Co-founder and CEO
Evolve Vacation Rental
Location: Denver, CO
Brian Egan deems himself an unexpected entrepreneur.
Egan, Co-founder and CEO of Evolve Vacation Rental, said that growing up, he was always seeking to challenge the status quo, yet never felt an intrinsic entrepreneurial drive. What he did have was a love for hospitality. He realized this working at his first job at an ice cream shop at age 15.
“One of the best feelings in the world is connecting people with experiences that create lasting memories,” he said.
It was love at first scoop.
Ultimately going to law school, Egan said that while he was earning his degree, a lot of his friends from college were in the Bay Area working for the first wave of Web 1.0 companies.
“The more I learned from their experiences, the more I became wildly interested in these businesses,” he said. “They were the epitome of disruption, tech, and change.”
This fascination eventually snowballed into launching my career as a startup and venture capital lawyer in the Bay Area. Still, Egan felt like something was missing. Realizing he wanted to be a part of building a startup, not just advising from the outside, he knew it was time to find his way into the startup world.
“I was also determined to have this next move bring me one step closer to my roots in hospitality,” he said. “It was an industry that truly felt like home.”
Weaving these passions together, he left his law career to join Denver-based Exclusive Resorts as one of their first 10 employees focused on sales and business development. After seven years of working for the co-founders, he said he was eager to make some waves of his own.
And following his heart has proven to be a very hospitable endeavor.
Evolve Vacation Rental is on a mission to become the most trusted hospitality brand in vacation rental. To explain his company, he said, “A good way to illustrate the opportunity is to think about the recognizable names in short-term rental today, such as Airbnb and Vrbo. Both companies are marketplaces, and their job is to bring supply (homes) and demand (consumers) together.” He added, “Our job as a hospitality company goes far beyond that. We focus on delivering 5-star experiences to guests staying in our homes as experiences they can trust any time they book with us.”
He said that Evolve’s novel approach to vacation rental management challenges the core constructs that were acting as constraints to the development of this brand that the market needs. Furthering his success, Egan has customized the vacation experience to give homeowners the ability to choose their own local service providers. This allows them to work with someone they already love, choose one of our vetted local providers, or do it themselves, which allows us to charge an industry-low 10% fee for our services.
“It also means our model is extremely scalable. We can work with homes almost anywhere by tapping into local businesses that already have a presence in the area,” he said. “The higher the demand, the more mainstream this category will become, and travelers are beginning to expect a more professional experience when booking a vacation rental.”
Egan said that the demand for vacation rentals has never been higher and the excitement is spilling into other industries.
“Luckily for us, we’re not the only ones convicted that our model is fulfilling an industry need,” he said. “T. Rowe Price, Annox Capital, Allen & Company, and other top tier institutional investors have joined our pursuit of becoming the most trusted hospitality brand in vacation rental by investing over $100M in Evolve. In the past 10 years, we’ve scaled to more than 14,000 properties across North America and have generated over $1B in rental income for our homeowners.”
There is no doubt that Egan’s company is on the fast-track.
Evolve has been recognized for growth, culture, and expertise with accolades including: being named a Denver Business Journal Fast 50 company, a Deloitte Fast 500 company, and one of Built in Colorado’s Best Places to Work. Egan has also been an expert speaker at the Skift Short-term Rental Summit and has been featured in articles by Forbes and Thrive Global.
Egan puts the Evolve experience at the core of everything he does and, is laser-focused on creating a culture where he can motivate, inspire, and genuinely care about each other’s well-being. He said that the team and culture that they continue to build and refine together are the keys to both short and long-term success.
“Investing in the growth, development and connection of Evolve fosters a culture where every member is able to contribute ideas and authentically be themselves,” Egan said. “It empowers each of them to do great things together and on their own.”
With the qualities of a true industry Titan, Egan said that adversity does not build character, it reveals it, and this is particularly true in times of great change.
“You have to empower people with the context they need to control what they can during a time of change,” he said. “It comes down to communication and identification.”
And it is with these words that there is no doubt Egan will continue to Evolve- as a leader and as a Titan of industry."
Brian was a ski bum in Aspen for a season, fulfilling one of his dreams growing up. While a server that summer he frequently waited on what became known as the "Three Amigos" and his favorite table: Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, and Martin Short!