February 04, 2016
The Big Ask: Are Your Residents Feeling the Love?
As a property manager, you might think your property is your most important investment. Think again. In today’s competitive market, tenant loyalty is not a given.
Investing in customer satisfaction goes a long way toward increasing your bottom line. Happy residents are much more likely to stick around, cooperate with your policies, respect the property and recommend your building to friends and family.
So how do you make sure your renters are happy? It’s simple.
Step 1: Ask for Feedback
The best way to figure out what your renters like and dislike is to go straight to the source. Launch an online survey through your tenant portal (you can offer incentives to participants, like free laundry or parking vouchers) or send electronic notifications, and post notices online and in the lobby, inviting residents to email you with their feedback.
One approach that is more systematic is to ask your residents how happy they are with a variety of touchpoints on a scale of 1 to 10. Be sure to cover areas like building appearance, maintenance work and staff helpfulness. Also include open-ended questions relating to areas where they would like to see improvement. The benchmark of all questions is how willing they would be to recommend your property.
Document the feedback so you can easily identify common low scores, complaints and preferences, to analyze what matters most to your residents, and which areas of improvement would give your firm a better return on any investments.
It could be accessibility—do they want to be able to easily make maintenance requests through a variety of channels? Or responsiveness—do you get back to them and make yourself readily available? Maybe it’s efficiency—how quickly do you address their concerns and requests?
Step 2: Take Action
Once you have your residents’ feedback, act on it. Prove you care about their needs and are ready to make any necessary changes. Be sure to showcase any improvements, training or upgrades in your monthly communications.
Remember, if you respond to resident requests for repairs or upgrades, you’re doing more than just satisfying current renters; you’re increasing the overall property value.
You’ll also generate long-term returns by improving policy changes, such as offering more flexible rent payment options or guest parking arrangements. Having better perks and more efficient, accessible operations not only increases renter loyalty but also makes the property more appealing to prospective tenants.
Many rental decisions are based on recommendations from family and friends. In today’s social media-driven world, where one bad review can ruin a reputation, it’s crucial to generate positive word of mouth.
Never forget that the rental business is a free market. Your renters are choosing to stay on your property, so give them plenty of good reasons to stick around and to recommend the building to others.
Invest in Your Future
Happy residents are the most important investment you can make. They become loyal renters who take good care of their units and act as free brand ambassadors for your property.
Ask your residents for their input. Once you know what makes them tick, you can go beyond being responsive; you can take proactive measures to solve issues before they happen and prevent future complaints from arising.
To learn more about how to ask your residents for feedback, and how you can use it to improve renter retention and increase overall property value, sign up for your free account today or give us a call.