Single-family offices are multiplying, which is a function in the boom in private wealth especially at the very high end of the spectrum. Moreover, single-family offices are increasing outsourcing. According to Peter Sasaki, managing member of SDS family Office and co-author of Maximizing Your Single-Family Office: Leveraging the Power of Outsourcing and Stress Testing. “For a number of reason including cost and wanting to work with the very best, single-family offices are increasingly relying on external experts. They are also very selective in who they engage.”

Single-family offices can be an exceptional business opportunity for a diverse array of professionals from wealth managers to accountants and from lawyers to life insurance agents. Other types of service providers, such as concierge physicians and family security specialists, also find single-family offices to be excellent clients.

The world of single-family offices is rapidly professionalizing. This results in senior management at these boutique firms being highly critical and tightly focused on generating value for their ultra-wealthy families. Clearly, not all professionals are capable of addressing the needs and wants of the extremely wealthy. However, even for those professionals who can deliver value, the biggest obstacle is often being able to connect with the decision-makers at single-family offices. This situation is further complicated as a great many single-family offices actively work to stay obscure.

For leading experts, the methodologies for accessing single-family offices are often a systematic combination of “pull” and “push.” For example, thought leadership (i.e., pull) drives attraction while skillful networking can facilitate introductions (i.e., push). Optimally, providers adroitly use both pull and push business development strategies in order to connect with single-family offices on a preferential basis.

According to Angelo Robles, founder and CEO of the Family Office Association and author of Effective Family Office, “A good number of very talented, knowledgeable and skilled professionals are seeking to do business with single-family offices. However, the senior executives and family members at many single-family offices are unaware of these experts or do not see them as being very different, let alone better, than their peers. Being thought leaders and communicating real value could do a great deal to capture the attention of decision-makers in single-family offices.”

One of the very best ways to meet the decision-makers is being introduced by a provider currently doing business with them. A lawyer working with single-family offices, for instance, is well positioned to introduce other professionals—particularly insurance agents and money managers.

Being a thought leader, combined with connecting through hubs and superhubs facilitated by sophisticated networking and relationship enhancement, goes a very long way to enabling financial and legal professionals to connect with and establish solid relationships with the decision-makers at single-family offices. The processes involved are not inherently complex or difficult. Success in this regard is principally a function of effective implementation.

Russ Alan Prince, president of R.A. Prince & Associates, is a consultant to family offices, the ultra-wealthy and select professionals.