Networking like a boss certainly isn’t easy, but just like any other skill, you can get better at it with lots of practice. Here are a few tried-and-true tips that’ll help you up your relationship-building abilities.

In the real estate industry, networking is one of the cornerstones of our business. It’s the way we make new connections, nurture relationships and propel our business forward.

One of the most important elements to becoming a master networker is being a connector and offering help whenever possible while showcasing your value to others.

Networking effectively can take practice, but once you’ve mastered the skill, growing your sphere of influence becomes a seamless experience. Here are a few tried-and-true tips for learning to network like a boss.

1. Be an active listener

It may seem simple, but one of the most important elements to being an effective networker is to be an active listener. Take the time to listen to what the other person is saying, and ask questions when appropriate.

Make the conversation about the other person, instead of yourself. You’ll be amazed at how much information you’ll glean from the other person who will, in turn, feel heard and validated.

2. Be sincere

It sounds cliche, but being yourself is the best way to build meaningful connections. Sincerity is refreshing and will ensure you come across as authentic while also showcasing appreciation for the person you’re speaking with.

Others relate more freely to the imperfect, so don’t worry about sharing past mistakes. According to Dale Carnegie, there are several areas you can recognize and show appreciation for when speaking to new groups of people, including their achievements, personal traits and possessions.

3. Be approachable

Body language can speak volumes when networking. Be mindful of your posture and what signals you’re sending when speaking with others. For instance, crossing your arms can give the impression that you are closed off.

According to Entrepreneur.com, four key factors to keep in mind when networking include eye contact, arm movement, your stance and facial expressions. Always remember to smile, have a positive attitude and make eye contact, ensuring you’re presenting yourself in the best possible light.

4. Do your homework

When entering a networking event or setting, always make sure that you’ve done your research. Offer relevant information and anecdotes to contribute to the conversation. Being prepared will ensure you have plenty of material to break the ice when meeting new people.

5. Follow up

If you had a fantastic conversation with a potential prospect at an event, be sure to close the gap and follow up with them afterward. Take cues from your conversation and always look for ways to surprise and delight, going above and beyond when possible.

For instance, if they mentioned they love red wine during your conversation, have a bottle of your favorite variety delivered to them with a personalized note. These distinct and personal touches will leave a lasting impression.

To conclude, networking like a boss can take practice, but once achieved, can be an incredibly useful tool for your business. From remaining relevant to being an active listener and following up after the conversation with a personalized approach, all of these strategies will ensure you leave a lasting impression while building meaningful connections with those around you.

Rainy Hake Austin is the president of The Agency in Los Angeles, California. Connect with her on Instagram

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