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Broker under fire for ‘giving back to the community’

by Justin da Rosa | Mortgage Broker News | May 14, 2015

A mortgage broker – along with a Realtor, a lawyer, a home inspector, an appraiser, and a financial planner -- have launched, following a Twitter campaign of the same name. And the woman who launched that hashtag isn’t happy.

“She’s a little upset about that but hopefully she’ll see the benefit and maybe work with us,” Shane Ballard of Verico Complete Mortgage Services told “I don’t agree [that it’s self-serving], I believe it serves the people and it serves the cause; it’s very difficult to get into the market and we’ve put together a group of professionals who are actually giving back.”

Frustrated by the sky-high real estate prices in Vancouver, Eveline Xia started a Twitter conversation in April using the hashtag #donthave1 million. People from across the area picked up on the trend and posted their own frustration.

In the wake of this Ballard, along with a few other professionals, launched a website using the same name in the hopes of helping a few Vancouver citizens realize their homeownership dreams.

And Xia isn’t happy about it.

"They're in it for their personal gain," she told the CBC.

Still, Ballard insists their intentions are altruistic. The group is selecting a number of individuals throughout the year and promising a total of $1 million spread out among the winners – in real estate services -- to help them get into the market. The maximum one participant can win is $20,000 in services if they choose to work with Ballard and his team.

“We agree with her message and we’re trying to express our concern and we want to give something back; if we get recognition for it, so be it,” he said. “Responsible business people are the ones who give back. Why can’t we take advantage of an opportunity by giving back?”