How to measure tenant satisfaction with real-time feedback
A new report from the Housing Ombudsman has found that dissatisfaction with day-to-day repairs accounts for a whopping 44% of tenant complaints.
If you’re a property manager or landlord, this number should shock you and have you asking, “How can resident satisfaction be gauged?” — especially considering that there are now consequences to having negative complaints.
It’s crucial to measure tenant satisfaction if you want to sustain your business, improve over time, and increase resident satisfaction. Yet, few repair and maintenance providers conduct outreach for feedback, and those who do often have scattered, outdated, or multiple-format feedback forms — making it difficult for housing repair teams to respond to issues quickly or utilise the data to optimise performance in the long run.
A property management satisfaction survey can offer the real-time feedback you need to enhance your tenant experience and, ultimately, create happy tenants who stay longer and refer you to their networks.
Here’s why you need to pay attention to tenant satisfaction, and how you can measure feedback in real-time.
Report findings from the Housing Ombudsman
From April 2021 to March 2022, the Housing Ombudsman handled nearly 27,000 complaints and enquiries, and the findings clearly show that communicating with tenants before, during, and after each appointment is key to improving service.
The report recommends that landlords:
- Communicate proactively with residents
- Provide a clear roadmap on inspections with timescales
- Address individual circumstances to exercise discretion when appropriate
- Provide effective complaint correspondence and disrepair claims processes
The report also found that most tenant complaints revolved around repairs and complaint handling — and it’s important to take note of this because there are now consequences for property managers who do not handle complaints to the standards set by the Housing Ombudsman.
Twenty-two Tenant Satisfaction Measures introduced in 2022 are being enforced as of April 2023, some of which will be measured by landlords directly, and some of which will be measured by landlords carrying out tenant perception surveys.
Some of these measures include:
- Keeping properties in good repair
- Maintaining building safety
- Respectful and helpful engagement
- Effective handling of complaints
- Responsible neighbourhood management
Why is tenant feedback so important?
Gathering tenant feedback offers a look into tenant satisfaction — a key metric for housing associations to gauge the efficiency of their teams and how well they’re engaging tenants. You can use the data and insights to improve profitability, perspective, and residents’ happiness.
Apartment resident satisfaction survey questions give you valuable intel on inefficiencies in your maintenance processes that are losing your business money. For example, if you’re sending out repair technicians without the correct skills for the job at hand, you’re looking at wasted appointment time, frustrated tenants, and sunk costs.
Tenant feedback also helps you stay aware of what’s going on on your properties; it points out unknown smaller issues before they become bigger problems. It also helps stakeholders streamline processes and reduces tenant turnover — after all, when you pay attention to the needs of your residents, they’re more likely to stick around.
Best practices for measuring tenant satisfaction and using feedback strategically
It’s clear that tenant feedback is important for understanding and improving the tenant experience — but not all feedback is created equally. If it’s inaccurate, outdated, or difficult to get a hold of, it won’t be useful for your organisation.
Here are seven best practices for measuring tenant satisfaction and using feedback strategically:
- Solicit feedback immediately at the close of the appointment. This is when the resident’s thoughts are top of mind and they’re more likely to accurately represent their experience. Localz’ research of EU customers in 2022 found that between 10 minutes and two days is the optimal time window to gather feedback after an appointment is over:
-66.5% of respondents offer feedback within the first 10 minutes following an appointment
-74.8% within 30 minutes
-80.3% within 1 hour
-85.3% within 2 hours
-97.1% within 1 day
-98.8% within 2 days
- Automate your feedback gathering. Having your technician ask the tenant for feedback in person puts both them and the tenant in a tough spot. Automating feedback gathering helps avoid awkward conversations, saves your staff time, and ensures responses are prompt and sincere. You can even automate asking residents whether they’d like a follow-up call — often, they’ll opt out, further reducing the burden on your team.
- Set goals and KPIs around your feedback. Know what data you want to get from your surveys; when you set goals around your feedback, you can take action when your services and processes aren’t meeting them. Your goal checklist may include improving first-time fix rates, reducing no-access calls, and better aligning technicians with jobs. But don’t just set vague hopes — assign a number/percent around your goals so you can measure your improvement over time.
- Keep surveys short and sweet. Tenants are more likely to fill out simple property management satisfaction surveys — no one wants to spend time on long survey forms or questionnaires.
- Make sure the questions you ask matter. Tenant satisfaction survey questions should align with the KPIs you’re tracking, inform decisions down the line, and have the potential to raise red flags if a tenant didn’t have a positive experience.
For example, a tenant survey template may include questions like:
-“Was the technician knowledgeable about the subject/repairs?”
-“Was the service person polite and respectful?”
-“Was the job completed in a timely manner?”
- Offer space for optional open-ended feedback. Not all tenants will want to fill this part out, but it provides a place for those who do to offer more details about their experience, which can lead to even more valuable insight for your organisation.
- Act on the feedback. Don’t just collect feedback and sit on it — take action on both good and bad feedback, and do it in a timely manner. Repairs are often the only touchpoint a tenant has with management, so acting (or not) on maintenance feedback can make or break a tenant’s perception of your property and its management.
Start getting timely feedback with Localz
It’s time to start getting better feedback. Localz can help you with a tenant survey template — in various formats of questions and answers, from emojis and checkboxes to open-ended questions and more — and automate surveys to send out after a job is completed.
Surveys send out using geolocation triggers once technicians leave the property, so tenants can feel safe to answer questions truthfully. The feedback forms even come through on residents’ phones, so there’s no need to send out emails, have them open various links, or follow confusing directions to leave feedback. You can also opt for negative feedback to automatically and immediately notify customer support teams of what needs to be actioned.
We make it easy to empower tenants to offer you their valuable feedback so you can then take action on their insights to build a better business. In addition to dynamic and simple feedback forms, you can transform service and repair appointments with field service solutions like real-time appointment updates, automatic rescheduling, and customisable GPS tracking.
Our housing association and contractor clients have seen results like:
- 20% reduction in no-access visits.
- 30% fewer chase calls into contact centres.
- 15 pt NPS improvement.
- 90% average user engagement.
Ready to improve your tenant satisfaction? Let’s talk.