Gail and JoAnna's Real Estate Thoughts


Please sit down, relax and make yourself UN-comfortable!

comfy chair




I'm talking about comfort zones.  You need to step out of them.

My business took off once I realized that I needed to make myself uncomfortable to become a better realtor.



afraid to call


A few examples:

  • Cold Calling - This was a tough one for me.  I would stutter in my brain before I even picked up the phone!  Cold calling made me sooooooooo uncomfortable.  I felt conspicuous, as if I had an audience.  I felt like I was performing at Lincoln Center, in my underwear!  After the hundreth or so phone call I relaxed.  I got someone on the phone who actually gave a hoot what I had to say.  That changed things for me.  Suddenly, I was very comfortable, so much so I forgot to let the prospect get a word in!


ask for the biz


  • Asking For the Business - I remember trying to get up the nerve to ask for an appointment.  I'd preface most of my statements with "if you want" or "at your convenience" or "anytime you're ready".  I will never forget the first time I asked someone if they wanted to get together on Monday at 4 o'clock or Tuesday at 2 and they said "Monday is good"  I couldn't believe how easy it was.... if you just ask!



house for SALE

  • Asking For the Price Reduction - I'm well trained.  I'm truly a neighborhood specialist.  I know my inventory.  I follow the market.  I study trends.  I call each and every agent who shows my listing for feedback.  I know exactly what the buyers think about my listing.  Why oh why would I be uncomfortable delivering the news to my seller?  Because let's face it, it is uncomfortable telling someone that there is no one willing to put up the bucks for their castle home, their pride and joy.  But make an intelligent argument, keep your professionalism, get the price reduction and get the home sold and I get the confirmation for what I knew all along... Damn, I'm good!


Even in "real life," if you don't find yourself feeling uncomfortable every now and then, it is my guess you aren't challenging yourself.  You're toeing the line.  "Aim for the sky and you'll reach the ceiling. Aim for the ceiling and you'll stay on the floor."


"Be willing to be uncomfortable. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. It may get tough, but it's a small price to pay for living a dream." -Peter McWilliams





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JoAnna Siminerio, Weichert Realtors

JoAnna Siminerio
Weichert Realtors - Marlboro / Manalapan
732-598-6823 cell
732-536-4400 x116 (office)

Let's Connect!

Comment balloon 71 commentsGail Szeluga & JoAnna Siminerio • December 09 2008 08:51PM


I totally agree with you Joanna

Posted by Stephen D White, E-Pro, ABR Cape Cod Real Estate (SDW Realty of Cape Cod) over 10 years ago

Hi JoAnna, Very well said. Thanks!

Posted by Mary Douglas, REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado (United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado) over 10 years ago

Good advice JoAnna, if you're comfortable chances are you're not making progress.

Posted by Brian Brumpton, Boise Idaho Real Estate (Keller Williams Boise) over 10 years ago

Thanks for the reminder that this business is not naturally easy for anyone.  I was at a training yesterday and the speaker said if you opened us all up you'd see we're all alike on the inside.  We've all been scared, but we've had to learn how to overcome those fears to get what we want.

Thanks for the post!

Posted by Shawna Ebersole over 10 years ago

Thank you for the post. Your comfort zone is very important it will make you or break you

Posted by SacramentoCommercialLoans Bank Turn downs welcomed, Quick closings 916-847-7212 (Sacramento commercial loans) over 10 years ago

JoAnna, comfort holds back many. Fear and uncertainty are great motivators if one accepts them and pushes past them.

Posted by Eric McGowan over 10 years ago

Good advice! I don't mind breaking out of my comfort zone....I just have to slap myself around a little bit and tell myself to snap out of it, then I'm fine! It only hurts just a little bit and the benefit is huge!

Posted by Cecily Parks (iMove Group, Knipe Realty NW, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Stepping out of your comfort zone is the only way a person can change their habits.  Once they've pushed the envelope a little things used to feel awkward or scary don't seem so bad anymore.  I remember my first listing presentation, I thought I was going to be sick or pass out!  Now it feels totally normal!  We don't cold call or door knock.  We might pick up a little more business if we did but thats something we're just not interested in doing right now.  Calling expired listings was scary at first - not any more!  Many things we encounter during this life can be scary or make us uncomfortable, but sometimes those are times that we really feel alive!


Go Weichert!

Posted by Brian & Marie Spray, Frisco TX Realtors ( - Action Realty Group) over 10 years ago

Thanks everyone for your responses! 

I attended a motivational seminar last week.  The speaker talked about different things we should be doing to face the challenges in today's market. 

I found myself getting uncomfortable, a little daunted by the tasks.

As I sat there I started thinking about writing this post.  I jotted on my pad... "MAKE YOURSELF UNCOMFORTABLE"  I started listing all the uncomfortable things I've had to do in the past which have helped me to succeed.

Just going through that thought process relaxed me and helped me to embrace what the speaker was telling me.  I remembered that I'd been uncomfortable in the past and thankfully, the discomfort doesn't last!  I found myself excited by the challenges he was putting forth!

Posted by Gail Szeluga & JoAnna Siminerio, Fostering Community Spirit Through Real Estate (Weichert Realtors - Manalapan - Marlboro) over 10 years ago

JoAnna: You are so right... being comfortable in business AND in life... with oneself.

Posted by Kat DeLong, Realtor DRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate ( (LakeView Realty Enterprises, Inc) over 10 years ago

I thnk you are absolutely right about getting uncomfortable. I think it is only through uncomfortable zone that one becomes better, by cold calling making mistakes, stutter, embarass yourself even, so you rehearse over and over until you get over it!  Thanks for this great post again.

Posted by Eileen Hsu, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) over 10 years ago

I'm most comfortable when I'm not in my comfort zone. My friends consider me weird, but if it's not something unusual or different, I get bored. Could be why I like home inspections -- different homes, different Clients, different Realtors, different problems. Right up my alley.

Posted by Not a real person over 10 years ago

Russel - I think that is true for me as well.  The problem I face is the apprehension!  Once in the discomfort of the situation, I generally rise to the challenge.  And doesn't that adrenaline feel good!!! 

That's probably the secret and YOU figured it out.  Embrace the discomfort.  Get excited by it.

Posted by Gail Szeluga & JoAnna Siminerio, Fostering Community Spirit Through Real Estate (Weichert Realtors - Manalapan - Marlboro) over 10 years ago

I've been doing personal growth work for years and I know what you mean about getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.  I have actually gotten used to change.  And I have really actually discovered that I'm OK with feeling out of control and with being emotional from time to time.  In fact, I've given myself permission to be human [gasp!] and make mistakes.  All of which helps a lot as I pursue growth and learning.  It's a tough road to start down, but it's more downhill the further you go.

Posted by Kelle Sparta, Real Estate Trainer and Coach (Sparta Success Systems) over 10 years ago

JoAnna: Nicely said and very true. We all must make ourselves somewhat uncomfortable to get our business going.

Posted by Dona Reynolds, St. Joseph MO (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Stein Summers) over 10 years ago

Be comfortable being uncomfortable.  Certainly a state to strive for, and one that will help us make those moves that are holding us back.

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) over 10 years ago

That was a great list and also a reminder for all of us that there is always room for improvement! thanks!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 10 years ago my former life I was a public school teacher; for some reason, change always came to me and I learned to embrace it. It made my former career dynamic and fulfilling and I fully expect this will happen in my Real Estate career as well. There is a poem on Change that begins.....'if you do things the way you always did, you'll get the results you always got!' Thank you for sharing your thoughts.......

Posted by Melva over 10 years ago

JoAnna - sounds like that was quite a seminar! Thanks for the reminder.  Fear holds up back from so much if we let it!

Posted by Tiffany White, Franklin TN Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty - Franklin TN) over 10 years ago

Hi Joanna, It's very common to have 'call reluctance'. We must stretch to grow. Thanks for being a shining example to many!

Posted by Marian Gregor-Ann, Arbor area Real Estate (Keller Williams) over 10 years ago

part of growing is getting out of your comfort zone, and that applies in all aspects of life.  That is something I try to teach my kids.  Very well said, and I know you will be a big success.  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Anonymous over 10 years ago

JoAnna I too had to come out of my comfort zone the last few months. I've benefitted so much I could kick myself for being so stupid the last 8 years!! (And you - 3 featured posts .. come on now ... :-P  )

Posted by Stephen Kappre, Helping You Home (KW Hometown) over 10 years ago

Joanna, great posts!!! GROWTH sometimes means being uncomfortable.  Thanks for sharing....

Posted by Anonymous over 10 years ago

Hi Joanna,

Very good post so true in today's market what better time to put in practice

Posted by John Douglas (Berkshire Hathaway HomServices Partners Realty) over 10 years ago

Excellent Joanna! The best Realtors have no fear of delivering the tough honest accurate information. The same can be said about a listing appointment and not giving the seller an over inflated price to cement getting the listing.

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) over 10 years ago

JoAnna, I like you. Good job!!! I'm working on getting myself feeling uncomfortable:) Thanks for giving me some boost.

Posted by Olena Osipov over 10 years ago

Hi JoAnna,

Excellent post. Very, VERY inspiring and I hope many of us will follow this one through. I'm certainly looking forward getting out of my comfort zone and making it a pleasant new year.  Wishing everyone good luck. This is an excellent way to boost up the ole' business.


Posted by Daisy Henriquez over 10 years ago

Wow!  Congrats on the gold star!  I hate to ask for price reductions, and I really hate to beg for listing extensions!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Thank you Patricia!  I have been asking for price reductions and listing extensions.  I get through it by knowing my feelings are genuine.  I know what it will take to get the home sold... aggression!  Thankfully most of my clients believe that I have their best interests in mind when I ask for the price reduction.  It is the few that are skeptical of realtors in general that I have the most discomfort.

Posted by Gail Szeluga & JoAnna Siminerio, Fostering Community Spirit Through Real Estate (Weichert Realtors - Manalapan - Marlboro) over 10 years ago

Steve - Better late than never!!  The rest of your life begins today!!  As for my good fortune here at AR, I'm a newbie I have more material than I know what to do with.  I'm also probably the worst kind of newbie... a motivated newbie!!  hee hee!

Marian - I like the way you said "we must stretch to grow"  stretching sounds so doable!


Posted by Gail Szeluga & JoAnna Siminerio, Fostering Community Spirit Through Real Estate (Weichert Realtors - Manalapan - Marlboro) over 10 years ago

JoAnna - I like your comment to Patricia.  I would use the word "confidence" to piggyback on genuine. When someone has confidence it is a true game changer.

Posted by Stephen Kappre, Helping You Home (KW Hometown) over 10 years ago

I agree being uncomfortable means new connections every time.

Posted by Nancy Locklar (Realty Executives Complete) over 10 years ago

JoAnna -

I like your approach, and it will serve you well.

Over the years, I have trained with Floyd Wickman, and much of what you say is what he trains.  Indeed, you need to get out of the box - to prospect, to Trial Close, to Ask for the Business.

It is amazing how fearful many Realtors are in doing these simple, critical things.  Perhaps they feel it is demeaning, or they ASSUME what they do will naturally result in a pre-ordained positive outcome.

Here's to an awesome 2009!


Posted by Dean Moss, Dean's Team Chicago IL Real Estate Team (Dean's Team - Keller Williams Realty Partners Chicago IL) over 10 years ago

Dean - The motivational speaker I mentioned above was none other than Ed Escobar, who as you probably know, started Sweathogs with Floyd Wickman!

Kudos to you for making the connection.  I'd say I got my money's worth!!

Posted by Gail Szeluga & JoAnna Siminerio, Fostering Community Spirit Through Real Estate (Weichert Realtors - Manalapan - Marlboro) over 10 years ago

Gotta do what it takes even if it seems uncomfortable. Good post.

Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) over 10 years ago

Great points here.. we all need to get into the un-confort zone from time to time

Posted by Roland Woodworth, Q Realty - Power In Real Estate (Q Realty) over 10 years ago

This is so true, and very well said! It is one of my biggest hurdles, but I am way better than You never know how many people will say "that will work" if you just ask!

Posted by Jason Fleming (Jason Fleming Agency INC) over 10 years ago

I hate asking for price reductions so much that it is one of my motivations for really working at pricing the property right to begin with!  I did have to make that ugly call today...interestingly enough, as soon as I backed off and just told my client to think about a reduction and get back to me, she said okay...let's drop it $10,000.  You just never know!

Posted by Paula Swayne, Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga (Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715) over 10 years ago

Great post!  I'm actually struggling with the 'asking for business' un-comfort zone, so this was perfect timing!  I need to get over myself!  :-)

Posted by Kerry Lucasse, Your Nest Atlanta Real Estate Consultant (eXp Realty - Nest Atlanta Team) over 10 years ago

JoAnna, I agree that our greatest success comes when we are most uncomfortable.  And for us gal, it's difficult to talk about money, and to ask for money, isn't it!

Regina P. Brown
Allison James Estates & Homes

Posted by Regina P. Brown, M.B.A., Broker, Instructor (MBA Broker Consultants) over 10 years ago

Well, JoAnna, you just described me to a "T".  If I am uncomfortable doing something I will procrastinate until the cows come home!!!  Good lesson...if we keep doing the same old business activities, we will get the same old have to "step out" in order to "step up"!

Posted by Real Estate Virtual Assistant & Agent, Proud to Serve Your Real Estate Needs (Christine Wade) over 10 years ago

Way to push yourself out into the unknown!!!

Posted by JB Brookman, High School Senior Portrait Photographer (JB Brookman Photography) over 10 years ago

JoAnna - Great post and featured by the AR Gods themselves, you don't mind do you?

                               This ones for you JoAnna, great job!  Featured at: EXPRESS WITH WORDS AT ACTIVERAIN

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz, Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale (Realty ONE Group) over 10 years ago

Good morning JoAnna, You are right about stepping out of our comfort zones...

~~~~ MerrChristma~~~~

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 10 years ago

JoAnna- A great post like this deserves to be featured; it's hard to get people to admit it, but normally when they stretch & step out of their comfort zone...they learn something new.

I appreciate you!

Posted by Bobby Wallace, Sell Your Vacant Land The Hassle Free Way! (Vacant Land Solutions) over 10 years ago

Survival today requires reinventing yourself.  Change is uncomfortable.

Posted by Gayle Balaban, E. TN Waterfront Real Estate (The Best Spot Realty/Waterfront Real Estate/Ooltewah Real E) over 10 years ago

Great post and congrats on the Gold Star! I, too, used to cringe when I had to ask a new client if they had been approved with a lender before I would show them its just another sentence in my repertoire.

Posted by Lisa Schlitz, Realtor - Wellington, Florida Homes 561-214-3216 (Home Run Real Estate, Inc.) over 10 years ago

You said it!  Many of us have been there.  Confidence, self-assurance, and knowledge along with hard work will build success.

Posted by Bruce & Mary Smith, REALTORS, Savannah Lakes Village McCormick SC (Savannah Lakes Homes) over 10 years ago

Excellent post!   "Action cancels fear" is one mantra we all should practice.


Posted by Rob Kelly, Louisville Colorado Realtor (RE/MAX Alliance) over 10 years ago

We have all been there. Well done and I like the photos.

Posted by Blatt + Cutino, Broker-Associate 831/206-8070*Call today* (Keller Williams Coastal Estates) over 10 years ago

Heck of a Post JoAnna!  I think I'll file this one away for later use. 

From the Sunny South (or today rainy), have a great day.


Posted by Randy Parker (Real Living Advantage) over 10 years ago

If I detach from the outcome and focus on the process, it becomes so much eaiser to do all of this.

Posted by Janice Roosevelt, OICP ABR, ePRO,Ecobroker ( Keller Williams Brandywine Valley ) over 10 years ago

Another great blog by JoAnna Siminerio!!! Watch're approaching AR God status. : ). I always love your clip art as well.


Posted by Tony Orefice, Realtor/Harrisburg NC,Concord NC (Wilkinson ERA/ over 10 years ago

Your right! I need to be more uncomfortable. Thank you for the post......

Posted by Mark Watterson, Utah Real Estate over 10 years ago

JoAnna, You have a fantastic way with words. Great post!!! And you are so right.

Posted by Gail Szeluga, Manalapan, Marlboro & Monmouth County (Weichert Realtors-Marlboro, Manalapan) over 10 years ago

JoAnna, excellent post !  You are so right... I used to have a coach when I was a stockbroker who said "He who is in a comfort zone is dead" meaning that that person would never be able to reach the next level... a new paradigm.  In order to improve and succeed, one must step out of the comfort zone and be proactive to make things happen !

Posted by The Somers Team, Real People. Real Dreams. Real Estate. (The Somers Team at RE/MAX Access) over 10 years ago

JoAnna, sometimes change is a little uncomfortable, so if we're always comfortable....

Great post!

Posted by Heather Goodwin, GoodWin Team Realty (Licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission) over 10 years ago



I never really thought cold calling, the Lincoln Center and underwear went together-nice connections!



Posted by Obeoman Glade Jones ( over 10 years ago

Thank you for all the positive feedback!


Christine - Procrastinating when you don't want to do something... that is on my list to write about.  It is so satisfying (and rewarding!) when we tackle something we dread!

Bobby - You're the second person to refer to it as "stretching" out of the comfort zone... we don't have to leap out... a gentle stretch.  I like it.

Lisa - Me too about asking if a prospect is qualified.  I've FINALLY realized the serious ones appreciate my interest.  99% of the time they grasp at the second opinion I offer them!

Rob - "Action cancels fear"  Great way to put it

Janice - "detach from the outcome and focus on the process" I can see how that would help!  Baby steps

Christopher - "He who is in a comfort zone is dead" That says it all!



Posted by Gail Szeluga & JoAnna Siminerio, Fostering Community Spirit Through Real Estate (Weichert Realtors - Manalapan - Marlboro) over 10 years ago


Nice post.  It is very easy to slip into the comfort zone and then scratch your head as to why the phone calls and activity has slowed down.  Blogging is certainly outside my comfort zone, but here I am, and hopefully it will get easier.  Happy holidays.


Posted by Judy Jennings, Broker - The Lanterns at Warren Woods - Ashland MA (The Green Company) over 10 years ago

I am doing it today again. Stepping out of the comfort zone. I think with the new challanges we face we need to do this quite abit ! Thanks for the insight.

Posted by Lillian Nolloth (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) over 10 years ago

I recommend this approach for all other Maryland and Northern Virginia agents

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 10 years ago

That is so true...i have joined active rain even though i dreaded the idea of bloging...the asking for more business was also a step i made still working on it...I hope more people get expired by your feature post...congrats and have a merry christmas!

Posted by Tim Ludemann over 10 years ago

getting out of our comfort zones , asking for referalls, doing more open houses, getting back to the basics and trying new things, are what todays market requires

Posted by James Wexler ( over 10 years ago

JoAnna-  thanks for the great information....I need to get a little un-comfortable in this new coming year!

Posted by Tina Allen (Exit Realty Tri-County) over 10 years ago

Hi JoAnna,

Great post, I particularly like:  Be willing to be uncomfortable. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. It may get tough, but it's a small price to pay for living a dream." -Peter McWilliams

Success is not easy, never has been, never will be - but that doesn't mean you don't try to achieve. :)

Posted by Mark MacKenzie over 10 years ago

JoAnna, going into those Un Zones breaks up logjams. Great advice.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 10 years ago

JoAnna, I tend to be an introvert so I need to heed your advice.  Excellent post... it has 68 comments!

Posted by Shirley Parks, Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate (Sands Realty 210-414-0966) over 10 years ago

WOW!!! JoAnna, this is a phenomenal post. You have such a wonderful way of motivating others, and that is a tremendous skill.

I look forward to reading more!!!!

Posted by Cherimie Crane (Cherimie Crane & Associates) over 10 years ago

Ed Escobar, Master Salesperson, has one or two dates available in 2009 to present his one day "LET'S MAKE MONEY WITH ED ESCOBAR" workshop in YOUR office. Have your manager contact Chris Finley at (610) 608-3843 or e-mail her at for more information. In addition, SWEATHOGS - THE NEXT GENERATION will be presented in Monmouth County, NJ, Edison, NJ and Bayside, NY starting in January/February 2009. Call Chris for more details.

Posted by Chris Finley over 10 years ago

It is so easy to stay in our comfort zones and just move through life, but we don't really change or move forward until we step out of it and become uncomfortable.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 10 years ago