Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Closure of 2010 and Welcoming of 2011

Well, the end of 2010 is almost upon us and for many people in our industry, 2010 was indeed a continuation of tough times occasioned by the current recession. As I have said before in previous blogs, until real estate prices increase and employment rates decrease, all retail industries will be challenged. The bail industry has been particularly hit hard, as have all retail businesses involving large purchases. Nevertheless, we are proud to say our agents have persevered throughout this tough climate. As we all know, especially at times such as these, it is very important to consistently follow solid principles of underwriting of bail bonds. With more people having less liquidity and net worth, bail agents have to be smarter and more disciplined…something that gets harder and harder as competition gets tougher and tougher.

These times also require innovative thinking. Successful businesses must constantly be creative in their approach to bringing in new customers. Things have changed dramatically in the past several years. Competition in all industries is fierce. Be aware of your local market place and strive to be creative.

Despite the overall economic downturn, we have continued to invest in ideas and technology that we believe will help our agents thrive. As you are aware, earlier this year we launched the ExpertBail Network. It is the first of its kind: a national retail bail bond network designed to draw attention to the quality and professionalism of AIA Agents throughout the country. The statistics over the past 4 months show that the brand is growing strong in every way. Whether by increased visibility on the web, or through outdoor advertising, television commercials and radio spots, the public is becoming more and more aware that there is a higher standard in the bail industry; a network of professionals dedicated to providing the highest level of service to bail consumers throughout the country. This is only the beginning of what we think this brand can achieve and we are confident that next year will be the true breakout year for ExpertBail and all its members.

As we look forward to 2011, we are confident in our ability to continue to invest in resources to improve the quality of service that we deliver to the bail industry. As this industry evolves, AIA will continue to have its finger on the pulse of these changes in an effort to assure that our agents remain on the cutting edge. In doing so, we will provide innovation and information to assure our agents can prosper in any economic climate.

I wish all of our agents and their families a very happy holiday and a healthy and prosperous 2011.