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From RESO CEO Sam DeBord

The Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) creates open standards that drive efficiency and innovation in real estate technology. In recent months, RESO engaged in significant discussions throughout the real estate industry regarding terms used in our technology systems like “master bedroom” and “master bathroom.” 

Concerns about potentially derogatory connotations have caused some groups to push to change the “master” terms. While use of this terminology by real estate professionals has been reviewed and cleared of discriminatory violations by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, consumer and professional concerns have remained, prompting some marketplaces to use alternatives. 

As RESO engaged with brokers, technology companies and multiple listing services throughout the country, it became clear that leading organizations are seeking a consensus alternative term. As noted in our prior outreach, the term “master” has different meanings to different people and marketplaces. It makes sense for the industry to coalesce around a new term to clearly define what it represents and ensure ongoing productive communication between professionals and their communities.

RESO recommends that the term “primary” be used in the place of “master” in technology display names where organizations are seeking an alternative label. Making this change is neither an immediate mandate nor will it negate an organization’s current certification.

RESO standards allow for flexibility in display names to support local, legal and language-based variations that best serve each marketplace’s consumers. Consistency in the underlying data fields is what RESO certification will continue to require to ensure its Data Dictionary is the universal language for real estate data.

Technology companies can transition toward this new terminology where needed by using it in display names for professional and consumer-facing applications, reports and media. For other efforts related to improving consumer real estate experiences and fair housing opportunities, please see the National Association of REALTORS®’ resources.

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