Based in Penryn, California west of the lofty Sierra range, Karsten Dornseif makes up half of the two-man fee-only RIA shop of Bowers Wealth Management, Inc.
While the firm’s office is based over the mountains and state line in Reno, Nevada, Mr. Dornseif finds himself working virtually much of the time from his California home office amidst five and a half idyllic rural acres.
In working online he takes full advantage of the cloud-based version of Junxure® CRM—the only version of the venerable brand he has known.
“I use it for everything that isn’t a number,” he said, noting that it was an indispensable repository for all the firm’s client data.
His favorite feature, however, is one that too many firms fail to take full advantage of – workflows.
“Workflows allow me to create templates for handling different tasks. These templates ensure that nothing is forgotten or overlooked. They also ensure the task is handled in the same way upon each occurrence. This is especially helpful when it comes to handling complex tasks that do not occur all that frequently. For example, when a client passes away.” he explained.
“I have workflows for all the common – yet uncommon events. By that, I mean events that will likely happen for most clients but not on a regular and ongoing basis” he said referring to events that would include when clients have children, or when spouses pass away. These and other events, which might not happen at the firm for months or even a year or two, still require a specific multi-step process of actions.
“It is all too easy to forget something over time,” but once a workflow is set up he said there is no such fear and less opportunity for errors. He likened it to assembling a watch, where a single missed part can prevent the whole assemblage from working properly.
“I really like being able to set up choice trees. When a workflow is created it lists all potential sub-actions or sub-workflows. This helps to ensure that no option is overlooked, or action step missed. For example, click on ‘Grandchild Born,’” and a list of potential actions including setting up a trust or 529 is presented.
“I am able to quickly say to myself ‘if you go through door number one do this, door number two to do that,’” he described, laughing; and further noted that since nothing is perfect, he saves them as a template he can always go back and edit when needed.
Another major added benefit of setting up such workflows is for those times when he or his colleague wants to bring in some administrative help. Workflows really save time on training he explained.
“I’m actually training them without having to train them. Rather than coming to me with questions, they go to the workflows. The workflows never leave anything out. I on the other hand might only remember 8 or 9 of the 10 steps, especially if I am asked the question while I am in the middle of doing a different task myself,” he said laughing at himself.
“I think it would be especially helpful if you were bringing in an intern or someone part-time,” he suggested, relating that prior to using Junxure he had spent 18 months training someone.
“It took a depressingly long time, only to have them leave,” he said noting that the person departed for a similar role at a much larger firm.
“It was really a waste of my time,” he said with an understandably bitter tone, adding that it worked out fine for the other firm.
Outside of workflows what has been most helpful in Junxure according to Dornseif has been recurring actions.
"You put a note in there and it reminds you at certain intervals.”
“And those intervals can be customized for each individual client or a segment of clients. Some clients may want to hear from you based on different market events, different life stages, or just different increments such as quarterly vs annually,” he said.
It really came down to a realization he made during the demos: that quite obviously Junxure had been created by advisors for advisors. This ultimately swayed Dornseif when he was deciding between multiple CRM providers.
“When you go through the demos, what I saw with Salesforce, it is this box of liquid plastic, you can do anything with it but it takes a heck of a lot of time to do anything with it.”
Another aspect of AdvisorEngine and Junxure that Dornseif said he appreciates is the support staff, which he said represents “a perfect marriage of personality and professionalism.”
“I rarely get someone on the phone that doesn’t greet me like a colleague, or a friend would. It is not like calling AT&T. You are getting someone on the phone that is very personable.”
“On the professionalism side, most of the time they know how to handle the issue straight away. If they don’t know the answer off-hand they seek it out and get back to you rather than deferring you to another department or sending you down a rabbit hole.”
Downtime for Dornseif equates to family time. He loves to live vicariously through his children, who are aged six, three and one year old respectively (though that is not counting the 60 mallards, 14 geese, and the multitude of other animals on the family property).
“Whatever my kids do, I enjoy doing with them,” he said, currently enjoying fishing and archery outside and LEGOs inside."
“My son has enough Star Wars LEGO sets to reenact the movies!”
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