By Philip Mervis
As the premier collaborative coworking space in Summit County, EVO3 Workspace has always sought to foster a creative environment where its members can collaborate, share ideas and innovate. Since its inception, many of its members have leveraged this environment to either grow existing or create new businesses and nonprofits. The latest example is Summit Local Agent, a Summit County startup founded by longtime EVO3 Workspace members, Brian Carisch and Philip Mervis.
Brian owns a Summit County software development business that develops custom solutions for small to medium-sized businesses. He also owns and manages multiple Airbnb and VRBO listings throughout Summit County. Philip is a Summit County realtor who possesses extensive knowledge of the local real estate, short-term rental and property management markets. He also serves as a co-director of the EVO3 Foundation nonprofit. Brian and Philip originally met and became friends as EVO3 Workspace members. They eventually ended up working together on the sale of a local short-term rental unit. And, they’ve been bouncing various business ideas off of one another for quite a while now.
Recognizing issues attendant to the explosion of local short-term rentals, the Breckenridge town council recently passed a Breckenridge responsible agent requirement for owners of short-term rentals. In addition to Breckenridge, Summit County and a number of local towns are currently considering the adoption of regulations with similar responsible agent requisites. A responsible agent must generally be available 24 hours per day and 7 days per week to respond to any complaint filed with the local government about the operation or condition of a short-term rental. A responsible agent must respond to a complaint within 60 minutes and may also be required to visit the short-term rental property.
Recognizing a potential business opportunity, Brian and Philip started attending community meetings regarding the new short-term rental regulations. When the Town of Breckenridge passed its new regulations, Brian and Philip began forming the business structure for Summit Local Agent and planning how they might provide responsible agent services in Summit County. Asked about the reason they felt compelled to start the business, Philip said: “We are enormously supportive of property owners who are remote but believe they can best manage their own short-term rentals. Our goal is to provide these owners with a cost-effective means of complying with the new regulations so they can continue to maximize their short-term rental income.” In the spirit of the tech-centric focus of Evo3 Workspace, Brian and Philip will deploy an array of digital tools to maximize efficiency and client satisfaction in their complaint response. Another conviction, strongly encouraged in EVO3 Workspace, is giving back to the local community. In this regard, Brian and Philip quickly agreed to partner with the FIRC Housing Works Initiative, which bolsters the availability of long-term rental housing across Summit County. Summit Local Agent has committed to donate 5% of its net proceeds in support of this fantastic local objective.