Making Real Estate Fun

Making Real Estate Fun is a video blog that has been designed to make the stiff and boring subject of real estate come to life. Exciting dialog from our hosts will keep you coming back every week for our podcasts and videos.

We began the Making Real Estate Fun podcast and video blog series in 2017 with one thing in mind -- and that's making real estate fun. Who else is more qualified to do so than our great hosts.

Keith is a mortgage lender for a large independent mortgage banking company, Kevin is an attorney who specializes in many areas of law including real estate, and Taji is a REALTOR®. Ray is a co-owner of a title company. You will be getting the most up-to-date knowledge from our working professional hosts. It's not all about business, however.

We still like to have a good time with our interviews of local businesses of the western suburbs of Chicago.

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Keith Hoffman – NMLS #120133

Check out Keith's
Mortgage Matters Blog


Keith began his mortgage career in 1993 with a local Mortgage Banker, located in Downers Grove, IL. After becoming a top lending professional with Midwest Funding, he left there and opened a small branch in Lombard for a mortgage broker. After realizing the need to move back into a company that operated as a mortgage banker, Keith became a partner with 1st Advantage Mortgage. With the changing times, the company merged their company with one of the oldest real commercial real estate and management companies in the Midwest, Draper And Kramer.

The name 1st Advantage Mortgage, a Draper and Kramer company, has recently changed the name formerly to Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp, effective Dec. 1, 2016.Draper and Kramer is one of the country’s premiere full-service real estate and financial firms. While still a family-owned company headquartered in Chicago, they help identify and structure mortgage financing programs for clients across the United States, and have been doing so since 1893.

To contact Keith

  • Long-term member and past president of the Rotary Club of Downers Grove
  • Chamber 630 member and longtime Board Director
  • Downers Grove Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry- Member and Director on the Board of Directors
  • 2007-2008 past Presidentand present board director & member of the Rotary Club of Downers Grove
  • Past Director of the Illinois Association of Mortgage Professionals
  • Past President & member of the Kiwanis Club of Downers Grove
  • Past Member of the Ad Hoc Committee for Housingfor the Village of Downers Grove
  • Past member of the DuPage County Habitat for Humanity Finance committee
  • Past Board member of the District 99 Education Foundation- 99 PlUS

Ray Manuel has over 18 years experience in the real estate industry, including 10 years managing and overseeing the growth of a national title company in the Chicagoland area. Ray joined National Title Solutions in 2010 and currently serves as the VP of Operations. His duties include managing daily operations, determining insurability, making claims evaluations, and rendering final underwriting decisions. Ray is considered one of industry’s best, and he takes great pride in his work. Ray is committed to maintaining a claims-free attitude and environment.


  • Former Board of Director member of Chamber630
  • Nominated by the IMBA in 2015, 2016, & 2017 as Best Marketing Representative in the Title Industry
  • Naperville Jaycees Member
  • Member of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Member of the Bolingbrook Chamber of Commerce
  • Member of Chamber630
  • Founder of the NTS “We Care” Program
  • Certified ILTA Title Professional. Ray is married and has one daughter. He also enjoys spending time with his family, collecting sports memorabilia and shoes! On his spare time, he loves to watch sports, fish and attempt to golf!

To Contact Ray

Ray Manuel

Taji Clark is a Passion-Driven Real Estate Broker/Investor and Entrepreneur. His mission is to help people live better – whether by helping them accomplish their Real Estate goals of buying and selling their homes or helping them accomplish their financial goals through Real Estate Investing or other business ventures. He strives to provide his clients with superior service at all times. Taji’s expertise and extensive real estate experience will benefit you whether you’re serious about buying or selling a home at this time, or are a returning client checking out the many homeowner resources he offers.

Areas of Expertise

  • Licensed Broker Associate in the State of Illinois since 2006
  • Buyers and Sellers Agent
  • Chicago suburban area resident
  • Real Estate Investment Specialist
  • Property Management Specialist
  • Over 10 years experience in Marketing and Business Development
  • Home Based Business Strategist
  • Business and Personal Success Consultant
  • Social Media and Web Branding Strategist

Communities He Serves

Taji specializes in Elmhurst, Downers Grove, Lisle, Woodridge, Darien, Burr Ridge, Willowbrook, Westmont, Clarendon Hills, Berkeley, Lombard, Villa Park, Bensenville, Glen Ellyn, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Wood Dale, Addison, Glendale Heights and the entire DuPage County/Chicago Western Suburban area.

To Contact Taji

Need Real Estate Assistance?

All three co-hosts can offer assistance in different ways. Feel free to contact each one for your specific needs.Privacy Policy | Licensing | NMLS Consumer Access

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