw for travelers. Look for homes along the shoreline or walking distance to the sand (many of which also happen to be larger homes with higher bedroom and bath counts). 

Keep proximity to kid-friendly hotspots in mind, too — think Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, Moody Gardens, and Schlitterbahn Waterpark — to make family activities even more accessible to your guests.

Property Amenities

With so many families and beachgoers coming to Galveston, it’s important for your property to suit all of their needs. Provide beach supplies like chairs, umbrellas, and family-size towels, and include kid-friendly amenities like boogie boards, shovels, and pails. 

Updated outdoor living spaces are also a huge selling point in the area — even more so if your home has a beachfront view. Properties with decks, outdoor pools, gas grills, and hot tubs are heavily-searched by Galveston travelers, meaning any and all of them can help you grab more bookings at higher daily rates.  

And while Galveston vacationers love to spend time in the salty air, indoor comfort is also key for handling the heat. Air conditioning is non-negotiable for many groups visiting Galveston, and amenities like an entertainment system or game room can make relaxation time extra chill for families. 

Of course, you don’t want to forget about the little things, either. Thoughtful touches like complimentary refreshments or a welcome book outlining the best things to do in Galveston can all help owners collect five-star reviews and, in turn, attract more bookings.

Download Our Full Galveston Vacation Rental Market Analysis

With a booming real estate market and an increasing number of annual visitors, the city of Galveston is not only a growing hub for tourism, but also an incredible opportunity for a vacation rental investment.

For a more in-depth look at the potential of a Galveston investment property, download our free Galveston Vacation Rental Market Analysis today. Inside you’ll find:

With the right intel on your side, buying vacation rental property in Galveston can feel like a stroll down the beach. Use our report to make waves in this market with informed, income-driving investment decisions.

Home to the land of Mickey Mouse and Disney World, renowned golf courses, fine dining, and shopping, Orlando attracts a wide variety of travelers from across the country and around the world — making sky-high tourism numbers par for the course. Annual visitors reached over 59 million in 2021, accounting for nearly 48% of total visitors to the entire state of Florida.

With so much to see and explore, there’s no doubt this Central Florida destination is a national tourism hub that’s helped fuel a booming vacation rental industry.

To help you understand the potential of an Orlando vacation rental investment, we created a free, downloadable vacation rental market analysis. Inside you’ll find:


The findings in this analysis are based on Evolve’s Orlando market averages in the last year and provide a general baseline for performance potential. They’re designed to help inform smart buying decisions when investing in Orlando.

Download Our Complete Orlando Vacation Rental Investment Market Analysis

Blue icon of a condo with shrubs and stars

Why Orlando Is a Great Place to Own Vacation Rental Property

With its year-round temperate climate (it is the Sunshine State, after all) and staggering array of activities and attractions, the Orlando area is a popular destination for travelers throughout the year. And as a top contender on WalletHub’s Best Cities for Recreation list, it offers consistent booking opportunities and minimal slow periods for vacation property owners.

Of course, amusement parks like Disney’s Magic Kingdom are a big draw for families.  Given they’re equipped to welcome tens of millions of guests annually, there’s high demand for affordable, spacious, and convenient accommodations in the area, be it in Orlando itself or in nearby Davenport and Kissimmee. Think about it: ticket prices are steep enough, and since an expensive resort stay can be cost-prohibitive for many families, vacation rentals have gained popularity as budget-friendly alternatives.

Speaking of affordability, homebuyers can expect relatively economical prices for property in the area, with average list prices in the high $300,000s for both Orlando and Kissimmee. In Davenport, that average drops to an even more manageable $162,074

This up-front investment can pay off quickly once you start welcoming guests. According to our data, Orlando vacation rentals stay booked consistently throughout the year, peaking in spring and summer months. This means a booked-up calendar can easily translate to more money in your pocket.

Blue icon of a crystal ball with the words "Profit Prediction" inside with stars

How Much Money Can You Earn with an Orlando Area Vacation Rental?

As tourists steadily flock to Orlando’s one-of-a-kind entertainment opportunities, owners and investors in the area have the potential to earn a sizable income with vacation rental. To maximize your earnings and gauge how valuable your home could be in the market, there are some notable factors to consider.

Property Size

Our Real Estate Services (RES) team says the most bookable Orlando homes have the space to accommodate larger groups, so bigger is better. Per our report, five- and six-bedroom homes are the top performers, with five-bedrooms earning the most annual revenue on average.

But if that feels a little too big for your investment goals, don’t fret: homes with three and four bedrooms are booked just as much — if not more — than their larger counterparts. They also account for more of the available inventory in the area, which can provide more options when buying a vacation rental near Disney.

Property Location

Our RES team suggests focusing on properties within five to 10 miles of Disney World, which is optimal for traveling to and from the area’s biggest draw. Since families are still looking to enjoy their vacation home base without missing out on Disney magic, vacation rental-friendly communities with sought-after amenities are worth looking into, too.

Property Amenities

The Orlando area is one of the most saturated vacation rental markets in the world — not just the country — so the more you can cater to families with children or large multi-generation reunions, the better shot you’ll have at winning bookings over your competition. Maximize your property’s space (and your profits) by offering family-friendly amenities like bunk beds, sleeper sofas, and cribs — a key factor in top-grossing homes in the area. 

It’s also important to remember Florida is consistently hot, so keeping everyone cool with refreshing outdoor living spaces (think shaded areas and a pool) is another necessity. Inside, include central air conditioning, board games, smart TVs, streaming services like Disney+, and strong internet connection to make play (and remote work) more comfortable.
Of course, traveling with kids or in larger groups can be a lot, so make things easy for your guests by offering self check-in, providing a welcome book with recommendations for nearby restaurants and activities, and stocking your home with dishware, kitchen appliances, toiletries, and cleaning supplies. Our RES team says adding these amenities can increase revenue and benefit your bottom line.

Download Our Full Orlando, FL Vacation Rental Investment Market Analysis

While the Orlando market is highly competitive, you can thrive in this recreational paradise by buying a vacation rental near Disney that suits your financial goals and the interests of guests. 

To see what your investment future might have in store, download our free Orlando Vacation Rental Investment Market Analysis today. Inside you’ll find:

Remember, it doesn’t take a magic wand to successfully enter this market. Discover the details that matter and use them to build a smarter, more lucrative Orlando vacation rental investment.

From snowbirds escaping winter weather to city-dwellers seeking a break from everyday life, Palm Springs draws year-round crowds to its diverse range of attractions.

There’s no shortage of travel buzz for this desert destination, either: exploring the great outdoors, dancing to live music, and hitting world-class fairways are just a few reasons over 14 million travelers visit every year — making Palm Springs a hot market for real estate investors looking to turn a profit, too.

To help you understand what a Palm Springs investment property can offer, we created a free downloadable vacation rental market analysis. Inside you’ll find: 

The findings in this analysis are based on Evolve’s Palm Springs market averages in the last year and provide a general baseline for performance potential. They’re designed to help you make informed decisions when buying a vacation rental in Palm Springs.

Download Our Complete Palm Springs Vacation Rental Investment Analysis

Green icon of a house with shrubs and stars

Why Palm Springs Is a Great Place to Own Vacation Rental Property

With warm weather year-round and close proximity to Los Angeles and San Diego, the Palm Springs area provides a welcome escape for all kinds of travelers, giving vacation rental owners the opportunity for near-constant bookings. 

That said, Palm Springs does see two high seasons annually. Demand hits its peak in early spring, as visitors from snowy corners of the country seek sunshine and festival-goers flock to Coachella. In summer, outdoor enthusiasts, weekend warriors, and families on school break steadily flood the area to enjoy the magic of this desert landscape.

It’s also worth noting that travelers gravitate toward the privacy and freedom a vacation rental offers; the city says approximately 600,000 visitors choose non-hotel accommodations each year. Between the undeniable general demand and the particular value of vacation rentals, the right Palm Springs investment property can capture high occupancy and solid income.

The median list price in Palm Springs proper hovers around $727,000 (having really shot up in the last year). But you can also find more affordable — or even more lavish — properties in neighboring towns. Those in the affluent Rancho Mirage near $900,000, while prices in Indio and Palm Desert sit at $545,905 and $597,717 respectively. And in Desert Hot Springs, a town on the edge of Joshua Tree National Park and only 20 minutes from Palm Springs, list prices are under $400,000. This means investors can uncover options across a broad budget spectrum, all of which have the potential to drive major profit.

Green icon of a crystal ball with the words "profit prediction" in the middle with stars

How Much Money Can You Earn with a Palm Springs Vacation Rental?

Many travelers are seeking a home base for an annual getaway or weekend escape, so buying a vacation rental in Palm Springs could allow for repeat guests year after year. To maximize your earnings and gauge how valuable your home could be in the market, there are several factors to consider.

Property Size

Our Real Estate Services (RES) team says properties with higher bedroom counts tend to book up faster and earn more for owners, since they cater to families and larger group getaways. 

Three-bedroom homes see the most nights booked throughout the year and are the easiest to find in the area, as they account for the largest subset of available inventory. Five-bedroom homes bring in the highest revenue overall, but they make up the smallest percentage of Palm Springs inventory. 

Splitting the difference gives investors the best of both worlds, with high rates, high occupancy, and solid inventory. Plus, Evolve’s top-performing home in the area is a four-bedroom investment property. 

Property Location

Our RES team says proximity to area attractions is key to capturing bookings. Look for homes close to downtown Palm Springs, in Indio for Coachella, or near Joshua Tree National Park to give travelers convenient commutes to top activities. Many coming to the area also want to frequent the endless fairways in Palm Desert, so homes near or on golf courses can be major money-makers, too.

Property Amenities

With such a high influx of annual visitors and a preference for private accommodations, having the right in-home amenities is what it takes to make sure visitors choose your home over others — and leave five-star reviews.

To earn the attention of larger groups and families, be sure to up your home’s capacity with sleeper sofas and bunk beds. Offer kid-friendly additions like cribs and games to make traveling with little ones (and keeping them happy) a breath of fresh air in the desert heat.

And to make the most of that beautiful (but hot!) Palm Springs weather, provide outdoor living spaces that help travelers slip into their surroundings comfortably. Guests look for a private patio with shaded areas, a pool for cooling down, and a grill for barbecuing with loved ones. Back inside, air conditioning is a must-have.

Download Our Full Palm Springs Area Vacation Rental Market Analysis

With outdoor adventure, endless shopping, and iconic festivals at a traveler’s doorstep, the Palm Springs area invites year-round tourism with limitless earning potential for vacation rental owners.

No matter your personal and financial goals, we’ve crunched the numbers to help you make the most of a Palm Springs investment property. Download our full Palm Springs Vacation Rental Market Analysis to find:

Evaluating your investment opportunities shouldn’t leave you feeling stranded in the desert. Use our report to guide your next steps toward buying a vacation rental in Palm Springs, and propel your income potential to new heights.

As a vacation rental owner, you want guests to feel at home the moment they enter your property. An easy check-in, inviting entryway, cozy furnishings, and well-prepared spaces are great places to start — but have you considered going above and beyond with some welcome gifts?

Owners who provide a thoughtfully-curated welcome package set the stage for truly special guest experiences — and it can be the bonus perk that knocks a satisfied four-star rating straight into glowing, five-star review territory.

The difference there is more notable than it might appear. Our data shows impressive jumps in annual booking value when owners increase their ratings by that single star. And investing in welcome gifts for guests doesn’t need to be expensive. In fact, it may not cost much money at all.

Below are some of the most popular vacation rental welcome gift ideas Evolve owners have used to greet their guests — and the real reviews they gained from going the extra mile. Pick and choose your favorites to create your perfect vacation rental welcome package, and help take what could be an already-successful vacation rental to best-in-class for hospitality.

In This Article:

Personalize Your Welcome

Provide Homemade Treats

Bring the Outdoors In

Offer Refreshments

Show Off Your Spirit

1. Personalize Your Welcome

A "welcome to our home" sign as a vacation rental welcome gift idea

No matter how many guests come through your home, it’s always nice to feel personally greeted. Leave a handwritten note to express your excitement that they’re there, and provide any details about the home or area you think are worth calling out. (If you don’t live close enough to the property to make welcome notes plausible, you can task your guest contact with the writing.)

You can also organize pamphlets with coupons to local hotspots as part of your vacation rental welcome package, or include a helpful welcome book with suggestions on how to take advantage of all that your area has to offer. 

These little notes can help your guests explore with confidence, and make their time at your home a memorable experience worth writing about:

This home was very inviting and absolutely perfect for us. When we came into the home, there was a scrabble board set up with an adorable welcome.”

— Anonymous Guest

A welcome packet had all the house instructions and local recommendations. The house was great. Everything was well organized and the owners were very accommodating.”

— Jared G.

Thanks for the personal phone call to welcome us.”

— Mary B.


2. Provide Homemade Treats

Serving board with flowers and halved peaches strewn about

Another welcome gift idea that’ll make guests feel personally connected to the area: include a platter of fresh, local foods.

You could bake pastries to indulge a guest’s sweet tooth, assemble an assortment of farmers market finds, or provide a bag of great coffee from a nearby beanery. These special treats showcase your attention to detail while giving them an array of supplies to enjoy throughout their stay. It also encourages them to check out local businesses during their trip, fostering goodwill within your vacation rental community. 

Here’s what guests say when their hosts have local treats upon arrival:

The hosts were incredibly accommodating. With the surprise of farm fresh eggs, a nice breakfast was easy to put together every day. We would definitely recommend and plan to stay again!”

– Beth E.

Amy was so kind to us and made our stay very comfortable. Along with her lovely personal approach, [there was a] welcome tray of fresh papaya and eggs. It was so comforting to arrive and find that, not to mention delicious and refreshing after a long travel day-trip.”

– Mona F.

The owners did a tremendous job making us feel welcome. There were complimentary snacks and beverages for us to enjoy… and each morning a homemade pastry was left inside the door. Our family lives in the area and we will be back!”

– Kristina M.


3. Bring the Outdoors In

A bouquet of fresh flowers as a vacation rental welcome gift idea

When guests walk into your vacation rental and see a vase of fresh-cut blooms on the kitchen counter, science shows it’s an instant mood booster. It also proves you care about the more minute details of your home’s decor, emphasizing how engaged you are with maintaining your property for every stay.

Flowers leave a lasting impression that carries through in guest feedback:

This condo was a delight. It was beautifully decorated, all the way down to the fresh flowers on the dining room table. I would definitely recommend this rental.”

– Shane B.

The home was immaculate with one of the best stocked kitchens I’ve ever seen and fresh flowers on the table. I highly recommend this home.”

– Barbara S.


4. Offer Refreshments

Red wine with two wine glassess in a tray

After a long day of travel, sometimes guests want to celebrate the start of vacation with a little libation. By supplying sparkling water or fresh lemonade in your vacation rental welcome package, you’ll show your guests that you’ve spent time thinking about their experience and care about creating a relaxing and fun atmosphere.

If your guests note they’re toasting a special occasion while at your property, you could also consider welcoming them with a bottle of wine or champagne. (Include a congratulatory message in that personalized welcome note you write, too!)

Just be sure to limit the amount of alcohol included in your welcome gift: our Claims & Disputes experts note that if a guest gets injured as a result of intoxication or damages a neighboring property after consuming alcohol that you, the owner, provided, you may not be protected from resulting liability claims.

That said, refreshments of any kind can help capture the celebratory feel of getting away:

The owners made it extra special by leaving two bottles of wine, a selection of craft and domestic beer, and essential cooking ingredients. If we come to Gilbert again, this will be our first choice.”

– Chris B.

Theresa was so nice! There was champagne and two yummy cupcakes waiting for us upon arrival. Will definitely be back over staying at a hotel!”

– Kelly Christine H.

All of the details were just right; the welcome bottle of wine and french press with locally roasted coffee were also a nice touch of hospitality. We would definitely stay here again!”

– Alex M.


5. Show Off Your Spirit

Spread of seasonal holiday treats and breads, with pinecones, candles, and flowers decorating the table

For guests who book during a holiday season, it’s nice to add some festive flair to your vacation rental welcome gift ideas. You could bake a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving travelers, and provide recommendations for where to get the best turkey in town. A bowl of candy and spooky treats can delight Halloween guests. And countdown-worthy accessories infuse extra sparkle into New Year’s Eve festivities.

Remember to keep differing religious beliefs in mind when dressing up your home for the holidays. Opt for white lights and winter-themed extras in December, for instance, and refrain from baking Christmas-themed cookies to keep things non-denominational. You want every guest to feel the spirit of the season, without narrowing the view of what that might look like.

When season’s greetings are done with finesse, the results are quite cheerful:

Everything is great. We even received a pumpkin pie and a welcome card from the owner, perfect for a relaxed and happy Thanksgiving.”

– Susan C.

When we arrived, we found the place decorated for the holidays and [it was] very inviting. The owners even left a gift basket of treats for us! We all want to come back with our families!”

– Leslie M.

* Quotes have been edited and condensed for clarity.


Give Guests an Experience to Remember with Evolve

Going above and beyond with custom vacation rental welcome gift ideas is a special touch that can really wow you into five-star review territory. 

But there’s a whole lot more guests expect from their stay to make it worthy of a top-notch rating. That’s why we created a free downloadable guide that’s full of the biggest money-making tips you need to truly shine. 

Inside you’ll find:

Grab your copy today and start learning all the secrets that’ll help your home outshine the competition.

An iconic destination known for luxury and adventure, Vail is a big name with small town charm. 

Endless hiking and mountain biking in summer months, world-class skiing come winter, and a bustling downtown scene make this Rocky Mountain hotspot a magnet for travelers, with upwards of 1 million visitors per year. And with tourism truly at the heart of Vail’s economy, it’s more than just a visitor’s paradise — buyers can also be wildly successful with a Vail investment property.

To help you understand the profit potential of a Vail investment property, we created a free, downloadable vacation rental market analysis. Inside you’ll find: 

The findings in this analysis are based on Evolve’s Vail market averages in the last year and provide a general baseline for performance potential. They’re designed to help inform smart buying decisions when buying a Vail investment property. 

Download Our Complete Vail Vacation Rental Investment Analysis

Purple icon of a cabin with mountains and stars

Why Vail Is a Great Place to Own Vacation Rental Property

Vail’s epic scenery, air of luxury, and wide range of things to do draw a broad base of interest — from celebrities and solo skiers to large family reunions. This means investors have more flexibility in the kind of property they purchase, and can earn the attention of guests with vacation rentals big or small. 

Thanks to its abundance of summer and winter activities, Vail also sees two high seasons for demand (while many destinations only see one). For vacation rental owners, that translates to double the opportunity for bookings and income, not to mention more chances to collect five-star reviews and create the profit-driving momentum that accompanies positive feedback. 

That said, Vail is an expensive market to buy into, with median home prices hovering around $1.6 million. It’s important to remember that there are properties available above and below that price point, though — so if your budget won’t allow for an initial investment of that caliber, keeping your finger on the pulse of the market can help you uncover options that might better fit your price range. 

For investors eager to take the plunge now, well, there’s no time like the present — prices have been rising steadily since 2013 and show no signs of slowing, so getting into the market sooner is likely to create more return on investment in the long run.

Purple icon of a crystal ball with the words "profit prediction" in it

How Much Money Can You Earn with a Vail Vacation Rental?

With guests traveling to Vail for a large part of the year, investors have an opportunity to take home solid earnings. To gauge what your full potential looks like, consider these important factors.

Property Size

Many visitors to the area look for luxury or family-size spaces, so larger homes are often the most profitable. Five-bedroom homes earn the highest nightly rates and the most annual income. Their four-bedroom counterparts don’t bring in quite as much in daily revenue, but their occupancy stays consistently higher — meaning they’re booked up for more of the year. 

That said, larger properties make up the smallest percentage of available vacation rentals in Vail. The limited supply is part of what drives up nightly rates, but it also makes them harder for investors to come by. 

And just because large properties are high-earners doesn’t mean travelers aren’t looking for smaller homes, too. While their nightly rates stay in more moderate territory, one-bedroom properties are actually booked the most throughout the year — and Evolve’s top-performer in Vail is a two-bedroom vacation rental. Homes of this more modest size also make up the majority of local inventory, so you can find one more easily, save some upfront costs, and grab consistent bookings.

Property Location

Like any ski town worth buying in, proximity to resorts is major. Our Real Estate Services (RES) team says the ability to walk or take a shuttle to a Vail gondola is a huge plus for winter travelers, and could grab you more bookings at higher rates. 

The good news: the actual town of Vail is only about five square miles, so your property doesn’t need to be right at the base of the mountain to feel convenient for your guests. And because Vail isn’t the only mountain around, looking for homes close to nearby areas like Breckenridge, Keystone, and Frisco could expand how many guests you reach, in turn boosting your bottom line. 

While resorts are a driving force in colder weather, our RES team says finding a property that also gives guests easy access to summer activities is the best way to capture dual-season bookings. Look for homes near hiking trails, downtown dining, or popular events like the Vail Dance Festival to see a surge in renters during the summer high season.

Property Amenities

In mountain towns like Vail, guests look for amenities like propane grills and ski storage. A deck with a mountain view doesn’t hurt, either. 

Lots of Vail vacation rentals sit in larger condo communities. If this is the route for you, explore options with community pools or gyms. If you prefer to buy a standalone home, consider investing in amenities that can help make an impact on eager bookers. Installing a hot tub for après-ski, for example, could be the difference between a guest selecting “book now” and moving on to the next option. 

Of course, complimentary toiletries, a well-stocked kitchen, an inviting interior, and functional outdoor spaces are all highly sought-after by Vail guests as well, so look at how you can implement each of those when buying a Vail investment property to create right-at-home comfort. 

Download Our Full Vail, CO Vacation Rental Market Analysis

With a stronghold on outdoor adventure and luxury, Vail’s tourism industry continues to be a huge part of what makes this stunning mountain town so valuable for vacation rental investment. 

Whether you’re looking to buy an investment property or hoping to turn an existing home into a profit-driver, download our free Vail Area Vacation Rental Market Analysis to understand your potential.

It’s chock-full of helpful insights, like:

Buying a Vail investment property shouldn’t be as hard as taking on a double black diamond. Use our report to gear up with key industry knowledge and start earning passive income as a vacation rental owner.

Coastal Carolina marshes meet the swaying seas of the Atlantic shoreline in Hilton Head, a barrier island where nautical charm and Southern hospitality draw travelers in from across the country. 

From endless golf courses and seafood eateries to well-groomed beaches and luxe spas, laidback living and all-season recreation make it a prime vacation spot for 2.5 million visitors annually — making it not only a haven for travelers, but also an excellent place to scoop up an investment property.

To help you understand the value of a Hilton Head investment property, we created a free, downloadable vacation rental market analysis. Inside you’ll find: 

The findings in this analysis are based on Evolve’s Hilton Head market averages in the last year and provide a general baseline for performance potential. They’re designed to help you make informed decisions when buying a Hilton Head investment property.

Download Our Complete Hilton Head Vacation Rental Investment Analysis

blue icon of a beach house with waves, an umbrella and stars

Why Hilton Head Is a Great Place to Own Vacation Rental Property

While resort hotels have historically been the go-to for Hilton Head travelers (there are more than 20 on the island), a recent report shows that today’s visitors are booking vacation rental properties more than any other accommodation in the area. That means there’s a unique opportunity to buy a Hilton Head investment property, capture high levels of guest demand, and grow passive income.

Thanks to the island’s variety of activities, that demand is also coming from travelers of all ages. So if owners set up their property to attract all sorts of guests (think business travelers or people with pets), investing in Hilton Head property can be a lucrative choice. 

That said, there’s major interest from multi-generational families and large groups in particular. Trips pick up with spring break in March, and continue to climb into the hot summer travel season. Come winter, there’s more time in between guest stays to make home upgrades that can keep your property in five-star shape before sun-seekers return in warmer months. 

Buying a Hilton Head investment property can be expensive, though. The median home price on the island hovers around $730,000, mirroring its high traveler draw. If you’re hoping to enter the market at a lower price point, it is possible to find more affordable options — just remember it’s best to strike while the iron is hot to reap the benefits of this upward-trending market.

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How Much Money Can You Earn with a Hilton Head Vacation Rental?

With so many travelers opting for vacation rentals in one of America’s best small towns, Hilton Head investment properties have solid income potential. But the market isn’t one-size-fits-all, so there’s a lot to consider when gauging how valuable your home could be and how best to hit your goals.

Property Size

No property is too big or too small when it comes to maximizing earnings for a Hilton Head vacation rental. From one-bedroom condos to sprawling five-bedroom villas, homes of varying sizes in the area grab a similar number of nights booked over the course of a year.

Because smaller properties prove to be just as sought-after as high-occupancy hideaways, investors can find success with less square footage. Two-bedroom homes currently make up nearly half of Hilton Head’s rental inventory — and the top Evolve performer on the island is a home of this size. That means you can buy into the market at a lower price point and still get some serious return on investment.

On the other hand, larger four- and five-bedroom properties are a great option for the bigger groups and families we see heading to the area most often — and they earn higher nightly rates. They’re fewer and farther between in terms of available inventory, but several top-performing homes also sit in this camp. So if you’re willing to pay higher upfront costs, going bigger can prove to be quite lucrative in the long-run, too.

Property Location

With Hilton Head’s pristine coastline, you would think beachfront properties reign supreme. And while shoreline living is certainly a major bonus — four of the top 10 Evolve performers on the island are actually steps from the beach — our Real Estate Services (RES) team says it’s not essential when considering where to purchase a Hilton Head investment property. 

For more affordable (yet soundly profitable) options, you could look for properties near the center of the island or on the Calibogue Sound. You can also prioritize proximity to key Hilton Head hotspots — think world-class golf courses, Harbor Town, or drool-worthy restaurants — to really make the most of your investment.

Property Amenities

With location having a bit more flexibility in determining just how profitable your property can be, it’s more important than ever to have the right amenities in your vacation rental to stand out from the crowd. 

Inside the property, key amenities like WiFi, central air conditioning, fully-stocked kitchens, and Smart TVs are the feels-like-home details that take a property from ordinary to extraordinary. 

You don’t want to forget about outdoor living spaces, either. If you’re going the standalone property route, offering guests a private pool, deck, or balcony makes it easy for guests to enjoy that island breeze. But if you prefer condos, communities with access to resort-style amenities like outdoor pools, tennis courts, hot tubs, and fitness centers should be at the top of your list.

Download Our Full Hilton Head, SC Vacation Rental Market Analysis

With its thriving tourist economy and ability to draw in a diverse population of travelers, Hilton Head is a market with high-speed growth and clear income potential — the perfect spot to consider investing in a short-term rental property. 

To get a glimpse of what your future in the area might hold, download our free Hilton Head Vacation Rental Market Analysis today. Inside you’ll find: 

Evaluating your investment opportunities shouldn’t leave you feeling stranded on an island. Use our report to make achieving success smooth-sailing as you launch your vacation rental journey.

Forested peaks, calm lake waters, and powdery ski resorts make the Poconos a true gem of a vacation destination for anyone looking to unwind. Every year, East Coasters trade the daily grind for the Poconos’ laid-back atmosphere in droves — so it comes as no surprise that the area sees 27.9 million visitors annually. 

With a strong hold on travel demand and a special draw for families, the Pocono Mountains are one of the leading markets for vacation rental. For eager buyers, this means there’s major profit potential with the right Poconos investment property. 

To help you understand the income opportunity this top vacation rental market presents, we created a free downloadable vacation rental market analysis. Inside you’ll find: 

The findings in this analysis are based on Evolve’s Poconos market averages in the last year and provide a general baseline for performance potential. They’re designed to help inform smart buying decisions when investing in the Poconos. 

Download Our Complete Poconos Vacation Rental Investment Analysis

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Why the Poconos Are a Great Place to Own Vacation Rental Property

Easily accessible from New York City, Philadelphia, and Newark, the Poconos are an ideal location for urbanites looking for fun things to do at any time of year. In the summer, waterfront days reign supreme on Lake Wallenpaupack and Lake Harmony, while skiing at six Poconos resorts is a winter hit.

That’s why — while many vacation rental owners rely on a single high season to generate the majority of their income — the Poconos attract a steady flow of travelers and enjoy two peak seasons. This gives investors higher occupancy and daily rates for longer spans of the calendar year, translating to more chances for five-star reviews and extra income. 

Investing in the Poconos is also relatively affordable, with lower median prices for properties in hotspots like Mount Pocono and Stroudsburg than the U.S. average (not to mention it consistently finds a home on our list of best places to buy). And with bookings year-round, it’s possible to recoup upfront costs and start earning passive income faster.

Green icon of a crystal ball with the words "profit prediction" in the center

How Much Money Can You Earn with a Poconos Vacation Rental?

The annual draw of the Poconos means investors can earn the trust of returning guests and potentially make more consistent income. Reaching your full potential, though, depends on a variety of considerations.

Property Size

This region tends to attract large groups and families, so bigger properties often outperform those with smaller footprints. On average, five-bedroom properties see the highest annual revenue and daily rates, so look for as much square footage as your budget allows to really help maximize your investment opportunity. 

That said, homes with fewer bedrooms still give investors plenty of room to shine. Three-bedroom rentals have one of the highest annual occupancy rates across property sizes, and they account for the largest portion of available inventory in the area — a win-win for those looking to buy at lower price points while still getting a full bookings calendar.

Property Location

Our Real Estate Services (RES) team says those visiting the Poconos want to stay in close proximity to lakes, ski resorts, or waterparks — so buying a vacation home near one or more of these local draws can increase the potential for more bookings and annual income. 

Even better: a property with direct lakefront or ski-in/ski-out access provides an added level of luxury and convenience that attracts more guests at even higher rates.

Property Amenities

Given the area’s popularity among families and large groups, it’s most important to feature amenities that keep them comfortable and entertained. Start by maximizing capacity (and profit!) with bunk beds, trundles, or sleeper sofas. Then, include family-friendly touches like entertainment consoles or lawn games. 

Our RES team says the two most sought-after amenities in the Poconos are game rooms and hot tubs. Game rooms offer tons of kid-approved entertainment all in one place, and can provide fun for all ages when they include things like ping-pong or pool tables. Hot tubs are a surefire way to please adult guests, plus they help catch the attention of cold-weather travelers and secure more winter bookings.

To make your vacation rental even more attractive to the Poconos’ summer guests, consider lake essentials like paddleboards and kids’ floaties, or big-ticket amenities like a private pool or boat dock. 

As a traditional vacation rental destination, it’s also important to note that many properties on the market are older builds. While you might opt for a more outdated home to save some cash upfront, our RES team suggests being prepared to give it a facelift. A home that doesn’t keep up with more contemporary tastes and luxuries will likely lose bookings to nearby competitors. Add modern finishes, stainless steel appliances, flatscreen TVs, and upscale decor to really give your Poconos vacation rental an income-driving edge.

Download Our Full Poconos, PA Vacation Rental Market Analysis

With year-round charm for travelers and solid vacation rental interest, investing in the Poconos can offer serious profit potential to owners who make focused, data-backed decisions. 

Whether you’re in the market to buy an investment property or looking to make the most of an existing homedownload our full Poconos Vacation Rental market analysis to set yourself up for success. It has tons of important insights, including:  

Finding your perfect investment opportunity doesn’t have to feel like climbing Mount Pocono. Use this exclusive performance intel to guide your next steps toward vacation rental success.