Houston Real Estate Association no longer uses ‘master’ to describe rooms in property listings

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – The Houston Association of Realtors, commonly known as HAR, has made changes to its room descriptions in its online property database, replacing the term “master” with “primary “

The master bedroom and master bath will now say master bedroom and master bath.

“Some of these changes are simply exercises in good faith to demonstrate awareness of historical irregularities or inequities,” said the associate professor of business at the University of Houston, downtown Dietrich von Biedenfeld.

“Particularly in the south, we have had a master slave culture. So, on a plantation, you would have a master of that domain who would then exercise control and dominance over enslaved or hired servants, and historically, to say that the master lives in one place determined, then it creates a kind of tone that excludes minorities. “

The change comes after weeks of protests for racial equality and years of discussion about changing terminology.

“The MLS Advisory Group periodically reviews the terms and fields used in the MLS to ensure they are consistent with the current market environment. Updates to the master bedroom and master bathroom are among the nine requests for review that members presented and considered at the most recent meetings, including an option to show if the property has an electric vehicle charging station and which way it faces the balcony for high-rise listings, “HARS wrote in a statement about the changes.

Ladonna Park, who is a member of HAR and president of the Houston Black Real Estate Association, says the change is long overdue.

“I think it is more a sign of the times,” he said. “It is a sign that we are in the midst of change. What structural things can we do to make a difference?”

In a statement on the change from ‘teacher’ to primary, ‘HAR wrote: “The topic has also been raised and considered for many years, so there was a new suggestion to revise the terminology. Many builders stopped using the term. “master bedroom” years ago. The general message was that some members were concerned about how other agents and consumers could perceive the terms. The consensus was that primary describes the rooms in the same way as the teacher, avoiding possible misperceptions ” .

HAR also noted that real estate agents will not be fined for using the word ‘master’ in their own marketing, and that the change only applies to the labels displayed in their online property listing database.

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