Information Sharing. Who Really Owns Your Clients Portal?

A Client Portal.

A client portal is a secure, private website that provides the clients of financial advisors, CPAs and other types of service professionals (could that be you) with a place to view personal financial information and use financial management tools.

A financial advisor, for example, can provide his or her clients with a portal in order to electronically share up-to-the-minute information on the client’s account balances, performance, allocation, and holdings. All the information can be viewed in one place—an added convenience for the client, and an effective way for the advisor to manage an abundance of client data.

The advisor and client can also use the portal to share secure data with other professionals who are serving the client, such as the client’s accountant and attorney. The intent is to streamline communications and enhance collaboration between members of the client’s financial team.

Hold on.

Don’t jump to conclusions just yet. I’m not suggesting that every client you have will give you access to their personal financial information. Maybe some would or would not, and maybe you don’t want that responsibility.

What power could you hold?

What is the best source of client information right now? It’s probably you. Your database. Your CRM (if you even use one) and if that is an Excell spreadsheet, please stop reading right now. You have time warped 30 years into the future and will not understand anything written here.

What if you had a client portal that let you integrate with and pull data from sources within your company and also from outside sources. What would those data sets need to be? The answer is simple. Whatever data that would fit that specific client.

What if this portal allowed you to use that data to define performance. What kind of performance? Portfolio performance. Building performance. Lease performance. How many more can you think of?

What if the portal let you communicate to your clients with regular branded communication (with their permission) for marketing and performance reporting. I do have your attention now do I not?

Yes, this sounds like an advisor portal.

That’s what you are or at least what you think you are. A commercial real estate advisor. You are a commercial real estate advisor without a portal. Your CPA has one. Your Stock Broker has one. The people who manage huge building portfolios have one.

You don’t have one. What kind of an advisor are you if you don’t?

Sharing is caring.

Call your buddy the stockbroker and ask him to see his set up. He will show it to you because he will be proud as hell to let you see how “techy” he is and what his favorite toy actually does.

If you don’t have a stockbroker buddy take a look at this:

Bloomberg IB from Aggressive on Vimeo.

TOO much? Too much information? Are you not an investment banker? You do still think of yourself as an advisor correct?

What if you had a commercial real estate client portal in front of you right now and with the data sets you need and want?

What about your stock broker friend? He has one; it’s based on the stock market. Do you share some of the same clients? How about your CPA?

How would this translate and scale?

Example: 1200 brokers across the US all synced into a company “portal.”

What are the dynamics of that? I have about 100+ ideas myself. How many can you come up with?

Is it information overload? If your answer is yes, it’s time to QUIT commercial real estate.

Data + Location = Commercial Real Estate.

What if someone built a portal just for clients alone?

Got your attention again!

Think E-Trade or Robinhood.  Ask your stockbroker what he thinks of Robinhood. If he doesn’t know what it is reassess your “relationship.”

Your stockbroker buddy plays with all the right tools, and you don’t.

Client portals are the advisory industry’s answer to the electronic revolution in communications. In terms of information exchange, they have significant advantages over transferring files, such as interactivity, and the ability to consolidate ALL account data, automatically update information and push information to clients.

Could you share? Would he share?

Could you share information with your stockbroker buddy?

Ask him. If he says, no ask him why. He probably thinks you will steal his clients.

He probably has a 20-page agreement that says there are 50 different ways this is not a possibility.

Does access to that database of information and client list make you see $$$$$?

There has to be someway you could share information. It’s 2015 after all. Everyone shares your data everywhere.

Your stockbroker does own that precious data.

You don’t need it. You have lived without it this long.

You probably would not use a client portal if you had one in front of you.

Stockbrokers just sell shares of companies. Paper/Electronic shares of stock.

They don’t sell a physical building or something that has a defined tangible value.

They just sell shares based off of a market defined by data and trends.

Hmmm, interesting concept.

Data as a commodity. Where have I heard of that before? #SAYWHAT.

Do you think he would want access to a portal that had commercial real estate information set up like his?

I’m sure he would.

Right now, he has the best information and tools right in front of his face to do the best job for his clients.

Right now, you have NOTHING. NOTHING like what he has.

So could you share some information and help each other out? I say yes.

Information Sharing. Who Really Owns Your Clients Portal?


Comments opinions and points of view are always appreciated.









Duke Long

1 comment

  • Holly fuck! This piece just gave me an epiphany, and I now need a stiff drink and a cigarette…

    I feel like I just left the playground, and then Joe Montana showed up to play catch. Yeah that was a long time ago, but as an industry #CRE is seems to be stuck in a time warp. Somebody needs to call ‘Scotty’ to beam us the fuck up.

    We need practitioners, really true entrepreneurs (guys like me) from within the industry, to partner with those from outside the industry to create truly disruptive technologies to enable us, brokers, to really kill it. These guys, and or gals, need to have wevos the size of Texas to stand up to the shitty MF’ing kidnapers that currently hold the industry data hostage. I know things are changing a little, but damn that one MF’ing company controls the bulk of data flow and or intermediation of product.

    I know there’s a need, I know there’s VC’s out there that will fund it, but where’s the idea? Who has the pizzaz to woo the skirt off the bitch? (sorry ladies). A dozen thoughts dumped themselves on the porch after reading this piece. And now, you know what, I’m ain’t going to be able to fucking sleep. Thank you very much!