Our customers: satisfied to very satisfied

First things first: the majority of Deutsche Wohnen’s tenants are satisfied to very satisfied with their living conditions, their neighbourhood and their landlord. This was a finding of Deutsche Wohnen’s latest representative tenant survey, which was conducted in autumn 2019. A total of 34,000 households throughout Germany were written to, including individual districts in their entirety, first and foremost in Berlin. Deutsche Wohnen SE Management Board member Lars Urbansky took a very close look at the survey and its results and outlines the conclusions that can be drawn.

Mr Urbansky, what would you say were the most important results of the survey?

Firstly, we are happy that we have been able to incorporate the opinions of the people who really count – namely our tenants – in the public debate over the past few months. The survey results show that they feel they are in good hands with us. This is very good news. We are especially delighted to have further improved our results in comparison to the 2017 survey – in spite of the public debate.

Which figures does this apply to in particular?

The tenants’ satisfaction with their apartments is now at 87%, compared with 81% in 2017. 78% of those surveyed are satisfied to very satisfied with Deutsche Wohnen as a whole, which equates to an increase of seven percentage points over 2017 – likewise a good result!

You no doubt appreciate that figures taken from a survey that you yourself commissioned may also be appraised critically.

Yes, which is precisely why we commissioned the independent analysis and consultancy institute AktivBo, which as been conducting tenant surveys within the housing industry for close to 30 years. The AktivBo staff ensured that all the surveys were conducted anonymously, which means we are unable to make any inferences about individuals and our customers’ feedback is evaluated in aggregated form only.

How many tenants took part in the survey?

AktivBo wrote to 34,000 tenants in total, 36% of whom responded. The participation rate therefore increased almost twofold compared with the 2017 tenant survey. We see this as a very positive development as it shows how keen our tenants are to engage in dialogue with us.

The survey results are good, even very good. There is nevertheless always something that could be done better …

Yes, this is true for us too. The key issue is above all our response times when processing tenant enquiries and damage reports. We absolutely do want to improve in this area. To this end, we will be centralising our customer service in the first quarter of 2020 in order to significantly increase the processing rate and handle enquiries more quickly. The same goes for the topic of facility cleanliness – another area in which the tenants see room for improvement. To achieve this, our subsidiary FACILITA Berlin GmbH has already increased the number of caretakers at the Berlin holdings in particular to more than 300. This means more time is spent on-site improving the service, cleanliness and security at the properties and also that the tenants have a fixed contact person.

Will another survey be conducted among the tenants in 2020?

Yes, we want to repeat these surveys annually on the one hand and conduct additional ad hoc surveys on the other, for example regarding refurbishment projects. This will enable us to determine more quickly how we can further improve customer service and product quality.

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