Building owners lives would be a lot easier if only they knew what tenants were always thinking, right? Especially since the commercial real estate world we live in today looks a lot different than it did five or ten years ago. But, until we figure out a way to read minds, building management teams will have to rely on innovative and effective ways of understanding tenant satisfaction.  

Knowing what tenants are thinking is the golden key to understanding how to improve the tenant experience and as a result, their satisfaction with the building the work in. After all, commercial real estate tenants who are satisfied with building management teams are more likely to renew their leases.  

Done well, tenant relationship management can be the ultimate differentiator for properties, creating a distinct, and necessary competitive advantage. But how is this done? First, we must understand why most current tenant feedback programs are missing the mark, or even worse, straight out failing.  

Why Most Current Tenant Feedback Programs Fail 

Traditional methods building owners and managers have used for decades to understand customer sentiment are largely ineffective for the modern tenant. There are three main reasons for this:  

Too Difficult. According to the Building Engines’ Tenant Relationship Management Benchmark Report, only 42% of building owners and managers say their tenant feedback program is easy to administer. Others deploy general, broad surveys that include as many as 50 questions. Now, who has time to answer 50 questions? Or better yet, what building owner or manager has time to analyze and truly understand the results of all 50 question? Maybe this is why many tenant feedback surveys are deployed only once a year (or less).  

Too Infrequent. If a survey is too difficult to deploy, typically it will lead to low-frequency measurement. But problems in CRE buildings happen every day, in real time. And without a modern and timely feedback program, potential problem areas are hidden for months – or until they grow so large, they blow up.   

Too Narrow. Many of the questions that are asked in typical feedback surveys are too specific to the service that building management teams are providing. But four out of five CRE owners and managers say they wish they understood their building occupants’ degree of pride in the building. Broadening the questions and the information collected from tenant feedback programs will help owners and managers understand the true value of their building as a whole, not just by department or service. Additionally, owners and managers can ask questions about what their tenants want outside of what the building is providing today. This could help management teams prioritize the resources they allocate when incorporating new amenities or services for tenants.  

Revolutionizing One of CRE’s “Most Painful Processes” 

The first step to revamping tenant feedback programs is ensuring building management teams have property management technology in place. Having quick conversations in the hallway asking tenants how they are doing is not a measurable form of feedback. Building management teams need modern technology so they can track, record, and analyze the feedback they gain from tenants. And then they can use this data to improve the tenant experience.   

The second step is understanding these four questions in relation to your tenant feedback programs:  

1. Who are you hearing from?  

Hint: It should be from more than just the person who signs on the dotted line of a lease. 

2. When are you getting feedback?  

Hint: It should be more than once a year.  

3. How are your customers sharing feedback with you?  

Hint: It should be in a simple, intuitive place or format.  

4. What are you asking them?  

Hint: It should be broad, but specific questions about the workplace experience as a whole.  

For more tips on how to answer these questions, read this blog.  

As the tenant experience continues to shift and expectations heighten, understanding what your tenants are thinking is critical to owning or managing a building people want to work in. And with an effective tenant feedback program in place collecting ongoing measurement, building owners and managers have the insight to make this possible by proactively managing every building, every tenant, every square foot. 

To learn more specifics on what technology you need to have in place, and additional steps to establishing a real-time tenant feedback loop, read this helpful guide.

You must have modern technology to track and measure tenant satisfaction. Without it, you cannot gain all the insights you need. Find out how we can help in a quick demo.