How Does One Become An Independent Agent?

Feb 19, 2019

  1. Justin Williams
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    Justin Williams New Member

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    I am leaving my horrible job as a public high Geometry Teacher and am considering becoming an independent agent. Maybe I’m missing something, but in today’s internet/social media age, I can’t comprehend why anyone wouldn’t sell as an independent agent. Over the last few months I figured out how to develop/design a website and am now learning digital marketing. With Google/Facebook/YouTube Ads, I can set parameters just right to where I’ll generate more leads than I can handle. Plus I have lived in a booming metropolis for 40-years and am well connected. Once I’m established, I’ll hire and train some headstrong 18-year-old kids to set my appointments as well as pay for others to get licensed, teach them how to sell, and then rely on them as my agents.

    All that being said, can anyone tell me the best way to get started. Is it just a matter of finding the right products to sell, passing the tests and then finding insurance companies who allow independent agents to sell their products? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. texasnative
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    texasnative New Member

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    I think you'll find insurance is super competitive, and it's not as easy to break into the business as you might think. It's way more complicated than placing Google & Facebook ads & waiting for those 18 year olds in your office to make you millions of dollars - LOL. You have to be an ace (I'm talking *super good*) at sales, good at networking, be able to come up with & risk extra investment capital --- AND have the stomach to handle it, and be able to fight like the dickens with the competition ... and if you can find a niche you can especially do well. Apparently something like 90-95% of agents who get into the business, get out of it. I have started multiple successful businesses, and I have seen that with them as well --- in particular vending machines & different forms of real estate investing (I've since long sold the vending business). I've made a ton of money with both. But most of my competition who got into both businesses, soon got out of it, because they were looking to get rich quick & didn't understand what it took to make money over the long haul. I think the same thing applies to insurance. I'm not trying to discourage you --- you can do it --- but spend some time searching these forums for people who ask similar questions. There is some good advice already here. Good luck!!!
     
  3. shawnmwalker
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    shawnmwalker Guru

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    Well you have a decision tree here. I'll lead you down one path, but it is biased.



    "Begin with the end in mind"- 7 habits of Highly effective people.



    Decision #1:



    What end of the Ins Spectrum do you want? if you answered P&C keep reading. If ''Other" wait for the others to respond



    Decision #2: Captive or Independent.



    Captive:

    Pro: They will teach you a lot but inevitably you will go Indy at some point in your career. Another Pro, they will subsidize your life for a time.

    Con: The District Manager will push too hard or force life on you or cut your commissions or change your contract, or, ext, ext. Your Captive will take rate increases and kill your production and you will have one price point while others dissect your book one policy at a time.



    Independent: :

    Pro: Control expenses. Get higher commission. Higher conversion. Higher retention. All of those factors equal more money.

    Con: Starting out. Getting knowledge. Your personality type could sink yourself.



    Decision #3:



    Once you decide Indy is for you, in the next week or 22 yrs from now. The question will be how to do it. Your options include:



    Buy an agency.

    Join a group.

    Become a producer for an agency.

    Get direct appointments.

    Get an agency that provides the back end service so you can hunt full time.



    You decide which one is best for you.





    Decision #4: What group should I join?



    There are a lot. Consider the following. NOT ALL GROUPS ARE CREATED EQUAL! They range from good, better and best.



    Any group claiming to be best of class should provide the following:

    1. Transparency
    2. Training and support
    3. Carrier Alignment
    4. and a great Contract
    Give me a call, shoot me am IM. Good luck and have fun with your choices.



    I have been in Insurance for 15+ years and the great thing in this industry is you can choose to never stop learning. Your learning curve is never ending. Meaning you will never get bored.
     
  4. NCAgent828
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    NCAgent828 Super Genius

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    Shawn never disappoints. Love your genuine care for others on here. You take the time to respond. Can’t tell you how many “of you go to search bar this has been addressed many times” responses I’ve seen.
     
  5. shawnmwalker
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    shawnmwalker Guru

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    NC Agent,

    I am not all saint. That was prewritten and has been posted before by myself many times.

    I do care however. I have seen too many make the wrong decisions. Are too fast in their decisions. Don't read enough. There are groups and clusters that prey on agents willing to make fast decisions. Its not cool.
     
  6. NCAgent828
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    NCAgent828 Super Genius

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    I feel ya! I’m a perfect example. I do enjoy where I’m at but wish I had looked over more options beforehand. There is a lot you don’t know about your agency until you flesh it out (actually do it). I thought I had everything figured out until I didn’t. I tell every new agent “you better know Jesus and you better have some money set aside or a second income” ha!
     
  7. shawnmwalker
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    shawnmwalker Guru

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    I hope everyone takes some time to get to know Jesus.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2019
  8. Life Hawk
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    Life Hawk Guru

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    That's one of the best ideas anyone could give... that truly is looking at the end in mind. :)
     
  9. BADTROUT
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    BADTROUT Guru

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    Amen to the "eternal" perspective on business and life in general... honestly there is too much "me me me" and too little "He He He" in our important decisions like this... that said... People often spend too much or too little time researching, and neither is better or worse than the other. In MY opinion it's best to get your feet wet under the security and supervision/leadership of an agency. Be it captive or indy I think a little time invested in learning the business always helps. I've known people very successful just starting from scratch but this is rare because even after training you're still probably going to be learning hard lessons along the way that may be avoided.
     
  10. NCAgent828
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    NCAgent828 Super Genius

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    I’m with BadTrout. The thing is, if you are new then you can figure out what your carriersndo well and chase after that. Only if you are turning away business because you don’t have the right options would I consider changing or going one way vs the other. When you are starting out I would go to all the captives you can and get them sending you business and then go after the commercial insurance that you can write correctly and competitively. Grow from there into new classes of business and repeat. That’s what I have been doing and I’m not a millionaire by any means but I’m learning and growing.
     
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