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The Problem Multi-Housing Laundry Rooms Present & How to Solve It

The challenge of multi-housing or community area laundry rooms

Managing a laundry room in a single home is difficult enough. Now imagine putting hundreds of these single family homes together in an apartment building and limiting the laundry facilities to a few rooms. In this case, the problems of managing a single family laundry room are multiplied exponentially. This is the what multi-housing laundry managers face each day of the week.

It’s true that merely keeping everything merely running in a multi-housing building’s laundry room is a tough enough task; there’s coin collection, keeping up with a laundry route, machine maintenance, refurbishing or remodeling where necessary, shopping for the best rate on liability insurance, and bonding your employees.

Of course, there are inherent problems in any self-service business, and specifically for the laundry room, these take the form of broken machines, stolen vends, and displeased residents as some of the most common.

Yet even with all the possible negatives—which to be sure are few compared with the realities of managing a multi-housing facility—the positive, profitable windfall of having clean and convenient community-area laundry rooms equates to more money for the multi-family property. Set up a laundry room that meets or exceeds your residents’ needs, with the latest consumer demands (such as doing away with quarters), and these community amenities afford a property an attractive on-site asset. Clean laundry facilities are a boon to both current residents and potential renters.

Why is managing a multi-family laundry room so difficult?

Many apartment owners and managers are not as concerned about their laundry facilities as they are keeping their residents in units, finding new renters, and preventing vacancies. This is completely understandable, as utilities are sometimes packaged together in one bill, making it difficult to connect the dots to see much cash a community laundry room is actually netting.

This is especially the case when you add a laundry route operator to the equation. Laundry route operators collect coins and perform maintenance, yet laundry routes are infamous among top laundry insiders for having more than downsides and disadvantages and upshots, not the least of which being dubious profit splits with the multi-family facility.

Many managers of multi-housing apartment buildings realize the potential upsides of having a comfortable, safe, and profitable laundry room, and will do everything they can to make their laundry rooms seem more appealing to residents. Laundromats often set up shop near large urban areas with high concentrations of multi-family dwellings and apartments. More often than not, however, managers of multi-family units will outsource the actual collection and maintenance of their machines to a corporate laundry route with outside contractors whom they hire as laundry route operators.

The self-service laundromat industry has faced a revolution; the way, rate, and frequency with which residents interact with traditional community laundry rooms and storefront laundromats is changing drastically. Many community laundry rooms are following popular new industry trends, including comfort amenities like digital laundry payment for cashless machines, a more capacious and inviting ambience, free WiFi, children’s areas, and features like loyalty programs, which allow residents to add value at any digital card reader to win free cycles, receive group discounts, and big bill bonuses (buy $50, get $55).

What’s the answer?

For more information on these subjects and many more relating to multi-housing laundry, the go-to resource for any multi-housing manager is our whitepaper, Must Know Tips on Managing a Multi-Unit Laundry Room. This whitepaper contains the invaluable tips you need to ensure you’re reaping the most out of your current resources.

Adding amenities like flatscreen TVs may bring in a few extra residents to catch a few minutes of the news while their clothes dry, but what will keep them from frequenting or much less, becoming a patron of, a trendy local laundromat (or, if applicable, using in-unit connections in the comfort of their home)? Is it the loyalty programs that many laundromats offer? Or is it the convenience factor—such as giving your residents the ability to pay with a bank card—that will keep them from taking their laundry elsewhere?

This guide will help answer these questions and will also allow you to determine the steps you need to take to transform your community laundry room from a source of constant worry to a profitable asset. Or feel free to give Card Concepts Inc. a call at 1 (866) 860-1660 regarding any questions relating to multi-housing laundry rooms.  

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