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 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 sit back as our tool automatically churns 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.

Nights Booked Calendar

Nightly Rate

Avg rate you expect to charge/night

nights booked

Nights Booked

Avg # of nights you expect to book/month

mortage payment

Mortgage

Your monthly mortgage payment

utilities

Utilities

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

property protection

Insurance & Property Taxes

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

Other Expenses

Other Expenses

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

Management Costs

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 homeowners 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 homeowners 24 percent 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: our Evolve homeowners 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
Market Fees to List Your Home on Sites Like Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, or TripAdvisor

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 percent 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 percent 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 the lowest management fees around, 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. It’s how we’ve helped over 14,000 homeowners earn more than $1 billion in rental income — and we’re ready to help you.

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