Many businesses operating in the vacation rental industry are already taking action by adopting environmentally friendly practices and putting long-term strategies in place. But how can they act practically in the short term to reduce their carbon footprint in their day-to-day operations while adding value to their business? The solutions are easier than you may think when you have the right technology in place.
Here are three easy ways technology can help your business go green for the environment and your bottom line.
1. Stop Wasting Energy
The good news is that improving environmental efficiency of short-term rental properties is not only good for the environment, but also for your pocket. Heating and cooling a vacant property is a waste of energy and money. Returning the property to energy-saving mode at check-out using smart thermostats reduces energy consumption, therefore saving money.
Here are a few statistics to bring this to life:
- If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to invest in smart thermostats to counteract rising energy costs by cutting usage up to 23 percent.
- Without tech solutions, some locations see eight times more water usage by tourism than the local population. Demand is again driven by the younger generations, including the 86 percent of millennials who will pay up to 20 percent more for a tech-advanced property.
- Did you know property managers can save up to $7,500 on annual insurance fees for 10 single-family homes using smart water management systems?
2. Reduce Risks in Vacation Rentals
Property owners and managers want to protect their investments and will ensure that costly and avoidable issues can be dealt with efficiently before they become major issues. Leaking taps, missing keys, and malfunctioning air conditioning systems are all pain points that most property managers would like to avoid.
Preventative maintenance through annual inspections and checkups is traditionally how most property managers and owners check to see if something is not working properly. But this can require multiple trips to the property, adding up on unnecessary carbon emissions and time spent.
Instead of getting someone out to do a manual check, a smart home automation means that an automated system regularly scans to check if everything is working as it should be. If a fault is detected in HVAC or water systems, an email or text is sent to the property owner/manager.
For example, with a smart water management solution that uses smart sensors and water valves, property managers can be notified about overconsumption and leaks before they escalate into high-cost damage, therefore preventing risks such as frozen pipes.
Smart technology solutions send an alert if a problem arises. Intelligent solutions take an action once an alert is received. Automated intelligent tech goes a step further by using intelligent solutions to respond to a problem. For example, a system would shut off the water supply if there is a leak, or turn off a heating system if it overheats. Intelligent automated technology solutions are the future for efficiently managing risk in rental properties. Not only do they have environmental benefits for consumers, they have cost savings, too.
3. Respond to What Guests Want
Responding to guest demand is essential, especially if you want to distinguish yourself from the competition.
In the 2021 Sustainability Report, Booking.com surveyed 29,000 travelers about sustainable travel. Eighty-one percent of travelers surveyed say they want to stay in sustainable accommodations. Seventy-two percent are more likely to choose an accommodation if it has implemented sustainable practices.
Research tells us that many vacation renters want to align their travel experience with their values. Two in three Gen X-ers (born 1965-1980) prefer to buy from sustainable brands with energy-saving property technology.
Findings from the 2022 Vacationer Sustainable Travel Survey revealed that over 87 percent of Americans view sustainability in travel as somewhat or very important (that’s representative of almost 225 million people!), so access to sustainable options in rentals are becoming desired features for guests.
Offering sustainable solutions will meet guests’ expectations and deliver improvements. These adaptations can be promoted to guests so they can see your brand has similar environmental values and ethos as them.
Tackling sustainability can feel daunting, but there’s a lot that can be done through sensible, practical ways of thinking that can cut your emissions simply and effectively.
Adopting simple energy-saving automation systems will significantly reduce environmental impacts and reduce maintenance costs. Better still, intelligent solutions will monitor and respond for you, freeing up your time for other tasks. When this is done across multiple properties, the savings to carbon emissions and your bottom line really add up.
Reducing consumption reduces associated carbon emissions and may lead to cost savings. Adopting smart and intelligent technology systems will reduce risks and overhead through efficient maintenance and proactive management. By doing this, you fulfill guest demand to align with their values around sustainability. It makes sense for your rental business and the planet alike.
Jim Netska is the director of sales at PointCentral and leads the short-term rental markets.