I'm looking for suggestions on how to name a few database tables. I need to use terms that will be well understood by real estate agents and (less importantly) software developers.

  1. How would you call a place inside a building and/or mall that can house stores, shops or offices. So far, I have thought about using "Commercial unit" .

  2. What would be a generic term for houses or apartments. I have thought about using "Housing unit".

  3. Finaly, what would be a generic term for a location that holds multiple commercial and/or housing units (buildings, malls, condos, &c.). I have thought about using "Properties cluster".

I know I'm already providing terms for the things I want to describe, but I'm wondering if there are other terms that are more common or better suited somehow.

Also, if this should be asked separately please do tell me so I can split the question into independent ones.

2 Answers 2


In the US, terms that are common are "undeveloped land," "commercial space," which can contain any number of commercial entities, "industrial space," "office building," and "residential property," which can be a house, an apartment, a condominium, or a co-operative. Common terms among bankers to distinguish among different types of residential property are "single family," "duplex," "triplex," and apartment building.

"Commercial space" may be further categorized into "store front," "strip center," "mall, "out parcel," or "shopping center."

To get what you want, you may need to talk to some real estate agents, real estate brokers, and bankers and may need to associate multiple names with a single data base as well as an indexed guide to the data bases.

  • If I understand correctly, un/developed land refers to whether a lot has services like water, electricity, &c. or not. I was planning to group all "units" together and all "clusters" together, and indicate the type (house, apartment, &c.) separately. It seems I should also indicate the "land use" separately (commercial, residential, &c.) and let the realtors use their preferred terms.
    – Samuel
    Commented Dec 4, 2020 at 0:21
  • I believe that undeveloped or raw land has few if any useful investment in its intended purpose. That is, land that is unimproved for commercial purposes may be improved for agricultural purposes Commented Dec 4, 2020 at 0:44

If you can find someone in the intended audience, their input would probably be the best source of nomenclature. I think the most general term is "rental unit". The term "space" is also used. In general use, "space" is a mass noun, but it may have more of a countable sense in real estate.

For multiple units, "complex", "campus", "property", and "location" are options.

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