Challenge: Help an industry veteran increase performance at multiple properties while retaining control over her investments.
Karen Hopkins first became a vacation rental owner in 2007, when her husband’s illness prompted her to begin renting out their second home for income. The couple eventually moved to Branson, Missouri for medical treatment, where Karen partnered with her brother to acquire another rental property. And another. And another.
Karen and her brother eventually owned 7 properties in Branson and the family business was growing beautifully. As the industry changed, however, Karen’s workload began to overwhelm her. “It’s a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week job just to take the reservations. As far as energy goes, it was just bleeding me dry.” Karen wanted to maintain control over her on-the-ground services, but she desperately needed help with inquiries and marketing.
“With Evolve charging only 10% - that’s what I already pay just in advertising and the other costs I incur. Even if you took the ads out, the photography out, even if you did nothing else for me, just having a full-time reservation agent responding the minute an inquiry comes in - that is a bargain.”
Karen is protective of her vacation rental empire, and she had no intention of trusting anyone with her properties until she was convinced she could earn the same rental income she had the year before. Our full-time reservation team convinced her that she could likely get some bookings she wouldn’t be able to get on her own. “If you don’t answer right away, they move on to the next one. I know I lost a lot of bookings because of that.”
Karen also liked that Evolve’s flexible structure meant she could maintain full control over how her properties were cleaned and serviced. “One of my cleaning crews is my son and his wife - there’s no way I’m getting rid of them.” Even during the marketing process, Karen was pleased to find our team was happy to take her input. “I really felt like I still had control over how everything was going to look and feel. Everyone was very cooperative.”
Karen’s only been with Evolve for two months, and she was understandably nervous, since she signed up all 7 of her Branson properties with us at once right before her biggest booking season. We didn’t let her down, though: collectively, her Branson properties have made a total of $90,826 in two months. That’s an average of $12,975 per property!
Karen is thrilled with our performance. She says, “I’ve been doing this for ten years, and my March this year is the best March I’ve had.” In addition to a 40% increase in income, she’s been able to continue to manage her properties, her way, while giving herself plenty of time to focus on the on-the-ground services. Karen’s only regret is that she didn’t get help with her marketing and booking sooner.
“I was just so sure nobody would do as good a job as me,” Karen says. “But you guys have done it better.”