Mary Sladek began her career in consumer lending and found it difficult to procure insurance documents for closings. She saw an opportunity to provide a valuable service for mortgage transactions. After a decade as a captive agent, she founded her independent agency, targeting new home purchasers and refinancers.
She and her team build strong relationships with real estate brokerages, mortgage companies and banks and are able to work exclusively by referral. Her team agrees that an all-female agency has distinct advantages.
Serving more than 2,000 households, the producers have increased gross revenues year over year to nearly $5 million in 2019, and they’re on track to add more than $1 million in new premium this year, says Sladek.
Mary Sladek, Owner
I decided to focus exclusively on personal lines because it’s what we’re good at. Ours is a culture of collaboration. Agencies typically have quotas and minimums. We don’t. Producers earn a livable base salary with paid time off and retirement benefits, plus an incentive for every policy, including remarketed and additional policies or lines of business with existing clients. They also receive bonuses based on carrier incentives. We enjoy working with each other; our goal is to make the most of each opportunity. We usually lunch together. Sometimes we talk business, but most of the time it’s about personal things.
Jen Molina, Producer, Office Manager
We prefer to work at the office, but we are conducting business as usual from home during the pandemic. We typically don’t work with customers in the office. We use phone and email, both with our customers and referral partners, and we have processes in place to complete applications by phone. Phone calls are rolled to us at home. We also use DocuSign, and forms go into our digital image center in the cloud. We’ve had to suspend our ‘pop-by’ visits, lunches and event sponsorships, but stay in touch by email and social media.
Kayleigh Mosby, Producer
We develop trust and personal rapport with our referral partners. We make the experience easy for our customers. As women, we are nurturing. A realtor just contacted us specifically to help a special-needs person who doesn’t drive or have internet and needed handholding. We’re laid back and talk to clients in terms that make sense. We sell only bundled policies, writing home and auto together. We also sell boat, motorcycle, RV and umbrella. If someone wants a life insurance or business policy, we refer them to other brokers that we work with.
Kristene Peterson, Producer
I’m the newest team member, having joined in January 2019. I have 20 years of property-casualty experience and worked personal and commercial lines before. Finding an all-female team wasn’t a make-or-break thing, but it has been different in a good way for me. Mary’s referral program was new to me. Nowhere else have I seen relationships developed the way that Mary does, with partners who continuously send us business. We network with the real estate community through membership activities of the Omaha Area Board of Realtors and the Women’s Council of Realtors.
PHOTO BY SARA ROGERS