Selling your agency and online dating

Business partner match puzzle pieces

What in the world can selling your agency and online dating possibly have in common?

Everything, actually.

You have worked your entire life building a relationship-based business.

The business may have been in your family for several generations. Or maybe, your family works with you, and even if your staff is not related by blood, they are family in every sense of the word too.

And your customers are your friends – some could even be lifelong friends.

You’ve helped them through so many milestones in their lives: weddings, first homes, children, new drivers, building their businesses, and of course at their darkest times when they are facing a loss.

They have depended on you to protect them, their families, their businesses and their assets — and their relationships mean everything to you.

Don’t leave it up to chance

Relationships mean everything in our industry. That’s why I know that these relationships mean everything to you and your agency.

I have no question that the future of these people that you have touched through owning your agency is incredibly important to you.

When considering the sale of your agency, how can you make sure the future owners will value your clients and their lives as much as you do?

Selling your agency shouldn’t feel like a random blind date or be left up to chance.

It’s unlikely that you’ll find the best results when the process starts with an out-of-the-blue phone call, unsolicited LinkedIn request or the squeaky wheel up the street whom you never quite trusted. These are all the equivalent of a blind date.

It just doesn’t seem quite right to trust your valued client relationships to deals like that, does it?

Don’t get me wrong, I often hear from agents that they know exactly who they will sell to because they’ve met another agent sometime throughout their career and built a relationship with them.

Over time, they have come to know that their beliefs, culture and attitudes are aligned. Their likelihood for a successful transition is high because they are ahead of the game! 

But what if that’s not your situation?

If you don’t have that relationship already built, please don’t make one of the biggest decisions of your career based on a chance encounter.

Help is here

I’d like you to consider that there may be many other agents that are aligned in the same way, have created a similar culture in their agency, have the same or similar carrier mix and use the same software — you just haven’t had the opportunity to cross paths.

It’s not only possible, it’s probable.

Heck, we know that there are over 1,300 independent agencies in the state of Ohio, so it’s impossible to think that you have had the opportunity to meet and get to know all of them.

Wouldn’t you want to know that there are several great options to consider when it comes time to sell your agency?

OIA can show you those options.

If you do not have an agency in mind, we can help you find the right match if you decide to sell your agency.

We can help you make a decision based on data, not chance – which is how this is exactly like online dating.

Online dating uses the information, interests, hobbies, etc. that people share about themselves to determine matches.

Then their algorithms match those with the highest probability of compatibility based on the data that was shared.

OIA’s Agency Link program is based on the same premise.

How does it work?

As a buyer or a seller, here’s how it works:

  • Fill out the Agency Link Form to let us know if you are interested in buying or selling.

  • You will be asked to describe the type of agency that you are interested in connecting with, including, location, size, mix of business, carrier mix, agency management system and niches.

  • Until a matching buyer or seller contacts us, you can expect OIA to reach out to you quarterly to update your profile because we know that things can change.

Prior to making a match, OIA will complete a valuation of the selling agency and that agency will pay a fee to OIA to complete a search for agencies that match their profile.

If we make a match between two agencies, we will share the potential buyer’s information with the seller.

At that point, the seller has the option to “swipe left” to decline the deal or they can choose to move forward and receive a proposal from the buyer.

(For those of you who are like me and have never used the online dating app Tinder, “swipe left” means that the seller can pass on any agency that they do not wish to work with.)

After the selling agency selects a buyer, OIA will then refer both parties to separate legal counsel to negotiate and finalize the transaction.

A happy ending for all

We believe that matching agencies that are well aligned will result in higher prices for the sellers, better transactions for buyers and a healthier IA channel as a whole.

We want you to be well informed when making the decision to sell your agency, and we know having the right advisor through that process can make all the difference.

Choose someone who understands that and is ready to be your advocate.

We are prepared to leverage the data we have to help you every step of the way, ensure that you know all of your options and achieve the goals that are most important to you.

We want to see agency owners selling their agency with the right information to make the best decisions for themselves, their families, their staff, their agency and ultimately, the IA channel as a whole. 

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