The Black Lives Matter debate has reached the property industry with some agents dropping the term ‘Master bedroom’ from descriptions.
The Times over the weekend reported London agent Peter Wetherell as having already dropped the use of the ‘master’ term, and saying: “These changes are being driven by political correctness and dramatic transformations in the buyer demographic across prime central London.
“The typical buyers are now aged from their early twenties to their mid-forties and from all over the world.
“This young demographic tends to be very broad-minded and find any form of racism or sexism deeply offensive.”
David Westgate of the 50-branch Andrews chain - which has also dropped the term, was reported as saying the Black Lives Matter movement had made the company more aware of its behaviour and wanted to “make sure people are treated with respect”.
This debate has been active for some time in the United States.
In Texas the Houston Association of Realtors - the city’s equivalent of a local branch of NAEA Propertymark - says it will no longer allow the terms “master bedroom” or “master bathroom” to be used in descriptions on the multi-listings service that it operates for consumers.
HAR has substituted the terms ‘primary bedroom’ and ‘primary bath’ and says this brings property descriptions into line with US house builders who apparently stopped using the word ‘master’ some years ago.
In recent weeks - since the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis in the US - social media platform Twitter has agreed to drop the terms ‘master’, ‘slave’ and ‘blacklist’ from its software programming codes in favour of more inclusive language, and the global bank JP Morgan has announced a similar move.
The Court of Master Sommeliers says it will also cease using the term ‘master sommelier’ because of its racist implications. Mars, owner of the Uncle Ben’s rice brand, is also considering changing the name and imagery on the product.