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How Advisors Can Ditch the Office and Work Remotely

Advice from XYPN's Alan Moore on how advisors can transition to a fully virtual firm.

By Brad Johnson

Alan Moore started his career as a financial services professional working under the traditional, face-to-face model, but he continued to feel tied down with that conventional structure.

He wanted to have more time with his family, freedom to go where his passions might take him, and the ability to use his down time throughout the workday to ditch the office and pursue his favorite hobbies.

So Moore left an already successful position in Wisconsin to chase that dream in beautiful Bozeman, Montana. Eventually, he was able to transition to a 100% virtual career.

Now the managing partner of the XY Planning Network, Moore gets to decide exactly when and how he works, and he has the flexibility to do things during the middle of the “work” day, like hitting the slopes to get a little skiing in during lunch.

Obviously, there are a ton of financial professionals who would love to have the same kind of flexibility, so I sat down with Moore to get his best advice for anyone interested in moving toward a partially or totally remote structure.

Understand the Client Benefits in the Remote Model
We’re predisposed to think that remote work must be inconvenient for clients since it’s so convenient for the service provider. But the fact of the matter is that working remotely can be just as advantageous for clients as it is for us.

It gives them the same freedom and flexibility that it does you. Be sure to make that a focal point as you work to move existing clients to a remote relationship and as you court new business.

Don’t Count Older Clients Out
You might assume that older clients aren’t tech savvy enough to work with you remotely. But in reality, many of these clients have for years been using technology to communicate with their families and manage their personal finances, which makes the remote model less of a stretch than you’d think.

You Can Start Slow
If you’re nervous about losing clients as you transition to remote work, you can put your mind at ease by testing the waters slowly. Start by offering remote meetings to a few of your clients and gauge their response. You might be surprised to see how willing, even eager, many of them are to give it a try.

Building the Right Systems and Infrastructure
Having the right systems and infrastructure is the key to successful remote work. Alan says updating your systems and infrastructure is something financial professionals should be thinking about regularly anyway, whether they want to go remote or not.

If your processes haven’t changed in several years, it’s time to look closely at them. If they look the same in five years as they do today, you’re going to go extinct.

The top priority is to make each prospect and client’s journey through your business as smooth as possible. That means means each part of your business – your marketing and lead generation, client management, reporting, and internal administration – must have concrete structure and documentation to handle the most common tasks and problems that come up.

5 Tools That Will Set You Free
Strategic use of professional tools can be the difference between a smooth, functional business and a chaotic mess, especially for anyone working remotely.

Alan says the following tools are absolute necessities for any financial professional interested in remote work:

  1. Scheduling software like ScheduleOnce, Join.me, or Calendly: Pays for itself multiple times over by saving time, eliminating frustrating mix-ups, and making clients’ lives easier. 
  2. Document signing from DocUSign: Often available at no cost from a rep at your custodian.
  3. Cloud data storage: Alan explains that the cloud is far more secure than any local server can ever be. 
  4. Password management from LastPass, 1Password, or similar software: Allows you to generate ultra secure passwords and store them for convenience. 
  5. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software from Redtail, Wealthbox, Salesforce, or similar: Helps you track and manage the most important facet of your business -- lead and customer interactions -- in one convenient location.

You can watch the full conversation here below. 

Brad Johnson is the vice president of advisor development at Advisors Excel, an insurance marketing organization from Topeka, Kanas. 

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