If you’re having a conversation with someone about a topic you’re not that familiar with and the other person starts throwing out acronyms and abbreviations that you’ve never heard, what is your immediate reaction?

  • If you’re really interested and feeling like you can get a word in edgewise, you will likely interrupt the person and ask for clarification.
  • If you’re tired or not super interested or don’t feel comfortable stopping the conversation, you just let the issue slide and walk away not really getting all the information you could.

The key here is to be very careful when you are talking to buyers or sellers.  And, this includes more than just face-to-face conversations.  When you are blogging, tweeting, writing a mail piece or email newsletter, an online or printed advertisement or any other communication, it’s important — imperative — to be totally clear.

  • Very few people outside of real estate professionals know what all the designation abbreviations mean behind your name on your business card.  Clarify them, and if you don’t have room to explain them, reconsider their value in winning over new home buyers or sellers when they aren’t explained.
  • Acronyms about buying a home such as FHA, VA, HUD, LTV, REO, BPO, etc. should be defined somewhere for those brand new to the home buying world.
  • Often used abbreviations or short hand should also be made clear.  Not all people moving to your area are locals and will automatically know that SHB means Sandy Harbor Beach in an advertisement or property description.  Not everyone — seller or buyer alike — knows what a short sale is; be sure to enumerate what it is for those considering buying one.  Think of other shorthand you use that isn’t clear to a new home seller or buyer.
  • Understand what home buyers and sellers in YOUR area use in terms of terminology to refer to an area, a type of home, a process.  If you can use the terminology that they are familiar and comfortable with, they are more likely to tune in to your marketing and conversations.

You are an expert in real estate.  However, those you are working with and for aren’t.  Don’t make them “pick up the lingo” you are using; educate them as to what everything means and discuss the topic completely — asking if the person has questions as you go along.

Let us know how you keep your communication clear and complete.

Amy Hausman

Editor at Gooder Group
Amy is editor extraordinaire. If she’s not writing, proofing or editing, she’s traveling the world and taking photos around every corner.

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