What’s Your Agency Worth?
This is the most crucial step as it can be the beginning of very successful sales transaction or very frustrating one. We must have a place to start and this is it. From this we can determine a realistic sales time line, a pricing strategy, what can be done to increase the value to potential buyers,and who will be targeted to purchase the agency at a fair price.
Related but Inconsequential Story: When I went to sell my personal house in Keller, TX in 2005 before any real estate spike, I had several quick offers for 80% of the home's value. Additionally, the Realtors that came out said I wouldn't get a penny more than 83% of the home's value. I told a Realtor it was worth more and he said something like, "Something is only worth what someone else will pay for it". Thus, I fired that Realtor. I knew the value (+ or -) based on facts and experience I gathered in home sales and from an expert in construction, my father-in-law. He did not know the market like I did but he was there every week as it was being built, making the builder correct any errors a common person would never see. It was the best built house in the neighborhood. I also happen to be very patient, which can be a Seller's best friend or worst enemy. However, I did not need it. I sold it for 105% of the value within 90 days from For Sale to Sold. Ironically, I was competing against the builder's model home with more upgrades and a cheaper price. What is the moral? That I am some sort of awesome salesman? No (although I might argue...never mind). The moral is anyone can find a buyer for your agency, but the skill comes in finding the Right Buyer. That's why MAC is different and that's why we can help you Get More!
“Something is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it.”
I've heard that expression quite a bit throughout my life. Although that is partially true, isn't it really another way for someone to say "I'm not a specialist so I don't know", "I don't want to work that hard to sell it for you" or, better yet, "I have no idea"?
Since we are specialists, MAC knows there are many other factors which go into determining a Proper Market Value for your agency. There are some factors you can "control", and some factors you can not control. We are very familiar with and attempt to coordinate both types of factors resulting in the best outcome for our clients.
There are several common factors in establishing a Proper Value for your Insurance Agency.
|Factors a Seller Can Control include:
Factors You Can Not Control include:
· Commission Income/Revenue
· Renewals/Trail Commission
· Years in Business
· Staff Experience
· And Many More…
• Financing Criteria
• Interest Rates
• Government Regulations effecting Your Business
• Economy/Stock Market
• Natural Disaster
• And Many More...
(Here's the part when someone says, "I wish I could control sales, revenue, persistency, etc". I do not mean you have complete control or we would all have revenues of $1B+ right? I mean that these factors have potential to be measured and improved in a way that could dramatically increase or decrease what a Buyer is willing to pay for your agency. Capish?)
It is important to take into account as many factors as realistically possible to maximize your results.
FACT: There are more insurance agency Buyers out there today than ever, but...
Why is it…Insurance agency Sellers are getting LESS for their agencies than they deserve?
MAC has identified 3 reasons insurance agency Sellers are getting less when they go to sell their agency...
1. SELLERS don't know the Proper Market Value of their agency and how to increase it.
2. BUYERS trust banks “black book” pricing and pass-up incredible deals right under their noses.
3. SOME BROKERS are NOT insurance agency specialists and don't know how to Get More.
Often times I see all of these factors work together against the insurance agency Seller which means less money in their pocket at closing.
Example: Let’s say an insurance agency brings in $500,000 in annual commissions and expenses are $300,000 annually for the office, vehicles associated with the business, employees, etc.
Do we know enough to offer valuation (value of) of this insurance agency?
The bank says they know enough. Their “black book” says its worth 1.3x (as of Oct, 2012) what the insurance agency generates in annual commissions.
The value of the agency is $650,000 ($500,000 x 1.3)...done and done.
If you, as the insurance agency seller, are happy with that, then read no further. Call MAC right away and we will probably buy your business ourselves.
However, if you think you deserve more, read on.
Some financing/lending sources that specialize in insurance agencies will tell you they can finance insurance agency buyers using a multiple ranging from 1.5x all the way up to 2x annual commission income or revenue. We work with some of them and they will, but it isn't quite that simple.
There are 2 things to look for in that case:
1. It may cost the buyer, possibly too much.
2. The buyer will generally need a large down payment, approx 10% - 20% (which protects the lender)
But assuming those aren't an issue for the Buyer yet, the new value could be:
$750,000 to as high as $1,000,000! (high is right...the value that is)
That looks a lot better. Problem solved, right?
Not so fast…In this case, the Buyer is going to have to jump through several "flaming hoops" and provide everything but their first born child to have a chance at financing using those multiples. Even if they did qualify they can’t finance 100% so they are going to need a huge chunk of money to put down.
A large down payment is one of the biggest reasons these deals fall apart.
So what would this insurance agency sell for…1.3x, 1.5x, or 2x Annual Revenue?
Remember, the person (or broker) you ask, will dictate your answer.
A strikingly similar recent insurance agency sale MAC was involved in provided the Seller with a purchase price of 2.5x annual revenues!
And get this; the Buyer was happy to pay it because MAC showed them how they could do the deal and put $0 down.
Talk about a win-win. Using the numbers from the example above, the Seller received $250,000 more than they believed to be possible using the absolute best estimates. In addition, the Buyer kept about $100,000 of liquid assets in their pocket (that would have normally been required to put down at closing). The Buyer can use these assets in their newly purchased agency or, better yet, buy another agency!
Immediate Disclosure: This situation, or any previous situation for that matter, does not represent all cases and these results aren't typical and are not guaranteed. The truth is every agency is different. Every Seller and every Buyer are different and motivated by different things at different times in their career. The only thing we can guarantee is it will turn out better or worse for you. Another way to say it is, there are no guarantees in a transactions of this type. The point is you need to work with a specialist and someone who is able to recognize opportunities that may benefit you when selling your insurance agency.
|Will you find a buyer that fits all of these criteria who is willing to pay your price?
That is just part of what we take care of for you when you choose MAC as your broker!
MAC has your back!
True or False: A Buyer is likely to pay more if they can protect a large chunk of their liquid assets up front.
True. How do we know? There is a reason why most every car, jewelry and furniture commercial you’ve heard in recent years begins or ends with “No Money Down”. My dad always told me that in almost every negotiation you have to find out what’s most important to your opposition; Price or Terms. If one is clearly more important (which is usually Price), then you could almost completely dictate the other (usually the terms). The smart broker knows both and how they affect each other.
That’s another one of the services MAC provides when you select us to help you sell your agency.
As a Seller, your biggest priority is finding a willing buyer for your insurance agency at a fair price, right?
That's what we do.
What if I told you there were a few easy ways to increase the value of your agency by 10% or even 15%, almost immediately?
Well there are, and we know them.
What if I told you that we know how almost any Buyer can purchase your agency with little or $0 down which will result in higher average purchase prices?
We can help with that, too.
In fact, with sufficient lead time (typically 3-6 months) MAC will help YOU increase the value of your insurance agency by at least 10%, GUARANTEED!
You Get More for your agency when
MAC has your back!
|MAC acts as a broker (most commonly for the benefit of the Seller) to assist in the sale of the agency.
Specifically we can help:
· Determine a Market Value for the agency or book of business
· Determine a Pricing Strategy
· Find a Qualified Buyer(s)
· Negotiate Price and/or Terms
· Protect the Seller Contractually
· Facilitate communications with the Buyers financing source
· Get the deal DONE
MAC does not charge the Seller directly. Our fee is collected at closing and is a percentage of the purchase price. This fee is 10% and will come from the money the Buyer transfers to the Seller at closing. Think about it. The more you get, the more we get. If we don't get a Buyer, we get nothing. In Texas that's called "putting your money where your mouth is".
Before we work with any Seller (or Buyer) we require their commitment to work with MAC in the form of our Seller Agreement. This protects our intellectual property and proprietary strategies as well as yours during and after the transaction.
For immediate attention, call 855-543-5622 Now!
One of our partners will be happy to speak to you about your individual situation in more detail.