Getting repairs right is more important than ever

Getting your responsive repairs service right has always been important for landlords and tenants. It has a direct bearing on the overall perception of landlords and is likely to feature prominently in the government White Paper and associated changes to consumer regulation. Repairs services also cost a lot of money, especially if they are not as good as they should be.

Optimising your repairs service is therefore the single biggest thing you can do to keep residents, regulators and FDs satisfied! That’s why monitoring your repairs service is a central feature of the revised HouseMark STAR framework – the sector’s industry-standard approach to satisfaction surveys.

STAR has been completely revised and modernised, with significant input from landlords and residents. Front and central now is best practice and to help drive improvements and enable fair comparisons for tenants.

At the heart of the new STAR are five core questions: four about residents’ perceptions of the service they are being offered and one – entirely new – transactional question. In other words, that’s a real-time question looking at how tenants thought their landlord handled their last repair.

Plans for many landlords to introduce the new question were thrown awry during lockdown but as summer draws to a close most landlords repairs service are back fully operational, working through any backlog.  If you are interested in the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on satisfaction scores do check out my recent blog on the subject.

So, if you don’t already have an independent repair tracker survey in place, now is the time to consider it.

Acuity currently runs repairs tracking surveys for clients of all sizes, helping landlords pick up on potential problem areas where tenants are not getting the service they expect.

Customers tell us the service is surprisingly cost-effective, not least because understanding what’s happening with this vital area for residents can make all the difference between their satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Closing that gap, and making more residents happy with the service their landlord provides is only going to become more important as consumer regulation develops in the sector.

Having an independent performance audit of what you or your contractors are doing around repairs can not only pick up on problems, but reassure you about quality. It can also support your customer recovery if you understand who may be having problems, or becoming increasingly frustrated by a long-standing or repeated difficulty. Customer recovery can be vital for some landlords, especially if it can then be used to help repair and rebuild perceptions of service.

Interested? We’d be really happy to talk through how we can help you with this and set up something which meets your needs.

About Denise Raine

Denise Raine is a Director of Acuity Ltd, and has specialised in tenant satisfaction and feedback research for more than 20 years.
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