Gail and JoAnna's Real Estate Thoughts


Who should you list with? Just ask your friendly, neighborhood mailman!

9 Old Queens Blvd - Front


I took a new listing this weekend in my farm in Manalapan New Jersey's Yorktowne Development.  Yorktowne is not just where I farm.  I used to live there.  Check out my recent post about this great home.

I love getting listings in my Farm.  Who doesn't?  They give you the confirmation that your hard work and commitment is paying off!





melting snowmanThe weather was BEAUTIFUL in New Jersey today.  Up near 70° with sunny skies... quite the conflict to be jacketless and warm and stepping over piles of snow!!  (So long snowmen!)

I planted my sign in front of the home (Don't you just love that part?). 

It went in effortlessly thanks to the warm weather softening the ground! 

I stepped back with my client... looked at the sign, looked at her home, looked at the sunny skies, looked around at my old stomping grounds and sighed... LIFE IS GOOD!




Manalapan Mailman

Got in the car and started toward my appointment to show sell a house today!

As I pulled out of the driveway, out of the corner of my eye I saw him, Rob, my old mailman and neighbor.  He was the best mailman ever! (No offense Richie).

I quickly pulled over and teased him, asking him if he had the buyer for my brand-spanking new listing.  Mailmen know EVERYONE and EVERYTHING that goes on in town!  

He laughed and then congratulated me on my success.  I shrugged... "huh?," wondering how Rob knows what I've been up to.

He told me that he figures I must be sooooooooo successful because I am the only agent sending mail anymore!

He then thanked me for keeping him and the United States Postal Service in business!

The point is this... he noticed and commended me for sticking with it.  He encouraged me to keep at it.  He felt if you farmed before when competing with 10 other agents going after the same business, why would anyone stop farming now when they have much less or maybe no real competition at all?

He went on to say that the local perception is that I am successful, committed and have the wherewithal to stay the course, even with the challenges we face in today's complicated real estate market.

I'd say that kind of recognition is worth the 42 cents stamp.  (Wouldn't you?)

This concept goes deeper than direct mail or farming.  It applies to all aspects of our business today.  This is NOT the time to hold back. 

The current market condition presents us with a unique opportunity to take advantage of LESS competition in the marketplace.  This is the time to dig your heels in and plant your seeds diligently so that when the market starts to bloom you'll be in a superior position to excel!

Good luck!


JoAnna Siminerio
Weichert Realtors - Marlboro / Manalapan
732-598-6823 cell
732-536-4400 x152 (office)


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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 27 commentsGail Szeluga & JoAnna Siminerio • March 07 2009 05:45PM


If the mail man is noticing you are doing it right. Congrats to you . Sticking to a plan is what it is all about

Posted by Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros ( about 10 years ago

Hi JoAnna!
I really appreciate this post!  We have been discussing whether we are getting our money's worth out of sending Just Listed and Just Sold postcards!  Your post really nailed it! I will be bringing it to the powers that be!

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

I agree...farming done right does pay off. Good for you Joanna! Congrats on your new listing.

Posted by AMBER NOBLE GARLAND - Top Real Estate Expert, Property Tax Appeal Specialist & Author, - The Agent You Can Trust To Deliver REAL Results! (Strategic Marketing Expert & Relocation Specialist Serving New Jersey and nationwide!) about 10 years ago

I need to move to Jersey and get my license.

We live in 2 different worlds. Most of the agents here have not let up on their marketing at all. As a matter of fact, we have an over-abundant number of agents in every town/city to compete with. Alot of them have been in the field for a very long time and are very experienced. They are also Internet savvy. Around here, the agents affiliated with the "name recognized" agency, get most of the business. It's sad but true.

It's tough here.

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

Great point!  Now is the time to turn up the heat on marketing and advertising, not the opposite.  Congrats on the new listing!

Posted by Becky Brand (Shorewest Realtors) about 10 years ago

Charlie - The mailman always noticed me!  The difference is he was very quick to point out that many of the other "regular mailers" had pulled up stakes and left town.  Meaning that they had stopped "farming."  He felt now was the best time to make an impression and stand out for my audience.

Paula - I've been farming this community for a LONG time and I can't say I've gotten nearly as good feedback from farming as I have from my internet presence.  I was honestly ready to cut back a bit.  But... after talking to Rob today, it gave me pause to consider that now, more than ever, I have the opportunity to stand out.  I think I'll stick with my direct mail, at least until the end of the year!

Amber - You know you ARE my farming idol!

Tony - I know.  But, I think this post should motivate YOU.  If agents are cutting back here, they are probably cutting back there.  That means NOW is the time to invest in your business... YOUR future.

Beccky - EXACTLY!

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

JoAnna, thank you so much for sharing this story! It is nice to hear that the mailings that we send possibly are unique and the receivers are using a realtor who goes to the expense of sending them!

I just recently got a listing in my farm area, which happens to be my neighborhood, and it is probably because I also chat with my neighbors as I walk my dog in this wonderful place to live!

Do I hear, "Spend money to make money?"

Posted by Caren Wallace, Portland Caren Real Estate (Premier Property Group LLC) about 10 years ago

Caren - Yeah for you new listing!

Yesterday was so beautiful and I was in such a good mood that after my showings were done, I headed back to my farm and connected with some old clients and prospects. 

It is so much easier to be aggressive when the weather cooperates!

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

JO,  You know I continue to farm my development. I just wanted to note that my accountant said...nice to see that you still trying. He had so many agents throw in the towel. He was proud of me. I think that we have a great opportunity here to pick up where others have left off. Let's GO!!!

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

Jo, I just took a break from sticking address labels on farming postcards. I signed on AR, and there is your post about the mailman and farming! I will have an extra spring in my step on the way to the post office tomorrow, enjoying the possibility  certainty that this will pay off!

Congrats on the new listing. The southern colonial is a wonderful house.



Posted by Lynn Michaels, Marlboro-Manalapan Real Estate (Weichert, Realtors- Marlboro & Manalapan, NJ) about 10 years ago

JoAnna - Rock on !  Congrats !  I totally agree - this is the BEST time for an agent to do MORE marketing and advertising and in turn, increase market share in the neighborhoods they specialize in.  However, many agents are making the mistake of cutting back too much... not smart !  I am glad to see that you are doing what you are doing.  Well worth the .42 cents on this one !  Not to mention the word of mouth with the great mailman.  Awesome job !  Will flag this for a feature as it is that important I believe !  ~ Chris

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

JoAnna - On a side note, how did you do that picture of the mailman holding your Just Listed cards ?  It is awesome : )

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

Gail - I think it is really meaningful that folks outside of the real estate business can notice the thinning of the competition.  That's motivating.

Thanks Lynn!  I am currently working on perfecting "the art of farming"... I already have a good idea for a visual for that post!

Speaking of visuals, Chris, I'm a bit of a Photoshop afficionado.  Coming up with the idea can take me a little time, but creating the art is not so tough.  Of course my husband being a graphic designer (and my mentor) doesn't hurt!

I doubled my monthly investment on my business for 2009.  I think we'll get more bang for the buck now more than ever before.

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

JoAnna besides the internet the mailings that I do are one of my best forms of getting new business. Most agents cut back at times like these. I will have none of that! Mailings are all about being consistent. You can't expect a new listing every time you do a mailing. It is about getting to the point where the person remembers you because they have seen your face so much:)

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

JoAnna:  Thanks again for a GREAT post.  I love to send out the post cards in my farm.  I also have a newsletter, as you know.  Repeat contact from us keeps us in their mind as a successful Realtor.  Thanks for the mailman tip.

Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, -) about 10 years ago

I've been farming my areas for a few years.  I know the internet is the best place to be proactive in my marketing, so my focus, both financially and physically has been there.  I had been considering lessening my budget on direct mail to my farm, and better yet, been trying to come up with a way to collect email addresses for my farm.

Bumping into Rob and understanding how many agents have stopped farming only renewed my interest in mailing.  I AM going to work a little harder about mailing less postcards and sending information that more personally speaks directly to the homeowners in my farm.

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

I like this never give up attitude! very encouraging.

Posted by Albert Vong (Core Horizon) about 10 years ago

Jo, keep up the good work with the farm. You are definitely committed to working your area.

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

Mail people do have the inside track on what's going on in the neighborhoods. At the developments our mailman know without being told when to put out the flag for the a new mail box. He told me after all these years he has the construction pattern down.

Posted by Denise Gray, Realtor SRES, Wichita Kansas Homes (Realty World Alliance) about 10 years ago


Your posts ALWAYS give me a boost. Sometimes it is too easy to forget the basics that truly "get the job done". Good work with your farming.

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

Jo, lots of good feeling in your post!  Pounding that sign in - yes!  Even better, the good feeling that comes from knowing that sticking with it does pay off!  Great job.

Posted by Alexsandra Stewart, Broker - Portland Oregon Real Estate (Remax equity group) about 10 years ago

Throwing in my two cents from the Direct Mail Marketing end of things, I cannot agree enough that mailing in conjunction with other valuable marketing techniques is an amazing tool...especially in these tough and frightening economic times.  We just did a mailing last week for an agent who hadn't sent out anything in a while.  His budget was low, but his spirits were high because he had just made a sale (first one in a while!)  His Just Sold cards were sent out standard mail, and with the luck and efficiency of the post office started hitting his targeted 300 homes within 2 days.  He called me with much excitement in his voice to say that he had already received 3 calls, and had 2 listing appointments!  300 cards, less than a $200 investment, and 2 listing appointments! 

I've worked in direct mail for over 2 years, and now more than ever I am seeing and hearing the positive results of consistant marketing. 

All the best to everyone...and get your name out there!  Remember, YOU are the expert! Let people know it!

Posted by Dawn Bartlett about 10 years ago

I think the message is "consistency" pays off.  Especially in this type of market.  Showing your commitment to a neighborhood through thick and thin will pay off when the market starts to turn.

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

That's really interesting.  With everyone transitioning to online marketing, I didn't stop to think that there would be a void in hard mail campaigns.  Thanks . . . you've helped me broaden my marketing.

Posted by Christopher Anderson (Avalar San Diego) over 9 years ago

Fyi... Got my first and then second calls after a recent mailing from people in my farm who want to know what their home is worth!

Posted by Gail Szeluga & JoAnna Siminerio, Fostering Community Spirit Through Real Estate (Weichert Realtors - Manalapan - Marlboro) over 9 years ago

The information age is making communication impersonal. I hear what your saying and there is certainly some truth to it. Unfortunately, the ability to mass email and blog will trump the postman, especially with future generations of home buyers. The key is to find a good balance. Remain competitive with your online marketing, but really nail down the personal touch every time you get a chance to speak or meet with a client.

Tim Ryan, #1 Naples FL Buyers Agent and #1 in Naples FL REO Bank Owned Foreclosures

Posted by Tim Ryan (Equity Realty) over 9 years ago

I don't have a farm area yet, but thanks for your advice on it. I will use it in the future.

Posted by David Lee ~ Orange County, Ca ~ Cash Flow Specialist (United Realty) almost 9 years ago