Mitch Vandergunst has lived and worked in the Exeter, Ontario area for most of his life.

Having played competitive hockey from the age of four, Mitch Vandergunst is no stranger to hard work and dedication. He worked his way up the ranks in minor hockey and eventually earned a spot on professional rosters in the SPHL (Southern Professional Hockey League) and later the ECHL (East Coast Hockey League).

In college, Mitch Vandergunst pursued a degree in business. He was always inspired by his father, who was an entrepreneur and owned his own construction company. Mitch set out to become a business owner himself to work for himself and work on his own goals.

Today, Mitch Vandergunst operates a real estate investment company called Emvy Group Inc. which he founded. Currently, Mitch is investing in apartment buildings and flipping single homes in the Exeter and London, Ontario region.

What do you love most about the industry you are in?

I love working in real estate because of the interaction with people. I love making people feel good about their living situation. It is also exciting to have a business that create passive income. Also, the industry is constantly evolving and trends change. It’s interesting to move along with the industry as it trasnforms.

What keeps you motivated?

I have a passion to work on the goals I have set for myself. It’s what gets me up in the morning and keeps me determined. I am fueled by my passion to fulfill my goals.

How do you motivate others?

I motivate others by being positive about things. I always try to help turn a negative into a positive for others. I think that’s very important, especially given the current climate. It’s very easy to fall into a constant cycle of stress and worry, but it’s important to find the silver lining and focus on that.

Who has been a role model to you and why?

In terms of business, my father has been a role model for me. He taught me a lot about how to be a successful entrepreneur and in a lot of ways he inspired me to become an entrepreneur in the first place.

I’ve also learned from Grant Cardone. I have definitely looked up to him for his attitude and the way he manages his life. He is a real estate investor that has grown really big, and he gives a lot of good advice. 

I have also looked up to other hockey players. I always enjoyed seeing how different guys played, the strategies and skills they brought to the game. 

How do you maintain a solid work-life balance?

This is one of the things I really appreciate about working in real estate. It provides me with flexibility. I try to make sure all of my work is organized so I can enjoy life and enjoy the weekends if I get all of my work done. It’s very important to pursue that balance so that you don’t burn out.

What traits do you possess that makes a successful leader?

I like to include everybody. I was known as the “glue guy” on my hockey team. I like to bring people together and help everyone to feel included and like they are part of the team. If you’re team isn’t working together to achieve a common goal, then they aren’t all on the same page and it can derail everything.

What suggestions do you have for someone starting in your industry?

At first, I thought the things I wanted to do were not possible. Until I made contacts, reached out to people, and put in a little bit of the legwork, then I realized that things were possible. You can get started in any career if you’re willing to do those things. You just have to be determined and put in the work to make things happen.

What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?

From every bad thing comes something good. Just try to remember that when things go wrong. Even with the current pandemic, the situation has caused a lot of people some hardship, but it’s created opportunities as well. With life in general slowing down, it has given businesses and professionals all over the chance to pivot their strategies and try something new that they normally wouldn’t.

What is your biggest accomplishment?

My biggest accomplishment was purchasing my first apartment building. It was a big milestone in my career as a real estate investor.

Outside of work, what defines you as a person?

I am a leader and a very driven person. These are traits that I carry with me everywhere. I am outgoing and really enjoy being with people. My family and close friends are very important to me. 

Where do you see you and your company in five years?

I would like to have a known office in the city with about 10 employees to assist with the maintenance and management of the properties. I’d like to have 250 apartments by then, but at a certain point I would plan to get involved with industrial buildings as well. While this is certainly going to take time, it gives me a goal to work towards, which as I mentioned is what motivates me.