Not all acronyms are created equal.

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart SA541769000

I fear that I am becoming a blog snob.

We all enjoy reading a good article, story or blog post. It can be fun and often educational.

But it bothers me when I read something that is full of mistakes. It is even worse when an article is written in language that is full of terminology that is hard to understand.

Recently, I was reading an article in a popular real estate publication. The title was one that caught my eye. I hoped that it was going to be a chance to learn something new.

I am sure the author meant well, but it was a very difficult article to read. I had to read it 3 or 4 times before I finally understood what the writer was saying.

It really upset me. To be fair, this was a national publication. It was going to be read by millions. One of the worst parts was that the author used several acronyms that they didn’t define. The author just assumed the reader knew what they were writing about.

As is often the case, acronyms can be used to abbreviate many different topics. I wasn’t sure if the author was talking about my Best Friend Forever or my Burnt French Fries. I had to search the internet to find what the acronyms meant before I could fully understand the article. Fortunately, I knew a little about the subject matter, so I was able to determine what the writer was discussing.

Perfection escapes us all from time to time. We try our best. My advice? Write your story as if the reader doesn’t already know the punch line. Otherwise, your article may be DOA.



Joe Domino is a Realtor® serving the Phoenix metro area. For more information or to contact Joe visit:


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Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

I hear ya, Joseph!  I hate it when I have to look up an acronym to put it in context with the article. If they're going to use the acronym, they could at least use the entire set of words once with the acronym in parentheses, then go on using the acronym throughout the rest of the article.

Dec 06, 2019 10:17 AM #1
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I must agree, Joseph!  My pet peeve is posts that use abreviated terms I need to Google to get the meaning of.

Dec 06, 2019 01:48 PM #2
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

CONGRATULATIONS Joseph, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Dec 06, 2019 01:49 PM #3
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Joseph- I agree as well. When I'm reading something, I really don't like having to look up what ABC means. 

Dec 06, 2019 06:28 PM #4
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Excellent reminder Joe. You are so correct. It's ridiculous to assume a reader "gets it."   I've seen a few of these articles too. D

Dec 07, 2019 06:55 AM #5
Anna Banana Kruchten Broker/Owner, CRB, CRS
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ

Hi Joe agreed - write in a way the general public can understand and read easily.  I was taught years ago to write to a grade school levely.....and keep it simple and not to technical, especially market reports.

Dec 07, 2019 09:53 AM #6
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

                                 what i learned

                                  Thank you, Joseph. 

Dec 07, 2019 06:29 PM #7
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Joseph - you can add another vote to your tally as I agree with you.  While reading can lead me on a discovery tour.  It's one I hope isn't due to trying to "find" definitions, understand acronyms or learn trade lingo in order to make sense of the original material.  

Dec 08, 2019 05:59 AM #8
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Joe. Language matters but unfortunately some use it to impress without regard for purpose. Oh well.......

Dec 08, 2019 07:56 AM #9
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Well I give you a lot of credit because I wouldn't have read it all the way through, nevermind several times. I don't have the patience.

Dec 08, 2019 08:05 AM #10
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

When I first started writing, the advice was always . . . write to a third grade level so everyone can understand. But now a third grade level is filled with idk's and brb and omg and isk . . . so I think the advice is no longer valid. LOL

Dec 08, 2019 08:49 AM #11
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I agree with you 100%. When I write bios for agents I send a questionnaire. Sometimes they tell me about themselves with acronyms and don't tell me what they mean. It's frustrating when you find a dozen or more possibilities. When they're telling me about past occupations, I have no clue which might apply.

Dec 08, 2019 10:45 PM #12
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great post! I can see why Kathy chose to highlight it this week!

Dec 09, 2019 07:05 AM #13
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Sometimes, these authors just assume we'll know and that's unfair to the rest of us.

Dec 09, 2019 04:55 PM #14
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I was taught that the first time an acronym is used in any publication/post/etc, it should be defined. I think it's even better if they aren't used at all.


Dec 10, 2019 05:59 AM #15
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Joseph:

Using acronyms can be risky, even if you believe the audience will be familiar enough with the topic to be able to understand. At a minimum tell us what it is when you first use it...or perhaps avoid it altogether.


Dec 11, 2019 08:53 PM #16
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