This article was posted on Monday, Feb 01, 2016

What would you give for a peek inside the minds of your residents?  Thanks to the results of a recent apartment resident customer satisfaction survey from leading marketing research firm, J Turner Research, you may be closer to understanding than you think.  Let’s take a closer look at the study findings, along with what they mean for strategic-minded property managers. 

The Research Is In

After analyzing 10,000 customer satisfaction surveys nationwide, J Turner’s list of the “Top 10 Multifamily Apartment Resident Complaints” included the following: 

  1. Rental rates
  2. Poor grounds/common area upkeep
  3. Disorganized staff / lack of communication with staff
  4. Quality of response to maintenance requests
  5. Overall customer service of management staff
  6. Quality of parking / parking availability
  7. Concerns over security / safety / lighting
  8. Lack of upgraded amenities
  9. Pets not on leashes / poor pet waste removal
  10. General lack of preventative maintenance 

Some of these aren’t exactly surprising.  After all, what resident wouldn’t op for better parking or lower rental rates, given the choice?  Others involve straight-forward fixes, such as maintain common areas and upgrading amenities.

However, a few are eye-opening – particularly as they pertain to the roles and responsibilities of the typical property manager. 

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A Common Tread

When announcing the survey results, J Turner Research president Joseph Batdorf said, “Apartment residents remain concerned with a broad range of customer satisfaction issues but far and away the immediate opportunity to improve customer service and resident satisfaction levels is by addressing dissatisfaction with onsite staff responses to resident concerns.”

In other words, resident relations with apartment community staff is a critical customer satisfaction factor.  Failure to respond to maintenance or other requests, lack of enforcement of leash laws and other rules, and an overall deficit of efficient, effective communications account for a significant amount of resident disgruntlement, and yet could be ameliorated through some corrective measures. 

Key Takeaways

It’s a fact of apartment life – residents will occasionally be unhappy.  After all, regardless of what spot it claims on the list, a drop in rent may not be coming any time soon.  However, in addition to fixing any budget-permitting issues at the property level, there’s something else you can do to solve several of these renter complaints with one streamlined action:  better communications.

Gone are the days when flyers, bulleting boards and mailings were the only way to share information with residents.  In the digital age, there are more options than ever when it comes to making your messages heard by residents in the most direct and meaningful way.

From phone to email to text, the latest messaging systems allow you to reach your residents through their preferred means of communication.  So whether you’re reminding residents about waste disposal, or announcing an upcoming maintenance project, your residents will always be in the know … and have less to grumble about.

Satisfied residents are likely to stick around and to spread the word about your apartment community to their friends and family members.  By listening to your residents and taking proactive steps to improve resident relations through digital communication methods, you can improve resident relations while simultaneously positioning yourself to fill your occupancy. 

From www.multifamilyinsiders.comReprinted with permission of the Wisconsin Apartment Association News.