Training

Nov 30, 2018

  1. StLAgent
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    StLAgent New Member

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    It has been great reading through threads on the forum.

    A quick background on myself. My family owns and operates an independent agency in the St. Louis area. I was licensed when I was 19 years old and made my first attempt at a career in the industry. It was met with several obstacles that led me to leaving the agency after a couple years. I had no clear vision of my future, which is pretty common for 19 year olds. I was going to college, mowing lawns, and working at the agency at the time. I graduated college and also grew the mowing business into a landscape maintenance business to just shy of $1 million a year in sales. I thoroughly enjoyed the hustle of that business and seeing what I built, but the future was looking extremely uncertain with recent changes to the labor visa programs. I sold that business back in Spring. I say all this to try to add validity to my knowledge of what it takes to focus and hustle in a business. I know there aren't short cuts and I also know the hours that it takes to build something meaningful, which is why I am writing this at 3 am.

    I want to build another business with secure recurring revenue, which is something my previous business delivered, but the ability to execute without a secure labor force crushed that. With 10 years in the landscape industry, I built several great relationships with vendors, customers, subcontractors, etc... that I feel like I could tap into to build a great commercial book of business. I feel like I bring a fairly unique value to contractors having lived in that space for 10 years, and again also have great relationships with several. I have already asked several if I could quote their insurance when I get licensed and most of them I have received positive feedback from.

    One of my biggest hurdles I see at this point is training. One of the failures I see in my first attempt in the industry was a complete lack of training. My father is a great guy that has been writing personal lines primarily for decades. He knows the industry inside and out, but experience doesn't always equate to being a great teacher.

    Could anyone provide some resources for learning that would help for a agent in the commercial lines world? Specifically in the contracting world, as this will be my primary focus for the foreseeable future. If anyone has any general advice to add, I would love to hear it!

    Thanks!
     
    StLAgent, Nov 30, 2018
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  2. InsCommentary
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    InsCommentary Guru

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    www.irmi.com

    Best commercial lines references in the industry and their primary focus is the construction industry.
     
  3. StLAgent
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    StLAgent New Member

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    Thanks for the reply!
     
  4. Markthebroker
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    Markthebroker Guru

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    When I was young, I was a bicycle mechanic. Not a terribly good one, but that's what I did for a while. When I got my first car, a few of the tools and skills transferred over, but for the most part I had to start over and get a whole new tool set. In some ways my experience and tools from being a bicycle mechanic actually hurt me as I was using some wrong tools and applying some of the wrong information.

    Fast forward to 7 or so years ago when I started out as a personal lines broker. I eventually moved into commercial, and am 100% commercial now. Some of what I learned in personal lines helped, but I had to relearn things and transition over. Very similar to my transition working on bikes to working on my own cars.

    Commercial lines, especially contractors is a special and complex gig, particularly when you get into the certs. If your dad is personal lines, he won't be much help either way. No more help than a bicycle mechanic would be on your car. Find a commercial brokerage to work at. Be very clear and up front about what you bring to the table, and what you need from them and they can train you as you go. It's going to take years. There isn't a book or a class you can take on this stuff.
     
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