Why Kelowna is a Great Market for Airbnb and an Airbnb Manager Makes it Easy

Kelowna is among the best markets for Airbnb in the country! Kelowna has grown into a regional powerhouse that has developed into a near four season destination. There are legal restrictions and challenges that can make it difficult to operate in this region. Fortunately there are many vacation rental management companies that can manage your property on Airbnb, VRBO, and Homeaway. Airbnb managers take the complexity, frustration, and time investment out of owning a vacation rental.

A bit about Airbnb

As many people know, the online travel agent (OTA) behemoth, Airbnb, has been rapidly growing in popularity in the last 5 or so years. Recent studies show that Airbnb has a 150 million users spread across 65,000 cities. The platform now has over 5 million listings and the number continually increases year after year.

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Kelowna & Airbnb Legality

For the last few years the Kelowna Municipality has struggled with how they should approach the booming short term rental industry. On one hand the vacation rentals are generating significantly more tourist activity for the local businesses, while on the other end, it is limiting the inventory for housing for the long-term locals. Certainly a valid argument and one worth having!

How do other municipalities manage these nightly rental operations?

Conveniently, Whistler, the #1 ski resort in North America, struggled with the short term rental issue for many years - even before the rise of Airbnb. So what did they do? The elected officials set in place and enforced fair laws that required a) a business license b) correct zoning; meaning only commercial buildings were allowed to run commercial businesses - makes sense, doesn’t it? All residential zoned properties are banned from nightly rentals.

Harrison Hot Springs and many other municipalities structured their bylaws in a very similar fashion.

Kelowna, Okanagan Lake

What are Kelowna’s Vacation Rental Bylaws?

They recently just passed bylaws to allow Airbnb rentals provided the homeowner follows a few simple rules.

  • Apply for a business license
  • Submit a self-evaluated Fire & Safety Form
  • Complete a Good Neighbor Agreement Form
  • Pay your business license fees ($345 for residences and $750 for non-residences)

In order to be approved for a business license the property must be properly zoned.

kelowna airbnb rules

How much will my Airbnb in Kelowna generate?

Our team has conducted extensive research using the leading Airbnb pricing software on the market. The revenue potential of each unit wildly varies depending on the quality of the unit, occupancy, and the average nightly rate. We broke down property types by the number of bedrooms: studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and a three-bedroom house. The Annual revenues are based on high occupancy at an average nightly rate.

Property TypeEstimated Annual Revenue
Studio$22,000 - $26,000
One Bedroom$25,000 - $30,000
Two Bedroom$32,000 - $43,000
Three Bedroom$42,000 - $74,000

Kelowna Tourism Statistics

According to Tourism Kelowna, 2018 was an excellent year for tourist activity and 2019 statistics are expected to be even better!

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Airbnb property management in Kelowna

If you're interested in generating passive income from your Airbnb in Kelowna, feel free to reach out to our team! We're able to help organize the photography, listing setup, cleanings, guest interaction, and coordinate the general maintenance and upkeep. Lifty Life provides a full-service vacation rental management solution with unlimited owner use and a non-commitment contract.

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