When you’re first starting out as a vacation rental owner, there’s one big question: how much money can I expect to make?
Short-term rental properties can give owners solid revenue returns, and are often more profitable than long-term rentals. But that additional income doesn’t come without costs. From taxes and insurance to cleaning and management fees, it’s important to factor a number of expenses into your income calculations to help paint an accurate picture of your home’s profit potential.
That’s where our vacation rental income calculator comes in. Simply plug in your monthly revenue and expenses below, then sit back as our tool automatically churns out an annual income estimate — all factors considered.
Not sure where to pull those numbers? Take a peek below our tool to understand your income and expense variables in more detail, and check out our bonus resources that can help you make confident estimates.
The first step toward accurately estimating rental income? Defining each term properly. Here’s a quick-reference glossary of what each variable used in our calculator means.
Avg rate you expect to charge/night
Avg # of nights you expect to book/month
Monthly mortgage payment
Monthly costs for heat/hot water, electricity/AC, WiFi & cable
Insurance & Property Taxes
Monthly costs for homeowners insurance, liability insurance, property protection plan + your state’s property tax rate
Monthly sum of HOA & maintenance costs + avg stocking/upgrading costs
Monthly % of income set aside for management/marketing fees (dependent on how you run your business)
Let’s be real: estimating an accurate income for your investment property can be confusing. Certain elements — like mortgage and utility payments — have fairly standard numbers you can enter into the calculator without much math. But others require more contextual consideration. So, let’s walk through each step of the process in more detail.
To accurately estimate nightly rate and expected nights booked, it’s important to understand the current market in your area.
The good news: we’ve analyzed tens of thousands of listings across North America to compile the most impactful performance metrics for you. From nightly rate and nights booked to average lengths of stay and prime booking windows throughout the year, all of the results can be found in our vacation rental market analyses library. Each provides a data-backed gauge of how direct competition performs — and, in turn, how much you might be able to to charge and book.
Once you pull the nightly rate and nights booked averages from those market analyses, plug them into the vacation rental income calculator above to start laying a solid foundation for estimating monthly income (and overall revenue).
From taxes to marketing fees, your expense estimate relies heavily on custom quotes and individual choices.
First, add up the monthly costs of your different types of insurance — like homeowners insurance, liability insurance, and a property protection plan.
Then comes property taxes. How they’re applied varies by state, so be aware of your particular municipal requirements. If you’re not sure, you can plug your rental property’s address into this complimentary tool to receive the right rate.
Once you have an estimate for both, combine the numbers and enter the sum into our short term rental calculator.
Next, input your monthly mortgage payment and utilities.
To incorporate other expenses, first combine monthly HOA and maintenance costs, cleaning fees, and the average expense of keeping your short-term rental inventoried and well-stocked for guests.
If you need to make furniture or decor upgrades, put a price to those overarching updates and divide by 12 before adding to your total monthly view of those additional expenses.
Finally, there are management costs to consider. These fees and how they work look different depending on how you choose to run your vacation rental business.
If you run a vacation rental without any help:
If you use a property manager:
If you work with Evolve (who lists your home on all the best vacation rental sites at no extra cost):
Between the steep fees of traditional property managers and the overwhelming responsibility of a DIY approach, it’s hard to strike a cost-benefit balance that guarantees your success. At least, it was until Evolve came into the picture.
For an industry-low management fee (that’s backed by our Risk-Free Guarantee), we’ll apply a proven-to-work marketing and booking strategy to your vacation rental, boosting your revenue potential while keeping costs (and stress levels) down.
Hop down to the form below to see if you qualify for our services and kickstart a conversation with one of our vacation rental pros.