Here’s a common word usage error that can throw a huge stop sign in the middle of your real estate marketing message: the use of “perspective” when you mean “prospective.”
Just to clarify…
Perspective is a noun with a Latin root meaning “look through” or “perceive,” and all the meanings of perspective have something to do with looking.
If you observe the world from a child’s perspective, you see through the child’s eyes.
In drawing, perspective gives your drawing the appearance of depth or distance.
If we say someone “has perspective,” we mean she has a reasonable point of view or a sensible outlook on life.
Prospective is an adjective. It indicates that something is expected or likely to happen. If you’re contemplating your future, you might speak of your prospective trip around the world, your prospective wealth and fame, or (to be more down-to-earth) a prospective soak in the hot tub after a long day.
And of course you might speak of your prospective buyers, sellers, and closings – which will lead to that wealth and fame and those trips around the world.
Since these definitions are not remotely alike, it’s no wonder that a prospective listing client would stop and wonder if you wrote about your plan for attracting perspective buyers. And yet, I see this one all the time in blog posts and even on web pages.
If you’ve read many of my word usage and grammar blogs, you know I love tricks and clues to help remember correct usage. This one is easy.
You prospect to find new clients. You don’t perspect.
Those future clients are called prospects. They aren’t called perspects.
They’re prospective buyers and sellers. Why would you call them perspective buyers and sellers?