General Question

Jeruba's avatar

In a real estate context, what is "like-minded" code language for?

Asked by Jeruba (51514points) 1 week ago

A realtor who wants to interest me in a secure residential community in a pretty nice (though not Porsches and posh private-putting-greens) area of town assures me that I would be among “like-minded” people. He said this four or five times.

This sounds like code language. What is he signaling to me? Ethnicity, race, politics, religion, socioeconomic status, social orientation, what? He doesn’t know me well at all and would have to be guessing what my mind is “like.” My guess is that he’s got it wrong, but like any code language it’s slippery and can be hard to grip unless you’re initiated. I’m not initiated.

What does your experience say?

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23 Answers

chyna's avatar

Since he doesn’t know you, I’m assuming he knows how much you are willing to spend so I would think he’s referring to your socioeconomic status, or what he perceives it to be based on your income.

rebbel's avatar

If I had my assertiveness hat on I would ask them, the moment I realized they can’t know what my mind is like; “Please, inform me, what is going on in my mind, and how does that relate to the people that reside here? ”

canidmajor's avatar

Older (60–75 years old), educated white lady, financially secure, equals probably somewhat conservative, little bit frightened of Others.
Unless it’s Northern California, which translates as Old Liberal Hippie Chick who votes progressively and has backyard weeds of the Interesting Variety.

JLeslie's avatar

Years ago I worked as a realtor in residential real estate. I have bought and sold several houses in several states, and I am currently looking in two states. I have never heard a realtor use that term. Realtors agree to a code of conduct and very specifically are not allowed to steer clients based on race, religion, and other protected groups. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

If he doesn’t know you, I agree he could be guessing very wrong. Plus, he could be breaking ethics rules.

Have you told him anything about wanting a community with arts programs and some of the activities you are interested in? Then he should be telling you the offerings in the community and that it agrees with what you are looking for, not about the people. For instance we cannot say a lot of Orthodox Jewish people live in a community, but we can show houses within walking distance of the Temple.

I have no idea exactly what he means. He needs to be more specific. I would come out and ask what he means by like-minded and let him ramble off what he means.

janbb's avatar

In the South, I would assume that to mean white people but in California, it’s really not clear to me. Does he mean Republicans (but you’re not in Orange County), Democrats? I don’t know.

I suspect that @canidmajor and @chyna have the right notion. @JLeslie ‘s comments are on point too.

It’s worth shopping around for a realtor you’d like working with.

Jaxk's avatar

You’re reading too much into this. He’s a SALESMAN. If he gets you to buy he makes money. You’ve probably told hime several things about what you want, price, size, schools, etc. Plus he has likely gleened a few things such as cub appeal and stuff like that. Likeminded merely means; ‘You’ll like it here’ and it doesn’t matter if he’s right or wrong about that if he makes the sale.

Zaku's avatar

What sort of person do you think you come across as?

My guess it is code for political and/or cultural differences. Sounds to me like he may be off-base, being inappropriate without, and/or thinks he has you pegged and has some prejudices and assumptions that he thinks you’d understand and relate to. Apparently he’s wrong about much or all of that.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I’ll agree with @chyna, since you said he doesn’t know much about you personally.

Honestly, I would ask him (with an amused smile), what that means, because it sounds rather elitist to me.

And @Jaxk is right, he’s trying to make a sale and with so much divisiveness, I’d rather be sure on such a permanent purchase.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I’m astonished that you didn’t ask him what he meant. In fact I very much wish you would call him back. That question was (and still is) your invitation to put HIM to the test. Considering his occupation, that was a bold statement, implying skills he should be prepared to demonstrate, and you shouldn’t ignore the gauntlet hurled with impudence at your feet. Don’t ask us. Like minded? Make him prove it. What does HE know of your mind?

Jeruba's avatar

Well, I did say that I thought it was a little bit presumptuous of him to suggest like-mindedness when he doesn’t know much about my mind. He said, “Because you’re not like other people, right?” and I said “Because I haven’t discussed my interests with you.” It was only after that that I told him something about how I like to spend my time.

I would still be willing to visit the property, and I would certainly keep my eyes open. Is everybody the same color? Are there too many chapel events in the program and too much forced fun? Do I see too many red baseball caps? or golf clubs? Is there piped-in easy-listening music all over the place? I am never, ever, I swear, going to play Bingo at 6:00 on Friday nights.

Like job interviews, I think I have to do some of these things for practice.

stanleybmanly's avatar

You go girl! Get out there and show them old folks some style!

janbb's avatar

@Jeruba It makes sense to visit a number of potential places. You can tour and eat lunch in the dining room, perhaps attend an activity or two. I went round a few with my Mom when they were looking to move.

One building in Florida that Graham and I looked at had a notice in the elevator about a meeting of the hot water boiler committee. We decided that place was not for us!

JLeslie's avatar

Forced fun sounds like no fun at all. I’m not a “joiner” I always say. I do a bunch of activities here, but if I don’t show up for three months and then do on the fourth, it’s just fine. That’s how I like it. I like to come and go at my convenience. Being over-scheduled feels like being ten years old to me.

I agree with @janbb to spend some time visiting, get the events schedule, and talk to residents there. Sometimes the activities calendar is published online.

Jeruba's avatar

@JLeslie,

> Forced fun sounds like no fun at all.

Exactly.

Even if it’s fun, it isn’t fun.

flutherother's avatar

It’s part of a sales pitch and just a vague reassurance that your will feel at home there. I don’t think it is very meaningful. I would visit some prospective communities to get a feel for the neighbourhood, speak with some of the residents and decide for yourself if you would feel comfortable there.

Jaxk's avatar

What is wrong with you people? It’s just way of trying to make you feel comfortable. It’s not a political statement nor a racial one. No need to be perpetually offended. If he takes you to the city dump and says likeminded people like this, then you can be offended.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t think some jellies understand how much the realtor association drills into realtors to not reference or imply something about the type of people who live somewhere. It is not just about being a salesman, this is an ethnical code that basically gets you kicked out of the association and can cause you to lose your license. It is like saying it is not a big deal for a lawyer to break confidentiality or a doctor to go against HIPAA. I realize people perceive a breech by a lawyer or doctor to be much more serious, but it is the same type of ethical code. It is truly an odd and risky for a realtor to use “like-minded.” I guess he could explain it away if he had to, but it is not a good choice of words. See article 10 of the code of ethics.. The state code of ethics might even go further than the national code of ethics.

Realtors have rules regarding confidentiality and disclosure, and depending on what type of relationship you have with your realtor (single agent, transaction agent, the names vary in each state) their loyalty might be to the transaction rather than you as the client. They are supposed to supply you with a disclosure. There is a lot of legal stuff realtors are supposed to be abiding by in terms of how they conduct themselves. The industry is extremely aware of the discriminatory practices of the past.

Supposedly, in Florida, the realtor association will send out fake shoppers to investigate an accusation of a realtor steering clients. I don’t know if it is true or just to scare realtors.

JLoon's avatar

All of the above.

Definitely.

And while it’s not as blatant as old time red-lining and restrictive covenants excluding Blacks, Jews, Latinos, or Asians – It cuts right to the edge of Fair Housing Act law on marketing discrimination.

But I’m in the real estate biz, and we get nudged in this direction more and more by snowflakes on both sides of the political divide who want to surround themselves with clones who won’t challenge their “safe places”.

rebbel's avatar

@Jaxk It is called curiosity.

Jeruba's avatar

@Jaxk, who are you talking about being offended? Me? Is that what my question sounded like to you?

Since the realtor knew next to nothing about my mindset, I thought the term might be a kind of code word that I was supposed to recognize, something like what @canidmajor suggested. But offended? I’m pretty sure that’s just coming from you.

Smashley's avatar

I’ll go first with the assumption that he was trying to sell you a house. Big leap, I know, but we’ll start there.

“Like-minded” seems like a nudge to you, that you “belong” in this neighborhood. The same way a car salesman complements how you look behind a wheel, or how this car feels right for you. My bet is that the salesman is trying to get you to see yourself as “belonging” to a somewhat elevated class, by buying into a gated community. Yes, it is about socio-economics, but he’s actually trying to flatter you into convincing yourself you can afford the place.

Zaku's avatar

Yeah, he might not even have any idea what would be “like” your mind, but just said that to encourage a sale.

Like the old presumptuous ad jingle that just screamed (to everyone): ’‘NEW NISSAN SENTRA! YOU NEED THIS CAR!’’

dabbler's avatar

It is so totally ambiguous… could imply you’ll join the knitting club or the theatre group.
I’d consider asking the realtor to describe some of the neighbors. That could be interesting.

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