Do you need to build an agency vs. just becoming a strong personal producer?
You don’t, but here is my reason that you should. Also, keep in mind just you alone, if your producing at a high level, are an insurance agency. You’re going to need support to process high volume business. Think about it – you might be able to manage lead acquisition, sell, process put out fires, and more. Are you going to be able to track commissions and make sure your getting paid? How about creating and managing your social marketing platform and your website? Perhaps you’ll opt out of the future of internet marketing, hmmm…. I think that would be a mistake.
Many of these tasks can be automated; of course, that creates work in itself. Are you always going to set your own appointments and respond to underwriter’s requests? I think at some point you’re going to realize these activities can be handled at a lower cost than doing it yourself.
Also, you need to understand contracts and I’m going to explain how you can quickly have the top contracts for every product you sell. Often times you find out your FMO is on the lowest rung of the contract recruiting ladder. Is this bad? Not necessarily.
Let’s take this in another direction. Internet/Content marketing is taking more and more of the advertising dollars spent. This trend will continue indefinitely. You, as an agent, need to be part of this trend or one day you’ll likely settle for less business. The successful agents in this arena will benefit greatly with significant high-quality lead flow. The agent could certainly benefit by having a system where the flow of business is best handled by a team. At a minimum; an in-house admin person along with a junior agent to manage the business in the event of your absence. A well-tuned agency will always generate income.
I’m going to continue on as it’s critical you fully understand the concept of agency versus being a high producing agent. Agents can, in fact, make a lot of money, but one agent is not going to make the type of money a strong agency makes. The typical insurance agent makes $43,000 annually. A good agent will make much more than that. However, the two combined won’t make anything near an agency working as a well-oiled machine.
I have always made more money when running a team than individually and I’ve done both for years at a time. There was a period of time (years) when I did not work full time or for a while, even part-time. As a result of my previously running an agency for just over a year, I was able to live comfortably over this time and not stress about money. It’s possible that I would have been okay through this period had I just been a high producing individual agent. I say possibly, but very doubtful. It would have had to have been one of the highest producing agents in America. You hear about unicorns, but you don’t see them.