Posted by Paul NM on November 28, 2000 at 10:48:25:
Surveys should be as short as possible and very focused to obtain specific information that can’t be obtained any other way. With that in mind, here are some questions/comments about your questions.
-Is there a demand for rental property in the area?
Of course there is. I think what you are trying to ask is if the demand for rental property is increasing or decreasing. If you want some quantitative information keep track of how fast homes that are advertised in the paper get rented. Then you will know demand by house type and location too.
-Do you feel demand is increasing____ or decreasing____.
-When you have a house for rent about how long does it take to fill the vacancy?
You are asking someone who may or may not know anything to calculate an average for you. The answers will be to vague to mean anything.
-What’s your best source for advertising?
What does best mean? Generates the most calls, generates the most calls that turn into rentals, generates the most calls for the money spent.
-May I ask how many houses you own?
Why ask this? There are landlording books that discuss the changing management requirements of managing more and more property.
-How long have you been in business?
Businesses of all kinds fail regularly. So some will be old and some will be new. Says nothing about how yours will do.
-How do you locate houses that you purchase?
If you read this group you already know all the ways to locate property so why ask them?
-Who is your typical seller?
Same as above. Divorced, death in family, etc.
-What price range do you like to buy in? Why?
-Who is your typical renter?
Make a list of the answers you think you might get to this question and ask yourself if they really tell you anything.
Don’t take this personally. I spent several years designing surveys the results of which were often very disappointing. If you want quantitative data that can become the basis of business plan projections you have to ask very well thought out questions.
The best way I know to force the development of better questions is to lay out how you are going to display the data before you start the survey. Is is going to be a trend line, a bar graph, a pie chart etc. Then you design questions that get answers that can be displayed that way.