We are honored to have partnered with the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC) for the fourth consecutive year to conduct the NMHC 50, which annually recognizes the nation’s largest owners and managers. We are also proud of the fact that more NMHC 50 members choose Kingsley than any other resident survey provider, including 75% of apartment REITs that conduct independent surveys. This year’s lists of the top 50 owners and managers is now available at NMHC.org/2013NMHC50.
Posts Tagged ‘ multifamily ’
Kingsley Associates recently announced a partnership with RentPathTM (formerly PRIMEDIA®), owner of ApartmentGuide.com and Rent.com, to create Certified Resident Ratings & ReviewsSM, a new service for multifamily owners and managers. To help our clients and the multifamily industry understand what this program is and what it means, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions about the program below.
How it Works
What it Means for Me
Certified Resident Ratings & Reviews consist of numeric ratings on the 1-5 scale and verbatim comments from residents related to apartment communities in which they live. This information has been collected as part of formal resident survey programs, as opposed to being anonymously posted directly on the Internet.
Certified Resident Ratings & Reviews appear (for current subscribers) on RentPath-owned websites related to individual apartment communities.
If you are a current subscriber to ApartmentGuide.com or Rent.com, Certified Resident Ratings & Reviews is available at no additional cost.
Contact the RentPath concierge at 1-877-999-4472 to sign up for Certified Resident Ratings & Reviews.
All ratings and reviews are collected during formal surveys of residents at existing apartment communities. These surveys have been commissioned directly by the owners or managers of the communities. The respondents are “certified” because the owners and managers themselves have supplied the lists of residents to survey.
Ratings for overall resident satisfaction and likelihood of recommendation to other prospective renters, as well as a few other aspects of the apartment and community, appear in Certified Resident Ratings & Reviews. General verbatim comments from residents also appear in Certified Resident Ratings & Reviews. While all comments come from certified residents, residents’ full names will NOT be associated with their comments – only first names and last initials will appear.
Ratings and reviews are published 10 calendar days after they are received. During this 10-day period, comments are viewable only to community management via the community’s MyAG login (on http://my.apartmentguide.com). If desired, community management can use this time (before comments are publicly viewable to prospective renters) to craft a thoughtful response that will appear on the appropriate site alongside resident comments once the 10-day window has passed.
Currently, only data from certified residents will appear on ApartmentGuide.com and Rent.com. All Certified Resident Ratings & Reviews will be collected by trusted third parties such as Kingsley Associates. Individuals will NOT be able to log on to these sites directly to supply ratings or reviews anonymously.
Prospective residents will see a summary of 1-5 “star” ratings data for a given apartment community. They will also be able to see recent verbatim comments about the community.
Apartment community owners and managers will have access to a dashboard on http://my.apartmentguide.com that summarizes the feedback collected as part of the Certified Resident Ratings & Reviews program. Reviews will be visible on this dashboard for 10 calendar days before publication to ApartmentGuide.com or Rent.com.
Community managers will have the ability to view comments from Certified Resident Ratings & Reviews 10 calendar days before they go “live” on ApartmentGuide.com or Rent.com. If desired, managers will have the opportunity to respond both publicly and privately. Managers can craft a thoughtful response that will appear on the appropriate site alongside the resident’s comment. Managers will also be able to respond by sending an email directly to the resident (though the resident’s full name will not be visible). There is no cost for these features.
There are many places online where prospective renters can view ratings and reviews of apartments. In most of these places, no validation of residence occurs. Thus, there is no assurance that what appears online is accurate. In fact, Kingsley Associates’ research suggests that these non-validated ratings are consistently lower than ratings from scientifically conducted surveys and that there is no link between these online reviews and actual resident perceptions. To address this, participants in the Certified Resident Ratings & Reviews program will have data from actual, current, “certified” apartment community residents that accurately reflects the reality of resident perceptions at that community.
If you currently have an active survey program with Kingsley Associates, you do NOT need to change it in any way in order to participate in Certified Resident Ratings & Reviews. Data from your current program can be mapped to the appropriate RentPath site(s).
If you are a subscriber to ApartmentGuide.com or Rent.com but do NOT have an active survey program with Kingsley Associates, a limited, no-cost resident survey program is available that meets the minimum requirements of Certified Resident Ratings & Reviews. Contact RentPath concierge at 1-877-999-4472 for more information.
You can contact RentPath to learn more about how to subscribe to ApartmentGuide.com or Rent.com. The concierge may be reached at 1-877-999-4472.
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Peggy Robinson, Kingsley Associates’ VP of Marketing, at (770) 908-1220 or email@example.com.
It isn’t hard to accept that survey research is a good way to measure and benchmark customer satisfaction. Customers, after all, have every reason to rate their experiences accurately, whether good (so they can spread the good news) or bad (so they can reap the benefits of hoped-for improvements). But are they similarly transparent about their future rental behavior? Specifically, when apartment residents answer questions about intent to renew, how predictive is that, really?
To investigate this, we took a detailed look at a very large, multi-market portfolio of apartment communities. Having been supplied with the actual renewal rate at every community for the year 2012, we then compared the figures (at the market level) to the renewal intent reported at those same communities on surveys taken during the same period.
The results appear in the graphic below. In markets where survey responses indicated relatively high intent to renew among residents, the actual renewal rate also tended to be higher. And when renewal intent was lower, so was renewal behavior. The relationship is not perfect, but, as the chart indicates, it is meaningful. Survey responses are, in the aggregate, reasonable predictors of lease renewal.
Our survey results represent over 1 billion square feet of office space and an equally large amount of multifamily space (approximately 1.5 million apartment units), making our database the largest repository of customer service benchmarks available to the real estate industry. In Q3, we noted the following:
- Tenant satisfaction and renewal intent are hovering near 3-year highs
- Tenants are more loyal than they were a year ago in most (but not all) major US markets
- Tenant interest in green building practices may be beginning to rebound after a prolonged slide
- Click here for the full press release an office trends data set
- The renter base consists of more higher-income residents than it did 2 years ago
- Today’s renters are measurably less price-sensitive than renters in 2010
- Renters in 2012 are less loyal than renters in 2010
- Click here for the full press release and multifamily trends data set
For more than a year, overall resident satisfaction has remained within a very tight range. Could a similar equilibrium be developing in resident renewal intent? As we have been reporting in our quarterly press releases, the percentage of apartment renters indicating they “probably” or “definitely” would renew their leases has been declining steadily since the middle of 2010. But in Q2, this proportion held steady at 58.5 percent. Is this a momentary blip or the start of a new trend?
For more information on trends from last quarter’s resident surveys, click here or on the chart below.
Every apartment community has a reputation, and that reputation is a huge part of the community’s value. These days, a substantial portion of that reputation is formed in the digital universe. The potential drawbacks of online reviews and commentary are obvious: they may be incomplete, not representative, even downright fraudulent. But there are also ways an apartment community can use online feedback to put its best foot forward.
To help clients do this, we have developed several tools that take feedback from real, current residents collected from valid surveys and direct it to a variety of online forums, including Facebook, Yelp!, Rent Advisor and ApartmentRatings.com. Our approach is two-fold:
- With our User-generated Feedback Tool, residents meeting the appropriate criteria are asked to supply specific commentary that can then be posted to the online platform(s) of the client’s choosing.
- Our Controllable Content Module takes this concept a step further by allowing clients to actively search and select specific comments for publication on a community Website or Facebook page. Our new Facebook app integrates seamlessly to show this feedback, as well as a dashboard of key satisfaction metrics (if so desired). Finally, The Kingsley Associates brand accompanies the results, giving viewers peace of mind that what they’re seeing comes from real, live residents.
Protecting an online reputation isn’t easy, but, thanks to these tools, it is possible. We can help. Contact us for more information.
It’s no secret that apartment owners and managers have been increasing rents during the past 2 years. Not surprisingly, our resident survey data shows a corresponding decline in residents’ perception of the value they receive for the amount they pay in rent. But this decline is not uniform. As the chart below reveals, the average perception of value has fallen 0.07 points (2.0%) since 2010 at Class A and 0.08 points (2.3%) at Class B communities. By contrast, Class C communities have observed an average decline of 0.15 points (4.4%). The rising rent tide has thus impacted residents at Class C communities – whose alternatives are more limited – the hardest.
Exactly how important is the move-in experience to a renter’s likelihood to renew a lease at an apartment community? To answer this question, one Kingsley Associates client surveyed residents across a number of communities at three different points in their leases: at move-in, at the midpoint of the lease, and just prior to lease expiration. The results of the case study depicted below underscore just how critical the move-in process can be.
Is it possible to “save” a resident even after a bad move-in experience? Of course – almost one in five such residents was ultimately satisfied and nearly a third chose to renew. But the task is much easier when life at a renter’s new home starts out on the right foot.
The top rental decision priorities for residents of multifamily communities are intuitive: location, overall quality, floor plan and, of course, rental rate. Our research has shown very consistently that these are priorities for at least 80% of multifamily residents. Moreover, this holds true across various resident demographics, such as age, gender, income and living arrangement. (See this post from about a year ago for more.)
Two additional factors have created a lot of buzz recently: sustainable or “green” building practices and online ratings/reviews. The chart below shows the percentage of residents in various income categories who place “high” or “very high” priority on these two factors. The general trend is that residents with higher incomes place lower priority on both online reviews and green building practices (though it is true that middle-income residents are somewhat more likely to prioritize online reviews than residents earning less than $25,000 annually).
A resident’s age group has an even more pronounced impact on the priority of these factors. Half of residents under 25 place high priority on online reviews, while just under a third of those over 65 do the same. Also of note is that older residents are much more likely than younger ones to indicate that green building practices are a priority for them.
While these two decision factors don’t have quite the impact as others in the absolute, they are notable for how differently they are perceived by different demographic groups – which make them important differentiators.
The prospect of owning a home has always factored into the timing of multifamily residents departing their communities. But in the past few years, there has been a steady decline in the percentage of residents likely to vacate who say that home purchase is a determining factor. As seen in the chart below, almost 1 in 5 vacating residents (those saying they are unlikely to renew) cited “home purchase” as a factor in 2007. In both 2010 and 2011, however, that ratio fell to less than 1 in 8.
Of note is that the trend did stabilize in 2011. Will more residents be willing and able to jump (back?) into the ownership market in 2012 and beyond? Historically low interest rates and continued attractive pricing might suggest so. Or will tighter requirements for down payments and continued employment and economic uncertainty continue to encourage renting by choice?