7 Reasons Property Management Firms Should Use Tenant Surveys
Maybe I’m odd, but I really enjoy filling out surveys. Yeah, it’s OK you don’t have to be like me.
But surveys are a useful tool for property managers and so it is worth us discussing some of the advantages of having a survey as part of your property management workflow.
A well-designed survey tells the landlord and property manager up to date information about this one tenancy. And more importantly, the information is actionable... you can do something about it.
How many times have you done a site visit and found a tenant waiting for you to show up before mentioning there’s a problem? It is very frustrating.
Yet a survey can trigger a response in the same way - get in touch and the tenant replies with something they’ve been “meaning” to tell you about. And it’s quicker and less costly than a site visit.
Surveys take many forms - the simplest asks “are you happy?” and gives a scale to answer (happy face, neutral face, sad face). Just collecting this information can be useful in the long term. Because it shows that your property manager is on top of any issues at that rental.
More detailed surveys can be very granular with detailed questions about different aspects of the renting process such as your move in, paying the rent, or what happens when problems arise. Although useful for the property manager, the longer the survey, the less the recipient is likely to respond to it.
My favourite surveys are open, where you ask one or two questions and let the respondent tell you in their own words what they think. Free text responses like this can give you the best sort of insight. They are very, very specific to that one property - and so aren’t suitable for comparison to other tenancies - but they can get you answers very fast which you can act on.
The next one is the quality survey where a net promoter score in the form of “points out of 10” is used. Again, proponents of these surveys love them because they claim that any score over 8 means the tenant is likely to refer business and give you a great recommendation. What’s wrong with them is that there is no easy follow up to actually ask for and get a testimonial.
So my last survey preference is Umanest’s custom property management testimonial workflow. Not only does this get you honest responses in the tenant’s own words, the software helps encourage the tenant to post their answer to social media at the same time. The bonus of this is that you get the answer privately (and can act on the information) but you also get spontaneous free publicity.
Best of all worlds!