Vacation Rental Management Services

The Pros and Cons of Vacation Rental Management Services

A vacation rental is a great real estate investment, but without the right management solution, you’re going to have a hard time making it profitable.

Self management vs. Full-service managers vs. Flexible management solutions

The previous post discussed the benefits and drawbacks of DIY management, but that’s just one option. You can also use a full-service property manager or opt for a more flexible vacation rental management solution.

Flexible management options, like Evolve Vacation Rental Network, handle your marketing, answer guest inquiries, confirm bookings, process payments, and provide flexible options for onsite services like cleaning and guest support.

Benefits of flexible vacation rental management solutions

  • Marketing and Booking Expertise – You have access to a dedicated team of industry pros who build your listing, market your home on top websites, respond to traveler inquiries, confirm bookings, optimize your performance based on industry trends, and support you along the way.
  • Increased Flexibility – You have the freedom to choose how to handle the cleaning and maintenance. If you live close to the property, you can do it yourself. If you live far away, you can hire the cleaning company of your choice to handle it. And if you don’t know where to start, Evolve can make a recommendation from its network of trusted partners.
  • Lower Fees – Evolve’s booking fee of 10% is significantly lower than than you would pay to a traditional manager, so you get to keep more of your income.

Drawbacks of flexible vacation rental management solutions

  • Selecting onsite service providers – Rather than having a full-service property manager take care of everything for you, you will need to hire and maintain relationships with housekeepers, guest contacts, and maintenance providers. Companies like Evolve will typically notify these service providers of upcoming reservations to help minimize your involvement. 
  • Proximity – Flexible management solutions might not have a local presence in your area. In place of that, they may have partnerships with local service providers that act as their boots on the ground to help you and your guests. 

Flexible vacation rental management companies offer innovative solutions to some of the most pervasive issues in the industry. However, they may not be right for dedicated DIY owners or those who prefer the full-service approach of local property managers. Ultimately, there’s no ‘right answer.’ It comes down to each individual owner and what kind of solution and services they’re looking for!


Author: Lauren Kaye, Evolve Vacation Rental Network – April 27, 2018

DIY Property Management


Interested in an investment property? Not sure what  management option is best for you?

Join us on a four part series while we discover the pros and cons of DIY management, flexible management solutions, and brick and mortar management options. 


The first part of our series will discuss managing your own rental.  Below are common benefits and obstacles that come with self-management. 


  • Income – You have the potential to keep more of the money that your property produces if you are not paying management fees.
  • Customer Service – You have the ability to provide the level of customer service that you expect your guest to receive and to make vacations truly memorable with personalization. 
  • Online Services – There are many online options that make booking your own rental property easier and involve no middle man.
  •        Control – You have complete control of who rents your property and all subcontractors you use. 


  • Proximity – You must be close enough to your property to handle all guest requests, cleaning, and maintenance or find a reliable source to handle those request.
  • Availability – You must be available to handle all guest requests or complaints twenty-four hours a day seven days a week or ensure the reliable source you hire is available.
  • Implementing a Marketing Strategy – You will have to implement and maintain your own marketing strategy. This includes listing your property for booking, building a website should you choose that option, and managing your own promotional cost.        
  • Collection of Rent and Entry into Property – You will be responsible for collecting rent and deposits. You will also be responsible for your guest accessing the property quickly and efficiently upon their arrival.


DIY property management presents many obstacles to overcome. However if helping others experience their vacation dreams is a passion of yours DIY management presents an exciting opportunity!

Homebuyers Fuel Boost

Early Spring Boost in Housing Market

Confidence in housing jumped in March in the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI), with the HPSI overall posting 88.3, 2.5 percentage points higher than one month prior and 3.8 percentage points higher than one year prior.

The boost was fueled by homebuyers preparing for real estate season this spring, says Doug Duncan, chief economist and senior vice president at Fannie Mae.  The amount of buyers who believe now is a good time to purchase leapt to 32 percent—a 10-percentage point surge.

“The HPSI’s recent run of volatility continued in March, as it recovered last month’s loss and remained within the five-point range of the past 12 months,” Duncan says.  “The primary driver of this month’s increase was the sizable rise in the net share of consumers who think it’s a good time to buy a home, which returned the indicator to its year-ago level.  On the whole, a slight majority of consumers continue to express optimism regarding the overall direction of the economy.”

The amount of homeowners who believe now is a good time to sell shimmied up, as well, three percentage points to 39 percent.  Across consumers, 42 percent believe home prices will rise, down three percentage points from one month prior.

The HPSI is derived from Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey® (NHS).

Source: Fannie Mae


Featured Listings:
Chalet Village
Big homes, big views

1452 Zurich Road, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
$399,900  ID# 215461

Picturesque 4 BD/3 BA, 2,200+ sq. ft contemporary-style mountain chalet,amazing views of Mt. Leconte. Currently on a well-established rental program.  More info

2429 Park Line Dr.  Gatlinburg, TN  37738
$549,900  ID# 215415

Luxurious 5 BD/4 BA, 4,200+ sq. ft. contemporary-style chalet that borders the park.  Incredible views, on a well-established rental program.  More info

Market Report for the Smoky Mountains



482 Honey Oaks Way
Sevierville, TN   37876
$259,900.  ID#: 215303

Cozy, well-built 2BD/3 BA 1600 sq. ft. log cabin.  Panoramic views of Bluff Mountain from this property, which sits on just over 1 1/2 acres.  Currently on rental program.  More info



1130 Ski View Dr, Unit#113.
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
$152,900.  ID#: 215302

2 BD/2 BA, 1,400+ sq. ft, condominium located in the Windswept Condominium Complex.  Community pool and picnic area.  Views of the Smokies and Mt. Leconte and is only minutes away from downtown Gatlinburg.  More info

Wilderness Wildlife Week

28th Annual Wilderness Wildlife Week

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the world’s most beautiful places to take in everything the great outdoors has to offer. During the annual Wilderness Wildlife Week events in Pigeon Forge, you’ll have a chance to learn about the fauna, flora and folks who call this rustic region home.

Wilderness Wildlife Week

May 8 – 12, 2018

This year’s 28th Annual Wilderness Wildlife Week takes place May 8 through May 12, 2018, and is based at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge. This week-long event features a series of free, family-friendly activities designed to educate budding and experienced outdoors people and instill a love of nature in all those who attend.

A True Smoky Mountain Experience

Wilderness Wildlife Week is one of Pigeon Forge’s most-revered annual events. Not only do the mid-winter festivities relieve cabin fever, but it provides an excellent opportunity for education. The week-long event features a tremendous line-up of speakers, artists, demonstrations and hikes that provide an opportunity to better understand and appreciate the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the nation’s most visited national park.

Featured Listing:
Quality home, quality living

Totally remodeled, updated and impeccably maintained, 5 BD/3.5 BA, 3,000+ sq ft, hand-hewn log cabin, located w/in easy walking distance of Gatlinburg-Pittman High School, as well as Rocky Top Sports World, Gatlinburg Community Center, Anna Porter Library, Gatlinburg Trolley Stop, & Mills Park.   Ideal as a permanent or 2nd home.  More info

Dollwood’s plans to expand – great news for local economy


Dollywood Has Plans to Expand

Ground work is underway on a five-acre development at Dollywood, and plans submitted to the Pigeon Forge Planning Commission show the park’s intent to build eight new attractions, plus a restaurant and other amenities.

According to WBIR news, nearby business owners say Dollywood’s development is a good sign.

“That tells us a couple of things. Number one, they’re comfortable with the economy and where things are moving here in Pigeon Forge and Sevier County,” said tourism promoter and Pigeon Forge City Commissioner Ken Maples. “Number two, it tells us that they’re going to draw more folks in, and that’s good for everybody.”

Maples said he has had guests stay at the hotel of which he is a part-owner specifically due to previous additions to Dollywood.

Dollywood opened for the season at 10 a.m. Friday, March 16. The park currently covers 150 acres, with more than 40 rides, 15 shows, plus restaurants and retail, according to the park’s website. Dollywood’s Splash Country Water Park occupies another 35 acres. Adjacent is Dollywood’s DreamMore resort.

Featured Listing:

Expand your horizon

$199,900    ID#: 214845

Amazing Chalet Village property:  Three little pigs or one big bad wolf!  Two of these lots have been previously approved for 3 BD permits, & one lot currently has a 6 BD permit approval, for a total potential capacity of 12 BD for all 3 lots, over 4 acres.  Opportunity is knocking.


Spring Events in the Smokies

Some of the upcoming events to enjoy:

March 29, 2018 – March 31, 2018

This free-to-the-public show, handcrafted work of local artisans and guest craftspeople from all around the USA… Learn more    View Website

April 1, 2018

Soak up Easter Sunday sunrise from the top of Mt. Harrison at Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area during this service sponsored by the Gatlinburg Ministerial… Learn more  View Website


April 7, 2018 – April 8, 2018

Annual Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament is open to adults or children, with multiple categories… Learn more  View Website  Watch Video





Featured Listings:

Red Bud is blooming with lots!

Lot F-12 Red Bud Lane
Gatlinburg, TN 37738

$39,900   ID#: 214843

Well-located, 1/4 acre, residential lot, just off the Parkway.  More Info


638 Red Bud Lane
Gatlinburg, TN 37738

$169,900  ID#: 214844

Sitting on nearly an acre, complete with great views.  More info

National Housing Market

Will rising prices create a slow down?

Home prices propelled up in December, according to the S&P CoreLogic/Case-Shiller Indices.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index’s 10-City Composite, which is an average of 10 metros (Boston, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.), rose 6 percent year-over-year, mirroring November, which posted the same.

The 20-City Composite—which is an average of the 10 metros in the 10-City Composite, plus Atlanta, Charlotte, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Portland, Seattle and Tampa—rose 6.3 percent year-over-year, a decline from 6.4 percent in November.  Month-over-month, both the 10-City Composite and the 20-City Composite rose, each 0.2 percent.

According to S&P Chairman of the Index Committee and Managing Director David M. Blitzer, housing and inflation are on similar trajectories, but home prices are in the lead—vastly.

“The rise in home prices should be causing the same nervous wonder aimed at the stock market after its recent bout of volatility,” says Blitzer.  “Across the 20 cities covered by S&P Corelogic Case Shiller Home Price Indices, the average increase from the financial crisis low is 62 percent; over the same period, inflation was 12.4 percent.  None of the cities covered in this release saw real, inflation-adjusted prices fall in 2017.”

Blitzer is eyeing factors, however, that point to a slowdown.

“Within the last few months, there are beginning to be some signs that gains in housing may be leveling off,” Blitzer says.  “Sales of existing homes fell in December and January after seasonal adjustment and are now as low as any month in 2017.  Pending sales of existing homes are roughly flat over the last several months.  New-home sales appear to be following the same trend as existing-home sales. While the price increases do not suggest any weakening of demand, mortgage rates rose from 4 percent to 4.4 percent since the start of the year. It is too early to tell if the housing recovery is slowing. If it is, some moderation in price gains could be seen later this year.”

According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), existing-home sales fell 3.6 percent in December and 3.2 percent in January—the latter the lowest in more than three years. New-home sales thudded 7.8 percent in January, the Commerce Department recently reported. December pending sales eked out an 0.5 percent gain, data from NAR show.

Crippling growth is the inventory shortage, which continues to constrain sales as buyers face a lean pool of supply.

The complete data for the 20 markets measured by S&P Dow Jones:

Atlanta, Ga.
Month-Over-Month (MoM): 0.3%
Year-Over-Year (YoY): 5.4%

Boston, Mass.
MoM: -0.2%
YoY: 5.5%

Charlotte, N.C.
MoM: 0.1%
YoY: 5.9%

Chicago, Ill.
MoM: -0.6%
YoY: 2.6%

Cleveland, Ohio
MoM: -0.3%
YoY: 3.5%

Dallas, Texas
MoM: 0.1%
YoY: 6.9%

Denver, Colo.
MoM: 0.6%
YoY: 7.4%

Detroit, Mich.
MoM: 0%
YoY: 7.1%

Las Vegas, Nev.
MoM: 0.8%
YoY: 11.1%

Los Angeles, Calif.
MoM: 0.7%
YoY: 7.5%

Miami, Fla.
MoM: 0.1%
YoY: 3.6%

Minneapolis, Minn.
MoM: -0.4%
YoY: 5.2%

New York, N.Y.
MoM: 0%
YoY: 5.4%

Phoenix, Ariz.
MoM: 0.2%
YoY: 5.6%

Portland, Ore.
MoM: 0.2%
YoY: 6.8%

San Diego, Calif.
MoM: 0.2%
YoY: 7.4%

San Francisco, Calif.
MoM: 0.5%
YoY: 9.2%

Seattle, Wash.
MoM: 0.6%
YoY: 12.7%

Tampa, Fla.
MoM: 0.3%
YoY: 6.2%

Washington, D.C.
MoM: 0.2%
YoY: 2.8%

Featured Listings:

Enjoy Estate Living in the Smokies

1011 Margit Worsham Way, Gatlinburg
Norton Creek Estates

$1,599,000   ID#: 2111115BD/5BA, 2-half BA, 5,400+ sq ft mountain chalet.  Awe-inspiring views.  Historic features.  Ideal for perm res. or rental.



5055 Riversong Way,  Riversong Estates
$1,150,000  ID#: 204617

6 BR , 5.5 BA, Spectacular, private, gated estate in the heart of Pittman Center on over 5 acres.  Heart-stirring views.  Make it your home, or perhaps a vacation home/wedding destination!

Smoky Mountain Market Report 3-1-2018


Featured Properties:

Country living close to city life- the best of both worlds!

$419,900  ID# 214632

3 BD/2.5 BA, 4,600+ sq ft country ranch home in Wears Valley.  Ideal as a permanent, 2nd home, or rental property.  Over 5 acres of beautiful private property with a mountain stream.  More info


Stunning Views!

2 BD/2 BA, 1,600+ sq. ft. log cabin w/ some of the most amazing eye popping views of the Smokies, Dollywood, Bluff Mountain & Pigeon Forge lights that you will see in our area. Income around $52K annually.  More info

Water, water, everywhere!

Enjoy the rivers, streams and waterfalls in the Smokies all year!

There are over 2900 miles of rivers and creeks in the Smoky Mountains.   The first thing most folks think of are the mountains, but what would the Smokies be without the streams and waterfalls?   There are lots of ways to enjoy the water in the park.

There are more than 100 prominent waterfalls and cascades within the park boundaries.   Many are only a short hike away.   Our own agent  Keith Garnes is an expert on waterfalls if you would like to know how to get to any of them.

You can fish for trout all year in the Smokies.    The park offers a wide variety of angling experiences from remote, headwater trout streams to large, cool water smallmouth bass streams. Most streams remain at or near their carrying capacity of fish and offer a great opportunity to catch these species throughout the year.

Spectacular Riverfront Listings:

338 S Highway 32 , Cosby, TN 37722

$327,000  ID#: 214419
2 BD/2 BA, 1,600+ sq ft, log cabin,  4+ acres of beautiful land, & right along the border of the Great Smoky Mtns. Nat’l Park. Currently on a well-established rental program.  More info

$299,900  ID#: 189860

Located along the pristine Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon River, which has been declared by the State of Tennessee to be cleanest river in the entire state of TN.   More info