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May 8, 2018
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Molly Blake

Laundry: Should PMCs Ditch the Coins?

Does anyone carry cash anymore? I never do. Venmo, credit card, or apple pay is everything. In fact, when my daughter lost her last tooth, I had to ‘borrow’ money from my other daughter’s piggy bank to fund the tooth fairy booty. I call that a parenting win. 

Yi, a FRONTSTEP product owner, gets change from the local Chinese restaurant around the corner from his building in order to pay for his laundry. And in a recent CAI forum topic, the discussion of a laundry coin machine that has been repeatedly ripped off garnered robust discussion about going coinless. 

A 2016 Federal Reserve study found the number of non-cash payments — including credit and debit cards — totaled 144 billion in 2015, a 5.3% increase from 2012 to 2015. There’s a Starbucks in Seattle that’s cashless, and many other restaurants are starting to test out cashless only options. So why not the last frontier … laundry! As PMCs, swapping out coin operated laundry facilities is something to consider. Here’s why PMCs should think about embracing coinless options:

Data: You can collect information about the machine usage, determine what times the facilities are being used the most/least, who is using them, and how often. This research is invaluable. One example, it’s possible to change rates, a la’ Uber surge pricing, during peak usage times. That means you can turn up the ROI on your clean investment. (Clean, get it?!) 

Less crime: This one is pretty obvious. No more bins full of coins just asking to be stolen and fewer folks wandering around with armfuls of money, either. 

Fewer repairs: Coins jamming and damaged coin boxes courtesy of frustrated residents or would-be thieves means costly repairs for PMCs. Many of the commercial laundry providers deal with the whole she-bang so no more collecting coins, or calling out for handymen to fix broken machines. Most machines can be retro-fitted, too, so no need to replace the entire fleet of machines. 

Resident happiness: Our friend, Yi, would much rather use a credit card, “as long as there aren’t any fees,” he said.  Not a big deal—loyalty cards eliminate fees, offer marketing opportunities and residents can monitor load progress from their smart phone. 

Managing multi-family or condo buildings isn't easy. There are many ways to streamline your work processes and keep residents happy. Now, if only the tooth fairy would take Venmo!

Looking for additional ways to keep your residents happy? Get your copy of our free Six-Step Guide to Creating an Exceptional Resident Experience.

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