It comes in the wake of the death of George Floyd in May which saw a spike in support for the Black Lives Matter movement with protests erupting around the globe. Now when showing properties, estate agents are trying to use language that “does not offend” their clients and potential buyers.
Jeremy Gee, managing director of Beauchamp Estates in Mayfair said he was swapping the term master bedroom or suite for “principal”.
He said: “In a typical week we are selling to a British couple one day, a family from Saudi Arabia, Nigeria or Hong Kong another day and a same-sex couple from Britain, France or America on another day.
“We always try to use neutral and non-offensive marketing terms. Using ‘his’ and ‘her’ bathrooms would be incorrect if we are marketing to a same-sex couple, for instance.”
The practice has been replicated in the USA as the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) will no longer use the term “master” to describe the primary bedroom of a home on their housing listings.
Estate agents have started changing terms for Master Bedrooms.
The term Master has links to slavery.
The company told The Times their property listing service will use “primary bedroom” and “primary bath” noting that some members viewed the word “master” as sexist while others viewed it as racist.
A company spokesman added: “The change of primary bedroom and primary bath were among nine requests members submitted for review.
“The overarching message was that some members were concerned about how the terms might be perceived by some other agents and consumers.
“Based on the discussion that took place, more members viewed the terms as sexist than racist, although some did view them as racist.”
It comes after the death of George Floyd.
They stressed, however, the topic has been “raised and considered for many years” making clear that it was “not a new suggestion to review the terminology.”
HAR concluded by saying that many homebuilders stopped using the term “master bedroom” years ago.
Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves estate agents in London, added that the terms needed to be changed because to avoid offending international buyers.
He added to The Times: “We are used to dealing with sensitivities concerning different races and cultures.
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The property market started up again last month.
“The word master does carry historically racist undertones.
“If it were to cause offence to any buyer, seller or tenant, we wouldn’t have a second thought in amending our advertising material to remove it.
“It is something we are considering doing to prevent such offences occurring.”
It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that people should not be “bullied” into “taking the knee” in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Speaking on LBC, the Prime Minister indicated that he is not prepared to follow the example of Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer – who was photographed in the symbolic act of support – saying he believes in “substance” not “gestures”.