Mary-Jean Gianquinto has been a Brooklynite since 1988. With a deep understanding of the Brooklyn market and a genuine passion for the place she calls home, she’s the type of person you want in your corner if you’re looking to buy in the area.
“Anything you want, you can find it in Brooklyn. It’s diverse. Neighborhoods blocks away from each other have completely different vibes. It’s vibrant. It’s ever-changing. It’s always been an exciting market,” she told us. “Brooklyn is a brand. It’s the best place on earth!”
Besides her insider perspective, it’s Mary-Jean’s extraordinary ability to connect with people that makes her an above-and-beyond agent. As a licensed social worker and former adoption consultant, Mary-Jean is no stranger to helping people navigate major life decisions and serving as the calm presence amid angst and uncertainty. She uses these skills when it comes to working with people who are purchasing homes.
You can’t lose sight of what a huge purchase this is, Mary-Jean told us. It’s important to respect that and work to build your buyer’s trust.
“This is one of the biggest decisions people make in their lives. People are putting their lives in your hands. I take it very seriously,” she said.
There can also be a lot of uncertainty involved in the home buying process. It’s normal for people to experience some trepidation and second guessing. Mary-Jean says it’s her job to remain steady for her clients. “The more anxious someone becomes, the more steady I become,” she told us.
When she meets a new referral, Mary-Jean says her goal is simply to get to know them as well as she can. She approaches the first conversation with open ears and an open mind, and avoids passing judgments or making assumptions.
“Everyone has a story. Never assume that you know their story. It’s important to listen to where they’re coming from and what their goals are. I want to know about them. And I can always find some common ground in our conversation.”
Once she has a good sense of a client’s specific needs, Mary-Jean tailors her outreach accordingly. She puts thought into what she sends out to each individual, never blasting them with listings. She only shares properties she truly believes they’ll be interested in and appreciate.
Mary-Jean empowers her clients to make decisions based on what’s right for them, and never pressures them into anything. This holds true even if she thinks a property a client is looking at is perfect for them.
“In the end, it has to be perfect for them because they think it’s perfect for them,” she said. “I will absolutely never talk people into something. It’s just not my style.”
While she doesn’t believe in being pushy, she’s not opposed to making gentle suggestions.
This was the case with a recent Opcity referral closing. Mary-Jean was introduced to a couple interested in purchasing a home in Park Slope, a very established and upscale neighborhood in Brooklyn. One Sunday, she took them around to some open houses. They toured a few apartments, each one tiny with about 20 other buyers crammed inside, and Mary-Jean could tell this wasn’t the ideal fit for her new clients.
“I’m looking at this couple. They were young, they were cool, they had dogs,” she said. “I said, ‘You guys, go to Bedford–Stuyvesant. The weather is beautiful, you’ve got nothing to lose. Go out to brunch, go walk around, just check the neighborhood out.’”
Most agents might cringe at the thought of sending their clients off on their own, especially in the uber-competitive New York market, but Mary-Jean’s gamble paid off. The couple called her later that night and expressed how in love they were with the neighborhood she’d suggested. Their next visit to Bedford–Stuyvesant with Mary-Jean led them to their dream home.
“If they were insistent on Park Slope, that would have been fine and I wouldn’t push it,” she told us. “But I wanted them to have the opportunity to open up their world.”
Mary-Jean puts effort into cultivating relationships with her referrals over time—even those who may not be buyer-ready. She stays top-of-mind with a monthly newsletter, where she features an adoptable dog from a local shelter and highlights off-the-beaten-track happenings in Brooklyn. She also keeps in touch via phone, snail mail, and an active social media presence.
“I treat every referral as if they’re going to be my buyer, as if this is a lifelong situation. Maybe they don’t end up buying, but they tell their brother or their neighbor about an agent that made a good impression on them,” said Mary-Jean. “Regardless of how present my buyer is, I’m always present to them. The onus is on me.”
Mary-Jean has been a trusted advisor to many seeking to purchase homes in and around the New York City area. A Brooklynite since 1988, Mary-Jean loves being part of the energy, community and diversity which Brooklyn offers. Mary-Jean has the extraordinary ability of connecting people to others, and the natural ability of understanding individual needs. Contact Mary-Jean at Halstead Property.