Tenant satisfaction surveys are key to making smart and skilled business decisions that make sense for your property. They give you the valuable opportunity to gain more in-depth insight from your consumers. Here are some tips for doing them well.
Property managers are involved in an ongoing business relationship with their tenants, so regular feedback is a vital part of improving the tenant experience. Tenant satisfaction surveys help to get into the heads of tenants and learn of important issues that may need more attention. At the end of the day, we’re all people and people like to be heard. Even better when feedback is put into action.
Here are a few ways to assure that your tenant satisfaction surveys are most effective:
Ask for honest feedback.
Sometimes the truth hurts (especially when you’re being trolled online), but in many cases, the truth helps you offer a better product and service. Obviously, you want to know how tenants feel about your property and onsite staff, but be sure to drill down and ask specific questions, not general ones. This should encourage more direct answers and honest feedback. Examples of specific questions can include:
- What do you believe could be improved in property entrances?
- What do you view as a specific weakness of this building? A specific weakness of management?
- How about strengths of the property? Management strengths?
- What repairs would you like to see?
- What renovations do you think are necessary on the property?
- Requests for specific feedback — rather than general stream-of-consciousness musings — may encourage them to let down their guard.
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If tenants know their responses are anonymous, they may be more candid in their feedback. Make it clear to them that the survey is anonymous so that there is no doubt in their minds. There are many online survey tools that can make this happen; two of the most popular are Survey Monkey and Survey Planet.
Avoid “yes or no” questions.
“Do you feel safe entering the building after dark?” may be the question you want to ask, but the answer may not be specific enough for you to make improvements. An answer of “no” to that question will not give you enough information to initiate change, unless you work on assumptions. Design your questions for open-ended answers. Example: “How do you feel when entering the building after dark? And what improvements to that experience would you suggest?” Also, if a tenant thinks the rent is too high, an open-ended question may help you get to the bottom of why tenants feel that way. You may also ask what amenities tenants think would warrant a rent increase.
Work toward the most responses
The larger the data set, the more credible and robust the feedback. Encourage responses by offering gift cards from local businesses, especially local restaurants. If possible, a rental discount is an offer they can’t refuse.
Develop a thick skin.
Don’t throw in the towel if you hear any — or especially overwhelming — negative feedback. Think of it as an opportunity to improve tenant experience. Remember too that satisfaction surveys are proof that you care about what tenants think and that you are open to listening and making improvements. Tell them their survey is not just some empty gesture or business admin obligation, but a real attempt at finding out how tenants feel and how life on the property can be made better. The comments and answers may even improve with your next survey as a result.
Ask questions that get to the heart of the matter.
Focus on problems and issues that seem to be the most prevalent. Your tenants will appreciate your doing so. Some examples can include:
- How could our leasing process be improved?
- How can we best make you aware of our safety features?
- If a maintenance or repair request was not handled in a timely manner, how long did you have to wait and how was the situation addressed by management?
- In what ways can we communicate better with you in the future?
- In what ways can we be more proactive in improving your satisfaction?
Be proactive before the survey gets circulated: improve your property with meaningful property inspections. Click here to read more.
Safety is a necessity and questions relevant to how safe tenants feel should always be on your survey. In fact, a survey recently conducted by Kingsley Associates showed that among the 670,000 renters surveyed, property security fell into the top six renewal decision factors. Proactive property managers take notice of safety concerns and seek out improvements to help their tenants feel safer. Our emergency response service is focused on exactly that – providing an amenity that contributes to property safety and empowers your tenants to summon help when they need it most – during an emergency. Our service helps improve tenant experience in a less than desirable situation while also helping you to mitigate risk and liability exposure. What’s more is we keep your on-site staff informed of what’s transpiring so that you can take action as you wish for damage control.
At Kings III, our focus is on service to all people (your tenants, employees and visitors) in less than desirable circumstances, as safety is a large component of tenant satisfaction. See more about our services here.