Some agents get into insurance later in life. Zach Hunt started much earlier than most. Together, his parents ran a Farm Bureau agency, which means Zach grew up experiencing not only the importance of an insurance agent in his community, but the commitment Farm Bureau makes to its agents. Three years ago, Zach took over the majority of the day-to-day operations at the family insurance business.
What’s the Background of Your Family Business?
My dad, Rod, started our agency on February 1, 1989. He has always worked in our current office here in Hastings, Nebraska. My mom, Kim, also was an agent for a few years. Even after Mom stopped being an agent, she worked within our agency helping with a lot of advertising, marketing and things like that.
I started working full-time at the office in 2015 after I graduated from college.
What Does a Typical Day Look Like for You?
The past several months I have been studying for my securities exams, so that has been my main focus as far as education goes. I try to knock that out before the day gets truly going and things get hectic.
I follow up with outstanding claims and try to filter through to get to the situations that are most pressing and where we can be of the most assistance. Next is usually reviews or SuperChecks with our current clients and/or appointments for new sales.
The time of year really has a major impact on my schedule. In the wintertime, we have much more reviews with our ag clients and we are also prospecting a lot more ag clients. The spring at our agency has a large emphasis on our crop insurance clients as the sales closing date for federal crop insurance is March 15.
We are typically slower in the summer as long as there isn’t a major storm we are dealing with.
Tell Us About Working in a Family Business. What's It Like?
There are obviously some challenges that present themselves with working with your family, but for the most part, it has been fantastic. I think one of the biggest challenges Dad and I faced during our transition is that there is obviously more than one way to run an insurance agency and have success.
One of the biggest compliments I could give my Dad was that he did do it for so long and had a large amount of success, but when the time came, he allowed me to blaze my own path. He allowed me to fail at times and allowed me to put my own spin on things as I took more and more responsibility.
What Skills Do You Think Are Most Important to Being a Good Agent?
The most important thing I have learned at our agency is that I cannot do this on my own. The core of our team has been together for roughly five years. Katie Saenzpardo started with us in July 2017 and Alex Rostvet started with us in August 2018. Katie and Alex play major roles in all things, from client reviews to new sales. Without them, our agency would not be near as successful or efficient.
Another key to being successful as an agent is being educated. We do not believe we can be of service to our clients unless we truly have a grasp on where we are better for our clients and that all starts and stops with continuing in education.
What Do You Love Most About Your Job?
I love the freedom it has allowed me to have time with my family. This job, while demanding, does for the most part give you choices as to when and where you get your work done. I am able to attend all the events my kids have, and it also allowed my folks to always be present at my brother’s and my activities growing up.
What's the Best Piece of Advice You Can Give to New Agents?
Don’t be afraid to fail. If you don’t have people telling you “No,” you aren’t trying hard enough.
Focus on your education. You want to be a source of knowledge and develop long-term relationships with your clients.
Why Farm Bureau Financial Services?
From claims to underwriting to middle and upper management, I believe that the people that make big decisions in this company take a common-sense approach and they have our backs. So many of our competitors don’t have that. I think all that are involved here at FBFS have our clients' best interests at heart and it shows in the biggest moments.
What Are You Most Excited to Do Career-Wise in the Coming Year?
Some of the things I am most excited about in 2023 are getting the opportunity to show that I am ready for this agent role and to compete with the top agents and advisors at our company. I am also really excited for my brother to join me full-time and for us to continue to grow our family business.
Make a Difference in Your Community
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