top of page
  • Writer's pictureAlice Devine

A Real Estate Broker is a Broker is a Broker...Not!

Updated: Oct 21, 2019

Loyola Marymount University, UC Berkeley, Claremont McKenna College

Real estate professionals speak a strange language of acronym, word and phrase. Confusing words — identical words — with a variety of meanings depending on context. And lurking below the language lies nuance...subtleties that tell more about the market, the players, the transactions.

Last week, I participated on a panel discussion as U.C. Berkeley's Real Estate Alumni Association in conjunction with the Berkeley Real Estate Club and Women of Berkeley Real Estate Club. Like an earlier roundtable discussion at Loyola Marymount University, the conversation reminded me that terminology can get in the way. For example, consider the dizzying array of names given a broker. Brokers who represent a landlord can also be known as "inside" or "in-house" or "listing" brokers, and these terms are sometimes used interchangeably. On the other hand, brokers who represent a tenant can be referred to as "outside" or "tenant rep" or "cooperating" brokers. It's enough to make your head swim, and that's before finals week.

Students preparing for a career in real estate can increase their fluency by learning common terms. NAIOP publishes a good resource, linked here. Although the guide was published in 2017, it's comprehensive and accurate. And hey, reading the definitions doesn't require an all-nighter before the exam, either.


shutterstock (UCB photo)


bottom of page