The Laundry Room
It could be your community's #1 amenity!
How do you respond to this real and difficult objection from a very
qualified rental prospect, "But we want washer and dryer connections.
This apartment doesn't have them"? Perhaps the prospect's concern
is true; there are no washer and dryer connections in any of your community's
apartment homes. And, this fact is not going to change. It's not feasible
to add connections, so you must market your property and keep Net Operating
Income going up without this desirable and much sought after feature.
Overcoming this complaint is one of the greatest marketing and leasing
challenges for many older communities constructed before washer/dryer connections
became a standard feature. In reality many communities cannot offer this
amenity. You can never actually overcome this objection. But don't give
up! Who says you have to completely "overcome" every objection
to get the lease? For many prospects it is enough to simply "minimize"
the lack of this feature. Stress other relevant benefits the prospect will
receive and build a case to show how these other benefits out weigh the
lack of connections. The best way to minimize the objection of no washer/dryer
connections (or only "stack" connections) is through an appropriate
Laundry Room. If your community lacks washer/dryer connections in most
or all of its floor plans, your Laundry Room may be your most important
What is an appropriate laundry room?
An appropriate Laundry Room is one that you, yourself, would be happy
to use. The area is spotless, and the equipment is in perfect shape. Check
out the list below to see how your community's Laundry Room "stacks"
- Sparkling Clean and Odor Free - Your Laundry Room must "shine."
Remember this is a place where your Residents come to "clean"
their clothes. How can they feel comfortable "cleaning" in a
dirty environment? To keep these facilities looking their best, they may
need to be cleaned several times a day, seven days a week. Why would
you skip cleaning the Laundry Room on weekends, when they get their heaviest
- Light, Comfortable, and Airy - A well lighted and ventilated
room not only makes it easier for your Residents to wash their clothes,
it also makes them feel more safe and "comfortable" using the
facility. A well-maintained HVAC system should keep this amenity cool in
the summer and warm in the winter.
- Fresh and Updated - Your Laundry Room must look as perfect
as any make ready you show to your rental prospects. The Laundry Room is
an extension of the Resident's apartment home and should reflect the same
polish and attention to detail. If your individual apartments are being
updated, the Laundry Room should be the first area to get the fresh paint
and wallpaper, new overhead light kits, new floor covering, and other extras.
- Well-Maintained Equipment - Though perhaps not brand new, the
washers, dryers, folding tables, and clothes baskets must be immaculate
and in perfect working condition. Again, ask yourself if you would wash
and dry your family's clothes in these machines. If not, get them in order!
If you have a laundry contract, most companies will work closely with you
to keep the equipment in excellent condition. The laundry company knows
that if your Residents are happy with the equipment, they will use it more.
This makes everyone happy!
- Other Extras - Consider some sort of privacy lock that will
allow only current Residents access to the Laundry Room using their apartment
key. Add a television and a comfortable waiting area for Residents who
want to stay while their clothes are being washed. On larger communities
with huge, central Laundry Rooms, an attendant during peak hours can actually
pay for himself by creating goodwill with Residents and preventing misuse
or vandalism of the equipment.
Your laundry room can increase your Net Operating Income!
An appropriate Laundry Room can contribute to your success in meeting
your #1 Objective: Increase the value of the real estate! Here's
- Decrease Turnover - While it may not be the only reason a Resident
stays rather than moves, a great Laundry Room is certainly appreciated
by all Residents. No Resident has ever moved out BECAUSE the community
had a sparkling clean and well-maintained Laundry Room.
- As a "Leasing Tool" - An immaculate and contemporary
Laundry Room reflects a sense of professionalism and order to a rental
prospect. It's a message that tells future Residents you truly care about
their living environment. And, if you don't have washer/dryer connections,
you may have to convince this prospect that it is more advantageous to
use your community's warm, immaculate, and comfortable Laundry Room than
to go to a competitor who has connections.
- More Laundry Income! Don't forget your community gets a percentage
or "cut" of the Laundry Room income. The more desirable the Laundry
Room, the more it will be used by your Residents!
Isn't it ironic?
Have you observed this interesting phenomena, "Many of the dirtiest, most poorly maintained, and 'scary' Laundry Rooms seem to be found on apartment communities that do not offer washer/dryer connections"? Go figure!
Rick Ellis, one of multi-housing's foremost consultants & educational speakers.
Rick Ellis' Biography and Article List
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