Avoid Alienating Clients by Abstaining from Jargon

“Oh you’ll love this house. It shows very well.”

I’ll ignore the fact that the Realtor who said this to me hadn’t even listened to the lot number I asked her about and instead focused on a property over two miles from it. The real problem I have with this statement is this: the terminology should never be used on real estate buyers. The only people who should ever hear the term “shows” are other realtors, and maybe the seller of a property.

It’s not intended for someone interested in buying a house. When you tell me that a house “shows well”, I assume that it’s been glossed up to make it look more appealing than it really is. You’re not adding anything to the conversation, instead you’re assuming that I understand the term (I do, but only because I’ve sold a house before and several of my clients are Realtors) and you’re not helping my impression of you as a salesperson. This is how I would expect to be treated if I was another Realtor, but not a potential buyer.

Instead, the Realtor in question should have said something like, “Oh, you’ll love this house, the view of the lake is spectacular and the natural light and hardwood floors are beautiful”. This helps to paint a picture of the property and may encourage me to book a viewing of the house.

Too often, we get wrapped up in the colloquialisms of our own industry and think that by letting clients or customers in on our geek-speak that we’re educating or adding value to the conversation. We’re not. Those of us involved with internet design, development and social media are especially guilty of this, and it’s just too easy to assume that our clients are as well versed in the latest meme as we are.

Next time you’re asked a question by a potential client, colleague or person at a networking function, take the time to ensure that your answer helps to demystify a subject rather than adding to their confusion. You can bet that there’s a far better chance they’ll remember you in a positive light if you provide an informative, well-thought out answer, rather than firing the latest jargon at them.

Previously posted on brightwhite.ca

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