What's in your secret sause?

May 12, 2007

  1. Wprice
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    Wprice Expert

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    I'm one of those people that loves to hear new ideas concerning marketing. So, I thought I'd ask this question to all the P&C agents on the board! How do you personally attract new customers to your agency?

    Here's my secret sauce to start:

    I like dealing primarily in homeowners insurance. Mainly because I can upsell some life and disability. Knowing that I love the H/O's market, I market directly with real estate agents and morgage brokers. I pick up a free real estate guy and pluck through it for e-mail addresses. Then I send them a short e-mail explaining who I am and what I do. We have a great referral program that if we write your referral we give you a ten dollar gas card, so I throw that in there because we all know how often RE Agents are on the road. I like to stay busy so I offer my 800 number opposed to the agency number and instantly my phone starts to ring. I keep my name with my "list" by sending them a real estate newsletter and always remind them of our referral program.

    What do you guys do?
     
    Wprice, May 12, 2007
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  2. salpro22
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    What type of content do you include in your real estate newsletter?
    What content do yo
     
    salpro22, May 12, 2007
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  3. Wprice
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    Wprice Expert

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    It's typically articles I find pertaining to the real estate industry in the newpaper or I use a prewritten newsletter online.
     
    Wprice, May 12, 2007
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  4. saieddie
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    I market mostly to mortgage brokers. I've got a couple real estate agents that I work with, but they don't generate very much business for me. The mortgage brokers usually a lot easier to work with, and they stick around their offices more, so are easier to bring promotional items to.(ie gift cards, bagels, donuts, etc.)

    I also like to do some marketing on the golf course. I don't know how well it works, but its a lot more fun.
     
    saieddie, May 15, 2007
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  5. Wprice
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    With Real Estate Agents, I mail direct. I don't waste my time trying to track them down. I usually don't meet many of them either. It's usually all by phone or e-mail.
     
    Wprice, May 16, 2007
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  6. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    Since this is all about the 'secret sauce', I go about this slightly different....

    For P&C agents, we all know the bread and butter product is homeowners insurance, with auto helping pay the overhead, but it's also a lot more service work..... Now, it's all about whether you want the flavor of the secret sauce for policy count, just to grow your book of business, or the secret sauce for quality of clients, to grow overall profitability.

    Policy count 'sauce'
    - Used car dealers. People need insurance to drive the car off the lot. If you don't mind being on-call, on-demand, you can write a lot of policies by connecting with small used car lots. It's Friday evening and weekends. The first car dealers you'll get to send you business are the ones that deal with less than stellar credit. These are also the policies that will lapse. If your new, and need policies, it works.
    - Internet leads. If you have a price competitive liability only product, you can do pretty well with internet leads. I personally have not found them to work as well if your looking for the preferred type of client, with higher liability limits, and full coverage. It's all about knowing how you stack up against the competitors, and filtering into your niche. It also only works if you are in a larger metropolitan area, where there is enough leads to support you.
    - Telemarketing. My personal experience with telemarketing P&C policies, is the people who respond are not the preferred clients. It does work though to get you policy count. You will get takers for people who just got a significant rate increase because of a ticket, accident, or youth driver being added. If you can do well in this market, you'll do pretty well.

    Quality Leads 'Secret Sauce'
    - Networking groups. My highest quality clients come from referrals from the BNI group that I belong to. If I could belong to more BNI groups, I would. Whether your networking group is a structured referral organization, or your bowling league on Wednesday nights, this should be a great source of true referrals for you. Low quantity, high quality.
    - Real estate agents. Keep in mind that the average realtor probably does 4 transactions a year. A good realtor does 2 a month. Out of these, some people will already have insurance in place, so it's not a high volume business, but it is easy business, with the first year premium paid in advance (virtually 0 lapse).
    - Mortgage brokers. Same thing as realtors, good strong business, much higher volume of transactions, but.... most mortgage business in my area right now is refinances. Most have insurance, and don't change. That's okay, I'll take the ones that don't have coverage.
    - Title companies. Work with the people who actually get the docs signed. I get calls from title companies where they get to the final signing and there is no insurance on the home. Not sure how I missed talking to thier mortgage broker in advance, but, these are great deals. Not a lot of them, but they are good business.

    My advice for mortgage brokers and realtors is to work on a joint marketing campaign with them, rather than paying a referral fee. In my area, other agents pay $75-$100 per referral (ouch), and I even had one recently ask for 50% of the commission (including residuals, but then I didn't take this agent). I work with agents on retention marketing, something I can do extremely well, and even though agents know they should do it, they usually don't.

    Dan
     
    djs, May 16, 2007
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    What is the commission structure for home and auto?

    (It would be great if we could create a 'grid' of companies and what they pay... home, auto, life, health, DI, etc. It would not be definitive as there are always variations, but it would be helpful to newbies like me.)

    -Al
     
    Guest, May 16, 2007
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  8. salpro22
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    salpro22 Guru

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    My advice for mortgage brokers and realtors is to work on a joint marketing campaign with them, rather than paying a referral fee. In my area, other agents pay $75-$100 per referral (ouch), and I even had one recently ask for 50% of the commission (including residuals, but then I didn't take this agent). I work with agents on retention marketing, something I can do extremely well, and even though agents know they should do it, they usually don't.

    Dan[/quote]

    Are you saying that if a Realtor or a mortgage broker refers a client to you (i imagine that client has to purchase something), you discuss the possibility of doing a marketing campaign together? In your experience what types of marketing campaigns have you found to be successful with other professionals? thanks for the input.
     
    salpro22, May 16, 2007
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  9. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    A client does not have to purchase anything, if they did, it would be rebating, which isn't allowed. That said, if I get an agent/broker that sends me clients that consistently don't purchase, I don't work with them very long. This hasn't happened. The occassional referral, yes, consistently, no (I have the best homeowners rates in the area anyway).

    If you pm or email me your office street address, I'll send you the marketing campaign. From that, you can make it whatever you want. I don't sell it, there really isn't anything to sell once you see it. It's all based on retention marketing.

    Dan
     
    djs, May 16, 2007
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  10. MJ1
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    MJ1 New Member

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    After reading these posts, I picked up a real estate guide for homes in my area. I then sent a mass email to all realtors email addresses in the book, introducing myself and my company. About 80 total, we will see if I get leads from this idea.
     
    MJ1, Nov 2, 2007
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