Do I really need to join a group to start?

Jul 17, 2019

  1. Strategy101
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    Strategy101 New Member

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    Starting an agency in NC doing p&c commercial and personal. Licensed 8 years, never sold only worked in account management. Do I really need to join a group to get appointments with the good carriers? If so, which has the lowest costs to join? If I do not join a group, which AMS do you recommend I look into so I can get started?

    Thanks
     
  2. Mike007
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    Mike007 Expert

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    Easiest road is to find a cluster to join and pay a fee and split the commission with that cluster. Never had much luck finding insurance companies to give me contracts when I was in the P&C industry. You'll have to do your research when it comes to clusters that do business in your state.
     
    Mike007, Jul 18, 2019
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  3. shawnmwalker
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    shawnmwalker Guru

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    You could buy an agency.
    You could start scratch but not enjoy the luxury, freedom, or financial benefits of having a lot of access to carriers or higher commissions or lower production reqments
     
  4. Strategy101
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    Strategy101 New Member

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    Yeah. I wish I had the financial means to buy an agency but that's just not the case. I will be starting from scratch but willing to work hard so that I can eventually have all those benefits. It seems the best bet is to join some kind of cluster or group, which I am not opposed to. I do need an option that has very low startup costs to join, so if anyone knows which groups have minimal startup costs and reasonable contracts please let me know who they are.
    Thanks
     
  5. Life Hawk
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    Life Hawk Guru

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    Just attend the next Trump rally and start handing out business cards. :laugh:

    Who knows you might even get national exposure. :yes:

    Good group of honest potential clients. :)

    Now we wait and see.:wideeyed:;)
     
  6. shawnmwalker
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    shawnmwalker Guru

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    If you want some sound advice:

    It sounds like you have a short financial runway. (I could be wrong.) If I am, this is not a post for you.

    A short financial runway will factor into the contracts you can get and the groups that will want you on board. (If a group knows you have a short financial runway and you have the potential for "a failure to lift off" situation... it is not fun for the group either, when you go get a part time job somewhere to survive.) What I am trying to say, If you have limited money to get a great contract, then you will most likely get the inverse of a "Great contract," putting more pressure on your financial situation because it is a less than beneficial split to survive.

    Folks this in one reason PGI does not offer a lousy split for $0 entrance while other groups do. It is too much of a cut and keeps those with no financial run way to fail that much faster. Groups then takes the 49 polices that were written and they win and the agent loses.

    Be very careful, selecting your contracts and joining a group that takes you in too easily for $0 down. They MIGHT be facilitating your demise....I suggest going to an agency and laying a foundation and getting financially stable so when you do this you can survive the first few years.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  7. Strategy101
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    Strategy101 New Member

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    Yes you are correct. I do not have much startup capital. I don't know if I will go with a group right away. I was thinking maybe I could start with a few carriers, even if non-standard) and work with what I have until things change. If I am running this business from home, the only expenses I believe I will have is my e&o coverage, a phone system and the cost of the agency management system. If there is something else I am not factoring in that I should, please let me know.
     
  8. shawnmwalker
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    shawnmwalker Guru

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    No Location, Short financial Run Way, Working from home, possibly Starting with Non Standard where clients typically want to pay in cash- its all not adding up to a good run or even a good start in Insurance. You can do it. But I just want to be on the record, you are in for a Sloggfest you could be losing.
     
  9. Strategy101
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    Strategy101 New Member

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    I appreciate your responses. This is giving me things to consider but I still plan to go through with it. Your responses are very helpful because it gives me a better understanding of what I can expect as well as things I should try to avoid. I have a strategy in mind and I do not plan to fail. Yes, I understand my income may be low initially. I am ok with that because that will be better than my income right now which is $0 because I am unemployed. I think this is the perfect time for me because I do not have a stable job that I have to consider leaving for a startup. In other words, I have nothing to lose other than my e&o expense and agency mgmt system. I am considering getting an office. In fact, I went to see a place today that is really affordable. I have also found a reputable company to build my website for a couple hundred bucks and they will teach me how to update it myself when the need arises. I have already purchased a virtual phone system and that expense is pretty small also. Please let me know the carriers that are likely to appoint me. I think I want to do it this way until I can afford to join a big cluster.
    Also I have been looking into the Big I. Do you know anything about them? Will I pick up some appointments with them?

    Thank you
     
  10. RichardCO
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    RichardCO New Member

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    Time for you to do some online searches for aggregator type companies that can provide carrier and management access at reasonable cost with good commission scale. While you're searching spend time learning a management system, EZLync is most popular, and take some industry courses to gain product knowledge. Do as much training as possible before you start so that you can start producing asap. Start-up money helps but hardwork can overcome. You're right, no downside, work your way into successful agency. Ggod Luck
     
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