Expected base salary?

May 17, 2007

  1. Serenity
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    Serenity New Member

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    I am transitioning from real estate sales to become an insurance agent.

    Hope to be starting as a 4.40 licensed agent, selling p/c with a local Allstate agency of 6 people, which is just a year old, but growing very strongly, in a major metro city in Florida.

    I have 10 years sales exp in real estate, am assertive and have that "great" personality I am told is needed in sales. I interviewed with this exclusive agent at Allstate who said a base salary of $25-$35k is offered "dependent" upon experience. They do not like to hire anyone with previous insurance exp, just sales exp, as they wants to train them thier way. They also said I could expect commissions from $1k to $1,500 per month after Im fully trained. Even offered to pay for my 4.40 education and licensing.

    My question: Can a small agency like this pay a base salary in that range? Is this base range typical for "newbies" starting out?

    Id assume that most agents would want to hire a young, less exp CSR, pay them $12 per hour and a modest commission to save money, esp since its a young agency.

    Any thoughts from your experienced folks would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you!
     
    Serenity, May 17, 2007
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  2. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    I can't speak for the Florida market, I'm in California. If you think about it though, I think you agreed with yourself. $12 an hour is $24K a year, which is a reasonable pay for a non-sales related, non-licensed position. The rest is simply what can you do for the agency to make them more money.

    Normally, if I was hiring a person, I would offer them 2 pay rates, one for unlicensed, one for licensed. With 6 people there now, they probably don't need any unlicensed help.

    Being a new Allstate agent, he/she probably bought a substantial book of business and is looking to grow it. If they have the experience in the industry, and the funds to grow their business, they can afford to pay this. If he has only been a licensed agent himself for a year, it would be a caution flag to me for stability, but it would still be a paycheck.

    I would check to see if there are production requirements, and if so, would you feel comfortable performing to that level. I don't know your market, so I don't know what would be reasonable.

    Dan
     
    djs, May 17, 2007
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  3. Serenity
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    Serenity New Member

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    Thanks for your reply, Dan. Indeed, they have a ton of business as they went from 2 employees to 8 in just 9 months, and now hiring 2 more, with eventual growth of 12 in near future.

    As they told be thier starting base pay is $25-$35k, and they prefer to not hire exp insurance agents, I dont know what more exp a "non-ins" exp person would need to have to make the $35k base.

    There are sales goals that need to be met, tho I dont know the specs on it. I did inform them I have a significant book of clients from my real estate that I will target and bring in so Im hoping that may count for something. They also intend to pay for my licensure next month.
     
    Serenity, May 17, 2007
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  4. SME
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    SME Super Genius

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    I would just make sure that the production requirments are in writing. My experience with a training agent was that he paid very well when State Farm was paying for his sales staff. But once he had enough production to get his contract the pay drastically decreased and he replaced us all with non licensed, inexperienced staff. Another thing to consider is that in real estate you make your own hours, and do not answer to anyone. Captive agents have a tendency to want you to work bankers hours with very little flexibility. Also the harder Allstate management comes down on him the harder he will come down on you. Go with your gut on this. Remember you own your license and thier are plenty of insurance companies to work for. So if it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out.
     
    SME, May 17, 2007
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  5. Frank Stastny
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    Frank Stastny Guru

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    Lisetn to Steph. She knows of what she speaks. First hand even!
     
  6. Serenity
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    Serenity New Member

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    Yes good advice, thanks. I figure I gotta grunt it out for at least a year to gain the product knowledge and experience. Im doing all the reading I can to find out how it all works. I know an agency owner, an indie agency, who hires $12 hr people to write as many policies as possible and barely pays a bonus, tho to his office manager he is very generous cus he doesnt want her to leave as she is the one who does the brunt of his work.

    I just need info on base pay. Reading thu local job sites, I see alot of Allstate agencies offering to pay between $25k-$40 to start, many want insurance exp, many dont. So its a crap shoot how much they will pay someone with a lot of sales exp, but not insurance sales exp.

    PS..when a CSR is hired by an agent, is it typical to sign a contract ieL amount of commission to be paid, goals required by agent...etc..?

    What other terms should be in the contract? Boy, do I need to learn alot!
     
    Serenity, May 17, 2007
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  7. SME
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    SME Super Genius

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    After a few experiences I now write my own contract. The highlights are
    1. My base salary
    2. Commission percentages
    3. Production requirements and expectations
    4. That I own my license.
    5. That I will agree to a non solicit for 2 years but not a non compete.
    6. Any amount of vesting, bonuses or overrides I expect to recieve.
    7. Either party has to give a 2 week notice for termination.
    8. Ownership of the business.
    9. Schedule flexibility (I'm a mom and need to know that when my son is sick I can stay home)
    10. Detailed job description with duties.
    It helps to have everyones expectations in writing so that there are no hard feelings. Also make sure that you are clear on who you report to and who reports to you. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any specific questions I'll be glad to give you the benefit of my experiences.
     
    SME, May 18, 2007
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  8. Serenity
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    Serenity New Member

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    wow, Steph, You are a gem! thank you for all that and yes, I will be emailing. What a great community this is!
     
    Serenity, May 18, 2007
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  9. salpro22
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    salpro22 Guru

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    I haven't had to deal with this but can somebody enlighten me regarding the following.

    What is the difference between a non solicit and a non compete agreement?

    I imagine the former emphasizes that you "cannot" contact clients, while the latter emphasizes that you can sell the client.. Thoughts?
     
    salpro22, May 18, 2007
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  10. SME
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    SME Super Genius

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    My understanding is that a non solicit means that you can not solicit business from any contacts/ clients you had or were introduced to while woking for the company. Non compete means that you can not sell in the same area as the company. For a non compete to stand up it has to be in a specific geographic area and for a specific time frame usually 2 years.
     
    SME, May 18, 2007
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