Archetype Insurance Group
Three high-performing, young producers thought they had a pretty good gig at a venture capital-backed online broker—until the company decided to move. They could go with the firm to Austin, Texas and keep their jobs, but if they wanted to stay in Massachusetts, they needed a Plan B.
“We were left with two choices—find a job with a captive company or try to find an independent route,” says Benjamin Harms, co-founder & CFO of Archetype Insurance Group in Millbury, Massachusetts. “We believed we had what it took and knew what we needed to do to get the job done.”
The three friends launched Archetype Insurance in 2018, targeting customers in their own demographic. Their marketing campaigns focus on new homebuyers age 25-35, and the agency leverages DocuSign and text messaging for a seamless customer experience.
But Archetype has balanced a tech-focused approach with getting out in the field to get referrals. “We’re not 100% online, but we’re more efficient than a traditional insurance agency,” says Kevin Gabbett, co-founder & CEO. “With us, you get the best of both worlds.”
KEVIN GABBETT, CO-FOUNDER & CEO
I had just gotten engaged, so I was looking to get an endorsement on one of my policies to add the ring. I called my agent and sent over the appraisal, and they didn’t get back to me for a week. That’s not how customer service works. This was a very established agency. I knew when we started our agency, I never wanted to be like that. We try to get everything done in the same hour.
On social media, you see us at events, hanging out. It’s easier to do business with somebody you don’t think is a stiff in a suit. We don’t have a book of business to rely on as a steady source of income. Whatever we do that month, that’s what’s keeping the lights on, paying the bills. Being top performers, we’re very hungry.
BENJAMIN HARMS, CO-FOUNDER & CFO
A lot in this industry has been done the same way for a lot of years. A lot of agents are just living off renewals. They’re not going after new business. We know people our age—the young professionals, new home buyers. The agencies that have been around for a while, they’re just not going after that new business. If we can get in early, we can be the go-to for any type of needs that they have.
We use social media to connect mortgage lenders and real estate people throughout the entire state. We’re able to build better relationships and more relationships through social. We like to be out there, trying to market to different people through Facebook and Instagram. People see what we’re about. They associate us with an easy process and a fun approach.
When it comes down to it, it's not really a sales job—more like I'm trying to help somebody find out what's going to be the best fit for them. It's really a service.
TIMOTHY KARLOWICZ, CO-FOUNDER & COO
We realized that a lot of the agencies in central Massachusetts do a good job, but they’re not looking for organic growth. Every single day we come in and we talk about new business. We’re not at the point where we can just shop people around that we already have. We’re on the front lines every single day. We’re always looking for leads, and I think we do a great job of closing them.
The insurance industry is headed in a way that’s more technology-based. Traditional marketing is still important, but we believe we’re pioneers for utilizing digital marketing more than other agencies. I’m excited to see where it is in 10 years when our book of business is already established. I think we’ll have a leg up.
We sell home insurance first, try to cross-sell the auto, and make recreational policies off that. The most effective way we've done that is creating relationships within the real estate industry. We have a couple people on the North Shore who'll send us leads, and what they really want is somebody who's reliable—someone who's not going to take 24 hours to send them a quote.
Photo by Damianos Photography