- More financial advisors are working from home than ever before, so it’s important to have tips to work smarter while doing so.
- You can effectively connect with your clients virtually and deliver just as much value as you did face-to-face.
- Working from home is a proven model that can drive success for diligent financial advisors for years to come.
As the recent pandemic has dictated, working from home has become less of a “plan B” and more of an accepted part of business as usual, even for financial advisors. Along with any major change comes a bit of transition time, and working from home is no different. What were once daily habits need to be tweaked to fit the new (albeit very familiar) office space in order to hit peak efficiency and ensure success. These best practice tips will help financial professionals like you take advantage of working from home and continue to grow your business.
There are many different tips, ideas and suggestions for general success while working from home. Here’s a brief glimpse at five of the most popular.1
Maintain regular hours.
You have to know when you’re going to start and when you’re going to end. Those boundaries are crucial for maintaining sanity working from home. It also provides a sense of normalcy for clients who may be trying to reach you, as well as any personalized outgoing messaging.
Set ground rules with the people in your space.
With entire families sometimes being forced to stay at home together, it’s important to impart that when you’re working, you need to be able to focus. It can also be helpful to let family members know when you’re getting ready to begin a meeting, and how long you expect it to last.
It can often be easy to get lost at your computer and see the entire day slide away. To avoid this happening, schedule breaks and then TAKE THEM.
Use a VPN.
This is especially important when dealing with sensitive financial data and personal information. Ensure your computer connects only through a VPN every single day.
This is just a good idea overall. Since more communication will be taking place virtually, leave no chance for your tone to be misinterpreted via email or otherwise. It can help to begin the day by thinking of a few things you’re grateful for.
Here are even more practical ways financial advisors like you can foster success in your day-to-day interactions while working from home.
Example 1. Say you need to schedule several meetings with clients in different time zones. What software or tools should you use to create and maintain your schedules?
Fortunately, there are several good free options you can rely on, including Outlook, Google Calendar, and more. All you have to do is send an invite to the attendees and the software takes care of the time differences automatically.
Example 2. Knowing social distancing and safer at home orders are still in place, how can you personalize your client experience?
Not having the luxury of in-person, face-to-face contact during meetings has put a premium on our ability to make more personal connections. By using online video conferencing programs like Zoom, Google Hangouts, or even Facetime, you can instantly reestablish a face-to-face connection with your clients. (Just make sure to remember to change out of your pajamas first.) And you maintain the same kind of functionality as an in-person visit, including the ability to share screens, review retirement-planning projections, and sign documents electronically.2
This is also a great reminder to listen more. You no doubt remember the old adage about having two ears and only one mouth. Make sure you’re even more attentive than usual to what your clients are saying, as they’re probably eager to be seen and heard after being saddled with limited communication for so long.
Example 3. A new product is on the market that would be perfect for a large section of your client list. How are you communicating with them?
You have more options than ever before to reach a large number of clients at once. You can easily create email newsletters with online software from Constant Contact, Google, HubSpot, and more. Each application makes it simple to customize your message and send it to the specific client audience you want. Make sure you’re taking advantage of the new forms of client outreach that are available from the comfort of your home office.
As you settle in to working from home, create new routines that works best for you, your clients, and those around you. Even in these challenging times, it’s possible to strengthen relationships with your clients and see your portfolio of business grow.
Things to Consider:
- Use these best virtual practices to continue to strengthen relationships with your clients.
- Make sure you set boundaries when you work from home, just as you did in the office.
- Embrace the possibilities technology affords financial advisors working from home to effectively meet your clients’ needs.
1 “20 Tips for Working from Home,” PCMag.com, accessed August 2020
2 “As Financial Advisers Join the Ranks of Work-From-Home Professionals, Some Adjust Better Than Others,” Marketwatch.com, accessed August 2020
Transamerica Resources, Inc. is an Aegon company and is affiliated with various companies which include, but are not limited to, insurance companies and broker dealers. Transamerica Resources, Inc. does not offer insurance products or securities. The information provided is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as insurance, securities, ERISA, tax, investment, legal, medical or financial advice or guidance. Please consult your personal independent professionals for answers to your specific questions.