State Farm Vs. Farmers... Rehash Again

Discussion in 'Getting Started Selling Insurance' started by Billy Shears, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. Billy Shears
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    Billy Shears New Member

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    I'm changing careers at age 45. I've been successfully self-employed as a sales rep for many years. Times have changed, situations have changed, bottom line is that I'm going to move on to something different. Insurance and financial services have always appealed to me, and I am considering either SF or Farmers. The SF deal seems very structured and commission rates seem to be low. Farmers seems very unstructured for the agent, and commissions appear to be higher. I don't disagree that the SF opportunity can work, but it would seem that if you put the same template on the Farmers program it would work just as well. I've read all the related threads, and some are dated. I would appreciate opinons for today. Please don't suggest Indy, I am not going that route for now. Just trying to weigh out SF and Farmers. Thanks.
     
  2. xrac
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    xrac Guru

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    You have to read this:

    NASFA Membership

    Personally I don't think that SF or Farmers are really great places to start. Does Nationwide or American Family offer an opportunity in your area?
     
  3. xrac
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    xrac Guru

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    Farmers hires anyone that breathes and has massive turnover (probably better than 90%). SF will be much lower because they are very selective. Then the new SF agents wind up in debt and try to make it work. It usually takes them from 2-4 years to figure out what they are up against. SF turn over rate will be much lower because they pretty much locked in. The thing to look at with SF would be the hires within the last 5 years who would do it again if they could start over.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2009
  4. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    The turnover numbers are scary for any insurance company! The industry isn't what a lot of people think it is when they start, and they quickly get out. This isn't really carrier dependent.

    I think a more important statistic, that speaks to the carrier, is how many agents survive 1 year are still agents at 5 years? You can probably assume the first year has a 90% dropout rate, or even higher.

    Both companies have good and bad things about them. It will boil down to what is a better fit for you. State Farm is MUCH tougher to get into, so once people get there, they tend to stay, but Farmers will give more people the opportunity to try.

    In both cases, the person that is responsible for your training is critical to your success. You want to interview this person to make sure they will support you and help guide/mentor you through your first couple of years.

    Dan
     
  5. bobson
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    bobson Guru

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    One question I would ask is, what is the turnover for agents in each organization?
     
  6. farmersluis
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    farmersluis New Member

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    Billy, I'd like to know who you ended up going with. I've read many of the comments here and the only thing I can add is that it does not matter whether you go with State Farm or Farmers. What I'm really trying to say is that your success will depend on you and not which company you're with. I've been around sales long enough to know that success in any sales business depends on the determination and hard work of the individual. Regardless of what anyone tells you, don't expect to open up an office and have people flocking to you to buy insurance. I can pretty much guarantee that will not happen with any company. What I can tell you is that I went with Farmers and so far I am happy with them. It took a lot of hard work to make it to career status and most of the people that went in with me and my wife failed. Right now, things are going well for us. Thankfully, we found a great office with low rent. I work with a lot of local realtors and they refer deals over to us. I get absolutely NO walk in business though...everything has been through referrals...which I then try to cross sell. I'm not going to lie, it can get tough at times...especially since Farmers seems to be the most expensive around, but once you figure that they are looking for a certain type of clientele, it gets easier. I did go to an interview with State Farm and it seems like they give you much more support in the beginning, but like you said, it is very structured. You are 100% captive and they decide where to put you. You also need to show 50K in the bank in order for them to even consider you. I do believe that once you qualify with them, they do support you a lot, but it just seemed way to formal and structured for me. I simply wanted to have more freedom and not be tied down to a company. I may be wrong, but I just got the feeling that State Farm would be micro-managing a bit too much. Maybe they have to since they're investing so much in you. Hope this helps!
     
  7. Aram Fingal
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    Aram Fingal Guru

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    If you haven't made a decision yet you might want to check out MetLife Auto & Home. They offer support for new agents in much the same way that other companies do with one major difference. The money they give you isn't a loan of some kind. They give you a real salary for the first two years, plus reimbursement for office and marketing expenses. Although the amount of reimbursement money you get is dependent on your production, you won't end up owing the company money if your production dips or you decide this isn't the right career for you.

    They also offer medical benefits and a pension plan.

    Worth a look before you make a decision if you haven't already.

    Keep in mind that no matter what company you go with, you will likely have to make an investment of your own money to really be successful.
     
  8. PRColorado
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    PRColorado New Member

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    I have read all of the posts, and all the input is definitely worth considering. I am fully licensed, and work FOR a State Farm agent (been a SF team member for 6 1/2 years). I investigated the Farmers Agent opportunity last fall, and was just too scared to make the jump now - given the current economic impact and how much people are shopping for price.
    But - one thing that I didn't see mentioned... with new SF agents, after you make it into the agency program (1-2 years) you are considered a temporary/intern for the first year. New agents lease their office, hire staff, lease/buy furnishings/office equipment, etc. - with some subsidy I assume from SF. A new agent in our area seemed to be doing fairly well, but before the 12 months were up he was told that he would NOT be offered a contract. The staff was let go, and the agent finished up the remaining time trying to service his clients. SF agents probably have a lower "wash out" ratio, but it's still not a done deal.
     
  9. xcslx
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    xcslx Expert

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    Sorry to bring up a thread from last month... But I recently went through this decision so I just wanted to put in my 2 cents.

    I was an Agency Producer for a Farmers office about 4 yrs ago. I recently decided to get back into insurance and was deciding between AllState, State Farm and Farmers.

    I chose Farmers because I felt that they had a great support system for agents. It was so easy to access answers to any questions I had... Also, the subsidy is great IMO. My mother was also a former Farmers Career Agent and wrote enough policies to keep from paying any of it back. I think Farmers just makes things really easy for the agent and backs us up completely. The Farmers University has also been recognized as the a top corporate University, outranking Microsoft U and Xerox U. Ive actually learned alot from it!

    Farmers having acquired 21 Century Auto and Bristol West certainly doesnt hurt either! I mean, I do notice that BW rates have gone up a bit since the Farmers buyout, but they are still a great option when writing up DUI and Accident clients.

    I think Farmers is a great way to go if you plan to work your tail off and make sure you dont pay back that subsidy! lol. I know I sound like a total Farmers cheerleader or ad, but thats because I really believe in the company I work for...
     
  10. kman
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    kman Expert

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    How about believing in its products?
     
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