Bet your firm doesn’t provide valet parking, does it? Do you let clients “borrow” your firm’s technology specialist to iron out their companies’ computer glitches? How about providing snacks and munchies for your clients every time they come in?
Such are some of the unique perks offered by Evensky, Brown & Katz in Coral Gables, Florida, and they’re all part of an effort to strengthen the firm’s relationship with its clients. The valet parking was actually a lucky accident; the firm is located in the penthouse office suites of a historic hotel (known today as the Omni Colonnade Hotel & Office Complex), which gives the clients valet-parking privileges. But the computer services and the munchies were provided on purpose; the former enhances the firm’s image as the client’s problem solver, and the latter fosters a sense of relaxation during client meetings. “Food and noshies are a very comforting thing for people,” says Katz.
Evensky and Katz strengthen client relationships through frequent contact with their clients, by phone, e-mail, letter, or in person. Their goal is to make their clients feel like members of a family. “We had a Thanksgiving party in November, and we had over 150 people there,” says Katz. “Some of the fund representatives we had invited–because we do business with them, and we wanted the clients to meet them–told us that the clients were talking about us like we were their relatives. And I think that’s what makes us a success. The relationship is everything.”