Evolve Updates for 2020

32 Replies

I just received word of updates to Evolve's systems and platform for 2020.  As many of you know I'm an Evolve customer for several years now and often share my experience with them (both good and bad).  I'm curious about what other Evolve customers are thinking regarding the changes below.  They sort of sweeten you up on all the great stuff until the last bullet point where they are no longer paying out until after guest check-in.  Apparently this is what Airbnb/VRBO does now as well?  It's nice they are reducing their fees (well they are no longer charging the 3% credit card fee), the fact they will now be on Booking.com and 24/7 hour support.  But a little worried about their dynamic pricing (will this be mandatory?) and the no more up-front payments piece as that's going to create a big cashflow hole during the shoulder seasons now.  Just curious what other Evolve customers' thoughts are on this? 

Thanks!

Evolve Logo

Making Things Easier for You and Your Guests


At Evolve, that’s our mission — to make vacation rental easier for everyone. Starting in January 2020, we’re rolling out upgrades to make our owners more successful and to make sure our guests love their stays (because happier guests mean happier owners).

Get ready for a better online booking experience, more guest support, and a partnership that will put you in front of millions of new bookers. Here are the upgrades you’ll see soon:

Booking

Your property will be featured on Booking.com

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We’re partnering with Booking.com so your listing will be included on the largest travel website in the world. We’ll take care of everything; nothing for you to do except watch your bookings increase.

24-7

Your guests will get 24/7 support from Evolve

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Evolve will deliver better guest experiences 24 hours a day with around-the-clock support for issues or questions from guests. Your Guest Contact should still be available for guests in residence but we’ll be there day and night, just in case.

RestEasy
Our Rest Easy Promise will give guests peace of mind

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We’re committing to a “Rest Easy Promise” for guests to make sure every stay meets our core property standards (safe, clean, as-advertised, and ready for guests) and lives up to guest expectations. We want Evolve stays to mean more to guests and give them every reason to choose your property over the competition.

Website
Our new website will deliver even more bookings

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We’ve completely rebuilt and redesigned our Evolve website to create a world-class online booking experience that attracts more online traffic and convinces more guests to stay at our properties. Launching early in the new year, our website will be available exclusively to Evolve owner listings and will always be the least expensive way for guests to book your home.

SmartRates
We want you to earn more rental income

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We’re upgrading our rate setting and guest payment capabilities to capture more bookings and increase your earnings. Get ready to be part of SmartRates, our automated dynamic pricing technology that translates billions of data points into optimized real-time rates. It’s yet another reason guests will choose your home over other rental options.

TenPercent
We’ve simplified our industry-low 10% management fee

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Our 10% management fee now covers all services provided by Evolve--no more 3% credit card processing fee. We’ll also adjust your advertised rates as needed to accommodate the fees charged by websites like Booking.com and Airbnb so you’ll earn a similar amount regardless of where a guest books your home.

Payout
We've standardized our payout policy

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Some of our earliest owners have always been paid at the time of booking. Now, we’re moving all owners to the same payout policy: payments will be released 48 hours after the guest checks in (look for funds in your bank account in 3-5 days). Websites like Vrbo, HomeAway and Airbnb have eliminated upfront payments and we’re unable to provide funds prior to receiving payment from our marketing partners.


What we need from you

Nothing at all. But if you have questions, you can read our FAQs and review our updated Management Agreement, which will go into effect on January 1, 2020.


Here’s to a great 2020,
The Evolve Team

I prefer getting paid upon check in. That’s always been Airbnb’s only option. VRBO used to let you chose (which they are changing) so I chose “upon check in” to simplify my systems. 

Originally posted by @Lucas Carl:

I prefer getting paid upon check in. 

 Me too.  I meet them in person, let them in, give them a tour and the house keys.  Then they pay me.  One week later they pay again at the house.

That is a big thing being discussed. Verbo has gone to a new payment system (their own) and has done away with payment upon booking. They now payout at check in or the day after.

People seem to have been relying on payment at booking and are up in arms about the change. I am like @Lucas Carl and get paid the day of check in. I didn't event know paid at booking was an option.

The Verbo forums say that they don't get interest on the booking money sitting so...

It is my understanding that evolve also charges 10% to the guest addition to the 10% they charge you. Is that correct Jon?

Originally posted by @Ken Latchers :

It is my understanding that evolve also charges 10% to the guest addition to the 10% they charge you. Is that correct Jon?

Hi Ken, no they do not charge the guest anything, the only money Evolve makes is the 10% on the nightly rate no matter which platform is booking.  That is why I always send my friends and family thru Evolve's listing of my property because then it will truly only be the nighty rate, housekeeping taxes and insurance charged to them.  

 

Okay, this turned up in a search.

"Travelers pay a non-refundable fee of approximately $14.50 per night directly to Evolve at the time of booking your property"

Originally posted by @Jon 

Hi Ken, no they do not charge the guest anything, the only money Evolve makes is the 10% on the nightly rate no matter which platform is booking.  That is why I always send my friends and family thru Evolve's listing of my property because then it will truly only be the nighty rate, housekeeping taxes and insurance charged to them.  

 

 

@Ken Latchers That is the insurance that is required with every booking.  Evolve doesn't do deposits and guests pay insurance that covers up to $3000 in property damage and $1M in liability coverage (plus you get Airbnb/VRBO coverage if applicable).  

Got off the phone a few days ago with Evolve and they told me about the changes. I'm going to give them a chance come January. They also will coordinate with your cleaners on check-ins & check-outs. The getting rid of the 3% was good news.

Originally posted by @Jon Crosby:

@Ken Latchers That is the insurance that is required with every booking.  Evolve doesn't do deposits and guests pay insurance that covers up to $3000 in property damage and $1M in liability coverage (plus you get Airbnb/VRBO coverage if applicable).  

 Hi Ken, I wanted to follow up on this conversation we were having after doing more review of the changes in 2020 to Evolve.  Turns out starting in 2020 they will start charging a guest fee of 9% it turns out. My guess is that is how they are going to start paying for the 3% credit card fees they are giving the owners back on each booking.  So while true they never did charge a fee in the past, turns out they are going to start doing it in 2020.  : )

Just a quick follow up for anyone following this thread.  I went ahead and got all the answers I needed from Evolve regarding the changes to their payments and booking fee structure for next year.  They are going no longer charge owners the 3% processing fee but they are going to start applying the housekeeping fees to the 10% they charge owners (it used to just be nightly rate).  I ran the new model on my last 2 years of bookings and when all is said and done, I ended up with about a 1.5% increase in net revenue.  

I'm going to watch this closely however once the changes go into effect to make sure that is the only additional charges going into the 10% calculation...if it's more then it may no longer be cost-effective to use Evolve even if they get me more bookings from Booking.com. 

I will be sure to waive the red flag should anything pop up that's unexpected.  

Thanks for all the input and happy holidays to you all! 


 

Get rid of evolve. Get on all four major booking sites yourself. Get a property management system like St or owner reservations or something similar to handle the syncing and other things that Airbnb Etc don't handle. I just pay their Commission and added on to the booking as an admin fee. 14.50 per night was way overpriced.

whatever evolve does is a simple automation of different types that you can get from a property management system. For a lot less money per month.

use a dynamic pricer such as pricelabs or wheelhouse or Beyond pricing. Pay the 1% for booking, it is worth it easily.

Originally posted by @Jon Crosby :

Just a quick follow up for anyone following this thread.  I went ahead and got all the answers I needed from Evolve regarding the changes to their payments and booking fee structure for next year.  They are going no longer charge owners the 3% processing fee but they are going to start applying the housekeeping fees to the 10% they charge owners (it used to just be nightly rate).  I ran the new model on my last 2 years of bookings and when all is said and done, I ended up with about a 1.5% increase in net revenue.  

I'm going to watch this closely however once the changes go into effect to make sure that is the only additional charges going into the 10% calculation...if it's more then it may no longer be cost-effective to use Evolve even if they get me more bookings from Booking.com. 

I will be sure to waive the red flag should anything pop up that's unexpected.  

Thanks for all the input and happy holidays to you all! 

I am using Evolve for my cabin in the Smokies for the past 6 months and they have always charged me 10% on nightly rate AND the cleaning fee. So this is not a new change...

 

Originally posted by @John Underwood :

I'm not really sure what Evolve is providing for the 10% fee. I'm happy with VRBO and my calendar stays booked up.

They free you from having to constantly be on top of your email and phone 24/7 to be there for any guest inquiries. Is that worth 10%? Debatable. But that is def a serious benefit. I know people that can never put down the phone and disconnect for a day bc they might miss an inquiry. They also manage your listing (pay the $500 annual VRBO fee) and take pro pictures for your listing

 

"They free you from having to constantly be on top of your email and phone 24/7"

so does using instant booking and automatic responses on either the listing sites or a property management system. And it doesn't cost anything.

Originally posted by @Ken Latchers :

"They free you from having to constantly be on top of your email and phone 24/7"

so does using instant booking and automatic responses on either the listing sites or a property management system. And it doesn't cost anything.

Thats true but auto-response only gets you so far. The standardized messages. Welcome, check-in, check-out, review request, etc. If the guest has a specific inquiry about your place you will still need to be the one that answers the email yourself. Auto response wont help for that

 

You don't have to be  available 24 x 7 in case somebody whether you have a left-handed bottle opener. The automated responses and instant booking handle almost everything that matters on a short-term basis.

everything else, you just check your text and or emails every several hours. The lunacy is trying to screen everyone and refusing instant book. I am 100% instant booking and it works wonderfully.

people make this much harder than it is. Why in the world would I give 10% to some agency that does what I can auromate or handle in a few minutes a week?

Originally posted by @Yitzchok Carmen :

Thats true but auto-response only gets you so far. The standardized messages. Welcome, check-in, check-out, review request, etc. If the guest has a specific inquiry about your place you will still need to be the one that answers the email yourself. Auto response wont help for that

 

 

Originally posted by @Ken Latchers :

You don't have to be  available 24 x 7 in case somebody whether you have a left-handed bottle opener. The automated responses and instant booking handle almost everything that matters on a short-term basis.

everything else, you just check your text and or emails every several hours. The lunacy is trying to screen everyone and refusing instant book. I am 100% instant booking and it works wonderfully.

people make this much harder than it is. Why in the world would I give 10% to some agency that does what I can auromate or handle in a few minutes a week?



Yes but what if someone does ask you a question like that and you are unavailable for a day (like I am as I am Sabbath Observant), if you dont respond within 24 hrs you will mess up your average response time, your superhost status and in general, all platform require a response within 24 hours. What happens if you get a question and you dont respond for 48 hours. Lets say that happens once every 2 months. Is that a big deal? Im asking bc I went with Evolve specifically to address this for me bc I thought it might become an issue....

 

 

And what if evolve can't answer a particular question about the property that need you to get involved? You can fill all sorts of possible problems, the answer to all them is that it is not worth having someone like evolve around just answer a question when they take so much of your profit.

"Yes but what if someone does ask you a question like that and you are unavailable for a day (like I am as I am Sabbath Observant), if you dont respond within 24 hrs you will mess up your average response time, your superhost status and in general, all platform require a response within 24 hours. What happens if you get a question and you dont respond for 48 hours"

Originally posted by @Yitzchok Carmen :

 They also manage your listing (pay the $500 annual VRBO fee) and take pro pictures for your listing.

 While this is true, just keep in mind that Evolve owns "your" listing, the information on the listing, the photos on the listing and the REVIEWS on the listing. If you ever decide to cut ties with them you'll have to start over from scratch with a new listing and no reviews.

Originally posted by @Valerie Rogers :
Originally posted by @Yitzchok Carmen:

 They also manage your listing (pay the $500 annual VRBO fee) and take pro pictures for your listing.

 While this is true, just keep in mind that Evolve owns "your" listing, the information on the listing, the photos on the listing and the REVIEWS on the listing. If you ever decide to cut ties with them you'll have to start over from scratch with a new listing and no reviews.

 I know. Not good. But for now Im using them...

The Evolve properties in our area have poor reviews, and don't appear priced correctly.  Just sayin'