Pictured are the ERA Team Vice President’s Realtors, recently awarded the ERA Real Estate Gene Francis Memorial Award for Best All-Round Company. Photo submitted

ERA Real Estate has named Chautauqua-based ERA Team VP Real Estate as the winner of its Gene Francis Memorial Award for Best Versatile Company.

The award, named after ERA Real Estate co-founder Gene Francis, is the highest honor given to an ERA affiliate. Serving clients and communities for over 25 years, ERA Team VP Real Estate specializes in residential and resort properties, vacation rentals, property management and real estate development. Headquartered in Chautauqua and home to 82 agents, the company has eight offices and covers the southern portion of western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania.

William “Invoice” Soffel started the business in 1990 and joined the ERA network in 2004. ERA Team VP Real Estate has achieved top affiliate status over the years, which is awarded to the top 20 companies by units and volume. The company was also a three-time finalist for the Gene Francis Memorial Award for Best Versatile Company. Additionally, the company was a finalist for the Jim Jackson Memorial Award 1st in Service Agent and a two-time finalist for Office Coordinator of the Year.

“We are honored by this incredible recognition and thrilled to be able to continue the incredible legacy left by Gene Francis,” said Soffel. “At ERA Team VP Real Estate, we are passionate about building relationships and changing lives through the power of home ownership. Our team of affiliate agents demonstrate professionalism in all aspects of their business. We strive to create an environment focused on the collaborative culture and ERA support systems designed to prioritize the success of our agents. The efforts of our agents, staff and leaders are paramount to the growth of the business. We are delighted to receive the highest achievement of the ERA network.

ERA Team VP Real Estate ended 2021 in the Top 15 of the ERA Network of similarly sized brokers, with over $290 million in sales volume and 1,584 transactions, an increase of 49% and 21%, respectively, in last year only.

Soffel and his team at ERA Team VP Real Estate have, for the past 12 years, hosted the annual Agents of Hope Golf Tournament, raising over $100,000 for the ALS Association, the ALS division of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and local families affected by ALS. . Additionally, the company hosted the Bags & Brews event, which gives back to the local Roswell Cancer Institute, Back the Blue 5K Race in support of the local Bradford City Police Department and Habitat for Humanity in Chautauqua.

“ERA Team VP Real Estate is a shining example of ERA’s ongoing commitment to service, performance and growth,” said Sherry Chris, President and CEO of ERA Real Estate. “We are grateful to Bill for ensuring that the indomitable spirit of Gene Francis remains at the forefront of how his company works with the communities it serves. Management, agents and staff of the company embody ERA’s culture of collaboration and commitment to being the best at what they do and having fun while doing it. We are honored to stand alongside this incredible company as they ‘she continues to meet the highest standards of performance.



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