5 ways to increase property value

Learn how sustainable practices can enhance the value of real estate

Although vacation rentals are set up to make an income from renting them out to travellers, they do have a property value as well. If you are a property owner, you will certainly be interested in adding value to your real estate. In the future, you may decide to sell the property. Of course, the rental potential will make it an attractive proposition but there are also other smart ways you can increase property value.

If you are a property management company, your owners will thank you for suggesting ways to increase property value. In addition, these choices will save money and enhance the guest experience.

Lastly, investment interest in acquiring short-term rental properties has increased dramatically in recent years. Many owners own second, third or even fourth homes which they rent out when they are not there themselves. Undoubtedly, they will consider the energy efficiency and quality of the properties they buy.


Do sustainable actions increase property value?

In many countries, it is obligatory to undertake an energy performance certificate before putting a property on the market. Furthermore, it is often necessary to have an EPC for renting out a property. This certificate will allow potential buyers to understand the sort of costs they will incur for running the home. It takes into account insulation, windows, renewables like heat pumps etc. The highest rating is A4 with the lowest being G.

There is increasing evidence to show that having a higher energy performance rating will, in fact, increase property value. There are some interesting stats from homebuyers in the UK to say that:

  • 71% consider a home’s EPC rating as an important part of their decision-making
  • 59% are willing to pay more for a property where at least 75% of its energy comes from renewable sources
  • Improving a property from a low F or G to a C rating could increase property value by 19.6%

In this article, we aim to demonstrate that sustainability has a significant positive impact and share the simplest ways to increase property value for short-term rentals. Responsible choices are not just good for the environment, they make good business sense too.


1. Optimise energy efficiency

Due to continuing wars and geopolitical unrest, energy prices are still volatile. Consequently, the energy efficiency of a property holds a much greater value than, say, five years ago.

We have already mentioned EPCs and how these definitely appear to increase property value. There are a number of simple ways to improve energy efficiency, which will also reduce costs during the rental period. A win-win combination.

One of the most cost-effective ways to reduce energy use in a short-term rental is to implement energy saving practices. These include smart indoor thermostats, occupancy sensors, LED lightbulbs and sun screening. In this way, you will reduce energy consumption generated by guests during the rental periods. In addition, you will increase property value as both a viable rental and an energy-efficient home.

If you are refurbishing a rental property or building from scratch, it makes sense to install renewable technologies as part of the project. Heat pumps for heating and cooling are affordable solutions followed by photovoltaic panels for electricity generation. Of course, insulation is very important alongside double glazed windows to keep interiors warm or cool.


2. Adopt preventative maintenance

The phrase goes that “prevention is better than cure”. And this is particularly true for buildings. It is so much better to detect a problem at an early stage when the repair will be manageable and affordable.

Furthermore, from a sustainability perspective, it is always better to repair an existing unit than having to install a new one. For this reason, having a leak detection system installed is part of the Sustonica criteria, resulting in up to 11.93% towards your final score.

In order to ensure that your rental property is in good shape, it is always wise to have a maintenance schedule in place. Certain items like boilers or heat pumps will need regular maintenance checks anyway. If you do not have LED lightbulbs installed, it could be good practice to replace old-style bulbs with LEDs when they fail.

Guests will always appreciate a well-maintained short-term rental which looks like the photos on the booking site! This will help to avoid negative reviews about the home not living up to expectations.


3. Incorporate sustainable design and materials

We have already mentioned the importance of energy performance certificates (EPC) in order to increase property value. Of course, there is more to design than just the technology needed to power a building.

In terms of energy consumption, buildings account for around 36% of global emissions. This figure includes energy demands of buildings as well as the manufacture of building materials. As such, the materials chosen for the exterior of the home are also important. Using local readily available materials reduces the impact of transportation. An example of this is using timber from sustainable sources locally rather than importing hardwood from areas where deforestation is a problem.

Another aspect is the materials chosen as part of the interior design. When presenting a property for short-term rent or as a property on the market, first impressions count. As such, the choices made for bathrooms, kitchens, furniture and soft furnishings can say a lot about a property. They set the tone for the style of the home and can reflect the aesthetic and character of the destination.

Landscape design is another factor, which has the potential to increase property value. Creating a garden that is in harmony with the surrounding landscape will complement the house itself. In addition, incorporating indigenous varieties into the planting scheme is a responsible choice. It allows for minimal transportation and ensures the future health of the plants, which will be able to adapt to the prevailing climate.

Currently, there is increasing interest in sustainable architecture and both travellers and buyers are seeking out more natural, low impact homes. Showcasing a property that adheres to these principles will meet this growing demand.


4. Manage water responsibly

Alongside energy, water consumption is another property purchasing consideration. As a result of climate change, we are seeing either prolonged droughts or devastating floods. Therefore, wherever you are in the world, water needs careful management.

If you are in a region which suffers from drought, it is both an economic and responsible choice to put water saving initiatives in place.  These include devices to save water used by guests such as low-flow taps and showers as well as dual flush toilets.

For regions where floods are becoming more and more frequent, there may be some steps you can take to minimise damage. If your rental is a stand-alone property within its own grounds, you may be able to use clever landscaping to manage water. For example, you could make sure that any paving has a proper fall away from the house with adequate soakaways. If the building is situated on a slope, you can create a surrounding landscape that directs water around the house rather than towards it.

Lastly, rainwater harvesting is a sensible way to capture rainwater when it does arrive and use it for garden irrigation.


5. Have a positive local impact

This last point could be a less obvious one. However, it is very relevant if you are looking to increase property value for a vacation rental. Particularly, in the light of hostility towards short-term rentals in destinations like Barcelona, Florida, New York City and Scotland. For example, the mayor of Barcelona wants to stop all vacation rentals from late 2028 in order to put a halt to a lack of affordable housing. This radical legislation may not actually happen but it is becoming a worrying trend for property owners and managers. Bans on granting new holiday rental licences are becoming more common. Consequently, if you want to run a short-term rental in certain destinations, the only way to do this is to buy a property with an existing licence.

No doubt, the vacation rental sector will lobby strongly against some of these measures. However, it does make sense to ensure that your property complies strictly with all the local regulations and safety measures. We mentioned taking a responsible approach towards water consumption and this will certainly have a positive impact for local residents.

In addition, one of the arguments in favour of short-term rentals is the positive impact they can have on local communities. So, do think about the different ways you can highlight local businesses and give back to the economy of your destinations. If you are in a popular city location, which is suffering from overtourism, why not explore ways to take your guests out of the city. Travellers are always looking for new experiences and in so many destinations there are hidden gems just outside the city. This helps to spread the impact of mass tourism more widely as well as making a contribution to those communities. For example, in a country like Italy, there are countless lesser-known towns and villages with spectacular landscapes,  breath taking architecture and always delicious restaurants!

(Note from article writer, Nikki: Where I live in Le Marche in Italy, we have a beautiful city called Ascoli Piceno, which is actually older than Rome with a travertine central piazza and a café frequented by author Ernest Hemingway. No one has ever heard of it and so it is rarely crowded).

In summary, you have the opportunity to present yourself as a responsible property owner who is invested in the local community. If you unite with other owners and managers, you may be able to better demonstrate the value of the short-term rental industry.


Implementing sustainable actions can increase property value. In addition, you can become a responsible operator whilst providing the sustainable stay expected by guests.


Share This Article
Sustainable building design for vacation rentals (3)
Previous post
Sustainable building design for country homes
Next post
Promoting sustainable food to attract guests
Promote sustainable food to attract guests (1)