One of the most important aspects of our business is the way that we fulfil our service promises, and more important still, how customers view and respond to that service and the way that it is delivered. If we did not ask our housing tenants for feedback on their experience of booking with Sulets and their time as a tenant, then we would never be able to improve and react to what our customers need.
We do that at least once a year, in May, through our Moving Out survey. A lot has happened since our tenants moved in to start the new term at the end of August last year. The changes that occurred across the country from March have had an impact on all aspects of life, especially for those living and studying away from home. We are pleased to say, that even with that unsettling backdrop, this year’s survey is one of our most positive and has validated the hard work and actions of our team to raise standards and look after students.
The important feedback in this year’s survey features areas such as rent, repairs, the standard of cleanliness when tenants move in and the overall quality of our houses. Most importantly it also allows us to benchmark how many of our student tenants would recommends Sulets to other students.
Some of the key responses are shown here:
- ‘I felt the property was clean and of a good standard on moving in’
This year 83% agreed or strongly agreed with that statement. Last year that figure was 68%. This shows that the work our property management team do with our landlords and contractors has helped to raise the quality of our properties for tenants when they move in.
- ‘I feel that my weekly rent provided good value for money’
In response to this statement there was slight increase year on year by 1%, rising to 87%. The lack of significant movement in either direction suggests that rent levels are probably at the right level for most students.
- ‘I believe that repairs were carried out in a timely manner and to an acceptable standard’
This question presents an area where we need to make improvement. The number who agreed, or strongly agreed, with the statement was 60%, which is the same figure as the previous year. That means there was no improvement in the way that this part of our service is viewed by tenants and means we have work to do to raise standards in both communication and the execution of any repairs and maintenance.
- ‘I found the process from viewing through to signing my tenancy straight forward’
The feedback on this topic was especially positive with almost 99% of respondents agreeing, or strongly agreeing, that they found the Sulets process straightforward.
- ‘Based on your experience, would be happy to recommend Sulets to other students?’
For a business like ours this is one of the most important questions. It is crucial that current and previous tenants have the confidence to refer us to other students. Word of mouth recommendation is one of the main ways that people find out about Sulets. The response this year that 91% (8% up on the previous year) of students would recommend us is fantastic result. Feedback like this from customers is what makes the effort and work put in by our team worthwhile.
This year we also asked our all Inclusive tenants how they felt about the actions Sulets took in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. In answer to this question, 83% agreed, or strongly agreed, that they were happy with the actions taken by Sulets to help them. Only 2% actively disagreed. We are pleased that the initiatives we put in place were appropriate for most of our all-inclusive tenants.
This important exercise helps us to understand the things that are important to our customers and where we need to improve. We are grateful to everyone who took the time to complete the survey. This information helps us to maintain standards and focus on areas for improvement.
*’There is no failure, only feedback’, quote from Robert G Allen, business author