As Lars Urbansky, member of the Management Board of Deutsche Wohnen SE, explains, “The annual tenants’ survey is our most important tool for obtaining direct feedback from our tenants. Their criticism and suggestions are extremely valuable in helping us to do our job. This is why we target the areas where our tenants would like to see improvements. Moreover, we are especially grateful for the high response rate in the survey and can see from the results that we are on the right path. This motivates us to continue to invest in the satisfaction of our tenants.”
The measures we have adopted are having an impact
Compared with the 2019 survey, the tenants reported improvements to the cleanliness of their estates. This applies particularly to the cleaning of the stairwells – with an increase in satisfaction of six percentage points – and the cleanliness of the bin areas – with an increase in satisfaction of three percentage points. In earlier surveys, tenants expressed the wish for more contact persons in their locality. We have responded to this feedback by establishing the “neighbourhood caretaker”, a development that resonates positively with tenants in the current survey. As a result, we are now employing more caretakers, and they have been given a wider range of responsibilities. Indeed, today they take on significantly more responsibilities in the areas of service, cleanliness and security, for example quality assurance with regard to work carried out by other contractors. Since this model is appreciated and supported by the tenants, it is planned to roll out the concept of the “neighbourhood caretaker” in future, and to establish it in holdings outside of Berlin as well.
Alongside this positive feedback, however, Deutsche Wohnen’s tenants also see room for improvement. Whilst their evaluation of the time it takes for Deutsche Wohnen to process their requests and concerns improved by one percentage point compared to the previous year, the satisfaction level of 59% shows that these processes need to be further optimised.
To speed up these processing times, Deutsche Wohnen has, for example, continued to develop its digital customer portal and has centralised its customer service. Furthermore, a feedback management system specifically designed for customer service has been installed. The team is happy to receive critical as well as positive feedback from the tenants. It then focuses on particularly complex problem areas and uses the experience gained from this work to modify and improve its systems and processes. This also includes establishing contact with tenants more quickly and being more transparent when communicating with them.
As in previous years, Deutsche Wohnen has donated one euro for each valid response in its survey. The total sum is EUR 10,000 and is going to #sicherheim, a campaign that supports victims of domestic violence and that gives publicity to a topic that in the past has been hidden from view. Moreover, as well as raising awareness of this problem, #sicherheim also campaigns for donations to support the work being done by women’s rights organisations.
The 2020 tenants’ survey ran from August to November 2020 and was conducted for the second time by ActivBo. This institute for analysis and consultancy was founded in 1991 and specialises in tenants’ surveys for the housing industry. For the current, representative survey, approximately 31,000 households across the whole of Germany were contacted by post, whereby individual estates in Berlin, Brunswick, Dresden and Hanover were surveyed in full. In all cases, the survey was anonymised. This means that it is not possible to identify individual respondents on the basis of their responses. The tenants’ feedback was evaluated exclusively in aggregated form.
Further infographics and data can be requested from Deutsche Wohnen at pr(at)deutsche-wohnen.com.
Deutsche Wohnen is one of the leading publicly listed residential property companies in Europe. The business focus of the company is on managing its own portfolio of residential properties in dynamic metropolitan regions and conurbations in Germany. Deutsche Wohnen sees itself as having both a social responsibility and a duty to maintain and newly develop good-quality and affordable housing in vibrant residential neighbourhoods. As at 30 September 2020, the portfolio comprised a total of around 165,700 units, of which 162,700 are residential and 3,000 commercial. Deutsche Wohnen SE is listed in the Deutsche Börse’s DAX and is also included in the leading indices EPRA/NAREIT, STOXX Europe 600, GPR 250 and DAX 50 ESG.