The coronavirus is taking a negative toll on advisors’ businesses, with 63% of them saying their practices have been very disrupted by the pandemic and 28% noting a moderate disruption, according to a recent LIMRA survey of 550 advisors.
Nearly 70% of advisors said they have implemented alternative work arrangements for their staff during this time, and 84% say they’ve changed the way they communicate with clients, utilizing videoconference calls, email and other digital tools to speak to clients. And the amount of communication with clients has increased, with eight in 10 advisors saying they’re talking with clients more.
Unsurprisingly, market volatility was the top concern clients are calling about, with 81% of advisors citing it as the top issue. That’s followed by the low-rate environment, with 31% of advisors citing it as a top worry, and current insurance policy coverage, at 28%.
But history shows that this type of contact with clients helps them feel more financially secure during times of market volatility, LIMRA says.
“During the last economic downturn (in 2008), LIMRA research found that 64% of people who had contact with their advisor felt the conversation eased their concerns and worries,” the group said. “In addition, 74% said they were likely to recommend this advisor to others.”
As social distancing becomes the new norm, advisors are getting more cautious about who they allow into their offices. Nearly four in 10 (38%) are restricting vendors’ access to their offices, while 37% say they’re limiting visits from existing clients and wholesalers. Thirty-six percent also say they're restricting access from prospects. Just about a third have not limited access to their offices.