Third Quarter 2022 Benchmark Results for Mystery Shops and Resident Surveys Executive Summary

Since 1984, Ellis, Partners in Management Solutions has specialized in helping our customers achieve their business goals. We are pleased to offer a turn-key integrated customer experience program, backed by our outstanding customer service, cutting-edge technology, and longstanding ethical business practices. Our apartment mystery shops, resident surveys, live training, and e-learning and policies and procedures partner (Edge2Learn) are resources that can be used together or independently to address specific needs or jointly for ongoing employee performance optimization. Our goal is to help you achieve yours.

2022 has for the most part been a year of rebounds in the multifamily industry, but as we draw to the end of the third quarter there are signs of challenges on the horizon. We previously discussed the ownership of an exceptional customer experience and ways to recover from the declining state of customer service. But what really ties these together is how we approach employee engagement and development. Long-serving employees are invariably more loyal than new hires. Now more than ever, the ultimate goal is not simply to recruit top talent – the real ROI comes in retaining these employees for years to come. Employee turnover can seriously, negatively impact productivity and employee morale, as well as your bottom line. Engagement and development of employees leads to heightened retention, happier customers, and better profitability long term.


Mystery Shops

Ellis benchmarks apartment mystery shop performance on the 10 key Benchmark questions and the Customer Experience. Companies can qualify for platinum, gold, silver, or bronze level based on their company’s overall Benchmark score for the quarter.

In 2021, the overall average Ellis Traditional Multifamily Industry Benchmark score across Ellis’ entire database of eligible shops1 was 81%. Second Quarter 2022 dipped slightly to 80%, and the average remained steady at 80% for Third Quarter 2022. In response to industry needs during the pandemic and customer demands, we introduced the Ellis Virtual Leasing Multifamily Industry Benchmark in Q2 2020 based on nearly identical 10 key Benchmark questions. In 2021, the average Ellis Virtual Leasing Multifamily Industry Benchmark score was 64%. Despite a rise early in the year the average Ellis Virtual Leasing Multifamily Industry Benchmark for Third Quarter 2022 fell sharply to 58%. The Ellis Customer Experience Benchmark score was 3.6 for the Third Quarter 2022, continuing to remain steady over recent years.

As we compare similar questions on Ellis Traditional Multifamily Industry Benchmark to the Ellis Virtual Leasing Multifamily Industry Benchmark scores, we can see the areas which are more consistent in delivery and areas that can be improved.

Mystery Shops Overall Average Performance


Ellis wishes to congratulate the companies below for their Ellis Shopping Benchmark performance for Third Quarter 2022.

Tier 2 (30-69 completed shops)      

Ellis Traditional Benchmark – Platinum Level Achievers

  • IMT Residential

Ellis Customer Experience Benchmark – Gold Level Achievers

  • Continental Properties
  • IMT Residential
  • Morgan Group
  • Quarterra
  • TA Realty
  • Wood Partners

Companies are listed in alphabetical order

Resident Surveys

The Ellis Loyalty Benchmark identifies and recognizes the customer experience performance of companies subscribed to the Ellis Resident Surveys Program. It evaluates performance on 5 key touchpoints of the prospect and resident journey. The percentage of surveys responded to by the onsite team and the average number of days it took for the team to respond are also measured because these two factors impact the customer relationship and overall loyalty. Utilizing customer loyalty as a metric allows customer-centric companies the ability to forecast three specific customer behaviors: likelihood to convert/renew, willingness to pay more, and likelihood to recommend.

The overall average Ellis Loyalty Benchmark score in 2021 was 76%. Second Quarter 2022 improved to 78% but dropped off marginally to 77% for Third Quarter 2022. In 2021, the onsite response rate averaged 88%, falling to 84% in Second Quarter 2022, and maintaining at 84% during Third Quarter 2022. The average response time in 2021 was 5.4 days, declining to 5.6 days in Second Quarter 2022 but rising back to 5.3 days in Third Quarter 2022.

Resident Surveys Overall Average Performance

Ellis’ customer loyalty score is based on a scale of 0%-100% (see chart below):


Ellis wishes to congratulate the companies below for their Ellis Surveys Benchmark performance for Third Quarter 2022.

Ellis Best in Class Achievers
Tier 1 (1,600 or more units)
Ellis Best in Class Achievers
Tier 2 (1,599 or fewer units)
·        Affinity Property Management
·         Asset Living
·         Cathcart Property Management
·         F and F Realty
·         Fore Property Company
·         FPI Management
·         Friedman Realty Group
·         Guardian Management, LLC
·         Lincoln Property Company
·         Mack Property Management, LP
·         Manco Abbott
·         Olympus Property
·         Pinnacle (PRMC)
·         Quarterra
·         Russo Property Management
·         Simpson Property Group
·         Sparrow Partners
·         Steadfast Management
·         Woodmont Properties
·        Zaremba Management Company

·         Evolve Management Group, LLC
·         GDC Properties, Inc.
·         Ghertner & Company
·         Longboat Enterprises
·         O’Brien Realty Group
·         ResideBPG
·         Reybold Venture Group
·         Samuels & Associates
·         Southern Land Company
·         StarPoint Properties
·         Sunrise Management & Consulting
·         TM Realty Services
·         United Financial Group, Inc.

Companies are listed in alphabetical order


Mystery Shops
How did we do?
The charts below reflect the average score of Ellis’ entire database for each of the 10 key benchmark questions and the Customer Experience by category, as well as the combined overall Benchmark scores for Third Quarter 2022. This data provides a roadmap to success, which in most cases means returning to the basics of sales and customer service.

Resident Surveys
How did we do?
The chart below reflects the average scores across all Ellis Resident Survey companies for each survey touch point for Third Quarter 2022, as well as the combined overall loyalty score and average accountability performance results.


In the Tanner Institute’s 2023 Global Culture Report, they cite nearly 1 in 3 employees don’t feel fulfilled at work. Amid the Great Resignation, we are also facing “quiet quitting”, as employees re-evaluate whether their roles fit within their personal goals. Quiet quitting can be most simply defined as when an employee puts forth no more effort than what is absolutely necessary for their job. Shockingly, a 2022 Gallup poll suggests at least 50% of the US workforce consists of quiet quitters. This puts lack of employee engagement in the realm of crisis. What are some things we can do to improve engagement and ultimately retention of these employees?

People want to stay where they feel valued. Most of us get a feeling of satisfaction from a job well done. When we are recognized and thanked, that feeling swells to pride and a sense that our work is important and as such we are important. Through your current lens you may have negative beliefs about an employee. But typically each team member brings something to the table that you can acknowledge and leverage to develop feelings of appreciation and create an engaged employee who desires to do more than the minimum.

Recognition is highly motivational. It is not just about acknowledging an employee privately. While that is indeed powerful, public acknowledgment is a tremendous motivator. Whether that’s part of a monthly “shout out” email, flowers/cookies, etc. sent to the employee’s home office acknowledging the team member’s contributions, or maybe one of these “45 Unique Employee Appreciation Ideas” from Bonusly. Two things will come from this: the team member who is recognized will become increasingly engaged and most likely higher performing, and other employees will work harder to be recognized.

Be the place people want to work. Maybe you are one of the top places to work already. Maybe not. Most people work where they must in order to pay bills and maintain their lifestyle. When they have choices – as most do in the current job market – they will gravitate to places they believe will provide a sense of belonging they do not have where they are.  Let’s be honest with ourselves: work is not always 100% “fun”, but it can be enjoyable as a whole. Here are a few small ways you can create an enjoyable work environment:

  • Celebrate Team Birthdays and Work Anniversaries
  • Ask employees how they feel about their job and what would make it better
  • Do fun team building activities (maybe a team crafting project)
  • Embrace team lunches (away from desks!)
  • Start meetings with a quick game or icebreaker
  • Integrate gamification in processes such as onboarding and training

Give periodic feedback. Employees need to know what they are doing right and where they could use improvement. You cannot develop long term productive employees without inspecting what you expect. Whether customer feedback tools (i.e. mystery shops, resident or employee surveys) or training results captured through eLearning, live training, management meetings, etc., sharing information is a game-changer. Performance reviews – whether project based or annual – are just as important to the organization as they are to the employee.

Professional development and creating engaged employees are integral to building long-term success as an organization. Peak levels of employee engagement promote loyalty, retention, and performance. In a market which proves to be primarily driven by the customers we keep, it is essential to know where you are and figure out how to get to where you need to be.

Ellis supports our customers through our vision and commitment to your growing and changing needs. We are here to help you as you work to refine processes and tools for understanding the customer experience from beginning to end. Your Ellis customer dashboard highlights not only Benchmark performance but other key performance indicators (KPIs) and customized reporting is available.

We thank you for your ongoing support, participation, and feedback, which help make this report informative, fresh, and a reliable resource. We hope you will find Ellis Partners in Management Solutions to be not only the finest source for apartment mystery shopping and resident surveys but also a training resource (including our e-learning and policies and procedures partners Edge2Learn) for your organization. Additional support and information can be found on our website. Also, Edge2Learn’s free multifamily training resource library includes several leasing training resources for you and your teams.

October 31, 2022

Prepared by Joanna Ellis, Chief Executive Officer and Francis Chow, Chief Strategic Officer

Footnotes: 1 See Ellis website for Mystery Shop Benchmark and Resident Surveys Benchmark eligibility, tier level, and recognition requirements for apartment mystery shops and resident surveys.