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The 6 Building Blocks: The Only Things Every Real Estate Agent Needs to Do

Sep 18, 2023

by Steve Shull, Founder & Head Coach


If you’ve been reading this blog or listening to my coaching for any length of time, you’ve heard me mention the 6 Building Blocks.

Maybe you’ve been around for long enough that those 6 things are already burned into your brain…

But maybe not.

Maybe you have no idea what I’m talking about.

Maybe you’ve heard of the 6 Building Blocks but are fuzzy on the details. 

Maybe you’ve learned about them before but could use a refresher.

Here’s the big idea: To build a sustainable, scalable, stress-free real estate business, there are only 6 things you need to do.

This might sound insane. You always have a million things to do! But it's true, and you’ll hear me say it over and over. After 30+ years of coaching agents, I won't say I’ve seen it all, but I will say I’ve seen more than most, and I’ve learned there are only 6 things that move the needle in this business.

Here’s a quick overview of these 6 core building blocks. 

🧠 1) The Mindset of Harmony

If I asked you how you feel when you’re working, “harmony” is probably the last word that would come to mind. Sure, agents sometimes have fun with their jobs, but mostly they come to me stressed, anxious, frustrated, and exhausted. This is true across the board—newbies and veterans, struggling agents and top performers. 

The very first step to solving this dilemma is a major shift in mindset. I’m not talking about thinking, meditating, or manifesting your way into feeling better. I mean taking a hard look at the false ideas that put you into battle mode with the world every day.

Once you understand the truth of how the world works—and how this business works—you can take on a radically new perspective that makes everything easier. This is the crucial mental shift that makes it possible to stop chasing deals, focus on what works, and enjoy every day no matter what. Plus, it’s absolutely essential to your success with the other 5 building blocks. 

⏳ 2) Time Blocking 

Who is in charge of your time? You might think you are—after all, being able to set your own hours and have a flexible schedule is probably one of the reasons you became a real estate agent. But what happens when a prospect calls and wants to meet right now? What about when a client texts you asking for your input ASAP?

In reality, most agents spend their days being pulled all over the place by other people’s demands. The busy-ness feels productive, and the “urgent” stuff always gets done, but what about the important stuff that’s not setting off fire alarms? You know, stuff like nurturing relationships, evaluating business performance, and improving your processes?

Time is your most precious asset, and if you don’t take control of it, someone else will. Time blocking is a simple technique that puts you back in the driver’s seat and enables you to get all the important stuff done—without working 80 hours a week. 

🤝 3) CRM 

The most successful real estate businesses all have something in common: a high repeat and referral rate. Without that, you’re doomed to endlessly chase new clients, trying to convince total strangers to trust you with the biggest financial transaction of their lives. That’s expensive and time-consuming—the complete opposite of a sustainable, scalable, stress-free business.

Your repeat and referral rate hinges on one thing: your client relationships. You build trust and rapport as you work together on a transaction, and…then what? For most agents, the answer is nothing. They fail to stay in touch, and the relationship fades away, along with any prospect of repeat or referral business from that client.

Your CRM changes that story. If you use it right (and most agents don’t), it helps you nurture those relationships by staying in touch with past clients on a regular basis. Instead of disappearing, you continue to build trust and stay top of mind with your clients, so you’re the one they call and recommend for every real estate need. In that way, it’s your most powerful business-building tool.

⚙️ 4) Process Management

If you’re like most agents, you’ve got a to-do list a mile long—and most of it isn’t actually written down anywhere. You’ve probably been at this for long enough that you just know what to do, how to do it, and when it needs to be done, right?

But even you sometimes miss a step and drop the ball. And as you grow and add more people to your team, you find that sadly, they can’t read your mind. Every time something doesn’t get done right or on time, and every time someone else’s expectations aren’t aligned with yours, you pay the price not only in stress but also in your clients’ trust—which ultimately undermines your repeat and referral rate.

That’s why you need explicit, documented processes. Getting it all out of your head and on paper (or in an online project management system) helps you get the right things done, stay aligned with your team, and improve your efficiency and effectiveness over time. That not only minimizes your stress but also creates an excellent experience for your clients, which is essential for growing your business.

👂 5) Tactical Empathy

Do you ever get tired of trying to convince people to do things? It seems like you’re always having to persuade people to hire you, to follow your advice, to close the deal. It’s exhausting, and it feels slimy.

If you hate that feeling, you’re going to love this building block. Tactical empathy is the art of influencing others by articulating what they’re thinking and feeling, without necessarily agreeing, disagreeing, or sympathizing. It’s not about taking their side or feeling what they’re feeling. It’s about making them feel understood.

This is the skill that makes you a trusted advisor instead of a salesperson. It’s an entirely different way of approaching any conversation, not just with your clients but with anyone. It will take the stress out of hard conversations, smooth the entire transaction process, and show clients that you put their interests first.

📊 6) Numbers Tracking

How much profit have you made so far this year? How much did you make on your last deal? Most agents don’t know and never will. They’re not numbers people—they only keep books because they have to pay taxes, and they only look at them at the end of the year to see how it all shook out.

That’s unfortunate because without your numbers, you can’t possibly hope to make the right decisions for your business. How much should you spend on marketing? Can you afford to hire that assistant? Should you take this listing? Answering questions like these based on intuition is a really good way to undermine your growth. 

You need data. It tells you what’s really happening in your business, not what you wish or fear is happening. That not only keeps you emotionally grounded but also helps make sound decisions about your strategy, your team, and your money.

There you go—the only 6 things you need to build a sustainable, scalable, stress-free real estate business. 

These are the things you must practice every single day, aiming to get a little better each time. Everything at Performance Coaching—the books, the courses, the coaching programs, the events—is aimed at helping you learn and execute these 6 things. Anything else is just a distraction.

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