Securities America Advisors Now Able to Text Clients
Securities America, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. (NYSE American: LTS, LTSL, LTS PrA, LTSF, LTSK), has launched a new texting option for its financial advisors and securities licensed office staff.
“Texting is becoming the public’s communication channel of choice,” said Gregory J. Smith, Securities America’s senior vice president of supervision. “We’re excited our advisors can now text their client for quick, casual communication, rather than go through the lengthy process of email or phoning. Texting will help keep the advisors top of mind with their clients.”
Securities America’s texting capability, which advisors began using this month, is the result of nearly two years of planning and testing.
“We’ve known for some time that texting would become an important channel of client communication for our advisors,” said Smith. “We concluded our internal research in October 2017. We then had a group of our advisors test the program, which they finished in December. The response was overwhelmingly positive.”
Dan Grote, a partner at Latitude Financial Group in Denver, Colorado, took part in the testing phase of the texting program.
Today’s savvy clients expect their financial advisor to use all possible forms of technology, he said, including digital capabilities.
“But most investors don’t understand the regulations that advisors work with,” Grote said. “They expect to be able to communicate with us the same way they do with their spouse, friend and other professionals.”
Under FINRA regulatory guidance on texting released in April 2017, text messages must be retained as if they were written or email communications. With Securities America’s texting option, advisors download an app, CellTrust’s SL2™, to their mobile device. The texts are captured with the app and stored in Securities America’s archiving platform in a manner compliant with FINRA guidance.
Today’s clients also expect complete accessibility to their advisors, especially the next generation clients, said Grote.
“If you’re an advisor trying to work with millennials, Gen Y or X, you’ll find a strong preference for text communications. Even baby boomers prefer to send a short, one-line text regarding trivial matters,” he said. “’Running late’ or ‘great article you posted today. I’d like to chat about it.’”
Securities America’s texting capabilities will provide an easier way to communicate and save advisors and clients valuable time. Research has shown response rates are higher and response times are lower with text messages, compared to email, Smith said.
“We’re committed to providing our advisors with the technology they need to build deep and lasting relationships with their clients. We knew they would need to put texting into their toolbox,” he said. “Today, they have it.”