A few weeks ago Multifamily Insiders, via J Turner Research, released the top 10 apartment resident complaints. The information was tabulated from over 10,000 apartment customer satisfaction surveys completed over the course of the past two years from various communities throughout the country.
Here are the top 10 complaints from the study:
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 leash/poor pet waste removal
10. General lack of preventative maintenance
I really enjoy seeing a list such as this because a majority of these items are able to be addressed by site level personnel by simply paying a little bit more attention to the smaller things. You’ll notice that three of the top five complaints from residents have absolutely nothing to do with the actual apartment home they are living in. This tells me that as a community representative I can essentially avoid three of the top five resident complaints by implementing just a few more steps in my daily routine when it comes to working with my residents.
Disorganized staff/lack of communication with staff? I can make sure there are multiple staff meetings each week to have every employee on the same page. I can make it a point to go knock on each of the residents’ doors to reintroduce myself and let them know we are available in the office anytime they need something. I can acknowledge every person that walks in the door, regardless of whether they are a resident or a prospect, with the same excitement level and willingness to help.
Quality of response to maintenance requests? I can speak with my head maintenance man every day to see what work orders were completed and how long they were pending completion. I can call the resident immediately after the maintenance request to make sure everything was completed to the resident’s satisfaction. I can have my maintenance man drop by the apartment the day after the work order is complete to ensure things are still going smoothly from the completion of the work order.
Overall customer service of the management staff? I can make it a point to meet every resident that comes in and call them by their first name from that point forward. I can actually visit residents at their apartments to see how things are going, just because, and not due in part to their renewal coming up. I can hold a meet and greet each month as an opportunity for new residents to meet the staff, as well as for current residents to come speak with the staff about any issues they may be having.
What has to be kept in mind is that if these three major issues can be avoided, the residents will probably not object as much to the rental rates being high because they will see the value in the service they are getting. No one likes to move, so if you can avoid giving the residents as many reasons as possible not to by ensuring stellar service, they won’t move and will justify paying the extra renewal amount.