Last Updated on July 20, 2020 by Carolyn McRae
Endemic problem, or missed opportunity?
Advisors need software. It allows you to service your clients in new and exciting ways. Over the years, you have built your own technology toolkit to help you guide clients to a brighter financial future. Portfolio monitoring, account aggregation and CRM software are all tools in your toolkit.
Whilst the individual tools are high quality, a problem arises when you try to use them together. Many software platforms specialize on a specific solution, but lack integration with other platforms. Thus, you end up spending too much time bridging the gap between software platforms, instead of actually servicing clients. This struggle to sync your various platforms is like trying to make sense of a messy toolbox. Somehow you can’t quite find the right socket for your wrench, only to later find out the tool bits are from different sets that don’t fit together. You spend more time mulling over the different tools you have, instead of actually getting the job done.
You’re not alone. A recent study found that a lack of integration is an endemic problem among financial advisors. A mere 7% of advisors surveyed stated that their firms’ business applications have deep and meaningful cross-product functionality. Although it’s shockingly low, this actually sheds light on an opportunity. If you’re part of the 93%, it’s time to learn from those advisors in the 7%.
Organizing your toolbox will grow your business
The way to organize your technology toolbox is integration- using products that can communicate and share data between each other. An organized toolbox will ultimately allow you to do much more with your financial advisory business, spending less time manually re-entering data and more time on value-added tasks.
We’ve talked previously about how integration is a way to avoid operational complexity and the dreaded “Franken-Product”. It turns out integration has another major benefit: it’s also an efficient way to GROW your business.
The same study found that RIAs with some level of system integration manage twice the amount of assets of RIAs with the same size staff without integration. That’s right, integration allows you to increase the amount of assets you manage without increasing staff. Case in point:
For Etesian Wealth Advisors in Lake Oswego, Ore., in the three years since they adopted a fully integrated technology solution from Tamarac, their client assets have grown by almost 400%, yet their staff has only increased by 20%.
Now that’s an example of an organized toolbox! By having tools that work and fit with each other, their financial advisory business was taken to a whole new level. This happens because advisors spend less time transferring data between individual platforms, and more time servicing existing clients and prospecting new ones. Instead of struggling to make sense of the tools they have, they’re out getting the job done.
But the benefits of integration don’t stop there. The study also shows that financial advisors can increase revenue and be more competitive with large firms, all by better integrating their platforms.
It’s time to roll up your sleeves…
Organizing your toolbox may feel like a daunting task. However, there are companies out there that already offer the integrated solution you need. When looking for the right solution, there are a few questions you should keep in mind:
- Is the solution already integrated and partnered with the tools I use?
- Does the solution have an open API, allowing for greater integration in the future?
- Does it offer features that simplify my business, rather than complicate it?
Blueleaf addresses these questions. We have partnered with several popular platforms such as MoneyGuidePro, Redtail, Grendel and more. The list is constantly growing. In addition, Blueleaf combines a sleek client portal with account aggregation, performance reporting and portfolio monitoring.
Finally, all the tools you need, in a toolkit that is easy to understand and that easily integrates with the tools you already use.