HOUSTON, TX - J Turner Research, a leading marketing research firm exclusively serving the multifamily industry, announced a ranking of the top 10 apartment resident complaints, as revealed in an analysis of 10,000 customer satisfaction surveys completed over the past two years at communities nationwide. Results from the survey analysis were released last week at the National Apartment Association Education Conference and Exposition in San Diego.
According to the analysis, apartment residents are most likely to complain about rental rates more than any other issue. In fact, rent rates were more than twice as likely to be mentioned compared to concerns over pet waste, which perennially rank high in renter dissatisfaction. Additionally, rent prices were almost three times more likely to be highlighted by disgruntled residents than noise, which did not even crack the top 10:
Top 10 Multifamily Apartment Resident Complaints:
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
Renter complaints regarding rates could signify a broader softening in rent fundamentals, which have enjoyed a relatively steady rebound since the beginning of U.S. economic recovery from the Great Recession. Following rental rates, residents are also most likely to be concerned with on-site customer service from both management and maintenance staffs, an issue mentioned in three of the top five complaints.
“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,” said J Turner Research president Joseph Batdorf. “J Turner Research tracked more than 19 different types of complaints as part of our examination of customer service surveys and the results were unequivocal: resident relations with apartment community staff are one of the key focus areas resulting in concerns that ultimately impact community reputation management and online ratings and reviews.”
Another area where apartment owners and managers can likely make an impact on customer satisfaction is by completing any deferred maintenance, appliance upgrades, or amenity and common-area improvements, particularly when it comes to how a community’s curb appeal ranks on online ratings and reviews.
“We’re certainly beginning to see an industry-wide pattern where communities with the highest levels of customer satisfaction also benefit from the best online ratings and reviews,” said Batdorf. “As reputation management strategies in multifamily continue to evolve, ongoing measurement of customer satisfaction (and dissatisfaction) remains a critical tool for evaluating the effectiveness of initiatives designed to improve customer service.”
Based in Houston, J Turner Research specializes in developing and executing innovative and affordable research services for multifamily owners/operators of both student and conventional apartment communities. Utilizing an e-mail based survey program, J Turner Research accurately measures the perceptions of prospective and current residents to help owners better understand how to optimize operational and marketing efficiencies within a portfolio of communities.