Is It Worth It to Become a Broker?

Discussion in 'General Insurance Agent Discussions' started by Mstella, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. Mstella
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    Mstella New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I came across this site and breathed a sigh of relief. I need advice. I am 52 with a 25 year career in Payroll, Benefits and HR administration. I also have 7 years of comission sales experience from my youth working in retail. I live in Las Vegas, NV and have been unemployed since 2010. I am getting headhunted by NY Life, State Farm, Farmers and AIG to become a broker. My mother is an RN so I also have the medical side of the business knowlege as well. I have extensive 401(K) experience and can completely pull apart a plan from inception and make it whole. On the personal side I am a cancer survivor and have worked with employees who used Colonial plans for cancer. My sister passed in 2010 from cancer with no will or insurance outside of her work medical insurance. This left my mom and I in limbo and debt for the 3 years it took CA probate to finish her estate.

    I am now considering changing careers as I cannot find a basic "generalist" job without a degree. Here in NV I am not sure if getting my license is a good move as I dont have any friends to fulfill the 150 - 200 contacts. I have experience and know that helping others avoid what I personally have endured would be fulfilling. I am concerned about the availability of business and income. Classes start in 2 weeks for L&H liscensing.

    Any and all advice is welcome as this is a huge decision and I have been burned by scams. I need an income quickly as I have none. Is this a career I can retire in? Can anyone please give me some advice?

    Thank you,

    Monica
     
  2. rousemark
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    rousemark Guru

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    Monica: It all depends upon you as to whether it is worth it or not. If you are a self starter, results driven and willing to approach total strangers with you "story", you can certainly made a career out of the business. The nice thing is age is not a factor. I am 68 and still working because I want to. I have lots of frineds who ahve retired from captive companies with a nice monthly check and other friends that were independent that have retired on their renewal income.

    Don't let the "Project 100" throw you.. That is not supposed to be 100 or 150 "friends" simply 100 people whom you know in one form or another. Also, don't try to filter it in any way as to whether you can actually get an appointment to see them or make any decision on your own as to whether they need insurance not. Business owners and other HR people you know of through your previous employment would be perfect people to put on the list.
     
  3. Mstella
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    Mstella New Member

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    Thank you rousemark. I see many have viewed my request. Thank you for the reply. I have no problem talking to strangers and sharing my story. My entire work experience has mostly been self taught so I am a self starter. It is in keeping motivated where I tend to falter.

    I dont know 25 people. I have been out of work and circulation since 2010. My relatives are all on the east coast or Alaska. My mom is 80 and so are moset of her friends. I have maybe 10 people I could approach but they are working paycheck to paycheck to support their kids.

    I know I will have to work for a broker and I have no problem with that. I just want to be sure I am making the right choice. I see so many posts that this is expensive to get in to. I cant afford to buy leads.

    My main objective is to be able to make $40-$50K/year without having to work 45-60 hours a week. Work/life balance is most important to me as my mom and I are all we have. I want to continue my volunteer work and be able to spend time with her but pay my own bills. Life in Vegas has changed drastically since we lost the entire construction industry in 2009. Unemployment is still the highest in the nation. These are concerns along with Obamacare. The MGM Corp. has already stated that it would be cheaper for them to pay the fine than to insure their workers if Obamacare goes through. I feel like I could be getting in on the ground floor of an insurance boom or will it be a bust because of insurance cost increase?

    Am I overthinking all of this and allowing my fears to stand in my way?
     
  4. MikeM.
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    MikeM. Expert

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    One of the hardest part in this industry is finding people to sell insurance products to consistently to earn you the income you want. There are only a few way you can acquire new clients/ new sales. You have to have some kind of marketing plan if you don't want to buy leads. A few examples: Advertise. Network with other professionals. Build referral system with everyone you know. Buy client lists and contact them by mail, phone call, or go out and knock on doors.

    Is it possible to make $40-50K/yr? Yes, but you have to ask yourself, what are you going to do to make that income? How are you going to find people who are going to buy from you so that you can earn that income? If you don't have an answer on how to find people to sell to, it's going to be a very tough up hill battle. There is a reason why 9 out of 10 people who come into this industry fails.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013
  5. thomasm
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    thomasm Guru

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    I'm only in my first year as an agent, but as far as I can tell there's no WORK-LIFE BALANCE, at least in the beginning. You got to earn that right by building a solid book of business first! and that takes putting in a lot of hours! You CAN choose those hours, so you don't miss your kids baseball games, school plays etc., but the rest of the time you need to be working!
     
  6. insuranceconceptscindy
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    insuranceconceptscindy Guru

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    Hi Monica!
    I'm a broker in Las Vegas right now. If this is something you really want to explore, I would say go captive first. Get the training and the training paycheck. New York Life, Mass Mutual and Northwestern are all great to start.
    Telling your story is a good way to get going, but you need to know what to do when your prospect gets excited by it. The L&H class doesn't tell you how to do sell insurance. It's not easy in the beginning. You will need all the help, training and support you can get.
    Also, join NAIFA, when you get your license. They will provide a great support network and education. You can PM me to get more information on our local association.
    Good Luck!
     
  7. critter
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    critter Expert

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    I concur with the thought of starting out with a captive agency. It can be a pain, but the positives far outweigh the negatives.


    And the Project 100/200 really should be about starting a marketing plan instead of finding some people to sell to. It's about finding the goose that lays the golden eggs instead of just finding the golden eggs. And in many ways the people who live paycheck to paycheck need insurance the most.

    Best of luck to you.
     
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