Having a well-lit, well-maintained laundry room in one's building is a definite plus. Residents don't have to traipse out to the overcrowded Laundromat in the dead of winter or in the pouring rain to spend hours waiting for machines when the facilities are right in their own building. Residents will depend on their building's facility to be clean, modern and in good working order. The building's board and management company will expect that the laundry vendor will provide new machines, good service, updated technology—bye-bye coins, hello smart card!—and regular maintenance.
Taking Care of Business
"In most instances, we provide the equipment, carry the insurance, conduct repairs and pay the building a rental fee for the use of the facility," explains Denise Savino-Erichsen, vice-president of Automatic Industries in Hempstead, Long Island. "We'll also include amenities and room furnishings such as tables, chairs, carts and so forth."
There is no initial outlay for most buildings when creating their laundry room—and again for most buildings, laundry rooms are moneymakers.
"They get their money based on the revenue stream of the building," says Ron Garfunkel, president of Service Directions Inc. laundry company located in Yonkers, New York. "There is no cookie-cutter approach as to how that's figured out. It can be a flat fee or a percentage. If we've been in buildings for a long time, we will know what the income stream is and we may pay them flat rents. We like to pay percentages, because if the volume goes up they lose out if they don't get paid by percentage."
Engaging a service provider to handle your building's laundry facility is an important process and the contract between the building personnel and the laundry vendor should outline the expectations of both parties during the time period of the contract, including maintenance, service and payment.