Business First “2008 Woman of the Year” is BIG on Buffalo
There are many people in business who claim to be big on something but as the expression goes when it is time “to put your money where your mouth is”, you frequently have to ask yourself, so where are they now? It has almost become popular these days “to take shots” at Buffalo (and Erie County in general) and often it is reminiscent of the sentiment that was once heard when former mayor Jimmy Griffin said “the last one to leave should turn off the lights.” This is certainly not so for the diminutive Joni Stovroff, who together with her partner Jacque Taylor continues to invest not just in her various business enterprises but in the Real Estate that she owns especially in Orchard Park.
Joni and her now deceased husband, Morton, founded Stovroff & Herman Real Estate in 1959. By the mid-1980s it was the number 1 Real Estate firm in the region, when her husband elected to retire and they decided to sell the business to three people employed at the firm. Joni Stovroff remained a partner.Well Joni’s back now, not so much with a vengeance but just dedicated to providing the best service possible Back then, Joni Stovroff and Jacque Taylor, who was General Manager, stayed with the company for three years to help with the transition. After leaving, Stovroff had a five-year non-compete agreement with the firm's owners a deal that was renewed for five more years. The theory probably being that if Joni ever came back she could be a formidable presence from a competitive standpoint. And nobody could back after a 10 year hiatus.
So in the interim, Stovroff and Taylor sought a new business opportunity outside of selling homes and they chose the travel industry. They saw similarities in the industry's focus on sales and service, and as one might have guessed, they now have one of the most successful travel companies in the region with a Who's Who client list that is easily one of the most impressive in the Buffalo Niagara area.
Meanwhile (back at the ranch), the Real Estate firm they had left underwent a transition of its own. Stovroff & Herman was merged with H. Potter Realtors, creating Stovroff & Potter, the state's largest independent real estate firm. The late Paul Harvey would have had to have said at this point, “and now we turn to the rest of the story…
Well Joni’s back now, not so much with a vengeance but just dedicated to providing the best service possibleand she and her partner Jacque Taylor have put the firm of Stovroff and Taylor REALTORSDidn’t Marv Levy say it best, “where else would you rather be, right here, right now?” back on the map so that everyone has taken a giant step back to take notice.
Noting the natural synergies of the travel and Real Estate industries, much like the mega billion dollar publicly traded Cendant Corporation which later became Realogy (owners of C-21, Sotheby’s, ERA, Coldwell Banker, Cartus Relocation, Orbitz travel, Avis, Budget Rent a Car and more), Joni observed that this will become the locally owned WNY Real Estate firm to watch when dealing with relocation clients.
"This can be a one-stop shop where we fly them in, put up in a hotel and find them the right house," she said. “Is there any other company in town that can do that?” Not even 5 years after their return they’ve opened a second, state of the art, regional office in Orchard Park in what is now officially known as the Stovroff Plaza and given the site a $750,000 plus facelift. They have added several new shops including a 24 hour gym and a restaurant much to the admiration of the local citizenry, many of whom have exclaimed that, truly, “the plaza has never looked better.” It is the perfect complement to their 7000 sf Northtowns regional operation in Williamsville.
Together, Joni, and Jacque, are going to bring that special “High Tech/High Touch” Real Estate business into the reality that the consumer has been clamoring after for years. Investing in your community is the surest way to spur the economy into growth. The model for our business is quite different from our competitors. We are not offering what is frequently perceived as that big box impersonal mentality. High quality agents, and their clients will be very attracted to the comprehensive and personal services that we can provide and the larger firms have been forced to sacrifice because of their continually rising overheads. We’re investing in our team and in the future of WNY. Didn’t Marv Levy say it best, “where else would you rather be, right here, right now?”