A pre-purchase analysis that all first time Laundromat buyers should conduct is a detailed visual review of the area surrounding their potential purchase. I advise that people visit the Laundromat site on multiple occasions, driving around the neighborhood and locating apartments, trailer parks, dense housing and other factors that
might predict the income potential of a Laundromat site. Many buyers
consider the opinions of their experienced Laundromat sales person to
indicate "this is a good location for a Laundromat."
Although it is still advisable to conduct a visual inspection of a neighborhood,
the advent of low-cost professional analysis information through the use of
demographic reports is now recommended. The purchase price of reports
range from $15.00 up to $150.00. A demographic report will reveal important
data on any potential investment in a Laundromat. The reports are normally
purchased after an offer to purchase has been accepted by a seller and should
be part of due diligence process.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN THE DEMOGRAPHIC REPORT
Success in a Laundromat is most often driven by three factors: population, exposure and parking. The acronym PEP has developed into the adage that "you need PEP to be successful in the Laundromat business." The demographic report is useful in looking at the first "P" in PEP. Maximum Southern California densities of people are up to 110,000 per a one mile radius in certain dense areas of Los Angeles County. As a general rule of thumb, a need for Laundromats is established when the population density exceeds 20,000 people in a one mile radius and increases up to an excellent area when the population exceeds 35,0000 in a one mile radius. Very few areas outside of Los Angeles County will have densities beyond 40,000 in a one mile radius.
After you know the base number of people you want to know other factors as well. First, we would like to see a minimum of 25% renters with anything over 50% being excellent. Second, we would like to see Hispanic population being a minimum of 25% with anything over 50% being excellent. Third, we would like to see the neighborhood age as being over twenty years with anything over 30 years being excellent. Fourth, we would like to see blue collar workers at a minimum level of 35% with anything over 50% as excellent.
A full demographic study will include a map of the area which will allow you to see if any obstacle interferes with access to your Laundromat location. Freeways, railroads, river beds and bridges are barriers that can block easy access to your location and reduce the effectiveness of marketing and drawing customers from your prime one mile radius.
Below is a reprint from a publication of the Coin Laundry Association magazine showing the number of Laundromats in California. The numbers indicate that California has over 15% of the income of the nation and should therefore be an excellent place to locate your investment. A detailed analysis of a demographic report might make it easier to mine some of this "Laundromat Gold."