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Spotlight Interview: RPM Agency Insurance Brokerage

Below is an extended interview with Michele Robbins, Owner of RPM Insurance Agency Brokerage, from our February 2020 Chamber Newsletter.

What type of business form do you have, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation?
C-Corp

What are the advantages of this form of business ownership?
Allows me to have a 401k for employees

What service(s) or product(s) do you offer/manufacture?
Full-service insurance brokerage offering home ins, auto ins, life ins, boat ins, ATV ins, RV ins, motorcycle ins, trailer ins.

Do you have employees? How many?
2 but growing to 6 this year

What made you choose your current location?
Really wanted to be part of the Evergreen Downtown Business Association

How did you get started in this business? 
Previously provided protection to fortune 100 companies and realized I like working with people and felt I was providing a bigger impact by working with families and their household and small businesses.

How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
I’d been taking care of customers for 30 years.  Starting my own business was a natural step…one I wish I’d taken 20 years earlier.

What are your responsibilities as the business owner?
To take care of my employees.  When I’m properly taking care of them, they away take the best care of our customers.

What is your business’s mission statement?
To provide authentic, genuine, and consistent care and service for our employees and customers.

How would you describe this company's values?

  • From our HEAD: Honesty, Accuracy, Courage, Desire to be the best.
  • From our HEART: Respect, Compassion, Hospitality, Golden Rule behavior.
  • With our HANDS: Hard work, Perseverance, Sense of urgency, Follow-through.
  • We also value having fun, celebrating successes, being passionate players, and not taking ourselves too seriously.

What is unique about your business?
We video record all homeowners’ personal belongings. 10% of the public knows they should have a record of their things and only 1% does.  We see this as a gap we needed to fill.

Where do you see your business in the next year?
Satellite office in Pueblo with growth into Conifer, Idaho Springs and Golden.

The next five years? Growth with Satellite office Down the Hill.

The next ten years?  Enough growth to donate lots and lots of money to our non-profits.

To what do you attribute your success?
Our true desire to work with and take care of our community.

How do you measure success and over what time frame?
When we hear the referrals about our reputation.

What was the last big achievement that was celebrated?
Our one year anniversary last year with our Open House party. Before that, winning New Business of the Year in 2018

Who are the clients/what are the projects that you most enjoy working on?
The weirder the better.  We love solving problems.

What is the best part of working for this company?
As the owner I get to make the rules which include any employee or customer has the invitation to bring any suggestions to me.  I LOVE new ideas.

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Stay true to your standards and integrity.  What you’ll get out of your business is what you put into it.

Why do your customers select you over your competitors?
We provide a full coverage comparison that many times even includes my competitors.  I also send my clients to my competitors when there’s a need for something I do not provide.

What other categories of Evergreen Chamber member businesses would be great partners for you?
Real Estate agents, Loan Originators, Home Builders, HOA’s

  • Does the company give back to the community? In what ways?  
    Mostly regarding Fire Mitigation.  I work with multiple non-profits and Rotary but Fire Mitigation so “no home or business is left behind”:
  • I am appointed to the Jeffco Fire Task Force led by Lesley Dahlkemper (Jeffco Commissioner)
  • I work directly with Rep Lisa Cutter who in turn has presented 3 bills to State Legislation for funding for Fire Mitigation and funding for Wildfire Education
  • I’ve successfully testified (many times) to the legislation committees on behalf of these bills
  • I have fire mitigation seminars at my office several times a year of which I require my clients to attend within their first 12 months with my agency.
  • I initiate new CWPIP communities through my fire mitigation seminars.
  • I reached out to and worked with Jeffco Economic Development for a “responsible” logging company that could be a strategic part of the solution.  It was completely successful.  I’m now helping to create partnerships with them with companies such a Xcel.  Xcel is not clear cutting the trees in the easement of their elec poles as much as they should and since this act will create added “fuel breaks” in our foothills, this is an excellent partnership that both parties are excited about.
  • I’ve recently started a series about Wildfire in my advertorial in the Life Styles insert of the Canyon Courier.