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"It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot and I agree, it's going to just continually get better." – Mitch Fanning
Today's episode is a bittersweet one because we are saying goodbye to Mitch Fanning, one of the hosts of the show. Not only was Mitch an incredible VP of Marketing at Rentsync, but he was also a skilled podcaster. This was clear by just how quickly the show grew. In this chat, Mitch reflects on his time at Rentsync and shares details about where he is going next. Undoubtedly, the company where he is moving is incredibly lucky to have him. We also talk about Mitch's fondest episode and what he has learned from hosting a podcast. As usual, we wrap up with a quick-fire round, which might just be the last one we ever do! Be sure to tune in to hear it all.
Key points from this episode:
What Mitch's biggest achievements as the VP of marketing at Rentsync have been
Hear about the details of Mitch's next career move.
The unique position Rentsync found itself in growing as quickly as it did.
Mitch's hopes for the show as he says goodbye to it.
Some numbers related to the podcast; we're doing great!
How the multifamily industry had adjusted to the remote-first world.
Mitch's favorite episode and who he wishes he interviewed before he left.
The biggest lessons Mitch has learned doing the podcast.
A final quick-fire round with Mitch.
Links mentioned in today's episode:
"MF: There's not too many Canadian companies that experience that type of growth that quickly, especially during a pandemic. It was kind of something that was unique."
[0:00:37.6] NS: Welcome back to Sync or Swim. I'm your host, Nicolina Savelli and this episode is a little different from how we normally do things on the podcast. It's actually a bitter sweet farewell episode where we say goodbye to one of our host of Sync or Swim. This happens sometimes in the podcast world and it's really nothing to be too worried about, we will carry on and we will still create great content although, just a little different form its inception with host Mitch Fanning at the helm.
Today, I have the final honor of interviewing Mitch on the show which we've done in the past but this time, we'll be chatting about his hosting journey, his plans for the future and what this means for the podcast going forward. Welcome to the show Mitch.
[0:01:25.7] MF: Thank you, it's good to be back and really, the honor is all mine.
[0:01:30.6] NS: I mean, this conversation, as much as it's to let our audience know why they'll no longer hear your voice and maybe they will but not in the same capacity, it's also a way for us to talk about the future of this show and what's ahead now that you won't be having your regular scheduled kind of episodes coming forward.
First, I want to say Mitch, thank you for dedicating your time and energy to this show over the past year and doing as many interviews as you have and helping us build a really great following of subscribers who count on these interviews for sound advice and multi-family and rental housing. I wanted to say I did have someone who said that they would prefer listening to Sync or Swim over the Joe Rogan podcast. I mean, if that's not a review.
[0:02:15.7] MF: Really? How much were they paying us?
[0:02:18.6] NS: They weren't paying us anything, they were a subscriber, they are a listener, they contacted someone on our sales side and said that they listen to us regularly. They are, we're inspiring them and they would 100% prefer to listen to this show over Joe Rogan.
[0:02:36.3] MF: All right, Joe Rogan, if you're listening to this – no, I'm just kidding.
[0:02:40.5] NS: Yeah.
[0:02:40.8] MF: That's really amazing.
[0:02:42.6] NS: Yeah, that was great and I will say, our subscriber base has grown significantly, I know that we both have our own personal podcasts and in the short period of time that we've had this show going, I will say that our subscribers have escalated a lot quicker than my personal podcast did on its inception.
It's great to see that and this is why I really wanted to have this episode is because, I know people are listening to this regularly and I don't want them to disappointed when they don't hear you anymore and I don't want this to appear like someone just ghosted and ran away from the podcast because there is legitimate reasons why Mitch, you're not going to be hosting and really, that doesn't mean that the content won't suffer. It's not going to suffer, it's just going to be different voices in your headphones.
[0:03:30.2] MF: Absolutely.
[0:03:32.1] NS: That's it.
[0:03:32.5] MF: Yeah, I mean, thank you, it was a lot of fun and I learned a lot and I agree, it's going to just continually get better.
[0:03:38.9] NS: Yeah. Let's chat about you a bit and you came to Rentsync two and a half years ago I believe, around two and a half years ago.
[0:03:47.3] MF: Just over two years, yeah.
[0:03:49.5] NS: Yeah, kind of what you feel your biggest achievements as the VP of marketing here has been and really, what's in store for your next career move?
[0:03:58.4] MF: Well, obviously I came here, I knew Jason, one of the co-founders. He asked me to come meet the rest of the executive team at that time and as they say, the rest is history. There's been a lot of kind of personal achievements but I think I'd like to reframe that by saying, I've got some fun moments or some of my fondest moments or things that I'm proud of really just the team that I built and some of the people that I brought on, which I think have played a huge role and have been really pivotal.
Obviously bringing on yourself was something that I am proud of. You know, this week, I've had a chance to talk to the team and really just knowing that in some small way, I was able to kind of help make them better or at least, give them some advice along the way. That's really the thing that I'm most proud of. I think overall, in addition to that, just being a part of extreme growth that we experienced over the last few years.
I mean, I came on the team and we were 34 and this is episode 36, it's too bad it didn't kind of coincide with number 34 but now we're almost close to a hundred so there's not too many Canadian companies that experience that type of growth that quickly especially during a pandemic. It was kind of something that was unique. Always remember that.
[0:05:27.6] NS: Yeah, absolutely, I mean, I think there are a lot of reasons why we experience that growth but I think that at the core it was a commitment by just everyone who was part of the original kind of team to make sure that this wasn't something that was going to make us backslide in any way that we were going to por through this and I think that power actually was more significant than we expected and making the right choices right out the gate at the beginning were instrumental and I know that you are part of that kind of plan.
I will say that you know, you are definitely instrumental in that process and getting us through the initial humps of the pandemic and going remote. I would say that was a big achievement for you and something that you could bring throughout your career and talk to. I guess the next question is, what's in store for your next career move? This has been hush-hush so everyone, listen in, this is your source, this is your TMZ right now.
[0:06:33.4] MF: Yeah, throughout your life, opportunities are presented and it was a natural progression in my career and also I'll be joining an advisory firm or a consulting firm that's called How to SaaS and this is actually the first time I've kind of given the spill but you know, we'll be advising private equity firms and there's –
Their portfolio companies or their software companies that they own on how to scale and to ultimately drive revenue and enterprise audio, it will be a lot of fun, I'll be kind of working with many Rentsync's at a time and so that's goal part. I also feel that this is not a goodbye, it's just a goodbye for now.
[0:07:17.7] NS: Yeah, that's fair. You're still local to the company so I'm sure we'll – everyone's going to see you around here and there so you can't leave us like that. Now, not having you part of the team obviously means not having part of the show but obviously you were a big advocate for launching this podcast and pulling division together.
How do you feel about where we've been and what are your hopes and dreams for the future of the show? This is more advice for me moving forward. Your last piece of advice for me and mentorship for me, what's your hope for the show?
[0:07:52.5] MF: I mean, how do I feel? I mean, in a word, good. My hope for the show is don't mess it up.
[0:08:00.2] NS: Okay, all right.
[0:08:00.8] MF: No, but in all seriousness, let me – I was actually looking at just some basic stats this morning and we were talking before the show. We've had 100% growth in downloads year over year since the inception so we're talking like from June to June of this year. It just continue putting out good content and for the industry and then we'll often get better which I know you will and I know there's some interesting things that we're looking to do for the show. That's it, that's all.
[0:08:29.0] NS: I will share another little tidbit. I got a notification saying that we're actually number 18 on the marketing podcast in Canada. We'd always been in the top 50 but we were more the top line of the top 50 and now we're getting – inching closer and closer to the top 10. It's really cool to see that which is I'll share that and hopefully next time we talk, we'll be even closer to that. Just to give you some context, I will not screw up, I will continue on.
[0:09:02.4] MF: Not bad for a podcast that doesn't have marketing in its title.
[0:09:07.0] NS: Yeah, not bad. I know.
Now, so much of our show over the past year, we've talked about working remotely and I want to get a sense of how you feel the multifamily industry is handling kind of this digital first transformation we've been going through because you've asked a lot of people on the show what they've been thinking and what they've been doing.
How do you feel we've handled it and what's your wish moving forward?
[0:09:34.2] MF: I mean, I think this industry has adjusted nicely using technology. It's something that we've continually mentioned on this podcast and so I think that's just a continuing theme, we've adopted things like virtual tours, et cetera. My wish, I mean, I think as rent rates and vacancy rates come back to kind of pre-COVID levels. I guess my hope is that this industry continues to innovate. I mean, that's really what it comes down to.
[0:10:05.6] NS: Yeah, that's great. I expected that answer from you. Now, this might be a controversial question but I do think that it's an important one. I know there were a lot of great guest and I think that this will be a hard question for you to answer but who do you think was your favorite guest and why? There might be a few but maybe there is someone who more – you can more significantly answer why that person was your favorite?
[0:10:42.5] MF: Obviously there is a lot of – I interviewed a lot of great people. I said this before in another podcast but I think I really enjoyed episode one the most and it was about celebrating the ten years with the co-founders at Rentsync formerly LWS, Jason, David, Mike and Max. Yeah, I still feel like that was kind of – maybe it was nostalgic reasons but I still feel like that was kind of the most memorable as far as I'm concerned.
[0:11:11.5] NS: Good answer. To follow that up, who do you wish you got the chance to interview but you didn't on the show?
[0:11:20.7] MF: I thought about this one and then it just hit me like lightning last night, Steve Cowan, our CEO. You know, we've been trying to schedule. Him and I, we've had some – we've both been busy and there's been some timing issues but I will leave that in your capable hands.
[0:11:39.6] NS: That will be happening with me soon.
[0:11:41.2] MF: Nail down Steven and get him on, so that will be a good guest I'm sure and I think maybe I feel like September might be a good month for that.
[0:11:49.1] NS: That's where I'm going with it. Yeah for sure, so we can look forward to that. You can look forward to hearing that episode, so yeah. I know that was about a month of kind of back and forth, rescheduling and then I just – then you decided to leave us but that's okay. Any lessons you've learned over the last year being involved in this podcast that you wish you knew before? I know you had your own so I know you had some lessons going into it but is there anything specific for this kind of business podcast that you wish you knew before?
[0:12:21.7] MF: I mean, you know doing 25 shows, I've actually learned a lot there's no question but I think maybe the biggest lesson I've learned is just how resilient this industry is. It may sound like kind of a simple answer but it went through a lot. It just seems like a steady-heady. It's just come through the pandemic pretty well.
[0:12:44.7] NS: Okay, cool, great.
[0:12:46.6] MF: Yeah.
[0:12:47.0] NS: Finally, do you have any – no, not finally at the end of the episode. This is the end of the core questions, do you have any parting words for me as you pass on the podcast hosting towards and I think you already told me don't screw it up but yeah, anything else?
[0:13:03.8] MF: I was going to say again just to emphasize that point, don't mess up, I'm just kidding. You know, you'll do great.
[0:13:10.5] NS: Yeah, all right. Thank you. Now, obviously I can't leave this episode without doing one final quick fire round with you. It might be the last quick fire round of the podcast, we'll see. We may need to integrate it somewhere else with another host, co-host, we'll see what they do with it but –
[0:13:29.3] MF: Are you telling me is you're going to retire the quick fire round?
[0:13:33.3] NS: I mean maybe it will just take a break. Maybe it will go on a hiatus, maybe it will be one of those who someone is retired like five different times in sports will do that. It will come back, it will play out again and then we'll bring it back and we'll see but definitely with you it is the last one. Mitch, are you ready for your rapid fire round?
[0:13:54.5] MF: I'm ready.
[0:13:55.3] NS: Okay, what's the first career you dreamed of having as a kid?
[0:13:59.9] MF: This one is easy, astronaut.
[0:14:01.6] NS: No way. Okay, I didn't know that. All right, awesome.
[0:14:05.1] MF: I realized that there was science involved in it.
[0:14:08.3] NS: That wasn't your forte?
[0:14:09.8] MF: Yeah, I should have been a test pilot. No way could I have just been a pilot so.
[0:14:14.2] NS: Yeah, that's fair. Mine was being a civil engineer. That was my first.
[0:14:18.0] MF: Really?
[0:14:18.5] NS: Yep, that was my first.
[0:14:20.2] MF: That's very responsible.
[0:14:22.1] NS: It was very responsible and you know why? Because I have a Capricorn mother who pushed me towards engineering because she knew that it was the responsible career to take and then I realized I was horrendous in physics, horrendous so I was – that career dream has been dashed but that's just something you have to accept as an adult that you just can't. As much as your parents have dreams for you, sometimes those dreams don't come true.
Number two, if you could instantly become an expert in something, what would it be?
[0:14:53.8] MF: That's an easy one as well, drummer.
[0:14:56.6] NS: Oh okay.
[0:14:58.3] MF: I'm going to be buying some electronic drums very shortly I've decided, yeah so I am going to actually take action on that.
[0:15:06.6] NS: Is this something that you have done in the past that you'd never kind of fully got into or is this like a brand new thing that you want to get into?
[0:15:15.3] MF: You know, I don't know if you have these things where you feel like you actually could be good at it but you've never really – and I've tried and dabbled in it but I'm going to commit. I'm going to get the – I can't get a real drum set because my wife would absolutely kill me and probably so with my neighbors but electronic drum set that I can kind of put on some headphones and just go down and kind of – you know, in the free time that I would have to learn it, so that's one.
[0:15:46.5] NS: Perfect. Okay, cool. Number three, what does success mean to you?
[0:15:51.0] MF: Success I would say mean, what it means to me, I would say making others better and improving yourself through continuous improvement.
[0:16:02.3] NS: Okay, yeah that's a good answer. Number four, at what job would you be terrible at? Which I really want to know your answer to, what job would you be terrible at?
[0:16:12.3] MF: There's probably lots of jobs that I'd be terrible at but I would say anything that has extensive manual labor. I would say I'd probably – I am resigning the fact that I would be terrible at it.
[0:16:24.7] NS: Yeah. I mean, I think you've been working on your personal home office for like quite some time, so I feel like – it's – yeah.
[0:16:35.6] MF: Yeah, do not hire me to build out or remodel the room. It will take a year and a half.
[0:16:40.6] NS: You're no homes on homes, eh?
[0:16:42.0] MF: It will take a year and a half to do.
[0:16:44.7] NS: That's fair, okay. Number five, if you could spend the day in someone else's shoes, who's would they be and why?
[0:16:51.7] MF: This one is easy too, my dog, Marley.
[0:16:54.7] NS: You've said this to us before, yes.
[0:16:57.1] MF: Yeah, I would come back as him if I'm reincarnated.
[0:17:00.2] NS: Okay because he's just –
[0:17:01.5] MF: He's got a great life.
[0:17:02.9] NS: Great life, yeah. Sometimes I think that about my dog too. I was like, "If I would do anything to get fed the food that you get and the walks that you get" I mean he goes out more than I do now.
[0:17:13.0] MF: Just hang out, you know, just sleep all day. Yeah, it will be great.
[0:17:15.6] NS: Great and finally, what is a dream you have that you have yet to achieve?
[0:17:20.8] MF: This is one of my long-term goals and maybe I'll do it over the next five years but to climb one of the seven summits and one of them just for context would be Kilimanjaro but I'm thinking something like Aconcagua, which is in South America, which is the second highest mountain in the world but it's like a long hike. It's not – I'm not going to be like traversing maybe or like mountain climbing, like doing tactical mountain climbing but this one –
[0:17:51.5] NS: It has like a natural elevation to it.
[0:17:53.8] MF: Yeah, it takes about 21 days to climb.
[0:17:56.7] NS: Jeez, wow. You've done others, have you?
[0:17:59.4] MF: No.
[0:17:59.7] NS: You haven't yet, okay. Cool, all right.
[0:18:02.4] MF: No, so that's one.
[0:18:05.4] NS: It's achievable I think, I can see you doing it so it's not a pipe dream. All right, well Mitch, it's been a pleasure chatting with you today but before you go, I think because you're going to have a new email, a new way to be contacted, what's the best way for people to contact you? Because you know, we'll have to deactivate your Rentsync email.
[0:18:25.7] MF: To be clear, it's not going to be deactivated.
[0:18:29.3] NS: Okay.
[0:18:29.9] MF: It's going to be transferred, so I mean obviously LinkedIn or you know, you could always – you're going to be able to find me at the howtosaas.com eventually, right? Yeah and one more thing I just want to say, you know this has been a blast and I've really enjoyed my time here at Rentsync and I really enjoyed doing the show and I've really enjoyed doing these episodes with you and overall, it's been great and you know, I look forward to seeing this thing if it continues, to see it continuing to get better and onward.
[0:19:02.2] NS: You know, continue to subscribe.
[0:19:03.9] MF: I will continue subscribing to Rentsync.
[0:19:08.5] NS: You hit unsubscribe, no. Well, thank you Mitch for taking the time to join me on this episode, for your dedication to this podcast and all you've done and taught our marketing team during your tenure, which feels like a lot longer because I've only been here a year and a half. It feels like a lot longer than that in terms of career growth, so I thank you for that and maybe one day you'll be back and maybe this isn't goodbye but really, see you later and until next time, keep swimming.
[0:19:36.5] MF: Keep swimming.
[0:19:39.6] NS: Okay, we did as well as we could there.
[0:19:41.4] MF: Absolutely, all right.
[0:19:42.0] NS: Take care Mitch, I'll talk to you hopefully sooner than later. Good luck.
[0:19:45.9] MF: Okay, thanks Nic.
[0:19:47.4] NS: Bye.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
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