A video posted by two Toronto realtors is being called out for “mocking” people in Canada who are struggling to afford a home.
The now-deleted video was posted on October 4 and shows Paige and Peter Torkan of the real estate group Team Torkan donning sunglasses and lipsyncing to a song titled “Be Honest” by hip-hop artist Kid Ink.
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The caption on the screen reads, “When buyers start hunting houses without a sufficient dp [down payment].”
The pair lipsyncs to the lyrics: “Let’s just be honest, let’s just be real, you ain’t got no cash, you ain’t got no dollar.”
“Having a clear understanding of one’s financial situation, including down payment and pre-approval for a mortgage, is crucial before embarking on the home-buying process,” Paige wrote Paige in the video’s caption with a crying-laughing emoji.
“A good real estate agent can indeed help buyers by guiding them through the pre-qualification process, ensuring that they focus on properties within their budget, and saving everyone’s time and effort in the long run. It’s a valuable step to make the home-buying journey smoother and more efficient.”
The video received comments criticizing the post for being “trashy” and “ignorant,” as many Canadians are currently struggling with housing costs after two years of mortgage interest rate hikes from the Bank of Canada.
A Consumer Price Index report published yesterday by Statistics Canada shows that mortgage interest costs went up by a staggering 29.8% year-over-year, with rents increasing by 7.4%.
Ratehub.ca also recently estimated that the minimum household income required to secure a mortgage for the average home in many Canadian cities has jumped significantly.
In Vancouver, for example, it stands at $246,900. Per Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation data, the average family income in Vancouver is $96,423, and the median is $73,000.
In Toronto, where the video creators are based, you need to make $230,450 per year to afford a mortgage on the average home.
“You’re just another example of a tone-deaf and ignorant realtor who thinks they have a right to belittle and make fun of the average Canadian who can’t afford housing right now. I hope every single one of your clients sees how much of an ignorant person you are,” wrote one commenter on the Instagram video.
“This isn’t a good look,” wrote another.
“How extremely trashy, 90% of Ontario’s population can’t afford a house, and you mock them for it,” another person commented.
Realtors face backlash on Reddit
A link to the video was also posted to Reddit’s r/canadahousing page on December 19, where the Torkans faced more backlash.
“Are these people tone-deaf? Does the real estate industry have no standards? (Rhetorical question, lol),” wrote the individual who originally posted the video on Reddit.
“It’s pretty desperate to resort to shaming any potential clients,” wrote one commenter.
“Realtors continue to be literally the worst human beings in existence,” quipped another.
One person in the comments had a different view, suggesting that the Torkans’ message may have been misunderstood.
“I think the point trying to be made is that a lot of people are trying to jump into the market when they shouldn’t, and if you commit to a mortgage you can’t get funded, things go bad real quick. Seen it in this subreddit a few times recently,” they wrote.
According to the Team Torkan website, Peter is the founder and managing partner of Agency Toronto, and his wife, Paige, is a broker of record.
“Peter Torkan is a highly respected, award-winning agent who has achieved more than $1.6 billion in sales and is known for his bold negotiation skills, unshakable determination and tireless commitment to excellence,” states the website.
Paige’s bio describes her as “not just a force in the luxury real estate market but also a burgeoning television personality, soon to be featured in the highly anticipated Amazon Original Series, Luxe Listings Toronto.”
According to a May 15 press release, the series will showcase Toronto’s “high-stakes multi-million dollar listings” and the top Canadian realtors who list those properties, including Peter and Paige Torkan.
“These industry titans are among the best in the world, self-made experts in their field who will stop at nothing to deliver results for their demanding clients,” states the press release.
Team Torkan has not responded to Daily Hive’s request for comment, but the video was deleted from Instagram shortly after we reached out.