B.C. brokers win Oprah spotlight

B.C. brokers win Oprah spotlight

A team of Vancouver mortgage brokers is giving the industry a PR boost, at the same time helping a community get its financial act together for a new reality show on Oprah’s OWN network.

Those mortgage professionals, including top performer Jessi Johnson of the Verico Jessi Johnson Mortgage Team and Jared Dreyer, president of Dreyer Group Mortgages at Verico, help members of the B.C. community of Aldergrove save money on their mortgages – a key part of the show’s overall goal of increasing the net worth of individuals grappling with growing debt loads.

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Million Dollar Neighborhood, produced for an airing on the OWN Network, also brings together tax, investment planning and other financial services experts to help 100 families in the community meet the collective goal of saving $1 million in 10 weeks.

In the first episode, alone, an H&R Block review of tax returns in Aldergrove results in an additional $50,000 in tax refunds, with nearly a third of the reality show’s participants having missed credits or deductions amounting to an average of $1,571.

The job of the Verico brokers is to look at the many ways residents can save money on their mortgages through refinancing their existing loans to get lower rates and to consolidate their debts to capture those same bargain-basement interest rates.

Audiences will also learn the benefits of renewing mortgages early to save money and making the most of annual lump-sum and prepayment privileges.

“Working on the Million Dollar Neighbourhood challenge has been really fantastic,” said B.C. broker Jared Dreyer, more than 18 years in the business. It feels good to help clients save money on their mortgage and it’s what we do every day.”

The involvement of mortgage brokers promises to elevate an industry struggling to explain exactly what it does for consumers. While the program’s primary audience is American, it will also air in Canada.

Brokers are now using reality TV to help lift the profile of mortgage professionals.

Late last year, MortgageBrokerNews.ca reported that leading B.C. broker Jessi Johnson had landed a role in an upcoming TV reality show focused on personal finances. That show has now been revealed as Million Dollar Neighborhood.

“I’ve already filmed two episodes and will appear as a regular, leading a team of brokers,” said Johnson, president of VERICO mortgagebrokerteam.ca on the Lower Mainland. “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.”