About 36 years ago, Joe Sinnona was an English teacher at Junior High 141 in the Bronx. Then, he was forced to take a leave of absence. He never went back.
Flash forward: Sinnona is marking his 35th year as a realtor in Long Beach.
Sinnona, 54, grew up in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and used to come to Long Beach summers. He had lots of jobs growing up, but vividly remembers one in particular – his first sales job. He would sell other people’s things on the corner of Manhattan Avenue and Milton Street, right by his house.
“I would take junk from people’s attics,” he remembered. “I went door to door and I cleaned out people’s attics and I took their stuff, wheeled it over to the corner, and sold it every Saturday. I started a little flea market.”
Sinnona originally had no interest in becoming a realtor, but after seeing the way a realtor worked with his mother and sister while buying a house in Island Park in the late 1980s, he became interested. So, he put real estate on his resume, and soon after that he worked and became a licensed realtor in the summer of 1989.
He started off doing open houses and worked at two separate offices for the first seven years of his new career, spending five and two years across them. Then, he had a 10-month stint with RE/MAX, a large real estate firm. After that, he opened his own office, Joe Sinnona Realty, where he worked independently for 10 years. He also worked at another independent office for 10 years after, and in April, it will mark his fourth year with eXp Realty, a publicly traded real estate office.
He still remembers his first flyer – a picture of Captain America with his own face and the caption “let Joe Sinnona be your super-agent.”
Throughout all the years at different spots and offices, Sinnona has seen real estate and housing change throughout the city.
“When I first got into real estate, pricing was low, much lower than it is today,” he said. “Then it shot up during the 90s and well into the 2000s. And then, having to witness the crash of 2008 when pricing came down and it became a buyers’ market.”
Surviving all the changes in the housing market throughout 35 years hasn’t gone unnoticed. He was recognized by the Long Island Board of Realtors as broker of the year in 2014, a group with over 28,000 agents. He was recognized as broker of the year for all of Long Island by New York state the same year. Also, in 2020, he was inducted into the Realtor Political Action Committee Hall of Fame.
He also serves on a number of committees. He has served on both local and national housing committees, including time as chairman of the housing committee for the New York State Association of Realtors. He has also been a member of the Long Beach Lions Club for 30 years.
Sinnona lives in East Atlantic Beach with his wife, Maria, and his two daughters, Victoria and Isabella. He is a family man and uses that same idea in his work, which he said has helped him sustain such a long career in real estate.
“I always put my relationships before transactions and I’ve always been that way,” he said. “Long Beach has always had that special niche to it. That family nest, that togetherness, and that diversity.”