Joining an agency network can help grow your business, but choosing the wrong one can threaten your company’s future. Learn how to spot warning signals before you sign an unfavorable contract.
If you’ve ever signed a bad contract, you know how exasperating it is to find yourself in a tight spot you can’t escape. Working with the wrong agency network will feel much worse because some agreements can end careers. You might discover later on that they are nothing like you expected.
For this reason, it’s essential to spot disadvantageous conditions from a mile away. Below are five critical indicators that a particular network might not be beneficial in the long run.
Read the details on these 6 agency network contract sections to ensure you get the deal you want
Contract duration clause
The first thing to check before committing to a partnership is the duration clause — a provision that states the length of the contract. Sure, you can accept long-term agreements, but they should match your goals. In most cases, you have to give networks written notice to terminate a contract.
All the scenarios above are acceptable. However, it would be best to work with business partners that let you leave anytime. After all, agency-network relationships should be mutually beneficial. If the duration is too long, don’t sign the contract.
Networks, aggregators, and clusters can charge joining fees that go as high as $12,000 per year. You can pay them in monthly installments, but you should still set budgets. One thousand dollars per month is still a hefty price to pay if you add it to your operating, advertising, and employee expenses. This figure can quickly eat up your profits every month.
If you can, find a network without joining or monthly fees. Some offer commission splits — which you’ll read more about later — instead of such expenses. Being part of a network shouldn’t come with burdensome financial commitments.
Joining a network can help you close sales, expand your contacts, and fill pipelines. Finding the right one can be the game-changer you need to propel your business toward exponential growth. However, some of these organizations might overestimate the value they offer and charge unfair commission splits. Compute joining fees and commissions to learn which agency networks will benefit you most.
Generally, 90/10, 80/20, or 70/30 are justifiable commission splits — but only if you’re not already paying exorbitant joining fees. So before you sign a contract, do the math, set budgets, and make sure you’ll still keep most of your earnings instead of overspending for a network.
If you’re looking for sales motivation tips, you don’t have to stray too far from contingencies and bonuses. Sometimes, agencies choose networks to become eligible for monetary rewards from carriers. However, bonus requirements vary from one network to another, and some don’t even share incentives at all. This practice is not conducive to growth.
Eventually, you’ll come across agency networks passionate about helping you achieve lucrative opportunities. These organizations won’t hesitate to negotiate extra commission points from partners and then forward them to agencies. Look for these types of business partners.
Like personal relationships, business partnerships don’t always last the test of time. If you decide one day to leave a group you’ve joined, your contract will determine the consequences of your actions. Depending on what you agree to, some groups may take an ownership position in your agency. The worst part is, a forced buyout is possible in this scenario.
When looking for an agency network to partner with, find ones who won’t take any part of what you’ve built. You can enjoy the fruits of your labor more if you own your company 100%. Undergoing a buyout will prevent you from selling your agency at full value or leaving it to your loved ones.
Protect Your Agency
Being detail-oriented is one of the top habits of successful agents. It should stand true in everything you do, from reading contracts to building client relationships to studying policies. Before working with a network, read contracts carefully, and consult with a legal professional if you have any questions or concerns. Doing so will help you understand the repercussions of every decision you make.
Also, remember that there are other ways to protect and grow your company, including data-driven strategies, upselling, and simplifying the lead generation process.
At HBW Leads, we can help you with all these components. You can buy exclusive double-verified quality insurance leads from us to grow your books. Request a package quotation now to discover if this investment could take your agency to new heights.