Rocking the region:: Gucciardo’s passion for community has deep roots

ADVERTISEMENT

Looking back, Anthony Gucciardo thinks the seeds of his success were planted in 1985, when he was a transplanted 5-year-old from Flushing.

“My parents had the choice of moving to Miami or Albany, and upstate New York had better schools,” he says, “so we headed up i-87. I remember riding in my dad’s burgundy Monte Carlo with the cloth seats, and my first glimpse of Latham.”

Then he met his first realtor. “Barbara was a super-compassionate woman,” he recalls. “The rent was $400 and my guess is she didn’t even make $200, but she put so much effort into finding my family a rental.  It was less about the money than about doing what was right for a family in need. I remember my dad telling me he promised Barbara that when he bought a house he’d use her. and sure enough when they bought our Wren Lane home in 1987, Barbara was the buyer agent. My parents paid $103,000. Barbara brought over a homemade chocolate cake the day after closing.”

Even at 7, Anthony knew there was more to the party than cake: They were home.. “My dad was a loyal guy. And it was thanks to Barbara that we ended up in this phenomenal town, Latham. That memory has helped me so much in business. When someone calls looking for a rental, I remember Barbara, so kind and smart in understanding our needs and so helpful to our young family, and I try to offer that kind of service.”

His parents were always doing home improvements, and then he got a front row seat to a major project.. “A whole new neighborhood, Omega Terrace, was being developed off Forts Ferry Road. My brother and I rode our bikes there a lot in the early 90s.. We loved those houses. The side and center hall Colonials looked like mansions to a 10-year-old kid with big dreams. I used to recite the model home names like most kids rattled off sports heroes: Clarion, Monroe, Ashington. I had info from local construction companies right alongside my baseball cards. I find it fun to know that you could’ve bought an Omega Terrace house for $170,000 back then and today we sell them for $600,000. What a great investment those families made.”

In high school, career development advisors helped him land a job with Robert Marini Builders. “They were big even then, but they took a chance on a 15 year old kid,” he says. “I fell in love with their homes; They have the same deep-rooted passion for the business that I do, and it shows. They have a lot of family involved, and the quality reflects it; it has a feel to it. Great real estate agents pick up on things like that and use it to help clients.”

When Anthony was 22, the late Ted Cillis Jr. spotted his potential and became the first builder to list new construction with the young realtor. “Ted was one of a kind,” says Anthony. “He had that passion for quality too. He developed the Rainbow Drive Estates, an exceptional cul-de-sac on Fairlawn Drive in Latham. He also built my Latham home. We had a great two decades of successful cooperation before he passed this year. I actually attended an open house at his home and ended up selling it.”

Gucciardo’s watched the real estate profession get flooded with newcomers  — about 3,000 of them in the Capital Region alone — expecting overnight glamor and riches, and seen how seldom it works out. “The failure rate is very high,” he says. “You can’t fake passion. You can’t fake love. When you’re doing what you love it’s almost effortless.”

He can spot a fellow natural.  “I met Giuseppe Tropiano when he was looking for a home in Omega Terrace. I showed him a few houses, but nothing he ended up liking. Lo and behold, Giuseppe went and knocked on doors and convinced someone to sell his family their house! I respected his determination. So when he called me looking for a job I hired him immediately. Last year he closed $10 million in sales.”

In 2016, Gucciardo bought the Wren Lane house he grew up in for $226,000; he rents it to “a lovely family.” He’ll also be featured in an upcoming reality series, The Real Estate Commission, about mentoring new agents. “I can’t say much right now, but it’s fascinating,” he says. “Viewers will see how hard it gets.”

With over 500 listings and sales in the 12110 since he started in 2002, Gucciardo remains the region’s real estate leader and just as in love with houses as his wide eyed 10-year-old self. Besides his beloved Latham, he’s made himself an expert in neighboring Niskayuna, selling homes in Avon Crest, on Ruffner Road. Rosendale Road, River Road and Rose Hill Boulevard.  “I consider myself a Niskayuna specialist just because of how close I live to the area and how many houses I’ve sold,” he says. “Niskayuna probably has the most unique homes of any county in the area.”

In 2001, Anthony’s parents bought themselves a lake house, and their son — quite naturally — saw opportunities beyond relaxation. “I used to ride around on their golf cart handing out my business cards, which resulted in several sales of lake front property,” he says. “Years ago, Saratoga Lake was a $500K and under lake; we quickly set records off Silver Beach Road, moving houses at $7-800K. Those same properties are now worth over a million.”

It’s been a wonderful ride so far, and Anthony’s grateful for every bit of it. “Several of my past high school teachers have worked with me, trusting me with their biggest investment, which feels like a great vote of confidence from people who should know,” he says..”And it’s such an honor to be selling the homes I’ve always admired so much —  Omega Terrace homes, the Berkeleys and Sagamores from Marini. Cillis homes. I have no plans to slow down. I went to the lake last weekend — but not until 4:00, after work. My clients’ needs come first. My advice to anyone buying or selling is, find someone who really gets your needs and has that level of passion.”