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


Key takeaways

  • A resident satisfaction survey is a form that residents can fill out to give management an idea of what they feel is working or what needs improvement. Use our template below to get started.
  • A satisfaction survey assesses and understands residents’ views on the property’s overall performance.
  • Common resident satisfaction survey questions cover topics like maintenance services and staff performance.
  • You can use survey feedback by creating a report, creating a plan to address concerns, and implementing changes.


As a property manager or owner, you wear many hats in order to accomplish many different goals. One such goal is to keep improving the resident experience. By doing this, you guarantee positive reviews and high rates of resident retention. 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.

Download our resident satisfaction survey PDF to find out what your residents really think of your property. Then, keep reading to learn how to conduct an effective tenant satisfaction survey.

In this post, you’ll discover:


free resident satisfaction survey template


What is a resident satisfaction survey?

A resident satisfaction survey is an effective tool that helps measure how happy your residents are with your property, their unit, and the overall 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 digital forms or mail-in forms. 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.


What is resident satisfaction?

Resident satisfaction is a measure of how happy residents are with your property.

Some metrics residents might use to judge your property include:

  • How fast staff are to respond to issues
  • The number and quality of amenity spaces
  • Effectiveness of systems like heating or HVAC
  • Rent and other fees compared to similar buildings

High levels of resident satisfaction mean that fewer residents will leave. That means fewer vacancies and fewer months when a unit sits empty and costs money because nobody’s rented it.

On the other hand, residents who aren’t satisfied might leave negative reviews and influence prospects to stay away from your property. It’s important to keep resident satisfaction levels high — and resident satisfaction surveys can help you do that.


What is the purpose of a resident satisfaction survey?

A resident satisfaction survey helps you 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 housing satisfaction survey:

  • 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’ll 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.

Some examples of apartment resident satisfaction survey questions are::

  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.


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

It’s important to treat maintenance requests from tenants with urgency because, for those living with a broken fixture in their unit, they’re 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.


Property manager speaks with maintenance worker.


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 five solutions to common resident complaints: 


How to use resident feedback

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.


tenant retention ebook

Profile image for Rebecca Cline


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!

Follow Rebecca on LinkedIn