By Kirk Layton, President & Co-Founder, The Tenex Group
The annual tenant satisfaction survey is a staple of the CRE world, either as part of property managers’ overall tenant service strategy or to meet the requirements of their buildings’ Certificate of Excellence or BOMA 360 application. But targeted surveys are also an efficient and cost-effective way to collect tenant feedback between annual survey cycles.
For example, The Tenex Group just completed two tenant surveys for one of our property manager clients. One survey asked about the tenants’ commuting habits to help determine the viability of a shuttle-bus service that they were planning. The other survey asked about the tenants’ opinions of the signage at one of their buildings. I was impressed with our client’s willingness to solicit feedback from their tenants to help them plan and execute their tenant service initiatives. Clearly they have a tenant-centric approach to their service strategy, and truly value the opinions of their tenants. I was also impressed with the response from the tenants and the enthusiasm they brought to the survey process.
As a former property manager, as well as my experience at eServus, and now at The Tenex Group, I’ve helped deploy dozens of tenant surveys involving literally thousands of tenants. The one thing that has always fascinated me is how willing the tenants are to take the time to provide their feedback. I assume it’s because they see that there’s something in it for them – that is, the desired outcome of improved service. That brings me to the first lesson I learned when conducting surveys: Be prepared to respond to the survey results with meaningful change; otherwise the tenants will see the surveys as a worthless exercise and lose interest in participating!
One-off surveys can be done for almost any building service, current or planned. Wondering how your tenants are responding to your RTO protocols? Do a survey! Curious about whether people are bringing their lunch, going to the food court or are using Uber Eats? There’s a survey for that! Not only will you glean important information from your ad-hoc surveys, you will be engaging your tenants in meaningful ways. That brings me to the second lesson I learned when conducting surveys: Use them strategically as a tenant engagement tool to add one more touch point to your tenant experience toolbox.
A tenant survey – not the regular satisfaction one but the purpose-built shuttle-bus one – can serve double duty: It can help provide valuable guidance on a planned tenant service AND it can serve as a tenant engagement tactic that allows you to interact with your tenants in meaningful ways, on an ongoing basis, as part of your ongoing tenant experience strategy. I’d say that’s a win-win!
I’d love to hear about your experience with tenant surveys as an engagement tool. Please share your thoughts in the “Leave a Reply” section below.
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