Tenant satisfaction surveys
Together with our tenants, we want to create an environment in which they feel at home. The satisfaction of our tenants is a valuable indicator of how well we serve them and we use the outcome of the surveys to improve our services and homes. We conduct two types of surveys to monitor our performance. Once a year, we measure our tenant satisfaction through a benchmark survey conducted by CustomEyes. We participate in this survey with other large institutional investors in the Netherlands. The CustomEyes data consists of a representative sample drawn from all Vesteda’s tenants. The results of this survey are shared with tenants and evaluated within the Vesteda Managing Board.
In addition to this survey, we measure tenants’ satisfaction regarding our contact moments on a continuous basis. This 'Client Contact Monitor' is performed by an external party. This survey measures direct feedback from our tenants after each contact with our client services department. We use the results of this survey to monitor and improve the services we provide.
The tenant satisfaction of tenants from the former Delta Lloyd portfolio is not reflected in the outcome of these surveys as this portfolio was still externally managed in 2018.
Benchmark tenant satisfaction
From 2018 onwards, Vesteda will use overall tenant satisfaction as the indicator for tenant satisfaction. In the years before 2018, Vesteda reported the scores on the following indicators: surroundings, service and the quality of the home. We used the average of these scores to measure tenant satisfaction.
The score for overall tenant satisfaction is comparable to the Net Promoter Score. The Net Promoter Score is a method used to measure client loyalty. Asking clients to what extent they would recommend the organisation in question provides the most effective insight into overall satisfaction. This is why the question related to general satisfaction also provides the most accurate picture of satisfaction with Vesteda’s services. In addition, the comparison with the benchmark using this score is also the clearest indicator, plus this is the score that other investors generally use as the main indicator of their client satisfaction. The image below shows Vesteda’s score on overall satisfaction together with the benchmark over the past five years.
Our current tenant satisfaction score is 6.8, which is a slight improvement on the score in 2017 (6.7) and is higher than the benchmark score (CustomEyes). The tenant satisfaction score has improved in recent years. To ensure that tenant satisfaction is better embedded in our organisation, we created in 2018 the new function of programme manager tenant satisfaction. To improve the tenant satisfaction in 2018, we among others introduced a welcome package for new tenants, we started a loyalty program for tenants with a long year rental anniversary and we optimised our tenant contact centre. The benefits of having property management in-house and our increased focus on tenant satisfaction since 2017 have started to translate into more satisfied tenants.
The feedback we receive in this survey provides valuable input we can use to improve the services we provide for our tenants. After the survey, we also contact tenants that have provided outlier scores to find out the reasons for these scores.
We will continue to focus on improving tenant satisfaction. Our goal is to outperform the benchmark each year and to achieve a tenant satisfaction score of 7.0 or higher. By improving our service level, we aim to become a preferred landlord and a ‘brand’ in the residential market. At this moment we are working on the further digitalisation and optimisation of our customer journeys. A new website, a repair and smart living app, are examples of this.
Monitoring of daily services
In addition to our annual benchmark survey, we monitor our daily services and the contacts with our tenants. Our Operations department is in daily contact with our tenants dealing with the intake of new tenants, requests for repair and maintenance, and handling complaints. We use the findings of these surveys for a process of continuous improvement in our service levels. Immediately after the completion of a repair request, a complaint procedure or the intake process (new tenants), we send a questionnaire for tenants to evaluate our services. We do this via an external party. These are the three most important and frequent contact moments in the services we provide. These targets as specified in the table below have been incorporated in our performance cycle as KPIs and have an impact on employees' evaluations. These KPIs are linked to the variable remuneration of the commercial teams. The dashboard we use makes it possible to see results in real time, which means we can adjust our policies very quickly if this proves necessary.
The table below shows the results for 2018. Last year, we asked a total of 19,033 tenants to evaluate our services. A total of 7,693 tenants actually filled out the questionnaires, which translates into a response rate of 40.1%.
Monitoring of daily services
Intake new tenants
In the 2018 survey, we scored a 7.7 for the overall satisfaction with our services. This score consists of the average score that we received after personal contacts (8.0) and after contacts via MijnVesteda (7.3). We have asked all our tenants for these overall scores, regardless of the reason for their contact (repair requests, intake or complaints).
Score personal contacts
On the repair request front, tenants were most satisfied with the execution of the repairs. They were also satisfied with the friendliness of the telephonist who took their call (7.7). The lowest score was for our reachability (6.7).
Score repair requests
Tenants gave us a score of 5.8 for our handling of complaints. It is worth noting that telephone contacts score higher (average of 6.9) than written communications (average of 6.0). Both telephone contacts and written contacts did show a clear improvement on the previous year (average of 6.4 and 5.2 respectively)
Score complaint handeling
Intake new tenants
New tenants gave the overall intake process a score of 8.0. They noted that we could be clearer in the information we provide on the availability of the home and the registration procedure. The option of signing the rental contact was given the highest score.
Score intake new tenants
The improvement of our services for tenants remains important. We believe that satisfied tenants are less likely to move and that they contribute to the well-being of other tenants, which in turn enhances social cohesion and the performance of our assets. Satisfied tenants are ultimately more willing to pay a premium and are more likely to pay for extra services. From the tenant satisfaction surveys, we have learned what areas of the services we provide require extra attention. We would like to thank all the respondents from last year for sharing their thoughts and insights with us.
Our goal for 2019 is to improve our tenant satisfaction. We will focus on further digitalisation, improving and expanding the ways of communication and we will especially stimulate to search for more positive contact moments with our tenants.
Please refer to the section Management agenda 2019 of this report for our plans to improve our tenant services for 2019.