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Michael Kitces' #FASuccess Podcast: Virtual Flexibility with Derek Notman

Derek Notman describes his journey from a high-volume bricks-and-mortar office-based practice to an entirely virtual one.



Welcome back to the 155th episode of Financial Advisor Success Podcast!

My guest on today’s podcast is Derek Notman. Derek is the founder of Intrepid Wealth Partners, operates as an agent for New York Life and an IAR for Eagle Strategies, and oversees nearly $50 million of assets under management for almost 200 clients.

What’s unique about Derek, though, is the way that he’s evolved his advisory firm from a traditional bricks-and-mortar office space into an entirely virtual practice, born out of sheer necessity when he moved halfway across the country for an advisory firm merger that fell through and then had to figure out how to operate from two office locations, and evolved into a firm that has no office space at all.

In this episode, we talk in-depth about Derek’s journey from a high-volume bricks-and-mortar office-based practice to an entirely virtual one. From starting out as an insurance agent where the pressure was on generating a high volume of clients that ultimately culminated in a practice of more than 1,000 clients in his first 10 years, how a move from where Derek started in Vermont out to Wisconsin forced him to start meeting with his team and then eventually clients using video chat, the way Derek eventually built out the entire virtual team he operates with today, and the way Derek has been able to grow his income and his freedom by transitioning nearly 80% of his clients away to other advisors while working with his clients sometimes as far as a continent away.

We also talk about how Derek’s efforts on growth and business development have changed over the years. From the way he aggressively sought out networking opportunities and referrals in person to expand his client base in the early years, to a shift of generating 100% of his new clients online and virtually today through the use of a blog and social media, his decision to create a narrower niche focus on small business owners and CEOs, and how declaring that he works virtually with clients right on his homepage as their “virtual wealth partner” has actually helped him to attract new clients by promising not to meet with them in person.

And be certain to listen to the end, where Derek talks about why he regrets having tried to build a big practice in a bricks-and-mortar office, the pain points he’s worked through in trying to get a large insurance company on board with his virtual model, where the greater challenge was not running his firm virtually and digitally, but simply trying to market for clients online, and how Derek is now trying to teach other advisors the virtual tools and systems that he had to figure out the hard way.

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