President of VERICO Jessi Johnson Mortgage Team, has one of the strongest social media presences in the mortgage brokerage industry. Mr. Johnson takes some time to talk to JAC News about the role of social media in this industry and his unique experience thus far in his career.
JAC: Tell us about your company?
JJ: I started my life as a mortgage broker in early 2006 with a small independent company called Global Mortgage Corp. I had no experience in the financial industry what so ever. It certainly wasn’t the easiest of beginnings but I learned a lot in 3.5 years. After I left Global Mortgage Corp in 2009, I launch my own brokerage. Starting your own firm certainly isn’t easy, especially since the nature of our work is complicated. But I couldn’t be happier where I am and am very excited about my future plans.
JAC: What business goals will Jessi Johnson Mortgage Team achieve in the next few years?
JJ: Within the next year I plan to build a team of highly successful brokers under the company and help them expand their business. We have some pretty crazy marketing ideas planned that we will be launching in the next few years. My background is in concert promotions so I’m a marketing nerd and have some very exciting ideas.
JAC: You have a huge online presence, describe your personal brand?
JJ: I am a firm believer in branding yourself and not what you do. I like to educate clients instead of directly marketing to them. The internet is a wonderful tool to do just that. Without internet presence these days your business will never expand and will slowly die. When’s the last time you used a Yellow Pages book? Do they still print those?
JAC: Why is it important for businesses to incorporate Social Media into their marketing plans?
JJ: Social Media is excellent for – my favorite term – “staying on the radar”. What a perfect tool for live updates on what your contacts and clients are thinking and doing. Whether you like it or not, you can’t avoid it.
JAC: What percentage of your day do you spend on SM?
JJ: At least an hour a day, or more. It really depends on what’s going on and what I need to accomplish.
JAC: How many SM platforms do you participate in? Which platform do you believe generates that most business for you?
JJ: I use tons of different platforms. I find social media overwhelming at times because there is so much to stay on top of. I use Twitter and Facebook the most but there are others as well. Facebook likely generates the most business but Twitter is great for live updates and for listening to what others are saying. JAC: For a mortgage broker that is brand new to social media, what are the first 3 things that you suggest he/ she should do to start building their online profile? JJ: Don’t sell your product all day long. Use social media to remind people of what you do and nothing more. Add personal touch to everything and remember that what you post can be seen by anyone.
JAC: What do you enjoy about the mortgage industry?
JJ: Everything. This is an ever-changing industry where you must keep on your toes. We have the opportunity to control our destinies and I love it. If I want to work 15 hours a day and put everything I have into my company, I can.
JAC: What professional achievement are you most proud of?
JJ: I have been very lucky to receive various award nominations and media coverage since I started. This is a very tough business to get into. By no means has it been smooth sailing but persistence is key and I am very proud of myself for not giving up.
JAC: Where are we likely to find you on weekends?
JJ: I usually work half days on the weekends, eventually my weekends will be work free. In my spare time I produce house music and love to keep active. Each week I play squash, do Muay-Thai kickboxing and workout as much as I can.