Did you know that 44% of prospective residents will not sign a lease at an apartment community with poor cell reception? Or that residents’ second most-cited reason for moving is poor management? Or that 42% of residents say they rarely or never use the fitness center?
Last year, the National Multifamily Housing Council conducted one of the largest-ever surveys of apartment residents, with more than 372,000 respondents living in 5,300 communities across more than 270 markets across the United States, revealing these findings and much more.
While seeking out prospects will always be important to an apartment marketer or property manager, it’s also crucial to devise a strategy to retain your current apartment residents. Consider this: The cost of a non-renewal is between $2,500 and $5,000, according to Multifamily Executive. This means the longer a resident stays in a community, the better it is for that community’s bottom line.
So, how can you make sure your apartment residents are happy enough to stay? It’s simple — ask them, then use their feedback to create an improved living experience.
What To Ask
Your residents should be able to provide anonymous feedback that will give you a roadmap to make your apartment community an even better place to live. Keep in mind that longer surveys have a lower completion rate, so keep it focused on what’s truly important. Consider including questions around these topics:
The move-in process.
- How helpful was the staff in explaining the lease terms and conditions?
- How would you describe the professionalism of our staff during your move-in experience?
- How could the process be improved?
The management and maintenance teams.
- How attentive are we to your needs?
- How would you describe our communication to our residents?
- How skilled are we in problem solving?
- How do you feel about our upkeep of the community?
- What do you think of our apartment finishes?
- How would you describe the parking in our community?
- Are there any apartment or community amenities you wish we offered?
The move-out process.
- What is your reason for leaving our community?
- How would you describe the professionalism of our staff during your move-out experience?
- How could the process be improved?
- How can we make our community better?
What Should the Format Be?
Online surveys not only make it easier for residents to participate, they can also offer data insights to better analyze responses and take action.
Ideally, your survey should be a mix of open-ended questions and a rating scale. Yes and no questions are the simplest to answer, but their utility is limited when looking for guidance on how to improve.
Apartment communities should aim to conduct a resident general satisfaction survey at least once per year, but there are reasons for additional, more detailed surveys on more specific topics. The key is to respect your residents’ time, so think carefully about what you want to ask and how you will use the survey results.
What To Do With The Results
Make sure your team knows and understands the results of your resident survey. Celebrate the positive feedback first, then get into the more negative results. Discuss how to alleviate the issues that residents mentioned in the survey and try identify patterns in the feedback to uncover any larger problems that might exist.
Use the survey results to inform your apartment community policies and culture and — most importantly — show your residents that you care, that you’re listening, and that you’re committed to making your community a better place to call home.
Respage’s New Survey Platform
Respage will be launching a new platform this Spring that includes Surveys, AI Review Solicitation, and Resident Communications. Respage Surveys will be the most robust survey offering available in the Multifamily market. Automated and intuitive, this product integrates with major software platforms and is a natural progression from our other premium offerings. Speak to our team about knowing resident feedback 100% of the time!