This year, the National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP) held their annual meeting in Boca Raton, FL, which is practically our backyard. This gave our team the opportunity to spend more time meeting with agents and other surety bond producers. It also gave us the opportunity to take a measure of how the industry is faring and share some important impressions about the future of the surety bonding industry.
Here are six big takeaways from the NASBP Annual Meeting and Expo.
1. Optimism is on the Rise
One key takeaway is that there is renewed optimism in the construction market. An increased demand for skilled labor and a growing demand for infrastructure improvements have led to growth and growth potential.
This means opportunity for agents across the industry to grow their businesses, but it also means that agents and surety bond providers need to make sure that they are able to streamline their workflows to meet the demands of a faster, more competitive industry.
2. Surety Bonding is About More than Bonds
More and more agents and surety bond providers are realizing that their role needs to grow beyond simply offering bonds. As the internet continues to break down geographic boundaries between contractors and agents, agents are realizing that their role has to become as much about consulting as it is about selling.
Getting asked for advice on business well outside of bonds is becoming the norm for many agents. For these agents, their ability to provide the resources that contractors need to grow and manage their businesses is becoming a critical part of their strategy to keep current clients on board and bring in new business.
3. Collaboration is Key
While everyone enjoys friendly competition, more and more agents are realizing that the ability to collaborate is critical to success. Let’s say an agent has a client:
- That needs bonding in the non-standard market.
- Whose bonding needs are greater/less than those that the agent is equipped to handle.
- Requiring a special need such as being a “T-Listed” surety.
Instead of simply turning the client down, it’s in the agent’s best interest to know of other agents and surety bond providers who can help where they can’t.
This helps you to generate goodwill with clients in your area and helps you to build a stronger client base for the future.
4. Relate Across State Lines
Another area where collaboration is growing is the need for out-of-state co-signers. As larger project owners and general contractors take on projects that cross state lines, smaller contractors who serve as subcontractors will often go where the work is.
For agents, this may require that they work with out-of-state agents who can co-sign the bond. Having these relationships in advance can help to expedite the process and can make it easier for you to get your clients bonded, regardless of where they may be working.
5. Engagement is Essential
Due to a great deal of growth in municipal, state and federal projects, the importance of engaging in the political process has never been more necessary.
NASBP is working hard to promote the interests of surety bonding producers at the state and federal level, making it clear to elected representatives of the value that we provide to contractors and obliges alike.
At the same time, being able to build relationships with representatives in your area can also help to promote the importance of effective bonding practices, both in your area and ultimately at the state and federal level.
6. It’s Not Always About Production Goals
Many agents in the standard market have production goals. To meet these goals, they need to focus on the high value contractor clients who will earn them the largest commissions.
But what about the future high value contractors in waiting?
More agents and surety bond providers are realizing that there is enormous value in being able to focus on specific segments of the market.
The ability to serve smaller businesses with room for growth, the ability to work with long-time businesses that may need to adapt to a changing marketplace, or the ability to help contractors with proven experience (despite credit issues) can help agents and surety bond providers to build their customer base, and cultivate the high value contractors of tomorrow.
This is an area where Cinium has been at the forefront. Cinium’s unique approach to bonding in the non-standard market has helped contractor clients across the U.S. to get the bonds they need. Our Contractor Credit Program has also helped them to improve their back offices and business practices so that they can grow their businesses.
Also, our ability to provide bonds in the non-standard market through a “T-Listed” surety has gained industry attention. That is because we can help contractors to get bonded for projects that they may not have been able to qualify for in the past. That’s good for contractors and good for the project owners and general contractors that need to grow and develop their labor force.
Ready to learn more about what Cinium can do to help you and your contractor clients to grow their businesses? Schedule a free consultation today or call (855) 4-CINIUM.