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From their competitive spirit on the golf course to their builder expertise in the boardroom, the Shea family knows how to work and play hard. Their synergy and drive as a family are the keys to their success in the Charlotte housing market. Having a chance to catch up with key family players allowed an inside peek on how the Sheas entered the Charlotte area and laid roots for future business success.
A chance stopover during a business trip in the early 1990s led the Shea cousins, Gil, John, and Ed, to find an unexpected jewel in the Queen City, when a trip to scout out the Triad area of North Carolina for a homebuilding expansion of their California company resulted in a layover in Charlotte. The central location of Charlotte, plush greenery, family atmosphere as well as the national sporting teams the Charlotte Hornets and the Carolina Panthers, piqued the family interest in seeing more than just a pass-through. It was soon decided that Charlotte would be the next location for Shea Homes.
Currently, Shea Homes builds new homes in Charlotte and the surrounding areas in NC and SC. They also have two neighborhoods in Greensboro. The pilot Shea community was Providence Heights in the Charlotte area. The cool thing is that Shea is not limited to building within their existing neighborhoods. VP of Sales and Marketing, Michele Scott, explains: “On the Shea Custom side, we build ‘on your lot.’ We allow customers to personalize our proven floor plans to fit their family’s needs.”
With over 20 years in the Charlotte market, Shea has developed stable relationships with trade partners and employees. With so many takeovers that can happen within the industry, it is a positive attribute to be a stable employer of both internal talent and trades. “Our employee longevity with us is a true asset,” notes Michelle. Customers feel the impact of stability that transcends any market volatility.
Mike Shea adds: “A key strength is our trade partners, who share over 20 years and have a passion for quality as we do. Relationships are the core of what sets us apart. We share the philosophy of ‘let’s make it right’ whenever there are any issues.” With upcoming projects such as Shea Urban in Midtown Plaza and groundbreaking projects in the NoDa and Cotswold areas, Shea always moves forward to meet the current needs of clients.
The team at Shea is very dedicated to being customer-focused. The homebuilding experience within the Shea family is key to their growth and success. The cousins are fourth-generation Sheas who had a goal to move from California in 1993 to start their Division of Shea Homes. “We are family owned and operated, and we are committed to our customers and to the Carolinas,” says Michelle. “We strive to be innovative, and we care about our customers. It’s not uncommon to see a Shea in the neighborhoods or at a homeowner walk.” The cousins each have their particular niche in the business: Gil’s specialty is construction, while his brother Mike and cousin Ed are the land gurus, and their cousin John focuses on sales and marketing. The synergy within the family bond builds on each of their strengths.
Working together, the cousins create a family atmosphere within the company. When Ed was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, the group rallied around him. The company as a whole participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which involves dumping a bucket of ice and water over a person’s head to promote the awareness of ALS. Pulling together to support a family or team member going through a struggle is inherent to their genes. They also love to help the local community that they call home. Favorite charities include Goodwill Peace Project and efforts to promote upward mobility among Charlotte residents.
With versatility in their price points, Shea Homes/Shea Custom is very attractive to home buyers. With choices available from the high $200’s to 1 million, there is excellent opportunity to please many different levels with beautiful options. The Shea Homes Design studio is a real gem to allow buyers to customize details within their new home. With a talented design team on site, clients can browse exterior materials to countertops to flooring and everything in between. In a spacious 3,900-square-foot area, the possibilities are endless as to the creation of one’s dream home. Truly there is something for everyone, as Michele Scott explains: “We all love the family atmosphere, and we love to help families fulfill their dreams of homeownership, whether it’s their first home or their fifth home.”
Customers come to Shea for many different reasons. For some, it is the time-tested honorable reputation in the Charlotte community, and for others, it is the “love at first sight” that occurs when visiting a Shea community. The local real estate agent community is another reason that clients discover Shea Homes. Shea is proud to work with real estate agents and has a 75-78 percent realtor participation rate in new homes sales. “We are Realtor-focused,” says Michelle. “We LOVE our Realtors. They have helped us to be the successful home builder that we are today.” The cohesiveness that exists between
the fantastic sales team and Charlotte real estate agents is strong. It is an excellent service to all potential home buyers looking to find the home of their dreams.
Having a chance to chat at the Shea headquarters in Charlotte was a warm, gracious event. Meeting with Michele, as well as Gil and Mike Shea, brought all of the family essences to life. There is a bond within the Shea family that allows them to work in a way that makes them stand out and pass the test of time in the Charlotte market. A closing thought from Michele Scott: “Builders have come and gone, trends have changed, but we have remained focused on building not just homes, but neighborhoods that families can enjoy for a lifetime.”