"Don't be afraid" to jump into an insurance career

Young agency owner shares her 'a-ha' moment

"Don't be afraid" to jump into an insurance career

Insurance News

By Gia Snape

Finding a sense of purpose and creating a tangible impact in one’s community are just two of the innumerable personal benefits of an insurance career.

Thanks to the industry’s efforts, more graduates and young professionals are discovering a wealth of opportunities in insurance and want others to know about them, too.

“The funny part about insurance is it’s such an underappreciated market,” said Ireland Getty (pictured), an agency owner with Goosehead Insurance. “You’re helping people protect their biggest assets, which is valuable.”

Getty, who launched the Getty Agency in September 2023, acknowledged that insurance is not typically seen as a desirable career.

“It doesn’t sound like the most glamorous job in the world, but there’s so much opportunity,” she said. “I wanted to get into something where I wasn’t just selling an unnecessary product. Everybody needs insurance.”

Becoming an insurance franchise owner

Getty shared her journey to becoming an agency owner with Insurance Business in a recent interview. A graduate of Texas A&M with a degree in Human Resources, Getty was initially unsure about her career path.

Her family’s background in sales nudged her towards exploring business opportunities, and an encounter with Goosehead Insurance at a business career fair set her on a trajectory she hadn’t anticipated.

“At the time, I was getting my degree in Human Resources, and I was a little uncertain about that path for myself,” she said. “They were just all-around great people. I was very intrigued.”

Starting her career during the tumultuous period of COVID-19, Getty faced immediate challenges. She began at Goosehead’s corporate office in August 2020 after graduating.

“It was definitely a tough road, but I did see some immediate success,” she said.

Her determination and hard work paid off, and about a year and a half into her career, she became a top producer in the company. This success laid the groundwork for her next big decision.

Faced with two potential paths—becoming a managing director or opening a franchise—Getty chose to launch her own business.

“I spoke with our managing director for the Houston market and ultimately decided that the franchise path was going to be the one for me,” she said.

Starting an insurance agency during the COVID-19 pandemic

Despite her enthusiasm, Getty is candid about the challenges she faces. The current market conditions, especially rising premiums, present significant hurdles for young agency owners.

“The biggest challenge is trying to make sure that all of my clients are educated on why premiums are going up,” she said.

Managing clients’ expectations and maintaining their trust is a constant effort. As she looks to the future, Getty anticipates new challenges, particularly regarding hiring and managing producers.

She’s also aware of common misconceptions about owning an insurance franchise. Many people focus on the potential for residual income, often underestimating the effort required to maintain it.

“People can focus a lot on the residual income and just say, ‘Oh, the next year, you’ll have passive income, and it will continue to grow.’ But you have to retain your clients,” said Getty.

She added that the notion of passive income is misleading without acknowledging the hard work and relationship-building behind it.

“You have to work for all of your business. You have to get people to trust you over and over again. There’s no loophole,” Getty said.

What’s next for Getty Insurance?

Looking ahead, Getty has clear ambitions for the Getty Agency. She envisions a team of 10 to 12 people and dedicates her efforts to creating a supportive and thriving work environment.

“I just want my employees to see so much success,” she told Insurance Business. “I want them to be able to provide the life they want to live for themselves, and I’m prepared to help them get there no matter what.”

As for aspiring insurance professionals, Getty’s advice is straightforward. She encouraged young people to overcome their fear of the unknown.

While the field’s complexity can be daunting, Getty believes that most aspects of the job can be taught. She emphasized that hard work, coachability, and a commitment to excellent service are the keys to success in insurance.

“If you are passionate about getting into sales and trying to make a difference and help people, don’t be afraid to jump into the insurance market,” said Getty.

Getty’s own background in Human Resources, initially a source of hesitation, has proven to be an asset in her new role. Skills in recruiting, onboarding, and business practices from her HR degree are highly applicable to her franchise operations. However, her transition was not without its anxieties.

“It’s like an ‘a-ha’ moment,” she reflected. “You kind of feel like no-one knows if they’re going to be good at sales until you get into it and see what you’re made of.”

Are you a young insurance professional with an exciting journey in the industry? Tell us your story in the comments.

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