After completing an expansion project early last month on its new offices at 525 Ottawa Avenue NW, Sales Manager Hernan Balcazar at Compass Insurance Agency says the locally owned and operated company will be looking for between 7-10 new insurance agents to add to its staff over the course of the next 18 months.
Compass Insurance Agency moved from a strip mall location on 28th Street to the now 54,000-square-foot offices on Ottawa Avenue in May, completing the expansion project in early October to make room for 15 individual offices, a customer service center, and additional workspace for about six other employees.
“We just outgrew it,” Balcazar says of the old 28th Street location. “We were growing and looking to add more agents and add more employees, so by moving here in May, we immediately doubled our square footage. Then with the rebuild we were just able to add on top of that.”
Neighbored by the Speak EZ Lounge and the newly opened Garage Bar, Balcazar says he thinks not only is the company poised for growth, but so is the surrounding community of businesses.
“I really think that this little area that we're in here on the other side of the highway from the main downtown area is the next one to blow up,” he says. “Right now it's kind of like an industrial district, but there's a lot of vacant properties out here and I think a lot of people will be looking to move in.”
Owner Jack Hoedeman started Compass Insurance Agency in 2002, but Balcazar says business has really picked up in the last few years, and even more so when he joined the company a little over one year ago.
“[Jack and I] just kind of just clicked and have a lot of the same values and ideas,” he says. “I allow him to have the ability to still mentor, while I can interview, bring in new people, managing them, bring in the numbers and motivate and he can focus on some of the sales and being the face of the company.”
Not only are there more clients looking to Compass Insurance Agency for service, there are more companies than ever available to its clients for auto, home, health and commercial insurance.
“The biggest difference is that as an independent agent I can broker multiple companies and because I have multiple companies that I can invest your business in, I work for the customer and not for the companies,” Balcazar says. “We know that price is important, but service and coverage is also important.”
He says he and Hoedeman expect to grow Compass Insurance Agency over the next two or three years, both in the form of its staff roster and its physical building space, considering the future purchase of the building among the many options still on the table.
“It’s been go, go, go, but we’ve got a good thing here,” he says. “We’re bringing in the right people and we think we’ve got a good product and process to go along with it. Word is kind of getting out now that we’ve got the space.”
Visit Compass Insurance Agency
’s website to find new employment opportunities or contact Balcazar at (616) 245-5555 for more information on how to apply.
Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Compass Insurance Agency