Choosing an EJ location

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Jan 8, 2009 11:10 am

I'm at the point in the EJ application where I am about to start doorknocking for 20 surveys.  They are asking me for the location I'd like to operate in.

 
I presently live in PA, near the NJ border.  I'm thinking that I'd like to operate in the central NJ region since it will have a larger household income than PA.  It's about a 55 minute drive to get there, though.  I don't mind the drive, but is the time lost commuting worth the higher income area?
 
My zip code has a median household income of $55,500.  The area I have staked out in NJ has a median household income of $79,600.  Seems like a no brainer to me but I thought I'd ask a wizened hand or two before I committed to an area with EJ.
 
And while I have your ear, to potential clients, does one firm have better name recognition and brand appeal than another?  I am also interviewing with ML, which seems to would have more instant name recognition and cache with potential customers.
Jan 8, 2009 11:19 am

How did you go from not in the industry to doorknocking for the application overnight?

Jan 8, 2009 11:22 am

That's too far . You want to live close enough to your office so you can get to the office easily in the evenings on Saturday. You also want to live near your clients so you are part of the community and (ideally) can bump into your prospects at the store or the Little League field. That's why I think small towns are best for the Jones model.

I would look for a growing, small town with a strong downtown where you can establish a presence.
Better still, find such an area where you can get a Legacy or goodnight or take over a failing office. Starting from scratch out of your home is damn near impossible.
 
 
 
Jan 8, 2009 11:24 am

I echo Buyandforget, get to know some established reps with books when you are studying and see if they would be willing to give you assets.

Jan 8, 2009 11:30 am
Squash1:

How did you go from not in the industry to doorknocking for the application overnight?

 
I didn't.  I started the application process with Jones and ML before Thanksgiving.  I wish it was that fast!  Seems like it's taking forever.
Jan 8, 2009 11:31 am

Did you apply at MS? Had a friend who started at Jones, hated it, and is now doing real well at MS, more of a cushion, in terms of salary, but higher goals,

Jan 8, 2009 11:33 am
buyandhold:

That's too far . You want to live close enough to your office so you can get to the office easily in the evenings on Saturday. You also want to live near your clients so you are part of the community and (ideally) can bump into your prospects at the store or the Little League field. That's why I think small towns are best for the Jones model.

I would look for a growing, small town with a strong downtown where you can establish a presence.
Better still, find such an area where you can get a Legacy or goodnight or take over a failing office. Starting from scratch out of your home is damn near impossible.
 
 
 
 
Are you saying that a new advisor operating out of his house from scratch (as the opportunity is pitched by EDJ) will have little chance of success? How do you find out about these "failing" offices or other such "leg ups"? Were most successful offices started by people who were given a leg up? And finally, since this is the rest of my working life I am talking about here, are you successful and how did you do it?  
Jan 8, 2009 11:36 am
buyandhold:

That's too far . You want to live close enough to your office so you can get to the office easily in the evenings on Saturday. You also want to live near your clients so you are part of the community and (ideally) can bump into your prospects at the store or the Little League field. That's why I think small towns are best for the Jones model.

I would look for a growing, small town with a strong downtown where you can establish a presence.
Better still, find such an area where you can get a Legacy or goodnight or take over a failing office. Starting from scratch out of your home is damn near impossible.
 
 
 
 
Are you saying that a new advisor operating out of his house from scratch has little or no chance of success? How does one find out about these "failing" offices or other "leg up" opportunities? And finally, are you successful and how did you do it?
Jan 8, 2009 11:40 am

I would agree with what BH said.  You want to be part of the community.  You jsut can't do that being an hour away.  And don't get too hung up on houshold income.  You need to be more concerned with employment, a thriving business community, etc.  Sometimes you can make out best in an industrial-type town where there are a lot of long-term employees with a few big employers.  Some of my biggest rollovers (high 6 and low-7 figures) are from people that never made over 100K in their life (and some made FAR less than that).  They are easier to target and their 401K balances are typically higher.  Also look at demographics.  If the demographic is young and high-paid, that's not always best for someone just starting in the business.  You want rollovers from 401K's from the 50+ crowd.  Those are most advisors' bread-and-butter unless you have a lot of wealthy business owners in the area.  You want to be doing little dinners/seminars at night, seeing people around town on weekends, etc.  Make sure people are staying in the area and not moving away.  Remember, you don't need 5,000 clients, you only need a few hundred with decent money. 

Jan 8, 2009 11:41 am
 [/quote]
 
Are you saying that a new advisor operating out of his house from scratch (as the opportunity is pitched by EDJ) will have little chance of success? How do you find out about these "failing" offices or other such "leg ups"? Were most successful offices started by people who were given a leg up? And finally, since this is the rest of my working life I am talking about here, are you successful and how did you do it?  [/quote]
 
Am I succesful? Well, my mama loves me. Other than that, I'm hanging on. Working hard, moving ahead.
EJ itself is acknowledging that the start-ups are not the best way to go. That's why they have these GKs and Legacy offices. I don't think it's the assets you need, but an office gives you legitimacy. And location is just as important, imo.
And 'since it is the rest of your working life you are talking about' go visit as many EJ brokers (and otherwise) and keep asking questions.
 
 
Jan 8, 2009 11:42 am
Squash1:

Did you apply at MS? Had a friend who started at Jones, hated it, and is now doing real well at MS, more of a cushion, in terms of salary, but higher goals,

 
Will MS or ML higher a new advisor with no industry experience or licenses? I researched AGE and RJ and they seemed to want previous experience. My start date with EDJ is 2/2. I have two weeks to make sure I am making the right decision. I hate the career I am in (cars), but I have averaged a six figure income for 9 years. It drives my wife nuts because she thinks I should be happy since I am successful. Problem is, the auto industry is full of mooches and scammers. Not sure it will be different anywhere else, but at 44 I am willing to take the risk. Any input is appreciated.
Jan 8, 2009 11:43 am
maddmatt:
buyandhold:

That's too far . You want to live close enough to your office so you can get to the office easily in the evenings on Saturday. You also want to live near your clients so you are part of the community and (ideally) can bump into your prospects at the store or the Little League field. That's why I think small towns are best for the Jones model.

I would look for a growing, small town with a strong downtown where you can establish a presence.
Better still, find such an area where you can get a Legacy or goodnight or take over a failing office. Starting from scratch out of your home is damn near impossible.
 
 
 
 
Are you saying that a new advisor operating out of his house from scratch (as the opportunity is pitched by EDJ) will have little chance of success? How do you find out about these "failing" offices or other such "leg ups"? Were most successful offices started by people who were given a leg up? And finally, since this is the rest of my working life I am talking about here, are you successful and how did you do it?  
 
Yes.  New/New's have little chance of success.  Sorry.
Yes, most successful offices were started by people given a leg up, because most FA's that actually MADE IT were given a leg up.  For the REALLY successful people, it almost didn't matter, but most had some advantage (great network from past career, well connected, etc.).  In most cases (not all) of a very successful FA (at every firm), there is a "story" behind it.
Jan 8, 2009 11:51 am
Squash1:

Did you apply at MS? Had a friend who started at Jones, hated it, and is now doing real well at MS, more of a cushion, in terms of salary, but higher goals,


Ya know, I've been considering them.  I found the location of a MS office that I was interested in.  Maybe I'll drop in this afternoon and introduce myself.  God only knows ML is taking their time.  I know they have a lot of things going on right now but I am at least getting some motion from EJ.  Everytime I ask hte ML guys they say they're waiting for things to shake out corporate-wise and that they'll know soon.
Jan 8, 2009 11:51 am
B24:
maddmatt:
buyandhold:

That's too far . You want to live close enough to your office so you can get to the office easily in the evenings on Saturday. You also want to live near your clients so you are part of the community and (ideally) can bump into your prospects at the store or the Little League field. That's why I think small towns are best for the Jones model.

I would look for a growing, small town with a strong downtown where you can establish a presence.
Better still, find such an area where you can get a Legacy or goodnight or take over a failing office. Starting from scratch out of your home is damn near impossible.
 
 
 
 
Are you saying that a new advisor operating out of his house from scratch (as the opportunity is pitched by EDJ) will have little chance of success? How do you find out about these "failing" offices or other such "leg ups"? Were most successful offices started by people who were given a leg up? And finally, since this is the rest of my working life I am talking about here, are you successful and how did you do it?  
 
Yes.  New/New's have little chance of success.  Sorry.
Yes, most successful offices were started by people given a leg up, because most FA's that actually MADE IT were given a leg up.  For the REALLY successful people, it almost didn't matter, but most had some advantage (great network from past career, well connected, etc.).  In most cases (not all) of a very successful FA (at every firm), there is a "story" behind it.
 
And you are with EDJ? Tell me, should I contact my recruiter and bring these issues up at this time? How does one go about asking for a "leg up"? Almost 10 years ago I started in the auto industry knowing nothing about it and no connections. I worked my rear end off and made it to Finance Director inside of 5 years. My understanding of this position with EDJ is that if I employ the same work ethic, with their training, I could expect similar success. What makes the FA position so much harder than other sales fields?  
Jan 8, 2009 12:04 pm
maddmatt:

It drives my wife nuts because she thinks I should be happy since I am successful. Problem is, the auto industry is full of mooches and scammers.

 
You're leaving a six figure income to possibly starve or fail as an FA because you don't like the mooches around you?  Knocking on doors in the rain seems like a better option?
 
You're nuts.    Your wife is right, listen to her.
Jan 8, 2009 12:18 pm
B24:

Yes.  New/New's have little chance of success.  Sorry.

Yes, most successful offices were started by people given a leg up, because most FA's that actually MADE IT were given a leg up. 










 
Then why would they even bother hiring / paying / training new guys without making sure they got a leg up or had millionaire friends and family?
 
Ehh, yer bringing me down. 
Jan 8, 2009 12:22 pm

The difference between selling cars and investments is in cars, the people come to you.  You will have opportunities to sell from the people who walk in.  Brokers have to create the demand that gets people to walk in.  The hardest thing about being a new broker is getting a potential client to walk thru the door. 

Jan 8, 2009 12:38 pm

wow, I agree with everything the other guys have said so far, especially B24, pick your location based on a thriving community, I made the mistake early on and still regret it, "this town needs and enema."

 
oh and yes, new new=foodstamps and fired inside 8 mo's.  it sucks... hard, a lot of really good people and really good friends of mine, that would have made great brokers couldn't hack it new new... something like 10% make it past 3 years, and I think thats a high number based on what i've seen.
 
get a goodknight, or get a different job, you'll thank yourself down the road.
Jan 8, 2009 12:40 pm
Potential:
maddmatt:

It drives my wife nuts because she thinks I should be happy since I am successful. Problem is, the auto industry is full of mooches and scammers.

 
You're leaving a six figure income to possibly starve or fail as an FA because you don't like the mooches around you?  Knocking on doors in the rain seems like a better option?
 
You're nuts.    Your wife is right, listen to her.
 


Obviously, there is more to the story. The main thrust is that I hardly ever see my wife or kids and it will never change. 20 years from now I could be in the car business making the same money and still not have my weekends off. I had to take a job an hour into the country with a $30K paycut just to get home at a decent hour. So, knocking on doors in the rain excites the hell out of me if I have the opportunity to be home at a decent hour with the potential to have much more freedom down the road. Of course, the guys on this forum are crapping me out pretty good right now.
Jan 8, 2009 12:41 pm
UNDERMINDED:

wow, I agree with everything the other guys have said so far, especially B24, pick your location based on a thriving community, I made the mistake early on and still regret it, "this town needs and enema."

 
oh and yes, new new=foodstamps and fired inside 8 mo's.  it sucks... hard, a lot of really good people and really good friends of mine, that would have made great brokers couldn't hack it new new... something like 10% make it past 3 years, and I think thats a high number based on what i've seen.
 
get a goodknight, or get a different job, you'll thank yourself down the road.
 
How do I get a "goodknight"?