Real estate buzzwords (Photo courtesy of Peter Howe Michigan via

Real estate is a fast-moving, ever-changing industry.

Hot properties burn bright and then fade from view. Forgotten neighbourhoods are suddenly the height of chic. And the height of chic rarely, if ever, remains on top.

It’s tough to keep up, let alone communicate in such a dynamic market. But you always need to stay on top of the buzz.

READ: How 2018 Toronto Real Estate Is Eerily Similar To What It Was in 1890

So, with the help of Google Ngrams, which charts the frequency with which words are used in books going back to 1800, and Google Trends, which does the same for internet searches going back to 2004, Bisnow has helped the cause by identifying the top new buzzwords in real estate today.

Commit these to heart, as they will prove very useful in conversation (at least for the next couple of weeks).

1. Placemaking

When developers think big these days, they think locally. Placemaking is an incorporative approach to community building that uses and fosters the skills and character of the local community to help redefine neighbourhoods.

READ: This Toronto Condo Developer Plans To Sell Units For $2,500 Per Square Foot

Committed to a general sense of neighbourhood wellness, the placemaking approach most often involves the planning and continued operation of these public spaces.

2. Densification

Densification is a term to describe how many people reside in a given area.

For years, there’s been a trend toward higher densification in urban areas, both commercially and residentially.

READ: Toronto Is Running Out Of Commercial Real Estate And Has Record High Rent

And with building cost concerns and real estate availability at a premium, densification issues are likely to proliferate.

3. Agile Workplace

An agile workplace is a professional environment that puts greater autonomy and flexibility in the hands of the worker.

In an agile workplace, the executive team does not dictate where or in what manner work is to be done, but rather, focuses exclusively on the outcomes. According to Bisnow, searches for the term ‘agile workplace’ have dropped by more than half over the past decade.

4. Innovation Hub

While innovation hubs began as incubators for tech start-ups, they’ve evolved into loosely defined collectives where all types of entrepreneurs can network and form partnerships, while sharing workspace and facilities.

Bisnow’s study suggests that searches for the term are growing in frequency with each passing year.

5. Experiential Retail

Experiential retail is a broad term for businesses using its store space to offer 'experiences' to customers.

In this way, retailers attempt to counter online competition by offering customers not just merchandise for purchase, but an experience that helps to foster a longer term relationship.

READ: Downtown Toronto Spot May Be Most Expensive Retail Space Ever Leased In Canada

Based on an uptick in searches over the last few years, Bisnow concludes that experiential retail is continuing to grow in popularity.

6. Curated

The term ‘curated’ can mean a number of things specific to the real estate industry.

Developers and retail brokers closely curate the right type of retailers for their sites. It is also common for developers to play a role in curating the type of entertainment and activity that occupy the public spaces in their master-planned communities.

Real estate agents and prospective buyers are also curating the content available online, helping to facilitate the search for a new home.

7. Live Work Play

At its foundation, a live work play community is one that provides residents with housing, proximity to local employment and access to food and entertainment.

READ: This Is One Of Toronto’s Largest Condo Developments Ever — And It’s A Game Changer

The term is definitely growing in popularity, with Bisnow citing the US and Canada as the countries most interested in exploring the idea online.

8. Smart City

Bisnow notes that the term ‘smart city’ is most popular in Singapore. And that’s no surprise, given the city’s advancements in urban planning and technology.

READ: Sidewalk Labs Reveals Latest Plans For ‘City Of The Future’ In Toronto

By definition, a smart city is one that uses technology to improve city services like energy, utilities and waste removal.

9. Prop Tech

The term prop tech describes the concerted and collective effort by various technologies to modernize antiquated elements of the real estate industry. Bisnow used Google Trends to mark a spike in usage of the term since May of 2016.

10. Location Location Location ...

It’s not surprising that the term ‘location’ makes Bisnow’s list.

‘Location’ has been a real estate buzzword for nearly one hundred years, and the wisdom of the old adage ‘location, location, location’ transcends any trend in the market.

Location has never mattered more to the real estate industry, and searches on the term have climbed steadily since the dawn of the digital age.