Businesses Relocate

Part of the building at 1811 E. Fifth St., recently leased by Curt and Robin Holzem, is the first location the couple has worked at where they’ve been able to hang signs designating their businesses. Curt Holzem is a third-generation insurance salesman, his wife Robin started a travel agency in 2009.     Missourian Photo.

For Curt and Robin Holzem, relocating their businesses just 1.1 mile down the street from the where they previously worked, has opened a world of opportunity.

Curt Holzem is a third-generation insurance salesman who started a local independent agency after parting ways with AAA Insurance in 2008. His wife, Robin, left AAA at the same time and launched a travel agency a year later.

The couple leased space at 600 W. Fifth St. with several other agents and institutions until Nov. 30 of this year.

Since the beginning of December, the couple has been operating out of new offices at 1811 E. Fifth St. They say the relocation has kept them focused on positive changes.

“We have off-street parking now,” Robin Holzem said.

Plus, the new location has been the first that the couple has worked where they’ve been able to hang signs designating their businesses. Robin Holzem is hopeful that they will bolster business.

Because of the number of agents and the various uses of the building at 600 W. Fifth St. they were never allowed to hang large-scale signs of any kind, not even a temporary one, Curt Holzem said.

And although that was unfortunate, he’s been able to reconnect with his client base in the process of informing them of the office’s change of location.

“I like the personal (business) approach,” said Curt Holzem, who has more than 600 clients.

Bigger, Better Space

The new Holzem business offices are three times the size of their old workspace and provides the couple with more security than they had before.

And there are opportunities for growth. As Robin grows her client base and Curt continues to expand his client pool — back working with AAA he once had a client base of more than 1,400 — the couple now have the realistic option of bringing on an assistant or an additional agent.

Also each has a private office, said Curt Holzen, which is critical when dealing with confidential client information.

“Tickets, accidents, Social Security numbers and such can be discussed in private now,” he said.

Previously, the couple shared a large room with others selling all types of insurance and they often had to juggle the roles of secretary, office guide and sales.

Someone would typically come in the old office and just ask about insurance in general, Robin Holzem said.

“Then we would have to say, ‘Well, what kind of insurance?’ And help them figure out who to talk to and where their desk was,” she said.

A clearly defined space dedicated to their business is just as meaningful to the Holzems as the signs out front that indicate the space is theirs.

“I like the ability to put my name and my wife’s name on the sign.” Curt Holzem said. “Now, I figure I’m selling myself.”