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"It's super detail oriented; we'll take time obsessing over Pantone colors, and, you know, materiality. And, I think that's really what it takes to make a difference and an impact in a market that's just so competitive." - Ryan Funt
The specialized niche of purpose-built rentals in Canada has grown in popularity over the past half-decade. Offering a wide assortment of amenities not seen by other types of rentals, these projects are changing how we look at rental options.
What we talked about:
Nicolina Savelli [0:00:15.0]:
Welcome back to Sync or Swim, I'm your host, Nicolina Savelli and you're listening to Get Synced or I take a tactical approach to helping those in multifamily improve their marketing and advertising efforts. And today I have two guests with me, one will be my acting cohost for the episode, the Regis to my Kelly, if you will, Max Steinman, who is the VP of Growth at Rentsync. I also have our main guest for today's episode, Ryan Funt with me, who is the Director of Marketing at Fitzrovia. Welcome to the show, guys.
Ryan Funt [0:01:10.8]:
Awesome, thanks for having us.
Max Steinman [0:01:12.7]:
Thanks for including me. And I should mention, it is a special day today, I know that this is gonna release in a couple of weeks, but that doesn't matter, today is Ryan's birthday, so...
Nicolina Savelli [0:01:29.1]:
Yeah, so we're celebrating Ryan's birthday by making him come on a podcast episode and answer all of our hard questions, so... Thank you, Ryan.
Ryan Funt [0:01:36.0]:
This Best birthday gift ever. So thanks guys.
Nicolina Savelli [0:01:38.9]:
So besides Ryan's birthday, this conversation is going to focus a lot around the Waverley lease-up that Ryan did with Fitzrovia, and I have Max here because he was the lead on the account at Rentsync, and I wanted to have Max part of this conversation because he worked so closely with this incredible project and feel he's gonna be able to dig in a lot to the nuances with Ryan, but before we get into that, Ryan do you mind telling us a little bit about your background and the work you've done in your career, specifically around managing and marketing luxury purpose built rentals.
Ryan Funt [0:02:14.0]:
Yeah, for sure, I'd be happy to. Well, thank you for the intro, I would just start by saying that I got involved in purpose built rentals at a time when they were a fairly novel concept to the Canadian market, and while Canada has seen a lot of purpose built rental development over... Call it the past half-decade. I would still make the argument that it's still a very specialized niche and really still only represents a small fraction of the residential development that's happening here in Canada, and I would go even further to say that we're really a nation that's still dominated by condominium developments.
Nicolina Savelli [0:02:55.6]:
And how did you get started in that? What was your pull or push towards purpose luxury-built rentals?
Ryan Funt [0:03:02.5]:
Give you a bit about my background and a bit about my story. Before I was with Fitzrovia, I had the opportunity to oversee a pretty large portfolio of purpose-built rentals from an operations perspective... yeah. And what was really special about that role was I was able to take most of my assets from early-stage development and planning all the way to stabilization, call it 95% to 98% occupancy. So I was actually exposed to literally every part of the purpose-built rental development life cycle very early on in my career when this type of opportunity was truly a total rarity, and I would also go on to say that on top of my daily assignment of managing a leasing team and an admin team, and repairs and maintenance team, and really a team of over 30 people, I was also consulting for industry leaders on their new rental developments.
Nicolina Savelli [0:04:00.7]:
Perfect. Now, obviously, that experience set you up for success, or at least a lot of information that you took from those, that role came into play at Fitzrovia. Do you wanna speak to how any of those learning experiences has guided you in this role as Marketing Director at Fitzrovia?
Ryan Funt [0:04:18.9]:
Yeah. No, that's a really fair point. I would say with the last role, I was really given an opportunity to tour assets all over the United States, and markets like Seattle, San Diego, and Dallas, and really what an opportunity to see the best in class, class A rental examples from an amenities perspective, a suite layout perspective, a technology perspective, and an operations perspective, really.
Nicolina Savelli [0:04:50.1]:
Yeah, that's perfect. I think that that leads into my next question two, and talking about Fitzrovia, now, this company has such a unique value proposition in the purpose-built rental market, you have such a compelling portfolio and pride yourself on offering best-in-class amenities and design, and I'd really like to get a sense of that mission and what it means to you and how you're able to deliver on it in, I guess, the Canadian market and in all of your rental properties.
Ryan Funt [0:05:19.7]:
Yeah, so I think maybe at this point it makes sense to tell you how I found out about Fitzrovia and how that opportunity came to be for me, I've always really admired my current CEO, Adrian Rocca, and at my former role, I dealt with Adrian a little bit we worked on The Brixton in a bit together and had been on the Selby as well, and one thing that I remember is Adrian's ability to sort of challenge the status quo and really push limits, and what I gathered from Adrian was not only a desire to push and maximize returns and drive NOI, but also an understanding that if you're gonna do all those things that you really need to deliver an incredible product that challenges conventional thinking and is really in line with consumer desire and Max, I would say you and me, both toured the Waverley last week, and you can really see the attention to detail when you enter the Waverley, you don't feel like you're touring just another rental development in Toronto, you truly feel like you're in a boutique Hotel in Manhattan, so it's... Again, when I heard that Adrian was doing his own thing, he was starting his own property management platform that was completely vertically integrated, that was really an opportunity that I couldn't pass up. And so Adrian brought me in as the first employee in Fitzrovia as property management division to help build out a platform, and really it was interesting in that early days, Adrian recognized that I had a creative eye and a degree in architecture, and he really encouraged me to take on a marketing role, which has really driven me to do some of my best work, so that's a bit of a background, more on Fitzrovia... To tie back to your original questions there Nicolina, who are we? So essentially, Fitzrovia is a full service firm. We own 100% of the process, the development process, essentially what that means is we take assets all the way from land acquisition to property management operations, our philosophy is that we believe that owning the process from beginning to end allows us to make the best possible decisions to ensure longterm success, so if I could think of a very high-level example, I would say, consider our leasing teams on the ground floor, they're constantly in tune and talking with rental prospects, and potentially over time, they're getting feedback that let's say our suite layouts aren't great, or this particular finish is amazing and prospects are loving it, and so we take that feedback, whether good or bad, it doesn't really matter, and we disseminate that data to the appropriate person or division, whether it be construction or development, and use that data in real-time to inform future decisions based on quality data, whereas if you're segmented, a lot of that critical information can get lost in translation.
Nicolina Savelli [0:08:29.4]:
Sure, I guess speaking to that point, and I know this isn't in my line of questions, but how do you disseminate that information effectively across your teams, is there a process that you're using... I know you've mentioned a platform, is that part of the process... I feel like communicating to the amount of people that you have to communicate to, that can be a complex process, so... Could you walk me through a little bit of that?
Ryan Funt [0:08:52.9]:
Yeah I mean, I would say that we're a very open organization, all value and respect what one another does and... We really have the right people at the table at the right time. So for example, we were working on our Yorkdale plans were doing three towers there, beside Yorkdale shopping mall, and during a design meeting, not only were the developers, they're our development team, but we sat down with Michelle Calloway, VP Operations. We sat down with a Bahar Poosh, our Director of interior design, Adrian was at the meeting as well, we have construction team members join as well, so really it's about having all the expertise, all the right people at the table to have these open conversations and the energy in the board room is really kinetic, we are spiralling off of each other, we are bringing different ideas to the table, and all the ideas are truly remarkable, so it's amazing if you remain fragmented, a lot of the great ideas that come from operations or that come from construction, can be lost. So you think about third party property management, like the third-party guys, they have great ideas, they have great insight, but by the time you recruit them, you get them on board, the development could potentially be built and they just have to operate an asset that may not be efficient.
Max Steinman [0:10:31.7]:
I think it's safe to say that Fitzrovia puts an incredibly high level of focus and value on talent, and that's truly something that's super unique. I don't know if you want to comment on that Ryan, but it's something that you see a lot in the US, just an unbelievable amount of talent in this industry and hiring a high, high level talent, but I think you probably feel that way about your colleagues and yourself about Fitzrovia it's pretty transparent it's pretty obvious, that's the culture where the values be placed.
Ryan Funt [0:10:55.2]:
No, no, totally. You hit the nail on the head Max. I would just say that everybody that we work with, everyone is a true professional, everyone is super respectful, and people come into the office with an openness to listen to one another, like it is the most... A political organization that I know of, really I know that there's lots of great companies out there with great cultures, but a great example, we just won the 2021 NAA, National Apartment associations, Best Places to Work, which is obviously a huge award to win, especially if you're a young company like us, but it's really all about the human capital, we have a great team of people, everybody is super driven, hard-working, and you sometimes hear Adrian talk about it a bit as well as you thought raising the capital would be the challenging part. But really, he always goes back to it, it's the human component, it's the people on our team. It's super collaborative, super detail oriented. We'll take time obsessing over Pantone colors and materiality, and I think that's really what it takes to make a difference in an impact in a market that's just so competitive.
Max Steinman [0:12:22.2]:
Especially when the product is so unique, which is what you guys are attempting and when you've got that level of differentiation, it becomes more and more important that you have that talent as part of your team.
Nicolina Savelli [0:12:42.8]:
We will get into those details shortly, I do have one, just a small question that you brought up, you talked about being in a board room now, we're obviously in the middle of a pandemic, how has your team been able to adjust and kind of adapt during this time, how did you guys navigate that and make sure that that culture and collaboration still existed?
Ryan Funt [0:13:03.6]:
Yeah, no, that's a really good question. Just like every other organization. We're working through it. Most of us are working remotely. Some of us are in the office, but there's certainly been a lot of time spent at home, I think if anything... It's how it's changed. Leasing for us, right, we've pivoted to a completely online leasing program, of course, things are getting better, and we're gonna start hosting in-person tours of the Waverley, sort of in no time by appointment only, but the entirety of this release and lease-up has been all virtual, and so we've had to challenge ourselves to make sure that our execution online is as flawless as it is in person, in person is, it's been done. People have their formulas, everybody knows what the tour path should look like, everybody knows how they're gonna set the lobby, how they're gonna like their model suites, how they're gonna accessories their models, all of that. But what sort of caught the industry by surprise is how do you pivot online and execute in a really, really great way? And I think we've been successful in doing that.
Nicolina Savelli [0:14:18.4]:
I don't wanna go too far into this because I feel like I could keep spiraling in these questions, I wanna turn my focus to the start of the Waverly and the building and everything, and then maybe we can work our way back to this conversation, so The Waverley is a building very rich in history, the previous home of The Silver Dollar Room and the Waverley Hotel, and situated in an arts and culture driven community in the heart of Toronto, so can you share how important it was to incorporate that history into the building itself and how you were able to leverage that in your marketing work, and maybe you can talk a little bit about what you just mentioned and how you executed that...
Ryan Funt [0:14:58.4]:
Yeah, and for sure, I'm always more than happy to talk Waverley with anybody, but I think what's important with the Waverley is to understand our approach to marketing, to really understand how the brand identity was born, and really it was born from the building's historic site, the former Waverley hotel, it was a low rise hotel in downtown Toronto, and '59 The Silver Dollar Room opened its doors. The Silver Dollar went on to become one of the most famous and beloved music venues in Toronto, hosting some incredible acts like Bob Dylan, Mac DeMarco, The Pixies, Barenaked Ladies, Blue Rodeo, and so many more. And so really our approach to marketing was to embrace the history of the site, and on that note, I would also say that The Silver Dollar was demolished and then completely rebuilt, it's a registered heritage landmark, and we've re incorporated a lot of the sites... Original elements back into The Silver Dollar and Max, I know I took you on a little tour, but essentially the venues, original bar, the stage, the original oil paintings with Billy Holiday in all these amazing musicians are all featured within the oil paintings, they've all been put back into place, the original terrazzo flooring and really, of course, the iconic beyond Silver Dollar sign has been remounted.
So with that in mind, consider the subtle nuances and building design and web design that pay tribute to The Silver Dollar, for example, the neon lighting, details on the thrush homes, painting in our lobby, the neon glow of the Waverley logo on our website. Those elements are all playing tribute to The Silver Dollar and that iconic sign as well as the neighborhood, and I'll stop there and just say, Max, we've had our fair share of late nights at Rose restaurant in Chinatown, and we've had some great Dim Sum, you think about the sign, the neon sign in the window with the famous lobster and the colors, all of this is a testament to the history of The Silver Dollar and the area. The last thing that I'll point out is some of the collateral we put together for the project, which was really, really special, the way release printed brochure was designed to emulate a vintage vinyl record sleeve, and clearly when you hold it in your hands, it does feel like a classic Punk album, we gave away Tshirts as part of our leasing efforts and you can hold them in your hands and you just see that it feels like a concert tshirt like you would get at a traditional merch stand. So a lot of really, really key details that went into the marketing at the Waverley that really honor the area and the specific sit.
Max Steinman [0:17:47.1]:
And I will say it's incredibly cool, like they've... The Silver Dollar Room, which I've been to in the past, is going to look like the old Silver Dollar Room, and it's just the way that that's tied into an apartment build, it is really cool that no other apartment building probably in the city will ever have that. So really, really unique amenities, have one question for Ryan, when the pandemic is behind us, and we can get back to concerts. Who will be opening at the new Silver Dollar Room, give me a dream that you guys are gonna have as your opening band.
Ryan Funt [0:18:21.2]:
Oh my God, that's a tough... I'd love to see... Can you imagine getting Neil Young on board for that? And just unplugged acoustic. That would just be next level.
Nicolina Savelli [0:18:53.0]:
I think you could do it. They haven't been to people haven't been touring in a year and a half. You might be able to get it. You never know.
Max Steinman [0:18:59.8]:
Yeah, I'd like to see the Barenaked Ladies, who's played there and comes back.
Nicolina Savelli [0:19:04.9]:
We're manifesting right now. We're putting it out into the world. So I do wanna talk about the amenities you put into Waverley, which I'm a little obsessed with, obviously, as a dog owner myself who pays $200 every other month to get their dog groomed, the beauty and the beast pet spa is the coolest thing. Makes me want to live at the Waverley, in all honesty, can you walk me through some of the amenities like the pet spa, the Lobby Lounge featuring The Box Car Social, the infinity pool in the list goes on and on. And why were these amenities is so important to this lease-up and how you've been able to market those to prospects right now.
Ryan Funt [0:20:08.8]:
Well, thanks for the question. It's interesting because the Waverley is truly a boutique rental experience, it's only 166 units. But what's interesting about that is it has a comprehensive amenity package that truly rivals competitive communities that are three times the size or double the size, and as you pointed out, we do have three branded amenities that are exclusive to the Fitzrovia collection of communities. We pointed out one, so Beauty for the Beast, it's our branded pet spa experience, our signature infinity pools, which we've deemed Lido, and our fitness centers, which we call the temple, which hold an official hammers training facility designation, which is pretty huge.
Max Steinman [0:20:40.1]:
Which is insane by the way. This fitness facility is nicer than probably any page and membership in the entire city. It's incredible and the view is incredible as well.
Nicolina Savelli [0:20:59.5]:
Yeah, I saw that and I wanted to dig into those things just because... Why... Why were those things crucial to Fitzrovia? Why did you want to include those... I mean, you could have an endless supply of amenities, but why were those the ones that made you like say, Yes, this is what we need, this is what our community wants...
Ryan Funt [0:21:19.0]:
Yeah, I think it's really just about talking to renters and understanding what they want, and I think to Max's point to really appreciate these spaces, you truly have to walk them to understand just how special they are. Sure, right? If you think about the penthouse gym, The Temple, the view from your treadmill is absolutely incredible, with views of the CN Tower. And I would also say that the devil's in the details, we have greenhouse juice vending machines and all of our gyms, and so pre or post or during a workout, you can grab a cold pressed juice, a bottle of kombucha and really enjoy. And so it's really about talking to your rental prospects, and we host a lot of consumer survey groups, we actually will interview prospective renters and get their feedback, and taking that information and just implementing it.
Nicolina Savelli [0:22:17.7]:
I think that's such a strong point and takeaway is so important to just getting on that ground level and asking renters what they want and what will really take the experience to the next level for them.
Ryan Funt [0:22:27.4]:
Yeah, it's actually interesting because, and I think mentioned this to Max the other day, but I actually... I saw a name coming to our CRM Q the other day, and I actually knew the person, it was an old friend of mine, and I was talking to her about the Waverley, I'm like, Of course, I'm gonna speak to her directly and her feedback to me was greenhouse juice in your gym and in the lobby, you have me sold it, and I think it's truly thinking outside the box and partnering with these best-in-class brands to amplify the experience, it's just not enough to say, I have a pet spa or I have a gym. These facilities truly have to be something special that make your resident base wanna sign a lease on your particular asset...
Nicolina Savelli [0:23:13.9]:
Absolutely, and that moves directly into my next point, which is the promotions that you have offered right now, you have on the Waverley website, I saw you have a Structube gift card, The Box Car Social gift card, and also a chance to get your tuition paid, so can you tell us a little bit about the story behind these promotions, and as a follow-up question, Did covid influence you to get more creative with these promotions and will they continue in other purpose-built rentals moving forward, do you think... Or was this like, Okay, we really need people to go for this during covid...
Ryan Funt [0:23:49.8]:
Yeah, totally. So of course, we closely follow market trends to determine a competitive and compelling concession strategy, of course. Should that be warranted? Our approach with the Waverley and this is always our approach was to support our partners, so we have a Box Car Social slated to open in our lobby, they're gonna offer pastries, fresh ground espresso, worldly wines, and it's directly in the lobby lounge. So I call it hosts, just like a hotel-style kind of concept where the bar kinda opens up onto the broader lobby. So very different than your traditional, okay, we have retail, we need to lease that retail and it's in a separate retail bay, so that was part of it, we wanted to support our partners and tie that to the concession strategy at the way relief, and similar to Box Car, we have a partnership with Structube, if our residents ever wanna purchase anything at Structube, they automatically receive 10% off all purchases. And so that was sort of the premise of $1000 Structube gift card.
Nicolina Savelli [0:25:02.6]:
Perfect, and the chance to get your tuition paid. I haven't seen that kind of promotion being done from a property management company, I see it from Scotiabank, so how are you able to offer something like that and why was it important to it...
Ryan Funt [0:25:14.9]:
The beautiful thing about the Waverley is it's located at College and Spadina, which is literally steps to the University of Toronto and OCAD University, and so we certainly do look to our competitors and analyze very closely what are they doing, and so we have a great concession package already in play to be competitive in the market, but you brought up Scotiabank, and I certainly believe that with Fitzrovia and our marketing approach is we're not just gonna look at what competitors are doing, we're definitely gonna look at what best-in-class consumer brands are doing and we're always gonna be looking at our end consumer to make sure that our offerings are super appealing, so we would look at what is Audi doing...What is Nike doing it? So we try to challenge the status quo, we try and be in line with our end consumer, we talked about being in close proximity to both universities, major universities, and of course, these are times where university students... They're looking for a place, they need to sign a lease before the September semester starts, so again, it's just about staying creative and not rigid in your approach.
Nicolina Savelli [0:26:32.7]:
Absolutely makes sense. Smart, my final question from my side is, Can we chat a little bit about the timelines and goals around the way or lease-up and how you've been working with Rentsync to achieve those goals?
Ryan Funt [0:26:46.1]:
Yeah, of course. So I was saying, I was on a call with Max this morning, and I was saying it then, but it's truly remarkable what our leasing team has been able to accomplish, we've achieved above market rents during a pandemic that is truly impacted class A product, especially in the downtown core, and so far we've exceeded our pro forma from a revenue perspective, and really we're on target to meet our absorption timeline, and so back to your original question with Rentsync, we've rolled out a number of initiatives. That said, our community website is the key component of our digital marketing strategy, and we have an ultimate goal to drive all rental prospects to our website because it truly is the best representation of our product and what it is we're offering at The Waverly. When you visit thewaverleylife.ca, you can clearly see the amount of effort that Rentsync poured into the website it's stunning, it's custom, the user experience is really exceptional.
Nicolina Savelli [0:27:52.9]:
Absolutely, yeah, as I said in our prep call, the Waverley website, it seems to me like a complete website, a complete experience, it doesn't even feel like a lease-up, it feels like I know exactly what I would get when I walk through the door. It's, Yeah, just so custom and makes you feel... And the speed is also very, very fast, I will note that it's really great and just the visuals that obviously you guys sourced and put on that website are just really compelling and make you want to come see and walk through and take a tour, so on that note, I'm going to give my cohost max time in the floor to ask a few of his own questions, so Max, the floor is now yours.
Max Steinman [0:28:33.8]:
For sure. I was gonna ask why is Fitzrovia likes to be different and what does it mean to be different, but to some degree, I mean everything that we've been speaking to outlines that so much, one of the... I also have to congratulate you because what you said in your last response and that you guys are on pace or on target for our absorption strategy, and not too many people or companies are able to say that through the pandemic. So I think that a lot of those differences are helping you stay on target, and one of the really unique elements when you walk into The Waverley is the art, you've got basically a mascot sort of thing. Do you wanna speak to that? I think you guys call him as birdman?
Ryan Funt [0:29:02.1]:
Yeah, yeah, Birdo.
Max Steinman [0:29:05.1]:
Birdman is an awesome movie... But Birdo is an awesome mascot.
Ryan Funt [0:29:20.5]:
I'm glad you brought it up because one of the things that we truly value at Fitzrovia is art and local artists, and we have some great support from our Art Curator, Ashley, of Ninth Editions to put together very beautiful art packages. And as you've noticed, Max, and we've been working on this with the Rentsync team, but a lot of our banner ads, a lot of our social ads, a lot of our collateral feature, those actual pieces that are going into the Waverley, and I think that offers an additional, incremental level of authenticity. And I know that you pointed at a lot of our pieces on our tour, we talked about thresholds and Birdo, which is the backdrop to The Box Car Social space, Birdo, otherwise known as Jerry Rug, some incredible pieces going into the space, we... Some great charactiture prints by Jamison, that feature Vincent Van Gogh, Picaso, Basquiat, all these amazing artistic people, and it just works, and it offers that that additional level of boutique that you don't see a lot. There seems to be this attitude in the industry to just sort of get stuff done, but if you're really gonna maximize your revenue or you're really gonna maximize your NOI, you need to think about these things because they matter to people, it's no different than somebody buying a single-family home, they're very in tune with how do they wanna decorate the common spaces, what should the living room look like, what should a corridor look like, and our approach is no different.
Max Steinman [0:31:44.7]:
To me, it felt like in that building, the art was almost like the glue that ties your brand back to the property, to the other brands that you're supporting within the property as well with Box Car, and it's just a really unique and new thing to see the importance of art and so... I know probably fairly expensive for you guys to do that, but in the grand scheme of things, like to have that tie back to the brand is probably a really smart financial decision is... I wanna ask you a little bit about what's next for Fitzrovia now that The Waverley is well underway, I know that you're a very busy guy and that you guys are expanding. Do you wanna speak a little bit about what's in the pipeline?
Ryan Funt [0:32:50.1]:
Yeah, so we have a number of deals, a couple that I'm probably not at liberty to speak to, but we talked about it earlier at Yorkdale, three towers with a large public park incorporated into the development, going through some of the amenity programmings with the team, last week, and it's gonna be exceptional, I don't think I've even seen quite an amenity package in some of the US communities that I've toured, there's gonna be a basketball court...I don't wanna say too much because things can change, but it's truly gonna be an exceptional development, and we're working with the Hazelview folks on this development, and they've been really, really great partners to work with and really excited to launch that marketing campaign coming up call it next six to eight months, we're gonna launch The Parker at Yonge and Eglington. It's a bit of a counterpoint to The Waverley, it's more Nordic and Scandinavian and a bit more neutral in terms of the design, very minimalist kind of Japanese with an incredible amenity package, I'm talking about an infinity pool on a 38th for a two-story gym with the same greenhouse juice programming, a kids room, entertainment kitchen, two bowling alleys, and arcade were really pushing the envelope on this one and had the opportunity to tour the suites the other week, and it's truly an exceptional product, Box Car Social in the lobby as well. A bit bigger than the Box Car Social at The Waverley, and it kind of spills into the lobby in a really beautiful fashion. So very excited about that one. And then, of course, we have The Elm and The Ledbury at 88 Queen Street East 542 units, connected by a series of bridges, some really, really great common spaces, some really gorgeous fixtures in suite, so that's gonna be a very, very special lease up for us, and we have the hoarding graphics going up in a couple of days, so excited to see those go live and yeah, just...
We have so much on the go. And it's a very exciting time for us, and I've seen the firm grow. It's probably doubled since the time I've started, and so I would just say that the one thing that everybody has in common is just a genuine passion for what we do on a daily basis. We challenge our consultants, we really push them to do their best work, and for the most part, everybody's really embraced that, everybody sees that we're not just doing this for the bottom line, we're doing this because rental developments, they're becoming a larger thing here in Canada, more people wanna live in rentals, say they want that flexibility, they don't wanna be tied down to a mortgage... Right, and so I think that that rental experience can be really, really special, and I believe the team agrees with me...
Max Steinman [0:35:45.1]:
Yeah, I mean, what you guys are doing is super unique and that's just special to be a part of, and something tells me, after the projects you just mentioned, it's not gonna end there, and that we're gonna be hearing a lot more from Fitzrovia and hopefully Ryan Funt in the future. And so I do wanna ask you one final question Ryan, you guys are getting through the way it really as a team, that's your first major project as a team, what are some of the key lessons you've learned already from it that you'll be able to apply to these future projects, maybe mistakes that you've made that you can quickly correct or just, yeah, what have you learned that you're gonna apply moving forward.
Ryan Funt [0:36:27.3]:
Yeah, it's actually a really great question. I would just say that when it comes to staying competitive and being bespoke, it's super important to stay openminded and take time to reflect and evaluate, and I think I mentioned it previously to you, Max, but like in our industry we really get caught up in the day-to-day and just get caught up and getting stuff done, but if you really wanna reimagine rentals in Canada and be competitive in this market, we really do need to go the extra mile, and it sounds cliche, but you do have to have those extra conversations, you do have to reach out to others to inform your conclusions and to elaborate, is a doorknob truly the right specification thats timeless, it's not that funny, I think about it. Is a doorknob the right specification that's gonna be timeless enough to lease that apartment, not only tomorrow, but 10 years down the line, and call it in perpetuity for that matter, when you really think about it, same with our branding. Well, our property logos and our brand voice withstand the test of time. And for me, it's really about taking the extra time to pause in order to make really, really good longterm decisions for Fitzrovia.
Max Steinman [0:37:42.8]:
I laugh because I literally noticed the doorknobs that you guys had on there, the hardware is different, you take it back to the most basic thing that there could possibly be in an apartment, and it would probably be your door handles, and you guys did the very differently, which I think speaks to the whole project and... Yeah, I gotta find out where you got those doorknobs.
Nicolina Savelli [0:38:24.7]:
I think that that ending comment that you just said, Ryan, around the doorknobs, I think that just goes to the whole... A whole lesson that we've learned in this episode is just how the devils are in the details of really creating a rental experience that that goes above and beyond for luxury built rentals, and I think that this whole episode was really about learning what that involves, and I think that a lot of people listening to it are gonna say, Wow, we are not thinking about things the way we should be thinking about them, and these guys are... You do have to go above and beyond in order to meet the expectations of what your community wants and needs, and if you want premium rents, you have to offer them premium amenities and services. And it's been a pleasure chatting with you. And before we go, can you please let listeners know where they can connect with you?
Ryan Funt [0:39:17.0]:
Thank you for that. Really great summary. Yeah, yeah, of course, and I say it all the time. Anyone that has a passion for our industry or a passion for bestinclass design or marketing tactics, I'm always down to grab a cup of coffee and exchange ideas, very open that way, so best way to reach me as via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And looking forward to hearing from a few folks.
Nicolina Savelli [0:39:43.5]:
Awesome, well, thank you again for taking the time to join me on your birthday for this episode of Get Synced.
Ryan Funt [0:39:53.3]:
No, it was great, this is a great birthday surprise. Thanks, guys.
Max Steinman [0:40:0.1]:
Nicolina Savelli [0:39:59.4]:
And thank you, Max, for helping me host this episode. And until next time, keep swimming.
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