How do you build an effective financial advisor remote team?
My business has been remote since 2004 when I first started working with financial advisors so I have a really good handle on how to build remote teams and how to successfully market and grow a business as a virtual financial advisor.
Building remote teams within your financial advisory organization will help you find the best talent from anywhere in the world, significantly decrease costs and give employees who are looking to join your organization an added advantage.
On the other hand, building a productive remote team is challenging. In order to get success with your remote team, you need to establish the right environment and enforce best practices to ensure that your remote team is productive, reliable and effective. Today’s article is designed specifically to help you learn how you can build a productive remote team.
What Is a Remote Team?
A remote team refers to a group of people who are part of a similar organization, they work as a team with each other, but it is not necessary for these people to be in the same place. The members of the team can belong to different cities or even countries, and they can work together from where ever they are. In short, the team has to be a consistent, coherent team who is working for the same purpose, but physically it is not necessary for them to be together.
How is a Remote Team Built?
Remote teams have quite a lot of benefits but if the team is not developed properly and doesn’t have the right pool of skill in the team, then the team is of no use to the company. For this reason, the organization needs to make sure that the team they build is brought together properly and consists of the right people.
An effective remote financial team can be built in multiple ways:
#1 – Know the Type of Remote Team You Want
The first step towards building the right team is to know exactly what type of team you are seeking. For example, some companies might need remote teams, but at the same time, they may want the team to be brought together to work together in a place where they are physically in the same location. Some companies, on the other hand, don’t have similar requirements; they might be okay with a team that doesn’t have to be together in one place, and even if they need to communicate with each other and have a meeting, they are fine with virtual meetings.
#2 – Decide the Requirements of Members
Once you know the type of team you want to build, you can start recruiting people for the team. Based on your requirements and the work you have to do, you will create job descriptions for the various members you are going to need, including one for you!
For a financial advisory team, you are going to need people that do one job or that do multiple jobs and as the firm grows you can alter the job descriptions and bring on new people to do ONE thing. You may need:
- Client service associate
- Social media marketing associate
- Assistant financial advisor
- Portfolio manager
- Rain maker / prospecting associate
If using a wealth management model you may also need:
- Certified financial planner (CFP)
- Certified public accountant (CPA)
- Estate planning attorney (EPA)
- Tax attorney
- Life insurance agent
- P&C insurance agent
- Long term care insurance agent
You will decide the job specifications for each of the members so that you can recruit them accordingly. Don’t forget to do an Organizational Chart to show each team member and their job titles. Some members may have several titles in the beginning.
#3 – Recruit the Right Members
After setting up the requirement of your team, you are going to choose the members from all the applications you have received. When you know your requirements, you are more likely to select the right employees who are the perfect fit for your company. You need to make sure you are hiring people who are very well skilled as you won’t be able to monitor them as much because it is a remote team.
Another important factor to consider is that your team have the right attitude for the job as most people are not likely to take remote work and teams seriously. You need to hire competent and skilled employees that are dedicated to the work they have to do and have in-depth knowledge of their work.
#4 – Train the Team Members
In the first three steps, you are done with recruiting the members of the team. After recruitment, you enter the next stage, which is incorporating the members into the company. The first step towards this process is the training of the members.
Working remotely is not as easy as it sounds; other members who belong to different cities and countries will not always be available to your questions and assist you in various matters that need immediate attention and response.
To overcome such hurdles, you need to train all the members of the team. They need to have basic knowledge about the work that other members of the team are doing so that if a customer has any inquiry regarding different issues, they can cater to the need of their customers and make sure the customer is dealt with properly.
#5 – Develop Team Spirit
Although the members of the team are not physically with each other, the members of the team need to have a sense of belonging as this is one of the basic human needs. The members need to know each other and be well acquainted with all the members of the team. If people are not aware of who they are working with, they will never get the experience of being part of the team, and this will lead to lower performance. Without communication, you may have trouble making sure that the members are on the same page.
#6 – Build Effective Communication
Communication is important in the traditional structure of teams, but it’s even more important with remote teams. Members of the team will need to communicate with each other efficiently and effectively so everyone knows what’s going on and what their role entails.
I recommend using project management platforms to keep everyone in the loop about various aspects of what’s going on in your business. With Asana you can assign tasks, check in on whether they have been completed, and generally view the overall status of a project.
#7 – Evaluate Performance
It is not enough to develop a good team, it’s necessary that the team is working towards the goals you have developed. Managing and evaluating the performance of the members individually and as a whole is necessary. Evaluating how and if members are meeting their personal goals and objectives set by the company, and when integrated, the members are helping the company reach its goals.
One of the best ways to evaluate the performance of the team members is to set up deadlines. Communicate the timeframe they have to achieve the tasks you have set for them; this helps you motivate the employees, and along with this, you can see which member is meeting their goals on time or before time, and you can reward them for achievement.
Benefits of Remote Teams for Financial Advisors
Remote teams have a number of benefits, and this is a two-way street that not only one party benefits from remote teams, but both the parties involved, the company and the workers, both benefit from being a part of the remote team. The benefits of remote teams are divided into 2 categories of benefits for the company and benefits for the members. Below I` have listed these benefits and explained them thoroughly.
Benefits for the financial advisor
Remote teams have become very popular over the years mainly because now we have such advanced technology that it is possible for companies to make remote teams, and even with those teams, they can ensure that work in the organization is done smoothly. But apart from that, there are multiple reasons that attract a company towards building remote teams, and the reasons are listed below:
1. Helps Connect People From Around the World
The traditional teams made in companies are very restricted; you can only have members of the team who are part of the organization. Remote teams give you the option of adding different people to the team.
2. More Skills
Because a remote team can have members from anywhere in the world, you can recruit better people and make them a part of your team. If you are looking for a marketing expert to run your Social Media Marketing Plan, you can recruit members from anywhere around the world. This helps you build a better team with members that are more skilled.
3. Less Cost
Remote teams are also less expensive because the financial advisor doesn’t need to provide office space to all the members of the team. Because the company isn’t responsible for the accommodation of all the members of the team, there are fewer overhead expenses.
In some cases, the company may have to provide the members with the necessary tools such as laptops or computers, but most of the time, this is not required, which helps the company save a considerable sum of money.
Benefits for the Team Members
So far, we have talked about benefits for the company, but now we are going to focus on how being part of remote teams can benefit its members as well.
1. Flexible Working Hours
The most attractive factor of remote teams is that members can work for a few hours, or many hours, and the hours worked are adjusted according to the needs of the team. Team members can decide when it is convenient for them to work, and they can be active at that time and work from the comfort of their home.
2. Earn More
Being part of a remote team also gives you the option to earn more money. You can become a part of a team and work in those teams as part-time workers this way, and you can earn money from two sources. If the position is not a full-time job, there are opportunities to have other part-time jobs.
3. More Satisfaction
When you are part of a remote team, your managers and those who are higher in the hierarchy are not standing over your shoulder monitoring your every move. This reduces the stress of supervision, and along with that, it gives you space to work on your own, make your own decisions, which will help you polish your skills and become better at your job. This increases the level of satisfaction of the employee.
Final Thoughts – Managing Members
More satisfied workers leads to better performance, which will not only benefit the employee, but it will benefit the company as well. As listed above, remote teams have many advantages but whether the team will be successful or not depends on the type of people you are recruiting to be a member of your team. Some teams do well while others might struggle.
It’s important to manage the team efficiently; if the team isn’t managed properly, you cannot take advantage of all the perks of a remote team. So it is advised that if you are setting up a remote team, you keep all these factors in mind. When recruiting employees, you should have a clear idea of what you want them to do. Have job descriptions ready and an organizational chart.
The person managing the team needs to be able to handle different and difficult situations and have the interpersonal skills to deal with all kinds of people in a respectful and kind manner.