a red pencil is filling in a box labeled "excellent" on a resident satisfaction survey


As a property manager or owner, you wear many hats in order to accomplish many different goals. One such goal is to keep improving your resident experience. By doing this, you guarantee that they either stick around or give you a good review when they leave. But how are you supposed to know what areas need improvement and which expectations you’re exceeding? One way is by conducting a resident satisfaction survey.

Surveys are great tools for gaining insight into the elements of an operation that are either doing well or need improvement. So, keep reading to learn how to conduct an effective tenant satisfaction survey!

In this post, you’ll discover:


What is a resident satisfaction survey?

A resident satisfaction survey is an effective tool that helps measure how happy your residents are with your building, the unit, and their experience living at your property. In turn, they can also be a constructive tool in understanding how to retain residents.

These surveys can be presented as a digital form or as a mail-in form. However, fillable online surveys will likely get the most engagement.

Additionally, a satisfaction survey can be sent to former, current, and outgoing residents. In fact, you’ll get the best idea of your property’s successes and shortcomings by distributing your survey to as many people as possible.


free resident satisfaction survey template


What is the purpose of a satisfaction survey?

The primary purpose of a satisfaction survey is to understand how your residents view your property overall. This can include staff performance, property upkeep, and their general residential experience.

Some things to consider when creating your resident survey template:

  • Why you’re conducting the survey. Knowing your motivation for conducting a survey will determine whether it’ll succeed. For example, if you don’t do something productive with the results, you will likely get little participation the next time you ask for feedback.
  • How you intend to use the results. Will you use the feedback you get to improve operations? Or will you use them to vindicate and excuse maintaining the status quo on your property? Genuine feedback deserves genuine action.
  • Who you’ll survey. The larger the sample size of your survey, the more information you’ll get. As mentioned above, extending your survey to all residents, past and present, can be beneficial.
  • What you’re hoping to gain. It’s a fact that tenants may have complaints for you, the property, and your staff. So, if you’re unwilling to accept constructive comments as readily as positive feedback, then you should reevaluate your plan.


How can resident satisfaction be gauged?

Gauging resident satisfaction is simple: just ask!

Sending out a resident satisfaction survey with the questions outlined below is the easiest way to gauge satisfaction.


What are good satisfaction survey questions?

An effective tenant satisfaction survey contains a few things: clear questions, a place to fill out comments, and a rating scale that depicts contrasting levels of satisfaction.

For instance, including a scale that ranks from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree” helps residents easily express their feelings.

Examples of questions to put on a satisfaction survey:

  1. How would you rate the performance of property managers and staff?
  2. Is the speed and quality of maintenance services up to your standards?
  3. How is your tenant portal access experience?
  4. Do you have any further description of feedback?


1. How would you rate the performance of property managers and staff?

This is an important question to ask because it’s straightforward. Moreover, it opens up the chance for residents to be honest. It’s a fact that critique makes us better at what we do. Without knowing exactly how your tenants view your overall performance, you’ll have little encouragement to do better.

On the other hand, if residents have positive feedback for you and your staff, the survey will help you put more effort into maintaining those standards.


Property manager speaks with maintenance worker.


2. Is the speed and quality of maintenance services up to your standards?

It’s important to treat maintenance requests from tenants with a sense of urgency because, for those living with a broken fixture in their unit, it is urgent!

If residents aren’t satisfied with the timeliness or quality of their maintenance requests, then it’s worth looking into the maintenance prioritization process.


3. How is your tenant portal access experience?

There are a couple of reasons why you should monitor tenant satisfaction with portals and apps.

For one, resident participation is key when trying to foster a cohesive community. If they feel that the tenant portal or community app isn’t user-friendly, there will be far fewer participants.

Second, many tenants depend on portal apps to be consistent, dependable, and secure. This is because their personal information is stored there, and their rent and monthly fees are processed through it as well.


4. Do you have any further description of feedback?

Leaving space for further comments on a resident satisfaction survey is a great chance to establish a dialogue. For instance, if you don’t leave room for tenants to expand on their ratings, then you won’t know precisely what they’re hoping will (or won’t) change.


Discover 5 solutions to common resident complaints: 


How to use resident survey results

If you distribute a survey, your residents will expect to see at least some changes based on their feedback. So, how do you use resident survey results to create meaningful change?

First, you’ll need to create a report based on the results you receive from your survey. Consider what percentage of residents agree that you’re meeting your goals versus what percentage of residents disagree.

Second, with that finished report, create an action plan to address resident concerns. This could include further training, disciplinary action, or even reframing company values.

Third, observe the changes and how they affect resident engagement. Then, after a few months of testing, you can issue another satisfaction survey, after which you can compare the data.



  • A resident satisfaction survey is a form that residents can fill out that gives management an idea of what they feel is working or what needs improvement.
  • The purpose of a satisfaction survey is to assess and understand residents’ views on the overall performance of the property.
  • You can use survey feedback by creating a report, creating a plan to address concerns, and implementing changes.


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Rebecca Cline

Rebecca is based in Northern Virginia and has been a writer all her life. She loves learning new things and enjoys writing everything from real estate to property management!