the org structure of a data-driven agency

Meet Ryan Pessell, Owner of Hitchings Insurance Agency. He’s the second of our 13 pilot agencies to share why he chose Neon. In this episode, Ryan digs into how he’s spent the last 3 years shifting the organizational structure of his agency as he works on becoming a more data-driven biz.

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Syd Roe 0:00

Well, to kick things off here, I do have to address something that probably 30 or 40 people have asked me in the last two and a half weeks, which is why is be atomic airwaves, not on iTunes, Spotify, Google, podcast Stitcher, all the things. I swear I’ve gotten that question at least 30 or 40 times and the answer is it is coming very soon. It does take a little bit of time to get approval and we did kind of shoot from the hip on the podcast and want to get this thing going as soon as possible before having all our ducks in a row. So, we figured it’d be better for you guys to listen to it somehow and not listen to it at all. So, coming soon is be atomic airwaves, officially official on a podcast and all the platforms. So now that that’s behind us, you can stop Facebook, messaging me about it. Now, today I have Ryan Pestle on the podcast from the Hitchens Insurance Agency. And he is another member of our pilot group for neon. So, over the next 10 to 12 months, he and Seth and I will be working closely to get the neon tech stack inside his agency. I do not actually know Ryan that well, so you and I get to actually get to know him over the next 30 or 40 minutes together. So hopefully I’m asking the right questions. But if there’s anything else, you know, you guys are wondering, always feel free to let me know. So, with that, Ryan, how are you doing, dude?

Ryan Pestle 1:45

I’m great. Thank you for having me, man. I’m happy to be here. But yeah, looking forward to getting to know you as well.

Syd Roe 1:52

Awesome. Um, so the first, you know, kick this thing off here. The first question I’ve got is How did you and Seth meet? And how long have you guys known each other? Because I’ve, you have talked to Seth? Quite a bit, and he’s brought you up a lot. So, I’m guessing you guys must know each other. You must be like bros or something brothers from another mother or something like that. Oh, I love it.

Ryan Pestle 2:19

Yeah. So,

Ryan Pestle 2:21

Seth Yeah, I really have trolled Seth for a long time. We are mutual carriers. He’s always been his name just started coming on the scene with a few carriers that we have a mutual representation of, and I really just started to follow him. As of late, really, I haven’t known Seth personally that long and I’ve known him about him for the last 10 years or so. I really got to know him in the last, you know, 365 days, you know, the last year so, you know, we have mutual pain points and things in the industry. So, we really have a lot of connections there. Not only with business but with our families and what we’re trying to do, you know, personally and professionally. So, it was just a mutual relationship. You know, we kicked off running.

Ryan Pestle 3:12

But yeah, so that’s, that’s really how I know stuff.

Syd Roe 3:15

Yeah, Seth is kind of one of those guys who drops into your life Suddenly, like a bomb and you’re like, Whoa, what just happened to my life, it will never be the same.

Ryan Pestle 3:29

You know, we’ve become good friends. I mean, to the fact where he’s actually stayed the night at my house with my family. He’s always welcome in my home. So yeah, they went quickly from when we’ve you know, first known each other, you know, say a year ago, a little over a year now. But yeah, just somebody I really think highly of. And, you know, he’s helped me out in a lot of ways in my business, so, very thankful for a relationship.

Syd Roe 3:55

So, when did he start? You know, talking neon to

Ryan Pestle 4:00

When did it was no, I think it was October of last year. I heard about neon. You know, obviously it came up in elevate. When he spoke, I sent my marketing my CMO over, carry over to elevate, I think it was 17 or 18. I think it was when he spoke. And I said you must sit on this, you know, piece of the presentations. And she came back like, I don’t even know what the word is. She was just so drawn to it. She couldn’t stop listening and stop talking about it. You know, and then we went to oae headquarters shortly after that and went through a full demo of the product. So yeah, that was the neon thing came up. It was October November of 2018 is when we really dug into it and really started to figure out what it was on what it could do for us.

Syd Roe 4:55

So, what was the thing that that really caught your attention Because, I mean, you know, for me, there were a few things when Seth was giving me the demo that really stood out? And I’m guessing that every agency probably has a different it’s a multifaceted tool, it can do so many things. So, what was, what was that thing that you were like? Oh, I mean, or was it just sort of the high level overall? Just, we this is the kind of technology that we need. And this is where we’re headed.

Ryan Pestle 5:28

Yeah, so it was a number of things like you’ve said, I don’t think there was like, it was all like, I mean, honestly, my jaw hit the floor when I saw it and went through it. So it was, you know, kind of taking water from a firehose. But there were a few things I took away from it. A, what it could do for our customer experience, be what it could do for our agency technology and how it can make us better, you know, just having real measurable data and being able to act upon certain things. Within the program, to help us in to help our customers. You know, those are the biggest things that I took away from it. You know, you can get into all the NPS and everything else that it’s capable of. But you know, at the end of the day, there’s just there are so many things that we, as agents struggle with, and we need help with and this technology stack allows us to improve our shops improve our day to day in our customer experience, you know, at the end of the day is what we’re trying to improve on. So

Syd Roe 6:35

how did your when you took this information back to the agency, how did others had the team respond? I know you mentioned you’ve got a partner in the agency. Was he on board was he you know, sort of like um, little hesitant to dip his toes in the water? How did those conversations go?

Ryan Pestle 6:56

Yeah, I mean, it was an interesting conversation, a be with my business. As a partner in the other side of it is my team members and my staff members and how they talk I luckily I’m in a pretty good spot where they understand our vision as an agency, and they buy into what they feel is right and what we feel is right and we kind of move forward together. My business partner totally on board with that understands our frustrations and, and what we struggle with as far as our technology goes. And my team members they see that you know, the benefits from the you know, some of the service things that the system can do, and helping them be efficient and help our customers and help you know, our agency succeed. So everybody’s onboard, it was really actually a very easy conversation to have, you know, they’re working, you know, in the trenches every day they understand what our problems are, you know, what our challenges are and what works and what doesn’t work. So, you know, they’re all for something that’s not Better and makes us better and makes them better. So yeah,

Ryan Pestle 8:17

you know?

Syd Roe 8:05

Yeah, let me pause on the neon stuff quickly. And could you give those who are listening? a, like a reader’s digest on Hitchens insurance agency?

Ryan Pestle 8:17

Yeah, we’re a 51-year-old agency celebrating 50 years last year in 2018. The agency was started by my grandfather out of his house, actually, typical American story. He was teaching school got to a point where he was making, you know, more income from the insurance side of it then as a school teacher, and that’s when he went full time into the insurance gig. Get started with nothing, got some carrier representation lined up, and kind of went from there. You know, fast forward into 2003 My father had been working in the business for a number of years as well as my new business partner and uncle. Which then you know, bought out my grandfather in oh three and, you know, propelled our agency forward from there. In 2016 my father then retired in when I bought into the business and now own a 50% share of it. But yeah, so we’re a full-service agency located in Findlay, Ohio, Northwest Ohio. We’re in our third-generation full service so meaning we do the Employee Benefits side of things life insurance, health insurance, Group Health, as well as the PNC. So, we focus, our focus is on you know, our niche would be our AG, ro cow farmers, livestock operations, and so forth. We do a lot of small business insurance, a lot of commercial real estate type stuff, and then you know, personal lines or personal lines, you know, 60% of our, you know, makeup is personal lines, home auto umbrella type stuff, whereas 40% is in that commercial and ag lines. So, yeah, we’re located in Finley, which is a community of writers. We’re in community, a darling community made up of about 43,000 people. It’s a unique, diverse place, though. I mean, we’ve got fortune 500 companies located headquartered here in Finley Cooper tire, you probably heard of them marathon oil there. Yeah, so huge life was for a town of our size, the community that county has, it’s somewhere around 80,000 people I don’t have the exact in front of me but it’s interesting, you know, there’s a lot of good competition in our and you know, and insurance. We have a great community, they refer to Finley, you know, they always we’ve been the top micropolitan. City by site selection magazine for like the past three, four, and maybe five years now. Which, you know, our local Chamber of Commerce and our econ development guys and their team, they do an awesome job in recruiting new business here big business, you know, Campbell Soup. came into town on missing break and yeah, all sorts of stuff. They do a great job. They have a really good working relationship with the folks over in Japan. So it’s huge for our community to have this big support, but also, you know, the small business people in the ag community, they drive, you know, that the success of this area, so, we’re in a really cool place. You know, Seth was up a couple of weeks ago and took him around. We had rescued you know, we went out to a local restaurant who was a customer of mine, you know, showed him some of the South Main some of the original Ohio oil homes, you know, some of the newer developments and where I live in the country and all sorts of and he was just he couldn’t believe, you know, you pull up off the highway, it’s a cornfield, you know, being field it’s open fields, and boom, then you hit this little diverse micropolitan area, and he was just, he’d never been here. So, he’s blown away by the diversity, and how lucky we really are to be this in this small little area. That’s so vibrant. So, we’re fortunate there we have our challenges, obviously with limitations and the total number of people, but it’s a really solid community at the end of the day. So

Syd Roe 12:10

yeah, I was on the phone with him yesterday and he talked for, let’s just say it was like a 30 minutes conversation and I want to say 17 of those minutes. He gave me the lowdown on Finn, Findlay Ohio is fn FIND Finley Yeah. Yeah. And he kept dropping the like he would say something and then drop the phrase and say something drives the phrase. He kept calling it a weird big little town. Like a bit like

Ryan Pestle 12:44

it’s crazy when you say names like marathon and Cooper tire and world whole has a huge presence here and I don’t think they’re headquartered in Harvard, but they have a huge dishwasher plant here in town. I mean, there’s a big, big corporation in the area. And, you know, it just they all we all kind of mesh together, you know, small business, big business, medium-sized business and everything in between one-man shops and it’s just really cool. We’ve got great school systems. We’ve got, you know, the University of Findlay here in town. It’s just a really solid community from top to bottom.

Syd Roe 13:19

Yeah. So, in terms of, you know, I mean, marketing potential. It seems like that’s a huge opportunity. What are you? Are you seeing other businesses? I mean, I guess insurance agencies, you know, like, are they out there marketing, doing digital marketing? Are you guys competing in that space? Like, what is that? What does that look like?

Ryan Pestle 13:45

Yeah, I mean, as far as insurance goes, there’s always you know, good competition and there’s also a competition that, you know, isn’t doing the digital marketing piece. You know, it’s something we have to do. It’s something we have to improve on, you know, with hiring You to know, a marketing manager, it’s really helped propel us. And I was just talking with Seth, you know about the number of leads we generated last month is more than we ever have in the past. And it’s directly tied to everything. We’re doing marketing related. I’ve got good people in place. I’ve got good marketing in place. Now I need that vehicle to help drive it. But yeah, you have to, obviously been Finley, you know, we’ve got to be in front of our potential customers and the people we want to target. You know, we need to be countywide, we need to go to, you know, Northwest Ohio on our niche programs, and what we’re good at and know the whole state of Ohio and surrounding states. So not only locally, which is obviously very important. But you know, that to grow a little grander scheme and what we’re really trying to do, we got to get out of our comfort zone in our local you know, Hancock County and surrounding which, you know, majority of our businesses in and really market to the people that we want to do business with, and that one To do business with us and tell our story, you know, we rebranded last year, you know, put together a whole new brand guide to be able to tell our story, you know, the story, the story brand stuff and in telling people who we are and what we believe in, and you know, not everybody’s gonna fit with us, you know, and that’s fine. But we want to target those people that do, and we want to make sure that they know that we’re available to them that we’re looking for, you know, partnership. Yeah, it’s huge. No, not everybody’s doing it. You know, that. You know, you can tell the people that are they’re winning. And that’s what we’re trying to do you know, is to win more, give more opportunity and growth. Oh, yeah.

Syd Roe 15:42

Yeah. So, I’ve waited 20 minutes to ask the question. So, I’m, I’ve waited long enough at this point I got to ask before we were before we hit record. You mentioned that you had just gotten back from a trip to Hawaii. And on coming back to the office and get back into the swing of things, you know, I said, Well, how is it I expected, you know, the typical answer of, you know, a forest of emails, and I can’t keep up with anything. I barely made it to the podcast, I gotta go in 20 minutes, you know, the typical response and you’re like, no, it’s all good. I’ve, this is the, this is the least busy that I’ve been coming back to a trip and come back from a trip and you attributed it to like, the work that you’ve done on the business. And, and again, you know, just highlighting the fact just now that you guys have had so many leads coming in, like, what is going on there? Give me the secret sauce, like, what happened that you guys have you know, evolved, and changed and been able to really work on the business and grow it?

Ryan Pestle 16:54

Yeah.

Ryan Pestle 16:56

You mentioned something that’s really key and it’s working on the business. And not in it per se, as far as my role goes. Now, of course, I’m still in it, I’m here every day, you know, put in the hours, but, you know, more high-level stuff, really the delegation in everybody net as a staff member, a teammate of mine, they’ve all become specialists. So they all are in one arena or the other, you know, they don’t, they’re no longer jack of all trades, you know, they’re, they’re not spread thin in areas that they don’t fully understand or they don’t specialize in. So that’s really help. And for us, as ownership is to really delegate accordingly. And, you know, the day to day stuff, there’s some stuff you know, that’s a high-level task that I need to be handling their stuff, you know, that I didn’t need to be handling when I took over. So really just writing that ship and turning that ship around, that’s been sailing for 51 years and put it on a path that can succeed is really what we’re doing. It’s a lot of work. I mean, it’s not like I just woke up one day and this thing transform I mean, I’ve been working on this For close to three years now to get up to where it is today, but we’re nowhere near finished and we’ve got a long way we still need to approve and go, but I think a lot of agency owners, you know, small shops, you know, 10 to 30 employees 50, maybe even up to 50 employees can relate, you know, it’s tough and you’re, you know, you’re an entrepreneur, you’re a business owner, you’ve got to make decisions that you know, improve your business, improve your customers, experience, improve your, your team members experience in, you know, make everything better. So, does that answer what you’re thinking?

Syd Roe 18:35

Yeah, it does. I mean,

Syd Roe 18:38

I can understand the, the need all from Okay, you know, one person doing everything and wearing 10 different hats to look, you got to, you got to dig in and really build out this skill set, whatever it might be. So, I mean, looking at the agency makeup, you know, typically what I’ve seen is you’ve got account reps, You’ve got admin who are like, you know, your receptionist, your tech people, your accounting team members. You’ve got your producers and your management staff. Do you guys follow that same model? And here’s the reason I asked. I remember when I met Seth, like three years ago, one of the first things I realized was Zink. You know, he’s got two data analysts on staff. He’s got a marketing person on staff,

Syd Roe 19:34

who kind of almost doubles as a producer, right? He does have a producer, you know, he’s got tech people, it’s like, it just looks a little different. So, I mean, are you guys do is that more what you’re looking to become? Or are you saying I’m following more of that traditional agency model, but I really need to have to home in on a specific thing, if that makes sense.

Ryan Pestle 20:04

Yeah, total sense. Yeah. So, I mean, three years ago, I would say it was totally traditional. You know, the first thing I did though was hiring a marketing person, with my grandfather’s father ever done that? No, they didn’t do that. So obviously, they wouldn’t have, but I saw the need for that specific role. So yeah, it’s a marketing person, I get asked this question every time I go somewhere, and we talk about it is what’s your return on investment? Well, specifically, you can’t count dollar for dollar, what she is worth and what she is doing, but you can see it on your numbers on a month to month basis. So, can you put the exact dollar on it? No, but you can feel the buzz and you can see all the, you know, the return on investment that’s being had. Yeah. Furthermore, I would say yeah, you know, it’s, it’s no longer traditional because we are, we’re separating those roles and we are making a specialist out of every person. You know, before I’m one of my PL producers, you know, she’s been with us for 20 plus years. She did everything she did the renewal, she did new business, she did service, she was answering a call, I mean, how can a person do that and be productive without feeling like they’re completely behind all the time. So, we turned her into a renewal specialist and she handles every single job in the agency as far as PL goes, and she’s great at it. It really siloed her role, whereas, you know, so whereas then I hired a PL new business sale, that’s all they do is a new business. He explains the process he finds, you know, the best solution insurance-wise for the customer and then says, Hey, you know, this is how the process is going to work. You’re no longer going to deal with me, you’re going to deal with my, my service team members. So maybe the titles per se are old school, but the roles are definitely something that’s new whether you call in to order for order fulfillment or order takers. or any of that kind of stuff?

Ryan Pestle 22:04

They’re really specialized in what they do now.

Syd Roe 22:06

Yeah. How did they respond to the change? Were they on board with it? Or were they a little bit, you know, gun shy,

Ryan Pestle 22:13

or totally on board with it, it was just getting out of those old habits and doing something new. Yeah. And it’s tough because you have a certain amount of client base that expects you to do how you’ve always done it, and they don’t maybe fully understand why you’re changing. You know, they sometimes they question you know, do you guys are you guys doing the best thing for your customers and maybe they don’t understand the full end goal is really to help them and help their experience because every person that they’re going to talk to about a certain area of what they need, is there going to be a specialist. So, the person that they’re talking to, knows that specific question in that specific, you know, a thing that is going on, you know, to a tee and that can really help with those factors. And in finding a better solution for them. You know, we’ve seen a really cool uptick in our NPS and everything we’re doing. Oh, you know, our process. Our screen. Yeah. I mean, it’s noticeable. I mean, it was always good, but it’s even better now. So those kinds of things are paying off. And in really relatively short amount of time, you know, we’re talking a 12-month period where this has happened. So

Syd Roe 23:25

that’s fascinating. I mean, so besides the change in or shift in our even, I guess, operational makeup, were there any other changes that you guys made over the last two, three years? Or was that really the biggest one?

Ryan Pestle 23:43

I mean, operationally, and actually, you know, hiring, you know, so we weren’t so sure we were always short-staffed. It was hard to, you know, validate what why do we need to hire our staff can handle what they have now, but the problem with that is we weren’t able to grow. So, we’ve added three staff members since I’ve taken We probably need to more honestly, you know, our benefits side needs another person. And then really an admin side. We’re changing some roles internally, we have some people moving up and getting promoted, which is good, that they bought in and they’re improving. So, yeah, I mean, between that the rebrand and the tech stack, you know, we’ve got other projects in the making, you know, fully redesigned website and we’re rolling that out soon. And you know, there’s a lot of cool stuff happening here. We’re going through even us down to our property, you know, a full-on remodeling, too. So, it’s been busy around here and our team is taking it in stride, and they’ve done a really nice job with it. But yeah, there’s a lot going on here within the business and, you know, everything from Tech to a website, the brand, it’s all kind of been redone. Oh,

Syd Roe 24:50

yeah. I’m guessing they’ve heard about neon coming soon right to the agency. How have they responded to Change in tech because, you know, you’re on an agency management system for 10 plus years, it’s really hard to shift into something different? And, you know, really neon isn’t an agency management system. So, it’s not like you’re, you know, you’re going from one system to another system, that’s basically the same, but maybe on the surface, you know, the user experience is a little different. So, you know, you have to kind of maybe relearn, okay, these buttons here, that buttons here, but the buttons still exist, you know, working and doing the whole button. So, it’s like, how are they How are you communicating that to them and how are they responding?

Ryan Pestle 25:39

You know, I’ve been pretty open with them from the very beginning. I don’t want any surprises. I want them to prepare their minds for it and prepare their roles for what they’re going to do. So, they’ve been really good at it. you know, I’m not trying to, you know, keep things quiet or from them. I need to tell them what they need to know. I mean, they don’t need the deeps. Getting on how the tech works, they need to know, you know, what, what are they going to be doing? What’s they’re going to what’s their responsibilities and so forth. So, they’ve been really good. They asked about it all the time. Hey, when’s, when’s it coming? What do we need to look for? They’re asking the right questions, though, they’re excited about it, because they want to improve their process and how they handle you know, their day to day work. And, you know, in Move, move forward. So, it’s been really, I mean, so far, really positive.

Ryan Pestle 26:31

So, yeah, no, no real issues there as far as that goes.

Syd Roe 26:34

Yeah. And I mean, the reason I asked about that, and I’m super, super glad we’re talking about culture, because one of the things that Seth and I have talked a lot about with Neon is, you know, this isn’t just a cool new marketing tool that you’re gonna add to your agency, you know, and it’s like a social media tracker or You know, something that or a social media calendar or something that’s like, sort of plug and play right easy to just sort of add on to whatever you’re doing. And it’s not even really a system. You know, like you’re changing your ATMs where people are like, Okay, I’m gonna have to relearn, you know, this process or relearn that process. It’s really, you know, what Seth likes to say is sort of re-engineering, the insurance system and then re-engineering the way the insurance agent works in a way so and to improve it, right. But that’s still hard, and that change is difficult. And you have to actually use the tool for it to be profitable. So, this work that you’re doing, I mean, with the team beforehand, like this is the stuff that nobody talks about. We all want to talk about you know, the cool new tool that is coming on the market or you know, how what new feature is the current tool releasing? But, how are you? How is that being communicated to the team? And are they excited about it? And you know, how well are they going to adopt it? And how are you tracking? Whether they’re adopting it? You know, those are really tough questions. But to me the really meaningful questions that we want to work with, you know, you guys over the next couple months,

Ryan Pestle 28:25

yeah, I think you have to sit back, and you have to have the right people in place, it’s not gonna be a fit for everybody. There’s probably going to be some employment changes within different agencies that are adopting this. You know, because there’s going to be accountability for everything, which you can’t, it’s hard to track in some certain areas of our business. Whereas on the end, it’s going to give you that that accountability factor with, you know, some of the data tracking for agency owners. Well, yeah, I mean, you touched on it, you know, you mentioned culture, that’s huge here. Now, we actually just had our Culture fundamental meeting this morning we do it my weekly You know, this week was speak positively. So we’re keeping things top of mind. You know having good people helps that share your vision and wants you to really propel forward. You know, we feel it’s a great place to work and we want that to continue, we don’t want to throw some burn of a tech stack on them that they can’t handle. But preparing people and preparing people in their roles is why we’ve changed. You want to call it organizational structure or job description or whatever. But really siloing those team members and making them a specialist, you know, that’s been huge for us. And I’m predicting I’m doing that to prepare for neon and what it’s going to be capable of. And what’s going to do for us is to have people continue their same roles, will they will we title a different I don’t know maybe but at the end of the day, they’re still essentially doing the same kind of stuff just in a more efficient fashion. So yeah, the culture piece is big. You’ve got to have the right people in place that are accepting of it are willing to change,

Ryan Pestle 30:05

you know, and move things forward.

Syd Roe 30:07

So you drop the line just a second ago that I want to go back to because it was so good. And actually, two weekends ago I was on with Joe Hollyer on the insurance scramble live on Instagram. And, you know, he was asking about data and just about neon and you know, what, why are we so focused on data? And we ended up talking about how data is really just transparency. And this is why I think, you know, and this is something I brought up on this on this episode with him. I really think this is why Britney brown you know, Renee Brown, have you heard of you’ve heard her? Okay, do you see her Netflix special?

Ryan Pestle 30:55

Oh, I’ve seen bits and pieces. I don’t I can’t admit that. I’ve seen the whole thing. Ah, but yeah, so what’s going on?

Syd Roe 31:02

I don’t know how we’re gonna be friends

Ryan Pestle 31: 08

this week.

Syd Roe 31:09

So she, Oh, I love her. So I found her book first. She’s got like three or four of them and found out she was on Netflix. I’m like, Oh my god, this is amazing. But her career has really skyrocketed in the last two years. And granted, she is amazing. She’s an amazing person, an amazing writer does great work. But this idea of transparency and the need for vulnerability. When you’ve got a more transparent culture society is so it’s so meaningful right now, right? Because I mean, look at social media, you know so much about other people, right? You can follow their lives even when you’re hundreds of miles away, thousands of miles away. organizations that are and this is what you just brought upright? data doesn’t just give you insight into your customers, into your prospects into your partner. ships, right? If you’re working with carriers or vendors, it gives you insight into what your team is doing and how your team is performing. And if you know what, you know, whether someone did X or Y and how well they did X or Y and you know how often they do X or Y, that’s vulnerable. Right and, you know, just back to this whole Netflix special thing, I think that’s that all of a sudden, it’s like, okay, we’re living in a society now we’re, we’re, our actions are more transparent to more people more often. What does this mean for the for ourselves, our self-awareness of how we’re going to deal with that now we’re going to interact with each other. So, yeah, I mean, I would love for you to talk like a little bit more about what you mean by neon. It’s sort of holding your team and yourself a little bit more accountable.

Ryan Pestle 32:52

Yeah, I mean,

Ryan Pestle 32:54

like you’ve said, it’s the data. It’s having the information at your fingers. Your tips and being able to react to it right now there are certain things that we can’t track, you know, how long does a, you know, a service task take? Or how long does this carrier take to close out a service task? There are so many measurables that we don’t have easy access now, could I go in and find that? Yeah, but I would have to go in and individually about that. It goes in individually, to each customer file, do the research and it’s just not you really can’t get the data points in a timely fashion. So holding people accountable, you know, from the top down in our organization, it’s just, you’re gonna be able to see the data. And like I said, react to it in a positive manner to improve our agency in moving into the future. Right now we have all the data points that we need, it’s just not there. There’s no tracking mechanism on our Ms. As our Are any kind of our tech that we can purchase that gives us what we need? No, from service to marketing to anything. So that is a huge piece of why, you know, we’re making the jump and going in this direction. Yeah.

Syd Roe 34:15

Yeah, I mean, it does force necessary and really honest conversations and not just with your team. But I think ultimately also with, you know, your partnerships, even your carriers to on both sides of the coin with agencies and with carriers, right. I mean, this is why you know, that this is what we had set out to elevate last year, and he talked a lot about that meeting that you have, you know, every quarter with your carrier reps, and what does that look like? And what types of conversations are you having, and what’s the tone and what’s the goal and the takeaway and you know, if you have if you’ve got the data being transparency or truth In front of you, you can have a really honest conversation about how to improve, right and not to point fingers, not to say like, Hey, you know, this is your fault. That’s your fault. That’s your problem. This is your problem. But more, okay, this is a problem. How do we fix this? How do we move forward? Right? Because we all want to make, we all want to move forward, make more money, have bigger agencies, right? Make more of an impact on society. And you can only do that if you’re self-aware and transparent. So

Ryan Pestle 35:30

yeah, good. I mean, great points about your, your quarterly meetings with your reps. It’s always the same thing. They look at the premium number. There’s not a whole lot of trackable data in there, how many submissions type stuff, it’s there are so many ways that we can improve that and really have a conversation that’s meaningful and say, Hey, here’s the issues. How do we improve this from an agency side and from a carrier side and make our customer relationship better and our relationship better so it’s not really a single anybody out? It’s really to improve. And how do you do that with data and true metrics that have meaning? So those are the some of the struggles they’re in, like you say, of course, we want to grow, we want to, we want to have more revenue, we want to be bigger, you know, not, not from my sake, but for our community sake, and our team members sake and our customers say, it just gives us more, you know, more power to do different things and help more people out. So there are so many things that allow us to do so.

Syd Roe 36:30

Yeah, yeah. Is there anything that I didn’t ask that you are dying to tell me and if you if you’re gonna tell me, you’re gonna go watch Bernie Brown? Like right after we end I’d be the happiest person ever.

Ryan Pestle 36:44

I will promise to watch that by the end of Friday.

Ryan Pestle 36:51

I will finish everything I know about Bernie. Okay.

Ryan Pestle 35:54

All right before I come to Ohio next week.

Syd Roe 36:57

I love it.

Ryan Pestle 37:05

But you’ve touched on a lot of valid points. I don’t have anything else I would really add to the fact that we’re excited. We’re excited to be on this podcast and we’re excited to get to know you better. we’ve pretty much met virtually via email, phone, video conferencing, that kind of stuff. So I look forward to this relationship and moving this industry forward with you and Seth and the team and all that jazz so

Syd Roe 37:33

Yeah, awesome. Man. We are wearing down the digital channels eventually we’re not gonna have any left it’s gonna be like well, we’re tapped out we have to meet in person at this point. Like the only, that’s the only way we’ve got left. So yeah, man.

Ryan Pestle 37:51

I was elevated in 19 and you just had you know, you’re like a little celebrity of elevating so everybody was buzzing around you. I just wanted to give you some space. Not bombard you. So I can’t wait to know you more. So you can really imagine you were super swamped and running everywhere. It was a great conference. You did a nice job.

Syd Roe 38:11

I appreciate that. I have to say,

Syd Roe 38:14

I definitely there’s like a period of like a gap in my life for the three days that elevate happened, like it just like doesn’t exist in my brain. Yeah, I mean, it does. And there’s memory on it. So but it’s like, there’s so much going on, and you get to sleep. And you’ve been so stressed out for like, eight months before that. It just kind of happens and you’re like, wow,

Syd Roe 38:36

you know what?

Syd Roe 38:39

So, but you know, I’m super pumped, man. And I really appreciate you coming on the podcast, and I am. I just I wake up every morning and I’m like, I can’t believe I get to do the work that we’re doing. I mean, I’m just I don’t know, I just, there’s just a sense of like, And it’s not even like I feel rushed. I used to feel very rushed in my work. You know, which I think came from a lot of stress, like, Oh, we have to do these things. We’re not this, we’re not doing that. I don’t feel that I just know we’re going to get the work done and we’re going to do it right. And we have an incredible group of people doing it together. So yeah, I’m just I’m more than pumped. So thank you.

Ryan Pestle 39:29

Yeah, yeah, no, you’re welcome. We’re gonna revolutionize how insurance agencies and insurance in general how we do business so you’ve got a higher task now and no higher responsibility and I’m so glad you’re in the position you are to do that.

Syd Roe 39:40

So I’m right back at your man