What’s In a Word? Using Effective Selling Communications.


When Charlie Clark and I designed a training program for nationwide new home site agents several years ago, we devoted an entire segment to the power of words selected for use in sales presentations. There was and continues to be significant differences in the reception of specific words by consumers listening to a new home site agent or receptionist.

A popular example of widespread usage by real estate agents of all kinds is the word “unit” with reference to an apartment, condominium or detached dwelling. It has Orwellian undertones suggesting a box of bland appearance without appealing features. And yet it continues as the most popular word in our industry for describing our target offering. We have much more appealing words available like home, residence, and dwelling. The popular English term for a rental or ownership dwelling is “flat” which also carries no charm for American consumers.

Those of us in the home selling business are crippled by other unfortunate words of common usage that share unglamorous images. A few examples are listed below for your consideration:

Unfortunate  Better Other Words Touch of Class
Project Community Entry  Foyer
Buyer Purchaser Master Bedroom Owner Suite
Contract Agreement Breakfast Room Morning Room
Deposit Investment Large Bathtub Designer Tub
Payment Initial Investment Large Closet Walk-in Closet
Monthly Payment Monthly Investment Outdoor BBQ Summer Kitchen
Execute Approve Parking Lot Motor Court
Condo Residence Screen Porch Lanai
Deal Opportunity
Lot Homesite
Townhouse Residence

The above list is not all-inclusive and is also dependent upon the type of dwelling that is being shown.  But it does exemplify alternate terms that might add more appeal to a site agent’s presentation and indicate higher value for the dwelling being described than common terms.

The communication dialogue begins with the first word spoken in person or by phone. Clearly, the word “Hello” does not convey much warmth. Repeating your name is only somewhat better. All staff at Parker Associates have always answered the phone by “It’s a beautiful day at Parker Associates, this is his/her name. May I help you?” Too long, some say. But, over many years, clients around the globe complimented us on this greeting. They always felt welcome when they called our office. Many adopted it for their own greeting. Perhaps your staff could select a unique greeting for your phone which would be remembered as a friendly hallmark for consumers.

Dr. David Forster Parker
Parker Associates


NOTE:  This will be my father’s last post.  Unfortunately, he passed away following a stroke on July 13th, 2017.  The blog posts will continue on a monthly basis by David WB Parker and/or J. Chris Parker.  Thanks for your continued reading as we keep you informed on the latest Real Estate related news and information.

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