June 2, 2021

How to Survey Residents to Maximize Feedback and Leverage the Data

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The goal of any apartment property manager is to have a flourishing community full of happy, long-term residents. 

 

Satisfied residents spread positive feedback online and through word-of-mouth, look out for their neighbors, and generally contribute to a more positive living environment for all.

 

So, it’s important to know what kind of experience your residents are having. Resident satisfaction surveys are an essential step in gathering feedback from your residents. 

 

Surveys that include questions about various touchpoints, such as the application process and lease renewal, can help property managers understand what they’re doing right, what they can improve upon, and what residents need to be happy.

 

But surveys are only useful if residents participate. In general, a good survey response rate ranges from 6% to 18%, and the shorter the survey, the higher the completion rate. In this post, we will take a look at how to approach a survey, what to ask, and what to do with the results.

 

 

What do you want to know?

 

Before creating the survey, it’s helpful to think through what you want to learn and why. Some possible reasons for surveying your residents include:

 

  • Gaining insight into specific touchpoints, like the move-in experience or a maintenance visit 
  • Setting long-term goals for the community
  • Assessing residents’ overall satisfaction and loyalty
  • Getting feedback on amenities and community features

 

What should you ask?

 

The areas of concern for a property manager generally fall into three buckets.

 

Maintenance

Residents are more likely to stick around if their maintenance requests are handled quickly and efficiently. It can take as little as one negative maintenance experience for residents to start thinking of finding a new apartment. Your survey results can help pinpoint any problems so you can address them.

Customer Service

Providing excellent customer service is paramount to keeping your residents happy. Asking for feedback on things like communication between residents and management, how management solves problems, and whether staff members are friendly and helpful can be a useful way to either improve your customer service or understand what your staff is doing right.

Property Conditions

Asking residents how they feel about their own apartments as well as communal spaces like the pool and fitness center can provide useful insight into what features are most important to them. This data can help guide management in setting long-term goals for the property.

Who should you survey?

 

Once you’ve decided why you want to conduct a survey, the next step is figuring out who you’ll target. If your goal is to get an overall pulse of your community, you’d want to survey all residents. If you want feedback on your apartment leasing process, target residents who moved in recently. If your goal is to take a holistic view of your customer service, you’ll want to survey prospects and current residents.

 

The people you plan to survey can also guide the survey format. For example, you could reach current residents through the community’s online portal, and prospects via email. 

 

When should you do your survey?

 

It’s important to respect residents’ time, so don’t go overboard with surveying them. More people will participate in your survey if it is kept short and succinct, so each question you include should serve a specific purpose. 

 

Aim to conduct overall satisfaction surveys once or twice a year. More targeted surveys, like ones given to residents who’ve just moved in or had a maintenance visit recently, can be given shortly after the event while it’s still fresh in their minds.

 

What should you do with the results?

 

Overall satisfaction surveys can reveal information that’s actionable and informative, so it’s smart to present the data in a format that’s easy to refer back to. Include your objectives, methodology, an executive summary, and detailed findings. A free platform like Google Data Studio can be helpful in converting your data into graphs and charts.

 

When sharing your findings with your team, celebrate the positive feedback while also diving into the negative results and looking for patterns to discover any larger issues that may need to be addressed.

 

Respage’s New Survey Platform


Respage launched a Surveys and Star Ratings Platform platform last year that helps property managers survey their residents, build community advocates, and improve star ratings. The Dashboard provides visibility into all resident feedback and allows managers to organize the data to inform actions that will improve their communities. To maximize feedback, the AI-driven platform takes a two-pronged approach that has demonstrated considerable success: 1) Automated surveys are pushed out to residents after they’ve taken a specific action, and 2) The Review Booster tool asks only one question about overall satisfaction. This approach has given property managers considerable insights into what’s working as well as what needs to be changed. Even better, the Review Booster tool pushes residents to Google to leave a review. If you’d like to learn more, talk to us!

 

 

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