So yesterday I was talking to one of my favorite moms. She’s had her kids represented by me when I was a manager working with 14 agents and now her children are represented by me as an exclusive Agency. We were shooting, and she was telling me how she had a lot of friends in the industry that are considering switching agencies . She told me their only fear was how comfortable they are knowing their child is multi-listed ,and they are scared to make the leap into exclusivity. She wanted to know what she should tell them. Obviously explaining how happy she was wasn’t enough she wanted to know from the horses mouth why I thought it was beneficial to be exclusive. I’m lucky I have been on every side of this business. I have been a parent of a model ,a manager , a booker , and now an agent . I have had my kids multi-listed with 14 agents and now I push them to commit to one. The million dollar question is, WHY ???
Well , when I opened my management company before Sprout was even a thought I had the best of the best intentions. I knew the majority of castings in the area were divided up by agencies and each agency had their own clients. There was a definite benefit at the time to multi-list but this was 13 years ago and times have changed, so much. My intentions were pure and I wanted the best for my kids. After I opened my management company quite a few other managers proceeded me (which is totally fine by the way I believe there is enough business for everyone). What I didn’t expect was the fallout. Soon after I opened almost every child was represented by a manager. Problem is that when a client ( such as Target , Carters , Next ) asked for a pull of talent they received the same pull of kids by every agent in south Florida . Every agency was multi-listing and working with managers. This unfortunately caused a lot of frustration for the clients. It gave them loads of extra work. Instead of looking over a group of kids and selecting who they like in 10 min . We gave them days of work to go through, with tons of projects of the same kids, and to boot Agencies were fighting over who the child would be booked through. Needless to say clients were frustrated and started to look elsewhere for kids. The thriving industry which once was harbored in Miami quickly was replaced by New York , Atlanta , etc.. Of course the tax incentives didn’t help either. I watched one client after the next leave Florida and find talent in other cities. This is when I decided we needed a change. I realize change doesn’t happen overnight but it has to begin somewhere, and why not with me. Let’s bring these clients back ! How do we do that? Give them what they want !
Exclusive kids, kids that are trained, KIDS THE AGENCIES KNOW PERSONALLY . That’s my mentality “if you build it they will come” and the truth is … it works. I’m not saying Multi-listing is bad as every agency does what they believe works best for them, and it might have worked for 20 years, but now I don’t believe it does. I believe it’s time for Florida to tighten up the reins. The truth is by me doing this it helps other agencies as well as it’s bringing clients back, but we need to show we got what it takes to compete . I believe we have the talent but I also believe we need to make some changes. I have never been a person afraid of change its probably one of my biggest blessings as I know change is not easy for everyone. But growth doesn’t begin without change. I’m ready for it, are you ?