I have a philosophy. If someone can find a laundromat for sale sitting at home on their couch in their underwear then it’s probably not going to be a very good deal. If you can find it in your underwear, anyone can find it. And if it’s a good deal, someone would have snatched it up already. Of course, that’s not always the case, but more often than not it is.
There are 3 proven ways that I have used personally, my investment group uses (Diligence Capital Investments), and my coaching clients use to find great laundromat deals. I will outline all 3 of them below for you.
Finding Good Laundromat Deals
I recorded a video on how to buy your first laundromat that you can watch below. However, before you can buy a laundromat, you have to find a good one worth buying. That’s what this article is all about! Let’s dig into the three BEST ways to find a good laundromat deal.
1. The Google Secret
I call the first way to find a laundromat deal the Google Secret. This puts a twist on your typical couch-in-your-underwear hunt that takes it to the next level and makes it FAR more effective.
The first step is to do something probably all of us have done: search “Laundromat For Sale Near Me” on Google (or whatever search engine you prefer). What will likely pop up at the top are small business listing sites that list all kinds of different small businesses for sale. They will have a laundromat category that will probably display some laundromats for sale. You’ve seen them. I’m pretty sure you know what I’m talking about.
Nothing too secret about that so far. I always recommend that you check out those laundromats and analyze them. Who knows, you may find a diamond in the rough in there. But, more importantly, it gives you good practice analyzing deals, familiarizing yourself with the numbers they are giving you, and understanding the relationship of those numbers to the value of the laundromat. The more you do this, the more likely you are to recognize a great deal when one comes across your desk.
However, your primary objective is not these laundromats. Your primary objective is to find out what broker or agent is listing these laundromats. These brokers are the gatekeepers to the majority of laundromats that will be sold, so getting to know them and letting them get to know you GREATLY increases your chances of finding a laundromat deal.
When you find these brokers, reach out to them via a phone call or email and introduce yourself. The purpose of building a relationship with them is to get on their investor list.
Here’s how it works. A laundromat owner enlists a broker to sell their laundromat. That broker compiles the relevant information from the owner, packages it up, then sends that packet of information to their list of investors who are serious buyers. Those investors get the first crack at the deals. If no one on the investor list buys the laundromat, then it ends up on these generic small business listing sites. That’s what you’re finding on the couch in your underwear.
So, in order to have the best chance of getting on a broker’s investor list, you’ll want to try to demonstrate three things.
- That you’ve done some homework and know something about the laundromat business (no need to be an expert though)
- What it is that you’re looking for (ie- price range, location, etc.)
- That you’re a serious buyer
These are the kinds of people that brokers want to work with. Be the kind of person a broker will want to work with and build relationships with brokers to get the best deals sent your way before the underwear hunters see them!
2. Door Knocking
This term is borrowed from the real estate investing world. The concept is basically the same, though. When you’re driving around town and you come upon a laundromat, pull into the lot and go inside to see if the owner is there. If the owner is there, have a conversation with him or her. Again, your goal is to begin building a relationship with the owner, similar to your goal with brokers, in order to ask if they’re interested in selling their laundromat to you.
Here are the basic things you want to try to communicate with a laundromat owner when inquiring if they’re interested in selling their laundromat.
- Introduce yourself
- Tell them you’re interested in buying your first laundromat
- Ask them if they are interested in selling their laundromat, or if they know anyone else who is
I have personally gotten deals this way and I have many coaching clients who have also found great laundromat deals this way. However, obviously not every laundromat owner will be ready to sell when you show up on their doorstep ready to buy. But if you can maintain loose contact with them over time, you’re VERY likely to be the first person they come to when they are ready to sell their laundromat.
To make this even more likely, I always keep a stack of letters in my car that basically communicate the same thing as the conversation I have with the owner if they are there. I leave it with them after our conversation. It has my contact information on it. It makes it much more likely they will remember me when they’re ready to sell.
You can download a FREE template of the letter I use in the Member Resources when you join with a free or pro member account. You can edit it with your information and put it in your voice. Happy hunting!
3. Direct Mail Campaign
The third method of finding a laundromat for sale is similar to the Door Knocking method, without the actual door knocking. In a direct mail campaign, you can again use the free letter template available in the Member Resources and Pro Resources to find a great laundromat deal. Instead of dropping it off with owners personally, mail it to all the laundromats in your area with instructions to call you if they are interested in selling. The benefit of this is that you can spread your net much wider with a direct mail campaign. Coaching clients and podcast guests have had incredible success with direct mail campaigns and it will work for you, too!
One bonus tip I want to give you for the letter is that I always include a P.S. In the P.S. I say something along the lines of,
P.S. If you’re not interested in selling your laundromat right now, no worries. I saw this (article, blog post, podcast episode, youtube video, resource, etc.) that might help you take your laundromat to the next level. Good luck and let me know if you ever do want to sell your laundromat!
Offering a resource, tool, or informational product offers some goodwill that will make you stand out from everyone else clamoring to buy their laundromat. Obviously, for me, I offer something from Laundromat Resource, but if you have found some other resource that you feel like would help a laundromat owner, offer that! The point is, you’re giving them something of value with no expectation of anything in return. That’s a powerful gesture that won’t go unrewarded, either with this owner or the next!
Finding a laundromat to buy is the first step. When you’ve purchased your laundromat and are ready to improve its efficiency, check out Cents to help you manage your entire business!