A tsunami of demand for financial advisors is rising as our industry continues to witness significant changes, such as margin compression, an increasing number of retirees and a decreasing number of advisors. As a result, the average number of clients an advisor manages has increased from around 100 to 300, and now many practices handle between 750 and 1,000 clients. 

Over the years, financial advice has undergone significant changes. Less than a decade ago, top producers could manage around 100 clients with their existing staff. However, margin compression has since impacted advisors. With 10,000 baby boomers retiring daily, the demand for financial advice is rising. Additionally, interest in financial planning is growing across generations, especially among Gen Z and Gen X. Despite this increasing demand, there are fewer advisors today than a decade ago, necessitating scalable solutions.

Effective technology deployment is critical, but simply having the best technology isn't enough. Technology, if not deployed correctly, can actually be a prohibitor to growth. To help the advisor who focuses on personalized, high-value advisor services, wealthtech platforms need to be unified and integrated to avoid having multiple disparate systems. Increasingly, our applications should also listen to the client alongside the advisor.

Simple Scalability
Effective technology deployment is critical if advisors are to keep up with demand. Scaling involves more than just expanding; it’s about enhancing your capabilities and adaptability in a cost-effective manner. Advisors should use technology platforms that allow easy data flow and user experience to prevent context switching and loss of productivity. Establish standardized, repeatable processes. This consistency helps streamline operations, similar to a regular routine that ensures everyone knows and follows the same steps. Automating routine tasks allows advisors to dedicate more time to understanding clients' goals and concerns.

Enriched Data Is A Game Changer
When it comes to marketing for financial advisors, the key is leveraging enriched client data. Go beyond basic information like names and dates of birth to include deeper insights such as clients' values, goals, and engagement levels. Firms, whether large or small, should focus on collecting and enriching data about their clients and prospects. For example, knowing a client's moral viewpoints and personal aspirations can help tailor your services and communication more effectively. Your Customer Relationship Management platform (CRM) should be capable of capturing detailed and dynamic client information. This goes beyond static data to include changes in clients' values and life stages. Regularly update this information during client meetings to ensure your data reflects their current priorities.

With enriched data, you can avoid generic communications. You can tailor messages to individual clients based on their interests and needs. For instance, if a client actively follows the stock market, timely updates during market fluctuations can be sent to them, while clients less interested in market details might receive more general financial advice. An example of enriched data usage is: Client A reads the Wall Street Journal daily and follows market trends closely. Client B is moderately interested in market updates. Client C has little interest in daily market movements and focuses more on long-term financial planning. 

In your CRM, you can categorize and segment these clients based on their engagement levels. When there's a significant market event, for Client A, send a detailed analysis immediately. For Client B, provide a summary and offer a follow-up discussion. For Client C, send a reassurance message focusing on long-term goals. Your platform will also remind you of significant events and suggest personalized communications, enhancing the advisor-client relationship at scale.

Financial advice has evolved significantly over the years. There were once giant firms that no longer exist today. Change is constant, and embracing it is crucial for staying relevant and successful. Making wise decisions today and ensuring a common data element across a tech stack, allows firms to prepare for the unseen processes that will soon transform our industry. Change can be a boost when we know how to harness it and prepare for what’s to come.

Mike Zebrowski is chief operating officer at Docupace.