Agency opportunities--what's the inside scoop?

Jul 27, 2008

  1. DM77
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    DM77 Expert

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    I've been working for a financial planning office for 6 1/2 years as an assistant (fully licensed-life, health, Series 7 & 66). I can sell stuff, find my own clients, etc but with supporting 2 reps, I don't have much time to deal with my own business. I get paid hourly and the carrot that keeps me going is the possibility of making bonus (monthly standard--however have only met the minimums once this year). I'm at a point that I'm sick of making sure my bosses are taken care of and want to break out on my own. However, I'm not in a position to go commission only.
    My husband is at a point that he needs to find a new job/career. He herniated 2 disks a little over 2 years ago (on the job) and is stuck in a job at the company that's dead end--he'll get laid off as soon as the company can. I asked how he felt about going into the insurance field--possibly buying an agency if the right opportunity came up. He said he'd actually like that idea. Because of his veteran's status he could get funding through VA for doing so.
    So I'm on the web looking for opportunities. I've seen A LOT of All State Agencies for sale...what's up with that? I don't really want to be an exclusive agent. I'd love to pickup an independent agency and stay with my B/D and continue to do financial planning. It would probably have to stay separate on the P/C side because my commissions clear through the B/D. Even though my B/D would get 15%, they have awesome technology and based on what I've read on some MGA deals others get, it looks my B/D has negotiated higher payouts for their reps. 15% is peace of mind because they deal with all of the compliance/FINRA stuff.
    What sort of things should we look for? What asset level should we look for...and what sort of cash flow from those assets?
    Also, I'm interviewing with State Farm this week. It's more of a fact finding session for me than to possibly get a job...frankly, I don't want to be in a support role again. I know that 3 SF agents are retiring/retired out of the 4 offices in my town. My interview is with one of the new agents however I was told by the staffing agency that the State Farm recruiting office had received my resume and wanted somebody to talk to me so I don't know what the main purpose of the interview is...is it for the account rep/marketing position or to see if I'm "agent material". The idea of taking over a SF office is intriguing but again, I don't like the idea of going exclusive. SF mutual funds don't compare to what I can sell now.

    So, I need some advice. The only way I can afford to go on my own is if I can buy a book.

    Thanks,
     
    DM77, Jul 27, 2008
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  2. saieddie
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    saieddie Guru

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    I don't know if I'd open a p/c agency with no p/c experience. I'd stick with the life and health and securities and partner with an experienced p/c agent to split commissions.
     
    saieddie, Jul 28, 2008
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  3. RLC
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    You may want to really complete a preliminary business plan. If also agree with the previous expert, if you have no P&C based agency requirements I am not sure you would be considered. Good luck
     
    RLC, Jul 28, 2008
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  4. DM77
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    Okay...so first get P&C experience and then find an agency. Well, my interview on Friday is for an account rep position that's open in all 3 State Farm offices here.

    One more idea, I've read several posts from agents who work from home (life & health) and I wonder how they do it? Where do you get your leads? I'd like to stay where I am but to get out from under my bosses, I have to feel more secure about going commission only. If I could start generating more stuff on my own time without investing a ton of time and energy then I can do it.
    I've gotten leads from online sources in the past year (quotesaction.com, insureme.com, and a couple others) and spent too much time trying to get ahold of the people only to find they were bogus, not interested, already went with another agent (that one's interesting considering I call them the same day---usually within minutes of getting the lead in my email box), etc. So if there are some more effective ways of doing so I'm writing more than I'm qualifying, I'd love to know the tricks.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008
    DM77, Jul 28, 2008
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  5. The Rabbi
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    If you have the money to buy a book, then you have the money to start on your own. Buy internet leads for Medicare and get started.
     
  6. theinuranceguy
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    Internet leads for Medicare? From Prospect Zone correct?

    Come one dude, you cant be serious...

    My 90 year old grandma is all over her computer trying to find the most cost effective med supp...

    Lets be real here... Internet leads for Medicare are a waste of time and money...

    Direct mail or cold calling is the best ROI.

    Do you even sell in the senior market?
     
  7. DM77
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    I'm all over the board...life, disability, LTCi. I can sell health (Assurant) but don't like the hassle...it seems that anyone here who wants a quote are wanting to replace their Assurant policy anyway. I'd actually prefer to let the health agents deal with it and send me the HSA referrals--and then I can cross-sell IRAs and take over any other investments they have. I even marketed to small businesses through our Chamber of Commerce...and the ones who wanted a quote...yeah, already had Assurant policies and weren't happy.
    I'm also appointed with Mutual of Omaha for Med Supps...they're the only approved Med supps I can sell with my BD other than if I got appointed with BCBS-MT. I'm not going to try to get appointed with them right now because it's a long process with a low chance of getting accepted because they already have too many appointed agents in our area. I originally started in the business selling Med Supps for UA in Savannah, GA...that's was loads of fun (NOT!). If anybody knows how the Savannah office or at least how it was in 2001, then you understand (Daddy was the officer manager, sons were the unit managers--one of those sons was the "star"). A "Yankee" trying to sell in Savannah...bad combination for a newbie.


    Everyone's competing for the Boomer $. I'd prefer to target the 30-50 year olds. I'm basically using the insurance as a way to develop the relationship for the investment $.

    Oh...I've used ProspectZone and didn't have much luck.

    Currently I'm licensed in MT and New Mexico (NM was because a potential client was moving there so I got licensed there only to have the deal fall through...wasted $30 unless I figure out how to sell policies there). So here's another question for those who are licensed in multiple states and using lead services...how do you decide what states to get licensed in? Is it based on population and $ per capita or do you have some other way of deciding that? Currently the reps in my office decide where to get licensed based on where the clients live (if they move out of state, is it a client that we want to keep or pass off to a rep in the local town). There isn't a strategic plan but I'd appreciate any ideas so I can start making some money and have them wonder how the heck I'm doing it.
     
    DM77, Jul 28, 2008
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  8. AgentZ
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    You need to do a search on here is you are thinking of being a "good neighbor agent" be prepared to go $100,000 in debt or more. Talk to 5 agents that have been on the newest contract and have been on board for more than two years. There is a thread on here about going to work for THEM. I know from first hand experience that you need to be EXTREMELY careful if you are considering going to work for them.
     
    AgentZ, Jul 30, 2008
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  9. xrac
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    xrac Guru

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    Here is that link

    Becoming a State Farm Agent - Page 4

    And another

    State Farm Offer.
     
    xrac, Jul 30, 2008
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  10. somarco
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    somarco GA Medicare Expert

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    You have eliminated 1 of 5 lines. That is a start.

    Most experienced (and even some inexperienced) agents are not going to turn over clients to a generalist with little or no actual experience.

    Sounds like you have eliminated med supps. Good. You are making progress.

    You must think that market has discretionary income. Might want to recheck the stats.

    Developing an investment clientele is a long road. Figure a 3 - 5 year plan minimum. You need another life to pay the bills in the interim.

    You give the impression of an ADD opportunist. I don't see a good future for you.
     
    somarco, Jul 30, 2008
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