The Complete Guide to Tenant Satisfaction Surveys for Multi-Family Properties

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

With Q4 just around the corner, now is the time to start thinking about conducting your tenant satisfaction surveys. Not only does asking your tenants for their feedback show that you are proactive and care about their needs, it also can help you identify any areas of your property or business management that need improvement.

However, it is important that you request feedback in the right way! You want the process to be convenient and hassle-free for the tenant and provide you with quality and actionable information.

Ready to get started? Here’s what you need to know.

How to set up the survey:

A digital survey is going to be the easiest and most appealing option for most tenants. To set up the survey itself you can use a platform like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms. Both will allow you to choose a question type (multiple choice, short answer, dropdowns or checkbox) and will allow you to create a link that you can send out to your tenants. You may also want to set up the survey with anonymous responses so that your tenants are more comfortable giving honest feedback.

When choosing a platform, it is helpful to select one that shows you individual responses as well as summary data in graphic format. (Both SurveyMonkey and Google Forms do this.) This is very important because you will primarily be looking at trends and aggregate data but may also be helpful to see an individual response or survey to see one person’s answers all together.

What to ask in the survey: 

You have to ask the right questions to get the right information! So make sure that any questions you ask provide you with data that either helps you understand your tenants better or tells you about pressing issues you want to know more about.

Don’t overload your tenants with too many questions or ask them to write an essay. Mix up the question formats and include a mix of yes/no, short answer and scale/rating questions.

Below are some ideas to help you choose topics and write your questions. But remember– these ideas are simply for inspiration. Again, you should only ask questions that provide a useful answer for you and your business. 

  1. Ask them to rate areas or aspects of the property on a scale (for example a one-to-ten scale or a “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree” scale.)

A few aspects of the property you may want to ask about include:

  • Interior fixtures such as flooring, counters, lighting, etc.
  • Exterior walls and roofing
  • Safety and security features
  • Outdoor spaces such as dog runs, pool, or lawns
  • Availability of parking and laundry facilities 
  • Ask about their satisfaction with maintenance requests.

For this question, a yes/no and a short answer to elaborate is helpful.

  • Ask for feedback on your staff and customer service

This is another question that works well as a series of scale or rating questions. Include questions about availability, friendliness, helpfulness, communication, etc.

You’ll also want to include a short answer space for additional feedback. If you want more responses here, ask a direct question such as “How can our management be improved?” or “What would you like to see more of from our staff?”

At the end of the survey, you can link to your review sites like Yelp and Google and ask them to leave a review!

How to promote the survey:

The primary way of promoting your survey is likely going to be through CRM. If your online tenant portal allows announcements or messages, you can also include a note about the survey there. Similarly, if you regularly offer text reminders to your tenants, you can send out a link to the survey via a text blast so tenants can easily fill it out on their phones. (But be sure to space out these messages! You don’t want to bombard your tenants.) Finally, it is also a good idea to have a QR code in the office so when tenants come in, you can remind them to take the survey and they can simply scan the QR code with their phone and complete the survey right away. If you are not familiar with QR codes, check out this step-by-step guide.

To increase the timeliness and the number of responses, make sure you set a deadline for completing the survey– otherwise most people will decide to “do it later” and forget. Also consider offering an incentive or giveaway. This can be something small such as a gift card or movie tickets or something significant like a tablet or smart watch. 

How to use the survey results:

You’ve done all of this work, it is important that you get the most from the results. Once your responses come in, go through the aggregate data and see what your tenants identified as most successful and least successful. Be sure you keep an open mind and take the responses seriously. If you find negative feedback, don’t get discouraged or overwhelmed. Remember that this is an opportunity to improve your tenants’ experience, your property value and retention.

Then, make sure you take action. It is important that your tenants know this is not an empty gesture. If you find someone reported a serious issue (and they provided their name) be sure you follow up with them! If there was an overwhelming request for something, see if you can make it happen or what changes you could make to work towards that request.

And finally, remember you don’t have to do this alone! Our team at Reynolds Realty Advisors is here to help you with a smooth application and leasing process, compliance management, maintenance and more. Click here to learn about our full-service management.