While it’s not wise to make sweeping generalizations, it may be safe to say that, to most owner/managers, the thought of conducting tenant surveys is just an awful proposition. Many get earfuls all the time of tenant “input”… why on earth would we want to solicit it?
Would you believe that going after feedback might actually cut down on the amount of “noise” you hear on an ongoing basis, while giving you some insight that could help you manage your property more effectively?
- Develop a thoughtful questionnaire. You can do this using the old fashioned paper method, but online tools like Survey Monkey make it possible for you to send direct-to-email for little or no cost. This is often best for the recipient as well. Ask questions about the things you generally should be concerned with as a manager, such as maintenance, payment policies, the competition, management responsiveness, and the like.
- Make it known. Make sure your tenants know the survey is available for responses and they are given at least 30 days to reply.
- Take action and provide notifications. Once the responses are in, read through them. Do not take this lightly. The only way this process and its benefit work is if you follow-through by taking them seriously. So, be open to making changes where it seems there is consensus on issues, and especially where something stands to cost you a tenant or worsen your stand against the competition. The survey should be anonymous, but this doesn’t stop you from making changes known to the tenants. You can do so via email, mail, or property bulletin board posts.
When you have a monitored outlet like a survey, which is conducted on a regular and consistent basis (e.g., every 6 months), tenants are less likely to beat down your door with complaints. You’ll find a willingness and gratefulness for an outlet, as well as a natural decline in the number of complaints/suggestions as tenants make conscious decisions about what and what not to report.
Additionally, management gets the benefit of having a finger on the pulse of the property. When handled correctly, it’s a win-win situation.
Need some help with the logistics, or want a professional to take over the process? Learn how we can work together to make the most of your property investment. Contact us at 817-295-5959 or send us an email to email@example.com.