Morses Club Agent - Anthony
How long have you been an Agent?
Just over 17 years.
How many hours a week do you work on average?
Around 16 hours. It's always between about 13 and 16 depending on how busy I am at the time, and that's not including travelling so probably a little longer with that.
How many customers do you have?
I have around 135 customers. Morses Club have just given me another book so that's brought it up to 135.
What did you do before you became an Agent?
I've always had 2 jobs, which have been a mixture of employed and self-employed so this has always been a part time role for me, until this summer when I took retirement from Royal Mail, which is where I worked previously. Prior to Royal Mail I worked in retail so I've always been used to working with people and I think that's the key to it. At the end of the day you're collecting money off people so being able to communicate and interact with people helps.
What was it about the Agent role that attracted you?
Originally it was for the money if I'm honest.
What does an 'average' day look like for you?
There isn't really an average day but on the days you're out collecting it's all about getting organised before you head off to see your customers. If you don't organise yourself you'll just be going round in circles. You have to make the most of the time that you're out especially in winter as no one wants to be out in awful weather for longer than they need to be. A lot of the work is done at home – making sure you've done all paperwork necessary and you have it all organised, sorting out with customers when you're visiting and who you're going to see. At the end of the day you don't want to waste your petrol. After doing the same round for 15 years you get used to it. Once you're out it's all about visiting customers and making collections and doing loans where necessary.
What is your favourite thing about being an Agent?
Getting to deal with people. After doing the same round for just over 15 years you really do get to know people. I mean, you've seen kids grow up from toddlers to being in school or starting work. You've got to bear in mind that you're there for a reason and sometimes that means you have to keep your distance but you really do make friends and a lot of acquaintances.
What are the biggest challenges you face in the role?
Making sure that you're organising your workload to ensure you get the most out of it as possible. It's a commission based job at the end of the day and you've always got to think about subtracting costs like petrol as well as your tax, so it's up to you to make sure that you organise your book in the most effective way and sometimes this can be a challenge.
What are the qualities you think people need to succeed as an Agent?
I think honesty is the most important quality in this job. You've got to be honest with yourself to know if you've done enough for a customer or for yourself, be honest with the Business Managers about what you can and can't do and importantly you have to be honest with your customers. You're dealing with their money at the end of the day and if they think something's not right they won't be happy about parting with it.