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Jason Mesnick talks post-‘Bachelor’ life, real estate, and being true to yourself

‘Relationships are so important in real estate, and I love that people feel like they already know me’

Jason Mesnick in his luxury penthouse listing in Bellevue.
Courtesy of Jason Mesnick

While most people know Jason Mesnick from his time on The Bachelorette and The Bachelor, others, especially on the Eastside, know him as their real estate broker.

For those unfamiliar with Mesnick’s years of Bachelor franchise fame: After striking out as a contestant on The Bachelorette in 2008, he was chosen to be the titular Bachelor in 2009.

In a twist ending, Mesnick ended up marrying his second-runner-up Molly Malaney. They live with their two kids in a custom-built house in Kirkland.

You can’t make a full-time career out of being a bachelor, though, especially when you’re happily married to a woman you proposed to on national television. Mesnick has been a full-time real estate professional for a few years now—he’s currently an associate broker with Northwest Group Real Estate.

Curbed Seattle spoke with Mesnick about going from reality TV fame to a real estate career, that floating home he pretended to live in during hometown dates, and how he’ll totally mow your lawn. (Seriously.)

Curbed Seattle: How long have you been in real estate—did it predate your time on The Bachelorette?

Jason Mesnick: The Bachelor feels like forever ago! I have personally dabbled in real estate for a while, but this is my third year doing it full time. The Seattle area has changed so much, as everyone knows, and this market has been incredible for sellers but also extremely challenging for buyers.

Why the Eastside?

Having grown up in the Redmond/Kirkland/Bellevue area, naturally I know the Eastside like the back of my hand, but this business takes you all over. I've had clients in Renton, Shoreline, West Seattle, Sammamish, and more.

What do you specialize in? What's your favorite kind of home to sell?

My favorite thing to do is help my clients get their home ready to sell. I try to take as much off my client’s plate as they will allow me to—anything from managing contractors and handymen to touching up paint or actually mowing their lawn myself.

Typically, people have a huge checklist of things to get done and it can be overwhelming for them to tackle it all. I love bringing my team on board to help get their home in shape. If you do the right things at the right price, it can bring in a lot of extra money in for my clients.

How has your reality fame influenced your career? Did you get into any specialties you might not have otherwise? Have you learned anything from being on Bachelor franchises that you've applied to your real estate work?

Being on the Bachelor has definitely played a role in my career in real estate—mostly because it has opened the door to meeting people that I wouldn't have otherwise. People come up to me often just to say hello, the conversation turns to what I'm doing now, and the next thing you know I'm listing their house.

I wouldn't say I've gotten into any specialties, but being on the Bachelor has allowed me the opportunity to meet quite a few influencers in the community and some with the most impressive homes that I have ever seen.

Take, for example, [my] penthouse listing in Bellevue. I was lucky enough to meet and become friends with the owner through a charity golf tournament. I was only invited to that golf tournament because I was the Bachelor, and look what came from it.

The owner not only owns the best property that I have ever seen, but he is also one of the most thoughtful and generous people that I know.

The most important lesson that I learned from being on the show is to stay true to yourself. There were a couple of times during filming when I did not do this. ... It really taught me that leading with my gut and staying true to myself is always best for me, my family, and my world. This is something I take with me as I build relationships with clients, co-workers, lenders, contractors, etc.

Has your fame ever caused trouble in your career?

Yes—I was helping a client search for a home for about 6 months. We had great rapport, but he went silent on me for a few days. He finally reached out to tell me he put in an offer with another broker because he said I was too “famous.”

It completely shocked me because I don't see myself as famous and I certainly don't carry myself that way. I try to remain as normal as I possibly can. I am no different than anyone else, and I love what I do for a living.

From time to time, I do notice that some people get a bit shy or intimidated when we meet, but I always assure them that there is no reason to feel that way, I am no different than anyone else—except, of course, that I met my wife on TV.

Are there any weird MLS regulations about appearing in reality TV?

Eek—I better check on that!

A couple of years ago, you and Molly were building a five-bedroom home in Kirkland. How's that going? Is the work finished?

We completed the build and moved in about a year and a half ago. We love it, although—Molly’s words, not mine—“we learned so much about what we want and don’t want and I am already ready to build another home.”

Pretty sure she doesn't have realistic expectations, but as the saying goes: “happy wife, happy life.”

On The Bachelor, you pretended to live on a houseboat for your hometown visit. Where was that? Is that houseboat still floating somewhere?

[Laughs] Pretended? I actually did live there—for 24 hours.

In all seriousness, that was a blast. The whole reason behind the houseboat was that the showrunners wanted my season to remind viewers of the movie Sleepless in Seattle. The producers were actually trying to negotiate with the film studio to weave in scenes from the movie throughout our show, but negotiations never worked out. In the end it was just me, the houseboat, and a bunch of red roses!

The houseboat is on Lake Union and is still floating. A little fun fact: I had the producers move my son's actual bedroom into the houseboat, including his bed, pictures, furniture, etc., so that he felt like he was at home.

Where were you actually living at the time?

In my first home, which was a small rambler in Kirkland, and it looked nothing like a fancy houseboat.

Actually, the producers mainly wanted me in the houseboat because my actual home is Kirkland was not very "bachelor-like."

You've been on a lot of different Bachelor franchises. Was there a point where people started recognizing you on the job?

I would say that 50 percent of the time people walk up to me and say, “I loved your season of The Bachelor” or “How is Molly?” The other 50 percent of the time, people ask me, “how do I know you?” or “did we used to work together?”

Just the other day, I met someone at an open house and he was convinced that we went to business school at [University of Washington] together.

Do people recognize you after they start working with you?

I do have a few clients that are Bachelor fans and we all get a kick out of it. It makes for a great conversation. People are always curious about how the show is made, what it is like to be on the show, if we are forced to keep certain girls around, etc. Relationships are so important in real estate, and I love that people feel like they already know me.

I have also had a few clients that realized my Bachelor past after we began working together and it always ends up being a pretty funny conversation. I believe one of the responses was “no effin way.”

I never bring it up myself, but it is fun to see their reaction when someone mentions it.

Do you get clients because of your Bachelor fame?

All in all, the Bachelor has been great for me, and it benefits my clients as well. Because of the show, I have a large following, which allows me to bring greater exposure to my client’s home, which ultimately helps them sell faster and for a higher price.

My team and I do everything we possibly can to market a home. Our goal is for you to sell your house quickly, but also to get as much money as you can. If that means I've got to post a tweet about it to spread the word, then I am all over it.