Business: Farmers Insurance Office of Guillermo Jimenez
Voice: Guillermo Jimenez, Insurance Consultant
Watch & Listen: Excerpt of this interview on YouTube
How has the COVID-19 crisis impacted your business?
I definitely have had a loss of revenue. I haven’t lost many customers. Very, very few customers have closed their accounts. But most of them have either removed their cars from the policy… which I mean, in my opinion, that’s good too because a lot of people in Contra Costa have two or three cars. So that’s something good [for them], but definitely it’s affecting my revenue. People are cutting downs on costs and insurance definitely is one of them, too.
What is the meaning of your business to you? to the community?
To me, [my business] helps me protect people’s belongings. So that’s something that I’m really proud to do — to be able to help people protect their belongings. So I think that’s the best and, yes, for Farmers clients, but anyone can walk in into the office and I will be able to give them some counseling on the policies or the coverage or things like that. So I don’t consider myself as really an agent, but a consultant who is here to be of service to people.
What motivates you to continue to provide your services to the community?
I mean…the first thing is that I like what I do. All the jobs are hard, but if you don’t like what you do it is definitely very difficult. It’s been this way since I opened my office. When I moved from San Francisco to Richmond my district manager didn’t want me in the office in the neighborhood. He wanted a nicer neighborhood. But I was living here at the moment and I had an argument with him over opening the office at the current location, which is right across from FoodsCo. He wanted me to go to a nicer location in El Cerrito, or somewhere on San Pablo Avenue. But this is my neighborhood.
So the argument ended when I told him “Hey, listen, this is my office. You are my district manager, but this is where I live. This is where I want to do business.” At the time people didn’t want to do business. I didn’t see much business in five years, but when I saw three other businesses opening around the corner, I helped them to insure. But, yeah, the balance of it is that I wanted to stay in the neighborhood.
What are your current operations/services/specials & how people can shop local safely?
We have office hours from 10am to 8pm. So we do longer hours. I have two employees and a small office, so social distancing is not difficult because usually we have one or two people at the office. We wear masks and all those [health and safety protocols]. Usually when people see that we are with someone they usually wait outside. And then right now I do a lot of transactions over the phone.
What do you want people to know about your business?
The thing that I would like to tell people is that I also do health insurance through Covered California. But I think the thing that I always tell my clients is: don’t be afraid to walk into an insurance office – even if they’re not Farmers clients, it’s good for anyone just to have a conversation with anyone. I know sometimes I hear this from other clients that they don’t feel welcome if they’re not doing business with the company.
In my case, I consider myself a consultant, like, you know, even on my own business cards I have an insurance consultant instead of an insurance agent. As an agent, I will have to always sell something, but as a consultant, they can ask me questions or they can just have a conversation with us in the office.
How do you feel that you are continuing to foster the spirit of Richmond’s motto “Pride & Purpose” amidst this COVID-19 crisis?
Definitely cleaning. Definitely. I help a lot to clean the streets, especially where I am. It is definitely a high traffic area and a lot of people trash the streets. So one of the things I always do is I help clean the sidewalks. I usually sweep and I go to the few businesses next to me and a few neighbors next to me and I sweep their sidewalks too. I have planted trees outside my office. So yeah, I try to clean, at the least, the area where I’m located.
Location: 242 Marina Way, #A, Richmond, CA 94801
Find Online: agents.farmers.com
How to Support Local Safely: The Farmers Insurance Office of Guillermo Jimenez is here to help you answer all your insurance needs. Call Guillermo today to schedule a consultation and learn how he can serve you. Se habla español. (415) 515-0297
About Heart of Richmond
Heart of Richmond is a digital storytelling and marketing series designed to lift up the voices of our local entrepreneurial community. Over the course of 4 weeks we are sharing the stories and voices of 12 women-owned, food & beverage, Latinx-owned, and Black-owned Richmond businesses, and sponsoring promoted posts for them through our social media channels. Read, listen, stay tuned to our social media, and support local safely.
Interviews conducted by Richmond Main Street. Responses lightly edited for clarity with careful attention to maintaining the integrity of the participant’s time and insight. Photos by R.D. López/Shots From Richmond.
Generous support for the Heart of Richmond series provided by Wells Fargo.