Back to ComPortOne Landlord-Tenant Home Page

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 amenity!

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" up:

  • 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 usage?
  • 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 how:

  • 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
ComPortOne Landlord-Tenant Home Page
ComPortOne Home Page

ComPortOne Home Page Copyright 1996-2001 ComPortOne. All Rights Reserved.
Reload ComPortOne Home Page
Questions or comments? Email ComPortOne