Quality financial planning focuses on the full view.
It takes time and a big armful of information and data to match up with life-sized goals and dreams.
Great financial planners are a valuable support in marshaling the details and possible scenarios of an unknowable future into an official big picture plan. Professional insight on a range of overlapping decisions and actions is not simple or easy.
The biggest question is what aspects need to be considered foundational and how much should you dive into them?
Housing Planning is a Must-Have Conversation
One topic too important for any financial planning to leave out is housing. We can’t live without it and it’s not ideal to pull together as an afterthought. Every other bit of our lives is impacted by our housing situation each and every day!
This is why it’s not surprising that “my housing situation” is a topic financial planning clients continually indicate matters to them.
In the AIG’s Executive Summary for “The Future of Client-Advisor Relationships,” 82% of clients surveyed said they want to revisit it. Since it’s an answer that pops up in early age groups, it’s a valuable way for potential clients to connect with new planners on a topic other than retirement.
What Kinds of Clients Want to Talk About Housing?
People around 51-54 years old in the planning stages of retirement are the standard answer since downsizing or finding a warmer climate are common goals. However, this is a topic that’s important to integrate into the overall financial planning process as early as possible in order to give the most thorough data and advice for each new housing stage. It also gives Financial Advisors a very effective topic for personal outreach to keep in touch with their younger clients.
That consistent outreach is core to a good relationship and long-term and happy clients. It makes sure that you’re up-to-date with client information, including knowing when a client is facing scenarios like a job change, family changes, caregiving, downsizing, business ventures, or any other trigger for a housing change. Knowing beforehand means you’re able to talk things through so they don’t have to make radical changes to their goals after they’ve made a big move.
These kinds of customer care conversations make for better financial results and easier long-term retention. It also gives them a practical and valuable reason to refer you to other people in their life well before any of them are talking retirement planning. Since AIG shares that more than 50% of new clients come from reviews and referrals of happy clients, the impact of this adds up quickly.
The Right Tools Make the Difference
The financial planning industry has powerful tech tools that have been built over the years, with a big increase recently. However, they’re highly underutilized.
According to the T3 Inside Information Survey on advisor use of software for their work, 47% were using tools for portfolio management, 22% were using software for cybersecurity, and only 11% of advisors were using retirement planning software tools. Those are three essential roles for a financial advisor to get right!
The good news is this low adoption of extremely helpful tools out there gives advisors a way to really set themselves apart in the industry very quickly. The use of digital tools educates, informs, and engages clients while simplifying or amplifying many of the processes advisors need to do regularly. It also keeps the information and data clients need readily available.
People indicate they want to talk to their advisors on topics like:
- Managing debt and student loans
- Planning for children’s education
- Planning for and saving toward retirement
- Housing plans and potential changes
As each generation gets more involved in their long-term financial plans, digital access and personalized data from tools will be only more valuable.
How Willowfinch can help
Willowfinch is a tool that helps you support your clients’ housing decisions that impact their overall planning with all of the data and information they need before they start house hunting. Once you know their goals and needs, the continued insights from Willowfinch allow you to check in regularly with updated input and advice based on life changes and market shifts.
Our motto is “we take small data and make it big.” These personalized data points paired with your expert advice offer much more than robo-advisors are able to give them and set you apart. Most importantly, the decisions clients make are more likely to yield good results.
We know that good tools and partners are able to help with your digital marketing strategy, which guides our focus for informative housing industry information and resources you can easily share with your clients and your audience. You can promote yourself as a trained WF advisor, use our social media content and educational posts to send as useful follow-ups, connect with other people in the industry, and more.
Ready to learn more? Get in touch!