The Hive Five Podcast
5 Key Takeaways from Christina Durington
1. Identify your “why”
2. Never compromise your integrity for a paycheck
3. Build a solid support system with other independent agents that you trust and admire
4. Never forget how important service is even after the sale
5. Always have fun!
In this episode, the first of a Hive Five series called The Person Behind the Professional, Keagan sits down for a discussion with Christina Durington. Christina is the owner and founder of CDI Insurance. CDI Insurance is an independent insurance agency started by Christina and her daughter Sabrie Traxler on February 1, 2018. They are located in Tuttle, Oklahoma, but are licensed in both Oklahoma and Texas. Because they are independent, they offer a wide range of products. CDI offers homeowner’s, auto, health, life, commercial, and business insurance. They can cover almost if not all of your insurance needs.
Prior to starting CDI Insurance, Christina worked for a captive insurance agency for eleven years before setting out on her own. She was led to go independent because of the freedom it offered vs. the restraints she had experienced when working for a captive company. It also allows her to be very close to her family, and the opportunity to work right alongside her daughter. Family is very important to Christina, and she sees insurance not only as a way of providing for her family of five kids and two grandkids, but also as a way of following her passion of being able to provide her clients with the coverage that they need. Christina talks about how she makes sure to keep a healthy work life balance and make sure that her family is coming first at all times. This involves her putting her phone away when at home, and focusing 100% on her husband and kids.
Christina also discusses the importance of educating consumers and clients on the complicated and misunderstood world of insurance. She details how her agency uses video and Snapchat in order to connect with consumers on a relatable platform, while at the same time communicating and educating them on insurance.
Click Here for Details (Computer Generated – May Contain Errors) ▼
lessons learned. Everyone has a story and everyone has been there for business owners, to parents to young adults. The hive. Five aims to tell stories of overcoming the struggles in adult team while celebrating the little victories of y in each podcast. Our guest will give insight to five key takeaways from someone who’s been there and done that, leaving you better than when you started.
Thank you so much for listening today. My name is Keegan with bright B and we have a pleasure of speaking to Christina during 10 with CDI insurance. It’s agency and tuttle, Oklahoma. How are you doing today, Christina? I’m gay. Kagan, how are you? Fantastic. Well, thank you so much for being on our podcast today. I know that it’s right after the fourth, so you’re probably very busy. It’s my pleasure. Really what we want to do today is get to know you just a little bit better and as I said, you’re located in tuttle, Oklahoma, correct? That’s correct. Fantastic. And tell us a little bit about your agency when you started in also, uh, what products you offer.
We are right in the heart at tuttle. We are an independent agency so we offer everything homeowners, auto, business, commercial, and we do health and life and anything that falls in between that.
Christina, tell us when you, when you started the agency, because I know that you’re recently, is it, is it pretty new?
It is pretty new. Kagan. I started back in February, first of this year. Prior to that I was captive for almost 11 years, so it’s been quite an adjustment.
Why did you go over to independent insurance agency when you had 11 years of captive insurance experience?
You now. Okay. And I have always enjoyed the industry and really to be just honest and quite frankly, I was getting really discouraged, I guess you could say for the restraints that one side of the coin offered and then the freedom I had heard about on the other side of the coin. And so I will say that being a captive agent for that long gave me the base and then allowed me to drive that and explore the full potential, really without limitations. And I love the fact that I work on clients that have without those restraints as my roadblocks per se.
Right? No completely understand. And you know, we, we’ve been interviewing a lot of startup entrepreneurs and you’re kind of unique in that, you know, you came from this captive insurance agency, um, and, and then you moved into this independent, uh, just recently, which the good thing is, is you have a ton of experience, so that helps you tremendously. But tell us a little bit about what led you to tackle such a daunting task and, and how you’ve been able to do that. I know you said that the the restraints, but what else led you to start this agency? I know it. It’s gotta be scary to think, okay, I’ve done 11 years and I’ve. I’ve been comfortable. Right, and then now you get into this. Okay, now I’m starting from zero again.
You know, the experience I will say has been a whirlwind of all kinds of emotions, mostly positive and exciting. The reason I did this was because when you think of your why and you try to scope that out, that the main driving force in that is your backbone and for me that was my family and I had to have something that allowed me to continue to follow my passion which is helping to provide the coverage for the clients, but then also gave me the freedom to build something solid for my family. So I had the amazing privilege of working side by side with my daughter. That is something that I was not going to be able to do in the captive world while still being a hands on mommy and a hands on wife and helping her start from the ground up as well. And so there really wasn’t any other question for my family when my husband and I weighed out the options and so we knew that opening independent was the way to go.
Looking at your facebook, I see a lot of pictures of you and your family. So tell me, you know your husband. I’ve seen your husband and your daughter and then who. Who else do we have?
So we have coal hill is about to turn 12 and my stepson white is a, he looks like he’s the oldest of the three because he is such a tall when he is going to be six months behind him so he’ll be 12 as well. And then Gracie is our youngest one and she is about to be 11 now. My oldest son, he is deployed and so he doesn’t get back until November of this year. So we have five into amazing grandbabies. So our house is quite full.
Oh my, that and, and you know, I know I’m getting personal here, but do I, do I remember? Are you building a house right now?
We are actually going to be done right at the first of August. So not only running this and moving and back to school. We, yeah, our plates are full.
There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s so good to have the opportunity to be with family. And so let’s talk about family a little bit more. So you, you do this insurance agency and one of the main driving factors is going to be your family. Right? So tell me, how in the world do you juggle all of this right now?
Honestly, there are days where I feel like a very good job juggling, but at the end of the day, you know, whether it say it just a nice text from a client that said, hey, you know, you really went above and beyond, you know, I’m really excited to be with you. Or Hey, good job or just any kind of affirmation that you gave that just hits back in shows you, you are doing it. So we asked a week when I say that in a sense of the agency, I’m including say right there. So we always make it where family comes first, you know, whether that’s we’ve got to leave or your kids are here or are we strictly shut the doors and we may lock them up but our phones are still forwarded. I’m a real big stickler that when I do leave and my phone goes to do not disturb, you know, at a certain time every night. And then that’s when my kids know I, it’s hands on, it’s mommy time and then when they’re in for the night then it’s, you know, hands on husband Tom. So I do, I have an less planners, I have endless alarms. It’s a juggle. It is certainly something that add, juggle. But I think I’m doing it well. If not, I’m sure someone’s going to tell me. Someone will tell you whether
that is funny. So tell me a little bit about the challenges you face as you work serving people continuously in your agency. What are some things that you that if consumers were listening to and they wanted to, to hear the truth, you know, you’ve been transparent with us and so what are some things that you wish consumers knew before they came to your agency that would really help you serve them better?
Well, I think one of the biggest misconceptions from a consumer standpoint is somewhere along the way this, this notion has been created that we basically set the rates or you know why? Well and this is another good one. Well why does that accident count against me? When we talk about homes, let’s say when somebody just moves into any residents and there was a claim a year ago at that particular address, the consumer just does not understand that, you know, it follows the home. And so those are the challenges, the rates, they, some people seem to think that I’m just sit back here and set back what you’re going to pay versus sally down the street who’s going to give you x amount for your rate. And that really goes back to you what your key word you said is transparency, you know, I love to sit down with people and show them and explain them a definition of coverages and then compare what were you given versus what I’m showing you. And then what does that coverage look like? Whether it was taken away, you know, or was it even offered it. So I think those two things are, I would say, the most challenging for me.
You tell me you’ve been in the insurance world even longer than than I have even 11 years ago. Do you feel like you’re going through that same struggle when serving people and helping them understand the. Why’s it, it seems like it seems like people would know, um, you know, after having insurance for so long but they don’t
correct. And a lot of it I think happens aware as a whole terms. And slash or phrases or maybe a slang for a particular coverage or you know, maybe just how they perceive something and then one person tells another person, you know, we always have the common conception of what full coverage means or whether uninsured motorist, I mean a lot of people just don’t know. And so you’re always constantly communicating and educating. And that’s one thing I never replied back like, you know, a negative tone is because really at the end of the day, the consumer didn’t know. And I had somebody just the other day that was absolutely astounded. They going through something already very trying and negative in their life when separating a household, they didn’t know that they were going to get, you know, the negative side effects because certain discounts followup. And so really it’s just part of the, the education part.
What are you doing to help even educate more in your agency or what do you, what do you foresee doing as you continue to grow in your agency? How are you going to educate consumers more?
Uh, we started. We’re getting used to you, mind you because 11 years ago we did not have video, we had green screens in our agency. We are really grasping and getting comfortable with video and snapchat and so it’s really funny because I will do in the craziest of filters and just a common definition and whatever it be, auto or home or commercial or you know, and then you just kind of relate on a nonprofessional platform but still relatable and you just educate and you communicate an IRA. That’s my personality. I’m a super big jokester and so that, that’s right up my alley.
So you’re telling me now I don’t know if I’ve ever heard of an insurance agent and using snapchat, but I think it’s a phenomenal idea. So tell me real quick, how are you using snapchat? So you, are you reaching out to your clients that way or are you reaching out to additional consumers that may be, are not your clients? Both. So the client comes in when Bob and sally came in, I tell them,
okay, so our agency has a snapchat page and make videos with our nice little smartphones and splice them together and before you know it you’ve just made a 32nd video with four different people with four different filters and it’s really kind of funny.
That is hilarious. Well I’m expecting a snapchat from you so I can see what you’re doing because I think that is. I think that is so fun and clever. One of the, one of the other questions I have for you is, you know, bright be one of the things that we are striving to do and as a startup, you know, it doesn’t take two months to do it takes months and months and potentially years to do this. But we’re wanting to establish a community of people that are striving to keep agents alive. Yeah. Because it’s the very thing that’s keeping your family going and it’s something that we believe the agency model is just phenomenal. And we believe that people need insurance agents in their insurance experience. And I don’t care what anyone says. I think people are extremely important in the insurance world and so robots are not going to take the place of, of insurance agents, not in my mind and not in our team’s mind. What do you foresee the insurance agent looking like in the next, let’s say 10 years?
Well, I hope she looks just like my daughter out there because I have miserably failed. We are not robots. You cannot program compassion. You cannot program a robot to answer their phone at 9:30 at night or 8:00 AM on a Saturday morning to, you know, if, if we market and we preach from the rooftop customer service and connection in a name you can trust, you know, and all of this. Well then you have to continue to model that and you’re absolutely right. Our industry maybe can fly a drone over, did you the inspection, but I promise you when that roof first came off, they didn’t want a robot delivering the claim check. They want you there explaining that everything is going to be okay and so 10 years from now that’s exactly what we’re going to be doing.
That is so encouraging to hear, so our last question of the day, and we told you in advance that we like five key takeaways and being an insurance agent and your experience and starting an agency a then that’s less than a year old, but you’re already thriving and you’ve been thriving for the last 11 years. Tell us five key takeaways that you want your customers to know or just things that in a, in a business world, what, what you would like for people to know.
Okay, I’ll tell you the fact that I won’t go into each fab kids. We’ll be here another hour, but first one that is near and dear to you. Everything I do is identify your wife. Never lose track of that. The second one would be never compromise your integrity for a paycheck. Uh, that has disaster written all over it from every angle. The third would be build a solid support with other independent agents that you not only admire. I think you trust that to me is going to be the lifeline as your support. And then number four would be never forget how important service is after the sale. I’m nobody. I mean nobody wants to feel like they were a quota or a paycheck or just a number. And then lastly, always happen, which goes back to again, what we talked about earlier, just don’t take the profession so serious. Take it serious behind closed doors, but in front of your customers, have a little bit of an open window to where they can relate to you and see that there there isn’t any sad and there is a sense that they can relate to you. And to me that just. It helps build a bond of trust and they. I like that. Yeah.
Well insurance agents or people, right? Exactly. Yes. There’s no difference. That is so encouraging to hear and I love the. I love the last one, Christina. How do consumers get in touch with you? What are some of the best ways that they can reach you in tuttle, Oklahoma? Now the deal is they don’t have to live in tuttle, Oklahoma. They can find their home insurance or auto insurance or life insurance, commercial insurance. They can find all of that through you, but anywhere in the state. And do you also offer it in other states as well?
We do. I am currently licensed in Texas and we have both of those were, whether it’s friends or families or commercial, at least in Oklahoma and Texas. And I’ll tell you the consumer can reach me there. Social media, our website, which is www.cdiinsurance.com. That really, honestly, it’s my cell phone and that’s always, like I said on me, unless it’s on do not disturb, you can send a text, certainly email. I, um, I don’t have and I don’t believe. And again, it’s just me. I did not get where I am by not answering my phone.
Thank you so much Christina. We really appreciate your time today. If anyone is interested in speaking more with Christina, you can also find her on bing.com. And look for Christina during certain CDI insurance agency in Tuttle, Oklahoma. Hope everyone has a wonderful day.
Find CDI Insurance here: http://www.cdiinsurance.com/
CDI Insurance FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/cdiagencytuttle/
Christina’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/c_durington
Christina’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christina-durington-02517913a/
Christina’s BriteBee Profile: https://app.britebee.com/agents/christina_durington_35