Agent of the Month – Javier Villanueva

javier villanueva pacific crest insurance agent in yakima washington

This month on “Agent of the Month” we turn our attention to one of the best in the state of Washington. Javier Villanueva has been with Pacific Crest Insurance as an independent agent since late 2011. His office is in Yakima, a rural community and hub for agriculture in the area.

 

Sales has always been the path for Javier. Having sold a slew of different products and services, he thrives on the incentive of earning commission, making insurance a natural fit.

 

In regards to his success, Javier refers to a topic that is thrown around quite a bit, here at the Pacific Crest headquarters in Eagle, ID: relationships. He mentioned how he “figured it out” in the insurance world when he first started.

 

As with most new insurance agents, Javier struggled and considered a different business. Ultimately he persisted and decided to join the local realtor’s association.  Connecting with a group of lateral professionals, his relationships with loan officers improved and they started to refer him business; noticing he can provide the efficient and satisfactory result they were looking for.  Real estate agent events were a must for Javier, making relationships with folks that had warm leads, ready to quote, on a regular basis. This turned his entire insurance career around and he hasn’t looked back since.

 

Prior to joining Pacific Crest, Javier started his insurance career at Country Financial after a few years in the sales industry. He quickly realized that he didn’t like a company telling how to run a business and how much he had to write, he knew that he needed to make a change.

 

After almost a year of research, Javier found Pacific Crest and reached out to Shawn Webb, Principal. He decided to make the five-hour trek down to Eagle, ID to chat with Shawn and knew where his future laid before he made it home.

 

Javier keeps it simple and it works. He doesn’t spend time on marketing and even went as far as trying to get his phone number out of the phone book. It’s not orthodox, but it points out a key factor in this game: referrals. He asks every single person for a referral and has spent the time (and still does) on creating new relationships with folks that can refer business his way.

 

With his main source of business being referrals, he’s a testament to the quality of business and effect of the pre-existing trust and relationship that comes with a referral. Citing that he writes 7 out of 10 customers that he quotes, it is undeniable that the combination of having a carrier mix to offer with the backing and trust of clients is a recipe for success.

 

Javier is a firm believer in being open to all the ideas that he can handle. He doesn’t necessarily use or try them all, but learning from others rather than reinventing the wheel helps keep his business fresh. The three things he does religiously are:

 

  1. Returns every call that comes in the same day…in a timely manner. He values the personal relationship aspect of being an independent agent.
  1. Pulls his renewal reports monthly and makes sure to reach out to each and every person on that list. Javier says that this entire process might take him 2-3 hours per month.
  2. Networking is the last and most important aspect of his business that he cites as a regular activity. He says he does a lot of this throughout the community and it helps drive business without much marketing.

 

If you’re a new independent agent just starting out, Javier’s best advice is to invest in an assistant to help you with the ancillary work of running a business. The reason for this…to focus on the selling. “It’s very hard when you first start out. You have to have the blessing of your spouse.”

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