Vacasa, TurnKey, or Evolve? How to Choose a Vacation Rental Property Management Company

The differences between Vacasa, TurnKey, and Evolve

Trying to decide which vacation rental property management companies are best? In this post, we’ll take a detailed look at three of the largest national vacation rental management companies, what their management fees are, and what you get for your money.

Specifically, Vacasa, Evolve, and TurnKey have emerged as major players in the industry. All three have carved out their own space with distinct business models that have helped them attract funding, resulting in explosive growth, further innovation, and fewer barriers to entry. All this has in turn brought even more homeowners into the industry, contributing to a positive feedback loop.

As a full-service vacation rental manager and hospitality company that specializes in care for luxury homes, InvitedHome has its own niche within the industry, which you can learn about on our own property management page.

Management fees and additional costs

The management fees for each company are as follows:

  • Vacasa: Starting at 18%
  • TurnKey: 18%
  • Evolve: 10%
However, with each company using a different model, what you receive for these fees varies substantially. We break it down below.

Vacasa Vs. TurnKey Vs. Evolve

Vacasa

Vacasa's commission ranges from 18%-30%, which includes:

  • Guest support
  • Guest screening
  • PR and social media
  • Marketing and copywriting
  • Photography 
  • Help with regulations and permitting 
  • Revenue management 
Additional fees for guests
  • A 12% general booking fee
  • A cleaning fee
  • $10/night hot tub fee
  • A pet fee

TurnKey

TurnKey’s 18% commission includes:

  • Photography and listing descriptions
  • Managing listings on multiple vacation rental sites
  • Revenue management
  • Guest services
  • Guest screening
  • Digital locks
  • Coordinating with third-party maintenance
  • On the ground field operations
Additional fees
  • Homeowners are charged a resupply fee of $7 per booking. This averages to about $250 per year for homeowners.
  • Guest are charged a 9% booking fee

Evolve

Evolve’s 10% commission includes:

  • Managing listings across multiple online travel agencies 
  • Guest communications 
  • Professional photography and copywriting
  • Recommendations on local maintenance/housekeeping companies
  • Dynamic pricing
  • Guest screening
Note that while Evolve's commission is by far the lowest, you'll still be paying for routine maintenance, inspections, cleaning, and similar services. You can continue using your preferred vendor, or Evolve will make recommendations for you.

How do these companies operate on such low commissions?

At first glance, these low commission rates are extremely compelling, but they may come with additional ancillary fees to support operations.

In Vacasa’s case, the company allegedly keeps the revenue from its additional guest fees - including the pet fees, hot tub fees, early check-in and late check-out fees, and the booking fee - rather than remitting these fees to the property owners, according to one recent lawsuit against the company. With more than 8,000 managed properties around the world, it’s also one of the largest, and can drive revenue through volume.

TurnKey has recently received tens of millions of dollars in funding, which has helped the company expand its portfolio to approximately 3,500 homes as of March 2018. The sheer volume of homes and TurnKey’s innovative technology - like its digital locks system - help generate revenue while keeping costs down, thus the lower rate. 

TurnKey has relatively fewer add-on costs and fees compared with Vacasa, however its employee-to-home ratio stood at about 1:7 at the end of 2017, compared with Vacasa’s 1:4. This tends to be the case for large national companies, which charge a lower commission but bring on huge numbers of homes to make up for it. For context, InvitedHome’s employee-to-home ratio currently stands at about 1:3, which allows us to provide the high-touch care our luxury homeowners have come to expect.

Evolve has more homes in its vacation rental network than TurnKey, at about 6,800. With such a high volume and limited offerings, it’s able to charge its flat 10% commission. Evolve is a great option for those who want to continue using and paying for their own maintenance, cleaning, and inspection crews, and only need marketing services for their vacation rental.

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How does InvitedHome compare?

InvitedHome operates differently. We offer products and services that are completely unique within the industry and created specifically for the luxury market. We've developed a single inclusive fee structure that allows us to provide unparalleled care for not only our homes, but also our homeowners. And with only a 5% booking fee, we've created a guest experience that's truly one of a kind, and has led to our industry-leading NPS scores quarter after quarter. Here's how we do it. 

Cash

Care

Communication

  • Owner Dashboard via HomeCraft
  • A dedicated Homeowner Experience Specialist
  • 24/7 guest support
  • Manage and request guest reviews
  • Guests receive a dedicated Guest Experience Specialist
  • Local teams in every destination
  • Virtual binders
  • Monthly statements
  • Prior notification of any maintenance work

At InvitedHome, we offer the best of both worlds: The care, attention, and knowledge of a local vacation rental property manager and the resources, marketing, and innovation of a national company. We’ve successfully brought this model to more than 260 luxury homes in 12 destinations, and are ready to add yours next. Get in touch to see if your vacation home would be a good fit for InvitedHome, and experience the care you deserve.

Want to learn more about InvitedHome?

Fill out your contact information and find out how much you could potentially earn each year by renting your vacation home.

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