Becoming a State Farm Agent

Discussion in 'Getting Started Selling Insurance' started by shawn17ths, May 14, 2008.

  1. Quarter Pounder
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    Quarter Pounder New Member

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    Perhaps you haven't found nepotism to run rampant in your area but I have seen it clearly in mine. Again this is my opinion expressed from the experience that I have had. Hopefully yours or anyone else who wants to pursue a State Farm opportunity finds it to be different or discovers sooner than I did.
    I continue to work my financial sales business. I have looked at a few other companies but not really pursued anything.
     
  2. agent09
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    agent09 New Member

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    Before you go work for a State Farm agent, I would ask the agency recruiter was percentage of staff members become agents. After learning this information, I think you will make a much more informed decision.
     
  3. Recruiter1
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    Recruiter1 New Member

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    My two cents as an active recruiter. Being in the State Farm "family" is certainly not a deciding factor as to who gets the ultimate agency offer. I'm not sure your recruiter would know the percentage asked above. Although knowing people doesn't hurt, I can tell you that EVERY candidate must go through the same loops/steps regardless of who you know. The idea of people skipping steps is esentially unrealistic.

    There are plenty of steps that each serve as a screening device and even more variables one must take into consideration. Even the Business Proposal will be heavily screened. A bad business proposal will certainly not help your chances in the Panel Interviews.

    I've see plenty of Agents with 20+ year books who believe their son/daughter should be an automatic shoe in only to be dissappointed to find out they didn't pass the panel interviews.
    Additionally, as a recruiter, you have to explain to the existing agent why his team member, friend/referral didn't make it. Sometimes that discussion can be heated, but as a recruiter, I can't speak for the Review Committee.

    All in all, the design of the Panel Interviews does a fairly good job of balancing the natural nepotism that exists in every industry.
    The bottom line is simply a dollars and sense decision. If State Farm is going to invest a year's worth of salary training you, give you a signing bonus, train your staff, license your staff, and license you, then it doesn't make sense to hire someone just because they are in the "family" rather than hire someone who is better qualified and fits the locale better.

    Just my two cents....
     
  4. Recruiter1
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    Recruiter1 New Member

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    It would be safe to say that most debt in the first year comes from primarily marketing expenses. Office expenses aren't usually at the top of expenses since you get assistance on all office materials, desks, computers, etc, from SF. Some individuals do incur debts on office furniture because they would rather get their own rather than the furniture available through SF. At that point, it becomes a matter of wants verses needs. Again, a solid business proposal can essentially help you budget your first year.

    Depending on where you are, the debt incurred will obviously be different. SF realizes that, so signing bonus are different according to the market you are entering. The current minimum is 18k. I am recruiting to an area that right now where I can offer a minimum of 24k for example.

    It is also possible to quality for additional marketing bonuses on top of the signing bonus, but that is at the discretion of the Field Executive you are aligned with and how much budget he has been allocated.

    The bottom line is that you are opening a business. As with any other business, you should be prepared to incur some debt. But a well planned business will obviously do better.

    I personally haven't seen someone with that much debt, and I'm in California.

    Do the math...if you are using 18k cash from State Farm, 25k line of Credit from SF Bank (which every agent receives), and 50k of your own funds (required), then that is nearly 100k of investment in your business already. If your going into further debt then the obvious answer is that the agent is not producing at a sufficient rate.

    And yes..SF only uses internal recruiters.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2008
  5. Recruiter1
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    Recruiter1 New Member

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    You nailed it on the head there! Debts which are investments back into your agency are one thing. Debts to continue a lavish lifestyle are another.

    The Real Estate boom and bust is a great example of this. What is happening now is you are getting people going into insurance who were used to selling homes and making a ton of money all at once. Those individuals then try insurance and financial services not realizing that it actually takes work and developing a portfolio of loyal clients.

    The irony is, I have agents making much more than any of those realtors simply because they know how to develop a relationship with a client as their Insurance Agent, Financial Advisor, and Banker all at once.

    I can tell you as a recruiter, that I am very lery of individuals fromt he mortgage industry and I screen much harder prior to recruiting them.

    To answer your question: Personally, I wouldn't expect to get a number from SF on how much your should spend in marketing.

    The analytical data (and there is plenty of it) you will receive as a candidate about your market area can help you determine how much you need to work on getting known in that market. My advice, get to know some other new agents and ask them what their plan was. Know what worked for them and what didn't and use that information to decide what a sufficient budget for you would be.

    I'm gone to Hawaii for 2 weeks! I hope I was of help to you.
     
  6. agent09
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    agent09 New Member

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    Recruiter, the percentages are available to candidates looking to go into agency. The exact percentage may differ depending upon the location of the individual, but overall approx. 8% of all candidates selected into agency are agent staff members. The remaining candidates come from outside or corporate.
     
  7. xrac
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    xrac Guru

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    Recruiter1, what is the oldest candidate that you have seen SF take on?
     
  8. jevans
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    jevans New Member

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    Hello All I am new to the forum and as some of you others I am interested in joining State Farm. I am new to the insurance business, but have experience in sales and in management. I am concerned however about providing a business plan for the panel of agents. I a not sure how that goes into play since I am new to the industry. Anyone have any ideas on this issue?
     
  9. moonlightandmargaritas
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    moonlightandmargaritas Guru

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    This is true only if the customer "perceives" that it is. Otherwise - it's worthless.
     
  10. Sailor
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    Sailor Expert

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    Very true! Perception is everything.

    Nepotism is gone. SF is so desperate for agents they are taking people that they never would have looked at in the past.

    There largest source of new agents has dried up. The current agency force has stopped referring family and friends to the company. You will not get assigned a book of business large enough to make ends meet. All they care about is slapping up more storefronts.

    Keep in mind you do not own a thing. SF owns the policys, and controls the data. I would not "invest" 100k in an SF agency. Put the money into an agency you actually own.

    One guy just north of me is the largest auto producer in the zone. He started scratch 4 years ago and still is not making enough money to get his contract. SF is still paying his bills.

    Two, new contract agents in my town are top AFO producers. They are in their 3rd year. Both are having severe financial problems.

    With the new contract, you are an employee that ends up chasing your tail playing catch up for the rest of your career. Every one of them feels that they were mislead to put it lightly.

    Why do I even take the time post this? I am shocked, that SF continually misleads these young kids, with no regard for them.

    Direct you questions to me. I will give the no BS answer.
     
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