The power of using customer feedback within Real Estate.
Many Real Estate companies have discovered that they will gain from customers/tenants being satisfied and loyal. The whole industry has shifted their focus from construction and property finance, to the experience of the end users.
The feedback the tenants give is valuable KPIs for the landlord to follow and act upon. And since many companies within the industry are measuring the same thing in the same way, it is possible to do benchmarking both locally and internationally.
Why is the customer feedback important?
With satisfied and loyal tenants, you will have lower costs. Movements are linked to costs within Real Estate. When a lease is up, you will need to find a new tenant and it is always combined with a risk of payments as well as wear and tear. The tenants that feel safe and appreciate their living arrangements are more careful with the property and they are more likely to alert you when something is not right, and this makes it possible for you to act immediately. The longer a good tenant stay, the lower the costs.
So, when a tenant is giving you feedback, you would better listen and take action. To make sure that you are receiving feedback, you should send surveys to your tenants.
What should be measured and when?
Ask your customers regularly what they think of your services. Measure the satisfaction of the tenant and keep track of the development over time. Customer feedback is important to get throughout the tenants’ touchpoint with you as their landlord. I strongly advise you to identify the different steps in the customer journey and measure the satisfaction of the tenant in each step, such as moving in, paying rent, customer service contacts, service reports and moving out.
If you are doing changes in your work processes, make sure to measure the experience before and after the change to see if the actions pay off. This means that you need to capture data from each time period and not use accumulated data. Also make sure to monitor overall customer experience to make it possible to follow the development over time. Make sure to ask your tenants regularly and not just once a year, if you will be able to track changes in feedback linked to the changes you do in your processes. And when you choose your questions, make sure that they are possible to benchmark, if you would like to evaluate your performance compared to others within the industry.
The key to get data driven with customer feedback
Do not stop here. Far too many Real Estate companies just collect feedback from the tenants and watch the statistics, but do not really put the data into use. Once you are collecting feedback from your tenants, you should combine your response with internal (and external) data, to be truly data-driven. This is where magic happens!
Many Real Estate companies use AktivBo for their surveys and that is great tool, but make sure to import your customer feedback to your data warehouse solution to be able to combine it with your other data sources, such as customer behavior and development of the residential areas. The combined insights will tell you where you should put your efforts to make the most impact.
I strongly advise you to follow customer behaviors such as reported disturbance, damage and vandalization rate within the different residential areas, as well as tenants’ movement pattern compared to an overall index. And do not be afraid to set some goals regarding these KPIs. The external information to keep track of could be changes in sociodemographic distribution and movement patterns within the area at large.
Identify the areas (and touchpoints) with the highest priority, to make sure that you know where focus should be onwards. And make sure to follow up all changes that you make.
Your next step
Depending on where you are in your data-driven journey, you will have different choices of what to do next. If you are not collecting any feedback from your tenants, you should start right away. Add more touchpoint surveys as you go, to understand the experience of your tenants. If you are collecting feedback, but not combining it with your internal and external data, this is what your next step should be. If you already have started this work, the next thing you could do is to create indexes to make sure that you follow the development and make sure to use the insights for your action plans.
Good luck and do not hesitate to reach out if you would like to know more about what could be done with the customer feedback data.
Pernilla Klein is a Business Consultant working at Stratiteq and specialized within Real Estate, where she is facilitating workshops in order to fulfill the needs of the client’s data-driven solutions. She is passionate about combining strategy with a technical solution and the insights you get if you combine your customer feedback with internal/external data. Extracurricular; she is often seen attending live concerts with some obscure post-punk band (that no one has heard of).