The Hive Five Podcast
5 Key Takeaways from Joan Curtis
1. Service before self
2. Be teachable and trainable
3. Help others be great
4. Date yourself
5. Learn to love reading
In this episode of the Person Behind the Professional, we are glad to sit down with Joan Curtis, an independent insurance agent with MVP Insurance in Oklahoma City. She has held a variety of roles in sales and even let out her entrepreneurial side by starting a couple of businesses over the years. She’s dedicated to providing excellent service to her clients and is also a dedicated mom of four kids.
Joan has had a variety of experience, but is self-studied. She has created a coaching business focused on marketing, helped companies nationwide with grassroots, on-the-ground sales efforts, and even networking and social media training for businesses. As she was engaging and interacting with all of these different companies, she looked at insurance as something that fascinated her and, at least from the outside, seemed like an easy product to sell. So, she started as a captive agent with Farmers and became an insurance geek, almost immediately falling in love with it. She worked with Farmers for three years before undertaking the journey of starting an independent agency. Joan was fortunate enough to partner with Brent Brown, and start MVP Insurance in Oklahoma City.
Since starting, they have expanded their office, hired more producers, and grown as an agency. They work to educate their client and help them make decisions. Joan really aims to help protect people as if they are her family. By treating clients like family, it not only benefits her clients, but it also helps the agency through relationship marketing.
MVP offers home insurance, auto insurance, life insurance, commercial insurance, and more. Because they are an independent agency, they are able to shop in the industry for the best fits for their clients. They aren’t constrained to one carrier.
We hope you enjoy this episode, and we please ask that you rate or review us to let us know what you think.
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We’re really on pulling in our household that your priorities are your priorities and so what I mean by that is if you look at your calendar and you looked at your bank account, you’re going to
no. What’s important to you.
Thanks for listening today. My name is Hagen with insurance quotes. Don’t stay on this episode of with Curtis, an independent agent that mvp insurance in Oklahoma City. She is held
variety of roles in sales and even let out her entrepreneurial side a little bit, started a couple of businesses over the years. She’s dedicated to providing excellent service to our clients and also is a dedicated mom and from what I hear, she really cares about the insurance agent as well, so I look forward to hearing that. Thanks for being on. Joan.
Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.
Absolutely. Well, let’s just start. Give us some background on you. In our research, it looked as if you’ve had a lot of different experiences, started multiple things. Tell us about your background.
Well, like you said before, I’m a mom. I have four children and my husband’s a retired fireman from Edmond. And so when my kids were little, I did a direct sales and I was involved with a lot of different seals companies at that time, which is where I really cut my teeth on marketing and, and personal relationship marketing and that type of thing. And so over the years I kinda got really good at it. And so I kind of self studied and then I created a business where I was coaching marketing, coaching clients all over the country. I’d companies that would come in and pay me some sort of fee to be able to help launch them here and be grassroots on, on the, on the ground with them and teaching people how to, to reach the community and network. And then, um, I’ve done a lot of coaching as far as networking training and social media training over over the years.
And so when I was in the middle of all that, I thought, you know what? If I ever do anything or I sell a product again, that I would sell insurance because I would always see the insurance person. And they’d always have a great time at any event and people seem to like them and they were always getting referrals. It just seemed like an easy product to work with, but I didn’t have any clue if I’d be good at it or not other than, well, I can sell things, but let me see if I’d like this. And so I started with farmers at the time. I worked for an agent for three years and cut my teeth in this industry and fell in love with it. I became a total insurance geek and I love just all the ins and outs of policies and how things play out and really educating the client, helping them walk through, making the decision.
And so it’s kind of feeds that mom’s side again because I’m helping protect people. I feel like I’m, I’m like, they’re my family. So it really kind of fed into that. Me Plus the relationship marketing side, which I was already pretty good at. So then after about three years with farmers, I realized I really wanted to do my own thing working for someone else’s great. Um, it was a great time. And I really have great respect for the woman I worked for that it was time for me to own my own agency. And so Brent part a partnered with Brent Brown and it was Edmund insurance professionals at the time. We recently changed our branding over as of May first MVP insurance and do not regret that decision at all. Uh, we moved into Oklahoma City, we expanded our office, we hired on more producers. So we’re really growing and transitioning and, and really making a footprint in Oklahoma City. We’re excited about it,
man. That’s awesome. So tell us a little bit about your rebranding strategy and why you did that. I know that there’s probably other people out there that think about, man, should we change our name or should we expand or other things like that. So what made you guys do that?
Well, actually Admin, insurance professionals, it was a great brand and brand had started out on his own, which was really great, but it didn’t really work for the longevity of really scaling and being a bigger agency because when you’d go to Bethany and you’d be working with the northwest chamber or something like that and you say, yeah, with Edmond Insurance Professionals, they’d say, Oh, you’re an Admin, and it’s like not that bad, but it was like they in their head, which a lot of people think this, I have to go to your office. So we thought about it for a year. It took us about a year to make the decision. I’m like, we came up with the, with the name about six months before we launched and changed over, but it took us some time to really commit to you, okay, what do we want to be into? So that that whole strategy came down to, okay, who are we?
What does it look like when we’re in the community? What are we trying to do in second? Who Do we want to reach? Because we don’t want to just stay in Edmond. We don’t want to just stay in Oklahoma City, we, we write insurance all over Oklahoma and we actually are licensed in Texas as well. So we wanted something that we could take and create satellite offices or even go national. We wanted to at some point. So, so long story short, how we came up with MVP was um, I was in part of, I was part of leadership admin costs at 32 and that’s through the Admin team or commerce and I was voted the most valuable person in that group, uh, at graduation. And so I have this certificate in my office, St John Curtis, Mvp class of 32. And so we were shooting out names and we’re seeing all these, you know, this name, that name. And I looked up and I saw that. I’m like, what about mvp insurance and burns, like, I liked that. I like a lot.
yes, I even have proof. I have legal documentation. So. And then we really started getting into the meat of that, of what does it mean to be mvp and, and it’s really easy for people to remember and people can bond with that easily because you know, you’re the real mvp, all that type of stuff. So then we decided, okay, this is her name, now what do we want our branding to look like and how does that represent us? And so I did research on colors and all that. So a lot of people think, you know, red and white or they, they, they go for what’s trendy and we want it to be set apart. And so I actually used the thunder colors, but you can’t really tell because the way I placed it on our, on our marketing, you can tell they’re center colors, but they don’t look like the thunder. So kind of works. So people, it’s really easy for people to bond with because they’ve already accepted this is a credible color and they’ve accepted this is a credible branding. So. And we have just exploded since we made the change.
Most of your businesses coming from, is it coming from referrals? Is it coming from people searching for you now? What does that look like?
Well, we have 100 percent referral based and I don’t say that lightly. Like every piece of business I write was referred to me by a strategic partner, so it’s either a realtor, a loan officer, somebody who’s in the business community who works with small business owners. We are really, really huge on relationships and so we really take the time to foster and help those people that are in that target market for us. And so for us to build our branding, a lot of people buy leads and that’s not a problem for some people. That’s just not how we do things. So. So it’s all through networking and strategic partnerships. It’s about being very purposeful with where I spend my time, who I spend my time with and what I do during that time. So because when you’re helping someone and you’re doing the service after that whole service, if thing that we have on everything, on our facebook, that is our branding is hashtag serve as if. And it has everything to do with service. So if I can find a way to help you, then you naturally want to give back. It’s just how it happened. And so you create loyalty and partnerships with people that are longterm and the, you actually helped them make money and then they in turn do the same thing for you. They’re there, they’re your brand ambassadors. And so we’re really blessed that we have 100 percent.
Yeah, that’s phenomenal. So tell us a little bit, you’re not only passionate by insurance, but you’re also passionate about insurance agents and helping small business owners succeed. And so tell us a little bit about what you’re doing in the next month.
Okay. So, um, in September it hasn’t even been announced yet, but we’re having a class for insurance agents. I’m partnering with gentleman, gentleman named Tom Baker with catalyst insurance business solutions. And there’s another company called auto guard that is going to come alongside with that myself auto guard, which is a company that works with car warranties. And then I’ve got two or three other companies we all have with what I consider a shared client base. Okay. They they really work well with insurance agents while I really work well with them and so in order for me to serve my partners is I always say there’s a big, big pond with a little fish in it, so these, these fish eat these little fish, so I want to provide and help make those connections with their target market, which is me. I’m their target market, so getting them in front of other insurance agents really helps build their reputation, helps create credible relationships for those insurance agents to be able to really serve their clients and then also to you in the long run.
I’m actually getting to be able to build relationships with fellow agents that I can refer business to back and forth because not everybody does the same thing and so we’re doing a class for these agents for hiring, so we’re going to. The number one problem I see across the board in any small business is staffing. Like how do you hire? How do you find good people? How do you keep good people? So we’ve brought together some, some great experts in that field to do this class for free for other agents, which may sound counterproductive, but it’s really not because I can really help these people find what they need and then in turn I can get this information to share with other small businesses. So it really is a win win for everybody. Yes. It’s going to be at the box office, which is off a Kelly in Oklahoma City.
Tell us a little bit about you as a mom and being an agent and how you balance all of that together.
Wow, that’s a really big thing. So being a mom, I have four children. My daughter will be 21 in November. She’s a junior eco. My son is 19, he just graduated from Santa Fe and he works for a local hotel chain full time here. Then my daughter is in eighth grade and my son, my youngest is going into fifth. So we have a lot of different ages, different seasons of life. Um, you know, dating soccer. Yeah,
no, the whole thing. Emotional stages, types of emotions, right?
Yeah. So and it makes it really interesting, but you would think the younger kids are the ones who need your attention. The older kids actually need your attention more than the younger ones do. So we’re really on point in our household that your priorities are your priorities. And so what I mean by that is if you look at your calendar and you look at your bank account, you’re going to know what’s important to you real quick. If you’re spending money on yourself or on your family, it’s going to be apparent to you if you’re spending time with other people or with your business more than with your family. It’s going to show up. So I’m really on purpose by scheduling personal time on my calendar before I schedule anything else. So like if I know I have an event coming up for my kids, it’s on my calendar calendar the second I hear about it so that I don’t miss out.
I don’t want to forget. Oh, that’s right. That was today. And then try and move things because that ruins your credibility when you’re always not showing up for meetings because you forgot something. And to you too, it shows your children that they are that important. So then when you have to say no, they understand, they’re like, oh no, mom, you show up for everything. It’s okay if you miss this one thing. So it really works in my, in my benefit to be on purpose with that. And then to you, I tell people all the time, date your kids. So each of my kids gets one on one time with us. So my husband and I, um, either one on one with the kids or together two on one with one kid is really important to us. So for example, one of my sons, he has a learning disability and so college is probably just not going to happen with him.
And that’s okay. If he chooses to go to college, that’s fine too. But knowing that I have an entrepreneurial spirit. So we actually took him on vacation and went to a entrepreneur conference in Vegas one year and just wanted them to see what was possible. And he came home buyer who was 17 and he was like, I’m going to buy a house, I’m going to flip houses, I’m going to do. He was just ready to go, but that time was irreplaceable. We really got to know him and see what really fueled him and get some one on one time with him,
you know what I’m saying? So yeah,
your priorities are your priorities and they will show up whether you want them to or not. Just be honest with yourself. If you really feel like you wanna make your kids a priority, then be on purpose because you don’t get that time back.
Yeah. Have you heard of love works
It’s actually a partner that we have and I would love to share it with you sometime, but it’s all about kids and entrepreneurs. Um, and that’s an amazing. Yeah. And I think, uh, I think it’d be really interesting for your son to, to go into that program and to experience it. So they’re actually, they’re, they’re actually located in more, but they have many different programs throughout the year. That would be really interesting. So I’ll share that with you afterwards so you can learn a little bit more about them, but they’re a phenomenal group of people. That’s exciting. I would love to hear about them. So much fun. So we’ll that. We’ll definitely share that. I think it’d be great. So we do have a, a fun question for you. So hypothetically, if still you’re literally wasn’t even an option, what would you work accomplish or what career path would you choose outside of insurance?
It’s funny you say that because I do have a desire to go into ministry full time. Um, and that’s one of the reasons why I love insurance is that over time as I grow my business and I want to step out of the role of management and more into a role of owner than I could do speaking and teaching. Um, I’m writing books. I’m in the process of writing a book right now that should be done hopefully by the end of this month and hopefully, but I do a lot of ministry with women is at based on being a mother and a wife and how to manage those relationships in a way that can be beneficial and honor God in my life as well as honor those relationships. So my husband and I had been married almost 22 years. He’s the only one I’ve ever had. I’m his only wife he’s ever had and we have no intention of being replaced again, that priority thing. I really have to take time to make sure that that shows up in my life that he’s my priority. So just some of the things that we’ve learned. I want to turn around and teach younger wives.
That makes me think of something. This. This may sound horrible, but I’m going to tell you anyways, so I had this idea that was like, you know, I need to at this sounds horrible, but I need to date our, our team. Like I need to take each person out some time and really get to know them better, you know, just spending. And you know what my wife said, she said, would you date me more first? And I said yes, I will. Yes, I will. And she goes, now you can do the other. And I said, you know what? No, I’m going to date you more first. We put, we started putting on the schedule just recently, actually this week. So it’s very funny that you’re on this this week, but this week we started just putting on the schedule when we were going to, when we were going to date each other, spend more time with each other and uh, and I’ll. And I’ll worry about everyone else later, but I got to make sure my wife’s taken care of too.
Absolutely. Because of the longterm is one day my kids are going to be gone and tried to be this man standing in my kitchen and looking at him going, who’s that guy? And you don’t want to be in that situation. She’s here in the middle of the throes of you growing your business. It’s like having another child is having your business.
No, you’re absolutely right about that.
It really is. And so I have to again, make that priority happen and I’ll tell you, my husband is really, really good at being in. No offense ladies roar, but he’s really great at being the man in a relationship and so he will call me and ask me out. Like he calls me on the phone. He’s like, Hey, what are you doing? And I’ll be like, I’m working. And he’s like, hey. I was thinking maybe Friday night, which I liked. I mean he asked me out on the phone when we were younger and that’s so important to you continue those same behaviors you had dating outside of marriage that you do inside a marriage because it makes me feel special guests be something to look forward to. You know, I get excited, Hey, Friday nights, my special night, you know, so. And he, he plans the date. He makes the effort just like you did when we were dating. So. And it’s not that I am not a powerful woman and all that craziness that feminism, but really I want to be treated special and I want him to see me as that and he’s special to me.
Yeah, no, I have to be the same thing
for him as well.
Fantastic. It’s like you were sitting, it’s like you were sitting in our recent conversation together. So it’s really funny. That’s really funny. Well, tell us a little bit about the products and the companies that you, that you offer.
Well, what we’re really blessed to have as an independent agency to have several companies that we work with. We just recently got direct appoint with progressive for their home, which was really exciting for us because that was the one you have to work for a little bit. And so we’re excited to receive that. So we do home and auto with progressive SAFECO, mercury. We have home and auto products with Aig, Chubb, some of the bigger companies that do higher end homes that do auto as well. And then we just had two or three more companies that came on board through some of our appointments that we have access to you, but they’re probably not as familiar with people so. But mostly progressive and SAFECO are the ones that people know. SAFECO is a liberty mutual back company, so it’s at least something they’re familiar with.
And we only work with a rated companies, so a rated meaning that they are financially stable. So if there’s a big loss here, you’re not going to find that they don’t pay their claims and then they pack up and leave town. So that’s super important. I’m definitely, we do. We do have some subsidy under companies that are good for specialty issues. Like if you are somebody who buys property and you need to do, you know, massive overhaul on it. We have companies that’ll take builder’s risks and, and some of those flip type opportunities that people do that’s real popular right now. We have companies that work with those kinds of companies or clients. And then we also do a life as well in commercial as well. I’m on the commercial side, we’re direct appointed with liberty for that because they, they, they are a great company to write fleet vehicles.
We, we really love to work with HVHC companies and larger companies that have like 10 bands, things like that. That seems to be something we, we kind of draw in a little bit so. And that’s something we market to more because we have some great products that work for those types of clients. I’m on the commercial side as well. Investors seem to really like this. They’ll bring us an entire book of homes that we can write a commercial policy with that gives them blanket liability coverage. So let’s say for example, you own 10 home and typically that liability will be written into each policy. Well you can do a policy that you pay $500 for the year for all 10 houses for one liability limit. Yeah, that’s very nice. Saves you $300 on each property. So it’s really, it’s an amazing product and it really helps investors.
So we, we do a lot of that. So we really love working with people who again, are entrepreneurs just like us. So you tend to, you tend to draw in people who are a lot like you. So I love business owners. I love personal line. So it doesn’t matter whenever you got home, auto life, commercial and then. Yeah, now we have this warranty for cars. So I’m really excited about that. With auto guard, we’re actually offering a, your mechanical warranties, like you would get through a car dealership. We can offer direct to the client and they don’t have to put it onto alone. It’s zero financing and it’s an ace, a registry, a registry. I came and talked that ace registered a mechanic. Mechanics that actually can do it anywhere in the country. Yeah, yeah. Sorry. Interpreter over my words. That’s fine.
So we always like to make sure that we asked five key takeaways and I think you already gave us maybe a little bit of some, but give us five key takeaways that you want everyone to know that you believe will be beneficial for anyone walking away from this.
Well, for me, I really loved him, invest in people and so if I can help you be better. So these are things that I kind of live by. Number one, a service before self. So if you can find a way to help somebody, you have the ability to help them do it. Like, you know, I’m not saying you have to go around serving everyone, but if I have a gift and talent that somebody needs that, why not? I don’t want to be stingy with that because I’m too busy. You know, if I have the ability to stop and help somebody cross the road, then so be it. So that I think that’s really important. Being teachable and trainable is number two. If you’re the smartest person in the room, we are in the wrong room. So I always say, be in a place of humility and learn from every situation because that’s how you grow as a person.
Professionally, it doesn’t matter. You can learn from anyone in any situation, even if it’s all you’re learning is. You don’t want to do that. Again, I always come from a place of learning and you’ll be, can’t help but do great things. Uh, number three would be help others be great. So when I mean by that is, is if you help other people shine and do great things and you can admire them and applaud them, then what is your time? They’re there to support you. It creates loyalty and I don’t have to be number one in order to do great things. Fact, I’d rather be number two because if I can help you be number one that I’m doing my job. I always say I like to be a good backup singer so I can make you sound really good. I have a lot of fun doing it, but I’ll have to have the limelight on me.
The most influential people are the ones you never hear about, right? They’re always in the background doing great things and helping people do great things. Yep. So that’s number three. Number four, and this kind of, we were talking about dating. Update yourself. Take time to know yourself as a person, as a mom, as a business owner, whatever it is. Take time to know who you are first because you can make better decisions when you know who you are, so I know what to say no to and I know what to say yes to because I know where there’s going to be a benefit just based on this is who I am. You know, if somebody comes in and says, Hey, I need you to run this multimillion dollar company, can I do that? Probably, but I know myself. That’s not what I want to do. So it’s really easy for me to say no to something that’s just not a good fit because I know who I am. So and number five, learn to love reading, like read, read as much as you can and if you can’t sit and hold a book, do books on tape. Audible overdrive is through the library. You can get a free app and listen to books from the library for free all day long and you can’t help but grow when you’re constantly being fed. Great stuff. So those are my takeaways.
That’s great. Well, the last thing we always have is how do we get in touch with you? What’s the best way?
Okay, so my office is located at one, two zero, three, two north Pennsylvania Avenue in Oklahoma City. We’re in the back of Penn Center, which is a little office complex right there, off 120 seconds. Um, you can always email me Joan at insurer I n s u r e M, b p like most valuable player.com. Also a info at ensure mvp if you’d like. And then our phone number is four. Oh, five, six, nine, seven, five, two, two, two.
John, we really appreciate you being with us today. We want to make sure that everyone subscribes to this podcast. Please do it now so you don’t forget and also give a review on what she thought of Joan and her five key takeaways. Remind everyone, don’t forget that if you are looking for insurance quotes that don’t stay and go to [inaudible] dot com, click get a quote and then you can find Joan on there as well, her bio, her podcasts that we’ve done here. And then also hopefully getting some videos on there. Very same guys. We appreciate everyone listening and have a wonderful day.
Check out MVP Insurance: https://insuremvp.com/
Check out Joan’s BriteBee Profile: https://app.britebee.com/agents/joancurtis125