The pandemic has encouraged many financial advisors to change the way in which they look for new clients and conduct business with existing clients.
For quite a few of them, it has accelerated advancements that were already under way in virtual communications with their clients and has brought about a huge increase in efficiency.
InsuranceNewsNet recently asked Barjes Angulo about the effects of the pandemic on his practice, and this is what he shared with us. A New Yorker, Angulo is founder of Angulo Strategies LLC and also is a financial adviser with Eagle Strategies LLC, a registered investment advisor.
Angulo Strategies is independently owned and operated from Eagle Strategies and its affiliates. Several years ago, he was one of the recipients of Advisor Today’s Four Under Award, which honors financial advisors who are on the fast track to professional success.
The Pandemic’s Effects
The major change of the pandemic on his practice is two-fold, Angulo said. After the pandemic, clients became more open to the idea of meeting members of his firm via video camera. As a result, the number of hours he spends in client meetings has been condensed.
Before the pandemic, he added, he probably held 10% of his client meetings via a video meeting service. These were mostly clients who embraced technology and found comfort in screen sharing. Many didn’t turn on the camera.
“Once the pandemic hit, we didn’t skip a beat,” he said. “In March of 2020, we started giving clients the option of meeting via the telephone or by video. Most started with the phone, but as the weeks went by, they began choosing the video option. This led to much greater efficiency.”
That efficiency allowed Angulo to fulfill a small dream he had – having client meetings only three times a week. He and his team are now currently scheduled to see clients from Tuesdays to Thursdays.
“Not only did the number of days go from 5 to 3, but my hours were also better,” he said. “I started seeing clients from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This was a result of getting our house in order with the kids in the morning and making sure that everyone had what they needed before I started my meetings.”
Ultimately, Angulo was able to fulfill another dream of his– being able to walk to his office from his home. His company was able to secure new office space across the street from Angulo’s New York City apartment. Now, he runs meetings from 10 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. And he is home in three minutes and enjoys a strong family life.
Angulo’s ability to conduct client meetings more efficiently is not the only way his practice has benefited from increased use of technology.
“Being remote has allowed me to integrate technology so that we can run our operations more efficiently,” he said. “We have merged technologies so that now, our video meeting app, our phone, and soon, the internal chat, are on the same service.”
Angulo’s firm has also embraced digital signatures, which have allowed it to get signatures in a timely manner. “To give you some perspective of our reduction in paper usage,” he said, “I purchased a box of paper in April 2020, and we are finally on the last ream in January 2022.”
The technologies used by Angulo and his team have also allowed them to maintain their clients by delivering information to them in a timely manner. This puts the firm in a better position to maintain credibility with its existing clients and encourages clients to refer the firm to potential clients.
When asked what advice he has for new and not-so-new advisors who are seeking a higher level of success, Angulo’s response is direct and to the point: “Embrace technology, put family first and be yourself.”
Ayo Mseka has more than 30 years of experience reporting on the financial-services industry. She formerly served as Editor-In-Chief of NAIFA’s Advisor Today magazine. Contact her at amseka@INNfeedback.com.