Sarah spent much of her professional career working in what she refers to as “complicated systems in complicated industries.” During her time in the Pacific Northwest, she supported the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office as a Victim Witness Liaison and later transitioned to being a Real Estate agent for seven years when she moved to Colorado.
After heading to Cincinnati, where she grew up, to take care of her father who was ill, she realized she no longer wanted to negotiate deals and schedule showings from afar. What she needed was flexibility.
“I needed something that would allow me to work when I am working and be with my family 100% when I am with my family.”
It didn’t take long for her to recall many conversations with Pamela Behrendt, of Medicare Mentors LLC, who previously had been trying to convince her to work as a Medicare agent when she was a Realtor®. When she returned to Colorado, she called Pam and got right to it.
Three weeks later she completed her licensing to become a Medicare agent.
She quickly attracted clients similar to her personality — positive and engaging.
There were many surprises along the way. The biggest one was just how complicated the healthcare system is.
“…people work their entire life, they pay into the system, they get to 64 and they have to make this decision that affects the rest of their lives. It is so confusing. I have clients who are literally rocket scientists who think that the Medicare system is a complete maze!”
Not only is it confusing, but, as Sarah pointed out, people don’t know that there are people like her out there. Medicare agents who are focused on providing a service that is necessary and impactful and one that beneficiaries don’t need to pay her for.
Sarah shared three lessons that would be helpful to any agent, new or tenured:
Ask questions, more questions, listen, and listen some more
Do not go into an appointment with preconceived assumptions
Help your clients make educated choices that fit their budget, lifestyle, and healthcare needs, now and 20 years from now (recognizing that neither of you have a crystal ball!)
These lessons have helped her improve her client interactions and build relationships in her community with mutual interest groups and colleagues. It’s so valuable to have others to bounce ideas off of and ask seemingly silly but important questions.
When Sarah decided to make the shift from Realtor® to Medicare agent, it was clear that separating business and family was important to her.
She mentioned that working with Spark Advisors allows her to be the best at what she does because we are able to take many tasks off of her plate so she can focus on connecting with clients.
She can also find more time to focus on what’s important to her. “[Spark] allows me to unplug which I was never able to do in real estate…I am healthier and my clients are better served because of it.”
And when she unplugs, she has quite a busy schedule.
If you don’t find her singing with the Sweet Adelines Barbershop choir Velvet Hills Chorus, then you can watch her training at local cross country ski centers to compete in a biathlon. Did I mention that she also has chickens and is learning to fly fish?
Sarah can truly do it all and we are happy to support her journey as an entrepreneur!
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