O’Leary Mortgages open for business

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Dragon Kevin O’Leary has now fired up his new brokerage with a soft launch and plans to ramp up during the summer for an official opening in the fall.
“We’re open for business and writing mortgages today,” CEO Alex Kenjeev told MortgageBrokerNews.ca Monday. “What we’re really trying to do right now is take a really great brand – like Kevin O’Leary and Dragon’s Den – and see how much we can leverage that in the market. It takes time to put together that kind of branding.”
The website, which is located on the Kevin O’Leary homepage, along with O’Leary Fine Wines and O’Leary Funds, is promoting “The Honest Mortgage… a refreshing new approach to financing your home.”
“Kevin (O’Leary) has a lot of success in mutual funds, and is building on his reputation from Dragons’ Den,” Kenjeev told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “It is the type of branding for this product that we are putting together and building on for O’Leary Mortgages.”
Brokers were upset when they interpreted plans for O’Leary Mortgages last November as a challenge to the channel, a company focusing on a direct-to-consumer campaign and effectively bypassing mortgage professionals. 
But nothing could be further from the objectives of the company, said Kenjeev, arguing that brokers should welcome O’Leary Mortgages as helping to promote and expand the channel.
“The overall share of the market brokers once held has gone down, in my personal view,” he said. “Most Canadians don’t realize they can go to a broker instead of a bank; they don’t realize they have other options. We are raising the profile of brokers, and we are expanding the channel.”
Mark Olkowski is the Chief Compliance Officer and principal broker at O’Leary, with funding coming from “relationships with numerous lenders,” according to Kenjeev.
Among the products offered by O’Leary Mortgages are the SecureRate offer, which features 3- and 5-year fixed terms, with an optional no-frills 5-year term at 2.74 per cent.  The 5-year 2.89 rate offers a 20/20 prepayment option – a full-service mortgage that is conventional and insured.
The website includes a resources and articles page that offers “top 5 secret steps” to clients on how to improve their credit score, “secrets that the banks don’t want you to know,” and why a credit history is important to obtaining a mortgage.
  • LHME on 2013-04-29 7:40:07 AM

    How is "SecureRate" different from a rate hold offered by almost everyone else? Gotta love the marketing spin.

  • Joe the Broker on 2013-04-29 8:57:32 AM

    They're gonna try anything...and o'leary funds completely stunk so the article is wrong on that as well....

  • Paolo Di Petta | dipettamortgage.com on 2013-04-29 9:35:33 AM

    Is anyone really going to trust the guy that goes on TV and fights to take the biggest chunk of a small business owner's corporation out from under them?

    O'Leary has built a reputation on being the greedy and self-serving 'dragon'. I wouldn't ask him for a dime.

  • Bob on 2013-04-29 9:53:31 AM

    @LHME All brokers pretty much offer the same thing. The only difference between them is marketing.

  • Tamer Tarchichi on 2013-04-29 11:09:22 AM

    It seems that someone is trying to cash in on popularity. Brokers bring so much business to the banks they compete against minus the overhead. Mr. O'Leary is basically trying to take a market share from the mortgage industry without paying the fee to the hand that feeds you. So he's targeting clients with straight approach, that could only mean that he'll be finding type A clients. So how does that help clients with challenging deals? A few suggesting writing on a website doesn't cut. Brokers work one on one with client la to build their credit up to funding. Based on the structure I can only assume alot more declines than approved using this approach.

  • Andrew Roach on 2013-04-29 12:07:04 PM

    I'm in the same line of thinking as Paolo. Here's a guy that has made a name for himself by doing whatever it takes to "Make Money". Yet here he is trying to play the knight in shining armour to help Canadians pay less. It's just so completely different than the guy he claims to be.

    Besides, this just seems to be another insured mortgage with all the same options and insurer restrictions, am I wrong?

    I'm actually growing to like the guy, but this just doesn't fit the mold.

  • Anthony on 2013-04-29 12:27:58 PM

    O'leary is just trying to capitalize on his television fame and make a few bucks in the process...at best he is a helluva promoter...nothing more...he does have a large enough financial vocabulary to address the masses and is surely immodest enough to capitalize on his television face...i'm sure that Dan Eisner's pitch on the Den rubbed off on him as well and now he is applying the same rate buydown model...big effin deal...lets hope he doesn't shame us too much...good luck to us all.

  • Captain America on 2013-05-02 6:40:48 AM

    Another flavour of the month.... What's it been now.... UFC guy, Gold & Silver Guy.. Now a new Guy .... Flash in the pants lets call him "Bozo the clown" Guy....

  • Frankly Solutions Broker on 2013-05-02 10:38:29 AM

    What does the public that watches Dragon Den think of Kevin O'Leary and would they trust him in looking after their best interests -

    I think most potential mortgage clients would identify with the trustworthy ethical brokers in our industry ahead of this if this self pro-claimed Shark! I think his aggressive money making strategy would be a better fit with the C- lending sector.

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