Vacation Rental Management in Whistler BC

Own A Piece of Whistler & Generate Passive Income

Millions of visitors a year flock to Whistler, BC to partake in skiing, sightseeing, nightlife, and cultural festivities this small town has to offer. These visitors must be staying somewhere, right? Historically, most visitors stay in hotels, but the travel and accommodation world has drastically changed in recent years. Far more people are utilizing Other Peoples Homes (OPH) then ever before. Online Travel Agencies (OTA) are sites like Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway that allow for “hosts” (landlords) to create semi-passive income by booking guests through their platform. The OTAs take care of the payment processing and provide $1,000,000 in insurance, in case anything goes wrong. These properties are referred to as “Vacation Rentals”, or “Short Term Rentals”.

By renting out your recreational property when you’re not using it allows for you to significantly offset the cost of ownership - often times you can generate substantial cash flow if the property is heavily rented. With the rise in real estate prices and property taxes it makes more sense than ever to create side money from sites like Airbnb.

Who Will Manage The Airbnb Property?

The increase of short term rental properties in Whistler has allowed for the rise of property management companies that specialize in marketing and operating hotel-style accommodations. These companies provide full-service vacation rental management services to out-of-town homeowners. They will provide the marketing, guest communication and support, photography, and professional cleaning services to ensure your property is maximizing revenue and offering a stellar guest experience. At the end of every month you should expect your share of the bookings (often 70% of the total bookings) and a report on the bookings that occurred in that month.

What is Full-Service Vacation Rental Management?

Full-service vacation rental management is a company that takes care of every aspect of your Airbnb & VRBO business.

Typical Services Include:

  • Cost of Acquisition
  • Guest Communication & Support
  • Guest Check In / Check Out
  • Professional Photography
  • Staging & Design Consultations
  • Hotel Quality Bed Linens & Towels
  • Professional Cleaning
  • General Property Upkeep & Light Maintenance
  • Accounting & Bookkeeping

How Much Does Full-Service Property Management Cost?

The great thing about most reputable property management companies are they charge based on commission. So you pay only when they get you a booking. These means the homeowner owes no overhead to the management company. Conventional management companies charge between 40 - 50%, but the new age of property managers charge between 30 - 35%. The sudden shift in pricing is a direct result of the “Cost of Acquisition” becoming much lower now that most marketing initiatives are done online.

How Much Revenue Do Vacation Rentals Generate?

Of course, every property is different. It tends on the type of property, number of bedrooms, the amenities, etc. But to give some ideas of what Whistler Airbnb properties are generating we have provided some estimates. These numbers are before management commission fees.

Property TypeAnnual Revenue
Studio Condo$35,000 - $45,000
One Bedroom Condo$40,000 - $55,000
Two Bedroom Condo$65,000 - $75,000
Three Bedroom Condo$75,000 - $100,000
Luxury Chalet$150,000 - $200,000

How Do I Acquire My First Vacation Rental Property?

Research and find a reputable realtor who understands the Whistler market, specifically the vacation rental business. We highly recommend Nick Swinburne from Engel & Völkers. He is one of Whistler’s top realtors and regularly helps people purchase Airbnb rentals. He has an in depth knowledge of the zoning bylaws and whether a Phase 1 or Phase 2 building will suit your needs.

When you’ve found the right property and you know the zoning allows for nightly rentals, apply for your business license so you can legally operate in Whistler. The process is pretty straightforward and should cost around $165 per year to maintain the license. If you choose to hire a property management company then this fee may be waived since you will act under their license.

Once you have your first property and a business license you can now launch your vacation rental business and start accepting bookings!

Airbnb or VRBO, Which Is Better?

Neither option is bad, but our experience has shown the Whistler travellers prefer to book on the Airbnb platform. Airbnb is a very user friendly experience, they have done an excellent job building an easy-to-use app - compatible for both iOS and Android.

We highly recommend being on multiple OTAs; even if you prefer a certain platform. Increasing your digital distribution increases your visibility. The more people viewing your property the higher you can comfortably increase your nightly rates.

How Do I Setup An Airbnb?

One day we will provide a step-by-step guide that gives you everything you need to succeed in this business. Until then, consult with your property management company or reach out to us at Lifty Life Hospitality and we can provide management or consulting services to get you started!