In workplaces across the country, performance feedback and peer surveys are becoming increasingly popular methods of ensuring cooperation and efficiency. As a landlord, you likely don’t have an office dedicated to your property management, and, if you do, there’s probably not a lot of coworkers milling about in it. To ensure that you’re providing the best treatment and services you can, consider implementing an annual tenant survey to measure satisfaction.
What Questions Should You Be Asking?
When it comes down to it, there are two things on which you should focus our attention with any tenant survey: yourself and the property. When asking about the property, find out what the tenants enjoyed, what they didn’t, and why. If you happen to have budgeted for some renovations in the near future, ask the tenants what changes or repairs they’d most like to see. Not only will this help you create the best product you can, but it will also encourage your tenants to keep renting for additional years as they’ll feel grateful that a landlord would be willing to invest in their interests. When asking about yourself, try and get the most honest feedback you can. Ask about your strengths and weaknesses as a landlord and how you can improve in the future.
Additional Reading: Efficient Growth: When Should Landlords Look For Software?
A Tenant Survey is Only As Good as the Responses
The more properties you have, the more imperative it is for you to issue feedback surveys. If you have a single property, then it’s easy to maintain contact with your tenants, keep track of their needs, and respond accordingly. With multiple properties, just remembering everyone’s name can be difficult, much less remembering every issue or recommendation they’ve thrown your way. A larger number of responses will also ensure more robust feedback. Rather than have a survey colored by the responses of a grand total of three people, a larger sample size helps guarantee more accurate feedback as a whole.Be sure to effectively notify everyone of any tenant survey you conduct. Make the benefits clear to them: answer these questions so we can improve!
Guaranteeing Anonymity is Essential
In most satisfaction surveys, anonymity is essential, and here too, it’s no different. Your tenants won’t give you honest feedback unless they’re confident their responses are anonymous. On this point, landlords of multiple properties enjoy the benefit of having a larger number of tenants. A larger group of responses makes it more difficult for the administrator of the tenant survey to determine whose responses are whose – and if the responders are aware of this, they’re more likely to give honest feedback. Still, it’s necessary to take steps to guarantee anonymity and the confidence of your tenants. There are numerous free online survey tools you can use, ranging from Survey Monkey to Survey Planet. To further encourage participation, get a gift card to a local restaurant or shop as a prize for one random participant.
Avoid Asking Closed-Ended Questions
Your purpose behind issuing a tenant survey should be to get as much information as possible. Outside of some simple but necessary questions, such as “Would you recommend this property to a friend?” it’s best to keep your questions open-ended. Don’t settle for simple yes or no answers – encourage your tenants to provide as much information as possible. Finding out that a tenant thinks the rent is slightly too much for what they’re paying isn’t particularly useful unless you know why. If you’re looking for inspiration, there are many tenant satisfaction surveys around the internet. A quick Google search can help you get on the right track in constructing your own.
Keep an Open Mind
Negative feedback will happen. Don't get offended or indignant at such reviews from your tenants. Addressing such concerns is your way to becoming a better landlord, and ignoring feedback will only keep you entrenched in habits that hurt your ability to attract and keep good tenants as well as hamper your growth as a property manager, both in a personal and professional sense. A tenant survey is a tool that you can use not only to improve yourself and your business, but to help you grow that business. Don't miss out.