Goosehead Insurance is an independent agency representing different insurance companies. CCP spoke with Gene and Charlene Guldbrandsen, local agents at Goosehead.
What’s your background and how did you get started at Goosehead Insurance?
Gene: My background is working in warehouses. I worked in SuperValu for 29 years. After they lost some business in 2012 and the Obamacare was big, I got my licenses in health and life insurance. I started working for Blue Cross, Blue Shield. I eventually got my property and casualty license and I started working for American Family Insurance. Finally, I got a new opportunity on LinkedIn to open my own independent agency with Goosehead Insurance and Charlene joined me.
Charlene: I worked for a non-profit for 18 years before coming to Goosehead. I started looking for jobs when my nonprofit lost funding from the state, which happened at the same time that Goosehead approached Gene. So, we both went down to Texas for Goosehead’s Discovery Days to learn how to become insurance agents with Goosehead.
What is normal day like for you?
Gene: We do different things on different days. We’ve found that Mondays and Fridays are the worst days to market ourselves; however, these days are the best for customer service. During the rest of the week we could be in Peoria, Springfield, or Decatur promoting ourselves to get more referrals.
You have 5 stars and stellar reviews from customers online. How do you get such a great customer satisfaction?
Gene: When we provide insurance quotes, we walk our clients through the policy line by line – that’s what we do differently than other insurance agents. We take the time to explain and educate customers about the policy. They leave the office feeling empowered with knowledge about the policy and about the different options available to them.
Charlene: As we generate quotes, we explain what we added and how much is covered. A good example is water backup for basements. It’s normally an add-on for home insurance, but every basement is different, clients may need more or less coverage in their policy depending on their needs. When we write the policy for customers, we do it as if it were writing it for us.
What do you enjoy the most about working in insurance?
Charlene: I enjoy meeting people and helping them. I enjoy getting out in the community and learning about their life so that we can get them the best coverage and best price for their insurance.
Gene: Believe it or not, my previous job was doing the same thing with the same people day in and day out for 29 years! Now, I get to meet new people and try to help them, which has been life-affirming. It’s been great! I don’t know why I didn’t get into insurance sooner.
Why did you decide to locate downtown?
Charlene: We thought the [Huntington Tower] was recognizable. We don’t get much walk-in business, so the location suits us.
Gene: It came down to the price, security, amenities like the conference room, and location recognition.
What do you enjoy doing out of the office in your free time?
Charlene: We spend a lot of time with our grandkids and we like to be outdoors. I often tend to my strawberry patch.
Gene: Charlene also likes her mystery shows and I like to play games on the computer.
Learn more about Goosehead Insurance online.