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Being Flexible: Creative solutions help Bend-based Agency Revolution transition to mobile workforce

Agency Revolution has been modernizing the insurance industry for over 20 years. Founded in 1995 as Insurance Profit Systems, offering business training for Compass Commercial creative solutionsinsurance providers, the company has since transformed to provide digital marketing solutions exclusively for property and casualty insurance agents, rebranding as Agency Revolution in 2010. Their software service helps agents build meaningful relationships with their customers through marketing automation.

Compass Commercial first worked with Agency Revolution in 2008 to help the business acquire its Bend-based office, a 7,030 square foot building located at 698 NW York Drive in Northwest Crossing.

Six years later, in true tech-industry style, the software service provider made a careful decision to sell its Northwest Crossing office and transition to a predominantly remote workforce, giving its 30+ employees the flexibility to meet at a much smaller office, as needed.

Compass Commercial recently helped Agency Revolution sell their building in Northwest Crossing, giving he company the ability to transition to a smaller, more flexible workspace and an opportunity to funnel the savings back into product development. Read more in our interview with Agency Revolution President, Maggie Hubbell below.

Client: Agency Revolution
Maggie Hubbell, President and COO 

Has Agency Revolution always been located in Bend?

The company actually first started in Vancouver, Washington but has been in Bend for 13 years. We kept hiring people in Bend and eventually closed the smaller office in Vancouver to continue growing the one in Bend.

What were some of the requirements for your first office space and how has that evolved since first acquiring the building in 2008?

We were originally leasing space on Emkay Drive in Bend, but we outgrew that space. We were looking for an open space for collaboration to accommodate our growing team and wanted something that provided areas for our printing needs and a space to shoot our training videos. The building we eventually found in Northwest Crossing included a great open space for our team to grow.

What do you like about working here in Bend?

Everything. Who doesn’t love to live here, right? We want to keep our office here, because we love it here. We enjoy the quality of life that Bend offers and our employees do too.  It also doesn’t hurt that Bend’s growing tech community has helped improve the talent pool and as a result, we have found it is much easier to recruit.

What kind of networking and business resources are there for tech based businesses looking to get off the ground in Bend?

There are numerous resources for start-ups in Bend. Bend Tech Alliance, 1001 Emkay – a shared tech workspace—and many people working hard to help give Bend visibility. I am part of a group called Opportunity Knocks that provides incredible support to people in leadership. My OK group is specific to women in leadership and it has been one of the greatest resources for me.

After six years, what prompted the decision to downsize and move to a predominantly remote workforce?

Culture drives results. We pay attention to it and a flexible workspace supports a good culture for our employees. We trust our team to do their job. Employees today want more work-life balance, particularly millennials, who want more challenges and to be trusted to do their job without being tied to a desk. As more people experienced increased flexibility, we found it was easier to evaluate their performance based on their work and not their hours spent in a chair. Ultimately, the decision to cut our space down and to funnel that cost savings back to the company to continue to develop and improve our product was very enticing.

What were key influences in making this decision?

We have been gradually moving this way for a few years. Some employees work part-time at home already and we have several employees in different states, as well as in Vietnam. In January, we made the decision to become more mobile. Our company employs about 35 people with another six people working on development in Vietnam, but at our busiest, we may have about 25 people – give or take – physically in the office. We just didn’t need all that space.

How did Compass Commercial help you in the process?

Compass Commercial originally helped us locate and purchase our building in 2008. In 2015, they helped us sell the building to accommodate our decision to move to a more flexible and remote workforce. We listed the building in January, and within three months, the building was under contract.

What are areas to consider before a business owner transitions to more flexible employee schedules? You have to get rid of a time clock culture. It has to be about the work and that’s not always an easy transition.  You also have to go into it with eyes wide open because there will be bumps and you need good communication tools to minimize them.