When he offered to come on the podcast, “Shirtless” Cory, as he’s known on Facebook, offered to share his experience owning two laundromats and his search for more. Little did either one of us know that would lead to the first ever shirtless episode of the podcast! Ha!
Entrepreneurship can absorb your time, attention, and your life. Often, one of the first things to go is your health. But your health is one of your most important assets. Cory and Jordan discuss some tips on building a successful business without neglecting your health.
This episode is full of fun and information as we discuss the lessons Cory James has learned from owning multiple laundromats and also as we touch on maintaining your health as an entrepreneur. In this episode, Cory and Jordan discuss:
0:00 Introduction of the episode.
5:14 How did you get me to be shirtless today?
9:06 Buying a laundromat with raccoons.
14:31 Taking over the laundromat.
19:01 What was the condition of the laundromat?
24:52 Buying a laundromat.
30:29 Paying too much for a laundromat.
36:36 Getting the initial customer base.
42:54 Accountability is big in business.
48:04 The importance of cleaning laundromats.
51:42 Laundromat owner’s advice.
1:02:04 The importance of having a laundromat.
1:07:53 Putting the kids to work and discipline.
1:17:05 Pro tips for people who are new to laundromats and weight loss.
1:21:57 How to get in touch with Cory.
Links from the show
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Jordan Berry 0:00
Hey, what’s up guys? It’s Jordan with the Laundromat Resource podcast. This is show 117. And I’m pumped here today. Partially because this is the first ever Laundromat Resource podcast episode, where the interview was conducted shirtless. And we’re joined today by shirtless Cory. We have a really great time, a lot of fun talking, but also there’s a lot of really great information in here. Cory owns a couple of laundromats. And he is also on the prowl on the hunt for a couple more. And so we talk a lot about how he got into the business, how what he’s learned since being in the business, and he shared some really great lessons, and what he’s doing to find the next couple of laundromats that he wants to pick up as he’s building his empire out there in Wisconsin. So it’s a really great episode today, we have a lot of fun again, and we are in fact shirtless. So we’ll talk about why that is in the interview. But two things real quick before we jump in with shirtless Cory, is number one. Just wanted to take a second to celebrate the first ever women in the Laundromat industry meetup that was hosted through Laundromat Resource with Lauren Borkowski who hosted that one of the consultants here at Laundromat Resource multistore owner, Rockstar all around great person. And she hosted that meeting, I hear that it was really, really great. We had over 75 signups. And I know some of you guys couldn’t make it, but fear not because it went so well that Lauren and maybe a couple other women are going to partner up together. And there’s going to be something a little more consistent for women to get together and talk about, you know, being in this industry and to problem solve and to share stories and encourage each other and all that stuff. So I’m super duper excited about that. So if you’re a woman in the industry, or if you’re a woman who hopes to get into the industry, you are welcome to those. So stay tuned for more details about meetings coming up. Here in the future, you’ll be able to see those as they get scheduled at Laundromat resource.com/events And we’ll also email out details as we get them so make sure you’re on the email list. Awesome. Okay, the second thing I want to talk about real quick, it will rake in huge thank you to Lauren for taking the time and effort that she put a lot of work into that. And I think it was really I heard a lot of really great things about it. So huge shout out to Lauren for that. Okay, second thing real quick that I want to talk about before we jump in with shirtless Cory is one of the goals of one of my personal goals with Laundromat Resource is to help you achieve financial freedom through Laundromat ownership. And a big part of that if you know my story, when I got into the business, it did not go well for me and I ended up losing a whole lot of money, like six figures worth of money early on there and it was just a rough go and I had nowhere to turn I didn’t know who can help me. And so that’s a big part of why I started Laundromat Resource. Well, as a next step on that journey of helping you achieve financial freedom through Laundromat ownership I put together based on over 400 Consulting calls that I’ve done now based on a weekly webinars that there was interactive q&a going on during those webinars based on 117. Now podcast episodes where I’m talking with other Laundromat owners and industry professionals and getting their wisdom, aside from conversations that I’m just having with owners outside of the podcast based on my own personal experience owning and buying laundromats. And based on my experience as a broker who helps other people buy and sell laundromats all this information that I’ve been gathering over the last almost decade now, in this business, I have compiled into a comprehensive course on how to buy a Laundromat and I’m super excited about it because it is everything that you need to know to buy your first Laundromat the right way the first time. And it’s everything that you need to help you to actually do that. So all the tools, all the resources that you need to actually number one value a Laundromat and then number two, verify the performance of that business which is key during the due diligence period. All of that stuff is compiled in detail step by step in this course, it’s really a really great course and I’m not saying that because I built it I’m saying that because kind of we have built that course together. And not only that, but it also will give you for a for now at least it’s gonna give you access to the pro community if you join that course for now. So check that out. You can check out the link to to that course in the show notes which is at Laundromat resource.com/show 117 or if you’re on YouTube, that’ll be down below so that link will be Laundromat resource.com/show 117 and all of the links that we talked about today will also be low cated there on the show notes page. Okay, all right, let’s you know what this shirts feeling a little stuffy. Now let’s jump into the interview with shirtless Cory where we will both be shirtless. All right, let’s see over there. All right, Cory, what is going on? How you doing today?
Cory James 5:14
Hey, how you doing? I’m doing well here in Wisconsin. But will we plan on that later?
Jordan Berry 5:20
All right. I gotta explain right now, because a lot of people listen to this on the podcast episode. So you and I are both shirtless. So I mean, if you feel like you’re missing out, you might want to, you know, go from the podcast to the YouTube channel. Over there. You’re in Wisconsin, you’re in the snow. It’s supposed to be 70 Something here in California. So I don’t mind being shirtless. What is going on? Why are you and how did you get me to be shirtless today on this podcast?
Cory James 5:48
Well, when I reached out to you, I was a little bit embarrassed as my Facebook name is shirtless, Cory, which is a story behind. But I didn’t want you being like, well, who’s this guy? Who’s this score? Is this an only fans thing? What’s going on here? A little bit background on my story. I’ve always been a handy guy. And my shirt comes off quickly, it seems when the weather’s nice. And I get a call from my buddies because they replaced a toilet in their house, right? And they didn’t install the wax ring. And now it’s leaking down into one of my buddy’s bedrooms. And it’s like, alright, I’ll come over there and change it. But you guys got to clean it off first. So as soon as I get over there, you know, and this is this is 1215 years ago, there. There on the couch, on their laptops on Facebook. So of course I said some derogatory terms and said, once you get once you idiots get off of Facebook, and Google how to change a toilet. So as I’m changing the toilet, you know, they’re like, Hey, what’s your email address? We got something to send? Yeah, you know, and then they created this profile of shirtless, Cory. And they invited, invited all of my girlfriend, which is now my wife, all of her friends, everybody. So now everybody’s like, well, who’s a shirtless quarter guy? And for years, my wife’s been telling me to change it, because she hates tagging shirtless, Cory, and all these photos of our children. Right? Yeah. But my thing is, if I change it, I lose. You know, and I’m, I’m going to be a winner. So please stick
Jordan Berry 7:18
with Yeah, you can’t lose. So it’s stuck. So you are and then I remember I mean, he reached out to me said you you interested in coming on the show. And I kind of jokingly was like, Hey, okay, you come on the show. But you got to be shirtless. And here we are. Plus, yeah, maybe we’ll have a flex off here at the end of this thing or something. Sounds good. I will, I will lose miserably. You know? Yes. If you’re, if you’re just listening to this, you could just be confident I will lose miserably. Awesome. All right. Well, who is shirtless? Cory, tell us a little bit about you, who you are and how you got into the Laundromat industry?
Cory James 7:59
Well, I have a beautiful little family got two boys, their tenant eight very athletically gifted coach, there’s baseball coach their football, my wife coaches, their basketball, she’s got a couple state rings she likes to brag about. And I got a three year old daughter, which just, she’s a daddy’s girl, like she knows how to steal my heart. And I started my journey 10 years ago, just right after we got married, I bought a rental house. And it was going well, I mean, this is this is amazing. I’m getting all this extra income coming in from this from this house. And qualify have to have twice the income. So I started acquiring these properties as we went along, gotten some small multifamily apartments, doing well. But the problem is, is tenants don’t always take care of the properties and you’re gonna have the headaches, and it’s like, you know, what I need to do is get into the commercial business, I need to get some commercial properties. And they’re going to take much better care of their properties. I mean, it’s a business. So I was looking, and then it just, it fell to the wayside. And then I had raccoons in my attic. And it’s like, well, it’s this isn’t, you know, where are we going with this part of the story, right? So I have raccoons in my attic. And my wife was pregnant at the time with my daughter. And I couldn’t just throw the raccoons outside. You know, we had to get them to like an animal sanctuary. You know, a town away had a drive out there. Turns out the guy was a real estate agent. And he’s like, Oh, I know you. You’re friends with a buddy of mine. It’s like I know. So we’re kicking it off. And he’s like, Hey, I got a property. It’s kind of near your house. You know, you should look into it. So it’s like yeah, all right. I know the property. I know there’s Laundromat in there. I used to rob the vending machine back in the day because it’s right next to middle school. So when you’re a delinquent Middle School, yes. You get lost over there. So I knew about it. And then I tried reaching back out to the real estate agent who was just non responsive, never got back to me. So then I’m driving past one day, and this place is literally four minutes from my house. It’s very close. And there was a Mercedes sitting in the Laundromat parking lot. It’s like, man, that’s gotta be the owner. So I walk in that it was the owner had a great conversation with him. We started talking about the building and what it was getting for revenue and kicked it off. And we made the deal between him and I. And it was one of those things where he’s like, Well, it’s goofy with this property, you kind of got to own and operate the Laundromat. And I was one of those guys where it’s like, no, I’m not going to buy myself another job who goes to a Laundromat is have you been successful? Right? No. Self Storage, car washes, sure, laundromats. So he’s telling me, Well, I tell you what you can do. Run it for like two months. If you don’t like it, you can lease it out to the ice cream shop owner. That’s one of my tenants is like, he’ll be more than happy to take it over. He probably get 1000 bucks a month rent for it. So it’s like, Alright, so now we’re doing all the financing things. And I was trying to like tax reasons. By Laundromat separate, right? Instead of like, bottled all together. I’m saying yeah, when it came to find out because I’m a I’m a newbie to this commercial world. And they’re like, Well, if you’re gonna buy the business, you got to have 30% down on it. It’s like, it’s more. It’s more down payment, though, what I’m willing to do so we want it all together. And I acquired the property. And I ran it for about two months. While a little bit. Let’s get to a good part of the story.
Jordan Berry 11:42
Okay, you wanted to closing? I thought the raccoons was the good part of
Cory James 11:46
that’s how it all got started. Okay. Raccoons in the attic. Yeah. So it’s day one of owning this property. We close at four o’clock. I meet the owner over there he hands over just a bundle of keys. He takes out all the quarters I buy the quarters from them. You know we’re ready to rock places clean. Its unintended laundry. Awesome. Well, I like to be a big shout at least pretended. So when we got home that night, you know it’s been nine o’clock at night. I made my wife Margarita and do feel special. I smoke a nice fat cigar, right?
Jordan Berry 12:24
Oh yeah. Big way. It
Cory James 12:26
took me like seven minutes to get this thing lit. And boom, my phone. Phone rings. What is this? Hey, this the owner of the West Side laundry. It’s like yeah, so Can my clothes are stuck in the washing machine. It’s like, that’s not good. So I can’t put the cigar out. I jump in my big white truck fly down there. So here’s this Russian mafia looking guy rolling in his truck. I had a shirt on, cut off sleeves. Okay, cigar smoke rolling out of the truck. But the scar down we walk in there. And she’s like, Yeah, they’re stuck inside. Yeah, they certainly are. I’m trying to jiggle the handle. It’s not opening. She’s like, Well, do you know how to fix it? It’s like, no. Do you know how to fix it? She’s like, No, I don’t. It’s like, well, we’re gonna learn together. So I’m trying to figure it out. You know? What do you do? Oh, it’s a shot the power that works on computers, right? You just kill 10 seconds and it fires back up. Well, that didn’t work. So now it’s like, Well, I gotta call somebody and I had no idea who I’m going to call no idea. So power is off. Water is draining out of it. And as I was giving her a refund saying hey, I’ll get a fix. I’ll get your laundry back tomorrow the door on lots. It’s like fantastic. So then I’m putting on tape over the machine saying do not use you know, this is my first time I know nothing like there’s no out of order science. There’s another Yeah. So we we got her going and one of my favorite parts of that that maybe just fall in love with Laundromat was pulling out the cash drawers and getting all those quarters and dumping them right back in the machine taking the cash out say man this this is this is simple. Like this. This was costing me five hours a week in just cleaning this Laundromat, you know and then I was a big fan of just speaking to the customers building that relationship and then fell in love. Yeah, that’s how we got started.
Jordan Berry 14:31
That’s crazy. Okay, so I mean, you you got in there and you know pretty much right away you got Hey, welcome. Welcome to the Business right like time to time start figuring things out here. You got somebody’s clothes stuck in there. That’s that’s like the worst feeling to and somebody’s clothes are stuck in there. They expect you to get them out for them. You have no idea how to get them out. And you’re like, I don’t know what to do. That’s like a horrible feeling. I’ve been there for sure. Usually it means there’s water not dry. meaning just, you know, yeah to be could be a lot of things but usually means the waters not draining for whatever reason, and so it won’t unlock for you. Okay, awesome. All right. So you, you, you landed in this business on almost an accident because you were trying to buy a commercial property. Right, correct. Yeah. And I mean, I love the commercial property with the Laundromat play. That’s, you know, I think that’s a really powerful one two punch in terms of wealth building, because you can benefit from the cash flow of the Laundromat if it’s cash flowing. And you can benefit from the appreciation and force equity in the property. So awesome, awesome stuff. What tell us a little bit about the property is it a multi unit is a standalone building was it looked like?
Cory James 15:50
It’s a kind of hack together strip building entrances on all sides of the building. There’s, we got an ice cream shop in there. There’s a chiropractor as a dance studio, there is a dog groomer. So it’s, it’s a good little property. It was clear. On paper. Everything made sense. The property can support itself the rents, even at the Laundromat was not in existence. So anything that was coming from the Laundromat was all game.
Jordan Berry 16:25
Yeah. All right. When did you when do you buy this property in the Laundromat?
Cory James 16:31
This was Gosh, this was this was August of 2020. So we’re right in COVID. Yeah, when I was getting stuff I was going stir crazy during COVID. I mean, I’ve ripped out a tree out of my front yard. ripped up the gas line with it. You back with the neighborhood. It was good time.
Jordan Berry 16:48
Yeah. Yep. Awesome. Awesome. Yeah, yeah. You see, like the kind of guy who doesn’t want to just like sit around. So you got to get a tear some stuff out of the ground? I like that. Right. Yeah. And maybe strip the neighborhood a little bit.
Cory James 17:02
Yeah, just after we moved into I mean, we probably lived there for six months. Great way to Meet The Neighbors.
Jordan Berry 17:08
Yeah. So well. Okay. So you took over in August 2020? Well, I mean, what was business? Like? Was it? Was it making money at that point in time? I mean, that’s, that was sort of around the time, if I remember correctly, where people start, they started opening kind of stuck back, people started going out a little tiny bit. I think in August, maybe not quite yet. But what was it like taking over then?
Cory James 17:33
I didn’t know anything to compare off on solve. It’s true. The guy the guy said that, hey, you’re getting roughly 1000 bucks a week. So it’s like, well, that’s doable. You know, I can we can run with that. So business was good. And it got better as COVID kind of went away. We weren’t fully masked, a parent seems like so it was said laundry. You know, we let you be you. Yeah.
Jordan Berry 18:00
Do you? Do you I’m gonna be shirtless. You can wear masks or not. It’s up to you. Whatever you want to do. Yeah. Okay. So you, you bought this on him? And so it sounds like I mean, you didn’t really dig into, like, the performance of the business too much beforehand, because you were mostly there for the property. Right. Right. Yeah. So that worked out well, for you. I mean, was it doing about $1,000 a week of, of net? Or gross? It was net or Gross?
Cory James 18:27
Gross. Gross. And it was it was pretty good. It was it was doing probably around 12 to 1400. So I was I was pleased with that. Because it when you go in there, you’re just going off the guy’s word. Right. What is he actually making? We don’t know. What’s his books? I don’t think he ever even claimed it ever.
Jordan Berry 18:50
Yeah. Yeah. And and if, you know, usually if they’re going to estimate, not gonna estimate low or trying to sell you on it, because that’s nice. That worked out for you that way. Yes. Yeah. Okay, so, I mean, what was the what was a lot about like when you bought it? I mean, did it have older machines? Were the machines in good shape where they’re broken down the sheet, like what was it? What was the condition of the store when he took over?
Cory James 19:17
He had a new batch of Dexter dryers and they were, they’re fantastic dryers. I did have. I still do. I have six top loaders in there. I got a couple of 30s a couple 40s Couple 50s. And I just installed some use Dexter 60s in there. And it’s a smaller store. It’s 1200 square feet. But it was it was clean. It was one of the nicer ones in the in our town. We have 10 laundromats in our town. So it instantly I put it on Google and five star ratings were coming in. It was good Good. I mean, all I had to do was clean the place, you know, have conversations with the clientele. It was very simple job. I was surprised on how easy a Laundromat to run was.
Jordan Berry 20:11
Yeah, that’s awesome. That’s awesome. That was not my experience. But I’m glad that was your experience.
Cory James 20:19
Words as we go,
Jordan Berry 20:21
I don’t like to hear that. Alright, so you you took over. I mean, again, I mean, your main your main investment was the commercial property. So when you took over the Laundromat like did you have I mean, I know you were like celebrating the deal with the cigar and then you had the you know the clothes getting stuck incident like, did you have How did it feel? Like okay, like I own a Laundromat. Now? Was that like, random side note? Did that feel good? That feel bad? Well, I mean, what did that feel like?
Cory James 20:51
That was a side note. That was a hobby. Yeah, I’m just running a Laundromat as a hobby at the moment. It was wrong to me. It was. It was good. Well, we’ll we’ll say that it was it was enough to make me want to have another one.
Jordan Berry 21:06
Yeah. Okay. Okay. interest piqued. interest piqued. Yeah. Okay, so you got a you got that that washing machine running? And you’ve been going for a little while now. Like, how had a business progressed? What was your experience? Like as it kind of progressed, you said it started to grow a little bit more as COVID eased up. What was what’s the process been like, since you know that day one with the, with the clothes getting stuck.
Cory James 21:33
So the first the first store has been pretty good. It’s, it’s in a quiet part of town, it’s 24 hours. And that’s just the way that I got it, and just kept the same name, kept running it 24 hours, we have cameras in there run a little bit quieter side of town. It’s a it’s been gone well, until all of a sudden machines start breaking. And it’s like, we got to learn really quick on how to repair these. And being a commercial electrician. I work for a mechanical company, great company. And we have plumbers, HVAC, me as an electrician. I mean, I got everything covered. So at least building wise, were set when it comes to fixing the equipment. I have no idea what I’m doing. But learning quickly.
Jordan Berry 22:18
Yeah. So how are you? How are you just getting in there getting you’re getting your hands dirty and figuring it out? Or how you learn it? Well, absolutely, with
Cory James 22:27
with being busy often because, you know, like I said, we have young family, I coach a lot of baseball, football, we’re always active, always moving. So I can always get there, especially with a W two job. So I was calling my soap distributor great distributor out of Rockford. He’s got a great service team came up. And of course I want to be in there when they’re doing it. So it’s like, oh, it’s that simple? Yeah, that’s how I got my education.
Jordan Berry 22:54
Yeah, I mean, I find that that is one of the best ways is bring the service personnel in there and just peek over the shoulder if you’re, if you’re wanting to kind of learn how to do some of the repairs. And you know, I’ve said this before, a lot of people get really down on, like doing your own repairs. And that’s fine. Like, I think that’s great. I think in an ideal world, you don’t do any own repairs and your, your Laundromat covers somebody else and they show up on time. And you know, when they’re supposed to with the parts they need and get your machine to run in. And like all that’s like ideal, right? But sometimes I found especially as you know, I know a lot of people struggle to get service people out in a timely manner, or even find good service people that will show up when they say they will, you know, some of those quick fixes, you know, that you can do really quickly to get those machines back up and running, sometimes we’re doing on your own. So, and the best way to learn how to do that is Well, number one, ask other owners, but number two, like Get, get those service people out there and just kind of peek over their shoulder. And if they’re replacing a belt on a top loader or a door lock switch or you know, something like that, that’s fairly simple. Anybody really could do it, then sometimes it’s just worth your while to take 1015 minutes, fix that part and get that machine back up and running. And also a lot of times distributors have service schools where they’ll teach you you know how to repair common things with the machines that that come up to so keep an eye out for those. Yes, actually. Okay, so good. What’s that?
Cory James 24:29
I attended one of them. And it is for next year. It was for Dexter insists. They told us Do not use your aftermarket water valves. Because what happens is, you know they’re made in China. The little seams they’ll split open or you’ll get a pinhole and it will hit the top of the washer and it will come down on your control board and Friday machine. And it’s like ain’t gonna happen. Two days later, the exact story happened it was the high water valve. Pierce right through it. It was the blue valve. So from now on, it’s, it’s all OEM parts.
Jordan Berry 25:06
Yeah, yeah, yeah, man that’s in you really, you’re not saving a ton of money by buying that aftermarket one in that part. And cost you pretty big. That’s, that’s a tough lesson to learn. For sure. Okay, so with that, with that, Laundromat, I mean, like, how’s the experience been so far? Are you are you happy? You got the Laundromat? Is it? You know, is it still, you know, sort of a side hobby? What, what’s kind of what’s the lay of the land now with that Laundromat?
Cory James 25:34
That Laundromat is going to be my side hobby at the moment? Because I just recently acquired my second Laundromat in September of last year. Okay, that’s gonna be hopefully my golden goose.
Jordan Berry 25:49
Awesome. Well, we need to, we need to talk about that for sure. I mean, how did that second one come about? Is it an existing one? Are you building it out? What’s that?
Cory James 26:02
This is an existing Laundromat that I had my eye on for a while, because it was also a little strip building. It’s got 2600 square feet of Laundromat, and then 2600 square feet of retail space, which there’s a barber, a kind of like a wedding boutique. And then there’s a cell phone tower that’s also attached the building. And I would drive by that place. And it’s like, you know what? I’m going to try to find out who owns that building. And I’m gonna buy the building. And then whenever the Laundromat lease is up, that might become my Laundromat. That was kind of the Cruel Intentions that I had to start with.
Jordan Berry 26:42
Yeah. So So you bought that building that
Cory James 26:47
Jordan Berry 26:49
you come up on the market, did a broker bring it to you? How did you find that building?
Cory James 26:53
Well, I found the building from the fact that my alliance distributor showed up, and we had a good conversation. And he’s like, you know, what you shouldn’t do is you should buy Dan’s Laundromat over there by the post office when it’s right off of Milton Avenue. And it’s a very, it’s probably our busiest street in Janesville. And we have about 60,000 people that live in our town. And that was kind of my prime location that if I were to buy an existing one, this is the one that I want. But I did nothing with it. And then my soap distributor, also deliver soap that guy and he’s like, Hey, I think Dan’s willing to sell like he’s getting, he’s getting up there in age. And it’s like, Well, alright, I’ll take it for what it’s worth. And I just I’d let it sit and let it sit. And I’m sure you’ve heard that story of the man that was stranded out in the ocean. And he’s he’s gonna pray to God, God will save him. And then the boats come. And he’s like, nope, God will save me. The second boat comes. Nope, God will save me. Third boat comes at God’s got paid, gets to the pearly gates. And he’s like, God, why don’t you help me? You know, where was the help? I’ve been praying. He’s like I said three boats. Right? This is my moment. You know, I had the third. The third instance come up where my wife is at a CrossFit gym. And one of the ladies who works out where is like, Hey, you should buy my uncle law’s Laundromat. You know, you guys have watermelon you like right? So my wife came home and told me about it. It’s like, all right. All right. I’m gonna, I’m gonna rehearse what I’m gonna say I’m gonna call this guy got his number. And as soon as I call them up, you know, hey, this is gonna be the lowest court James. Well, why? Immediately? He’s like, I know who this is. And anybody who knows me I could go either way. So I was a little nervous at first. Turns out he used to party with my dad way back in the day.
Jordan Berry 28:52
Oh, no way. Oh, wow. World.
Cory James 28:55
Yeah. Okay, cool. So we hit it off. It was good. He actually owns the Laundromat and the building. So I didn’t have to kind of do my kick off the tenant and then create my Laundromat. Yeah. So he he wanted to sell everything. So it’s like, alright, well, I’m interested, you know, let’s, let’s talk. Well, those distributors were also telling other Laundromat owners in the area. So now people are hot and heavy for this place. They’re, they’re jumping on the roof. They’re talking to their tenants. And we’re able to strike a deal which was pretty favorable. I paid too much. I definitely paid too much a big 505 for the building. And then 250 For the Laundromat. And which is funny is I just signed the papers that we’re going to close on this deal. And I was a big bigger pockets guy so I would drive around at work was in bigger pockets. Everything the real estate is like you know what, there’s gotta be Laundromat podcasts. So I found yours. I found Dave man’s and I was listening to him the very first This episode was yours talking about how to value a Laundromat. And it was just like, Damn, it’s too little
Jordan Berry 30:09
Cory James 30:11
Yep. So we’re gonna make it work. I mean, the way that I look at it is we’re in the middle of, or we’re just starting a football game, and I just kicked off and they returned to kickoff. I’m a better team. So we’re, I have plenty of time, we’re going to recover from what I paid for.
Jordan Berry 30:29
Yeah, I like that. I like that mentality. I like that mindset. And, you know, paying too much, obviously, you don’t want to pay too much for a Laundromat. But it’s not. It’s not necessarily a deal breaker. And especially if you own the real estate. Also, you you have some, some stuff to kind of play with there. When you also own the real estate, you can kind of move funds around and, and make it all work a lot of times. So yeah, it’s definitely okay. Yeah, they return that kickoff. But it’s a long game. You got a good game plan you already have, you know, your experience, you’ve got your playoff experience and your other Laundromat that you’ve been learning out over there. And you’re, you’re ready to go.
Cory James 31:11
Yeah, so one of the things that allowed me to pay a little bit more than what I wanted to was the terms that we got. So this was right before interest rates really started hiking up. When I I had a great commercial lender, and I think we had, you know, 4.75 interest rate locked in for seven years. You know, I am drives over 25. So it’s like always a good terms. And then we had a personal note for Laundromat for 250,000. And he was willing to do 4% over 15 years. So playing a little bit of the inflation game, hopefully 10 years from now. That’s a drop in the bucket.
Jordan Berry 31:52
Yeah, so the so the sellers, basically financing the entire Laundromat per jumps. Yeah, that’s awesome. That sounds because I was gonna ask you if you had to lump it all together, or do it. So
Cory James 32:03
we did, we did that separate, you know, and you need 20% down for the building, you know, and I need to give him some cash down on that 25 or that two or 50,000. So little bit of creative financing, which I used with my very first house is when I want to go buy this first house, I’m thinking is 3% down, blah, blah, well, now this is a this is a rental income property. So you got to have 25% down, it’s like, Well, where am I gonna get the money from? Yeah, well, I took the money out of my trucks. I had enough equity in my truck. So it’s like, oh, well, let’s have my tenants pay for my truck. So I revisited that on Laundromat, right I was able to pull a 40 grand out of my truck. My truck was paid off to basically purchase the Laundromat and its equipment.
Jordan Berry 32:52
That’s awesome. And yeah, I think that’s something that we haven’t really talked enough about, you know, on the podcast here is the creative financing options, because, you know, you listen to bigger pockets or you’re in real estate investing. You know, creative financing is like the like, it’s like the Mecca, right? Like everybody’s looking for creative financing seller financing deals. Well I always say like, you can get seller finance deals real estate for sure. And especially if you go commercial and sort of the smaller commercial stuff, but Laundromat, it’s actually fairly common to be able to get us creative financing, whether it’s seller financing or other, you know, other options, like pulling equity out of properties or a truck. I guess I’ve never heard anybody pulling equity out of a truck. So that’s pretty cool.
Cory James 33:38
Yeah. Yeah. Cuz I mean, my interest rate on that was like, three and a half, and I just extended it for seven years.
Jordan Berry 33:46
Yeah, and that makes a lot of makes a lot of sense. Especially, you know, once you have experience, right, and, you know, some of that should just be said is that there’s risk associated with, you know, moving equity around a little bit like that and almost sort of cross collateralizing things a little bit but but with that said, you know, especially if you already have experience in the business, that can be a great way to go and finance, finance the acquisition of Laundromat or like you said equipment. So, yeah, that creative financing route is, that’s awesome. All right. So you bought this second property. When was this When did you buy this one? Ah, September of 2022 2022. Oh, so relatively new at the end of January 23. So relatively new, has that been going so far?
Cory James 34:41
It’s got its ups and downs. Okay. My goal with this Laundromat is I’m going to get into the wash dry fold service. We’re just starting I just got my bags. I haven’t done a pound of laundry yet. But I did get software setup. So I mean, I’m I’m ready to rock I just got to figure out how that is all going to come together. How am I going to get the customers in the door? And then when do I set up for attendance? To start processing and laundry? We’ll get there. We’re working on it.
Jordan Berry 35:13
Yeah. So is it is it currently attended unattended? Partially attended? What’s What’s that look like?
Cory James 35:20
This was this is unattended at the moment. So this one is not 24 hours. Last wash is at nine. So the doors lock at nine security system comes on at 1030. So they just basically got to be out at 10. And I got a lady that cremated comes in she was cleaned out at night for me. Yeah.
Jordan Berry 35:41
Yeah. So you need to figure out how you’re going to get make it available for people to drop off and pick up their laundry. Right. Right. So I mean, have you have you thought through that at all, like what the plan is
Cory James 35:55
not I thought about it. I agree to start slow, and we’re gonna probably try to get by appointment only. And then hopefully, build my brand that I have to hire people to be there. You know, because now I got my attendant, you know, picking up the dryer sheets, right? All the mess that goes on for Laundromat. Yes, yes. Especially bathrooms. Goodness, people do some unforgivable things in those bathrooms.
Jordan Berry 36:22
It Yeah, it’s things that you never wanted to see before happen in those bathrooms sometimes. I don’t even know how this even happened. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. Okay. So you’re going to try to shoot for like, by appointment only. And then you’re going to try to put like signage up in the store. You’re going to advertise what what’s the plan for getting that initial customer base?
Cory James 36:47
I think we’re gonna start off with like Facebook, for instance, like hitting all the moms groups and stuff like that, you know, for you know, I’m going to target. I’m going to target like the working families, you know, because I mean, I have three children, a wife, we both work at laundry piles up. Laundry, different piles up does. So speaking of laundry, I don’t really do laundry. But when I was buying need to, you know, wearing
Jordan Berry 37:11
Cory James 37:12
it’s your right. To watch. Yeah. Yeah. So when I bought my first my second Laundromat, you know, this is this is one of these moments that am I doing the right thing. My wife was at a CrossFit beer Olympics event, Father’s Day, I’ve already signed the papers, we’re going to try to close in August, it got extended out. And I get a phone call from her sister saying, hey, Kelly hurt herself. It’s like when he hurt herself, or something with her leg while she blew her Achilles tendon. Oh. So you know, life is almost to a screeching halt a little bit. I’m in the middle of coaching almost every day of the week of baseball, I got these laundromats. I gotta run. We’re getting to the closing date. My wife can’t go upstairs to put the kids to bed. She can’t go downstairs to do laundry. So I learned how to do that real quick.
Jordan Berry 38:17
That’s when you start that wash and fold service ASAP. So you own laundry over there. Let’s have somebody else doing that.
Cory James 38:24
That’s what sparked it in my head. And then you kind of have everybody looking at you because I’m now going to be buying this Laundromat like is this? Is this a good time to be buying in our wongamat? Like they’re thinking they don’t want to say it to you. But you can tell in your head you’re thinking it as well. But how often do you see them come up for sale? Yeah, there’s there’s never if there was ever a good time. There’s not. So I had to jump on it. And we’re making the best out of it. She’s you know, she’s walking around now. So I mean, like, it’s pretty much back to normal.
Jordan Berry 38:57
Yeah, well, I mean, that’s, that’s a that’s a lot of obstacles to overcome in you know, adding adding a second Laundromat is, it’s a lot, right, like you go from 111 can be enough as you’re trying to kind of figure things out and trying to, you know, grow your business and all that stuff. And then you add a second one and it it doesn’t always just, you know, double your workload. Sometimes it’s even more than that, because you’re trying to figure out how to juggle the two, at least for a while, right? Ryan, especially if you’re trying to figure out how to, you know, grow the second one, it’s your, it’s your goose that lays the golden egg over here. And so trying to figure out okay, how do I turn this into have the vision in my head of what it needs to be what it can be? How do I make that a reality? And that’s a lot in and of itself and then you throw in young kids, that’s a lot in and of itself, and then you have a wife who’s injured that’s a lot in and of itself and you had a full time job and that’s, you know, stacks up on top of each other. It can be really overwhelming for sure.
Cory James 40:01
You just gotta keep grinding.
Jordan Berry 40:02
Gotta keep grinding, you know, and, and I think to like, trying to have that perspective like this is it’s easy, I think sometimes for, for me, at least to get wrapped up in the way things are right now is the way things will always be right? That’s not true, right? So you’re going through great times, you can’t assume it’s always going to be great times. But conversely, you’re going through challenging, difficult, depressing times, you can’t assume it’s always going to be like that either things will get better things, you know, will always be great. And so trying to keep that perspective, like, am I executing the plan to get what I want out of life? And if so, then you just kind of stay the course. Right? And it sounds like you’ve been accumulating real estate, you’re buying up some businesses now trying to get that cash flow going. And that’s the plan. You’re sticking with the plan, work the plan. It’s not always going to be the same as it is now. And sometimes it just, it’s tough to lay that foundation, right. Concrete, heavy stuff. So if you’re gonna pour a concrete foundation, you’re gonna have to work for it a little bit.
Cory James 41:10
Yep. Yeah, that’s where I’m at my journey right now.
Jordan Berry 41:14
Yeah. Well, that’s a lot, man. That’s a lot. So let me ask you this question. You could go back to, you know, August or, or July of last year. Do you still buy it?
Cory James 41:29
Oh, yeah. 100%. Yeah. 100% This is gonna be my, this is gonna be my path to financial freedom by 40. And I’m 39. So I really got it going. Yeah, but I can continue working. But just knowing fact that, you know what, today? I’m done. Just knowing that I think is a huge weight off my chest.
Jordan Berry 41:52
Yeah. And having that, where they call it the fu money, right? Like, yes, if something goes wrong, you can just say, fu I’m fine. Like, I’ll go do something else. You know, I’ll go do something. It doesn’t pay as well. That’s, you know, more fun for me. You know, I gotta start CrossFit gym or, you know, whatever. Like that fu money is what it’s all about, right? And having the choices and options in life, but they don’t just fall in your lap. Right? You got to make that happen. You get to earn that a little bit. Yeah. All right. So you’re 39 When’s your birthday? When’s 40?
Cory James 42:26
September, September 22.
Jordan Berry 42:29
Okay, so you get a solid eight months, almost, almost to the day. Yep. Solid eight months to turn this. We’re gonna have to have you back on. I mean, we should wait to the middle middle of winter again. So you got to be shirtless in the winter. Absolutely. But we got to get back on and see if you’ve made it by 40. There’s some a little countability for you to get in there. Make it happen.
Cory James 42:51
Yep, no, that’s huge. That’s huge. Accountability is big. Like, that’s why I haven’t even started wash dry fold. But I got the POS system in place. Bags are now here. You know, now it’s just, I’m not gonna waste that money. I mean, it’s 300 bucks for the POS every month. You know, I got to start recouping money, like I have new equipment that I need to buy, which is so hard, which, for me, it boggles my mind of how I have no problem dropping a million and a half on two laundromats two buildings. But as soon as I got to spend $180,000 to get new dryers, it’s like, and I had a great distributor, this router from Century laundry, kind of the Midwest here, great guy, and he’s kind of walking me through it for he’s, I know, he’s a distributor. His job is to sell but just just do it. You’ll thank yourself later. And, and I am because right now I’m repairing these dryers. When I first got them, I think they only clean the lint out maybe once every other week. You know what I’m doing it three times a week. So it’s it’s a hard pill to swallow sometimes buying that equipment.
Jordan Berry 44:02
Yeah, well, and especially right now. I mean, prices have been going up for that all that equipment. Interest rates are higher than they’ve been in a really long time. Right? We’re gonna do alone. Yeah. So yeah, it’s, it is tough. But you know, that’s, that’s where the opportunities are made. Right? You can, you can kind of turtle up and not do anything and try to wait for easier times. Or you can, you can get it done. And, you know, make sure you price your dryers appropriately when you get the new one so that they cover their costs and keep moving forward. Right Start start building. What’s the I mean, you probably don’t know yet because you’re kind of in the thick of it, but like, what’s the timeline to get that? That Wash, dry fold up and running?
Cory James 44:51
While next month. That’s the goal. I set myself a goal that by the end of February, this thing needs to be at least a going and start bringing business in the doors because I have equipment to pay for now.
Jordan Berry 45:03
Right? Yeah. Okay. So let’s say, you know, I’m up there in Wisconsin, and I, I see your your drop off service and it’s appointment only, right. So I, I call you and I say, hey, I want to make an appointment drop off my laundry. What’s the plan there? You gotta hire somebody at that point. Once you start getting appointments, are you guys going to cover it until you get enough volume to hire somebody? What’s you have an idea of what the plan is?
Cory James 45:30
I got a lady in mind. So she’s actually she does the laundry for the country club, the local country club. And she’s always wanting to Laundromat, you know, it’s like, Well, hey, let’s team up. Yeah, let’s get this business rolling. We’ll start getting appointments, you know, we’ll bolt them together. So that, hey, you can come, you know, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, you know, well, we’ll sit we’ll set up a time between like, no one before, something like that. So that’s how we’re gonna least get started until I have the luxury of hiring 10 people to process laundry.
Jordan Berry 46:04
Right? Yeah. Yeah. Awesome. Yeah. And, and thanks for sharing kind of that strategy. Because there’s, there’s different ways people start right when starting, I think starting a wash dry fold from scratch. That’s one of the toughest things to do, I think, because you have to figure out that, you know, that equation, like how am I going to start because if you start by hiring somebody, you’re gonna be the red for a little while, right? Until you till you get somebody there. Right. And you can kind of curve that, excuse me, you gotta curve that a little bit by hiring somebody to work like a split shift, like somebody early, somebody late or somebody right in the middle of the day or something like that. So there’s little windows, but even then, you’re probably going to be in the red for a little bit. And, you know, maybe hopefully, not as much in the red, right? Or you can do by appointment only. But if you know, it’s not convenient for people or whatever, like, you know, it’s it’s a tricky equation to kind of figure that out and how to get it started. And it’s all about starting that momentum, I think, and get the ball rolling, try something, get some orders, and some customers under your belt, get them spreading the word about your service and, and just grow kind of steadily. And also like Daniel Logan’s philosophy, he was on the podcast a while ago, and he said, You know what, sometimes you just got to do what you got to do. And you might need to go stand in the gap a little bit, you might need to go, you know, be there, you know, meet a customer, you know, during one of those off times to get the laundry because you need to get the things started, right. Like maybe some of that happened into so. Yeah, that’s awesome. All right. So you what I mean, how much time are you spending on working on these laundromats right now?
Cory James 48:04
So it’s actually about five hours apiece, because it’s not not that much during the week, like I’m actually happy with what I’m doing at the moment. I mean, it’s pretty good income for 10 hours a week.
Jordan Berry 48:20
Yeah, is that is that second one? Is it making money right now?
Cory James 48:24
Yes. So his numbers were also corrected. We talked about it, you know, that one was pulling in, you know, roughly $7,500 a month in gross. And now it’s probably gross, and probably eight and a half, nine. And that just needed a cleaning. That was a simple cleaning of this, of this Laundromat. I really lit the place. I mean, half his lights were working. You know, he was a great guy, but he was getting older. He’s getting tired. Yeah. And, yeah, just a simple cleaning. And the customers, the customers all realize it right away and you’re walking in there, like, hey, this place looks so much cleaner. It’s like, Well, I appreciate it. You know, I just bought this place. You know, trying to turn it around. I want to get the card readers. I want you know, we want to make this like a service. Like you’re going to come in here we’ll have a kiosk. I mean, it’s gonna be this is gonna be my golden goose.
Jordan Berry 49:16
I love it. I love it. Yeah, and getting that thing. I like how you know, you can kind of come in, do some simple touches light it, you don’t want to light it and not clean it though. It’s a spotlight on the dirt. Right? So good combo, they’re on cleaning it and lighting it and but you know, just simple stuff like that. Sometimes a fresh coat of paint just breathes new life into Laundromat. Right customers appreciate that stuff. And that’s no knock on like the previous owner. Right. But, you know, like you said, sometimes, you know, they’ve been doing it a long time or they stuff happen, you know, medical stuff or family stuff or whatever happens and they can’t do it for whatever reason, but that’s an opportunity for you to turn it into something that’s really going to serve the immunity really well,
Cory James 50:01
you know, what I think happens a lot of times is like, owners become nose blind to things. Yes, as we go through. Yes. And, you know, stuff kind of falls by the wayside. But it’s a good little side tangent here on a nose blind story. I got COVID, a year and a half ago, in back in November, and I still haven’t gained my smell back. And I get a phone call at one laundromats saying, hey, it’s really smoke. I think there’s a fire. So I panic. I fly down there. I walk inside and it’s hazy in there. It’s like, well, is this what’s going on as cigarettes? You know, do I don’t fire someplace? You know what’s going on? I have to call one of my best buddies over it’s like, Hey, can you come over? It’s nine o’clock at night. He just he’s just getting in bed. Okay, can you stop by quick and just smell my Laundromat? And it’s like, I didn’t know what this is like, what? What’s
Jordan Berry 50:54
going on? Yeah, what’s going on? So he, like, yeah,
Cory James 50:57
to give me a second he goes comes over. He’s like, Yeah, it’s like a rubber smell. It’s like, all right. It’s one of the top loaders, right? So yeah, belt, you open up, you open up the lid, and there’s the guys laundry in there. And the I don’t think he could have crammed another piece of clothing in there. I mean, he had to stomp on it to get it all in there. And this is my first time replacing a belt. The laundromats are on the top loaders. And my buddies talking to me, the guy now shows up and he’s like, oh, man, my clothes didn’t wash. You know? Like, you can give me two bucks back and it’s like, Man, I gotta replace a new belt. Yeah. So I pulled this washer back. This was a Maytag so the belt was on the bottom. And I’m starting to disconnect the waterline but nobody’s talking to me while I’m doing it. I’m not paying attention. So I’m spinning off the water. All of a sudden, you had purchased a little bit of water. Why didn’t shut off the white water of course. So now you got that six foot whip of your hole. It’s just I’m soaked. The Laundromat soaked. I’m trying to grasp this thing. Kick the hole. So at least it stopped. You know? And both these guys are rolling on the floor laughing and it’s also this is Laundromat owner.
Jordan Berry 52:15
That’s right. That’s right. Well, hey, the good news of that is that if you’re getting soaked anyways, it’s a good opportunity to just rip that shirt off. Right. Sure. Right off. That’s a good that’s good news. Yeah, I mean, I think that nose blind thing is is real like in you know, we, you know, obviously, with odors and stuff you get knows why but also just seeing your own Laundromat, you get used to seeing your own Laundromat, you don’t see it through other people’s lenses a lot. And Andrew Cunningham I think came on one time, the podcasts and one of the things he said was, you know, have have other people come in and look at your Laundromat and give you, you know, not not your customers, not you, not your family have somebody like a friend or somebody who’s, you know, not used to seeing your Laundromat come in and give you a perspective on your Laundromat. Because a lot of times like you said, we get, we get blind to the things that we see all the time. And it’s not a big deal. And they see the dust in the corners of the cobwebs or they see how the paints kind of chip in a little bit need some refreshing or things that you just don’t even see anymore? Because you’re just used to seeing it. I think that’s awesome advice. Yeah. All right. So what is the what’s the plan here? Are you I mean, obviously, the immediate plan is get that last drive, fold run and get that business but you know, both of those laundromats hum in, you know, with customers fill them up? Are you? Are you considering buying anymore? Ever? Do you think you’re gonna just turn these two into, you know what you wanted to be? What’s, what’s the idea? Here? You have one? Yeah,
Cory James 53:51
I’m I’m looking at three and four. Like, I think, I think it’s doable in the next couple of years to have three and four. something new to me is all my properties. Everything I own is in my town. So I do kind of have to venture out a little bit to get that third, fourth store. And those are things I’ve had to think about, like how I’m going to operate them when we’re going to have cover them. We have like I said before, we have 10 in our town. Quite a few of them are zombie mats. And then you have two philosophies Do you Do you buy out a competitor? And now it’s your store? You know, or do we just shut them down completely and just providing much better service and reach out to other communities?
Jordan Berry 54:39
Yeah, yeah. That’s awesome.
Cory James 54:42
Plus, you’re kind of then taken away from your other customers, aren’t you? Like if you buy three, four stores, you know, you’re kind of robbing from your other stores. So I just maybe want to focus on making those ones great stores and had them come to my stores and then reach out to other communities.
Jordan Berry 55:00
Yeah, I think that’s awesome. I think it’s awesome. So you you sound like you have the Laundromat bug a little bit here? Well, yeah, exactly. Yeah, that’s, well, that’s awesome. You know, because I think, you know, and especially as, as you get those, you know, systems down and all that you’re gonna feel like, holy cow, like this is, this is great. And that’s, you know, and you know, especially with your goal of of getting to, you know, financial freedom or that fu money or whatever, by 40. And you’re 39 right now you’re like, ready to ready to do it. Right. And one of the things I say a lot is, you know, the average real estate deal can’t touch the average Laundromat deal when it comes to cashflow. And so, you know, if, if your goal is, you know, be financially free, or get out of that nine to five or whatever, as quick as possible. As much as I love investing in real estate and you can get cash flow from real estate, you’re gonna get more from a business like Laundromat, to give you that freedom quicker. And then you can take that money and invest in real estate to grow your net worth and build some equity, and that kind of stuff. I think that’s where real estate and laundromats have a really good one two punch. So I love that. All right, we got a segment of the podcast called down to business over and out, and that’s where we just, you know, get down to business talk a little bit details about your business. So tell us one more time. Where is your Laundromat? Janesville Wisconsin? Yeah. Where’s that in relation to anything like that? I would know in Wisconsin, so
Cory James 56:44
we’re we’re right on the Interstate in between Madison and Rockford. Okay. Okay, almost dead center. Cool.
Jordan Berry 56:54
How long have you lived there? Do you grew up there?
Cory James 56:56
Grew up here after a period entire time.
Jordan Berry 57:00
That’s awesome. All right. So you got a couple of commercial buildings. You’ve got some residential stuff. Yeah. Yep. Got a couple Laundromat. So that’s awesome. Okay, what is it? Was it cost to do laundry out there?
Cory James 57:16
Well, when I typically do it, my laundromats currently, I just can’t increase the prices. I usually do the size plus $1. So your 30 pounders going to be $4.40 pounds is going to be $5 50s. Six, and so on. I have marked it as the 80s are running at $9.
Jordan Berry 57:37
Nice. Keeps it nice and clean. I see what about the dryers how much you charge for the dryers? dryers are
Cory James 57:42
a quarter for seven minutes at the moment for the 30s and then a quarter for six minutes for the 50s. Cool. Yeah, cool. Which rising gas prices that that might get adjusted here quickly?
Jordan Berry 57:56
Yeah, I don’t know if you guys been feeling it. But we’ve been feeling it hardcore. Over here in California. They’ve just tripled and some, and I think they may still be going out too. So it’s pretty brutal. pretty brutal. All right, what what are we turns per day, you have a Do you have a feel of like about how many turns per day your Laundromat you’re doing?
Cory James 58:17
So that’s a new term for me that I just learned probably three months ago, I think, you know, there’s different ways to calculate it. I’m running at probably two and a half to three turns per day.
Jordan Berry 58:30
Okay. Yeah, just for anybody who doesn’t know, because that’s a good point. Not everybody’s gonna know what turns per day is turns per day is the average number of times each machine is used per day in your Laundromat. And just a quick little sidenote anecdote, or just observation on my part, I guess is turns per day is probably one of the KPIs key performance indicators we use a lot in the, in the Laundromat business. And it’s useful does have its uses. However, it’s limited in its usage, when you talk about like an entire store, right, because you’ve got top loaders all the way up to 60 pounders, and more than likely, certain size machines are used more than others. So you know, turns per day for your 60s could be for and your top loaders could be one and a half or vice versa. And so it’s useful metric to get your turns per day for your store. But it’s limited usage. And if you you know, if you’re looking to buy Laundromat, or even as your own Laundromat, a lot of times it’s useful to see by size of machine, what the terms per day is and that can help you make decisions kind of going forward. Little little anecdote there. All right. And both of yours are unattended right now. Right? Currently, yes. Awesome. Awesome. And both coin currently you said you want to add cards, are you going to add card system only to the second one or Are two both?
Cory James 1:00:01
We’re going to start off the second one. I’m in the process of trying to find one that suitable for me, because I would like to link them both together so that if I do have a loyalty card at this place, they can go use the 24 hour one at my other store.
Jordan Berry 1:00:17
Right? Yeah. Obviously, your first one is 24 hours, your second one? Correct. Not 24 hours. How come One is and one isn’t just out of curiosity? Um,
Cory James 1:00:28
once again, that’s kind of how I bought him just kept status quo. But also the second one that I purchased is, I’m like, the main drag. Like, that’s where the kids all hang out. They go up and down the streets. And I don’t want people hanging.
Jordan Berry 1:00:43
Yeah. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. Do you have a you have problems, many problems with that? 24 hour one, like in the night because you’re not attended, right.
Cory James 1:00:56
have not attended. I do not have very many issues. Knock on wood. Like I said, it’s quieter side of town. Now, Emanuel, do you get people coming home from the bars? I want to just wander through there and use my public bathroom apparently. Right? What? Yeah, not not too much trouble.
Jordan Berry 1:01:14
Yeah, that’s good. That’s good. I went, I went 24 hours for a little while in one of my unattended laundromats. And it was great for a few months, got a lot and your customers business really spiked up. But then word got out. And people started trying to sleep there and do other stuff in the middle of the night there became more of a headache than it was worth. And I’d wake up in the middle of the night, stressing and checking the cameras and being like, oh, man, somebody’s sleeping there and trying to get them out. So I ended up going back to closing at 10. So but that’s good that you’re not having problems? Because that leaves that leaves, you know, all that time open for for customers who work non traditional hours to be able to come and do their laundry, which is valuable, for sure.
Cory James 1:02:04
Yeah, it’s very valuable. in Janesville, we’re the only 24 hour one. So I mean, we get a lot of customers coming in from that. And there’s you know, you have a lot of work and parents working moms, that this is a one time they can come in. It’s oftentimes that I go there and clean. And you’ll see moms bring their kids it’s love o’clock at night. You feel terrible. Yeah, but it’s the only time they can get their get their laundry done. Yeah. I’m glad to be open forum.
Jordan Berry 1:02:30
Yeah. And that’s how it was with me too. It was it was tough to close it down. Because, you know, if people would ask me to like, Ah, how can you close down? I mean, they get it, you know, but like you said, a lot of those, you know, working parents or, or just people who don’t work traditional hours, you know, they really like having that option. So they don’t have to, like, wake up in the middle of their sleep to go do laundry during open hours, and then try to go back to sleep. I mean, I’ve seen all kinds of creative things people tried to do, because they don’t have that option. So that’s awesome that you can do that. All right, so we’ll tie store owner, real estate investor ripped up. We want to know, secret sauce? What’s the secret sauce?
Jordan Berry 1:03:23
Secret Sauce is this what is something that you feel like is working for you? Let’s do this. What’s something that’s working for your businesses that other people can implement to help them improve their businesses? And what’s your secret sauce to being all ripped up? I got to know here.
Cory James 1:03:40
Well, let’s start with the Laundromat side of things. First, things that I found out works best is just communicating with your customers. Like you can provide a good customer service. That’s great. And I’ll make sure everybody’s happy. And they’re, you know, the product that they’re getting. But just actually getting down with your customers, which can be a fault sometimes don’t. For instance, I like to have conversation. I’ll walk in there and be like, Hey, how’s it going today? Good to see you glad you’re using Laundromat. You know, a lot of times you get the I’m not doing well, how are you? I’m fine. But then sometimes you get the ones where it’s like, Hey, I do today. Well, not so good. It’s like, oh, that’s not good. What’s going on? Then all of a sudden, it’s Well, my dad and boyfriend both got put in prison today. It’s like, wow, I got nothing to add to it. I gotta sit down. Let’s hear it. So yeah. Now your, your quick little our clean is now two hours because you want to you want to get the details this story. It’s kind of juicy. Yeah. And they appreciate having somebody to talk to, you know, a lot of times they’re there. They’re just not happy. I mean, who wants to be doing laundry, you know, half the time. And it’s just a friendly face to speak to, you know, and get to know their story. You know, try to compare your stories with theirs. You know, if they’re having a bad day, they’re like, Yeah, you think you’re having a bad day? Listen to my stories. You know, it just helps him that we’re all going through the same stuff.
Jordan Berry 1:05:05
Ya know, that’s huge too. And I mean that, you know, talk about, like, building loyalty and being a presence in the community. And, you know, a lot of times when we think about those things we think about, you know, what promotion can I offer? What part can I give through my card system to build loyalty and stuff, but really, there’s no better loyalty system than caring about people, and hearing them out, and being empathetic. And, you know, just making them feel like they’re heard and they’re cared about, and they matter at your business, right? And to you. And that really kind of builds that loyalty. So but you’re totally right, like, you know, and, and, you know, everybody’s goes through their stuff, but not everybody has somebody who’s asking them about that stuff that they feel like they can talk to you sometimes having that third party. That’s why like, I think like the bartenders, right, they hear a lot of sob stories, what’s similar, you know, with a Laundromat, because it’s, it’s just the place in the community that you can go. And if, if you’re willing to listen to people, a lot of times they’re willing to tell you a lot more than you think people would be willing to tell you sometimes. So,
Cory James 1:06:15
absolutely. The second thing that I like to do is, I have a soft place in my heart for children, you know, their, their innocence. I mean, they’re, I have young kids, so I kind of grew soft over my ears. And the last place
Jordan Berry 1:06:29
you emotionally but not physically, I just want yeah. So kids,
Cory James 1:06:37
the last place you want to be as a Laundromat, you know, they’re bored, they’re hanging out their mom, they’re annoying their mom and trying to get stuff out the vending machine. And what I like to do is I walk in there, go straight up to them, hand them a broom, and say, Get to work. And I don’t think I’ve had a kid, I don’t think I’ve had a kid turned down the broom. You know, it’s a dust mop. And they you know, they’re running around. Yeah, at the end of the day, you got to go and redo everything they did anyways, but it gave them something to do, they get all done, and you give them a couple of bucks. You know, they’re excited. Nine times out of 10 they’re gonna put right back in your vending machine, which is perfectly fine with me. Arm I actually had this one kid that he would see my car, pull up to the Laundromat, and he would ride over on his bike looking for work. And so I was given him a few bucks here and there and he gets done sweeping. He’s like now what now what it’s like, well, here’s a spray bottle and rag, you know, you can wipe down some machines, you can go clean the bathroom, while I’m doing my stuff. And I just happened to look in the bathroom where he’s clean. And he’s got his hand in the toilet with I mean, there’s no brush, just the rag and he’s clean up the inside of the toilet. It’s it’s like, Alright, here’s 10 box, because there’s so doing that.
Jordan Berry 1:07:53
And I’m gonna get a brush next time to Yes, yeah. That’s like
Cory James 1:07:57
we actually have tools for that. I’ll, I’ll show you for next time. Yeah. But yeah, the kids because you know, like that. The parents also see it. You know, the moms now they’re not hanging on. You know, they’re watching you go around, collect the quarters. It’s like, Hey, you want to hold the bag for me while I do this? You know, and at this point, now the banks 50 pounds are dragging it. They can’t carry on it. It’s that’s one of my tips.
Jordan Berry 1:08:20
Yeah, I love that. I mean, I love Yeah. I love putting the kids to work. And you know, and you’re right. Like, it’s something for the kids, right? But really, it’s something for parents, you know what I mean? Like, when when you’re trying to do whatever it is you’re trying to do, you’re trying to do laundry, you’re trying to work at home, you’re trying to do whatever, and the kids just continue to interrupt. It’s hard to get into that state where you’re actually able to get stuff done, right, that flow state, not that you need to be in a crazy flow state to get laundry done. But, you know, things take a lot longer when the kids are keep bothering you and hanging on you and asking questions and all that. So keeping them occupied, benefits the kids benefits parents, and it actually benefits you they’re not riding around in your car. They’re not climbing up on folding tables, Superman and off the top of machines and stuff. Right? It keeps it good for everybody. I like that. That’s a great tip. And I don’t think anybody’s ever shared that before. So I like that. Good secret sauce, but we need we need. How do you How can I turn this into a specimen like you what’s your physical secret sauce here?
Cory James 1:09:28
It’s got to be it’s got to be discipline. For me, I’m getting older, I’m slowing down so I’m not in peak physical condition that I used to be. But you know, it’s it’s got a lot to do with your diet and then the discipline like you have all these new year’s resolution errs, they go for two weeks, they’re done. Like you gotta embrace the sock it sucks to go. Yeah, you know, but eventually over time. I mean, that’s how I started I was a scrawny kid coming out of high school. And then once you started working out because I was forced by a mentor, you know, coworker of mine said that you, you got to start bulking up, kid. So we started going to the gym. And once people started noticing, they’re like, Oh, your arms are looking a little swollen today, then all of a sudden, then the bug hits. It’s just like the Laundromat bug. It’s like, Alright, now I can’t quit. I gotta go. So that’s it’s discipline.
Jordan Berry 1:10:20
Yeah, yeah. You’re, you’re totally dead on. I’m training for an Ironman right now. Which is, you know, that’s why I’ve leaned out and I’m not as bulky as totally know about trying to train for an Ironman, right? And it’s like, well, I can either embrace the suck now and be disciplined and do all of my training plan. Don’t skip on days, don’t give myself excuses to weasel out because that’s a that’s a recipe for disaster for spiraling down and skipping more and more, right, don’t skip any on the training plan. And, or, I can just have the most miserable day ever on on Iron Man and not perform in a way that I’m proud of. Right. And so, you know, it’s it’s that consistency, that discipline, doing the little things I’ve found for the Iron Man training, where you start seeing that progress. And like you said, once you see that progress, it’s it’s a bug, and you want to keep it. Yeah. So awesome, awesome, secret sauce, all you guys out there looking to, you know, get in better shape, feel better about life, get more energy in your life. Get that discipline in your life, get some accountability in there, like that mentor. And, you know, watch this episode at least once a week so that you can see shirtless glory and be inspired. Alright, so awesome secret sauce. What do you got for pro tips pro tips is advice for newbies who are maybe trying to get into the business, you got any tips for them
Cory James 1:11:58
it’s the grind. It’s the brace the suck. Like there’s a lot of things that are going to happen and it’s never going to go your way. Like once you think you got the bull by the horns. You know, it kicks you. It kicks out. Just a little sample for you. You know, I think that my laundromats are running smooth. Everything’s great. You know, life at home is good. Well, Christmas time shows up. And all of a sudden, I had the worst week of my life. That’s my third monkey moment. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the third monkey, you know, their monkey getting on Noah’s Ark, you know, and it’s starting to rain, you know, you gotta go. At the residential properties, I lost like two furnaces. I lost a water heater. And I come to clean my laundry mat after just a miserable day. I mean, it was it was minus 40. I woke up and we actually froze the water to our Yeah, we had minus 40 wouldn’t
Jordan Berry 1:12:53
even know what that means. I can’t even comprehend that. But it’s weird.
Cory James 1:12:57
Once it gets so cold, you don’t really notice the difference, you know that you can’t tell the difference between 10 degrees or negative 10 to negative 30. You know, it’s it’s not as bad as it sounds. But we lost water at night. We lost water to the bathroom in our house. You know, I’ll grab the master bath. So I’m just having a miserable moment. I go to my Laundromat to clean it. You know, I walk in that’s like why is it so cold in here? Well, that’s not good. All right, I mean water in this bathroom, what the hell is going on. So now I find out all my pipes are broke. Everything’s froze, I lost the bathroom. I lost the rooftop unit to that half. And of course, it’s going to be the rooftop unit that feeds the bathroom and the mechanical room. So now I’m out there by heaters getting that thing going. I come back the next day after I put painters tape over the toilet like do not use, you know, of course somebody’s gonna walk in there and use it and they don’t even have the courtesy to take this tape off. They just sit on it and then run away. That’s why I’m saying like they do unforgivable things in these bathrooms. It’s yeah. So I mean, the suck happens. You get everything recovered. And you forget that that happened. Like you have to just keep grinding keep going. Things will get better.
Jordan Berry 1:14:22
Let me ask you this. I mean, that’s pretty bleak, bleak day bleak week for Rob. Why? This is genuine question. Why do you want more Laundromat?
Cory James 1:14:37
I see the path. I see the path out of my working job. I see the financial benefit that they provide. It’s like you said on how much more income you can get out of a small business than you can out of a residential property. So residential property. Let’s say you’re trying to get $200 a door. You know, and let’s say you buy a house for 100 $1,000 Good luck. But at the time that I was buying them beds, rosette, so $100,000, you’re getting $200 a door. Profit. It’s like, well, if I were to take that $100,000 times it by eight, then I buy $800,000 property and Laundromat that thing’s bringing in 1000 bucks a week, you know, net. Gets going a lot faster gets that snowball rolling down a very steep incline.
Jordan Berry 1:15:28
Yeah. And the reason I asked you Why is not because I think you’re crazy, is because I think that why is important for anybody to especially these newbies, right? Who are trying to get in the business. Know your why, why are you trying to get in this business, because if your why is big enough, you can handle anything, there’s no problems, you can’t handle frozen pipes, you know, bathroom, how to order people doing horrible, unspeakable things in the bathroom, like broken machines, not knowing how to open a machine with somebody’s closed, like all these obstacles get smaller and smaller, the bigger and bigger your y gets. Right? And so pinpointing that why, you know, because if I just took that little snippet out, and you said, Man, this is my week, here’s all the things that happened. And then I put right after that, yeah, I’m trying to buy, you know, I’m looking for number three and number four right now, you would sound crazy, right? Because why would you do that? You’re a glutton for punishment, right? But like you said, you see the path. Have a good why. And it’s helping you get where you want to go in life. And I think that that is one of the best pro tips that we’ve heard on the podcast. Because that, that why behind everything that we’re doing is what’s going to lead you to success, right? You can’t overcome the obstacles. The smaller your y gets, the bigger the obstacles get, the bigger your y gets, the smaller the obstacles get. Right? And, and you can just blast right through them. If if you know why you’re doing what you’re doing. So awesome. Awesome pro tip there. Well, in the spirit of what we’ve been talking about, yet any pro tips for somebody maybe who’s brand new to working out or losing weight, or you know, something like that? I’ll just put this out there. I didn’t say this to Him at all beforehand. So he’s not prepped for this. And also, I don’t know if you’re a professional or not, but we’re gonna assume he’s not a professional. He doesn’t know you. So he’s just thrown out? You know,
Cory James 1:17:35
I’m definitely not a professional. One of my little tips that I like, is I got buddies that are overweight. I make fun of them all the time. Right? You shouldn’t do it, but they’re your buddy. So you’re always badgering them to try to Yeah. Yeah, let’s go, let’s go. What am I big key tips is to not focus on your weight, but focus on your size. So like just measuring your stomach, you know, nobody sees how heavy you are, they see the size of you. So that’s my, that’s my big tip.
Jordan Berry 1:18:12
I love that I love I think we get you know, and weight. So deceiving anyways, right? If you’re weighing yourself, like, water is heavy, like carrying water, like that’s, it’s heavy stuff. So if you’re carrying a lot of water in your body, you’re gonna weigh more one day than the next day or I mean, you know, so I love the focus on the size. You know, and, and then combine that with, you know, your discipline in, create a plan and follow the plan, do the plan. I love that. All right, sorry to put you on the spot like that. But you know, you’re on here, you’re shirtless, you’re ripped up, you gotta give some good tips for those of us who, you know, aspire to be like you someday. All right, last little segment we have is recommended resources, you got any resources you’d recommend for people to help them grow their business or themselves.
Cory James 1:19:01
So the podcast me are huge. Like, it’s the little things that I look forward to in my day, often, you know, when I’m actually at work grinding, if I can, if I can just play an episode on my computer while I’m working. If I can drive around, you know, your mobile university, you know, as many people call it. I look forward to those. And then what I’ve actually learned actually really like is the Facebook chat rooms. I’m not very vocal in them. But I take a lot away from what I see. So I for instance, boys before saw a lot of this brand card readers. I wonder why, you know, so kind of steered me perhaps away from some of those things. And it’s also good to know that other people are going through the same problems you are how do they solve it? Yeah,
Jordan Berry 1:19:49
yeah, I’ll put some links to to some of those Facebook groups and you know, a couple of at least Laundromat any any sides I mean, you mentioned you know, obviously this podcast Dave’s podcast, any other podcasts that you would recommend people listen to you don’t have to be Laundromat related necessarily, but you know, if we’re trying to if we’re trying to grow our, or wealth or our health or anything like that any any that you’d recommend.
Cory James 1:20:19
I’m I know it’s very common but Rich Dad Poor Dad is one of the books that completely destroyed me like that hits people differently. Like some people will read that book and they’ll be like, oh, yeah, and I got some good takeaways from it. Or you’ll be like me, or you’re just like, everything I thought was true. I’ve been lied to my entire life.
Jordan Berry 1:20:40
I felt the same way. Yeah,
Cory James 1:20:42
yeah. Like, for instance, I have all this no income coming in from the laundromats and I’m used to getting I’m used to getting a tax return back from the restaurant to residential properties and stuff like that, you know, and now I gotta record all this income. And my tax accountants like, Hey, you’re gonna have to pay in 6500 bucks this year. And I’m like, I’m only getting 6500 back. It’s like, No, you got to pay it. It’s like what I mean pay in. It’s like, well, I didn’t get your self employment tax. And it’s like, nothing turned me into a libertarian any quicker than that. You know? What? Yeah, man, it’s that that book, that book changed me.
Jordan Berry 1:21:23
Yeah, I love that book. I mean, I know it takes a lot of heat. People are like it’s made up or whatever. But the perspective shift it gave to me. And you know, just listen to tons of podcasts to interviews with very successful people, bigger pockets all over the place, right? A lot of successful people say That book changed the way that I look at things and I don’t pretend to be on the same level of success is like those people. But same for me. Like it changed the way that I looked at things. And it has altered the course of how I live my life. You know, ultimately, so. Yeah, I love that too. Awesome. Okay, this has been number one. It’s been unprecedented. I’ve never done a shirtless podcast episode before. So I’m feeling I’m feeling good about life right now trying something new doing something awesome. But this has been awesome. Dude, I shared your story. I love. I am partial to real estate investors who end up in this industry because I love real estate investing. I’m a big fan of it. But I also think that Laundromat Laundromat ownership is kind of under the radar in the real estate investing world. It’s gaining more and more credibility, I think, but it’s under the radar still. And I think more real estate investors are coming here. So I love hearing your story. I appreciate you sharing that. And so many good practical tips. Like so much good stuff, especially for those you just getting started, or who started recently, with your Laundromat so much good stuff. So much good learning happens in those first couple of years. And I wouldn’t consider you a newbie by any. You said that before we hit record that you consider yourself a newbie. I think you’ve been through the wringer a little bit you’ve you’ve experienced enough to have that veteran status in my eyes. So coming on,
Cory James 1:23:13
I consider myself a newbie, because the first Laundromat was a hobby. And now I’m going to make this a business.
Jordan Berry 1:23:19
Yeah, yeah, I like that too. And I like the that perspective shift, right? A lot of people get into this industry, you know, for the side income, which is great, you can do that totally. But when you realize you can turn this into a legitimate business and really accelerate, especially if you’re going for that financial freedom and accelerated that way that can transform the way that you look at this, this business this industry to so thank you for coming on. I appreciate it.
Cory James 1:23:46
Yeah, one one last tip. Yes. A little bit, but it’s it’s my new model that I’ve been living by. And it goes by I think it was Thomas Edison. Perhaps Socrates, I can’t remember exactly who was somebody smart? Yep. Somebody’s smart, but if he ain’t fixing shit, you ain’t got shit. And if he ain’t got shit, you ain’t fixing shit. So
Jordan Berry 1:24:12
I love it. I love it. What a great way to end the episode. So I love that last last question I have for you before we officially end it is, hey, people love hearing your story. They want to reach out they want to ask you questions about owning laundromats or you know getting ripped up. What’s the best way they can get in contact with you?
Cory James 1:24:30
Absolutely. Um, while shirtless Cory on Facebook. That’s Cory without an E. My parents made it simple. Just cry. And I’m also on Twitter a little bit. Cory quality is my at symbol.
Jordan Berry 1:24:47
Cory quality. Yeah. Okay. And I’ll have links to these two in the show notes. If you’re on YouTube. All the links including these will be down below. So shirtless Cory, you are the man thank you for coming on the show. Yo and sharing your wisdom and insight and I can’t wait for an update. See if you hit your financial freedom goal by 40. All right, I hope you enjoyed that podcast episode was shirtless Cory, I know that I did had a great time hearing about his story and all the lessons that he’s learned. As always pick one thing, one thing and put it into action this week, it’s the actions that’s going to help you achieve your goals and your dreams. So you got to start taking action, pick something, put it into action this week, maybe share it with somebody else. To help keep you accountable to actually taking that action, or if you need to, or want to go share it on the Laundromat Resource forums, Laundromat resource.com/forums and Go share it over there and, and then go take that action. That’s what’s gonna help you achieve your dreams. For me, my one action that I’m gonna take actually, this week is not Laundromat related. I just got inspired by shirtless quarry in the gym equipment in the background and all this stuff, right? So my big takeaway has to do with when he was talking about discipline when it comes to building the body that you want. And for me, I’m training for an Ironman it comes my race is exactly one month from the day this episode comes out. And I’m getting nervous about it. But that discipline to just kind of keep going keep training. And hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, I’ll be able to finish that sucker. Looking forward to that but thank you for the inspiration and shirtless Cory. That’s my one takeaway. Good to stay disciplined. And, and keep at it. All right. All right. Hope you guys enjoyed that and I will see you next week on the episode peace