4 Technology Solutions for the Aspiring Virtual Advisor

Last week Bridge featured Kate Holmes, a NextGen advisor who runs her RIA completely virtually. This week, we're highlighting a few tech solutions that can help any advisor transition into the virtual meeting realm. Whether you’re looking for a free software download, or are interested in investing in a premium solution, we have the scoop on the industry leaders in virtual meeting.

No-Cost Solutions

Skype: Skype is a free software which anyone can download and use from a computer or mobile phone. Skype allows you to video-chat with other Skype users (this means that your clients/prospects will need Skype installed on their computer/phone in order to chat with you). Luckily, Skype has over 300 million users. Skype has many useful features embedded right into the video chat, including file sharing and text-chat. Skype’s interface is easy to use, making it ideal for working with clients of all ages.

Facetime: Facetime is a video-chatting application created by Apple for use on Macs and iPhones. Facetime doesn’t require any downloads or additional software, anyone with an iPhone or Mac has free access to the application (which comes pre-installed on the devices). One thing to keep in mind is that Facetime only allows for one-on-one video-calls, so if you’re interested in doing conference video-chats, you’ll need another tech solution, such as Skype. Facetime is very easy to use, simply look up a contact’s name in your phone/computer, and click “Facetime” to start a video-chat.

Zoho Meeting: Zoho is a video conferencing tool which includes text chat and screen sharing features. Zoho is completely web-based, so neither you nor your client needs to download anything to join a Zoho meeting. Zoho also offers the option to add a Zoho widget to your website, so clients can join your meeting directly from your website. Zoho offers a free version, but this only includes one-on-one meetings. If you’re interested in doing meeting with multiple attendees, you can pay a reasonable fee of $12/month for up to five users per meeting.

Low-Cost Solutions

GoToMeeting: GoToMeeting is a high quality video conferencing and screen-sharing solution. GoToMeeting allows for high definition video calls with up to six users. Additionally, GoToMeeting includes a screen sharing feature which allows you to show clients presentations, forms, projections, or any anything else you pull up on your computer screen. A GoToMeeting is easy to set up with clients: simply email them a link to your call and they can click to enter the conversation, no software download required. GoToMeeting is the leader in premium video-conferencing because of its intuitive interface and easy set-up. Pricing plans start at $24/month.