With an estimated 14,000 bail agents working in the United States, competition for business is strong, and survival relies on bondsmen always looking for new ways to provide the best service in town. At the recent AIA Southern Midwest Region Agents Conference, some agents explained their day-to-day business strategies that keep them ahead of the competition. Some methods meant taking a chance on new services, while others drew on old skills and used them in a new way.
With a burgeoning Spanish-speaking population in the U.S., court hearings can get bogged down while officials look for translators to assist the accused. Having become impatient with these delays happening over and over, bail agent Bryan Nester of Vancouver, WA recognized the vital need for a specialized service to help Latinos in the courtroom. That’s when he launched La Fiánza, Spanish for “bail bond.” In operation for about three months, the thriving business offers immigration bonds, federal bail bonds, out-of-custody bail bonds and interpreter services in court. “We thought it was a niche that hasn’t been filled,” said Nester. “We see a need for it, and it has taken off.” Nester’s 12 years in the bail bond industry have given him tremendous insight into the system and how it can work better. For him, it led to a new business venture. He got his start in the business in 1995 when he was a college student working for a surety company. Five years later, he branched off on his own and launched A-Affordable Bail Bonds. Looking for ways to streamline his work, Nester developed an in-house software system to file documents and other bail information on computers. It keeps data all in one place and accomplishes another one of his goals – to get as far away from paper as possible.