Beginning in October, the label “master bedroom” will be replaced with “primary bedroom” on REALTOR.ca.
The decision was made to eliminate terminology that may have a perceivable connection to slavery. It comes following feedback the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) received from its members, boards, and associations across the country and also follows a recommendation made on July 20 by the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO), of which CREA is an active participant.
“Concerns about potentially derogatory connotations have caused some groups to push to change the ‘master’ terms,” says the recommendation, authored by RESO CEO Sam DeBord. “While use of this terminology by real estate professionals has been reviewed and cleared of discriminatory violations… consumer and professional concerns have remained, prompting some marketplaces to use alternatives.”
This change is being made to REALTOR.ca following significant discussions CREA has been a part of regarding terms like these used in technology systems.
There is no definitive historical proof showing the term “master”, when used in real estate to describe rooms of a home, is associated with slavery; however, the term’s relationship to slavery and its male centricity has caused concern.
“We congratulate and stand behind the recommendation made by RESO. Words have power and the definitions of words change over time. We feel this adjustment in language is appropriate when describing the primary bedroom of a home,” said Patrick Pichette, Vice-President, REALTOR.ca.
CREA is not prescribing any changes to board or association MLS® Systems. No change will be made in French, as the term “chambre principale” will continue to be used.