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.”