Tenant Survey

Tenant satisfaction task force

In 2017, Vesteda set up a project group called the ‘Tenant satisfaction task force’. This project group will help analyse tenant satisfaction and, where possible, adapt internal processes to the wishes of our tenants. For instance, in 2017 we optimised the renovation process for bathrooms, kitchens and toilets. On top of this, we organised client panels to get feedback from our tenants and we made a start on the mapping of our client journey. The aim of the latter project is to review the tone of voice in our communications with tenants and to align our services to arrive at the ideal client journey for our tenants and prospective tenants. The multi-disciplinary composition of this task force means we can make the best possible use of Vesteda’s existing in-house expertise and know-how.

Set-up tenant satisfaction survey

Each year, Vesteda has a tenant satisfaction survey conducted by an external research firm specialised in the measurement of client satisfaction. In addition to Vesteda, this agency conducts client satisfaction surveys for eight other investors in the Dutch residential real estate sector.[1] The combined results of these surveys act as a benchmark for the measurement of the satisfaction of current tenants and any developments in these satisfaction levels. In 2017, the participants in the benchmark opted to switch to a new research firm. This switch also led to a number of minor changes in the questionnaire, field work and reports. However, the participants made sure the main survey questions remained the same, to safeguard the comparability with previous years. Vesteda’s goal for 2017 was to achieve a minimum average score of 7 in its annual tenant satisfaction survey.

In addition to the benchmark survey, Vesteda also has an external research firm measure the satisfaction of our tenants with regard to services related to the likes of repair requests, complaint handling and the intake of new tenants. These measurements are taken after a contact moment with our tenants and may therefore be taken several times per year, depending on the number of contact moments with tenants. The results of this survey are first reported in our annual report.

Vesteda goal for 2017 was to achieve the following average scores:

  • Repair requests a 7.6

  • Intake at a least a 7.3

  • Complaint handling at least a 5.7

Benchmark tenant satisfaction

In 2017, 1,674 filled in the questionnaire (43% response rate). The benchmark consisted of a total of 12,441 respondents in 2017. The survey shows how tenants rate their home, surroundings and related services and identifies any potential improvements. Vesteda uses the information from the survey to make additional improvements to its services on these fronts.

Survey results

Our tenants gave our services, their surroundings and their homes an average score of 6.9 in 2017, a slightly lower score than the 7.0 they gave in 2016. This was due to a lower score for homes. The score for homes was also lower than the previous year in the benchmark study. The tenants in the benchmark study gave services, surroundings and homes an average score of 7.1 in 2017, compared a score of 7.3 in 2016. Due to the fact that the benchmark average dipped by 0.2 points last year, we made up some ground on the benchmark in 2017.

Results benchmark survey

Indicator (score out of 10)

Vesteda

 

Benchmark

 

2017

2016

 

2017

2016

Service (S)

6.2

6.2

0.0

 

6.4

6.8

(0.4)

Surroundings (S)

7.5

7.5

0.0

 

7.6

7.6

0.0

Home (H)

7.1

7.4

(0.3)

 

7.3

7.5

(0.2)

KPI Vesteda – average SSH

6.9

7.0

(0.1)

 

7.1

7.3

(0.2)

Evaluation of services

Our services were given the same score as the previous year. Due to the fact that the benchmark score was considerably lower last year, the difference with the benchmark was also much smaller. This difference is now just 0.2, while Vesteda’s score in 2016 was 0.6 lower. In comparison with 2016, tenants were less satisfied with the accessibility of the regional office, but were more satisfied with our meeting of commitments and our handling of repair requests and complaints. There was very little difference in satisfaction between the various tenants groups. The under-30 group were least satisfied in relative terms.

Evaluation of surroundings

Vesteda tenants are generally highly appreciative of the surroundings of the homes in our portfolio. Last year, Vesteda tenants gave surroundings a score of 7.5, very close to the benchmark score of 7.6. There were no appreciable differences between the various tenant groups.

Evaluation of homes

In 2017, the score given for Vesteda’s homes declined by 0.3 points to 7.1. The benchmark declined by 0.2 points, which means the difference with the benchmark was greater last year. Compared with 2016, tenants were less satisfied with the amenities in the homes, such as bathrooms, kitchens and toilet facilities. Tenants gave the energy efficiency of the homes a score of 5.9. The most satisfied tenants were those living in homes built later than the year 2000, those living in homes with a monthly rent above €1,200, those living in an apartment and tenants in the over-65 age group.

Monitoring of daily services

In addition to the benchmark survey, we measure the satisfaction of our tenants with our daily services. The Operations department is in daily contact with our tenants. Immediately after the completion of a repair request, the handling of a complaint or an intake process (new tenants), the tenant in question is sent a questionnaire for the evaluation of our service. We use an external party to conduct this evaluation.

Thanks to our dashboard, it is possible to see results in real time and to adjust our services accordingly. In 2017, Vesteda asked 11,279 tenants to evaluate our services. A total of 4,279 tenants filled in the questionnaire, which was a response rate of 37.9%. The table below shows the results for the full year 2017.

Results monitoring daily services
 

Score

Target

Repair requests

  

·         Overall score

7.6

7.6

·         Service

7.3

7.3

·         Ease of use Mijn Vesteda

7.6

7.5

Complaint handling

5.7

5.7

Intake new tenants

7.9

7.8

Repair requests

Tenants gave repair requests an overall score of 7.6 in 2017, in line with our target. On the repair requests front, tenants were the most satisfied with the execution of the repairs. In addition, tenants were satisfied with the friendliness of the employees they spoke to on the phone. In relative terms, tenants were least satisfied with our reachability (6.6).

Complaint handling

Tenants gave complaints handling a score of 5.7 in 2017. They said they felt Vesteda employees were friendly and had the required expertise, but also felt they did not always get the desired answer. It is worth noting that tenants with a complaint were more satisfied with the outcome after contact by phone than after a written response.

Intake new tenants

New tenants gave the overall intake process a score of 7.9 in 2017. Tenants found the choice of homes and the information on terms and conditions clear and easy to find. They were the most positive about the option to sign their rental contact digitally. New tenants were least satisfied with the time between application and receipt of the rental contract.

Client friendliness

Tenants gave Vesteda a score of 7.8 for client friendliness, our willingness to work with tenants to find a solution and the understanding shown by our employees in all forms of contact with tenants.

Conclusion

Vesteda works continuously on improving its services. The survey provides us with important information on what we can do to improve our services. We are grateful to the respondents for their cooperation and feedback in 2017.

Given the results of last year’s survey, our focus for the upcoming year(s) will be on tenant value, digitisation and organisational culture. To be more specific, the measures will include:

  • Improving our services by making more use of tenant data

  • More focus on comfort as part of our energy label improvement initiatives

  • Implementation of an integrated ERP system which enables our front office staff to improve the services we provide for our tenants and speed up the delivery of those services

  • Develop and implement a new website with fully integrated sales funnel

  • Expand online tenant communication to improve our accessibility and response time

  • Additional training of our customer contact employees

By listening more closely to our tenants, we can adjust our services to the wishes of our tenants where necessary and by doing so improve our services.

  • 1 Altera, Amvest, ASR, Bouwinvest, CBRE, Dela, Delta Lloyd and Syntrus Achmea.