Regardless of where your focus is in your real estate practice, developing class is of paramount importance if you intend to be a market leader or the first to come to mind in your marketplace.  Being friendly, generous and considerate will reap big benefits in that you will be known as someone with class: decent, gracious, respectable, and noble.   Just being focused on getting what you want will label you as crass: lacking sensitivity, mindless, ignorant, coarse, and tactless.  Here are examples of both class and crass:

When the brother of our client passed away, we took a half a day off to attend the memorial service and the reception thereafter.  Our assistant was instructed to tell our clients who called in where we were and at what time to expect the return call.  Everyone understood and respected our choice. Here is a contrasting example:

One of our friends had a different experience. His mother had passed away and he took the first flight out to be with his family.  His partner was left in charge. When their mutual client called in, the client could not understand why the mother was more important than she was.  The client proceeded to insult and belittle the firm. 

On a recent trip, we met with a luxury residential developer.  He went on a five-minute tirade about agents who called him on Sundays, leaving him 8 messages, when he was in the pool playing with his children.  He labeled them as crass, and as someone he would not ever do business again.

How do we define class in terms of real estate?

It is the agent who sits down with their clients and asks them: “how and when would you like me to communicate with you?  And then, follows through.  

It is the agent who kindly tells their competitor that they have a spelling mistake on their site, or their listing brochure, or a listing photo is out of whack.

It is the agent that returns calls, and shows up on time.  

It is the agent that listens and understands their clients’ woes and stories, and does not repeat them. 

It is the agent that other agents respect and go out of their way to work with them.

Class is not limited to real estate only.  It encompasses life and how you treat everyone around you. Class is being kind to everyone you meet, regardless of their stature in life.  It is also having the courage to drop out of your life and business those who enjoy berating others and acting crass.