Which town to choose?

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Feb 16, 2009 1:18 pm

This seems like a no brainer on paper but I'll ask for your advice anyway!  There are two markets next to each other I can select for Jones.

Market 1:

4600 household
1 billion liquid assets
1 Indy planner + Banks
No Jones Rep - Only market for 1

Market 2:

9000 households
1.7 billion liquid
1 smith barney office, 1 ameriprise (2reps), 1 indy (2 reps)
No Jones Rep - Market for 2

Distance between the two markets is 8 miles - so I realize I can work both.  If you were me, which would you select to place your office?

Feb 16, 2009 1:22 pm

Choose the one you live in or closest to.  Based on demographics provided, all else equal, I would choose #2. 

Feb 16, 2009 1:47 pm
imabroker:

Choose the one you live in or closest to.  Based on demographics provided, all else equal, I would choose #2. 

 
I live smack between the two.  I've been leaning towards market 1 so thanks for your input. 
 
Here is my line of reasoning.  Market 1 has much less competition and I'll have the market to myself as a Jones rep. - with the ability to still prospect in Market 2. With the other firms set up in Market 2 would my entry be easier or tougher? 
Feb 16, 2009 2:08 pm

pick the market you like the most.  you can be successful in both whether there are 1 or 4 indy producers there.  you will be in competition your entire career, so don't shy away from it.

choosing 1 or the other makes little difference if they are 8 miles apart.  you should end up having several clients in both places down the road.
 
and i would look more at economic climate/small business growth just as much as total households, as well as population growth.  will their population differences always be the same.  i live 8 miles from another small town, both with "openings" for Jones offices, but nobody in their right mind, based on expected growth and business growth would even question which town is best for an advisor.
Feb 16, 2009 2:35 pm

Great advice above.  I'd also consider this:  Is the 'larger' market the hub or county seat, etc.?  If so, is that a place the other town considers as the place to go?  I hope I make sense, as in some towns a lot of people from a smaller community do business in the larger town, but people in the larger town are not as open to doing business in the smaller town.

 
All that being said, I think there are some definite advantages to having more than one EJ office in town.  In my town, there's a lady who has about 80M in assets and has been here 15 years.  However, she did a GK and I think 3 is too many.  We've got a population of about 12,000.
 
And remember, all you need is about $100 million....
Feb 16, 2009 4:02 pm
Which town has more Whole Foods outlets?
Upscale retailers have already done the research for you on which town has more wealth.
 
 
 
Feb 16, 2009 9:45 pm

I side with Iron Horse.  Pick the place you want to hang out in more.  If they are only 8 miles apart, it makes no difference in terms of getting clients.  Without us literally seeing the two towns, there's no way to know which would ultimately be better.

 
One other thing.  I love the town I work and live in, but I would say only about 30% of my clients actually LIVE in the town.  Most of my clients have come through referrals, seminars, etc. and are people that WORK with people in the area.  Most of them are 1 to 2 towns over in all directions.  Basically, they are dispersed evenly among about 5 or 6 towns.  So your office needs to be convenient to where your potential clients work or live.  Usually people don't work in the town they live in.  Does that make sense?
Feb 16, 2009 9:49 pm

One other thing.....think about office locations.  I really HATE the office-next-to-the Subway thing.  I have an incredible location - class A professional office space, brand new, 1200 SQ FT, near downtown, near the water, near nice restaurants and offices.


If you are going to be stuck in some nasty 70's strip mall, think twice.  Not that all retail locations are bad.  Many are very nice.  Most of the wirehouse offices in my town are in retail/office locations (all have offices with less than 10 advisors).

Feb 16, 2009 11:19 pm

Thanks everyone, good things to consider.  I'm going to drive around and really consider the office space aspect .

Feb 18, 2009 6:28 pm

How can you possi8bly argue that two distincit geographic markets exist that are only  8 miles apart? Thats like two neighboring suburbs? Plus you got 13,600 households total? Thats not a market, thats not even the sizer of those monster churches in Oklahoma - you k now the Crystal Bigot Palace. The place I originally worked had a marketing dept and they said a decent penetration was about 1%. So may be 130 clinets ain't bad if they got $500k a piece

Feb 18, 2009 7:52 pm
MinimumVariance:

How can you possi8bly argue that two distincit geographic markets exist that are only  8 miles apart? Thats like two neighboring suburbs? Plus you got 13,600 households total? Thats not a market, thats not even the sizer of those monster churches in Oklahoma - you k now the Crystal Bigot Palace. The place I originally worked had a marketing dept and they said a decent penetration was about 1%. So may be 130 clinets ain't bad if they got $500k a piece



yawn