Steven Taylor is a prolific real estate investor who ventured into the laundromat business. The reason he bought his first laundromat is a funny story he shares in the interview. He owns one laundromat and is looking to build two more in properties he owns. He’s hooked on laundromats and he’ll tell you why you should be, too.

As a career investor, Steven has some great advice for anyone wanting to find financial freedom through investing in hard assets like laundromats and real estate. He’s a wealth of knowledge and experience and shares openly as he weaves his story throughout the interview. 

Be prepared to take some notes because in today’s show, Steven and I discuss:

  • How Steven got into real estate investing
  • How Steven went from 1 to 300 real estate investment units
  • How he started a property management company and manages 1,100+ properties
  • Why he bought a laundromat after owning so many rental units
  • Where he found his first laundromat deal
  • Where he learned about the laundromat business
  • How he increased his laundromat’s income by 800%
  • Renovation tips for laundromats
  • How he plans to expand his laundromat empire
  • Online advertising for laundromats
  • Basics of laundromat ownership
  • Where you can get educated about the laundromat business
  • His keys to success in business and investing

And so much more!

Listen To The Podcast Here

Watch The Podcast Here

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    Episode Transcript

    hey what’s up guys it’s jordan with the
    laundromat resource podcast this is
    show number 51. i’m pumped you’re here
    today because today
    we have on stephen taylor who
    is first of all he owns a ton of rental
    real estate like
    like 300 plus units of rental real
    estate and just got into laundromats
    than the last year and he’s going to
    talk about his experience why he did it
    which i thought was kind of a funny
    reason why he decided to buy a
    laundromat
    even though he had so much rental units
    i think he’ll get a kick out of it
    but he talks a lot about how he got to
    the point
    he’s at right now in business so it’s a
    lot of fun i will tell you
    that we’re both a couple slow talkers so
    this would be a really good one
    to listen at to at a faster speed uh
    probably if you’re not patient with
    these slow
    talkers like my wife who’s not patient
    with me when i slow talk
    anyways just wanted to give you a heads
    up on that one
    uh man not only is this a super cool
    show
    with steven but uh man i there’s just so
    much cool stuff happening right now with
    laundromat resource first of all the
    forums have been
    going like crazy and i’ve just been
    loving loving all the conversations
    happening over there
    one i just wanted to highlight real
    quick somebody’s trying to start up a
    machine brand
    thread where you can just talk about
    machine brands the pros the cons of
    those
    i thought that would just be awesome to
    hear from
    those of you guys who have a particular
    brand that you like or don’t like
    and can be able to just have a
    conversation about that over there on
    the forums
    that one’s in the laundromat forum um we
    have a few different forums over there
    that one’s in the laundromat forum
    also i wanted to take a second to say
    welcome to all the new members
    who’ve uh come over to uh laundromat
    resource and signed up for the
    for the membership over there and in
    particular
    i want to say a huge huge welcome and
    thank you for those of you new members
    who went over to the new members
    introduction forum and introduced
    yourself
    uh real quick i just want to say welcome
    to elias
    tim tim who uh who
    he titled his something like hello
    laundromates
    which i thought was hilarious and i
    think probably should stick laundromates
    like what’s up mate uh i don’t know i
    just for whatever reason i was cracking
    up that
    um so elias tim gnr5
    nicholas alex glenn k andrew
    shelly anthony chris and more i mean
    just
    welcome to you guys super glad to have
    you part of the community if you haven’t
    gone over there and introduced yourself
    yet on the new member introductions
    forum there’s a lot of really cool
    conversations happening and not only
    that what i
    see happening a lot right now is people
    in
    the same general area are starting to
    gravitate towards each other and to
    connect with each other which i think is
    oh so so cool like awesome incredible
    so if you’re looking for people in your
    area i know atlanta is going off right
    now new jersey is going off right now
    there was somebody lonely in florida
    and uh man if you’re in florida go find
    uh go find that person and connect
    because there was nobody else in florida
    who reached out to them and i know
    some of you guys are out there in
    florida so anyways i just wanted to say
    a huge welcome
    to you guys who introduce yourselves
    over there
    go meet somebody welcome them to the
    community if you haven’t done that in a
    little while
    go ask a question answer questions jump
    in on these discussions maybe the
    machine brand discussion or another one
    there’s a lot of really cool
    conversations happening there
    and you can jump in at any point in time
    also i wanted to uh just
    let you know or remind you if you
    already knew that i do a webinar
    a live webinar every single thursday you
    can sign up at laundromat resource.com
    there’s a form right at the top of the
    page there
    you can sign up as many times as you
    want and listen to me drone on and on
    about laundromats
    uh every single week it’s a lot of fun
    in fact a lot of you guys have been
    coming
    been very very cool bringing questions
    and
    uh yeah learning learning all about
    laundromats so come join us if you’re
    interested in that
    and a special special thank you and
    hello to denise
    at the laundry room culver city who you
    know gave me this
    spiffy spiffy yeah spiffy i’m gonna say
    spizzy
    spiffy hat which you probably can’t see
    if you’re on the podcast right now
    but uh you know all the ladies
    are saying that it makes my eyes pop and
    by all the ladies i mean my mom
    mostly but no but seriously denise thank
    you i love
    the laundry room uh culver city hat
    and i will rock it is it cool if i wear
    it to my own laundromat can you rep
    another laundromat at your own
    laundromat i think you can and i think i
    will uh so anyways
    hey what’s up denise and thanks again
    for the hat all right let’s jump
    into it uh with steven because this is
    an awesome awesome episode you’re gonna
    learn a ton
    even if you’re just uh interested in
    investing in general i mean
    stephen in order to get this many uh
    rental properties and laundromat and
    more um you just have to
    you got to have something special and he
    shares that something special that he
    has
    with us today so you’re definitely going
    to want to pay attention
    and maybe speed up the playback if
    that’s your
    deal too all right i’ll catch you on the
    back end where we’ll talk about
    some takeaways from today’s episode
    let’s jump into it
    stephen how are you man thank you for
    coming on the podcast how you doing
    i’m doing great thanks for having me oh
    man it’s
    my honor and i i’m really excited to
    talk to you about your story i know you
    have a pretty cool
    way that you got into the business and
    a lot of what you do in terms of like
    your real estate investing is
    right up my alley i love real estate
    investing so i’d like to explore that a
    little bit before we get
    into all of that and your laundromat
    experience
    uh why don’t you tell us a little bit
    about who you are
    tell us about your background well um
    born and raised here in ohio up uh close
    to the lake uh
    we um married
    two kids um just a
    normal every day joe just hard-working
    and enjoy what i do
    awesome do you uh do you work uh
    like a normal job quote unquote
    i haven’t worked a normal job in
    probably 15 years
    i work for myself we got about 30
    employees that
    help us with our real estate company all
    right
    yeah we’re gonna have to talk about that
    because that’s i mean that’s the dream
    right that’s what a lot of people
    get into real estate investing for
    that’s what a lot of people get into
    laundromats for
    uh so you know why why don’t you
    why don’t you tell us how did you get
    into maybe real estate
    and then maybe lead into how you got
    into laundromats
    sure started with real estate right yeah
    real estate
    yeah sure well when i was
    getting you know going through high
    school and i was coming out of high
    school uh
    my mom was telling me how my uncle uh
    owned a couple of uh
    duplexes and he rented them out and uh i
    couldn’t believe that people paid rent
    i just didn’t understand that you know i
    grew up in the country i thought
    everybody owned their own home
    um and i i was
    a pretty handy guy i liked woodworking
    and uh
    can fix just about anything so uh i
    thought
    well real estate that was for me so um
    probably right out of high school i
    bought my first four
    unit apartment building um
    well i i tried to buy a duplex before
    that with my cousin and things just
    didn’t work out we had a couple of
    different
    opinions and right then i realized that
    i never want a partner
    i if i can’t do it on my own i don’t
    want to do it um
    so we
    [Music]
    shortly thereafter i bought a four unit
    apartment building uh in a nice city and
    i moved into one of the units and
    it almost broke even it uh
    i had to pay a few hundred bucks a month
    to live there so it was much
    cheaper than paying rent so over uh over
    the years
    i think probably two years later i
    bought a duplex and
    the year after that i bought another
    duplex and you know now
    okay 25 years later 27 years later
    yeah you’re you’re zooming by here holy
    cow man this is
    you’re saying it like this is nothing
    but i know for a fact that people are
    trying to figure out how to do exactly
    what you just
    nonchalantly did uh okay so back me up
    here
    uh to this four plex that you bought
    first right
    so you contact it right which is where
    you live in one unit
    and run out the others which is cool
    you said you got that pretty much out of
    high school yeah right out of high
    school
    how how did you do that well you know i
    started back then you know people we
    didn’t have the internet so we were
    early
    the internet was a thing
    then but i i wasn’t into the internet
    able to really qualify for a mortgage
    easily so i ended up meeting a gentleman
    that
    sold me the property on land contract um
    and we set up a 15-year term and
    um i i didn’t even get much money down i
    think a thousand dollars down on this
    property and uh bought it for a hundred
    thousand dollars and
    uh over 15 years paid them off
    and got the property free and clear and
    um
    i knew because i look at how much i paid
    down every month on the principal
    i knew that over time that uh it was
    going to be worth it
    and i knew that you know no matter where
    i worked i would never be able to save
    that kind of money
    um so that’s why i kept buying more real
    estate
    so where did you find this guy
    yeah he had an ad in the newspaper uh a
    four-unit
    apartment building for sale and it was
    funny the first time i went and
    talked to him he said uh
    you know what did he say that
    come back in a month and we’ll talk
    again because i got some other people
    that are interested
    well after a month uh he still hadn’t
    sold it
    and i think i called him to the day
    exactly 30 days later and
    the persistence paid off i think it took
    him a couple of months for him to
    realize
    that i was serious and that i was gonna
    you know do exactly what i said i was
    gonna do so
    yeah okay so you found this in the
    newspaper yeah
    yeah before the internet so that’s where
    everything was was
    uh in your local paper i don’t think
    anybody does anything the local paper
    anymore
    yeah i was gonna say what exactly is a
    newspaper
    exactly yeah uh man that’s
    that’s pretty crazy you found this in
    the newspaper you called the guy he’s
    like i got somebody else
    call me in a month and you call it and
    then it took a couple months but you
    you got this thing for like a grand
    round
    lived in it absolutely lived there i
    lived there
    probably three or four years
    um and then i had a great aunt
    that she had to go to the nursing home
    and
    she didn’t want her house to sit empty
    so she asked me hey would you move into
    my house and take care of it
    no expenses just move in and take care
    of it so
    i thought well okay i can rent out my
    unit then
    and i can live in her place for free um
    so
    that was my next step that’s the only
    reason i moved out of there
    wow okay were you were you working at
    that time
    yeah i was working for coca-cola um i
    was a delivery driver
    i worked in the warehouse for a couple
    years and then i spent 13 years at
    coca-cola
    okay okay so you moved out into your
    great-aunt’s house
    yeah okay because in your story
    it was like about a four-plex and then i
    bought a duplex and then i bought it the
    relax and then i bought a duplex and
    then i bought a dude
    right like right how did you how did you
    get that second one
    second one um i found off the
    from a realtor a realtor sold it to me
    um
    it was just an up and down duplex a
    couple towns over
    um and you know just from saving up some
    money i was able to put i think at the
    time i only needed 10
    down or something so um so that one i
    just went to a bank and did that one
    um i i think it was probably maybe two
    years after the first four plex it took
    me to be able to do that one
    okay and you didn’t house hack that one
    that one was just a pure rental
    pure rental yeah okay um
    and then that was
    back in the the 90s when the the
    mortgage rates and the the lenders were
    very easy to get loans from um
    so as long as you could show that you’ve
    you’ve had a history
    of paying the the banks were willing to
    give you money
    um so it i ramped up really quick from
    there on
    out you know you would eventually
    refinance one and pull out
    you know 20 30 000 and you use that to
    buy more and
    um next thing you know within four or
    five years from there i think it was up
    to like 40 or 50 rentals
    yeah um and then the market crashed
    um i had a few people working for me at
    the time um
    so with the market crashing i i knew i
    had to go somewhere else because the
    banks weren’t going to lend me money
    uh 2008 yeah right around 2008
    yeah okay um but here in ohio the the
    rates were so
    cheap i mean they are the property
    values were so cheap i mean i was buying
    houses for
    five thousand ten thousand dollars a
    house um
    so i was borrowing private money from
    that 2008
    uh i don’t even know 2012.
    and i probably bought another 30 40
    houses just borrowing private money
    to buy those houses up um so the next
    thing i know is over
    over 100 properties by that time
    so um and then i started a company that
    we were doing repairs
    for other landlords because people were
    buying so many properties during
    that period that um everybody needed
    someone to fix them up
    because they were so cheap so we were
    doing repairs for other landlords and so
    we got into the repair business
    we did that we still do that today um
    and then i started losing some of my
    customers they were going with property
    management companies
    uh so i thought let’s start a property
    management company
    so we started a property management
    company um
    around 2010 2012. um
    so now we manage probably i think about
    1100 properties
    here in uh northeast ohio and then
    and then a lot of those properties that
    we manage over time people are
    you know they want to sell them and they
    want to sell them on financing because
    they don’t need the money and
    um then you kind of blink in a 25 30
    years have gone by and
    you know we’re over 300 properties that
    we own and
    we manage you know 1100 properties so
    keeps us busy yeah i would say so
    that’s pretty crazy that’s a pretty wild
    story and it sounds like you kind of hit
    hit it like at your stride at a really
    good time where
    timing was very perfect yeah you got in
    just before or you know a little bit
    before and you got your experience under
    your belt and you got a few units under
    your belt
    and then when property values dropped
    you’re able to just scoop up a bunch and
    right
    it really worked out well it did we were
    very blessed to have that all happen to
    us and that
    in that time frame um and you know it
    was scary at the time too because you
    didn’t know what the market was gonna do
    um you know i either thought that uh
    i was gonna be the brightest man on
    earth or the dumbest man on earth i
    wasn’t quite
    sure um it went well
    it worked it worked and even some of the
    property i originally bought when the
    market crashed
    i actually owed a lot more on those
    properties than what they were worth at
    the time
    and a lot of my friends that were doing
    the same thing i did a lot of them gave
    up and
    just let them go in foreclosure um where
    i just kept making the mortgage payments
    the
    the rents dropped a little bit during
    that period but
    nothing crazy um you know with some hard
    work we were able to
    um keep making the mortgage payments uh
    we we never missed a payment through
    that whole period
    so it worked out well it really did it
    was
    some lean years without a doubt but um
    and now after all these years we’ve got
    a lot of them um that we’ve been able to
    pay off
    and uh you know acquire a bunch more
    that we’re still working on paying off
    i don’t go too far down the real estate
    rabbit hole because i i’m like
    i love the real estate so i can just
    keep going with it but
    you know it’s a little bit on that
    podcast but
    before we get to the laundromat stuff i
    i do have a couple questions so
    number one like what do you i mean so
    many real estate investors lost their
    shirts
    in that period so what do you attribute
    was that well so so many real estate
    investors lost their shirts during that
    2008 to 2012.
    period what do you what do you attribute
    your survival to like what what did you
    do different that
    you know your investor friends who gave
    up or just so many real estate investors
    who
    you know you know um i never bought a
    bit off more than i could chew
    um i never lived outside my means um
    you know there is times that i could go
    buy a big fancy house and drive
    you know fancy cars um i’ve drove a
    pickup truck my whole life
    um my wife has always you know drove a
    minivan
    um we we have no extra sports cars we
    um you know we just lived in a modest
    house
    you know nothing fancy uh we did just
    uh buy a big fancy house but uh you know
    today we can afford that
    so yeah so yeah we live lower means
    yeah kind of millionaire next door style
    yeah
    absolutely absolutely without a doubt
    yeah people get anxious to get to that
    sports car
    nice fancy house phase without building
    the foundation that you’ve built
    absolutely
    you know having you got to have the
    foundation you got but you know
    you also have to be willing to take a
    risk you’ve got to be willing to step
    out of your comfort zone and
    you know some of those properties should
    i bought them so fast
    maybe not um but it’s
    it’s knowing what you can handle and
    then doing what you say you’re going to
    do
    you know when you say that you’re going
    to make those payments you’ve got to
    make those payments
    and if that means
    means you have to you know skip going
    out with your friends because money’s
    tight that’s what you have to do
    um so um business has a lot of ups and
    downs and you got to be ready for the
    downs
    uh put money away for a rainy day
    because it’s going to rain
    yeah that’s a great great line right
    there
    uh okay it’s true yeah and so
    speaking of being able to take risks how
    so you said you were
    borrowing a lot of private money during
    you know that 2008-2012 where were you
    finding private money
    at that time you know i was a member of
    a local
    landlords association um which basically
    had a bunch of
    old real estate uh investors and
    over the years i created a lot of good
    friendships by spending a lot of years
    there
    and they trusted me and when i said i
    was going to make a payment i made a
    payment
    you know they never had to ask a check
    was always in the mail
    prior to the day that it was due um
    and just building her a rapport
    and and uh something that they can count
    on
    yeah that’s that’s huge you know that
    networking and that reputation
    those two uh they really go hand in hand
    absolutely and and it is kind of the
    pathway to success i think you know
    from all the successful people i’ve
    interviewed and and have seen and have
    met
    you know those those two things you know
    getting
    getting in the middle of the right
    people and having a good reputation with
    those people
    absolutely it’s a big deal yeah
    you know and find yourself a mentor or
    find someone that’s in the business that
    can help you and
    in the real estate business i have a
    gentleman that has kind of been in my
    corner and uh he’s he was very
    very successful in the business and uh
    you know his door was always open to me
    you have to be willing to uh oh i say
    take advantage of it but it because it
    worked for both of us i mean he made uh
    a lot of interest off me over the years
    but
    i’m i have no problem paying that
    because that’s what i signed up for it
    and it’s made me money so
    i have no issue with it yeah right
    okay well i mean i have a lot more real
    estate questions but
    sure let’s talk about
    how did you okay you got like three well
    real quick i gotta ask them now
    are you are you planning to buy more
    real estate or you
    are you capped out at 300
    no i’ll still buy more um right now with
    the market so high i’ve actually been
    selling stuff
    um just because the the prices are so
    high
    otherwise i would just keep me building
    um
    so as the deals come in i’m still buying
    but then i’m also selling um
    a lot of property too so um
    i’m buying deals that i’m selling at
    retail today
    yeah cool all right
    how’d you get into laundromats i mean
    you got all these rental properties
    where where did this laundromat come
    from
    you want to know a real stupid reason
    um in my business everything comes in
    in checks they pay online i have zero
    cash
    i never have cash in my business and i
    thought
    the only cash i ever get is my apartment
    buildings i go collect all the quarters
    um which i actually kind of like because
    i get it makes me get through the
    properties on the first of every month
    and i check up on the hallways and i
    make sure the units are clean i make the
    outside
    the outside the bushes are all trimmed
    and the yards look good and
    i leave with a bucket a quarter for
    quarters from every property
    so um and you know in our apartment
    buildings we all have speed queen
    uh washers and dryers and to be honest
    they hardly ever break down
    um in the hallways um and once they
    start to get old i replace them
    but some of them are 20 years old and
    they just run
    so i thought you know i always need cash
    you know you need cash in your pocket
    i’m tired of going to the atm
    and then my accountant’s always like oh
    would you do this withdrawal 4
    and you know i’m like you know what i
    just need a cash business that i can go
    get some cash
    that i can keep into my pocket so i
    thought
    boy what could i do so in one of my
    apartment buildings i put a coin changer
    in there that the tenants can put in you
    know
    five and get five dollars for the
    quarters or ones and and it helps them
    it also helps me not have to quarter
    carry the quarters out and then i’ve got
    some cash
    so i thought boy this is working out
    well i said man
    i had to look at a laundromat um because
    there
    are you know there’s a few of them
    around my town and um
    so i started watching youtube um
    and there’s a few channels that i really
    got interested in it and uh
    one day i’m sitting there in the living
    room and uh watching some videos and the
    wife is watching some tv
    and i said you know honey i think i want
    me a laundromat
    and she says well i’ve seen you watching
    all these videos and i knew that one of
    these days you’re gonna tell me you’re
    buying a laundromat
    so um so that that’s how it came to be
    was um um
    that i decided what the heck let’s do it
    uh so i started watching craigslist
    um and i started to network with
    a couple of um local laundromat owners
    trying to pick their brain a little bit
    trying to
    learn the ins and outs of the business
    and i started watching a lot of the
    youtube videos and um
    and then one came available um it was a
    rundown
    horrible laundromat and
    i made the guy an offer and he accepted
    it and i’m like oh no
    no no in a laundromat so uh we closed on
    it in about two weeks and
    uh here i am wow
    okay so how long ago was this when did
    you when did you get that laundromat
    probably six seven months now i’ve owned
    it um
    i i found it through craigslist um
    laundromat for sale and the guy had
    seven laundromats that he was
    selling and the one was like 10 minutes
    from my office
    the other ones were all half hour to an
    hour away
    and i had zero interest in those yeah
    just jumping into the business i didn’t
    want to bite off more
    than i could chew what i mean what’s it
    been like
    it was it did you put money into it did
    you fix it up did you run it how it was
    what’d you do
    yeah you know uh i went all in uh
    we the first week that i bought it did
    six hundred dollars in sales
    um and i i’m like yeah this is
    unacceptable this isn’t even gonna
    um but i thought you know i used that
    one movie
    uh field of dreams i thought well if i
    build it they will come
    so immediately i put a new furnace and
    central air in because it was
    you know like 95 inside the building and
    nobody’s gonna go do laundry in a
    building that’s 95 degrees that’s just
    insane so we put in a new furnace in
    central air
    um the roof had like three or four leaks
    so
    i put a new roof on the building um
    and then some of the equipment was 30 40
    years old
    so i called around to a bunch of
    different distributors trying to find
    one that i liked
    um and
    you know everybody you know says the the
    dexter and the
    the hips or speed queen um
    but you know those dealers i really
    i felt like they were just trying to
    sell me a whole package
    and i just i didn’t feel like they
    really cared about me
    um so i ended up going with continental
    um
    because our local continental dealer i
    really felt like he cared about me
    and what my best interest was so um
    and he listened to me and that’s who i
    went with um
    i did have i think four brand new dexter
    dryers already in the building
    um and then the continental dealer he
    had um
    six thirty pound double stacks
    that were like five years old so i
    bought those
    and then i bought uh two brand new
    um 445 pound reversing dryers
    um so this way all my dryers then i
    didn’t have any problems with dryers
    um so and they were in the back of the
    building so i said well let’s do all of
    those first
    this way um as we remodel the place
    it i just found that i thought that that
    would be easier
    so we did all the dryers first and as
    soon as we got the dryers done then we
    started putting in some washers
    and it’s worked out yeah so
    how did i mean was it your field of
    dreams did people start coming when you
    when
    not immediately um but the numbers we
    were growing
    every single week every week the numbers
    were going up
    um and i think we’re up like 800
    um within seven or eight months so yeah
    it’s
    it’s uh it’s really working out uh it’s
    been a major money pit
    i mean that equipment is expensive um
    really expensive i mean those washers
    aren’t cheap
    and i’ve ended up replacing all the
    washers except for
    i had three big maytags two 60s and 280s
    that were like five or six years old
    um but to be honest they’re my best
    producing machines in the building
    people walk into them and they just go
    right there i think they have larger
    doors
    and they’re nice big shiny machines and
    people go right to them so so i left
    those there because people loved them
    um and then i had uh we had
    14 um
    horizons in there and i’ve replaced half
    of them
    with new um continental
    20-pound washers but uh
    for some reason people still like those
    uh
    those horizons so i’m probably maybe
    going to replace them with horizons
    and i i think it’s the same thing i
    think it’s the big door
    that people just look at it and i i
    think that that’s what
    the laundromat uh customers see
    and they just feel comfortable with
    where the continental doors are kind of
    smaller
    and it doesn’t look like you can put as
    much stuff in there um
    and i’m big at watching people and i
    track the machines to know
    you know i can tell you how much my 80
    pounder does i can tell you
    of the 60 pounders i can tell you
    exactly each week how much each one of
    them does so
    i’m really tracking to know what people
    want
    um and i know a lot of it is they walk
    through the front door and you know of
    course the big ones are right there
    they use those up but um
    so yeah i i’m a big at watching people
    and watching their patterns and which
    machines are getting used the most so
    that’s
    um you know i don’t always listen to the
    distributors and what they want
    i’m i’m what what my customers want and
    it’s based off what they’re spending not
    just what they’re saying
    so yeah i think that’s really smart i
    mean
    they obviously they are your customers
    that’s where your money is coming from
    so how are you how are you tracking are
    you just using a spreadsheet when you
    collect
    yeah a google doc and
    you know i have um
    and every week i just put down all right
    this is what we collected on 80 pounder
    today this is what the
    two maytag 60s collected this is what
    the two
    soft mount 60 continentals collected and
    then
    my 40 pound soft mount uh
    continentals this is what they did and i
    do that in a hole i mean we got six of
    them but
    it’s across the board um and then i got
    a couple 30 pounders i track those which
    uh those are in the far corner they
    actually they’re horrible they don’t
    hardly do anything and then the 20s do
    really well so
    um so yeah i’m big on watching people
    and what they
    um what they do and you know one thing i
    found early on too is when i had some
    real old beat up dryers in there
    as long as the store is clean people
    will use anything they
    they didn’t even see the brand new
    dexters down on the end they went to the
    old you know 30 year old dryer
    they i think they just don’t know any
    different um as long as
    as long as they work i don’t think they
    care
    that’s that’s what i’ve noticed yeah
    yeah and i i’ve noticed too that some
    people just have a habit they
    they get the same machines every time
    and so
    even if you replace those machines
    they’d go to the same
    spot where the correct machines were
    and they’re just getting rid of it but
    i’ve also found that certain locations
    perform better than other locations even
    like
    for mine i have some that are the ones
    that are up against the wall
    don’t don’t do as many turns as the ones
    that are on the edge of the aisle
    they’re easier to do or whatever
    yeah yeah so just kind of interesting
    like you said watching the customer
    patterns customer behaviors
    and you know what they like and what
    they don’t like and being able to make
    adjustments you know when you’re ready
    to
    replace machines and stuff you’ll know
    what machines to put in there because
    you know what your customers like
    absolutely absolutely so that’s that’s
    what i do is i
    i like to watch the the cameras to see
    you know what’s going through people’s
    minds and
    uh where they’re going so that’s
    important to me
    yeah okay so you’ve you’ve been
    you’ve been working you’ve been hustling
    did you do anything else to the store
    other than
    replacing machines we uh
    we painted the outside of the store um
    we put brand new awnings on the the
    front and the side because in the summer
    time the
    the sun was glaring through and it was
    making that place an oven
    so we put some real beautiful awnings up
    and then i took
    and put some led rope light uh through
    the awning so
    this place glows we put up new signage
    out front and
    uh the place is absolutely gorgeous from
    the outside
    um and even the inside’s nice um
    and i’m probably gonna do some new
    flooring in the store too right now it’s
    just painted concrete
    um and i’ve i’ve been kicking around
    different ideas to do inside the store
    and i just haven’t pulled the trigger
    yet on
    what we’re going to do there but we’re
    definitely going to do something the
    painted concrete is
    yes kind of blah um i’m thinking
    probably some new vinyl plank or
    something
    inside there i just want to see what’s
    going to hold up um
    but uh yeah i had it was funny i
    actually did
    the epoxy flooring and sharon williams
    had sold me
    um the the product
    and then i had to go back after we had
    put in the dryers because we had
    scratched them up so we sanded them down
    exactly what they sold they told us
    and then we went to apply it back on top
    and they had
    given us the wrong product and the two
    um had a chemical imbalance and they
    just
    bubbled up and they looked horrible so
    um
    so i sanded it again i just put down a
    porch and floor paint
    for today until i come up with something
    that we’re gonna do
    yeah there’s always these little issues
    that come up
    you know when you’re trying to write
    stuff right yeah
    um yeah but you know it’s been fun
    because like even my wife and my kids
    uh i’ve taken my kids over there at uh
    you know midnight and we’re in there
    painting until three four in the morning
    we’ll paint the floors or
    now we have employees that do all this
    stuff but you know my employees don’t
    want to work in the middle of the night
    but
    uh you know if the kids are going to be
    off for the weekend or something you
    know we’ll make uh
    you know we’ll make a fun night of it
    we’ll go over there and we’ll move stuff
    around and do some painting and uh
    you know i’ve actually my daughter she
    loves to go take the coins out of the
    coin boxes and
    um she just gets all gated giddy when uh
    a box is full of money and uh so it’s
    been a lot of fun
    yeah i like that it can kind of become a
    family
    family affair and uh absolutely yeah and
    do it all together
    my kids come in and help me my wife not
    so much
    anymore she’s like you take care of it
    but my kids will come collect me
    sometimes and
    it’s fun and they’ll play with the kids
    at the laundromat and stuff yeah the
    kids they’ll come over and
    help me fill the snack machines and
    stuff like that
    yeah uh okay well
    you got this laundromat you’re six seven
    months
    into it business is up you’ve been
    working on it you got a lot
    that you’re doing to it and i mean are
    you enjoying it
    how is it comparing to your real estate
    stuff is it fitting in well um
    you know the business is so small
    compared to our real estate company
    right um now when we first bought this
    place i was there almost every single
    day
    um now that it’s kind of calming down
    and you know we’ve got uh two ladies to
    work at night
    um they’re not at the same time but
    different days of the week
    they’re doing all the cleaning um so
    they’re keeping the place looking good
    they’re dealing with some of the
    customers at night i’m only going there
    about two days a week now
    um which is kind of nice um so now it’s
    it’s
    it’s doing what it’s supposed to do
    which um
    i’m not supposed to spend a ton of time
    in the place which we’re getting to that
    point now
    um so i like that yeah
    that can take a little bit of time to
    set that up and get everything running
    learn the business get the right people
    in there
    get it fixed up the way you want it can
    take a little bit of time to get that
    going
    absolutely absolutely and i i was trying
    to
    learn the business so that’s why
    machines and stuff like that but
    i personally was wanting to do it so i
    could see what we were selling
    um and now that i’ve got a good idea
    what sells what doesn’t sell
    i could possibly turn the keys over to
    the vending equipment and let her
    keep those things full so uh and i’ll
    probably do that here pretty soon
    yeah i i really i have vending machines
    in one of my stores and i really
    don’t like spending the time to fill
    those things up
    i feel like it takes me forever to do
    that i’m like
    man it is time consuming
    um like i said on fridays i fill all the
    vending machines and
    um you’re right i i could definitely be
    doing something more important than that
    but uh i was trying to learn the
    business and see what sells
    so um and now that i’ve got a good grasp
    on that then i can turn that over
    yeah totally uh okay well
    you got you got one and it’s it’s
    rolling you’re starting to get into
    a groove with it are you i mean are you
    thinking about getting more at all
    or you just get the cash in your pocket
    and you’re you’re good to go
    yeah i’ve got um two other buildings
    that i already own
    uh that we’re going to put them in i’ve
    got
    a building that i’ve owned for probably
    four or five years it’s a commercial
    building with apartments upstairs
    well the first floor um the commercial
    areas are vacant
    i just had somebody move out of the
    corner unit so
    there’s no laundry mat on that side of
    town
    so right now i’m dealing with the city
    trying to get
    permits and a zoning change
    um my lawyer’s dealing with all of that
    so i’m waiting
    to get the green light that we can start
    to put it in
    um i already own the building so why not
    do it
    so we’re putting one in there and then
    um
    i just bought a building that was an old
    hardy’s building
    on a super busy corner uh
    right in the middle of a pretty rough
    area um
    but uh it’s right next door to a
    a cvs and a walgreens and a bp gas
    station so
    it’s a super busy corner and there’s not
    a laundromat within
    probably 10 minutes and
    the numbers are off the chart from the
    distributor so
    um i just closed on the building maybe
    a month ago and i’ve just got the
    architect he’s come over and looked at
    everything and he’s gotta put all the
    plans together so i can turn it into the
    city
    um so yeah we’re gonna convert a
    hardee’s building into a laundromat
    hardy’s is a fast food yeah it’s a fast
    food like
    like a mcdonald’s building of some sorts
    but it’s been empty probably for
    i think six seven years the building’s
    been empty um
    so i was looking for this area
    because i know that it’s mainly all
    rental so i was like all right
    this would be a great area but every
    building i came to
    either had no windows or no parking or
    um it just didn’t have the building
    wouldn’t be a good laundromat
    um so then i came to this one and i made
    the people an offer and we went back and
    forth a few times and
    it’s got everything i need a lot of
    parking it’s got the windows on three
    sides so you’ll be able to see in
    and you know we’ll we’ll light that
    thing up like the fourth of july so
    it’ll be glowing inside
    so um so it’ll be great
    i’m looking forward to the project uh
    it’s nice that we’ve started
    we started doing a lot of the demo and
    stuff like that and
    so we’re moving forward with it i don’t
    have anything approved by the city yet
    but that’ll come within the next month
    or two
    i like that i like that confidence so
    that one you were looking to buy
    specifically for
    a laundromat yes yes i bought that for a
    long time and you’re like i could make
    that one
    a laundromat yeah absolutely yeah okay
    yeah and there will be about 10 minutes
    apart but
    that 10 minutes is like one
    on another side of a river and you got
    to go over a huge drawbridge to get to
    it
    um so there are completely different
    groups of people that would use them
    so i think they both will do really well
    yeah so yeah man well that’s that’s
    pretty exciting i mean what are you
    gonna do if the city says no
    uh they’ll say yes i’d like to hear yes
    i have my ways right you know
    i i was told a long time ago but
    actually by my mentor he said you know
    what you have your yeses before you even
    ask
    um so i know people that know
    people in council and stuff like that
    and you know i’ll go pitch the idea to
    them
    and let them know what’s coming so that
    they can talk to their friends and
    uh we’ll get the yes before it even it
    even happens so
    you just gotta know who to talk to and
    who to sell the idea on and
    um the one building uh that i bought for
    a laundromat
    was the building zoned properly we just
    got to get the city to approve
    the layout that we want um so we may
    have to change some things up a little
    bit inside
    but that’s okay we’ll we’ll do whatever
    they want
    um we’ll make it happen yeah
    i mean again it comes back to that
    network
    and having that reputation right and who
    absolutely
    who you know and what you can get
    absolutely yep
    absolutely um and you know even in that
    you just always um
    you know don’t make enemies with the
    city you
    um even though they tell they tell me
    all the time things that i don’t want to
    hear
    um they don’t make it easy to be friends
    a lot of times and i mean by there i
    mean any city
    really sure absolutely absolutely so
    um i know enough people there that we’ll
    we’ll get it done well one way or
    another it may not be the exact time
    frame that i’m looking but we’ll make it
    happen
    i’m confident i like that so
    you’re kind of jumping in with both feet
    what what made you make the decision to
    i mean you’re only six or seven months
    into your first laundromat
    so and now you’re talking about building
    two in places where you technically
    don’t have permission yet to even build
    them
    so what made you kind of jump in with
    both feet to do that
    um i’ve always been that way
    um when when i see something that i want
    and
    um you know where there’s a will there’s
    a way
    um you know right now the other
    companies are doing well so i can uh
    we can afford to do this it’s not a uh a
    big financial
    hit to the company to um to buy all the
    equipment and make it happen so we can
    we can do that but you know one thing
    i’ve even found too is
    you know a lot of the shows that i watch
    and people making comments they’re all
    you got to buy brand new equipment for
    everything and i don’t think that’s
    necessary
    um you know most this equipment’s bought
    and made to last 25-30 years
    even the dryers um
    network with people that don’t know how
    to fix this stuff
    i personally don’t have time to fix any
    of it um you know i can troubleshoot a
    couple little things while i’m there but
    you know if if it’s acting up i just
    call my repair guy
    um make sure that you got enough money
    that you can just afford to pay somebody
    to do these things
    um i found a a guy that’s all he does is
    repair
    laundry equipment um and
    is he expensive yeah absolutely but uh
    he’s good at what he does i mean he can
    come in and fix it in an hour where i’d
    be farting around for three days trying
    to figure out how to do it so
    i i’m happy to pay him to fix it but you
    know
    the new one that we’re building in the
    hardy’s building
    i found online um some used dryers that
    were hardly used i mean they’re in
    beautiful shape
    um for 1600 bucks a dryer where they’re
    like
    7 500 a piece brand new so
    and they can be fixed for a long time so
    why would i spend
    you know an extra 6 000 as a machine
    for something that i can get you know
    used on so um that’s that’s my opinion
    i will put in some brand new fancy shiny
    machines right by the doors
    you know so that when people walk in
    they see something
    um to make them want to walk through the
    door and you know this way they don’t
    think it’s all
    just old junk in here but uh and keep
    the place clean
    and you know hire some friendly
    attendants that
    make people feel comfortable there and
    they will come
    so yeah i think that attendant
    everything is a big deal too
    you know having you know if you’re going
    to have attendance there just having
    friendly people who
    are you know i had i think i’ve told
    this like way back when
    but i had an attendant one time and she
    literally had she was just as feisty
    like she was super nice but she was
    feisty
    and she was literally getting in like
    these like yelling matches with
    customers and i was like whoa what is
    what’s happening right now
    when you got the right person in there
    absolutely and if
    that person doesn’t work then you got to
    move on yeah you got to find the right
    people people that
    um you want to feel comfortable when you
    walk through the door and you want to
    feel welcome when you walk through the
    door
    um none of these stores are going to be
    attended all the time
    we’re going to do um you know definitely
    every night there’ll be somebody there
    for a couple hours cleaning and taking
    out trash and
    uh but we’re not gonna be fully attended
    um
    i’ll put on the doors that they unlock
    at 5 00 a.m and then they re-lock at
    midnight
    um so yeah this way if somebody calls
    off it’s not the end of the world
    uh that’s my game plan yeah i like that
    i like that well hey speaking of which i
    got a little
    section that we call down to business
    let’s get down to business over and out
    okay and that just i mean we’ve already
    been talking about your business and
    what’s been going on uh you know we’ve
    been talking about it already so
    but let’s just get a little bit more uh
    details about
    your business and how that journey’s
    been over the last six seven months
    okay so where where are you you’re in
    ohio right is that
    correct we’re in lawrence county we’re
    in lorraine county up on the lake
    right on lake erie yeah all right
    moraine county ohio
    sounds nice my uh my one store is in
    illyria which is just south of lorraine
    it’s uh we got about um
    300 000 people in our county so it’s not
    a huge area but it does have a good
    amount of people here
    cool um i normally ask people
    how many laundromats and real estate uh
    you got but you got one laundromat and
    you got two
    on the way yeah providing the city says
    yes which they will sure
    they will we’ll get them through that’s
    right yeah and that’s like
    300 or so units of real estate yeah
    we’re just over 300 rental properties
    yeah that’s pretty impressive yeah uh
    and you’ve been in the business for six
    or seven months we’ve already talked
    about that
    yep so tell me what is it what does it
    cost to do laundry
    in your neighborhoods what are vend
    prices looking like
    a two loader runs 250 a load
    um our three loader is 350 a load
    a uh 40 pound machine is
    five and a quarter
    a six loader is at um
    675.
    we have a seven loader at 7.75
    and our 80 is at
    9.25
    do a lot of people use that 70 pounder
    um it is probably our slowest machine
    but it’s also because it’s off in a
    corner
    um i actually just ordered with
    continental
    a self injecting
    um softener and soap so you won’t have
    to put any soap and stuff on it it’s got
    you know lights on it and it’s going to
    inject the soap
    and it kind of like puts on a little
    circus kind of thing
    um and i’m hoping that that will make
    pick up that machine
    um you know i put the machine in brand
    new three four months ago
    and i ran a special on it uh when i
    first put it in for like three dollars a
    load
    and it ran non-stop for a month but then
    it’s just kind of
    died off when i put it back up to its
    normal price
    so i’m thinking if i put that soap
    injector in there that maybe that will
    make that machine busier so
    and take some pressure off of the you
    know the 80 and the 60s
    so that’s my that’s my goal we’ll see
    how it goes
    yeah i’ll be curious to know how that
    works out
    yeah yeah i’ve never used one of those
    uh self-injected
    kind of machines but yeah it looks cool
    um
    i don’t know if it’s a waste of money
    yet or not but uh we’re gonna find out
    um it’s only one way if you don’t try
    you don’t know
    so exactly and i think that’s a big
    point actually you know i think a lot of
    people are afraid to try different
    things and i know
    even you know even me like i’m sometimes
    i’m afraid to try different things but
    you know one of the things i’ve found
    that is if you don’t
    try stuff you don’t have data points
    to help you make good decisions down the
    line right like you could try this
    and it could shoot this thing through
    the roof and now when you’re building
    your next
    two you know hey i need to include
    you know i need to include this stuff in
    my next two
    because man it’s shot you know it shuts
    the roof but you know if it doesn’t do
    anything for it then you probably know
    hey i don’t need to put that really in
    my in my next two right
    but you have those data points because
    you’re willing to try something so
    right exactly because if it picks up and
    does really well
    we’re gonna we’ll put it in the other
    laundromats if it doesn’t work we’re not
    gonna do it
    yeah yeah smart
    well what i mean what do you you said
    you’ve been tracking your
    your machine so what do you what are you
    doing turns per day are you tracking it
    that way
    um i don’t always crack it by turns per
    day but this last
    week i did check uh track my 80 and we
    were averaging five
    a little over five turns per day nice
    um in the 80 and
    but on average we’re more around three
    and a half to four uh
    turns per day on the rest of the
    machines um so
    which is good i like that
    of course i’d like to see more but who
    wouldn’t you know i
    i don’t know what the national average
    is i don’t know what people are doing
    but
    uh that’s where i’m at right now yeah
    well i found that
    i i don’t really i hear all kinds of
    numbers for the national average
    and i kind of got to a point where i’m
    like i don’t really care actually what
    the national average averages really i
    only care what my businesses are doing
    right right i agree with you how do i
    get mine to do more
    you know but my 70 pound machine
    probably only does
    uh a little over one turn per day i mean
    that’s just
    you know so that’s horrible so that’s
    why i’m putting that injector on top to
    see if i can get that one up to
    you know three or four times a day um
    and then it will pay for itself
    once um you know if it does do more
    and if not it was a waste of money and
    we move on you know
    if not it was a valuable data point you
    know
    absolutely absolutely i’ve never seen it
    in another laundromat in our area
    so it’s something new um and maybe you
    know something new will draw people in
    uh i don’t know we’re gonna find out
    though
    maybe you should have them set it up so
    it looks like a flux capacitor
    exactly exactly time back to when your
    clothes were clean or brand new
    oh right i like that that’s good
    marketing right there look at that right
    that’s a free one for you right i’ll use
    it uh yeah
    uh okay oh man
    uh all right so you’re gonna go with
    kind of a partially attended
    model where you’re gonna have people
    basically coming in and cleaning up and
    sure yeah customers for a couple hours
    exactly when we open the new ones we’ll
    be
    fully attended probably for the first
    six months and then we’ll start to back
    out
    some of the hours uh to where we’re not
    fully attended
    yeah i was gonna ask you and i forgot to
    um did you when you were putting in new
    equipment and stuff did you do anything
    marketing wise
    uh to let people know i mean i know like
    doing stuff to the outside let people
    know that you’re doing stuff
    probably too outside and attracts people
    right but did you do anything else
    you know i did a lot of facebook ads
    it was kind of nice that our local
    councilman
    at that store was sharing everything
    that i put out
    so that really was good
    and every day i’d put up hey you know
    here’s the floors we’re putting in or
    here’s the new
    60-pound machine or here’s the new
    dryers or
    um every day i was putting out a
    facebook ad and then i was paying
    you know to you know like twenty 30 a
    day worth of advertising too
    but i haven’t had to do a lot of that
    lately i think i did one last week for a
    new coin changer that i just put in
    one that’s uh a build a bill with some
    coin
    return i did an ad on that one
    it was just something different
    different nobody else has that here but
    i noticed uh
    you know everybody that comes in they
    have a 20 and they’re like hey can you
    break this for me i don’t want 20
    worth of quarters in my pocket so
    i ordered a build a bill so if they put
    in a 20 they get three fives and five
    dollars worth of quarters
    um so uh
    you know to cut back i don’t have to
    have as many i don’t have to be as
    manpower as much
    and i don’t have to leave a bunch of
    fives there with the employees wondering
    are
    they not that they’re gonna i trust who
    i have there but
    you know you also don’t want you know
    someone held up
    because they have money there i mean it
    just it makes it safer for everyone
    yeah yeah were you just uh were you just
    boosting
    those posts yeah yeah just through
    facebook
    it really worked um we we picked up a
    lot of business through that
    so i highly recommend that for people
    yeah
    that’s a good good tip did you did you
    know the councilman who was re-sharing
    your stuff or he just
    never met him before uh she just was
    yeah she liked uh what we were doing and
    i uh
    you know i kind of kept her uh in the
    loop of what was going on and she just
    loved what we were doing uh we had the
    mayor stopped by one
    day to see what we were doing and uh he
    did a little
    boost of you know this is what’s
    happening on the south side of valyria
    and
    uh you know so it’s just little things
    like that and it was
    it’s a nice pretty store now so uh they
    were grateful that the that side of
    town’s getting cleaned up a little bit
    yeah i wonder if i can get uh the la
    mayor to swing by my
    little laundromat and boost maybe the
    councilman willow you never know yeah
    yeah uh so you’re running
    100 coins is that what you’re doing we
    we are coin plus pay range uh we
    installed pay range
    um and you know it’s kind of funny pay
    range
    on a continental machine was a little
    bit of a pain in the butt because they
    uh as soon as you put in you have to
    select a
    um like hot cold or whatever and then
    the little flap will open so you can
    start to put quarters in
    well if you pay with pay range it would
    just eat the money unless you
    selected the button of what to use so
    i’m like oh we can’t do this this just
    isn’t gonna work and i called
    continental and they’re like well
    there’s no other way around it
    um you’re just gonna have to educate
    your customers to
    you know hit you know button four before
    you
    pay with pay range and oh yeah this
    ain’t gonna work this this is
    um so my repair guy i was telling him
    about it and he’s like
    there’s gotta be a way around it and he
    read the manual and he figured it out so
    they were able to keep that door open
    all the time and then it just puts the
    money
    on there as a credit so it really pays
    to have
    intelligent people that know your
    machines in and out
    so i hate this guy at
    should all should but uh there’s always
    where there’s a will there’s a way
    that’s right so i like
    pay range um i’m debating on the next
    doors whether i go with a card system or
    a quarter but
    uh to be honest i think i think people
    like the quarter
    uh i i you know
    especially where i’m at if i was in a
    high end city maybe la or something i
    don’t know maybe there they
    would want you know a card system but uh
    i don’t think so not where i’m at i
    think they
    like to put quarters and i think that my
    clientele
    i think are you know not as educated i
    think a lot of them don’t have a debit
    card or a credit card and
    i think they don’t want to leave you
    know four or five dollars on a card
    i don’t think they have that extra kind
    of money um
    so that’s my personal experience from
    what i’m saying with my people so i’m
    thinking i may stay with quarter and pay
    range
    um pay range does about
    i think we’re probably at 15 percent of
    our people are using fifth
    pay range uh the rest are all using
    quarter
    um so i think we’re probably going to
    stay that way
    have you tried incentivizing using
    pay range in any way um
    i made up a little business cards that
    uh told people if they gave us a
    five-star google review i’ll give him
    five bucks on pay range
    and then i’ll send it to him through the
    app um
    so when i bought the place it was like a
    1.2
    google and facebook i mean it was
    horrible um
    so but now we’re up to almost four you
    know a four-star
    um and a lot of it has to do with you
    know giving me the five dollars
    freeway which i don’t care my my
    daughter says oh dad you’re um
    i don’t remember what she said but it
    wasn’t positive
    she was like you’re you’re just buying
    your votes here dad i’m like
    you want them i’m just trying to get a
    higher
    google you know rating and and uh
    oh what’s the other one uh google and
    facebook
    um yeah we don’t do yelp much out this
    way it’s not very big here
    um but you know people love it now they
    they love
    the store they they love when they come
    in that it’s clean
    and the equipment always works it drives
    me nuts when there’s an odd order sign
    on there
    um i call my guy immediately when
    something breaks um
    get it fixed and uh let’s get this whole
    store up and running again
    so yeah is it what
    yeah that’s yeah well first of all
    that’s a good
    good habit to have you know if you if
    you got the guy who can come fix it man
    then you know those machines down you
    know not only is it a deterrent for
    customers you know if you start if you
    get too many machines down
    customers are like hmm but also
    that machine’s not making any money when
    it’s broken exactly
    exactly get it back up and running you
    know some of the things i noticed too is
    like i had bought a bunch of
    folding tables i bought the ones off
    amazon
    the stainless steel like kitchen tables
    i bought a bunch of those to replace
    those old nasty tables we had in there
    but i found with the stainless steel
    they’re always smudged up you know with
    the fingerprints and people leave their
    soda bottles up there and it just
    always looks dirty unless you were
    attended full time that somebody’s in
    there wiping
    non-stop yeah and we’re not attended all
    the time so that didn’t work for me
    um and every time i’d walk in and see
    those tables it would just drive me nuts
    i’d immediately go get the cleaner and
    make it look good and i thought you know
    what
    i got to get rid of these tables so i
    ended up buying the new actual
    folding tables i know they were a lot
    more expensive
    but you know when i walk in there now
    the place doesn’t look dirty
    um so if i was attended i would have
    left those other tables in there but
    that was something i learned that i
    wouldn’t do again i would
    next time i’ll be buying just regular
    folding tables and
    paying the price for them because
    they’re worth it yeah
    another good tip how many i know you
    said you’re
    you’re down to about two times a week
    going to the laundromat how many hours
    are you
    spending when you’re there or how much
    time um
    mondays i’m there half hour
    to an hour depending on what i run into
    um and mondays is usually it’s that’s
    when it’s dirtiest
    because sunday was packed and if i go in
    there on monday morning and
    you know from the time our attendant
    leaves at 8 p.m and we close at midnight
    sometimes on monday morning the place is
    just
    a big pen and i go in there and i clean
    um
    so sometimes it can be an hour i’m in
    there and then fridays i’m in there for
    about an hour hour and a half
    yeah it’s amazing how quickly
    people can destroy a place oh man
    you’re not getting trash everywhere yeah
    yeah as soon as that first dryer sheet
    hits the floor it’s like a free-for-all
    like yes
    chicken bones on the ground yeah it
    doesn’t matte like just
    it doesn’t matter the dryer sheet hits
    the floor it’s it’s right
    sometimes i walk in i’m like did like a
    tornado happen in here like
    right it hasn’t been that right like
    what happened i think uh
    following keenan says the dirtier the
    laundromat the more money that’s in the
    coin box so
    uh and it’s 100 correct um so when i
    walk in and the place is
    disaster that means we did well the
    night before so i don’t mind cleaning
    um i i you know i may change up i may
    even hire someone in the morning that
    comes in for an hour every morning just
    to do it one more once
    over um but uh i like my laundromat
    clean but
    uh it it doesn’t hurt my feelings when i
    walk in in a place as an actual big ben
    because that means we did well
    so unless you have a homeless problem
    and it’s just dirty because you got a
    homeless guy in there
    um one of the things i did yeah one of
    the things that i did
    um and again this kind of depends on
    who you hire but i would hire somebody
    to
    basically work a split shift just for
    two to three hours but
    they would come in either in the morning
    and do
    their their you know hour and a half to
    two hour
    clean up of the place okay or however
    long it took
    um and then i’d have them come back for
    just a quick like
    30 minute tidy up like if they came in
    the water
    and have them come you know in the
    evening and do a quick
    30 minute tidy up where they pick up the
    shredder sheets and the chicken bones
    and whatever else is in there absolutely
    um wipe stuff down real quick exactly um
    and that
    really helped um you know it gave them a
    little bit
    more i hired people who were just right
    in the neighborhood
    um for my unattended store i just found
    that they’ve
    had more of a pride of ownership and
    they’ve ended up taking better care
    of you know the store when they when
    they’ve been working there um so it’s
    easy for them to walk across the street
    for 30 minutes and
    and tidy up but that had a big impact
    because it just
    my unattended store would get thrashed
    you know
    from sure they come in the morning or in
    the evening whatever like by the next
    time they come it would just be
    trashed but i found sure just a 30
    minute tidy up
    made a huge difference for absolutely
    i can really make that place look good
    in 30 minutes yeah
    yeah exactly so i get it well we got a
    section called
    secret sauce listen up it’s the secret
    sauce
    and that is you know what what’s
    something that you feel like is working
    really well for you
    that other owners can implement into
    their business to help them
    improve their business uh definitely the
    facebook
    ads that that has done wonders for us
    um and keep your store clean
    and don’t be afraid to meet your
    customers and talk to them
    and you know one thing that i found
    every time i’m there
    i open up the pop machine and i pass out
    free drinks
    um it you know it puts smiles on
    everyone’s face everyone’s grateful
    um and what does it cost you 30 cents a
    pop
    i mean for a can of soda um
    and i just uh i asked the kids for you
    know hey what would you like would you
    like a candy bar
    you know sure so when i go over there
    cost me five ten bucks but
    you know it just puts smile on people’s
    faces and it doesn’t
    really cost you much um and if i see a
    new customer that walks through the door
    i offer them today’s laundry on me uh
    here let me start this machine for you
    hey let me show you pay range
    uh it’s an app that you can put on your
    phone if you like and um
    you know this is how it works and then
    like oops i just paid for your laundry i
    hope you don’t mind
    um and it uh it makes them want to come
    back
    when they get something for free so
    and even if you see somebody that comes
    in all the time and you happen to be
    there
    uh start their machine um
    what does it hurt to me i
    it doesn’t really cost you much um and
    the goodwill
    and if somebody ever complains about
    they
    lost some money in the machine i just
    give them their money back no questions
    asked
    i do have a couple of people that i’ve
    seen repeat
    that they keep asking all those i might
    say something to eventually but
    um but if they’re losing if they lost
    money whether
    i had a guy the other day that the new
    bill machine it gives them three fives
    back and then
    five dollars in quarters well he didn’t
    realize that he gave three fives and he
    left the three fives in there
    and someone came in later and
    it’s like oh free money in this machine
    um
    so i gave him his 15 bucks that he
    lost because he didn’t know how the
    machine worked um
    what it doesn’t really cost me that much
    i’m not going to lose any sleep over 15
    bucks so
    um but i made him happy and he’ll come
    back
    so uh take care of your customers and
    they’ll take care of you
    yeah that’s great and you know even that
    15 bucks
    i mean over the lifetime of that
    customer that 15 bucks ends up
    being well worth you know absolutely
    worth it but i know a lot of
    a lot of laundromat owners tendency is
    to you know be very tight with their
    finances
    sure which is not a bad quality per se
    but at the expense of
    a customer you know if you lose a
    customer over a 15 bucks
    that’s probably not a good decision
    right right i completely agree i like
    what you’re saying i like taking care of
    your customers
    and i think you’re right you know i’ve
    had a couple guests who’ve said
    yeah no questions asked we’ll we’ll
    refund money or whatever
    um there are people who try to take
    advantage of that and you can address
    that but by default
    i like that mentality of oh you lost
    money okay
    you know here right or you know one of
    the ones that happens a lot
    you know with with at my stores is you
    know people will put a lot of soap in
    there
    sure and they’ll say you know your
    machine’s broken look at all the soap
    and you know trying to explain to
    somebody that the only way that there’s
    too much soap
    in there is that if you put too much
    soap in there
    right it found to be a very fruitless
    conversation
    right so just you know saying hey throw
    in some fabric softener
    here it is i’ll give it to you sure and
    absolutely i’ll run a rinse cycle again
    and it’ll be fine
    you know it’s way easier than trying to
    say
    you know explain to them absolutely
    yeah and then taking the opportunity to
    educate them at the same time
    yes completely agree yeah cool
    well that’s a that’s great secret sauce
    uh i think
    you know all those things we can learn
    from uh
    all of us you know implementing the the
    facebook ad stuff
    you know keeping the stores clean seems
    like obvious
    but i don’t know i’ve been in enough
    laundry mats to know that it’s not
    obvious to everybody
    right i agree and then i really like the
    you know meeting the customers building
    that relationship it really
    if you can put that personal touch on
    there and then just
    kind of make them feel special you know
    whether that’s absolutely
    soda or starting their laundry form
    every now and then or
    whatever you know buying their kids a
    little candy or whatever
    uh absolutely i know one time over the
    summer i was there and
    it was lunchtime and i ran up to
    mcdonald’s and uh
    you know i knew there was a lady there
    with her kids and uh i bought them all
    you know the little ice cream cups from
    mcdonald’s i mean
    you know and that lady’s been there
    every week ever since
    so it’s like what did that i mean i
    spent four bucks for
    you know some ice cream and mcdonald’s
    for the kids i mean it does
    they’re gonna choose you over somebody
    else um
    because of that rapport that you’ve
    created with them
    it goes a long ways yeah i’ve mentioned
    this
    quite a few times since but uh
    past guest elizabeth brick and wilson
    said
    you know your laundromat is an extension
    of or it should be an extension of
    people’s homes
    and you know doing things like that just
    makes it feel
    homey right just makes it absolutely
    feel like home and
    absolutely that’s what we should be
    doing i love that
    completely agree well we have another
    section called
    pro tips pro tips and pro tips
    is for the newbie somebody
    not so different from you seven or eight
    months ago
    where they’re looking to buy their first
    laundromat uh do you have any advice for
    them
    get educated um you can get free
    education on youtube
    uh watching um i like
    following kanan chock full of quarters
    uh there i fixed it um
    your podcast of course um but
    and you know every laundromat can be
    different um
    just because one person runs theirs one
    way doesn’t mean you have to run it that
    way
    do what works for you but be consistent
    and that’s the most important thing and
    your customers will know how consistent
    you are
    um and that’s what really pays off so
    spend the time on youtube watching those
    videos and
    find the type of laundromat you want to
    own
    yeah that’s good that’s great advice
    great advice and those are all awesome
    youtube uh channels all
    linked to all of those uh if
    if you haven’t checked them out you can
    just click on those links
    uh those will be in the show notes or uh
    if you’re on youtube already it’ll be
    down in the description
    go check those out give them a subscribe
    and uh
    and learn a lot from those guys they’re
    all doing a lot of awesome stuff
    okay last uh last little section we have
    is called recommended resources
    and i mean you just mentioned a bunch of
    awesome
    youtube videos where people can or
    youtube channels where people can learn
    about the industry
    anything else you want to add to those
    few channels
    no you know um you know just because
    one of them say this is the way you got
    to do it doesn’t mean that necessarily
    works for you
    you know i know um you know some of them
    you know they do all the repairs
    themselves
    i i don’t get dirty in an aspect you i
    mean you’ll see my finger and as i have
    no grease on my fingernails i’m never
    going to tear a machine apart and try to
    fix it
    hey i don’t know how to um i don’t
    really want to know how to either um
    so i’m gonna be just the investor side
    of it
    but you know if you were a handy
    individual
    this could also be a great business for
    you because you can make all your own
    repairs and you can save money on that
    side so that’s why it’s so important
    that
    just because you do something different
    doesn’t mean that it’s still not going
    to work for you
    um and just find out what works for you
    and then
    play on those strengths yeah i like that
    and it it never ceases to amaze me
    how differently people run their very
    simple laundromat businesses right
    there’s just a lot of different ways to
    do it
    and there’s a lot of people saying this
    is the way to do it and you’ll hear that
    from uh you’ll hear that from brokers
    you’ll hear that from distributors
    you’ll hear that from
    people on youtube you hear that from
    people on the podcast you’ll hear that
    all over the place and there isn’t one
    way to do it right
    you absolutely you said to follow your
    your strengths and make it work for you
    the way that it’s going to work best for
    you
    absolutely absolutely
    yeah well listen this has been
    awesome awesome so much good stuff it’s
    so funny because
    you i mean obviously you’re fairly new
    in the industry
    but you’re a incredibly seasoned uh
    investor and have a
    ton of really great advice uh for
    for all of us and i love what you’re
    doing um
    with real estate stuff obviously but
    also i love what you’re doing with your
    laundromat you have
    the right mindset uh to
    you know to succeed i can’t wait to see
    the
    the next two that come out and i also
    can’t see your
    detergent flux capacitor and
    it’s gonna be great it’s going to be
    great well thank you for coming on
    and just hearing so much about your
    experience and
    uh and just your wisdom that you’ve
    gained and i
    really really appreciate it man all
    right i hope you got a
    ton of value out of this interview with
    stephen because like i said in the
    beginning
    i mean in order to accumulate 300 units
    and a laundromat and more uh you’re
    doing something right and he’s got a lot
    of wisdom share i know i gained a ton of
    wisdom i was kind of geeking out a
    little bit on his real estate investing
    and in particular but also about the
    laundromat stuff
    um but you know every single week i
    encourage you guys
    pick one thing to take away from the
    interview put it into practice because
    action is what’s gonna lead you to
    success not
    learning by itself uh knowledge is power
    when you put it into action so let’s get
    powerful let’s get pumped
    uh yeah okay um for me
    my big takeaway he had this quote and i
    wrote it down
    and i thought it was really genius as
    i’ve kind of been thinking about it
    since the
    interview i’m recording this a little
    bit after but um i’ve been thinking
    about this quote
    that says know what you can handle and
    do what you say you’re go
    what you say you’re gonna do and for me
    i
    what i love about that is the times
    where i find that i’m dropping the ball
    you know somewhere in my life whether
    it’s you know not getting back to some
    of you guys who’ve emailed me because
    i’m like
    inundated with emails or you know
    whatever the case may be like
    that’s just recently on my mind because
    i’ve been trying to catch up on emails
    uh but uh you know whenever i drop the
    ball
    it’s because of a lack of understanding
    or a lack of
    my own ability to admit uh
    to what i can handle and what i can’t
    handle and
    that leads me to saying that i’m going
    to do something that i
    can’t do and i loved i mean one of the
    big themes in his
    in stevens interview was to
    network with people who are successful
    and then to have a good reputation with
    them um
    with with that group of people and that
    comes through knowing what you can
    handle and doing what you say you’re
    going to do
    and that part is huge because a lot of
    people say they’re going to do a lot of
    things
    and don’t do it so for me that’s kind of
    what i’m doing
    uh this week is i’m taking a little bit
    of self-assessment
    and saying okay am i doing things that i
    just can’t handle
    and i need to back off of that so that i
    can do the things i say i’m gonna do
    that’s my takeaway what’s yours maybe
    head over to the forum
    introduce yourself in the foot in the
    introductions forum
    and then maybe go find a spot on the
    laundromat forum to
    uh to let us know what your big takeaway
    was all right
    thank you guys for hanging out with us
    today hopefully you got
    a lot of value out of this episode next
    week
    we have another in incredible
    uh episode so if you haven’t subscribed
    yet make sure you subscribe
    and if you haven’t done so yet maybe
    jump over to apple podcast or google
    podca
    google podcast where is that i don’t
    know wherever you’re listening to this
    or right here on youtube if you’re on
    youtube and uh
    and subscribe to the show and maybe
    leave me a rating and review
    so that i know how to get better for one
    and what you like and what you don’t
    like
    but also so that other people can find
    us here on the podcast alright guys
    we’ll see you next week and thanks again
    [Music]

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