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What it means to be a Digital Agency and Our Story behind it

January 29, 2021

For most of my 15 year career, I worked as a captive agent, controlled by the corporate world and limited in all ways of communication held literally "captive" to their archaic ways of thinking. Even while having been captive, going back to the start of my career in 2007, I always leaned towards simplified ways of communication. To keep up with clients, I started adding them as social media friends, something no other agents around me were doing at the time. Truthfully, most of my friends and colleagues advised against it and frowned on it. I am glad I didn't listen. Each one of my clients that connects with me, and now my office, is making us a daily part of their lives and we are introducing them to the 'real' us. People appreciate that authenticity and they feel more connected to me and my office because they see my personal life, including the things they don't agree with, because it helps them emotionally realize that I am not just that serious intimidating insurance broker, it helps them see my story and it makes their loyalty to us beyond anything I could imagine, it builds trust. When I was using social media at that time, the captive agency I worked for, frowned against my online presence. They demanded control and access to my social media to which I disagreed. That would have defeated the whole purpose of the authenticity factor that I relied upon to build trust and longevity. You know what came next, we parted ways, and I became an Independent Insurance Broker.

From day one of opening my office, being 100% independent, gave me the freedom to 'simplify' all the elements that previously stood in my way. This was the first time I would truly be able to take advantage of all the technology that is already used by the banking and finance industry. This was why I decided to go 100% green, in attempts to simplify all the follow up between the client and I. Instead of hassling the client to print their ID cards I taught them to take a screen capture of their Digital Cards and save them as a favorite photo in their phone or as a contact in their phone. Instead of printing documents, mailing them with return envelopes and stamps, crossing our fingers for the clients to receive them and then hoping on the client to send them back, I chose to purchase a digital electronic signature platform. I was told by other brokers that I would have to have one of those 3 tier printers in my office, to this day, we only have 1 small black and white ink, desktop printer & we hardly ever use that. I think I am still on the original ink cartridge.

I also chose to make my office 100% remote meaning each team member had a flexible schedule, dress code, etc. I did this because I, myself, moved from state to state and I always found it so frustrating to have to look for a new job. I also had a hard time 'fitting in' and I felt that the typical office demeanor felt very stuffy and unfriendly. I made our policy 100% remote so that both the client and the employee get to take advantage of not having to meet anyone in person, making the environment more relaxed right off the bat. This came in especially handy during COVID but it was something that was already visibly becoming an issue with the younger generation entering the market, Gen Z, who never have time to go to an office for a signature etc. I feel like the social media presence, tv shows, type of clientele, etc. that I have and the fact that none of us, including myself, ever meet with clients has been the biggest barrier industry wise. For some reason everyone thinks that they have an idea of 'how insurance is done' but I beg to differ. I intentionally chose to do almost everything completely different than I was told, I trusted my instincts and honestly, my staff and I have enjoyed every moment of it.

Insurance has been such a traditional field to be in for so many years and for so many years everyone that I met in the industry only spoke about how this could not be done, you have to meet with clients, no one will take you seriously, you'll have too many mistakes and issues is what they told me. It's been the complete opposite. On top of it being so traditional where most people wear business casual attire, meet with clients, and demand this intimidating presence from their clients I was a young girl, just being herself, trying to truly simplify insurance for people while being in a heavily male dominated industry. Everyone doubted my process, my vision, and my efforts and once COVID happened, it hit me, that we were so far advanced that it wasn't that everyone was disagreeing with my concepts at the time, it was simply that they couldn't envision it themselves and therefore they rejected it, they couldn't conceptualize it. With the Pandemic, suddenly all of those same agents who were against my methods were calling my office left and right to get advice on how to switch to digital operations. My, how the tables turned. It was flattering of course, it was also exciting because our office quadrupled in business and we are now looked at as the go to leader for innovative thinking and processes within the insurance industry.

Lastly, being an immigrant myself, speaking multiple languages, English being my 5th language, insurance was extremely difficult to understand for me in the beginning. In my office, it is crucial to me, to have my employees explain things to clients in the easiest ways possible. We've all heard of layman's terms but we take it even a step further. I have implemented specific templates for sending clients pricing, explaining insurance, and helping with claims. I ask all employees not to use legal insurance jargon, instead, to use my templates to help people understand what they are buying. If the person understands where their money is going & what their money is getting them, they have no reason to be upset because they understand things which eliminates turnovers and ensures retention. This all stemming from my personal experience of immigrating to the USA & growing up in a our school system that doesn't teach us anything about financial literacy, insurance, or banking. Almost all clients that come to us for help have either no clue what they have and are completely under-insured/over-insured or think they know what they have and are still under-insured / over-insured. The ones that think they are getting a "sweet deal" are dealing with agents who are exposing them to huge risks or they are vastly overpaying for stuff they don't even need, sometimes even having duplicate protection. We have a natural responsibility with our Insurance Licenses to do the right thing. We must make sure people understand what they are buying, why they are buying it, and that they are buying the proper amount of protection. It is our literal job description and yet for some reason, I almost never see that to be the case.

In our office, we spend a lot of time onboarding but we almost have zero follow ups or issues with any of our clientele. This is another layer as to why our clients adore us. We get the same compliment time and time again, how they didn't understand insurance until they came to us and how easy we made the process for them. Insurance statistics are pretty grim for 2020, with a majority of agents being over the age of 65. That is based on 2018 analytics for licensed agents in the USA. The numbers are something like 1.58 million licensed agents with 55% expected to retire in the next year or so. Of those numbers, the percentile for female owned agencies, minority owned agencies, female minority owned agencies, and agencies that are owned by agents under age 35 is 1%.

I was 28 when I opened the brokerage and while I faced all of the scrutiny, now I am 31 years old. I have at least another 30 years in this business and I firmly believe more and more agents will start staffing remote workers, expanding their digital presence, and automating their processes as I have. I would like to see at least 10 more locations of Majdas Touch Insurance branded offices across the USA. I also founded an Insurance School where I teach CE classes to Realtors, Lenders, and Insurance Professionals. I hope to bring value to the younger generation of newcomers to the industry in helping them understand insurance in a more simplified way, encouraging them to pursue careers in our field! Another idea I've had is to create and provide a Majdas Touch Insurance certification for brokerages and agencies to get certified by us, in our sales methods, operating standards, and marketing to help them write long-lasting clients and expand their businesses.

We are ready for the future of Insurance, are you?