Who doesn’t love doing laundry???
Oh yeah, just about everybody.
Then how can a laundry room be the place to be? Well, as property owners and builders, we have a little bit of power to convert this common space from a business-only proposition on a Sunday evening, to the place where the party is at. If executed properly, this room can become the place where you can build community. Everyone knows that when a resident is friends with other residents, they ALL are more likely to re-sign their leases. So here are a few thoughts:
You are already running water through this room. Think ahead and install a water filtration system (roughly $600) to connect to a Keurig Commercial Brewing System designed for a direct water line (roughly $300). Next, stock a vending machine (prices range from $39 to $470… it depends on how fancy you want to get) with K-Cups. If you have some nice coffee tables and comfortable places to sit, you will find a laundry room that becomes a warm, welcoming destination rather than a cold, dingy room to check off a chore. It is a matter of time until you have tenants enjoying coffee together, making friends, and pledging to never leave your apartment building. Raised rents and all!
The coffee also becomes a profit center. Add a cupcake vending machine and who wouldn’t want to do their laundry???
You do want to consider the potential expense and mess that comes with supplying paper goods. Instead, we recommend providing new tenants with a branded coffee cup and letting them know that they can bring that with them to enjoy the coffee bar in the laundry room. Aren’t you glad you installed that filtration system when you were designing?
If your tenants are Millennials (heck, if your tenants are anyone living in today’s day and age) then Wi-Fi presents another major opportunity for the laundry room. Is your laundry room in the basement or a place with a terrible cell signal? If so, that wi-fi connection is a game changer! You don’t want your tenants running for higher ground when they need to make a call, you want them to be planted inside that room so they can meet people. It also isn’t so terrible that they have a connection to exchange numbers, share pictures of their pets or, if they have a lap top, sit down and do some work, peruse a newspaper, or write a novel. They will buy a cup of coffee and enjoy that nice sofa while they’re at it.
You planned ahead. Good on you! You ran your electric through just the right places. Flat screen televisions are getting cheaper and cheaper and now you have the benefit of installing one into your laundro-cave. You don’t even need cable. If you want you can stream programming for much cheaper. Or you can have a promotional slide show running on a endless loop if you strictly want to use this to advertise events and property features. But nothing forges friendships like a television show or a football game that appeals to two people doing time folding clothes at the same time.
There are plenty of other ways to turn the laundry room into a major amenity that boosts resident retention that do not require any behind-the-wall planning. A bookshelf, providing games, a coin-operated pool table, or an arcade game are just few attractions that come to mind. But if you haven’t hung your drywall yet, or are still laying your plumbing, you may want to consider these other possibilities.