Go to the Internet and search “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon“, just as it is written. You will find over 12,000 web sites devoted exclusively to this subject. Why is there this amazing interest in this topic? Why should you know about it?
Six-degrees is a theory of connections between people who are unknown to each other. You probably know someone who knows President Bush, is an example. Chances are, that person (who personally knows Bush) is less than six people away from you. So the theory goes.
The actor Kevin Bacon was selected as the centerpiece of a college game that is very popular with movie buffs based on the six-degree concept. Because Bacon has made so many movies with different generation actors, he cuts across decades of people in the movie business. He can be linked to the great silent screen actor Charles Chaplin, for instance, by only three people.
Why are we telling you this? Because it has to do with networking. Networking has become a subject of scientific study for all branches of science, not just sociology. The business world is also very interested in this subject because it concerns the ability of a business to link itself to new customers. Since you are in business, you should take a strong interest in the networking concept and how to make it work for you.
Real estate is a people business. The more people you know, the more likely your business will expand. Better yet, the more people who know what you do, the faster your business will likely expand.
Reaching out to people, therefore, should be your primary daily activity – but they must know what you do, and they must remember what you do. You can make it easy for them to remember what you do if they remember what you can do for them.
What can you do for them? 1) sell their property 2) help find them a property 3) give them a referral fee for helping you 4) assist them in buying or selling with or without a charge 5) provide them with an answer to any real estate questions they may have, etc.
The most interesting networking finding has been this: the greatest number of connections is limited to a very few. Some people know many others. Most people know very few others. But one of those others, is that someone who knows many. People who know many others are called “hubs,” just like a computer hub links everyone to everyone else.
The father of networking research is Robert Merton who coined the term “the Matthew effect” after a passage in the New Testament: “For unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance.” In other words, as Merton concluded, “the rich get richer” and the richness increases in turn by what he called “preferential attachment”; that is, people what to know someone who knows people, which is the driving force behind the popularity of the six-degree theory. Find the one among us who is most connected, and perhaps you too will be connected to everyone as well.
So, in conclusion, as a real estate agent, spend your days enlarging your popularity. Work to become a hub unto yourself, then others will come to you because you are popular, and each day will get easier and easier as you become even more popular. But at first, you will have to work at it, and thats the hardest part, making this your daily objective. Unfortunately, most of us cannot bring ourselves to become so public. Consequently, only a few in real estate are known by many. Nevertheless, good luck.
By the way, Kevin Bacon is an actors actor – he works. However, computer gurus have picked the late Rod Steiger as the most connected of all actors.