Proforce Wealth Management’s Rebecca Maher has built a business helping millennials achieve their financial goals. Here, she offers tips on how advisers can simultaneously grow their business and help clients during these unprecedented times.

Many people are working from home at the moment. What experience do you have working remotely with clients?

Proforce offers employee financial wellness programs to help aspiring millennial professionals live their best life. We offer a multichannel approach, and this includes virtual ways of connecting, such as:

  • Online group training. We use Zoom as it’s very user-friendly for video conferencing. However, we are flexible in utilising different conferencing tools to work with different clients depending on what they have access to.
  • One-to-one money coaching for budgeting, cash flow, and debt management either over the phone or online.
  • An app to help clients manage their money.
  • A membership website that includes self-paced training modules.

Prior to Proforce, I worked remotely as a financial adviser for three years. My client base, like myself, were mums with young children. It wasn’t feasible for me to have an office space and see clients face to face because I was raising my kids at home, so I built a boutique business catered to women in my position. We did it all remotely via Zoom.

What are your top tips for people working from home for the first time?

  1. Get up and get dressed.
  2. Start your day with an action plan of your top priorities.
  3. Try and work somewhere removed from whatever else is going on in the house.
  4. Take regular breaks.
  5. Put rules around the times you work and have a cut-off point.
  6. Try and decompress before bed or you’ll fall into a workaholic trap!

What advice can you give advisers to help them maintain contact with their clients?

Start by emailing your clients to let them know you’re thinking about them and their circumstances. It could be something as simple as, “With everything going on, I just wanted to check in and see if you’re okay.” Then let them know that if they have any questions regarding their finances you’re there to help.

Create a crisis resources pack. It might be a guide to the stimulus packages, or the relief support that is available, or just general insurance advice.

Communicate with clients about possible insurance premium changes. This may start conversations about insurance cover, which also may bring about new business.

Use webinars to communicate with your client base and hopefully bring on more clients who need help navigating through these times. Topics could include:

  • what’s happening with the share market
  • managing cash flow and budgeting
  • stabilising your position if you’re heading towards retirement.

How can advisers help clients see the value in keeping their insurance if they’re struggling financially?

If clients already have insurance cover as part of their household costs, cancelling should only be a last resort. This is because as you get older, it can be more difficult to get that same level of cover.

After events such as this, it may be even more difficult to get exclusion-free cover.

It’s hard to know what the underwriting response will be going forward in the post-pandemic world. It’s the adviser’s job to make clients aware that what they have is valuable – and there are ways to make it more affordable.