Adam Ware is Partner & Branch Manager at BJS Insurance Brokers in Victoria. Adam specialises in holiday rental insurance (landlord insurance) and founded https://www.holidayrentalsinsurance.com.au. He was recognised for the Warren Tickle Memorial Award, and as NIBA Young Professional Broker of the Year in 2017, as well as Insurance Business Australia Young Gun of the Year 2018.
Advisr spoke to Adam about his experience as a successful young insurance broker, his tips for brokers starting out, and where he sees the industry going.
What is it about insurance broking that makes you get out of bed every morning ready to go to work?
If you enjoy what you do then getting out of bed and heading off to work is the easiest part of the day. Our industry is so diverse and forever evolving which creates plenty of opportunities for brokers to evolve their own businesses as the world changes. We are lucky to work in an industry that unfortunately does not get the recognition it deserves for the results that are achieved. For all the negative comments you hear about Insurance, the facts are that a huge number of businesses, personal assets and infrastructure continue to exist today from the work completed by insurers and brokers alike.
Is there a difference in how the ‘young guns’ work compared with the ‘old guard’?
Yes, I’ve witnessed quite a few differences having worked both with the younger and older generations in my career to date. There is an endless amount that younger brokers can learn from their experienced counterparts. Young Brokers have these incredible resources at their disposal which allows them to learn from almost anywhere, about anything and everything. Also as a result of the technology revolution in the past decade, young people in general are incredibly adaptable, which is a huge advantage for these individuals entering the industry. The younger generation have a great ability to come up with new ideas on how to complete a variety of tasks. Some of the procedures BJS have implemented recently were developed by our youngest staff members. They provide a fresh set of eyes on potentially outdated processes and can often identify an alternative that could save time, money or increase productivity.
Alternatively, there is one trait often associated with more experienced brokers where I believe young brokers should place a sharp focus. The skill of being able to handle an emotional and/or difficult situation in a calm and mature manner, by listening to understand as opposed to listening to react. This has been a major focus of mine for a number of years. It is not an easy skill to implement at first, especially at times when emotions can be running high from multiple parties and even more so if you believe you are “right”, however you quickly learn that YOU can be the difference in either solving the problem, or escalating the problem further, simply by the way you listen, understand and the manner in which you respond. When dealing with a wide variety of people across the industry each day, including broking, underwriting, claims, etc, younger people can be emotionally charged. That is certainly not every young person and likewise not every experienced broker has their emotions in control either, however this is a trait I have seen regularly among successful experienced brokers and feel is vitally important for Young Brokers to learn and implement if they intend to have long term business relationships and ultimately career success.
What advice would you give to young brokers starting out in the industry?
Master the discipline of being able to complete the tasks required of your position without becoming distracted by external sources. At present, the world is constantly trying to get our attention all the time via Social media, “fake news,” politics, spam emails we never subscribed to. Ignore them. These things will be there after work.
What do you think is the secret to your success as a young insurance broker?
I had fantastic mentors at the start of my career. I truly believe anybody who receives mentoring similar to the quality I received, would have a sound foundation for long term career success. In addition I have always been willing to attempt anything. I really enjoy researching potential new ventures and trying new methods of broking. I was extremely fortunate to have the backing of the BJS Board when exploring new ventures as they followed me through with these new ideas on the basis that even if an idea “failed” it would be a great learning experienced. There were a few ideas that did not work, some had moderate success however one of these ideas became the biggest Insurance program within our Branch, making it all worthwhile.
Clients now seem to use email as their main method of initiating contact with us. Personal meetings and calls are still very frequent, but many clients initiate the contact via an email to our office first.
How has the way you communicate with clients changed over the years?
Since beginning with BJS in 2008, where email was practically an internal communication method only, clients now seem to use this as their main method of initiating contact with us. Personal meetings and calls are still very frequent, but many clients initiate the contact via an email to our office first.
This transition, along with streamlining some internal processes within our office has also helped us keep our operating model profitable. For example: 3 years ago we decided that we would make a conscious effort to contact every client asking them if they would be happy to receive email correspondence going forward. At the time we probably emailed 25 – 30% of our clients and hard copy went to the other 70 – 75%. Today email is roughly 95% of correspondence and our combined postage, printer and ink costs are down almost tens of thousands of dollars.
Having said that, I find it hard to foresee a technology that could replace the person to person relationship that only a broker can develop with their client.
We must adapt to the changing service environment. When you’re adaptable, you’re often willing to consider the best approach for each particular client situation. Therefore if we do not launch ourselves into these new areas and adapt to meet our clients future needs, our clients will eventually not need us.
Posting your content on Advisr is a great way to drive new business by showing the world your expertise. We will help to share it online with potential customers and others in the insurance industry. You can share your Advisr Post on your LinkedIn, website and in emails, and send it to potential new customers to establish trust in your knowledge.
Choosing a topic
What are you an expert in? If you specialise in a certain type of insurance then focus on an aspect of that. Is there a change in how that type of insurance is offered? Consider what is timely and newsworthy – could you link your topic with something that will be happening soon in your readers lives, to maximise the chances of them wanting to read it? One example is insurance considerations for small businesses in the lead-up to party season. Are they fully covered and how can they minimise risks of being liable for any mishaps? (you can’t use that idea though because we’re publishing an article all about that on Advisr soon ;))
It helps to sketch out your initial structure in headings that represent each key paragraph or point, then expand and explain each point in more detail for your reader afterwards. Deciding a logical structure that naturally flows through to prompt the reader to contact you is easier to do at the beginning.
Add relevant subheaders to help the reader who scan-reads, and to set the context of each section.
Tone and language
While keeping the tone professional, positive and polite goes without saying, you can tailor the tone and language to your own personality and personal style. Do you like to have a laugh and joke with your clients? You can inject that into your article by writing as you’d speak. Like to tell stories to illustrate your points? Again, something to include in your article. Do you want it to be fun, lighthearted or urgent and serious? It all depends on your personal style, and the topic you’re writing about.
Use language that’s simple and easy to understand. Consider whether a ten year old could read and understand it. That’s the benchmark copywriters use.
Get someone new to look over your content at least once before you publish. When you’ve been editing and writing for a while you sometimes can’t see the wood for the trees and miss errors and mistakes, punctuation or typos. Check, check and check again. Also ask them to ensure it is clear, and makes easy reading.
Adding your content to Advisr
This bit is super easy – just follow the instructions below:
- Log in – using your email or username and password
- My content – click into ‘my content’
- Add content – copy and paste the text from your content
- Image – ensure you choose an image that is high enough quality and not blurry. If you know how to resize it, the size should be: 800 x 400 px If you don’t know how to resize it, just click the button below the screen and the Advisr team can do it for you once you’ve submitted it.
- Category – select the insurance category that aligns with the content you have added.
- Save – Your article is automatically saved every 5 seconds. So if you want to go back and edit your article again before submitting click ‘save’
- Save and send – Your article goes to the Advisr editorial team to review and then publish. You’ll be notified once your content has been published.
Need help creating content?
If you have an idea for an article but don’t have the time or writing skills to write it, we can help! Advisr ghostwrites articles for professionals just like you. And if you sign up for a premium profile we will write your first article for free using our expert copywriters. Just get in touch and let us know the topic you’d like to focus on.
So you do your banking online, maybe on your phone. It’s pretty good, right? I mean it’s there in your pocket, and the app lets you do what you need to straight away. Convenient, functional, good.
That’s what The Australia Customer Experience Index, 2016 says too, a survey of 8,982 Australian adult online customers said that their bank gave them basically a “good” online experience, and it’s a little better each year.
But what about your insurance? Do you manage that online? How engaged are you with your insurer online? Hang on, actually that’s a bit hard because most people only have one bank that they use, but between health insurance, home insurance, car insurance, life insurance and the rest, people have multiple insurers they’re interacting with. All with different apps, different ways for people to interact and different places for people to find all their relevant information. Sometimes, people can’t even tell you how many, or even who all their insurers are.
Perhaps that people use all these different insurance providers, is why Australians have rated their online experience with their insurer only as OK. In fact the research says that Australians actually think their online experience with their insurer is getting worse!
It’s complex. Most people only visit each insurer once a year, so to remember their password and log in details is hard. You have to search through your emails or your filing cabinet to remember which insurer you’re covered by, before even getting to trying to log in. This is no ground for a good customer experience – and we all know it.
Advisr exists to help this exact issue. We want your online interaction with insurance to be simple. A single password. One location where you know all your information is kept, and kept securely. A single glance to be perfectly up to date on who you’re with, how much you’re paying and when it’s due.
Even better, soon enough Advisr will also be able to let you know if you’re paying more for your car insurance than Sally down the street who has the exact same car as you.
Those features are coming, but in the mean time, right now, you can enjoy a new level of online insurance experience with Advisr.
How great does it feel when people make you feel special? Sometimes it’s the little things they do and say, other times it can be by how they listen and understand exactly where you are at.
You are special and deserve to be treated well.
These days, there is so much competition for your attention, it is little wonder that companies go to such desperate measures;
- (Un)Funny song and dance routines.
- Bombarding you with adds that interrupt your day.
- Sending you more and more “personalised” emails.
All in the vain hope of making themselves interesting to you.
But this old approach doesn’t seem right or personal or make us feel special does it?
At Advisr, we know you are special. We believe you are smart and capable and when provided with unbiased accurate information, able to take control and make the informed decisions that benefit you. We believe in finding a better way to interact with you rather than simply interrupting you. You’re simply too special for interruptions!
At Advisr, we love giving you personalised service. We provide you with proactive unbiased insurance offers that match your needs and what you’ve told us you are looking for. We believe in listening to you and giving you the control over how we interact. You are in total control; how often we connect and if you want to hear from us a little less often, that’s ok, just let us know.
We know you are special and are working hard to ensure we do the little things right, that we listen to you and ensuring that we seek to understand you.
For if we do our part, then we’ll both know that you are special.
Often, our expectations determine our satisfaction. The higher our expectations, the higher the chances are that we will feel let down, disappointed and dissatisfied when our experiences don’t meet our expectations. This happens too often in our daily lives.
So what are we to do? One option is that we could simply lower our expectations and therefore increase the likelihood that we will be satisfied. But that doesn’t feel right does it?
No! Rather we believe that our expectations are realistic and have simply not been met often enough.
Whilst this being dissatisfied has been our experience so far, we see a brighter future, where people with high expectations can find some satisfaction. New companies, applying smart technology, with the intelligent use of data and great people focused on meeting peoples needs, will make a difference.
At Advisr, we believe that:
- Increased transparency provides great value to people.
- Your time is precious and we should be available at the times that best work for you, that is, we should be available all the time.
- We exist to make your life easier and are always striving to make our processes simpler, smarter and to require less from you.
If you’ve told us something once, we respect you by remembering it and won’t ask you again.
At Advisr we are building the most trusted, safe and secure partner to guide you with your insurance needs.
Your expectations are realistic and we look forward to satisfying them.
Come with us on this journey – Be the first to find out when we go live.
Do you like finding better ways to do things? We do, and we don’t think we’re alone.
Our lives continue to change and so does our world. The changes we see occurring in our world are truly transformational. I wonder if we love these changes, because they’ve put us back in control?
In just the last 5 years, we’ve seen:
- How transport has shifted from hailing a taxi to us borrowing or being driven around in our neighbours cars through businesses like Uber and CarNextDoor.
- Able to hire specialist individuals and companies, knowing exactly how they’ve satisfied others, to do tasks and jobs through businesses like Freelancer and Airtasker.
- Ability to easily rent out our spare rooms or even our house for the weekend to people from around the world looking for a place to stay through AirBNB.
Our world is more connected than even, enabling us to be more effective and more in control.
These new businesses have opened up smarter ways for us to manage the vast complexity of life. Giving us more control and choice over the services and products we need.
Advisr is on a mission to find a better way for Australians to compare, manage and buy their insurance.
We believe in giving you more control, increased transparency and sharing the savings that our platform provides.
We believe in finding the better way. Join us if you believe it too.