“I believe in the local community” says Terri Colucci Shand, a very successful local entrepreneur and owner of Colucci Shand Real Estate, a business that has been operating in Gardiner since 1998. Before that, she was in business since 1981 with her parents at Colucci Real Estate with an office in New Paltz. Currently, her office is located in Gardiner Gables, above Walden Savings Bank and Meadowscent in the small collection of stores right on the S-turn in downtown Gardiner.
Terri is a superb example of a successful entrepreneur who never thought of doing anything else. Although she left town to attend college in Westchester County and moved to Colorado early in her adult life, she came back because she loves it here. Her success has derived from her local roots, her love of Gardiner, and her desire to do right by her clients, whom she calls “new friends and family” and not customers or clients. Following the tradition of her parents— Bart, and the late Doris Colucci—who would invite people new to the area to their family holiday table or let them to stay in their house in the interval between moving out of one place and into another, Terri provides a truck for people to borrow—not rent—and finds them reliable and high quality contractors, plumbers, electrician, and painters. She also makes regular calls and visits to make sure everything is going well; after all, they are her neighbors.
Her staff of four agents, one full-time administrative assistant (whose daughter also works with her) believes in her values of caring for members of the community. She only hires people with a strong sense of community, knowledge of the local community, and high standards about how they conduct themselves. They are the faces of her company, and she considers them part of her extended family. Ironically, she and her three brothers are all involved in aspects of the housing industry; construction and development, excavation, restoration, and real estate.
Terri does business locally as much as she can. In addition, she supports many organizations and has volunteered with several, including Unison Arts and Learning Center, and helped donate and carry food, clothing and furniture to local people, even as far Fleishmanns, to help families recover from the damage wreaked by Hurricane Sandy. Most recently, she has been the president of the local real estate association and is considering the cause, or causes, she wants to support next. Terri believes in trusting people. She says, “I trust first and sign documents later. If they say they want to do business with me, I trust them until I learn otherwise.” As a result of her approach, many people call her indicating that they want to buy or sell a house with her because their friends and families found it such a positive experience.
As a real estate professional with many years in the business, Terri Colucci Shand has some interesting predictions for the future. She sees a growing interest in community living, families staying together, and more “parent-in-law” apartments. She also sees increasing interest in family farms and people moving to Gardiner to take advantage of the strong sense of community here.
Terri has found that working parents want their parents’ help raising the grandchildren, so newly married couples are moving to Gardiner and encouraging their older parents to move here with them. In some cases those parents were Gardiner residents who moved away and are now moving back to help out. She also sees a need for more planned unit developments, more energy efficient condominium complexes, and a multi-level retirement facility such as Woodland Pond in the town of Gardiner.
Some challenges in the area include recent decreases in the value of retirement assets and, therefore, income, and the continuing rise in real estate taxes, which now average about $7,000 in Gardiner and, in some cases, exceed monthly mortgage payments. Real estate taxes of $20,000+ on some homes are creating real hardships for families that want to stay in the local area and keep their homes.
As a successful business woman and dedicated champion of Gardiner, Terri Colucci Shand loves the real estate business; after many years, she is as enamored of it as she is of her town.