Don’t Forget About The Dirty Clothes:
Maximize your property amenities with a laundry room that residents can rely on
In a world where convenience is king, having a laundry room residents can count on, no matter when they’re ready to throw in a load, is essential to remaining relevant in the ever-growing competitive market of multi-housing communities.
But, like any amenity, property managers always have to think about keeping costs to own, manage, and maintain relatively low – as to not affect rent rates too much.
Recently we got to sit down with Trey Northrup, Whirlpool Corporation’s General Manager of Commercial Laundry, to ask his advice on these crucial areas of multi-housing laundry room management.
Q: What can property managers do to help address monthly utility expenses?
A: Utilizing updated, efficient equipment can play a major role in lowering your expenses. While Energy Star® certified machines use less energy, and cost less to operate – you can also better manage utilities by ensuring proper venting, and staying up to date with machine maintenance.
Other features to keep in mind, especially with washers, are efficient, powerful drive systems. Ideally, you want a drive that delivers consistent, balanced loads. This will help end users complete their laundry more efficiently and in less time, freeing up machine availability – and keeping residents happy.
Q: How is a machine’s total cost of ownership going to impact a property’s operations?
A: Total cost of ownership in the commercial laundry industry references the amount paid for equipment, plus, the cost to operate and maintain it over its lifetime. Energy costs, warranties, machine longevity, and product quality all significantly influence this final expense.
Think of it this way, washers and dryers are similar to owning a car – older machines will eventually need more servicing and use more energy resources to perform.
If your laundry room is currently equipped with older equipment that continually requires attention, not only is it an inconvenience for residents, but you’re also spending money to repair machines and losing the money that machine could be making.
Q: So, if my property has older machines, you’d suggest purchasing new equipment?
A: Newer machines are going to perform more consistently and efficiently. They can also be more user-friendly, and aesthetically pleasing, giving residents more reason to see your laundry room as a property amenity, not an inconvenience.
This is not to say that older machines need replacing immediately. By making sure equipment is being used and operated properly, you can help increase its longevity. You can also perform small maintenance tasks to help the cause. For dryers, make sure exhausts are cleaned and lint-free, check drive-belts for wear and tear, and grease bearings if needed. Similarly, with washers, inspect bearing and drive belts, and check all hosing attachments for leaks and loose connections. Cleaning soap dispensers after cycles can also help maintain a washer’s performance.
Like any machine, by taking the right maintenance precautions, and using equipment as it’s intended to be used, will help extend the lifespan of your investment.