How do you build a debt collection agency?

If you plan accordingly, you can find that starting a business may not be as tough as you had initially thought. This is what this episode is all about, but on debt collection agency level. We're joined by a very special guest today by phone; Larry Steller the CEO of Quality Asset Recovery. Prepare yourself for a fantastic interview and learn excellent advice from someone who went through all the steps and planning to build his business. Watch this great episode of Debt Collection 101 and learn advice from a legend! 

  • Larry started by calling other collection agencies to try to figure out how hard it is to open your own.
  • The second part of his plan was to practice opening collection agencies. The only way to "practice" opening a collection agency is to get a job as an assistant manager when somebody tries to open one. He did that three different times. Two of those three are still there!
  • The third part of his plan was to work at a Fortune 500 company in the collection industry. At the time, there were no Fortune 500 companies in the collection industry. 
  • Finally, he found a hospital that was a Fortune 500 company that owned their collection agency and I went to work for them.
  • He says "It's not hard to get started." 
  • He used the ACA as a resource for information and research 
  • The motto of his agency is "Collect with respect."
  • Their goal is not to make it possible for us to get a complaint that goes to one of our clients. It's been many many years since I can remember one. 
  • To enforce that mission, both managers and owners are on the collection floor with the agents
  • Another big part of his company that he learned from the Fortune 500 industry and that is you need technology to be good at it. The right technology can allow you to make more calls with fewer people so you can be more particular with who you bring on. The less employees you retain, them more selective you can be - In other words, Focus on quality over quantity.
  • His one piece of advice? Plan everything. When you're done planning everything, think of everything that can go wrong with the plan and plot solutions to every one of those problems.
  • When it comes to incentivizing agents, in his mind, the only reward you can get is based on how much money you collected. They never, never reward based on fees because the collector doesn't get to control that. So everything is based on gross dollars collected.
  • According to Larry, you learn just as from doing things incorrectly from the things you do correctly.

Check out more of Arbeit U's Debt Collection 101 episodes such as Keeping Collectors Motivated in the Workplace and How to Promote Positive Business Culture

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