Check out market updates

2014 Owner Survey Results

survey2We conducted our first survey for owners at the end of 2014 and we wanted to share the results publicly.  This survey represents a part of our effort to continually improve what we do and underscores our desire to have the best people and processes in place to serve our owners.

We had over 50% participation rate in this survey!  Thanks for giving us all of your feedback, here are the results:

I.  How did you first hear about Mars Hill Realty?

Results:  30% were referred to us by their real estate agent, 29% from friends and family and approximately 30% from Internet searches and testimonials.   The remaining 10% resulted from real estate signage, office walk-ins and other lead generation sources.

Conclusion:  There’s no better compliment than receiving a referral.  That is why having most of our business (almost 60%) come from referrals is a good goal for us.  We have established a reputation for cooperating with local real estate agents and earning their trust.  While some agents may be discouraged from bringing business to other property management companies that don’t list their properties on the MLS, they gladly bring their prospective tenants to our listings and refer their investor clients to us.

II.  How many different property managers have you worked with over the past 5 years (not including us)?

Results:  Less than half of our clients are first-time Landlord/Investors.  Approximately 57% of our clients have come from another property management company and less than 2% managed the home themselves.

Conclusion:  Over the years, we have helped many of our new clients transition from their old property management company and we try to make the process as seamless as possible.  We have found that it’s much easier to convince a Landlord/investor to change companies than it is to get a self-managed property owner to hire a property manager.  That is why we created this blog article to help educate the do-it-your-selfers out there:  PROS vs JOES

III.  How does your experience with Mars Hill compare to your previous property management experience?

Results:  100% of respondents who had a previous property manager experienced an improved experience with Mars Hill ranging from slightly well to extremely well.  Over half chose the highest rating: EXTREMELY WELL

Conclusion:  We are humbled by the fact that every client that has switched over to us has experienced some level of improvement.  In fact, once we establish a 12 month relationship with a client, they have never terminated our services, other than for selling their home or other financial reasons.  Please continue to refer your friend and family to us and they can join the other happy clients we have.  Read our Testimonials here and here!

IV.  How would you rate the following…

Results:  Realistically, there is no way we can tackle all of our problems and do them all well.  Therefore, we wanted to see how the different areas of our company compared to one another so we could “shore” up and focus on improving the weakest one.

On a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the best), we received a 4 or above on all of the following areas in order of strength:

4.70 rating – Trust – Mars Hill is trustworthy and takes care of my property

4.70 rating – Late Rent Communication – If rent is late, Mars Hill does a good job communicating with me

4.70 rating – Time on Market – My home rented out very quickly given the market conditions

4.67 rating – Rental Rate – I am happy with the rental rate given the market conditions

4.59 rating – Marketing – The marketing photos and description are professionally produced

4.57 rating – Rent Timeliness – Rents are paid in a timely manner

4.56 rating – Professionalism – I receive good advice on decisions concerning my investment

4.51 rating – Work Orders – Work orders are closed out quickly and handled professionally

4.48 rating – Communication – Communication is timely and relevant

4.47 rating –Value – Mars Hill provides high quality service for the price

The area we needed to improve that received the lowest ratings were:

4.28 rating – Property knowledge – I know the condition of my home through photo documentation and calls from Mars Hill

4.28 rating – Financial statements – Financial statements are accurate and easy to understand

Conclusion:  We are thrilled to find out that all of these areas scored above a 4 in our survey!  Our comptroller team has created a handy explanation for the different sections of the monthly Financial Statement.  They also contacted all of our clients who had difficulty with the current financial statement and offered them several alternative versions that we could publish instead.  Regarding the owner’s property knowledge, all photos of walkthroughs are published on a link in their owner portal. We also take photos of repairs when possible.  If an owner requests, we would be happy to check on a home for them if the existing photos are not sufficient.

V.  What were the top two reasons you hired us?

Results:  The top two reasons we were hired was due to the friendliness of staff or due to a trusted referral source who gave a personal testimonial on our behalf.

Conclusions:  A property management company has to have good systems and a competent staff in place to take care of one of your most valuable assets that you would own.  However, technical competence is just one side of the coin.  Many investors are paralyzed from hiring professional help because they just can’t let go of control to somebody they don’t have a relationship with.  The other side of the coin is personal relevance.  Trusted testimonials and a friendly staff help bring personal relevance together with technical competence so that an investor feels comfortable hiring us.  This is why trust is the highest rated category in our survey.

VI.  How likely would you recommend our services to a friend?

Results:  On a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the best), we received a 4.68.

Conclusion:  We are very pleased with a 4.68 rating out of 5.  A good portion of our business comes from word-of-mouth referrals from clients, residents, and agent referral partners.  We hope to continue to earn their trust and yours.

Closing Comments

This survey took a lot of effort to pull off as a company.  We sent over 150 gift cards to respondents as a token of our appreciation for their feedback.  Over the past 3 months, we also called and/or emailed every respondent who had an unresolved issue or suggestion and had weekly meetings to discuss our findings.  We may not get things right the first time, but you have our guarantee that we will try our hardest to be fair and honest in our solutions.  Please remember that we are here to serve you.  Here are some final takeaways:

1.  We have a comptroller team that can be reached via email if you ever have any questions regarding your financial statements.  Jennifer Meitzen (TX) – and Alicia Coursey (VA/MD/DC) –

2.  We will formalize the roll-out of our VIP Investor’s Club by the 3rd Quarter of 2015.  Members of this club will be entitled to additional benefits, discounts and investment advice to help you grow your portfolio

Thanks again for participating in the survey!

Edward Lui and the entire Mars Hill Property Management Team