Evolve vs Airbnb and Vrbo: A Comparative Analysis

Find out how Evolve is different from Airbnb and Vrbo in this comprehensive analysis.

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​​In a market filled with options like Evolve, Airbnb, and Vrbo, it’s only natural to wonder about their distinctions. Even though they offer different services, they’re all part of the same industry. When you add in the fact that Evolve properties also appear on Airbnb and Vrbo, the lines can easily blur.

So, let’s untangle the confusion and explain how Evolve sets itself apart from Airbnb and Vrbo.

Evolve vs Airbnb and Vrbo: An Overview

What is Evolve?

Evolve is a vacation rental management company that helps owners start, manage, and expand their rental portfolio. Since they were founded in 2011, more than 30,000 owners have relied on them to grow their businesses.

Acting as a half-service provider, Evolve takes charge of posting listings, managing guests, promoting properties, and maximizing profits on behalf of owners. They also link owners with trusted partners for cleaning and maintenance. Besides their website, Evolve lists properties on popular online platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo.

What are Airbnb and Vrbo?

Airbnb and Vrbo are online platforms where people can list, discover, and book accommodations for short-term stays. They work as a marketplace for owners or property managers to connect with potential guests. While they bring in guests, owners are responsible for managing their own properties and listings.

Both have deep roots in the industry, with Vrbo starting back in 1995 and Airbnb making its debut in 2007. Now, they’re among the most popular listing sites.

On Vrbo, you can exclusively list entire space rentals as they primarily cater to tourists, families, and larger groups. Meanwhile, Airbnb offers more flexibility, letting you list anything from a room to a farmhouse.

Comparing Evolve vs Airbnb and Vrbo

Services Offered

Evolve handles everything from helping owners buy properties to daily management tasks and they even assist owners in identifying new investment opportunities.

When it comes to management, Evolve’s team of experts takes care of:

  • Taking photographs of the rental
  • Listing the property
  • Optimizing the listing for higher visibility
  • Managing bookings
  • Guest inquiries, concerns, and reviews
  • Connecting owners with trusted service partners or working with owner’s own providers
  • Marketing
  • Dynamic pricing strategy
  • Developing a growth strategy for maximizing the property’s potential
  • Damage protection and liability coverage

Vrbo and Airbnb both give you access to their online platform where you can list your property and manage your bookings. Here’s what these platforms offer:

  • Creating a listing
  • Instant booking or host approval-based bookings
  • Secure payment
  • Messaging system
  • Host protection insurance
  • Customer support

Business Models

Evolve doesn’t operate on a full-service model which allows them to keep their fee affordable. They charge property owners a percentage of rental income for their services.

Airbnb operates as a two-sided marketplace where both guests and property owners pay a service fee for each booking, determined by factors such as booking price and location.

Similarly, Vrbo functions as an online rental brokerage platform, charging both guests and hosts a service fee per booking. Guest pay a percentage fee, while hosts can choose between a pay-per-booking fee or an annual subscription fee.

User Experience

Evolve’s platform is designed with simplicity in mind and they allow owners to have a hands-of-approach when it comes to managing the rental. They provide personalized support to owners every step of the way. 

Using Vrbo as a property owner is a straightforward and user-friendly experience. Their platform is designed to make listing your property and managing bookings as easy as possible. You’ll find all the tools you need to create an attractive listing, communicate with guests, and track bookings in one place. Vrbo also offers an informative help center and 24/7 support via phone or chat.

Just like Vrbo, Airbnb has an intuitive layout, so you can easily create a listing and manage your property. They even have a message automation feature and a dashboard where you can find payout details, review earnings, and download reports. This platform is filled with valuable resources, like host guides, video series, recent industry news, and hosting classes. Their team is always available via live chat or you can drop them a call.


Evolve applies a flat 10% fee to monthly rental revenue, offering some of the most competitive rates in the US.

Airbnb charges hosts a fixed 3% fee on the booking subtotal, while guests can pay up to 14% per booking, excluding taxes and extras.

Vrbo provides the most flexibility with two options. Hosts with yearly rental income under $10,000 can opt for an 8% pay-per-booking fee, while those planning year-round rentals can choose an annual fee starting at $499 with no extra charges. Guest fees on Vrbo range from 6% to 12% of the booking total.

Market Reach

Evolve is available in North America, and they manage tens of thousands of properties across 750 markets.

Airbnb’s market share is 30.10% of the online booking market. The most recent reports show the platform has around 265 million users worldwide and 7.7 million listings. In 2023, Airbnb had 448 million bookings, up by 13.9% from 2022.

On the other hand, Vrbo has a significantly lower market share of 1.08% in the online booking market. This platform has more than 48 million active monthly users and lists more than 2 million properties in over 190 countries. 


Evolve has a 4.0 customer rating on Trustpilot. While most reviews are from guests, there are also some reviews from the owners. They mainly praise Evolve’s helpful team and their proactive approach to addressing any concerns or issues.

Airbnb’s average rating on Trustpilot is 1.3 stars. Most complaints are about slow responses and difficulties with English communication. About 72% of reported issues were due to poor customer service.

Vrbo’s customer support has a slightly higher rating of 1.6 stars, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. Their users encounter similar problems with Vrbo’s customer support.


While Evolve, Airbnb, and Vrbo all operate within the vacation rental management industry, their services are completely different. If you want to be less involved in managing your rental, Evolve is the right choice. Its many benefits include minimal involvement, great support, and competitive pricing.

On the other hand, Airbnb and Vrbo allow you to directly manage your properties. They are a more cost-effective option compared to hiring a rental management company. If you decide to run your business on your own, you might want to consider automating some tasks with vacation rental management software.

Compare the best vacation rental software platforms with our free spreadsheet.

View the spreadsheet

For a more detailed overview of these companies, be sure to read our in-depth Evolve review and our Airbnb vs Vrbo comparison.

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