What’s In YOUR Agency Management System?

So if I were to ask you, “What is your agency’s rate of retention?” (in general, not specifically by line of business), what would your answer be? 80%? 90%? Higher, or lower? Chances are, and I would be willing to wager on this, that your answer would be the same that I hear from most agencies: “Oh, we have a fantastic retention rate, I am sure it is over 90%!”

Well, that is fantastic, except that:

a) There is an excellent chance that your response is incorrect as it is most likely lower than you assumeb) How come you cannot tell me exactly what it is, for each line of business?

b) How come you cannot tell me exactly what it is, for each line of business?

Well, the answer to both of my statements above is very simple, but before we discuss the answers and why, let us chat a bit about retention, and its impact on your business and its employees.

Assuming your agency has a high rate of retention, let’s say 90%. That appears to be an excellent rate, considering all of the outside influences that the independent agents face these days with direct writers, online marketers, and what have you. However, even though 90% appears on the surface to be something to brag about on the golf course with your fellow agents and brokers, a 90% rate of retention very simply means that you now have to work 10% harder than you did last year, just to break even! In addition, let’s also assume that you have been in business for ten years, and each year your agency is operating at a 90% retention level, so when you extrapolate that figure out in reverse, you are constantly having to work harder and harder than the year before, just so that you do not lose what you and your staff worked so diligently for previously!

Let’s now complicate this calculation even further: have your carriers all called you this year and told you that they are going to raise your commission rates, increase profit sharing, and expect you to do less service work? I don’t think so…if anything, your commissions (if they haven’t been reduced), have most likely remained the same. Granted, premiums have increased so you will make up some of the revenue that way, but that is the equivalent of a supermarket raising the price of milk to offset the cost of bread. Furthermore, your agency expenses have been on the rise with labor costs, health care and other insurance costs, rent, utilities, etc., so an increase in premiums does not necessarily offset the 10% loss of clientele.

There are a few different ways to manage this loss of business and revenue. However, you cannot address the issue until you are fully aware of exactly what the issue is, and can definitively determine exactly what the agency’s rate of retention is. So how do you do that? Well, to begin with, you need an automated tool that will help you to measure exactly how you keep your existing business. For instance, as a business owner, you should have at your fingertips the ability to go into your management system, request a report on business retained and have the ability to manage the renewal process. You should also be able to not only see this information when you request it but also be alerted to indicators throughout the policy year on factors that may cause the policy to not renew. If you have this information automatically provided to you and your appropriate staff on a regular basis, you may then implement a process and schedule tasks to address these areas of concern, before you receive the call requesting a BOR (broker of record), or copy of their existing declarations page, or even worse: an LPR (lost policy release) which indicates that the coverage has been replaced.

Don’t work harder to generate less income…let automation do this for you. EZLynx has patented tools to automate these processes for you. For additional information on how EZLynx can help you and your business, please contact us today!

 


EZLynx Unveils Suite of Consumer Communication Tools for Insurance Agents

EZLynx today announces the general availability of EZLynx Communication Center. This suite of communication features brings seamless text messaging, email campaigns, eSignature, and Microsoft Outlook® integration to their flagship single-platform product.

“Communication is an essential part of doing business as an independent insurance agent,” said Riley Simmons, Product Manager at EZLynx. “That’s why Communication Center will be a priority for us this year as we strive to streamline the agent-consumer communication process for both new sales and the servicing of existing policyholders.

“Pair these integrated communication tools with EZLynx Agency Websites, EZLynx Consumer Quoting, EZLynx Client Center, EZLynx Management System, and EZLynx Retention Center, and our users now have the tools they need to manage the complete customer lifecycle – all on ONE PLATFORM™.”

EZLynx collaborated with the agent panel to get on-the-ground feedback on the tools needed by insurance agents. “It has been really satisfying to watch EZLynx take our feedback and roll out these incremental improvements to their product suite,” said one participating agency panel member . “EZLynx works hard to understand the challenges that agents face. When you look at the progression of their product enhancements, it because very obvious that these guys get it.”

Learn more about EZLynx Communication Center and their full suite of agency solutions.


EZLynx Adds Unprecedented Number of New Florida Carriers to Comparative Rating Platform

Florida Agents Receive Better Market Penetration with EZLynx® Rating Engine

EZLynx announced today the availability of several new Florida carriers to their flagship comparative rater as part of a continued effort to help Florida independent agents remain competitive in a state dominated by regional carriers.

New Florida carriers available within the EZLynx Rating Engine include:

  • American Integrity Insurance Group
  • Cabrillo Coastal / Safe Harbor
  • Capitol Preferred
  • Centauri Insurance
  • Cypress Property and Casualty
  • Florida Family Insurance
  • Florida Peninsula Insurance Company
  • Heritage Property and Casualty
  • Southern Fidelity Insurance Company
  • Southern Fidelity Property and Casualty
  • Universal North America

“We are extremely pleased with the progress we have made for our Florida users,” said Kevin Coplin, Senior Manager of Carrier Relations at EZLynx. “Adding these Florida carriers to the list of over 176 carriers already active on EZLynx has given these agents a greater competitive edge in their state, and these newly added carriers will likely see increased volume as a result of the greater ease of access afforded to their agents by using EZLynx. Everybody wins here.”


20 Best Practices for Marketing Your Insurance Agency

20 Best Practices for Marketing Your Insurance Agency

As a business professional proficient in the art of sales, you have likely realized that the hardest product to sell can be your own brand. To optimize your time and budget, focus on these cost efficient best practices for marketing your insurance services:

1. Develop a Business Referral Partnership: Insurance sales is a relationship businesses. Establish a mutually beneficial referral agreement with another local business that you trust, like an account, car dealer, or home contractor. Make sure you each have copies of one another’s business cards in your offices to distribute to customers and prospects.

2. Enhance your Google Ranking: Consumers value convenience, and with so many searches for business services starting with a trip to a search engine, particularly Google, ranking well on Google Search and Google Maps, is essential. To help small to mid-sized businesses to control their presence across Google’s properties, Google offers a tool called “Google My Business.”

3. Make Your Business Cards Stand Out: A distinctive business card design will make your agency memorable and will set you apart from the competition. In addition, give prospects a reason to keep your card on hand. Add local emergency phone numbers to the back, such as the local police department, fire department, gas company, and electric company, so that prospects always have your card in their wallet or saved in an easily accessible place in their home.

4. Partner with Your Local Chamber of Commerce: A presence on Google is essential, but don’t forget the importance of your local businesses community. Make sure your agency is listed in your local Chamber of Commerce’s printed and online directories. Those new to the area in particular are most likely to turn to businesses endorsed by the local Chamber of Commerce when in need of professional services.

5. Write a Blog: Your prospects are likely researching topics online that relate to your services, such as: “Cost to insure my teen driver,” “How to manage flood damage,” or “How to obtain health coverage from the Insurance Marketplace.” Consumers are more likely to partner with an organization that they feel is creditable and knowledgeable. By consistently writing and publishing educational articles on your website, you will position yourself as a thought leader and industry expert. Not only will continual content help establish your industry expert status, but it will help your organic online search engine results as well.

6. The Power of Customer Testimonials: Ask your satisfied customers for a testimonial of their experience with your agency. Testimonials and endorsements lend credibility and help establish trust among prospective customers. Written testimonials can be placed on your website, or in print advertising, or you can record video testimonials and place them prominently on your website as well.

7. Mobile Optimize: With 80% of online searches being performed from a Smart Phone in 2015 according to SmartInsights, having a mobile optimized website is ideal for prospective clients searching for your services. Otherwise, if a prospect visits your website from their smart phone and can’t find the information needed because of the way your site is rendering on their mobile device, they will likely move on to a competitor’s site to get the information he or she needs.

8. Attend Local Networking Events: Your local chamber of commerce or other local business organizations likely host monthly or quarterly networking events. Attend as many as possible, and bring those memorable business cards with you! Not only will networking events help you to identify prospective clients, but you may also identify new businesses partnerships with future mutual referral opportunities.

9. Write and Submit Press Releases to the Local Media: Share the news that affects your agency with your community. Just hired a new adjuster? Recently promoted one of your agents? Offering a promotional period for one of your services? Sponsoring a local charity golf event? Share anything newsworthy with your local press. Not only will it help to get the name of your agency in the media, but the next time a local reporter is looking for a source to quote on an article that relates to your line of insurance, they will be more likely to remember you and reach out for a quote. This strategy will further enhance your position as a thought leader.

10. Brand Yourself: Invest in tasteful, branded, professional attire like golf shirts and button-down shirts with your company logo in the corner. Wherever you travel in your community for events, meetings, and volunteer opportunities, you represent your agency. Branding yourself will help identify you to prospects and will also help with your overall brand awareness.

11. Book Speaking Engagements: This is another reason that business partnerships and a Chamber of Commerce membership can be extremely valuable. Offer to speak at local events on topics relevant to your services. Let the organizers of local events know that you are available and willing to give presentations. They will be thrilled to call on you the next time they are building their agenda, and you will have an opportunity to continue building your reputation as a local, accessible, insurance expert, which will ultimately, translate into new business.

12. Wrap Your Car: To help build brand awareness as you travel around your community, invest in a car wrap and you have instantly become your own mobile billboard. If a full car wrap is cost-prohibitive, simple magnets can be custom created and fixed to the side of your vehicle at a more affordable price.

13. Partner with a Local Charity to Elevate Your Brand: By aligning your company with a charitable event or organization, you not only have the opportunity to give back to your community and make a difference to those in need, but you can help to increase your brand awareness and elevate the perception of your agency. Consider supporting a charity that aligns with your services for the most impact. Offer home insurance? Co-sponsor a local Habitat for Humanity project. Sell life insurance? Co-sponsor a local run/walk event.

14. Monthly Business Card Drawings: Place a fishbowl on your reception desk and encourage everyone who stops by to drop in their business cards to be entered into monthly drawing. Make the price valuable, like a $25 gift card to a local restaurant. Most importantly, ensure the contact information from all collected business cards is saved in your prospect contact files for future follow-up.

15. Award Yourself: Apply for local and regional businesses awards. Your local business media publications or chamber of commerce likely create annual rankings for “Best of the Best” in town, in your industry, within your business size category, etc. Many competitions are free to apply, and when you win, you will be able to promote your “Best of” designation as another level of credible distinction.

16. Create, and Continually Update, your LinkedIn Profile: LinkedIn is a social media site that allows business professionals to connect with one another. Not only will this help you find business-to-business leads if you sell commercial insurance, but having a LinkedIn page that is continually updated with news, information, and links to educational content (time to re-post those blog articles again!) helps to establish your knowledge base and credibility.

17. Conduct an Annual Customer Survey: Survey your existing customers annually. A brief online or paper survey can easily gather satisfaction data. Once you have compiled the exceptional results of your survey, promote them! Add statistics to your website, print advertising, or even business card. Statements such as “100% of our customers would refer our agency to a friend,” or “99% of our customers rank our customer service as excellent 5 years in a row” are powerful statements for turning leads into sales, so long as they are factual.

18. Submit Educational Articles to Your Local Media Publications: After the time and effort you have put into developing additional blog articles, get extra use out of them by submitting them to a local newspaper. Reach out to the paper’s business writer and ask if you can submit a monthly article for an “Ask An Insurance Expert” column. The next time someone in your community has a question or needs a quote, they will remember you as their local expert.

19. Reward Referrals: Let your customers know that you offer thank you gifts for referrals. Financial incentives are the most appealing form of rewards. Consider a $50 gas card if the lead turns into a client.

20. Host Your Own Event or Seminar: Here’s our final suggestion to help establish you as the preeminent insurance expert in your community: host your own seminar or educational event on a hot topic impacting your industry. Be sure to invite all of your current clients and prospects by email, postcard, and phone. Consider co-hosting the event with one of your business partner and encourage them to invite their clients and prospects as well, a strategy that can help you both with cross sales.

To learn more about EZLynx marketing solutions, check out Agency Websites and Marketing Campaigns.


How to Grow Your Insurance Agency Using Local SEO

How to Grow Your Insurance Agency Using Local SEO

In today’s world of smart phones, Twitter feeds, and geo-targeted advertising, a successful business marketing strategy must be optimized to identify local prospects. The cornerstone of a successful local marketing strategy requires effective search engine optimization (SEO). This is especially true for small insurance agencies. More insurance buyers are going online during the buying process to research their decision. Local search engine optimization is focused on providing results that are relevant to a searcher based on their current location.

For independent insurance agencies, this means that if a prospect in your area searches for “car insurance,” that your website appears at the top of the rankings, above national agencies, educational pieces, and news articles. Ensuring that your agency is at the top of local search engine results takes a multi-pronged strategy, but it can be accomplished successfully by completing the following steps.

Improve Keyword Relevancy

A successful SEO strategy should begin with keywords. SEO keywords are the terms your website is targeting. Research the keywords that are the most relevant to your industry and that will be the most effective in driving traffic to your site. Since search engines rank pages and not websites, each page of your website should include keywords that are specific to that page. Use your keywords frequently throughout your content, but be sure to use them naturally. Search engines can identify websites with unnatural keyword densities, which negatively impacts rankings. Be sure to also include location information throughout your content as part of your keyword strategy, such as the name of the city where your office is located.

Create Deep Content with Internal Links

An internal link connects one page of a website to a different page within the same site. For example, on your home owner’s insurance product page, include a few sentences in the copy about obtaining a quote, and link it to a “Visit our location” page to reinforce your local presence. From your user’s perspective, this strategy provides the opportunity to read more of your content and spend more time within your site. From a search engine’s perspective, internal links encourage the crawling of multiple pages to index more content, which in turn improves your ranking.

Improve the Visitor’s Experience

Search engine rankings are improved for websites with low “bounce rates” and longer “time-spent-on-site.” Your content should answer all of your prospect’s questions (such as where you are located). Search engines can tell how effectively your website accomplishes this by monitoring the time between when a prospect clicks on your search result and when they return to the search engine. If a prospect only stays on your site for a few seconds, this high bounce rate, or low time-spent-on-site, can hurt your rankings.

Maintain an Active Social Media Presence

Creating social media pages across multiple platforms will help to improve your organic search results. Create social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and continually update the pages with new content. Post information about community initiatives, new hires, industry news and trends, and product offers to your social media accounts and link to your website for the complete details.

Create a Google My Business Page

Google My Business allows companies of all sizes to create pages to promote their local business, which can be highly effective for small businesses looking to attract local customers. Google search engine rankings are improved for businesses that have verified Google My Business pages. Be sure your Google My Business page includes accurate information about your businesses, including your local address and phone number, and include a Google map of your location.

The Power of Social Validation

Positive customer testimonials, both within your website’s content and posted to third party sites, can enhance your search engine rankings. Ask trusted clients if you can include their testimonial and home town on your website, or ask them to review your agency on Google, Yelp or other such sites that aim to match customers with local, highly-rated companies.

Optimize Backlinks

Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your site, and they improve your search engine rankings. There are many opportunities to obtain backlinks from local partners. For example, get included on your local chamber of commerce website, or submit a scholarly article to your local online news outlet (e.g.: “How to Purchase First Time Flood Insurance in Tampa”). Links from these highly-ranked sites back to your website will not only give your agency local credibility, it will improve your local SEO.

Go Mobile

According to our own analytics, 20% of consumers are completing an insurance quote online using their mobile or tablet device, and an even larger percentage are using those devices to browse our agent websites. To ensure that these searchers can find your agency, and have a positive experience with your site once they get there, you will need either a mobile version of your website or a single responsive website. Either of these options will ensure that your website displays comfortably on any variety of mobile phone or tablet. Otherwise, if a prospect quickly leaves your mobile site because it is too difficult to navigate and read on their mobile device, your search engine rankings may suffer from high bounce rates.

Independent insurance agencies should not be intimidated by the mysterious and ever-changing algorithms of Google and other search engines. By implementing these simple strategies, your agency can improve its search engine visibility – allowing you to grow your business one click at a time.

Learn how EZLynx takes advantage of many of these strategies with EZLynx Agency Websites


Agencies and the Art of Upselling: “Do You Want Fries With That?”, Part 2

Insurance Agency Upselling

How does an agency successfully cross sell products, while keeping their clients’ best interests in hand, and without the appearance that all they are doing is trying to further separate your customers from their money? Here are a few suggestions that will help you or your staff to write more from within:

1) First off, establish a cross selling (and measurable) goal that your agency can attain. By this I mean that you should have a team meeting, and determine the percentage of total growth that you expect to achieve from existing business within your agency, versus business that is entirely new to your organization.

2) Next, create a method of cross-selling to your clients, specific to each line of business. It can be as simple as what type of coverage should you suggest to owners of certain types of policies.

3) Establish a target for each line of business customer. Such as, from a personal lines auto policy customer you may expect a 25% increase in written premium, and perhaps from a commercial account.

4) Designate a person within your agency who can champion this project, who will monitor achievements, track successes, and encourage others to always be selling to all those who communicate with the agency.

5) Do not expect to obtain large premiums on each cross sell opportunity…take advantage of a small renter’s policy sale to a single auto policy owner, with the long term goal of selling a life policy to them in the future.

6) Sometimes the cross-sell opportunity is right under your nose, and you don’t even realize it. For example: analyze each and every portfolio of all your clients, with the intention of uncovering business that you may not have sought after the first time. For instance: perhaps you targeted pizzerias because you have a program with a certain carrier that specializes in these types of establishments. Well remember that the owner of the pizzeria most likely lives somewhere so there is a need for some type of home coverage, or perhaps they even drive a car to work, or have a family to financially protect…see my point?

7) Offer incentives to those who cross sell…perhaps a bonus, or a higher commission rate. It may cost you a few bucks extra up front, but in the long run your retention rate and agency bottom line will all be affected in a very positive way.

8) Lastly, when a cross sell opportunity is resented to a client, and the client refuses the product, have a preprinted coverage sign off sheet readily available for them to sign, indicating that they were offered the coverage, and declined. Chain drug stores have implemented this procedure when purchasing prescription drugs, requiring the customer to check off the “declined consultation” box, before being permitted to complete the transaction and purchase the drugs, which causes some folks to actually ask additional questions about what it is that they are purchasing.

9) Schedule annual policy reviews with your clients. This will not only help you to broaden the policy portfolios of your clients, but will also offer them the added protection that they may certainly be in need of.

10) Learn from the experts of cross selling: Did you ever notice when you purchase an item online, more specifically a book, that you will receive an email stating that “75% of those who purchased that, also purchased this”. Believe it or not, with a little thought and imagination you can find a correlation between many policies, that when one is purchased, it will cause you to consider another. For example: if one purchases a homeowners policy for a new home, perhaps they need life insurance to protect the mortgage.

All of the suggestions above are just the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to new and innovative ways to cross sell to your existing business, as there are so many additional means of increasing each clients’ value in your agency. But no matter what your organization’s method of obtaining new business from existing business is, remember to always look for the additional opportunity, and “always be selling”.


Agencies and the Art of Upselling: “Do You Want Fries With That?”, Part 1

Agencies and the Art of Upselling

Every time I walk into a fast food restaurant, whether it be for a cup of coffee, a salad, or a box of donuts to bring to someone’s house, I always pay particular attention to the server to see just how hard they will try to upsell, or cross sell, a bigger, better, tastier, or hotter food than what I placed an order for.

Why is that? Because I can learn from these large nationwide chains new and innovative ways to ask the very simple question of, “What else can I sell you today that will make myself and the company that I am employed with more money?”

How important is this? Well, for many agencies out there, the emphasis has long been on obtaining new business, and not as focused on protecting what is already in house. I speak with agencies on a daily basis. Based on these sources, I have gathered a few statistics.

1) Most experts agree that it costs 4 to 6 times more to acquire a new customer, than to retain an existing one

2) Marketing to existing customers is 5 to 8 times less expensive than marketing to new ones

3) 65% of a company’s new business comes from existing customers

4) Repeat customers spend on average 67% more than new ones

Because it costs so much more to acquire a new customer than it does to sell to an existing customer, you are much better off spending your marketing dollars on those who you know, rather than on complete strangers. Armed with these and other facts, I am not at all saying that you should not continue to obtain new business, but it makes perfect sense for an agency to find new and innovative ways to increase their effort on retaining existing business, and increase the portfolio of their current clients…something that many agencies don’t take advantage of.


Increase the Value of Your Agency, Part 2

Increase the Value of your AgencyThe ability to grow and add value to an agency is only useful in the long run if it is sustainable.  Maintaining value requires taking a deeper look at some of the important KPIs that affect the overall health of an agency. EZLynx Agency Pulse puts these metrics and more at your fingertips each month for a quick agency check-up. We’ll look at three proven indicators that we have seen as most important to sustained stability in an independent insurance agency.

1. Balancing revenue segments – Revenue is vital to any business and diversifying these segments helps provide long-term stability. As we know, personal lines are becoming ever more competitive and frequently see a high level of churn. Balancing this out by increasing the segment of commercial policies and other segments helps provide long-term revenue stability. Most personal lines agencies should aim for a PL/CL ratio around 60:40 for ideal revenue segmentation.

2. Carrier Distribution – The fluctuations of carrier rates are common place. Many producers go with a gut feeling about which carriers are hot at any given time. The truth is that they all will eventually have rate increases and decreases. Like investing in the stock market, the best way to manage risk is to diversify your assets. Managing the percent premium volume with each of your carriers will provide greater long-term revenue sustainability. Try aiming for a distribution with no more than 20 to 25 percent of your premium volume with any one carrier.

3. Revenue Per Customer – This is an interesting metric because, financially speaking, increasing this average is a good thing; however, if you are depending on one or two large accounts to bring it up, it can be fiscally risky. To mitigate these two alternatives, focus on balancing this with the policies per customer indicator mentioned previously. Our current customers average 1.6 policies per customer, and captive agents achieve upwards of 5. In a typical independent agency, it is not unreasonable to aim for a policy per customer number at three or above. Higher numbers correlate to a stable balance of revenue among your customers and an increase in the average customer life-time value to the agency.

Another major factor in keeping these metrics stable is to establish process and routines. According to leading neuroscientists, more than 40 percent of what we do in life and business is based on habits2. Creating specific procedural habits in your agency helps maintain consistency and efficiency. Setting specific processes for managing new business, cross selling mono-line policies, working renewals, handling policy change requests, etc. can make a huge impact in the sustained growth of an agency.  Each customer interaction provides an opportunity to build customer loyalty and reinforce the agency’s unique value proposition. Setting process expectations for producers and CSRs in your agency will help this to become second nature and keep your staff from missing opportunities to reinforce the relationship with each customer.

EZLynx offers turn-key business solutions to help any agency grow reach its goals like the Agency Pulse, which puts agency KPIs at your fingertips.  EZLynx offers products to help make your job easier, so you can get back to what really matters!

(2015). 2014 insurance agency transaction multiples. The Deal Maker’s Dialogue, 6(2).


Increase the Value of Your Agency, Part 1

Increase the Value of your AgencyAn agency’s value can be an ambiguous figure often inflated in the minds of agency owners. It is frequently overlooked as long as book size is growing. Owners who are not planning to sell usually have number in their heads, but many neglect to take the time to delve into the actual valuation. However, its value goes beyond getting a good sale price. The agency valuation can not only be used to secure financing for sudden opportunities, but, more importantly, it provides a roadmap for strategic planning and growth. Understanding an agency’s value can identify potential risks and vulnerabilities that could change its worth over time.

The first step to increasing an agency’s value is understanding its current value. A variety of factors are taken into account for establishing value including growth, profitability, and financial security. MarshBerry, an M&A advisory firm, reported that in 2014 the average Base Purchase Price increased to 7.14 times EBITDA with a range from 5.9 to 7.81. EBITDA is a widely accepted measure of profits which stands for Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization. By removing operating expenses from the revenue and excluding the administrative expenses, it provides an accurate picture of how an agency is performing. Whether you utilize retained commissions or agency earnings (EBITDA) as the base, the same principles for increasing value will apply.

Average Value = 7.14 x EBITDA

EBITDA = Revenue – Expenses (excluding interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization)

If you can remember back to your basic algebra, you’ll know that to increase the value you would need to increase the EBITDA base by either increasing revenue or decreasing expenses.

Most companies find it extremely difficult to cut operating expenses, so the only other option is to increase revenue. As we all know, the two biggest factors that contribute to revenue in an insurance agency are growth from new business and reoccurring revenue from retaining customers. Here are 3 proven ways to increase your base and, more importantly, sustain that increase.

  1. New Business Growth – The need for growth in the agency, as well as with each carrier, is well known. Many agencies focus on acquiring new business as a way to drive value, but neglect to account for the cost of acquisition for each new customer. Leveraging cost effective alternatives to traditional marketing, such as email or social media, is one way to reduce expenses without risking additional new business opportunities.
  1. Agency Retention – One of the quickest ways to increase the value of EBITDA is through increasing agency retention. Reoccurring business doesn’t need to take into account acquisition costs, so the revenue drops directly to the bottom line for an agency. Even a one to two point increase across the agency as a whole can have significant ramifications on the overall value. As an independent agency, you provide significant value in the choices of carriers that you represent. Frequently, this value is not fully communicated to the insured who goes shopping at renewal rather than providing you the opportunity to save the business. Communicating with every insured at renewal provides an agency a way to discuss any changes fully manage the renewal conversation.
  1. Policies Per Customer – Adopting a specific agency wide strategy for cross selling monoline customers works to both increase your retention and the value. It is common knowledge that the number of policies per customer directly correlates with the length of time the customer remains with your agency. Utilizing email marketing to educate monoline customers on the benefits of having both home and auto policies written with the same carrier can make a large impact.

1. (2015). 2014 insurance agency transaction multiples. The Deal Maker’s Dialogue, 6(2).
2. Duhigg, Charles. (2012). The power of habit: Why we do what we do in life and business. New York: Random House.