Estate Agent Waffle

Just watched Mary Portas: Secret Shopper and I noticed that one of her points was similar to something my lecturer mentioned the other week. It was to do with language and how people use it. For example the waffle the estate agent’s used when describing properties: “it has a prestigious turning”. Er…? Anyway. The point is that often people use words specific to their ‘area of expertise’ as a way of making themselves appear knowledgeable or as a way of judging who they want to talk to.

I remember discussing this point with some of my friends on the way back to the studio. We all agreed that this was a rather risky business – what if you got caught out? In actual fact we were all really apposed to the idea. I am starting to wonder why though, is it an age thing? Have we just had less exposure and experience with trying to impress people? I suppose this is one idea, the only time I’ve ever really had to do this was to get into here, Duncan Of Jordanstone. My two jobs as well, I suppose. The thing is, in all three I had youth on my side – people don’t really expect too much of you in terms of ‘elevated language’ when your a teenager.

I’m not a teenager anymore though am I – I’m twenty – will people soon start to expect longer bigger words from me; more complex and ornate sentences; frilly explanations? Eeek. I hope not, because I don’t really fancy having to ‘elevate’ my language. For one thing: longer words = more text = more ink + more paper —> It’s not “eco-friendly” to be ‘fru fru’

On a more serious note, it’s also not very good for business, as demonstrated by Mary Porta’s and her experiment with the estate agents. If the whole thing proved just one point it was that honesty is indeed the best policy. Once the estate agent’s had clued themselves up on the properties they were able to honestly tell the clients about the properties features. They were able to replace the “prestigious turning” with the imported radiators and natural sunlight let in by the glass brick wall.

This program re-emphasized learning the thing i’ve come to value most about being at Duncan of Jordanstone: research! Do it! Take the time to learn about who you’re working for and what your selling. Otherwise you might miss the little details such as how the glass bricks in the kitchen let in the most beautiful light on a summers day.


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