3 Ways to Stand Out From Competitors as an RIA - PreciseFP

3 Ways to Stand Out From Competitors as an RIA

In today’s fast-paced world, industries are facing stiff competition, especially with the rise of new technologies like cloud-based systems and smart automation. This shift is shaking up traditional methods across various sectors, including wealth management. Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) are under pressure to update how they communicate, invest strategically, and attract clients in this changing market.

Recently, Docupace and Holistiplan hosted a webinar together to address a crucial question: how can RIAs stand out in this new environment? Ryan George, Chief Marketing Officer at Docupace, and Torie Happe, Head of Partnerships at Holistiplan, shared their insights and advice. Join us as we explore their top tips for thriving in today’s competitive landscape.

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of a “Personal Touch”

Perhaps more than ever, RIAs must place a strong emphasis on building relationships with their clients. Customers aren’t necessarily “demanding more, but they’re expecting more from their advisor,” said George. Instead of just focusing on investment opportunities, clients increasingly want insight into tax planning, estate planning, and a variety of other subjects that impact their bank accounts.

These heightened demands undoubtedly stress the capabilities of even the most diligent RIA. It can take an immense amount of effort to satiate customer expectations. According to George and Happe, this need is precisely where new technologies and streamlined back-office processes can come in. At the end of the day, RIAs need to dedicate more time to getting to know their clients and strategizing what makes the most sense for each individual portfolio.

One way to earn customer goodwill is through small, personal touches that remind your clients you’re thinking of them on a uniquely human level. George pointed out that RIAs should continue reaching out to clients on birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries. These small gestures create a sense of trust between clients and RIAs.

Engaging with clients as prospects on a continuous basis was another point on which both George and Happe vehemently agreed. Proactively thinking of ways to add value to the client/advisor relationship assures customers that you have their best interests in mind. This more intimate level of engagement with clients and their needs strengthens bonds and helps RIAs differentiate themselves from other competitors in the long run.

Recognize That Client Investment Behaviors Are Changing

Along with developing customer relationships is the focus on personalizing all customer touchpoints as much as possible. Since the pandemic, wealth management clients have increasingly moved away from the institutions they used to frequent in person. Thankfully, wealth management firms can interface with clients virtually, which means that sudden residency changes don’t necessarily mean a loss in business.

What this trend does mean, however, is that RIAs need to be extremely alert to how clients prefer to interact with them. Once the mainstay form of communication for wealth management firms, phone calls might not be the preferred way for many customers to speak to their advisors anymore. Instead, asking customers how they’d like to stay in touch about investment opportunities and updates is a great and easy way to get — and stay — on their radar.

This emphasis on preferred communication methods is particularly true for younger generations who are becoming a dominant demographic in the wealth management industry. Millennials and Gen-Zers who grew up in the digital age want online options for opening accounts, viewing activity, and communicating with readily and consistently available advisors. Addressing client pain points and making each investor feel that their needs are important can go a long way in setting RIAs apart from peers who don’t put time into this kind of personalization.

Know What Your Firm Can Automate — And Do It

Finally, George and Happe emphasized the importance of integrating technological solutions that add value to the firm as a whole. Companies need to identify their core and where they excel, then find technology and partners to backfill other areas.

This approach doesn’t mean signing up for an array of platforms on a whim and expecting them to fit seamlessly into existing firm processes.

Not only is this approach prohibitively expensive in the long run, but it also muddies the parts of your business that need a technological solution to gain efficiency. Some areas, like cybersecurity, are a no-brainer when outsourcing or adopting new platforms geared toward those needs. Similarly, automating back-office processes that can lead to manual entry errors or inconsistencies across platforms is typically a good idea for firms wanting to refocus advisor time on optimizing customer experiences.

To wrap things up, adding a client engagement software like PreciseFP to your tech lineup is a game-changer. It lets you connect with clients well beyond the regular review, offering pre-built templates for a smooth interaction. Want to see the difference it can make? Try it out for yourself with a trial. It’s time to step up your client engagement and simplify your workflow.

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