The Top 10 Apartment Resident Complaints

The Top 10 Apartment Resident Complaints

Posted: 13 Nov 2013 10:10 AM PST

When experiencing an uptick in vacancies, most property managers ask themselves what could be causing their resident to leave. Without asking former tenants directly (or waiting for a bad review) how can you discover the reason for their discontent?

Thankfully, J Turner Research, a marketing research firm serving the multifamily industry has done just that. They surveyed 10,000 U.S. apartment residents regarding their satisfaction, and have published their results by ranking the top 10 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

According to their findings, apartment residents across the nation have been more unhappy about rental rates than any other issue. In fact, residents mentioned the cost of rent more than twice as often as concerns about pet waste, which has been a big source of dissatisfaction in the past. Rent prices were nearly three times more likely to be cited by disgruntled tenants than noise, which surprisingly didn’t crack the top ten. This could be proof of a softening in rent fundamentals, which have been experiencing somewhat of a rebound since the country began to recover from the recession.

Aside from rental rates, residents are most often unsatisfied with on-site customer service from management professionals and members of the maintenance staff, which factored into three of the top five complaints.

How You Can Use This Information While there are a number of complaints that would be worth addressing, it seems the best opportunity to improve resident satisfaction levels is by resolving any issues with the onsite staff’s response to resident concerns. And, because the relations between residents and community staff have such an impact on the community’s reputation and online ratings, this should definitely be one of the key focus areas for multifamily properties moving forward.

Another way property managers can improve customer satisfaction is by completing any deferred maintenance, upgrading appliances, or updating amenities and common-areas. This is particularly important when a community’s curb appeal factors into online ratings and reviews.

Analysts go on to suggest that “communities with the highest levels of customer satisfaction also benefit from the best online ratings and reviews.” Therefore, as property managers continue efforts to maintain a positive reputation, it remains crucial to measure customer satisfaction—and dissatisfaction, and asses how well efforts to improve these issues are actually working.

Sara Thompson writes about property management in partnership with Zenith Properties NW, LLC in Vancouver, Washington. For more tips and advice, visit http://www.zenithpro.com/blog/.