If you’re like most advisors, you probably wish you could manufacture more of your most precious resource – your time. Are you constantly asking, “Where did the day go?” or “Why didn’t I get to that call with Bob and Mary?”
With that in mind, we have a few ideas about how to most effectively use your time, or rather, how you can better utilize what time you have because no one has invented that time machine, yet.
The first step is to think about how you actually spend your time right now. Studies have consistently shown that advisors are busier today than ever before. According to a recent study by Michael Kitces, advisors spend only about 20% of their time interacting with clients.1 This presents a major disconnect between why most advisors became advisors in the first place, which is to help clients plan and realize success for their financial futures.
Certainly you are faced with a multitude of challenges as an independent advisor, between the day-to-day running of your business, serving the clients you have, keeping your employees happy and nurtured, and trying to grow your client base.
This makes it more important than ever to carefully consider how you actually spend your time. Let’s look at a few ways that advisors spend their time and how they can most effectively eliminate activities – also known as “time sucks” – that detract from serving your clients.
Client requests and communication
The recent pandemic provided a major wake-up call for advisors. Practically overnight you and your clients were tossed into a whirlwind of unknowns. This put a premium on communication as your clients had a lot of questions that were important to answer quickly and accurately to the best of your ability.
Now as we move more into a post-pandemic world, the return to normal is proving anything but smooth and orderly, but that doesn’t mean that you should continue to be bogged down by constant client requests. In fact, you can circumvent a lot of client requests by simply being more proactive with your communication to them.
For example, using the right technology, you can schedule sending regular market updates and insights to your clients, keeping them informed and answering many of their questions before they even have them. This reinforces your true value proposition to them in a personal, caring fashion.
Administrative and back-office functions
As an independent advisor, you may spend a great deal of time on servicing functions that are best categorized as administrative or back-office tasks. In fact, a recent Kitces study reveals that the typical financial advisor spends no more than 25% of their time on direct client activity-related tasks.2
This is another area in which outsourcing and technology can play a major role in creating efficiency for both you and your business. Leveraging the latest digital tools can make a substantial difference and save you time for providing your clients with more face time and focusing on growing your business. At the very least, you will have time to strategize about new ways to make your practice as successful as possible over the long term.
Cold calling is one proven way to find new clients, but it is incredibly inefficient and takes a great deal of time that can be used in more effective ways when it comes to building your book of business. For example, focusing on leads and referrals from existing clients is far more productive and less time consuming, plus it gives you yet another touch point for client check-ins. Also, connecting to and touching base with other professionals who are centers of influence, such as accountants and lawyers, is another way to increase referrals.
When it comes to setting up prospecting meetings, video and conference calls have become more commonplace, particularly given the pandemic, plus they are an effective way to minimize your time consumption when you consider the amount of time it takes to travel to and from in-person prospect meetings.
Is your technology up to snuff?
This is probably the biggest hurdle to creating a much more efficient work environment for both you and your colleagues. Unfortunately, the pace of technological evolution and innovation has become so rapid today that it is nearly impossible for most advisors to stay current from an investment standpoint. And the usability of that technology has become increasingly difficult as well. It’s always important to remember why technology makes a difference in the first place – to simplify and streamline your life and better serve your clients.
This is where partnering with the right TAMP makes a huge difference. The Freedom Advisor Platform provides an easy-to-use platform backed by some of the most powerful digital capabilities in the industry. Harnessing and adopting these capabilities can be a game-changer for both you and your clients.
The ultimate goal: More time
The most valuable resource you own is your time. Like it or not, your life as an advisor is likely to get more complicated in the years ahead, not less. This fact puts a premium on being as efficient and thoughtful as possible in how you spend your time.
Hopefully we’ve given you some ideas to think about, and we invite you to contact us for more insights into how you can achieve maximum efficiency that will be of benefit to both you and your clients.
1, 2: How Do Financial Advisors Actually Spend Their Time And The Limitations Of Productivity?, https://www.kitces.com/blog/how-do-financial-advisors-spend-time-research-study-productivity-capacity-efficiency/