Adding insurance to your real estate offering as an ancillary business allows you to provide a more complete customer service experience for every real estate transaction and can create a stable, buildable stream of recession-resistant income. Insurance is a natural complement to real estate on either side of the transaction. While you’ll be able to leverage your experience in real estate adding insurance will broaden your scope of services.
Leveraging Real Estate Strengths
Beyond the capabilities of any good salesperson — such as in-depth product knowledge, emotional intelligence, organization and communication skills — there are specific strengths that come from a real estate background that will give your insurance agency a competitive advantage in the market.
Local networking and advertising expertise. As a real estate professional, you know how important it is to cultivate deep roots in your community. Your understanding of the needs and concerns of local residents will work to your advantage when assisting them with insurance. And there’s probably no real estate agent or broker who has become successful without developing expertise in marketing on the local level.
Listening and communication. When helping clients purchase a commercial or residential property, it’s critical to listen carefully to their wants and needs. You must be able to clearly explain and communicate the features and benefits of properties you show them, as well as what actions are needed to complete the transaction. These skills translate well to helping insurance clients choose the right coverage, based on their individual requirements and situation.
Affiliating with a strong brand. Brands with a national presence offer great advantages for real estate and insurance professionals alike. The trust and credibility that strong brands confer on franchisees will work in your favor when you partner with We Insure. This is in addition to the consistent investment in brand marketing that We Insure makes year in and year out.
Strong teams and back-office support. Both insurance and real estate benefit from coordinated teamwork and full back-end support. The We Insure franchise model and its superior back-end support allows you to focus on building a local presence, strengthening your client relationships and other revenue generating activities.
Opportunities for Growth
While you’ll have a lot of skills to lean on with a strong real estate background, there are other areas of professional development that you may need to focus on when you start to service insurance clients. Adding an insurance professional to your office enhances the overall experience for your clients.
After-sales service. You’ll most likely have more frequent and regular contact with your insurance clientele than your real estate customers. You’ll be in touch when policies are up for renewal and whenever you need to assist clients with filing a claim. And of course, more frequent client interaction helps keep your business top of mind when those same customers are looking to make their next real estate purchase.
Collaboration vs. negotiation. In real estate, strong negotiating skills are a must. But this is less of a requirement for insurance transactions. Instead, trust building, product-line expertise and good communication will help secure and preserve the client-customer relationship over the long term.
Getting personal. Developing a comfort level with more personal client interactions will give you a great head start as you present a range of insurance options to meet clients’ specific needs. And should the issue of a claim arise, you may also be dealing with people who are under stress and not in the positive mood associated with a successful closing. But this also creates an opportunity to be a valuable source of support and information to your clients during challenging times, which in turn can help strengthen your professional relationship. With the support of We Insure, your clients will have a team to support them.
Selling the intangible. Property sales and purchases are highly tangible transactions. What are you selling with an insurance policy? The promise of protection from a risk that may be perceived as more or less likely to occur depending on your client. Naturally, this type of sales is fundamentally different than selling a 3/2 with a fenced-in yard that clients have seen for themselves during an open house. Plus, most real estate clients probably have at least some sense of their residential needs. Insurance clients, on the other hand, may not realize they need a certain type of policy. To complete an insurance sale, you may need to sell two things: 1) the idea that the coverage is necessary, and 2) the coverage itself.
Just as with real estate, you can develop a very specific niche market for your insurance business or cast a wide net. How you position yourself as a local brand is one of the most important decisions you can make as a We Insure franchise owner. But no matter what type of clientele you cultivate, know that your real estate background will help you to be successful, and that you’ll be providing a more comprehensive and greater level of service for your customers all around.