Shaping the client's journey with technology

Submitted by Brian.Lavelle on October 21, 2020

Windermere is a firm that I formed eight years ago with my father.

We decided let's join forces and see if we can't form our own firm in this industry, and to invest other people's money the way that we were investing our family's money.

I mean, we're a small two adviser firm, and so by virtue of that, you know, every task has to be done by one of the two of us.

And so I do a little bit of everything, but I think where our… where our passion lies, and where we try to leverage our time is with those one-on-one discussions with clients.

And that's where technology becomes so important, because if we can use technology to gain efficiencies in other areas of our business, we have all that much more time to spend with clients.

When we take on a new client, it's like. 'Welcome to our firm. Here's, you know, a stack of paperwork.' Instead, to be able to say, 'We're going to do this all online.' We can sit next to them and open it right there, online, side-by-side.

They electronically sign it. It's much more secure, much quicker, safer for them. And clients have really responded to that, as well. And it, again, makes us scale faster, right, because you take away some of that efficiency and inaccuracy. So that online account opening has been a great addition for us as, well.

And just our interaction with our Service Team, right? Back when we started, we would have to fax in our forms and, you know, call them to follow up. And now we can submit everything online in a much more secure fashion. We can see our status, so we're not calling them to check in on how things are going. And then keep clients up to date, right? Because I think it's… you know, a lot of this business is managing expectations, and being upfront and honest with how long things will take, and how the process will move.

And we've always approached growth as one client at a time, and that's the way we continue to go forward.

The challenge then becomes how do you scale that growth, right? And how do you find efficiencies in a way to manage that? And the way we've attempted to do that is free up more of our time to have those personal discussions by leveraging technology to the extent that we can. And so that's, again, using the tools that Schwab provides in the background to streamline account opening, and share reporting, and do trades, but then, also, you know, again, use tools such as CRM or financial planning that more directly ties into the client end of things.

It's been a remarkable journey, and I think what constantly occurs to me is that everyone we meet has their own financial narrative, right, their own story that they tell themselves about money, whether it's mistakes that they've made, or financial concerns that they have, subjects that they feel really confident about, or those that they aren't quite so sure about.

And they all have the story on repeat, and that can get exhausting at times, and intimidating, and maybe a bit isolating. And we're able to tell our clients, 'You know, you don't have to do this alone anymore. Take a seat, tell us what's on your mind, and we'll work through it together.' And that's just been an honor and the journey of a lifetime, and one I hope to continue for years to come.

Pam Evason, Managing Director of Windermere Wealth Advisors, shares how technology is critical to managing her firm's growth and positively shaping her clients' financial journey.

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