Running a business together as a married couple can have its challenges, but in an ideal situation, each partner brings complementary skill sets to the table for the betterment of the business. That is definitely the case for Rhett and Mary Harrison and their approach to business at Rhett Harrison Commercial Insurance.
Both Harrisons have years of experience in various backgrounds prior to their time in insurance. For Rhett, that experience includes time spent in the music industry as well as several years teaching and coaching at Georgia Military College Prep School. After several years in education, he became interested in pursuing a career in insurance while helping his brother at his insurance agency.
Rhett said he feels the connections he made in the community throughout his years of teaching allowed him to thrive when starting his new career. He opened Rhett Harrison Commercial Insurance in 2009. Four years later, his wife Mary joined him, something Rhett said helped the business flourish even more.
“Mary came along, and we pretty much doubled in size just like that,” said Rhett.
Prior to coming on board at the agency, Mary had years of experience working in manufacturing, the traffic industry, accounting and control systems. Mary also owned her own business for 10 years and said she feels that experience prepared her well for helping to run Rhett Harrison Commercial Insurance.
“I have owned my own business, so I understand the needs of the small business owner because I’ve been one,” said Mary.
While both of them are licensed insurance agents in the state of Georgia, the pair agrees that they each bring different skillsets to the table. Mary handles a lot of the accounting, IT and promotional aspects of the business while also researching markets and handling applications. Rhett handles much of the networking and talking to customers, something that suits his naturally extroverted personality.
“It worked out perfectly because as a team, we couldn’t be better appointed,” said Rhett.
Rhett Harrison Commercial Insurance is an independent agency. Unlike captive agencies that only write policies for one insurance company, the Harrisons have the ability to work with several companies to find policies that best suit their clients’ needs.
“We have access to hundreds and hundreds of markets,” said Mary.
Rhett Harrison Commercial Insurance offers both business and personal insurance plans. On the business side, they work with people from all types of industries and provide assistance with things like liability and workers' compensation. This includes working with a number of contractors and builders throughout the state.
In addition to working with contractors, the Harrisons also write personal “builder’s risk” insurance policies for people who are taking on home renovation projects. These policies help protect the homeowner from any liability issues that may arise from their home improvement projects.
Other personal insurance options through Rhett Harrison Commercial Insurance include homeowners, auto, renters, boat, motorcycle and RV. The Harrisons say it is ideal for many customers to bundle policies with them. This practice often proves mutually beneficial, as the agency is able to retain the client for multiple policies and the client has the convenience of having centralized services.
“We try to bring all of that together and centralize it so that they don’t have to go all over town to keep up with their insurance,” said Rhett.
Both Harrisons feel that one advantage to taking out an insurance policy with them is the personalized service customers receive.
“We try to make sure people have the right coverage explained to them,” said Mary. “We want to save them money, but at the same time make sure they’re covered properly and with a good company.”
Both agents feel that this personal attention is one of the things that sets them apart in their field. Whereas in larger insurance companies, customers are often at the mercy of who picks up the phone when they call in with a question, they know exactly who they are speaking to when calling Rhett Harrison Commercial Insurance.
“With us, you get the same people all the time. We know you; we have your file…we have all of your back information,” said Mary.
The Harrisons also work hard to be available to customers wherever and whenever it is needed. Rather than adhering to strict, traditional office hours, the Harrisons work with their clients’ schedules, complete transactions remotely as needed and remain available via phone.
“We want our customers to be able to get in touch with us if they need us anytime,” said Mary. “That sets us apart.”
The agency has relied heavily on word-of-mouth referrals for new customers, something they feel they owe to the retention of their existing, satisfied customers.
“The most amount of coverage for the least amount of money: that’s what we try to do,” said Rhett. “We do our best to give the best, and if we do that, they’re going to stick with us.”
The couple’s flexibility to work from home, on the road, via email or in the office has proven handy in the face of the challenges 2020 has brought. In the end, though, it is all about meeting the needs of the clients.
“We love our customers,” said Rhett. “Being able to help them, that means a lot to me.”
Rhett Harrison Commercial Insurance
3015 Heritage Rd. #2, Milledgeville
Facebook: Rhett Harrison Commercial Insurance