Last Updated on May 28, 2015
Category: All

Those working in the social housing sector and involved in examining resident satisfaction will have undoubtedly heard of HouseMark’s STAR (Survey of Tenants and Residents). This was set up in 2011 and provides a framework for landlords to perform periodic perception based surveys of how their residents feel about their organisation and the services they provide.

By using this standardised framework organisations can compare satisfaction results with each other and benchmark their performance. According to HouseMark approx 350 landlords regularly collect and benchmark this information using HouseMark services and as survey providers we know that many more ustilise this framework to inform the design and delivery of their satisfaction surveys.

At the end of 2014 HouseMark reviewed its benchmarking service and found there was an additional desire in the sector to provide a framework and benchmarking service for transactional surveys (surveys delivered after an event or an interaction to gather data about a recent service). This will allow landlords to get a fuller understanding of their performance and promote best practice in the sector.

1. What is StarT?
In response to this desire HouseMark launched its new StarT framework last month, with the aim of making transactional surveys also comparable amongst landlords. Clarification of the difference between the two frameworks is given below:

Star and StarT definition

2. What type of transactions can a StarT survey be used for?
HouseMark has initially included four types of transactional surveys into its StarT benchmarking service. These are:

  • Responsive Repairs
  • Anti-Social Behaviour
  • Complaints
  • Lettings

Dependent on the uptake and the interest in this new service more transactional survey types may be added.

3. What survey methods can be used to perform StarT surveys?
The StarT framework includes additional survey methods that are not currently permitted under the STAR framework (as long as the survey is statistically robust and representative). These additional methods are:

  • Text Surveys
  • IVR (Interactive Voice Response)
  • PDA (Personal Digital Assistant)

In addition to the ones permitted in STAR:

  • Postal
  • Telephone
  • Face-to-face
  • Online surveys

This gives landlords far more flexibility when delivering these surveys and allows the shorter surveys to be delivered by new and alternative methods.

4. Do all the suggested questions need to be asked in order to submit for benchmarking?
With StarT there is a degree of flexibility. Organisations do not need to ask all the questions in each service area in order to participate in benchmarking.  They can add their own desired questions or just use the ones they feel suit.

5. When will landlords start submitting their StarT results to HouseMark for benchmarking?
The new StarT guidance was released at the end of April 2015 and will allow landlords and survey providers (such as ourselves) to amend the transactional surveys delivered in 2015/16 with a view that the data can be submitted to HouseMark in 2016/17 for benchmarking if desired.

6. Does the new StarT framework give advice on methodologies, sampling, representativeness and weighting?
Yes, from the HouseMark review in 2014, it was shown that the majority of landlords wanted advice in these areas. As part of the framework there is comprehensive guidance in the following areas and many more:

  • Census vs. Sample
  • Sampling
  • Response rates required (relative to number of interactions)
  • Statistical reliability
  • Representativeness, quotas and weighting
  • Confidentiality, anonymity and data protection
  • Avoiding survey fatigue

This is just a very quick summary of the key points in the new StarT framework. For the full guidance see the HouseMark StarT page. Alternatively if you would like to gain from our expertise, our experienced survey team offer comprehensive survey services that can be tailored to your exact needs.

To discuss your survey needs and to arrange a free quote please email or call Sandy Grange on 01603 813932.