Red Zone Marketing conducted research from May 14-19, sponsored by Incapital, to find out how financial advisory businesses are adapting and changing in response to crisis conditions. The objective was to collect insights designed to help advisors navigate through this time of great uncertainty and move their business forward. The survey will be conducted again in June to see if sentiments are changing.
The research uncovered that there is uncertainty amongst advisors regarding when they will be meeting face-to-face again with clients, how they will operate with safety standards, and how they will continue to market their businesses.
As advisors continue to navigate the landscape of their operations, the survey uncovered that most advisors do not have a plan for safely returning to the office for clients and employees. 71% of advisors surveyed do not have a plan and 48% have not announced safety measure for clients or employees. We see this as opportunity for advisors moving forward to develop a written plan addressing safety measures and business continuity while instilling confidence with their key constituents.
60% of advisors will not mandate health status sharing amongst employees or clients, however 70.9% of advisors agree or strongly agree that they will be handling their older and at-risk clients differently.
The study also found that advisors are uncertain about their revenue in 2020 and the number of households that they will be serving. 32% of advisors see their business revenue declining in 2020 while 35% believe their revenue will grow more than 10%. 33% project their revenue increasing between 0 and 10%. And while 58% of advisors do not see the number of households they serve as changing from 2019 to 2020, 34% see a decrease and 8% see an increase in households served.
Most advisors are certain that they will be back to work in their offices in 2020 with 89% stating they will be returning to a normal, in office schedule for all team members sometime in 2020. These results differed when looking at types of locations. Advisors in urban locations do not anticipate having their team members fully back in the office as quickly as those in suburban and rural locations with 20% stating that they would not be back into the office fully until sometime in 2021. Over 50% advisors in both Suburban and Rural areas believe they will be fully back in the office in June.
As for prospect and client outreach, 54% of advisors have conducted a virtual prospect meeting and 83% have a moderate to a great deal of comfort in meeting with prospects virtually. And, 81% of advisors plan to communicate more with clients in 2020 than in 2019.
On a positive note for the industry, 72% of advisors surveyed feel supported by their Broker Dealer and by their wholesaling partners.
301 financial advisors from 37 broker-dealers and banks as well as RIAs were surveyed May 14-19, 2020. The respondents came from 42 states across urban, suburban and rural locations. The average age of respondents was 55 years old with a gender breakdown of 23% female 77% male.
For a full copy of the survey report, please contact Incapital at 888-849-5732 or AdvisorSupport@incapital.com.