SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. — Not all multi-housing laundries are dingy and ill-equipped. Many of today’s apartment laundries offer modern machines in capacities up to 40 pounds, free Wi-Fi, large-screen TVs and convenient payment systems, not to mention arcade games, sofas, folding tables and snack machines. Smart landlords are investing in quality apartment laundries to keep their tenants on-site.
But as a public laundry owner, you can and should fight for their business. Here are seven ways to draw renters out of their apartment laundries and into yours!
1. Larger Machines, and More of Them — At a vended laundry, customers can bring large, bulky loads and get them done sooner using multiple machines or one or two large machines. That’s why 90- and 130-pound washers and complementary large-capacity dryers are a must. Most apartment laundries have single- and double-load machines and can’t compete with the machine size or quantity of a vended laundry. Plus, on weekends, apartment laundries are usually packed and there aren’t enough machines available. So, bring apartment dwellers in the door with larger and more plentiful machines.
2. High-Speed Washers — A vended laundry with high-speed washers gets customers in and out sooner! The high extraction speeds (300-450 G-force) remove more moisture from laundry loads, reducing dry times by up to 60%. This allows customers to complete laundry in 60 minutes or less. Everyone wants to save time. High-speed machines will help distinguish your laundry from other vended laundries as well as apartment laundries.
3. Ozone Disinfection — Ozone is a huge differentiator because you just don’t see it offered in apartment laundries. It’s a gas that’s injected into the wash cycle and effectively sanitizes laundry. If you have washers that are compatible with ozone, it’s simple to add into your mix of offerings. You’ll stand out from your competition and draw customers away from their apartment laundries, plus bring homeowners in the door.
4. Payment System — Vended laundries can bring in more apartment tenants by using a payment system that creates loyalty and allows people to pay using a credit card, debit card, cash or payment apps. Once in the door, offer customers an additional $5 for every $20 placed on their loyalty card. Use their contact information for follow-up emails and offers. Payment systems help get renters in the door and coming back.
5. Advertising — You won’t get apartment residents to visit your laundry without advertising your services and why you stand apart. Bring them in the door with exterior signage that markets a faster wash, larger machines, disinfection, and a $25-for-20 promo offer. If you offer wash/dry/fold, advertise that, too. Invest in a website and get active on social media. Get the word out and entice customers in the door. If they come in once, most will come back repeatedly.
6. Wash/Dry/Fold — Some apartment residents won’t ever use your laundry for self-service purposes, but they might use it for full-service wash/dry/fold. Consider running a special on WDF services, including processing comforters and bags of laundry. Include coupons in packaged WDF for patrons to offer to other friends and family.
7. Safe, Bright, Clean and Attended — When it’s dark outside, apartment residents shouldn’t have to worry about leaving their apartment to come to your laundry. A security system and bright lights are critical. Having attendants on hand at all times during open hours also lends to safety and convenience. Unlike an apartment laundry, customers have someone to turn to if something goes wrong with their laundry.
Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Bruce Beggs at [email protected].