Do I really need to join a group to start?

Jul 17, 2019

  1. Mike007
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    Mike007 Expert

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    Have you thought about being an employee for an agent for a year or two and earn some money?

    You might not get any contract from any carriers. You might have to go find smaller clusters that are willing to give new people chances with a small monthly buy-in fee. The smaller the buy-in, the larger the chunk of commission they will take from you.

    It will be extremely difficult for you with limited capital. Most entrepreneurs fail due to lack of capital and cash flow. The odds are definitely stacked against you.

    Limited money means you will really need to get out of your comfort zone and have thick skin. Door knocking and networking will be your best bet. You can build your business just door knocking but you'll have an uphill battle. Just don't burn out.
     
    Mike007, Jul 23, 2019
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  2. shawnmwalker
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    shawnmwalker Guru

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    I agree with that ^^^^^^^^^^^^^. It can be done, but it will be a tough!
     
  3. Strategy101
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    Strategy101 New Member

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    Thanks for your perspective. I am not at a place where I want to get a full-time job. Been there done that and now is the time for change. I am committed to this. I've already secured an office location. I've heard of some people being successful just by working the non-standard market where they didn't have to use MGAs or clusters. If they can do it, so can I. I am really interested in joining the IIANC which is just $500/year. Also, smart choice doesn't have any fees other than the commission split. That might be a good option for me although I am concerned about the 2 year non compete.
     
  4. Mike007
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    Mike007 Expert

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    You need someone that allows you to bind policies. I do not believe Smart Choice have binding authority for agents. Waiting and for someone to bind the contract on your behalf is a nightmare. Their urgency is not your urgency. Trust me on that. By the time they finally bind the policy, your customer already wants to shoot you in the face. They won't blame the one who binds the policy late. They blame you because as far as they are concerned, you are the agent. They don't know what is behind the scene.

    Most of the nonstandard agencies that I've seen in town tend to deal with the low-end income market. Those are the people who buy minimum low-end coverage. Your basic 15/30 policies. These happen to be the worst customers to deal with as well due to lack of income and education. I have worked in these agencies before. We had a high rate of cancel policies due to bounced check or they just cancel the policy after they clear it with DMV and get their DL back. These agencies made their money on Broker Fees, not commissions.

    Unless you are going to market to higher-income folks with lots of accidents....you are going to have to deal with low-income people. No disrespect to low-income folks, I grew up dirt poor myself but it's just the truth. They are a much harder client base to deal with.

    As far as your office, don't expect to stay there often. You will go broke if you stay in that office. If you are in your office, you better be on the phone all day long calling people.

    People who sit in their office are the ones who have money to market and bring people to their office. You should be out on the field looking for customers.

    Door knocking and cold calling are the two most difficult things to do but it is a must for people with no money. But those that can stomach it, they make it. By the way, when you go out to door knock for customers or networking. DO NOT LOOK DESPERATE. People don't do business with desperate people. And it's hard not to look desperate after the 80th "nos" on the 80th door you knocked that day. You just have to keep going.
     
    Mike007, Jul 28, 2019
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  5. Higru
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    Higru Expert

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    Amen to this! Spot on!
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
    Higru, Jul 30, 2019
    #15
  6. RichardCO
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    RichardCO New Member

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    Listen to what Mike007 said, lower income is tough market.Find a service that has low upfront start fees, no non-compete and binding authority. They exist, do some prep work
     
  7. PhilL
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    PhilL Guru

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    Strategy101: You have received quite a few solid suggestions and feedback here from Shawn Walker, Mike007, RichardCO and others. I am glad to talk to you further about your situation, to try to add some other possibly useful thoughts to what has been freely provided by the others, to give you some guidance. My contact info is below. All the best to you!
     
    PhilL, Aug 1, 2019
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  8. Strategy101
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    Strategy101 New Member

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    Thank you to everyone who has offered advice and given me suggestions. I have read them all and taking it all in. I have even gotten private emails from people making offers to me and I appreciate it all. I am currently trying to decide what route to take.
     
  9. KimFBQCareers
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    KimFBQCareers New Member

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    Why not simply contract under someone else who is willing to give you the appointments you need without owning your agency? Then you have the ability to pay your agents based on your slice on the comp.
     
  10. KimFBQCareers
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    KimFBQCareers New Member

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    For the record, as much as everyone loves to add them in, non-competes are unenforceable. Don't get me wrong, you will end up walking away from clients written under another agency, that's the nature of the beast. However, they can't prevent you from work once you leave.
    https://www.macelree.com/the-top-10-mistakes-with-non-competition-agreements/
     
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