Can AI Help Agents Boost Lead Conversion?


Artificial intelligence has many practical applications for real estate professionals, including the ability to help connect with prospective clients in a number of unexpected ways.

AI chatbots are starting to gain a lot of traction both within and outside the real estate profession, but the technology can sometimes feel impersonal; it’s not that AI of this type can’t be effective, but agents are in the people business as much as real estate, so that personal touch is vital, according to Real Trends.

Get on the phone
AI can help in other ways as well, such as by managing and automatically dialing phone numbers collected by other AI operations or more standard lead collection efforts. This allows agents to spend a little less time on figuring out the best person to call, and a little more time actually talking to clients, both current and prospective.

Adopting soon
As with any other emerging technology, AI is likely to be in widespread use within the real estate sector just a few years from now, according to Towards Data Science. The sooner agents can assess how AI may be able to help them, and then move to adopt those options, the more ahead of the curve they will be.

AI isn’t necessarily the kind of “wow-factor” real estate technology that virtual reality is, but it can certainly help agents in their everyday jobs, even if it’s a little more behind the scenes. Doing so, can help them get more clients into the real estate sales process on an ongoing basis.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click

One Year Later: HUFF’s New Western Hills Office Continues to Thrive


One Year Later: HUFF Realty’s New Western Hills Office Continues to Thrive with Focus on Growth, Service

WESTERN HILLS, OH – September 12, 2017 – HUFF Realty, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate and one of the region’s largest real estate companies, is celebrating the one-year anniversary of its new Western Hills office at 5300 Harrison Avenue, and the company’s growth plans to add another 125 agents across Greater Cincinnati within the next five years.

While there’s no denying the long running, good-natured East Side/West Side rivalry in Cincinnati, understanding the attributes of those unique neighborhoods can make all the difference for companies serving the Cincinnati market. And that’s something HUFF Realty’s office in Western Hills intimately knows. For HUFF, it comes down to three focus areas: superior customer service, unrivaled knowledge of the city — specifically the West Side, and a team approach that creates an unparalleled client experience.

“We’ve built a team here in Western Hills that relentlessly pursues excellence and persistently seeks to amaze our customers,” said Darnell Carr, manager of the HUFF Realty Western Hills office, which has grown to 26 agents. “The West Side is such a special place, and we know it inside and out. Inventory is at a 20-year low, and West Siders typically like to stay in this general area, so we enjoy the challenge of helping our customers find exactly what they want.”

Carr started his real estate career with HUFF Realty in 1998 and has earned the Circle of Excellence, OAR President’s Sales Club, and H-Club Leading Producer awards. He’s a lifelong Cincinnatian and lives in Roselawn. He has three sons: Aaron, Dorian and Cory. “To serve this community well, we know we need to be actively involved in it,” added Carr. “Our team members live here, we support a variety of local events, and we’re constantly looking for new ways to get involved and give back. We’re helping people with one of biggest investments of their lives — just to be a part of that and help people is very satisfying.”

“HUFF Realty is flourishing under Darnell’s leadership and our Western Hills team has created a blueprint that reflects our values as a company,” said Brad DeVries, CEO of HUFF Realty. “We have always looked for individuals with integrity, character and sincere desire to go above and beyond for our customers. That’s the team we have in Western Hills, and they’ve created an incredible family-friendly environment built on strong long-term relationships.”

Carr added, “Every HUFF office has folks willing to help — from agents to managers — the support is unrivaled. To be successful, you need the right environment.  And HUFF has it. My clients tell me all the time that I take care of them, and I can do that because HUFF takes care of me.”

ABOUT HUFF REALTY: Based in Fort Mitchell, Ky., with 450 sales agents deployed at 13 offices throughout Greater Cincinnati, HUFF Realty is a one-stop service shop providing products and services for Home Sales, Commercial Real Estate, Mortgages, Insurance, Relocation, Title, Home Warranties, Rentals and Auctions. For more information, visit


How Can Top Agents Boost Their ROI When It Comes to Marketing


For real estate professionals, a solid return on investment from marketing is about more than just getting the most out of every dollar spent. It should also include a good return on the time being spent to prepare all the marketing materials. Fortunately, analytics may be able to help agents determine just how strong their ROI actually is.

The good news for agents is that there are plenty of options for not only getting their marketing materials in front of the people most likely to be enticed by them, but also examining just how effective those efforts have been, according to Inman. Facebook and other social media sites give advertisers like agents a bevy of tools they can use to determine just how effective every dollar they spend truly is, and this is especially true thanks to the ability to target ads to users in specific demographics or geographical areas.

Consider other types of returns
While ROI is often calculated in terms of dollars and cents, in today’s market it can come in other ways as well. For instance, when effective marketing turns into real estate sales, it’s easy to quantify; “I spent this much, and here’s how much I netted from that sale.” However, if that client then turns around and writes a glowing review online, it too can have a massive positive impact on future business, because consumers increasingly rely on customer reviews to make decisions about everything including which agent to work with.

Of course, it’s difficult to quantify just how much marketing activity is directly responsible for a positive review that, in turn, also leads to more business. However, gaining a direct lead from marketing activity can be a good indicator that their marketing efforts are paying off.

Can predictive data help?
Agents may also be able to benefit from using “big data” to cultivate predictive information that can inform more effective marketing, Inman noted, but acquiring big data often requires an additional investment. So the question for many agents becomes, “Is it worth it?” Many of these tools can use publicly available data to determine things like which area residents may be poised to buy or sell within a certain timeframe – which can certainly help to inform more direct marketing decisions that are more likely to pay off.

ROI should be continually evaluated to make sure that marketing efforts are effective and result in opportunities to connect with more clients.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click

Can Drones Really Help with Real Estate Marketing


Drones are certainly gaining in popularity these days, but how effective are they in marketing listings? This is a question real estate professionals should weigh carefully as competitors make strides to adopt this unique and relatively new technology. This type of investment can be effective in certain situations, but it may not be for every agent.

Certainly, the use of drones on large, attractive properties can be a crowd-pleaser, providing sweeping shots of gorgeous backyards and tree-lined neighborhoods, according to Chicago Agent Magazine. However, not every property has attractive features for agents to highlight, therefore it’s wise for agents to focus on their listing demographic as this may be a better investment for affluent f suburban neighborhoods than those in, say, more urban areas.

Other applications
Thanks to even more cutting-edge technology, drones can also be used to create 3D scans of houses in conjunction with virtual reality equipment generating a different kind of “wow” factor for client presentations. This method allows agents to make a great impression as it presents clients with the ability to save time by going through multiple “virtual” open houses, getting a real feel for what a home is like without actually visiting.

“What I tell my clients, nowadays, [agents] fight for visibility,” broker Fabio Brancati told the publication. “You have to think outside the box because … if you perform very well with your clients, your clients will refer you to five, six, seven people. In terms of giving a selection and buyers watching for homes they love, this is a tremendous change. Now, more buyers have the ability to select the homes they love and our job is to be the advisor.”

Thinking outside the box
Another way in which agents can use drones is to not only highlight the nicer features of a property, but also the entire neighborhood using the more appealing and attractive areas of a town, according to marketing expert Wade Harman. The same shots of gorgeous properties can also be applied to local parks and scenic routes as well, which may ultimately go a long way towards giving would-be buyers a view on a larger scale giving a given property that much more appeal and value.

When getting this type of video, however, it’s important for agents to make sure they’re following all local, state and even federal regulations for operating drones on public or private land. This minor research will allow agents to avoid legal entanglements that could otherwise occur.

The other issue to consider here is return on investment, but the good news is that drone technology is becoming increasingly affordable and with this in mind, it may be wise for agents to investigate all available options to see which – if any – will work best for them.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click

How Should Agents Approach New Tech Purchases?


In today’s market, smartphones are the lifelines for real estate professionals while conducting and managing their day-to-day business. With our vast growth and rapid change in technology, mobile phones quickly become outdated. So how do agents know when and how to effectively swap out their current models for the next gen? And moreover, what emerging tech should they consider adding to their arsenal to continue to advance in the industry?

Agents who have had their iPhones or Androids for a few years at this point may be amazed by the technological advancements for smartphones that have come over the last few years. There are now so many more features, both in terms of apps and built-in hardware that it makes a smartphone purchase decision a little more complicated, but often necessary, according to Popular Science. Generally speaking, those who have had Android devices or iPhones may want to stick with what they’re used to, but those looking to make the switch have a lot to consider.

Comparing the options
It is not always easy for agents to go from one type of device to the other, but some agents can benefit from a change if need be. For instance, those who really give their phones a workout might need a stronger battery and a greater processor speed, while others might prefer higher-resolution screens or better cameras. Moreover, price is likely to be a factor as well, and what an agent has to pay for a new smartphone can vary widely based on a number of factors, including the kinds of upgrade incentives their service providers offer.

It might also be a good idea for agents to consider when they buy their smartphones. All new iPhones and some Android models are often released in the early autumn; therefore agents would benefit by waiting to upgrade their device during that time year.

Of course, when considering any such switch, it’s important to do as much research as possible to determine exactly which next-gen smartphone will meet an agent’s needs most effectively.

It’s not just hardware
Of course, agents rely on technology for a lot more than just what their smartphones provide, and as such it’s important to regularly examine emerging software options that can help them get ahead as well, according to Fit Small Business. There are plenty of options out there that can help agents on multiple fronts: everything from lead generation and client relationship management to handling electronic signatures during the real estate sales process and building and maintaining a website.

It is also important to consider the budget they may have for such an option, whether it’s a monthly subscription payment for a specific type of software service, or the up-front cost of a more sizable one-time purchase. In either event, it’s also vital to weigh what kind of return on investment the software option is likely to provide. If it’s something that could pay for itself within a few months or a year, it’s probably a smart move for agents to adopt it.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click

How Can Agents Can Improve Their Personal Brands?


The benefit of a great personal brand is that when a potential client thinks of an agent, a number of great qualities instantly come to mind. Many real estate professionals often wonder how they can maximize their chances for a strong, positive standing in their local markets. Fortunately, there are a number of methods that can help any agent stand out.

Any agent knows that adding a bit of a personal touch can go a long way with current or prospective clients, but what some may not always think of is that the world of social media truly allows for more flexibility here, according to Brand 24. When agents get “Likes” or add clients as friends on various platforms, they instantly gain access to knowledge about those people that can really help them connect on more than a professional level. Having the same alma mater or hobbies to discuss throughout the real estate sales process can help people feel just a little better about the working relationship.

What else can you do online?
In addition, it’s wise to regularly check Facebook, Yelp and other sites where users can leave reviews, because even if one or two may be negative, it’s always good to get some constructive criticism and perhaps be a little proactive about addressing whatever concerns people may raise on these platforms. The more responsive agents are to comments, regardless of whether the person is satisfied, the better they’re likely to look.

It might also be wise for agents to make sure their branding across all platforms – website, Twitter, Facebook, etc. – is uniform and consistent, and that contact information is easy to find. That way, when clients seek out certain information they may need, they know they won’t have to look too hard, or wait too long for a response.

What about a re-brand?
Agents may decide they want to change the look of their websites, get a little more active online, or simply mix things up for a new buying or selling season. With this in mind, it’s sometimes important to start fresh, just like an agent would if they were first starting out. When doing so agents may want to begin by considering what their goals are for this new campaign, and in their business as a whole, according to Real Estate Express.

Identifying what qualities an agent may have that helps them stand out from the crowd, and what could potentially use a bit of a tweak, is a good jumping-off point. Then it’s important to consider what more can be done to really make those qualities stand out, if it’s not already being done.

Seasoned agents can get more creative with these ideas, since they know the ins and outs of the business so well, and use that new motivation to really make an impact – both for the present and the long term – as the shopping season goes on.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click


HUFF’s Guide to the 4th of July!

4th of July Blog

Friday, June 30-Saturday & July 1

City of Independence Fourth of July Celebration

Time: Friday 5:00PM-11PM & Saturday 3:00PM-11:00PM
Location: Independence Memorial Park
2001 Jack Woods Parkway, Independence, KY 41051

Event Details:
The 4th of July Celebration is the largest event during the summer in Independence. The festival runs on Friday and Saturday nights. On Friday nights you can expect to enjoy rides, music, food, lantern launch at 10pm and a general festive atmosphere. On Saturday, the celebration starts with a parade that runs from Summitview Academy to the Towne Center.   Festivities include live music at the Donna Yeager Amphitheater, a new teen zone, food, rides & games for children, and events conclude with a spectacular Fireworks Show at 10pm.

Saturday, July 1st

Washington Park 4th of July Jam

Time: 3:00PM-10:00PM
Location: Washington Park
1230 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202

Event Details:
Enjoy live music from Love Alive, Subterranean and more! It wouldn’t be Independence Day without fireworks! Fireworks show starts at approximately 9:50pm. There will be plenty of activities for the entire family throughout the day including carnival games, giant jenga, cornhole, stilt walkers, a Framester photobooth and more!

Loveland Firecracker Festival

Time: 3:00PM – 11:00PM
Location: Symmes Township Park
11600 N. Lebanon Rd.,Loveland, OH 45140

Event Details:
Celebrate Your Independence at the Firecracker Festival at Symmes Township Park! The Firecracker Festival begins at 3:00 p.m. and will feature live music on stage, a family friendly area for children including rides, a variety of food and vendor booths, beverages, fireworks, and much more! Event is Rain or Shine.

Colerain Township/Rumpke 4th of July Spectacular

Time: 7:00PM
Location: 4160 Springdale Road

Event Details:
Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and join us for the Rumkpe/Colerain 4th of July Spectacular presented by Rumpke.  Enjou our delicious food truck offerings while enjoying The Belaires Show Band’s mix of classic 50’s and 60’s rock n’ roll starting at 7PM! A patriotic salute to our Nation’s birthday will begin at 9:45PM and light up teh night sky with the best fireworks show in the area, choreographed to a spectacular soundtrack!  Free shuttles will run continuously from Northgate Mall, Colerain Middle School and Colerain High School.

West Side Fireworks Extravaganza

Time:  7PM – 10:30PM

Location: Crossroads West Side
8575 Bridgetown Rd.,Cleves, OH 45002

Event Details:
Kick off your holiday weekend with a family-friendly event in your own backyard. Invite your friends and neighbors, pack your coolers and blankets and watch the fireworks from the West Side lawn. Food trucks will also be on site, so bring your cash. (Drinks will not be for sale.) Free fireworks show begins at dark.

Monday, July 3rd

LaRosa’s Balloon Glow at Coney Island

Time: 6:00PM-11:00PM

Location: Coney Island
6201 Kellogg Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45230

Event Details:
Live music, all the classic Coney Island rides and hot air balloons, capped off with a spectacular fireworks displays!  The rides stay open till 11:00pm too.  There is no charge (other than parking) to view the balloons and fireworks. Normal rates apply for Sunlite Pool and Coney’s Classic Rides.

4th of July Bash at Fountain Square

Time: 6:00PM-11:00PM
Location: Fountain Square
520 Vine Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Event Details:
Entertainment Schedule:
6p: Josh McIntosh and Company
8:15p: STP2 – A Tribute To Stone Temple Pilots
10p: Fireworks

Enjoy food from Quitefranklyllc. Fountain Square concessions offers beer, wine, drink specials, and Coca-Cola products for purchase. Lets Glow Crazy will also be on site selling celebratory light up novelties.

City of Madeira Independence Day Festivities

Time: 7:00PM-10:00PM
Location: Sellman Park
6700 Marvin Ave.
Madeira, OH 45243

Event Details:
Madeira Mile starts at 6:30 p.m. at Madeira Silverwood Presbyterian Church. Parade starts at 7! Following parade will be event in Sellman Park with music, food and drinks. Fireworks at 10 p.m.

Mount Healthy Forth of July Fireworks

Time: 6PM

Event Details:
Join all your friends and neighbors as we gather to celebrate the 4th of July on Monday the 3rd of July!  Bring your lawn chairs so you can kick back and enjoy the evening spectacle. Live music with The Almighty Get Down.

Independence Day Celebration

Time: 4:00PM-11:00PM
Location: Florence Freedom
7950 Freedom Way, Florence, KY

Event Details:
Enjoy rides, food, music, a cruise-in and fireworks!

Tuesday, July 4th

Red White & Blue Ash Fireworks

Time: 4:00PM-10:35PM
Location: Summit Park
4335 Glendale Milford Rd.

Event Details:
The Annual Red, White & Blue Ash Celebration will be held at Summit Park. Blue Ash has the biggest and best Independence Day fireworks show in the Tri-State area. Starting with free local and national entertainment and ending with an amazing fireworks show simulcast to music. This is a great way to ring in the 4th! Featured band this year is REO Speedwagon!

Ault Park Independance Day Fireworks

Time: 11:00AM-11:00PM
Location: Ault Park
3600 Observatory Ave.

Event Details:
Join us on Monday, July 4th for a day filled with family fun and an evening celebrating freedom and our Founding Fathers. Concessions include sandwiches, hot dogs, barbeque, pasta, salads, mac ‘n cheese, pretzels, ice cream, lemonade and soft drinks. The event is free and open to the public.

City of Edgwood’s July 4th Extravaganza

Time: 7:30AM-11PM
Location: Freedom Park
550 Freedom Park Drive, Edgewood, KY 41017

Event Details:
The Parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 4. The 40th Annual City of Edgewood Independence Day 5K Race will begin at Presidents Park at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, July 4th. The race includes divisions for both runners and walkers and a children’s fun run. FREE CONCERT AT FREEDOM PARK: Come early for the fireworks and enjoy the classic rock of “RED IDLE”. The concert begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 4th and will continue until the fireworks begin. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. ROZZI FIREWORKS AT FREEDOM PARK: The most spectacular fireworks display in Northern Kentucky gets under way at dusk on Tuesday, July 4th. In case of inclement weather the fireworks will be re-scheduled for Wednesday, July 5th.

Hamilton’s Fourth of July Celebration

Time: 9:00AM-11:00PM
Location: Downtown Hamilton and RiversEDGE

Event Details:
All day festivities starting with the 10 am parade that goes from the Fairgrounds down Dayton Lane to 7th then to High to Front. Family Friendly activities throughout the day and Fireworks about 10pm.