Broker lands TV reality show

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A leading B.C. broker has landed himself – and by extension, the industry he represents – a leading role in an upcoming TV reality show focused on personal finances.

“I’ve already filmed two episodes and will appear as a regular, leading a team of brokers,” Jessi Johnson, president of VERICO mortgagebrokerteam.ca on the Lower Mainland, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “I can’t say much more than that because I’m under contract, but it’s a great opportunity, and I’m hoping the major impact of my participation on the show will be to open the eyes of those who don’t know about the industry.”


The show is set to air in North American markets next spring and focuses, at least in part, on brokers and their role in guiding real people through the mortgage process. Show producers interviewed Johnson in March, with the high-volume broker getting the final nod a few weeks ago.

TV execs both in Canada and the U.S. are increasingly crafting reality shows around Realtors. Canuck networks have, in fact, added no fewer than four new real estate agent programs to their schedules this month, alone, but up until now, mortgage brokers have escaped their attention.

Johnson, who heads a team of several agents, is hoping to change that, in the process bring the kind of marketing boost to the industry advertising dollars just can’t buy. The show also comes as the industry grapples to grow its market share in the face of increasingly aggressive banks and the threat of another recession.

“Once the show comes out,” he said, “the public will be able to see what we do in terms of arranging mortgages on new purchases and refinances but also the overall positive impact we have in helping our clients and the huge role we as mortgage brokers play in the real estate industry.”

Johnson has already played an active role in helping move the industry online and toward social media.

“Leads from social media – Facebook and Twitter – and our newsletters account for 20 to 25 per cent of our leads,” he told MortgageBrokerNews.ca this spring. “It’s hard to know exactly what percentage of that is specifically from Facebook or Twitter or the newsletter, but I’m using social media to help me stay on the radar of prospective leads and to help me cement name recognition.”

Johnson has 15,000 followers on Twitter, one of the highest in the industry. Some of those fans are now tweeting about his upcoming role on a show the broker promises won’t undermine the broker industry and the PR strides already made.

“I’m not going to embarrass mortgage brokers,” he said. “I swear.”

  • MP on 2011-09-23 3:57:46 AM

    Oh that will be a captivating show!!! Not! Unless the show revolves around the personal lives of brokers and all the exciting industry events we are part of, I think it will be a flop. At least with Real Estate shows there are really awesome houses that are being bought or renovated.

  • Rob Campbell on 2011-09-23 4:14:14 AM

    Nicely done Jessi.
    This might finally give the public a better understanding of what we can provide them on top of just the good old rate game.
    I'll be watching!
    Cheers.
    @therobcampbell

  • Leann on 2011-09-23 4:22:23 AM

    Congratulations Jessi on your "New Role" this will bring the Mortgage Broker Responsibilities to light. I will be waiting with anticipation and will watch as our industry is show cased with one of the BEST!
    @universalmtge

  • Jessi on 2011-09-23 4:37:24 AM

    Re: MP

    You will be pleasantly surprised my friend. There is much more to the show than a broker running some numbers ;)

    Re: Rob

    Thank you kindly my friend. We are not focusing on rates one bit but instead heavily focusing on the value / work a good broker does after the transaction completes.

  • Larry Mortgage Agent on 2011-09-23 5:42:46 AM

    I am pissed off, I joined the industry for its prestige and respect it had now its all over. Jewelers, fighters and now TV stars brokering this is it. I'm leaving and going to work with the banks.
    Larry "ex" Mortgage Agent

  • Walter on 2011-09-23 5:54:36 AM

    I agree with Larry - stop the madness!! What are the chances of Jessi making the brokerage community look like fools, unprofessional and unethical??? I'm going back to my factory job!!!

  • BC Mortgage Broker on 2011-09-23 12:25:24 PM

    If done correctly, this could be a good thing for the industry. But for that to happen it can't be the Jessi Johnson show. There is a saying in the industry, if you want to know about Jessi, just ask him and he'll tell you all about himself. The show needs to be ego free!

    Otherwise, congratulations and I look forward to hearing more.

  • Tim on 2011-09-23 3:01:52 PM

    Walter- go back to your factory job. That is probably where you belong.
    Larry-you also belong to work with the banks
    With mindsets like that no wonder our industry can't crack the 25% of market share. I congratulate Jessi for thinking outside the box and kudos to his innovative marketing.

  • BC Lender on 2011-09-24 8:45:37 AM

    I think this could be very interesting and given the right focus and obviously the right people (so far so good Jesse!)this could increase consumer awareness about the benefits of using a mortgage broker. Congratulations! I will be watching.

  • Jake on 2011-09-27 12:31:30 AM

    I love the idea. Always said that the HGTV shows with Sandi should have a broker step in and explain that side of it. Also, will give our industry great positive exposure. Congrats Jessi.

  • Disaster Senses Tingling on 2011-09-30 5:35:56 AM

    While initially hopeful,I went to Jessi's website to view his video blogs. He's the perfect "character" for train wreck reality TV as his tacky videos show him drinking with girls in hot-tubs, toasting with wine, showing off a luxury car he desires, & other worthless drivel. Embarassing and unprofessional for our industry. Jessi can only hope to be the next Flavor Flav or Big Brother contestant. His videos lead me to believe it will be impossible for him to keep his promise of not embarassing our profession.

  • The Future of Our Industry on 2011-09-30 5:51:57 AM

    Will be based on bringing true leadership and value in an authentic and genuine way. I believe that in of itself is entertaining and educating. Agreed Jessi has a real chance of lowering the professionalism of our industry. This accompanied with the damage done by DLC's endorsement of Don Cherry has our industry siding with cheap gimmicks. If you ever want additional proof that the mortgage brokerage industry is in a bubble this is it. Perhaps after the wash out the true brokers can continue doing what they do best and learn from this disaster. Having said all of that perhaps this kid may surprise all of us..... but I'm not betting on it.

  • Lisa on 2011-09-30 6:17:25 AM

    I think its a great new fresh idea...its all about doing things differently, educating..how many people still get ask, how much does it cost to use a broker...we still have a long ways to go in educating the public and what better way to do it on a national network..... for those with the negative comments the old saying goes "if you dont have anything nice to say dont say anything at all"

  • AMP member on 2011-10-04 10:03:47 AM

    This is great. Congratulations to Jessi and her team at Verico. Any publicity is good publicity. Don Cherry benefited the entire industry. Thanks DLC brokers for funding that. I think we all got a few deals from that one.

  • BC Broker on 2011-10-21 4:27:55 AM

    Educating the consumer is a good thing but if our industry pushes too hard, then some of the Bank lenders might decide we have gone to far and pull out of the broker channel. Hopefully this show will not put any lenders in a bad light that could come back to bite us.

  • Billie Burke, Sault Ste Marie on 2011-09-28 7:44:16 AM

    Way to Go Jessi. I AM SO EXCITED! To those negative comments-- this is not about entertainment--its about Education.
    CONGRATS JESSI :) What a blessing for our industry!! This is a fantastic opportunity for consumers to see the benefits of using A Mortgage Broker ... I am eager to see if the fact that banks are not regulated in the same way, nor do they have any of the educational or license requirements that we do! I will eagerly await the first show!

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