Harvard grad student housing survey

HARVARD GRAD STUDENT
HOUSING SURVEY
Understanding the process of questionnaire designing
MM – II Case Presentation
Group 5

• The real estate price hike threatening the student recruitments at Harvard – leading to 2001 survey
• Harvard attempting to understand the consumer market for its housing complexes through new 2005 survey
• Allston Initiative

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The Case in Brief

Deciding the new research design for 2005 survey

Analysing & drawing insightsfrom the 2001 survey Merits/ Demerits of the survey method, questions, techniques Including questions from the 2001 survey relevant to new focus

Drafting questions to address aspects of new focus – demand, private housing.

Drafting questions to generate information for the Allston Initiative

Drafting the final questionnaire for the 2005 survey keeping it simple, short and likeable

2001
Management Decision
To manage the housing crisis: no availability of houses to huge student influx.
To neutralize the distinct recruitment disadvantage that housing was posing for
Harvard

Marketing Research Objective
To quantify aspects of the housing problem and afford unique insights for satisfactory and economical solutions

EXPLORATORY &
CAUSAL
RESEARCH

2005
Management Decision
Allston Initiative
Marketing Research Objective
To assess students’ housing experiences and desires by updating, improving and expanding the earlier 2001 survey

EXPLORATORY
AND DESCRIPTIVE
RESEARCH

Deciding the Research Design

OBJECTIVES:
• Understanding the student perspective on housing preferences •


space
satisfaction
facilities & amenities
Location

Using questions from
the 2001 survey to
check changing trend
of student preferences

• Understanding the demand for student housing and making it available to them at economical yet profit earning rates
• Understand the changing conditions of private housing market • Define the
areas of study for the most optimum use of the Allston Landing space, in line with the Harvard vision statement
EXPECTED SURVEY RESULTS:
• Demonstrating the importance of housing in the graduate student experience
• Providing a segmented account of current experiences and desires regarding housing solutions

Objectives of the Survey

IMPROVING THE 2001 SURVEY IN LINE WITH NEW FOCUS
• Change or remove questions regarding easily predictable preferences for amenities in housing
• Select questions for which repeat measurement makes most sense • Choose new price sensitivity measures – from per unit to per person ALLSTON: DRAFTING NEW QUESTIONS TO UNDERSTAND
• Student demand for graduate house models
• Student preference between housing close to their own school campus versus an intellectual hub of all students
• The different types of apartments to build in the new space

Methodology

2001 Survey
• Combination of
Exploratory and
Conclusive Research
• Exploratory – expert
and stakeholder
opinions on impactful
data, road shows to
arrive at themes of
interest
• Conclusive – Causal
questions on possible
reasons for crisis and
seeking student
housing preferences

RESEARCH
DESIGN

EXPLORATORY
– qualitative

CONCLUSIVE
– quantitative

Critical Analysis of Case Specifics

CAUSAL

• Generating interest in the survey:
• Providing incentive (lucky draw/ prizes) to the respondents to complete (not fill) the survey
• Dynamic adaptability of the form based on responses
• Making the questionnaire interactive, easy to read, short and simple • Email from Dean of different Institutes to lend credibility to survey

• Choice of web as survey mediating platform:



Self administered – Respondents may not complete the survey Likely to get an unrepresentative or biased respondent base
Less expensive mode of survey administration
Less time and effort consuming, easy to collate data

• Allocated budget for the survey:
• $50,000 – comparable with market research exercises of similar scale

Critical Analysis of Case Specifics

2001 Questionnaire Analysis

Response Error

Researcher Errors

Measurement Error
– Check for 5 Bs

Data Analysis Error
– Check final data to
insure respondents
form representative
sample

Potential Sources of Error

Respondent Errors

Inability ER
– Allow multi-session
submission

Nominal D Questions
a)

b)

c)

What Harvard
school do you
attend –
Participant
grouping
Do you live in
Harvard Housing
– Divides the
participants into
groups
Which services
did you use –
Details on the
expected
services

Ordinal Questions

a)

b)

If you have
children with
you: In what
age categories
– Divides the
respondents
into age based
subgroup
What is the
increase in
rent since last
year?

Interval Questions
a)

b)

How satisfied
are you with the
following
aspects of your
current housing?
How much of an
influence has
housing had on
achievement of
your academic
and social goals
as a Harvard
graduate
student?

Ratio Questions
a)

Levels of Measurement – Examples

How many
children do you
have living with
you?

Comparative
Paired Comparison
Technique –
Used for comparison
between importance of
Rent, Space and Time to
commute

Scaling Techniques

Non Comparative
Likert Scale and its
variations –
With an added “Not
applicable” scale
measure

• Restructure Questions to remove overlapping in the questions and reduce overall count
— Example: Two questions, who owns your housing and the
location of your housing can be combined into one single
question “Location of your housing”

• Remove the redundant questions
— Example: Information of country of origin is already with Harvard office
• Restructure responses to be more intuitive
— Example: For question at what time you arrive at your
Harvard destination, should have intervals as possible options and not the discrete values

Improving 2001 Questionnaire

• The sequence should be altered to move the compulsory
questions of every section at the very start of survey so that even a partially completed survey can be included in the
analysis.
• Allow respondent to complete the survey in multiple sessions. Reminder mails should be sent at periodic intervals, requesting completing the survey.
• The ‘web survey’ form should be dynamically adaptable — Example: if the respondent selects he/she lives in Harvard Housing, all the questions relating to private housing should automatically be removed from the form

Adapting for Web Survey

Housing Demand

Extrapolating student
influx for present and
future using secondary
data

Deriving detailed insights
on graduate student life(eg.
dining habits, socialising
etc.)

Regression analysis to
estimate the demand for
on-campus housing in
the future

Total number of
units provided
Types of
housing units
Urban planning

Determining preference of
Harvard housing over other
alternatives as a proportion
of total students

Supply constraints
such as space,
location, financial
feasibility

Estimating Housing Demand

Private Housing

Understanding the reasons
for students choosing to
reside in private housing

Understanding the
current trends in private
housing market

Finding gaps
between
Harvard and
Private
Housing

Study the expected and
preferred services in a
housing by the students

Cross sectional analysis
across various student
demographics

Understanding the Private Housing
Market

Allston Initiative

• Area Next to the
business school, needs
to be developed for new
housing society
• 70 member faculty,
student and staff task
force was constituted to
evaluate all aspect of the
Allston Initiative
• Three issues needed to
be addressed via this
survey

Housing
Composition

Issues
Graduate
Houses

New Allston Initiative

Housing
Types

Advantage of
Graduate
House model

Efficient life style
Abundant community space
Regular community activities

OBJECTIVES
• Demand for Graduate housing model need to determined
• To assess whether this type is preferred over the
apartment type housing

Graduate Houses

• Assess the relative importance
of the following factors

• Lounge and Lobbies
• Laundry Facilities
• Floor Lounge
• Group Kitchens
• Group Study room
• Music Practise room
• Exercise room
• Game Room
• Multipurpose room

METHODOLOGY
• Relative importance of these
attributed can be determined via
a Likert scale or a constant sum
survey and rank them during post
analysis
ANALYSIS
• If the relative importance of
lobby and laundry room is high
then it can be concluded that not
much benefit can be derived from
a graduate house over apartment
housing
• Finally to assess demand of
Graduate houses, number of
respondent can be used to assess
the future demand

Assessing Graduate House Preferences

VISION
• Vision of the university was to develop and manage housing as a pooled resource open to graduate school & faculty in all schools OBJECTIVE
• Decision to develop the Housing with varied school composition or house everyone with same school together need to be made
METHODOLOGY
• Ask respondents about the importance of interaction with the varied student as against need to live in proximity to their respective school

Housing Composition

OBJECTIVE
To assess
whether the
survey helps
predict
apartments
that need
relevant in
future

Exploratory
research to
assess the
attributes that
need to be part
of the future
apartment

Housing Type

Task force with
member from the
architectural
community need to
be formed (to get
information about
the future expected
trends) and ask
for their
recommendations

The suggestion
from that task
force can be used
as a base of a
conclusive survey
to asses the
relevant
importance of the
recommended
attributes

THANK YOU
HARVARD GRAD STUDENT
HOUSING SURVEY
Understanding the process of questionnaire designing
MM – II Case Presentation
Group 5






2 – 5 – sona
6 – 8 – shalini
9 – 14 – shailu
15 – 18 – chandan
19 – 22 – nagar
23 – 25 – bhuvi

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