Three Topics Essential to the Tenant Satisfaction Survey

October 19, 2020 | By: Molly Looman

Tenant satisfaction surveys are an essential tool for property managers looking to improve their properties. Surveys can reveal gaps in the tenant experience, unknown maintenance challenges, or areas of opportunity. The data gained from these surveys can help property teams improve spaces and stay occupied.

Here are the three topics that should be addressed in your tenant satisfaction survey.


Many tenants may have a strong feeling about the maintenance process in their building one way or another. The tenant satisfaction survey is a great place to identify repeating issues or confirm that a system is working well. Asking tenants if they have been satisfied with their maintenance experience is essential.

This is also a time to engaged the building engineering staff in the creation and review of a tenant survey. There may be a new system they want feedback on, or they may benefit from hearing about different tenant pain points. This could lead to creative problem solving that could benefit the tenant and the buildings.

This is also the opportunity to ask about the tenant’s experience with the work order system. Whether it is paying rent or requesting maintenance, getting feedback about your tenant portal can either ensure its running smoothly or uncover a system issue. This is an easy way to double-check a system in your building is working as expected.

If the tenant provides constructive criticism and the same issue is seen multiple times, that may be an opportunity for growth and re-evaluation of a certain system’s operations. If the feedback is consistently positive, this may be a great place to ask for a review that can be publicly shared. Make sure to review results with maintenance and building engineering staff so that they can offer insights on the comments and coordinate a plan moving forward.


An anonymous tenant satisfaction survey is a great place to ask tenants what they want to see in the property. Perhaps there have been needs or desires that they have not shared with the property team before but asking directly may provide more results.

Ask about what amenities might be worth a rent increase or what their dream space might look like. Ask them what their priorities are whether it be environmental, convenience, or price. Asking direct questions that leave space for longer feedback will help property teams identify the long-term needs of the tenants in their building.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, surveys became extremely useful in figuring out tenant’s return-to-work plans, their desire for extra cleaning, their ability to pay for enhanced air quality or surface treatment and other health and safety factors that affect the building and the tenants.


With so many plates spinning, it can sometimes be difficult for a property manager to keep up with the tenants’ satisfaction given the multitude of staff that works on a property. A tenant survey is a great way to gain feedback, not only on the staff that maintains the property but on the property management team itself.

Find out if there are issues with response times, efficiency, or even friendliness. There may be a process that could use a review. Overall, the purpose of the tenant satisfaction survey can help identify if the management is providing a positive experience and if the level of communication is where it needs to be.

This is a great tool for finding out if the property team needs to spend more time in the building and whether or not your tenants feel your presence. As a leader, you can use this tool to discover the extent to which different property managers are achieving their goals at their properties. While tenant surveys should never be the sole factor in deciding performance, they can validate a team member’s success.

This can also help advise your staffing needs. Maybe the results will indicate you are over or understaffing a property. Maybe they will indicate the need for a new position like a receptionist. It could also show a need for a change in workflow or communication if tenants feel their requests are not being dealt with in a timely manner. While not all the feedback will be actionable on the hiring front, it can be good to keep track of sentiments surrounding that topic over a number of years.

Helpful Hints

What you cover in the survey is just as important as how you ask it. Shy away from yes or no questions and phrase questions on a disagree to agree sliding scale. If it is a yes or no question, consider having a text box for longer feedback or asking open-ended questions.

Remember to keep the length of the survey and the frequency of the survey reasonable so that participants fill it out completely. Consider using incentives like a raffle or a gift card for participants that complete the survey. The larger the sample size, the more accurate a read a property manager will get on the state of their building’s management and operations.

Be sure to make sure the survey requests feedback on actionable items while leaving a comment section for other thoughts the participant my have. You don’t want to request feedback on something that is unchangeable. An effective survey requests actionable information that helps participants feel heard.