EJ - Taking over an office

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Feb 13, 2009 2:12 pm

I'm with Edward Jones and just passed the series 7 and 66.  After passing the 7 I got a call offering me an existing office.  This is a very new office, opened in June '08 with only $3.4mil in assets and one client with $1 mil may leave before I have my Can Sell date.  I know there are many reasons why this is a great opportunity.  What I would like to know is what are some of the negetives if any. 

 
Some other pertinent info:  It's in a very nice area with no other FA's around.  There is a BOA already in the branch.  The girl who I'm taking this over from just gave up and hasn't done anything there in the last 6 months.
As always thank you all for your help.
Feb 13, 2009 2:19 pm

If the existing office is somewhere you would want to live, then you should jump at the opportunity and take the office, especially because it is already staffed with a BOA.  I started w/Jones over 5years ago and after selling for less than a year I took over an existing office w/less than $1 million AUM.  It was the best move I could have made because it gave me instant credibility when I met with clients at "my office" instead of at my previous office (by the way--the trunk of my car).  There is no downside to taking over an existing office with hardly any assets, other than the fact that you wished it had more assets.  Good luck with your decision.



Lapide

Feb 13, 2009 2:19 pm

Pluses:

You get an office with a BOA.  This gives you added credibility.
 
Minuses:
Do not count on ANY of the assets or clients to give you revenue.  Think of it as an empty office.  $3.4mm is almost nothing, and after most of the clients leave, you will really have nothing.
You will spend FAR too much time in the office "managing" existing clients and your BOA.  If you can avoid this mistake, then it is a nice way to start and avoid the working from home thing.
My suggestion, take it, but FORCE yourself to get of the office and prospect.  Jones will require the activity numbers, but don't stop there.  Just keep it going.
Feb 13, 2009 2:21 pm

The office lends credibility to you.  It's a leg up but you will still have to prospect your a** off.  I would not listen to those that will tell you an office is actually a detrimnt to you.  It can get you sidetracked from your ultimate goal of prospecting but the benefits outweigh the negatives.  IMHO!  It's sure better than "ughhh, I'll be opening an office in the near future, right now I work out of my home". 

 
Feb 13, 2009 2:25 pm

I figured the one downside would be getting caught up in "office stuff" and not going out and prospecting.  Maybe I'm just being idealistic because I'm new but I like to think that won't be the case with me.  I don't know how I get charged for my portion of the rent, utilities, ect...  That was more what I was worried about.  I don't want to be incurring expenses before I even start.

Feb 13, 2009 2:36 pm
A-Ron:

I figured the one downside would be getting caught up in "office stuff" and not going out and prospecting.  Maybe I'm just being idealistic because I'm new but I like to think that won't be the case with me.  I don't know how I get charged for my portion of the rent, utilities, ect...  That was more what I was worried about.  I don't want to be incurring expenses before I even start.

 
You are being idealistic, it is the case with everyone.
Feb 13, 2009 3:23 pm

I took over a similar office(except 6 other people went through it before I got there) had about 4.6million in assets..

 
Call everybody who has an account and leave a message,"new guy would like to meet and discuss, goals, risk etc.."
 
Then never call them again...There is nothing more wasteful then spending time on these people.. like previous people said, just consider it a shell..
 
When I took over mine, I didn't even start my day there.. I would prospect til 12 then eat lunch in the office while doing misc office stuff, then would cold call and call my doorknocking list til 7pm.. and go home...
Feb 13, 2009 4:00 pm
B24:

Pluses:

You get an office with a BOA.  This gives you added credibility.
 
Minuses:
Do not count on ANY of the assets or clients to give you revenue.  Think of it as an empty office.  $3.4mm is almost nothing, and after most of the clients leave, you will really have nothing.
You will spend FAR too much time in the office "managing" existing clients and your BOA.  If you can avoid this mistake, then it is a nice way to start and avoid the working from home thing.
My suggestion, take it, but FORCE yourself to get of the office and prospect.  Jones will require the activity numbers, but don't stop there.  Just keep it going.



$3.4mm is a whole career for a CFP.

Feb 13, 2009 4:39 pm

I had a similar offer, except it was only like $750k.  Like the others said, just think of the office as your "home base" and don't spend much time there.  What I did was come in at 8:00 a.m. and organize my day until about 9 a.m.  I would then try to make 10 - 15 quality calls by lunchtime, go eat and then hit the streets for four hours or so.  Personally, I called on mostly small business owners.  I'd come back to the office at 5 or so right before the assistant left in the rare case I'd actually had a message or god forbid a walk-in.

 
Then, I'd put my prospects in the system for an hour or so and head home.  But, it was a heck of a lot better than coming back to a 'home office' for me.  Some people can thrive that way, but it gave me a lot more confidence just having an office.
Feb 13, 2009 11:12 pm
wp_fan:

I had a similar offer, except it was only like $750k. Like the others said, just think of the office as your "home base" and don't spend much time there. What I did was come in at 8:00 a.m. and organize my day until about 9 a.m. I would then try to make 10 - 15 quality calls by lunchtime, go eat and then hit the streets for four hours or so. Personally, I called on mostly small business owners. I'd come back to the office at 5 or so right before the assistant left in the rare case I'd actually had a message or god forbid a walk-in.



Then, I'd put my prospects in the system for an hour or so and head home. But, it was a heck of a lot better than coming back to a 'home office' for me. Some people can thrive that way, but it gave me a lot more confidence just having an office.





Once again, this sounds slightly trollish to me. As I recall, this is what I was told to do when I went to KYC.

Feb 13, 2009 11:29 pm

Probably the biggest disadvantage to taking over an office with so few assets is that your performance standards will increase making it difficult to meet your goals and milestones.  Maybe see if they will give you the office but keep you at new/new standards since the assets are so low.  Probably a long shot but worth asking anyway.

Feb 14, 2009 12:11 am

What does BOA mean?

Feb 14, 2009 1:20 am

Branch Office Administrator

Feb 14, 2009 11:51 am
Being new to Jones, I've asked these same questions a lot. Just weigh the pros and cons and decide what's best...you know....the Ben Franklin!
 
Pros...gets you out of the house, which is probably full of distractions, and puts you into "work mode"...gives you some credibility with clients, albeit YOU create most of the credibility, not the office...gives you a "base of operations"...best part, the BOA (theoretically frees up time for productive behaviors vs. admin crap)
 
Cons...you will need to exercise incredible discipline to get out of the office to prospect...you will need to assume that your inherited book is worthless until it's not...but you will need to manage those clients in addidtion to prospecting...you will have higher goals than a new/new (making bonuses harder to reach)
 
The vet FA's in your region will probably tell you that think taking over an office could be more of a hindrance than helpful. From the above pros and cons, if you think about it, it's really up to you. The fact remains that, statistically, the retention rate for new FA's that inherit a book (whether it be a Goodknight or existing office) is roughly twice that of new/news. That's according to Jones. Jones also reports that the production levels are generally better for those with some amount of existing assets (the more the better). I like those odds, so, despite being ready to go new/new for as long as it takes, I'd prefer to try and get a Goodknight or take over an office.
 
I still got a ways before that comes into play, so we'll see.
Feb 14, 2009 1:44 pm

Fud, this is true. However, I have witnessed several Goodknights and takeovers do well out of the gates, only to sputter out in years 3 and 4 because they did not adequately prospect, or more importantly, develop a consistent prospecting system.

Feb 14, 2009 2:05 pm
B24:

Fud, this is true. However, I have witnessed several Goodknights and takeovers do well out of the gates, only to sputter out in years 3 and 4 because they did not adequately prospect, or more importantly, develop a consistent prospecting system.

I believe it. I also believe that I have it within myself to take a long view and not set myself up for failure. If you've ever read the 7 Habits...then you must realize that it's those "Quadrant II" behaviors that those guys who sputter out didn't do consistently. If you haven't read it...it simply refers to the "important but not urgent" items that are generally the most effective tasks, but also usually the most mundane and therefore get put on the backburner. Classic examples...prospecting and follow up! I've had it happen to me before in another position, so I like to think I've learned from that mistake.
 
Personally, I believe I have it within myself to succeed whether I start with new/new or with inherited assets, but just like everyone else I'd like to hit the ground running with as many advantages as possible. The trick is that you need to take advantage of those advantages...not take them for granted. IMO.
Feb 14, 2009 2:06 pm

Oh...and if anyone hasn't read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People....I definitely recommend it.

Feb 14, 2009 3:52 pm
Fud Box:
B24:

Fud, this is true. However, I have witnessed several Goodknights and takeovers do well out of the gates, only to sputter out in years 3 and 4 because they did not adequately prospect, or more importantly, develop a consistent prospecting system.

I believe it. I also believe that I have it within myself to take a long view and not set myself up for failure. If you've ever read the 7 Habits...then you must realize that it's those "Quadrant II" behaviors that those guys who sputter out didn't do consistently. If you haven't read it...it simply refers to the "important but not urgent" items that are generally the most effective tasks, but also usually the most mundane and therefore get put on the backburner. Classic examples...prospecting and follow up! I've had it happen to me before in another position, so I like to think I've learned from that mistake.
 
Personally, I believe I have it within myself to succeed whether I start with new/new or with inherited assets, but just like everyone else I'd like to hit the ground running with as many advantages as possible. The trick is that you need to take advantage of those advantages...not take them for granted. IMO.
 
I hope you're right.  But all these guys said the same thing...then blamed lack of production on everything except.....lack of prospecting.  You ask them what they are doing to prospect, and it's like you asked them to recite the alphabet backwards drunk...... "I...uhhhhh.....wellll.........I go to Chamber events......and......uuhhhhh.....ask my clients for referrals......and...uh.....".
Right.  So you're saying you don't prospect.  You can't get out of your office or pick up the phone because of "all" those existing clients you have. 
 
I carve out one week per month to call all my existing clients.  I haven't been in the business long enough to have to spend the whole month doing it yet.  Yet these chumps seem to take up the entire month doing it.
 
It WILL happen.  You just need to know how to overcome that urge.  That urge to sit and read "literature".  To map out the "ideal" portfolio.  To read ESPN.com.  To meet with wholesalers.  To run errands.  To come in late.  To leave early.  To only call the 3 people this month that you know have money coming due.  The list goes on.  Just remember this conversation in 2-3 years. 
Feb 14, 2009 5:22 pm
B24:
Fud Box:
B24:

Fud, this is true. However, I have witnessed several Goodknights and takeovers do well out of the gates, only to sputter out in years 3 and 4 because they did not adequately prospect, or more importantly, develop a consistent prospecting system.

I believe it. I also believe that I have it within myself to take a long view and not set myself up for failure. If you've ever read the 7 Habits...then you must realize that it's those "Quadrant II" behaviors that those guys who sputter out didn't do consistently. If you haven't read it...it simply refers to the "important but not urgent" items that are generally the most effective tasks, but also usually the most mundane and therefore get put on the backburner. Classic examples...prospecting and follow up! I've had it happen to me before in another position, so I like to think I've learned from that mistake.
 
Personally, I believe I have it within myself to succeed whether I start with new/new or with inherited assets, but just like everyone else I'd like to hit the ground running with as many advantages as possible. The trick is that you need to take advantage of those advantages...not take them for granted. IMO.
 
I hope you're right.  But all these guys said the same thing...then blamed lack of production on everything except.....lack of prospecting.  You ask them what they are doing to prospect, and it's like you asked them to recite the alphabet backwards drunk...... "I...uhhhhh.....wellll.........I go to Chamber events......and......uuhhhhh.....ask my clients for referrals......and...uh.....".
Right.  So you're saying you don't prospect.  You can't get out of your office or pick up the phone because of "all" those existing clients you have. 
 
I carve out one week per month to call all my existing clients.  I haven't been in the business long enough to have to spend the whole month doing it yet.  Yet these chumps seem to take up the entire month doing it.
 
It WILL happen.  You just need to know how to overcome that urge.  That urge to sit and read "literature".  To map out the "ideal" portfolio.  To read ESPN.com.  To meet with wholesalers.  To run errands.  To come in late.  To leave early.  To only call the 3 people this month that you know have money coming due.  The list goes on.  Just remember this conversation in 2-3 years. 
That's precisely what I'm talking about....taking up all your time on the stuff that doesn't really matter rather than determining what actions will give you the best bang and then doing THOSE. Of course, the sick thing is that people don't realize it when they're doing it, so they keep on doing it thinking they're doing "everything they could" to succeed. Then comes the excuses, the complaints, the bitchin' and moanin'. All of which are completely pointless.
 
Think about it. People blame their company, policies, the economy, the weather, the market, the business model, the lack of training, the lack of support, too much competition, the unemployment level, the environment, other peoples' attitudes, Bernie Madoff, John Thain, Bush, Paulson, Obama, Geithner...etc. etc. etc. It goes on forever. You name it, they blame it. Instead, one should see what THEY could do to change their results. Who THEY can ask for help. What strategies THEY can employ to improve their production.
 
It's easier said than done, that's for sure. But it all comes down to self accountability. Most people don't have it...which is why most people wash out of the tough, rewarding, high paying careers (in any industry) and find themselves content in mediocrity. It's also why most small business owners are in their mid-50's. They tried and failed several times already. I'm not embarrassed to say that I've endured some failures, and they were all preventable by things that I COULD HAVE done or that I SHOULD HAVE done. Looking back, I spent so much time blaming other people, things, and circumstances that were so irrelevant, but I just didn't realize it at the time. I feel like I've learned from those failures, and I'm ready to take on a new challenge prepared to succeed.
 
Of course, like I mentioned earlier, I'll also take whatever leg up I can get, but I'm prepared for the challenge either way. Maybe I'll make it, maybe I won't. Either way, it'll be because of me and me alone.
Feb 17, 2009 11:08 pm

One thing no one mentions - burnout.

 
Force yourself to take a week off every year irregardless of where your numbers are.  All this iron man stuff sounds great until you've been out 4 years and the market takes a 40% turd.  Not taking a vacation last year was a big mistake for me because I went into this disasterous year already burned out.  I'm still in the game but it's been rough.
 
The race is a marathon - not a sprint.  Prospect like heck but reward yourself for the small victories.  During good months save money.  While on salary - save money.
 
JUST as many people fail for lack of money and they do for lack of prospecting.  Business is easier with a little coin in your pocket.  The slef help books sound great when your studying for the 7 or in your first 6 months.  All the self help books say the same thing.  Prospect a lot and have a good attitude.  My favorite guru was Bill Good personally.