August 2010: That was the first time I wrote about mobile technology and the opportunities for advisors. In its early stages, mobile technology was challenged with bandwidth, access to apps and speed issues. Now, however, you have abundant Wi-Fi hotspots, and the networks of the big carriers continue to increase capacity and overall speed. A lot has improved in four years. During this time, what has changed about your firm’s ability to leverage mobile technology?
Consider this common scenario. I’m your client and I was scheduled to come by your office at 4 p.m. for my annual meeting, and afterwards we were going to have dinner across the street. You have this great conference room with a big-screen monitor on the wall. Then I call and say I’m running very late and let’s just meet at the restaurant. Do you print everything out and bring it to the restaurant?
For advisors who have adopted mobile technology, this is not even a challenge. They are ready to use their iPad or other tablet to handle the entire presentation. This potentially entails using apps available through their custodian, portfolio reporting system, financial planning system and CRM. At a minimum, they also have certain components of the presentation stored as electronic files. Furthermore, they are comfortable with this approach because they’re already familiar with these applications in a mobile environment.
Consider another common problem: working with your office and clients while you are traveling. Can you effectively respond to clients’ needs while you are traveling? Or do you find yourself often calling into the office for help responding to client questions or, perhaps worse, waiting to follow up when you are back in the office? This should not be the case in today’s mobile-ready world.