In March 2022, University Family Housing (UFH) conducted a survey with the residents of the Charles Street community to collect feedback on various areas including staff, communications, and services and facilities. The survey was available for anonymous resident responses from March 15 – April 15, 2022. The survey was distributed to all student residents living in Charles Street via email.
The purpose of the survey was to enable the UFH team to identify aspects of the community which are working well and what areas can be improved upon. UFH will continue to distribute this survey annually to ensure that residents continually have an opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns, and to report on the progress UFH makes on actionable items year over year.This document highlights some of the key findings from the 2022 survey results.
72 Residents at 35 Charles
94 Residents at 30 Charles
Residence Office, Admissions Office, and Building Operations
Residents Are Overall, Very Satisfied With Staff
Friendliness of Staff
Knowledge / Helpfulness
Efficiency / Timeliness
The Admissions Office, Residence Office, and Building Operations staff were rated as either “Good” or “Excellent” by residents in the above categories.
Customer Service Needs Improvement
When soliciting feedback on staff performance, improvements to customer service and communication between the staff and residents were highlighted.
“The staff could improve communication towards residents.“
“Some staff don’t seem to understand issues.“
To address this, UFH will be sharing survey results with staff members and additional training and resources for staff to improve service and responsiveness are being considered.
Ongoing Building Maintenance Is Increasing
A particular area of concern for residents that was highlighted in the survey results was the lack of ongoing building maintenance and other visible repairs.
“It seems like the buildings could have more maintenance done.“
With the easing of pandemic-related restrictions, UFH has been able to address the backlog of non-emergency maintenance requests such as painting all hallways and stairwells, replacement of counter tops in the laundry rooms, and replacement of the lobby floor mats.
Transfer And Waitlist Processes Are Complicated
Residents also mentioned that transfer and waitlist processes were complicated and unclear.
“Transparency on waitlist procedures would be helpful.“
UFH has taken these processes under review and is currently streamlining them based on the feedback provided.
UFH recognizes that resident satisfaction with building security and the overall feeling of safety for Charles Street needs to be improved.
Friendliness of Staff
Helpfulness / Attentiveness
Availability of Staff
Feeling of Building Safety
Customer Service Needs Improvement
When soliciting feedback on security’s performance, many residents were unhappy with the customer service of security guards and the amount of time they appeared distracted.
“Security is often
distracted by their phones.“
UFH has addressed this by sharing the results of this survey with the contracted security company, Allied Universal Security, to determine actionable steps that can be taken.
Training Of Security Guards Needs Improvement
Residents identified that there is a variability to the knowledge and training between different security guards.
“Some of the security guards seem to be undertrained and lost on procedures.“
To address this, UFH has worked with Allied Universal Security to appoint a shift manager who oversees the different security guards and provides consistency to processes.
When asked if residents want 24-hour controlled access that requires all tenants (including children when unaccompanied by an adult) to show identification for access to the building, the results were split down the middle. This is a complex subject that will require further discussion before a decision can be made.
Residents Prefer Email As Their Primary Method of Communication
Communication Preferences For Planned Building Maintenance
Paper Notices Delivered to Apartment
Posters in Main Areas of Building
Communication Preferences For Unplanned (Emergency) Building Maintenance
Paper Notices Delivered to Apartment
Security Going Door-to-Door
Direct Methods of Communication Are Preferred
When soliciting feedback on communications, residents indicated that direct methods were most preferred.
“Emails are working well, but I’d also like to get text notifications if possible.“
UFH will continue to tailor their communication methods and will be exploring the feasibility of additional communication channels, such as SMS text notifications.
Frequency of Communications Have Improved
Although residents prefer to receive email communications, they also identified that the frequency in which they are sent was of concern.
“Can we receive one email with all the updates on a regular basis?”
UFH has since adjusted their communication strategy to send updates on building operations, community life, and general information in a consolidated weekly email newsletter.
When asked to rate their satisfaction with the laundry rooms, over half of residents said they were satisfied or very satisfied.
Satisfied or Very Satisfied 57%
Dissatisfied or Very Dissatisfied 43%
Laundry Equipment And Payment Options Need Improvement
Residents expressed concerns that the laundry machines were badly maintained and sometimes non-functioning. They also found the payment method of cash to card inconvenient and often broken.
“The dryers often don’t work properly and do not dry clothes very well.“
“Could you consider online-payment options instead of the cash to card?“
To solve these issues UFH has taken the following measures. First, the existing cash to card machines have been replaced and are being monitored closely for any malfunctions. Second, UFH is evaluating new laundry machine services that would allow for machine upgrades, improved maintenance, and expanded payment options.
24/7 Access To Laundry Rooms Is Appreciated By Residents
Residents identified that the new 24/7 laundry room hours that were implemented during the pandemic were very helpful for their busy schedules.
“Having the laundry room open 24/7 is amazing! I hope it stays.”
UFH recognizes this value for residents and will be continuing these hours permanently.
Hallways, Stairwells, and Common Spaces
Outdoor & Common Spaces
Residents Enjoy Outdoor Spaces But Want Increased Maintenance
Although satisfaction is high, when asked for feedback on outdoor spaces, residents identified that maintenance and upkeep could be improved, specifically with the Rooftop Garden.
“Rooftop Garden is lovely but underutilized due to poor maintenance.“
UFH has addressed this by having a new landscape contractor clean up and prune all areas of the rooftop garden. This was completed in the spring of 2022.
Accessibility Of Stairwells Is A Concern For Residents
When soliciting feedback on hallways and stairwells, concerns around accessibility were raised about door handles and the location of stairwells.
“It would be helpful if the door handles that are round knobs could be replaced with a levered handle.“
“There are no clear directions to access stairwells in the building.“
UFH recognizes that the stairs at Charles Street are not always easy to access but are unfortunately limited to the physical infrastructure of the buildings. UFH will look into increasing directional signage and replacing cylindrical door handles with a lever style.
Residents Want More Community Spaces Made Available
Residents also highlighted that there are many unused areas that could be utilized as common spaces for residents, such as the second-floor roof deck at 35 Charles.
“I would love to see the roof deck at 35 Charles be renovated.“
UFH is currently exploring plans to transform the roof deck at 35 Charles in a similar way to the Rooftop Garden at 30 Charles.
Residents Want More Quiet-Work Common Areas
UFH also recognizes the need for more spaces outside of apartments for studying or other quiet work. When asked if there was interest in having the Meeting Room converted to a 24-hour study space, the majority of respondents said yes.
Turning the Meeting Room Into a 24-Hour Study Space
UFH recognizes the desire to make this change and will be looking into extending the hours of the Meeting Room.
Half Of Residents Want To Discuss Building Operations And Community Life
Half of respondents said they were interested in participating in a virtual discussion regarding these survey results and would like to discuss Building Operations and Community Life.
Participating in a Virtual Discussion on Survey Results
Residents Are Interested In Expanded Payment Options
UFH is looking for ways to continue to innovate on old processes, one of which being the payment options offered to residents. When asked if adding a point-of-sale (POS) machine to the Residence Office or online payment options were of interest, the response from residents was overwhelmingly positive. Since receiving this feedback, UFH has added a POS machine to the Residence Office that accepts debit payments on items such as parking and rent and are currently reviewing online payment options for their website.
“Yes please on making payments less difficult!“
Not Interested 16%
For more information on this survey, please reach out to UFH