Running a Sustainable Short-term Rental Business

Sustainability is something a lot of businesses see as a priority these days. But it is hard to achieve. As hotel services are often centralized, short-term rentals could find it hard to streamline their operations in an eco-friendly way.

However, hotels would usually have a larger carbon footprint than short-term rentals because of the nature of their properties. Moreover, as short-term rentals could be someone’s property or unit, they are generally more equipped to conserve water and energy.

Just like other parts of the travel sector, the rental industry is working towards taking a stand on sustainability. As these business owners know the impact of their businesses, they also consider environmental factors while responding to customer expectations. Here’s how one can sustain a short-term rental business.

Trust in technology for operational efficiency

Sustainability and operational efficiency go together. Operational efficiency does not just free up your people from doing tasks that can be streamlined effectively. This leads to shifting the focus to more important things. Whether it is deciding between a natural gas heater or an electric option or an arrangement about a last-minute booking, managers and team members have more time to look into additional initiatives for sustainability. Technology saves time, energy, and money, among other resources.


Many rental businesses use technology to help their property managers in different ways. Besides booking apps, other options such as keyless entry, smart thermostat adjustment, and automated lighting can conserve energy whenever their properties are not in use. Tech could be intimidating at first, but it does help run the business smoother.

With the threat of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, technology is especially helpful when communicating within teams. Through messaging and productivity platforms, team members see what the others are doing without being in the same room. There is no need to be exposed when the job (i.e., booking approval and other requests) are done remotely.

Improve water usage

Water is essential. It is a huge part of living a greener lifestyle. Yet, when one offers their property to a short-term or long-term tenant, they might not control how water is being consumed. Yet, as a landlord or property manager, you can fulfill your part in improving water usage by installing eco-friendly showerheads. Most eco-friendly showerheads are low-flow, which means they reduce the amount of water coming out of the head without reducing the water pressure. Adding these can drastically lower your monthly water bill.

Another great way to reduce water usage is to install dual flush systems. People use flushes a lot, and a single flush can waste gallons of water. Instead of building a new, state-of-the-art toilet with a built-in heater, installing a dual flush converter would be better and less expensive. These are easy to install and can save your water bill. Overall, these are also better for the environment.

Use energy-efficient appliances

Appliances are important for your day-to-day tasks. It is equally important for your guests. When you purchase appliances, pay attention to their energy efficiency. Look for items with an energy star label, which guarantees that an appliance will use less energy during standby or when active. You can also save a lot by switching to LED lights.

Install smart power strips

A major source of electric energy waste is due to phantom loads. These phantom loads are the electricity that is used by electronics on standby or when they are turned off but are plugged. Smart power strips, however, get rid of this problem. They shut off the power of electronics when they are not in use. They can be set to turn off at a given time, especially when devices are inactive.

Incorporate green practices

It is challenging to go green all at once, but it is also helpful to start small. Many short-term rental managers start with recycling, offering bulk toiletries, and switching to greener cleaning products. Sustainable hosting could be overwhelming at first, but it does its job in the long run.

It’s hard to unlearn practices that have been in place for years. Yet, by starting small, hosts can eventually adopt eco-friendly amenities and products in their properties. Other things that hosts and managers can pursue include banning single-use plastics and using plant-based cleaning products.

Another way to incorporate sustainability in the rental business is to support local suppliers. Many artisans and creatives can provide valuable services. As each city is unique, acquiring the services of local suppliers can help boost the economy of the community.

Adhering to the culture of sustainability takes hard work. Moreover, turning into a sustainable rental business is a challenge, but it is possible. With effort and passion for the future of the environment, rental owners and managers can influence their workplace and workers and their guests.

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