The Brick & Mortar Advisor is Dead. Long Live the Virtual Advisor

virtual advisor working remotely

The world is changing so rapidly that soon Google will tell you what you’re going to eat for dinner without you even having to ask it. But one thing remains constant, and that’s the value of human relationships – especially in the Financial Services industry.

We’ve witnessed many changes with the Covid-19 pandemic, but one thing has stood out for me: people’s need for other people, especially family. The pandemic and ensuing global crisis have shown us how vital our social connections are.

Another thing that humans hold very close is their finances. Not just in uncertain times, ALL THE TIME. People have a very personal relationship with their money. One of the most important questions we ask ourselves daily is, “Am I going to be ok, will there be enough to sustain my future?” The world may change, but one thing that won’t is the fact that people will always seek financial advice.

Yes, artificial intelligence (AI) and robo advisors might be able to offer financial advice and strategies at a fraction of the cost, but I would argue you then only get a fraction of the value!

There’s nothing like personal, face to face (virtual or in-person) meetings with another human being who has the knowledge and mind to help guide you. Maybe that’s because human beings have the ability for empathy.  No algorithm can do that!

Through empathy, we can help each other deal with stress (because dealing with our money can be very stressful), guide each other to clarify goals, and assist one another with behavior modification. AI doesn’t do empathy.

So as a financial advisor, will you have a job in the future? The answer is yes. Will you be able to not only sustain but thrive with a brick and mortar operation, the answer is likely no.

The pandemic has made us realize that many businesses can function virtually. They’ve had no choice. Even before the pandemic came upon us, many industries and other professionals started moving away from a brick and mortar model.

Other professionals like lawyers and doctors (especially psychiatrists) have shown that it can be done seamlessly, so why can’t it be done with financial advisors? It most certainly can.

Another reality is that Gen Z and Millennials were born into a virtual world and lead a virtual lifestyle. They want to communicate virtually. Consider this, in years to come, their Gen X and Baby Boomer parents will be leaving them trillions of dollars, and you will want to help them manage these finances.

The only option is to join them by getting on the bus and adopting a virtual way of working.

We are in the midst of a megatrend that is/has literally changed human behavior, either we acknowledge and embrace it or become dinosaurs.

How do we make the most of modern technology without losing our personal touch?

Technology is an amazing thing. It’s been the enabler to effect this change. It has maximized operations and efficiency so that we can spend more time doing other important things – like spending more time on our clients. Virtual advisors can use technology to enhance relationships.

Here are some other benefits to consider before embarking on the path of the virtual advisor:

Minimize Costs

Moving away from a brick and mortar approach not only minimizes costs but can also eradicate them completely. Expenses like rent and utilities can be slashed, and commuting costs can be drastically reduced. The money saved can be spent on other focus areas like marketing and advertising – brand awareness is crucial for credibility and future leads.  Also, think of the “time savings” you will have with even a semi-virtual model, add up the hours you will save!

virtual advisor zoom tech

Safety

In a virtual operation, you have less chance of catching a virus and getting sick or making other people sick. The world is no longer a safe place; if you can still do business and avoid these risks, then consulting virtually is a no brainer.

Permanency

Working virtually means that you’re not tied down to being in the same place. Think of that cabin in the wilderness or beach house near the ocean you’d prefer to work from. Technology has made it a reality.

Flexibility

Virtual advisors can work from anywhere at any time. You can manage your schedule in a way that works for you.

Nurture Family Relationships

More time at home means more time with your family and friends. More time to be able to nurture the valuable relationships in your life.

virtual advisor work life balance

The World Is Your Oyster

Because virtual advisors are no longer limited by geographical boundaries, the pool of possible clientele increases. You don’t need to be in the same place to offer a professional service and excellent financial advice.

These are just a few of the benefits to look forward to in becoming a virtual or semi-virtual advisor. The Virtual Advisor System is here to support you on your journey.

Our solution assists virtual advisors with lead generation and everything else you need to embrace this new way of working. Find out more by downloading our eBook, or purchase the system now and become a virtual advisor today!

Thanks for reading!

Regards,

Derek Notman

Remote Work in the Time of Corona

remote work on the go

As I briefly covered in my last article, remote work is the way to go during this global pandemic. COVID-19 has shown us that working from home is possible for multiple industries and businesses. All you really need is the right infrastructure and digital footprint and the world is your oyster!

I’ve been a Virtual Financial Advisor for 6+ years now and have found so many benefits to working online. Adapting my brick and mortar approach to the online space has made my business flourish.

According to Forbes, some studies show that there has been a drop in productivity as the world embraces the remote work model, but this is because we’re amid a pandemic and because friends and family are at home with you. At this moment, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed, scared, and even distracted.

There are ways to get around this, though. Here are some tips for staying productive if you are new to remote work.

3 simple tips for remote work

  1. If you’re doing administrative work, try to add a deliberate distraction. For instance, listening to classical music with headphones. By blocking yourself out from the rest of the world (and your family), you can get a lot more done. Or even better, outsource it to a virtual assistance who probably can do it better than you and is a fraction of the cost of hiring a traditional staff member.
  2. Take a moment or two throughout the day to get lost in your thoughts – something unrelated to the task at hand; this is known to refresh focus – like stepping outside the office for 5 minutes. Take a brisk walk to get the blood flowing, take in some deep breaths of fresh air, and then get back to work and crush it!
  3. Another way to take a break and boost activity is by making yourself a cup of your favorite brew. Taking a coffee break isn’t just about taking a few minutes away from your work task, but caffeine actually improves physiological arousal and less inclination to be distracted.

Now that you know how to be more productive and maintain your concentration levels while working from home let us look at some of the benefits of remote work.

how to work remotely from anywhere

4 Benefits of remote work

In the financial services industry, more and more financial advisors are embracing the remote (virtual) model as clients’ needs, wants, and expectations change with the times.

There are many benefits to remote work, here are 4 reasons:

1.   You’ll save on fixed expenses

You will save a considerable amount by not having to pay for the fixed costs that usually come with running a traditional brick & mortar financial planning practice. Think office space, employee salaries and of course, commuting to meet with clients. These savings (amounting to thousands of dollars a month) can be reinvested into your business through more budget for marketing, or even be profit in your pocket!

2.   You can meet with clients anywhere in the world, for free

Yip, that’s right! There are countless free online apps for video conferencing, and with remote work, you can meet with your clients regardless of their location. As a result, you expand your reach into a global market – giving you the opportunity to make more money and gain more experience regardless of your physical location or theirs!

3.   You can work on your own time

When running a traditional office space, you usually have to be there from open to close. The beauty of remote work is that you can run your own schedule, affording yourself a better life/work balance in the process. It also means that you choose when to serve your clients. If you have something personal to attend to, or simply feel like going for a jog, or surf, you can.

4.   There are brilliant online tools that facilitate remote work

From Skype, G Suite, and FreeConferenceCall, to Conneqtor and Trello, there are incredible tools and systems to help you take your financial planning practice online. You can communicate, stay organized, and thrive by using the right tools for you.

So, besides the fact that we’re going through difficult times at the moment, remote work makes sense in general.  It did before the pandemic and will after. The tools are available, and it’s what the new generation of clients require.

Will you be left behind, or embrace working remotely and become more successful and happier than you’ve ever been?

If you’d like more insight on how to become a Virtual Financial Advisor, get in touch with us at Conneqtor, or download our free e-book for an introduction on how our virtual advisor system can help you take your business online.

work from anywhere in the world with these online tools

Thanks for reading!

Cheers,

Derek