Joan Lonergan Licensed Real Estate Broker / Owner
I was born in Brooklyn and all my grandparents were Italian immigrants, so large family gatherings, lots of food and passionate discussions were my normal. Growing up I was an energetic kid who loved wading through the streams, wandering the woods and riding my bike in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York where my family settled. After high school I attended college and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in ceramics and painting. I was married at 22 and still happily married 43 years later. Our first child was born in 1977 after we had moved to Brooklyn. Getting restless at home I decided to attend The School of Visual Arts in NYC where I learned graphic design and had a successful 10 year career in that field.
In 1986 with two kids in tow we moved back to Ulster County and choose Woodstock NY. My husband Jim was in law school commuting home from NYC on weekends for 3 years, our children were 3 and 9 and I was a single parent all week while working full time and freelancing at night, it was really hard. In spite of the challenges we felt that Woodstock offered the community lifestyle we ultimately wanted and where we wanted to raise our children.
I found myself naturally falling into the role of promoter and tour guide when city friends came to visit, I just loved the mountains, the small town villages and secret swimming holes. In 1988 I decided to get my Real Estate License and started my journey working for a sole proprietor, it immediately became my passion. My grandfather would say I had more nerve than brains because I started my own company only two years after I was licensed. I had one goal: To do the best job I could for every person I worked for. I sought out good hardworking people and encouraged them to become licensed if I thought they shared my work ethic. My company grew unintentionally, agents started asking me to come on board. I was very selective and had standards that I still hold today. I can boil down my philosophy to 4 mantras which are the cornerstones of my business. I repeat these to all my agents regularly:
1. Always tell the truth,
2. Do what you promise,
3. Don’t pretend to know something you don’t, instead promise to find out
4. Keep your moral and ethical compass straight, it's never about you, it's about your client
My business has grown into the #1 Real Estate Company in Ulster and Greene Counties in the Hudson Valley/Catskill Region of NY State. We have offices in New Paltz, Kingston, Rhinebeck, Woodstock, Catskill and Windham NY. With 120 agents and 15 support staff, it is my extended family. I am the matriarch, I encourage and challenge everyone who works with me to reach higher, set goals, have fun and always go the extra mile, I believe anything is possible when you are laser focused.
My love of art has remained a constant in my life. All our offices are also galleries where I exhibit my own photography as well as the work of other local artists. In 2001, my husband and I designed and built our home in Woodstock where I have my dream pottery studio. I feel lucky to have helped launch so many wonderful careers in the last 30 years, and now I want to pursue artistic goals as well.
I have been involved all my life in my community, I’ve been a civic leader, industry leader and political activist. I have a huge close family, my husband Jim and I have 4 children 10 grandchildren a ton of great friends. In preparation for taking a step back to enjoy the benefits of my life’s work in Real Estate, I have taken on an amazing partner Candida Ellis who is transitioning into my role as an industry trailblazer. She is a natural leader who I have no doubt will continue to carry the torch. Truly I am blessed.