While advisors are very busy people, they have much to gain by taking the time to try out new technology resources, according to a group of female advisors with Raymond James.
“All of us are going a 1,000 miles an hour. It’s hard to stop and learn new things,” said Laura Steckler, a certified financial planner and employee advisor with Raymond James & Associates, during the firm’s recent Women’s Symposium in Orlando.
“It seems like there’s no time to look, but I encourage you to do so … ,” Steckler said to a crowd of more than 420 female advisors and 300 other guests. “Try something out, even for a five-minute test drive. It will save you time and [help you with] efficiency and building best practices.”
Kimberlee Bouska, CFP, an advisor with the firm’s Financial Institutions Division in Beaverton, Oregon, said her team wanted to resolve “a hole” in the planning process.
“We’d bring on clients, but not see them for a while,” Bouska said. “Let’s have a new 90-day review process, we thought, that integrates with [the] Client Access [platform].”
Her group now has “a big screen on the wall,” and [clients] use a mouse to move around information and features. “They work with paperless statements, the goals tab and planing [functions] they can see,” the advisor said.
As clients add information about their non-Raymond James accounts to Client Access, for instance, advisors are able to analyze more assets, weave their thinking into client conversations and potentially move these assets over to Raymond James, Bouska points out.
“As we’ve heard [at another meeting], ‘Either you will aggregate [business] or you will be aggregated,” said Salit Nagy-Todd, senior vice president of technology.
“We have so much technology out there and so much of it is cutting edge. Yet at conferences we see people not familiar with it,” Nagy-Todd explained. “You can become a center of excellence, and we have folks to help.”
Though new technology might seem daunting, it’s worth the effort, says Amanda Piper, an independent advisor and member of Raymond James’ Next Gen Technology Group: “Just try it. I call and [talk to] our tech folks as needed … Don’t panic. Just start.”
Tech on the Go
Steckler is a big fan and adopter/influencer of Raymond James’ Advisor Mobile application.
“It is one of the most practical, best things rolled out by firm,” she explained. “It lets advisors have an incredible amount of increased efficiency and access. I use it dozens of times a day — in and out of the office.”
A common question the advisor is asked: Why use it in the office?
Steckler says Advisor Mobile gives her quick access to birth dates, client accounts, contact information and portfolio details, for instance. “I can pull up allocations, which is very helpful given recent volatility, and I can look at [a client’s] risk level and comfort levels,” she explained.
The audio functions are very useful, according to Steckler. “It’s an efficient tool for me, since I can dictate notes to clients and save them in the CRM,” she said.
For instance, the advisor said, “I can access notes or emails that [refer to] a family goal that was mentioned three years ago.” She also adds notes, emails and other information she has gathered remotely about new goals to her CRM.
By using Advisor Mobile, “It takes me a fraction of time to dictate a note and post it in Client Review rather than taking the time to do this manually,” she explained.
Steckler said this process was shown to her by Raymond James’ tech team, and she was told, “It would change my life.”
“Now, people I show this to say that to me!” she said. “I demoed this for at least 12 people after a recent presentation, because I’m excited about the functionality and use. It really revolutionized the way I work on a daily basis.”