An Interview With Robert K. Taylor

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( — August 23, 2021) — Robert K. Taylor is a risk advisory consultant who specializes in risk management, formerly a public claims adjuster. During his childhood and adolescence, his father and other family members instilled within him an extremely strong work ethic. That work ethic, when combined with the listening skills he deliberately cultivated later on in life, is what he credits for a good deal of his professional success. 

In his spare time, Robert Taylor enjoys spending time on his hobbies, particularly golf. Robert K. Taylor works and resides in Sanger, California, so he is naturally a San Francisco 49ers and a San Francisco Giants fan. He is also an oenophile, cigar aficionado, as well as avid world traveler.

Can you tell us the nature of your consulting business?

I run a one-man risk advisory consulting business. Most of my clients are either policyholders or smaller property management groups. Simply put, I make sure that the various properties belonging to my clients are properly insured and that all aspects of quality control relating to them are up to date. Each of my clients is unique, with a unique situation and unique needs. It’s my job to keep on top of all that. It’s a fairly large amount of work. Every day, I wake up to many sets of numbers to crunch. 

I created my consulting business when I was very young. Aside from my stint as a public claims adjuster, I’ve never done anything else professionally. Come to think of it, I’d have a rough time if I ever had to fill out a job application. Although I’ve met with great success in life, there would only be two entries under ‘previous employment.’ Luckily, I think I’m well past the point in my career and in my finances where that would ever become necessary.

What is your favorite part of operating your business?

Far and away, my favorite part of operating my business is seeing my clients succeed. You see, my clients are special people. I know each and every one of them personally; I know their goals, as well as their hopes and dreams. In many cases, I even know their long-term financial strategies. And, although they are my clients first and foremost, I daresay I could call a lot of them my friends. So, it’s a personal issue for me to ensure that their properties are well taken care of—it’s my business, but it’s also personal. I’ve always been motivated to help the little guy, as opposed to the big corporations. There are a lot of people in my industry who would jump at the chance to retain a Fortune 500 company with real estate interests or a giant property holdings conglomerate as a client. I am not one of them. No corporate payday can possibly replace the positive impact I have on the lives of my clients.

What is the most important personality trait for success in your industry?

My answer is work ethic, work ethic, and more work ethic. Not to sound trite or cliché, but hustle really does make the difference, especially in the eyes of clients. They know a person with a strong work ethic when they meet one. They can tell, believe me. And that personality trait is not always found in people in my line of work. I believe that going the extra mile for my clients—researching their cases endlessly, being available for consultations 24/7 via my phone, and addressing their individual needs—has inspired a certain loyalty to me and my business in them. Many of them recommend my services to their friends and loved ones. That being the case, I could, if I chose to take an afternoon to look closely over my books, actually put a dollar amount on my work ethic. But, of course, it isn’t just about the money. I love what I do, and that more than anything else motivates me to work hard.

What is the most important daily habit for success in your industry?

Listening to clients—and I mean really listening, not just acknowledging what they say. It informs every action I take on their behalf. As I stated in one of my other answers, each of my clients is unique. Whereas one client might need to ensure their properties in a very specific way, another client may have radically different needs. There is only one way to figure that out, and that is through listening. I think genuinely listening to people is one of the single most undervalued habits, not only in my industry but in society overall. It can prevent a lot of errors and misunderstandings from ever taking place.

Most times clients are all too happy to share their strategy for their properties and how it relates to their future, but sometimes clients can be reticent or shy, at which point, I have to employ whatever people skills I’ve accumulated over the years to try to coax the information out. Of course, some clients prefer to keep their plans private, which is just fine, but in that case, I always make sure to inform them that it may slightly impair my ability to accomplish what they want. But it is their choice ultimately.

What are some important lessons you’ve learned during the course of your career?

I think the most important lesson I’ve learned over the years is the value of two things; guts and imagination. Pretty much every other skill or task can be learned on the fly, but having a steady set of nerves and an active, creative mind are things that must be cultivated over a lifetime. They are rare and intrinsically valuable characteristics. I’ll address them one at a time. First, imagination is the keystone for any entrepreneur. In some cases, as with inventors and real estate developers, it really is square one. People like that have to conjure up an idea in order to build a business around it. But with all entrepreneurs, imagination is crucial in figuring out the proper way to execute any given business strategy. As for guts, I think it’s almost self-explanatory. An entrepreneur has to possess the strength to put themselves out into the world of business, and the fortitude to hold on during challenging or uncertain times. An entrepreneur has to have unwavering confidence in their decisions, while somehow also maintaining flexibility and an open mind. It’s a tough needle to thread, I’ll grant you. 

What is an issue or trend that you’re paying attention to, these days?

I find it interesting that people seem to be leaving California in large numbers. In decades past, the trend has always been the opposite. A lot of it has to do with onerous new statewide regulations coming into effect, as well as the negative effects of climate change, and changing mindsets resulting from the pandemic. I’m paying attention to it because, like any similar trend, I think there’s money to be made from it if it is approached in just the right manner.