Huff signs with DotLoop: Green technology and the future of real estate unfold together, as Greater Cincinnati cog in corporate titan Warren Buffet’s machine inks deal with online collaborative real estate environment

HUFF GOES GREEN WITH DOTLOOP: Joe Price, COO and VP of Huff Realty, left, inked a deal with DotLoop, owned by Austin Allison.

It took Joe Price all of 90 seconds before he halted the conversation.

Three months ago, the chief operating officer and vice president of financial services from Huff Realty Inc. – part of the Berkshire Hathaway stable of real estate brands, owned by international business titan Warren Buffett – was being pitched on an innovative new online software program called DotLoop (www.DotLoop.com).

Price was speaking with Austin Allison, founder and CEO of DotLoop. And the discussion didn’t get far.

“Austin was about a minute-and-a-half into his presentation, and I told him, ‘Wait. Stop. You don’t have to go any further. I get it, and I love it,’ ” said Price.

Price and the founder and CEO of Huff Realty, Jim Huff, inked an agreement Dec. 17 to share the DotLoop solution with Huff’s entire roster of 700 sales agents.

In Northern Kentucky, Huff is the clear market leader; the company is ranked No. 2 in the overall Greater Cincinnati market (which includes southwestern Ohio and southeastern Indiana).

Meanwhile, DotLoop continues to expand its nationwide footprint, signing a deal with Hilo Brokers Ltd. from Hawaii. Negotiations continue with brokers in at least 20 states, cementing connections made in San Diego late last year at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Conference and Expo. DotLoop announced its national expansion campaign at the annual NAR Conference.

Huff will be rolling out the DotLoop system as part of its comprehensive package of services available to its salesforce.

Amidst these turbulent times in the real estate industry, every broker is looking for an advantage in recruiting, Price said.

The DotLoop service offering also dovetails nicely with Huff’s Green initiative to reduce the company’s carbon footprint, and help reduce the mountains of forms lurking in each of the company’s 13 Tri-State offices.

TECHNOLOGY ADVANCEMENTS WITHIN HUFF REALTY

“When we look at the things we do within Huff, we are always looking at what advancements there are in the market that are going to allow a better consumer experience, whether or not the consumer is able to see it right away, and does the agent understand that it can significant impact their business?” Price said. “That’s where DotLoop comes in.

SIMPLE: There isn’t a real estate agent alive that DotLoop can’t help.

“The market has slowed down, but technology most certainly has not. We have been evaluating other software products out there, but those alternatives became a non-issue when we saw how robust the dotloop product is coming right out of the box, and honestly, just how intuitive it is,” Price said.

“This just feeds right into that logic. Pretty soon, e-mail will be considered snail mail. We just absolutely love the technology,” Price added.

“People don’t want to be preached to, or told what to do. They want just want you to be there when they need you, preferably as an icon on their desktop. Or they want you as an application on their phone,” Price continued, “and when they’re ready for you, when they’re ready to look at a house, or buy a house, you want to be right there.”

Price said he and Huff are particularly interested in the Broker Portal segment of the DotLoop system, which functions as an administrative application, providing insight into everyday sales operations and the entire sales process.

“The cost savings are just a benefit. If this didn’t save us a dime, it’s still the wave of the future, and we have to be able to understand it,” he said. “The opportunity we have is to have DotLoop as a fully-functioning back-office system.”

Price expects his company to top 2008 numbers this year, to post a better agent retention rate, as well as a slight increase in units sold. He does anticipate, however, a slight decrease in home valuations.

Allison will be presenting his company’s credentials Jan. 7 on national television, appearing live on the Fox Business Network program “Happy Hour” (5-6 p.m. daily Monday through Friday). Allison will be a guest on the “So You Think You’re An Entrepreneur?” segment of Happy Hour, which is usually slotted around the 5:40 mark.

DOTLOOP LIVE ON NATIONAL CABLE TV JAN. 7: Austin Allison will be a featured guest on the Fox Business Happy Hour program.

ENHANCING RECRUITING, COMPANY STABILITY

“The other day, I came from three different holiday party luncheons, and to a person, our agents are truly excited about the enhancements in technology we are bringing forward,” Price said. “This is going to significantly impact our ability to recruit.

“Talk is talk, but we do want our agents to be the best, and to accomplish that they need to have the very best tools out there today.

“We want them to be successful, today. We want them to get that listing, today. We want them to be happy, today. Those are things I understand very well,” he concluded. “My concern is that we just can’t make them happen soon enough. I would love to be sitting here six months from today and say that we have DotLoop fully integrated and 30 percent participation, but when you have this many people involved, there is a lot of training to do, a lot of understanding that has to take place, and a lot of questions to be answered.

“We have 700 independent contractors who may or may not believe this is best for them, and that’s OK too. It’s a process,” he said.

For more information about Huff Realty, please contact Mr. Price, COO and Vice President of Financial Services, at (859) 578-3978 or at joseph.w.price@hslcincinnati.com.

For more information about DotLoop, please call (888) Dot-Loop, visit http://www.DotLoop.com or send an e-mail to info@DotLoop.com. President and CEO Austin Allison can be reached at aallison@dotloop.com.

Allison

For media inquiries, please contact Mr. Andy Hemmer, President of AndyHemmer.com PR/Writing Services at (513) 604-5428 or andy@andyhemmer.com.

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