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SMSF advisers reliant on referrals

Advisers who specialise in SMSFs are using an increasingly wide variety of techniques to acquire new clients, but most are still relying on client referrals, a new report has found.

On Monday, the SMSF Professionals' Association of Australia (SPAA) and Macquarie released the 2014 SMSF Service Model Report, which surveyed 292 SMSF specialist businesses, finding a range of new trends in adviser business growth.

SPAA chief executive Andrea Slattery said many advisers are turning to technology to grow their client base, but many still hold onto traditional methods for client acquisition.

“Technology continues to have an impact on the industry and the nature of client relationships, with social media used by half of SMSF administrators for client acquisition,” said Ms Slattery.

“However, traditional methods, such as networking and referrals, remain the most cost-effective approach for growth,” she said.

Ms Slattery explained that if advisers can deliver exceptional service to existing clients, those clients are more likely to refer new business.

“Word of mouth is used by the overwhelming majority of businesses and the origins of each business plays a role in shaping its approach to marketing, with 82 per cent of financial planners using referrals from existing clients to find new business,” Ms Slattery said.

The report also found that 68 per cent of SMSF businesses achieved revenue growth over the past 12 months.

“Over the next 12 months, firms are looking to integrate new service offerings, with estate planning seen as an obvious value-add area for ageing SMSF clients,” Ms Slattery said.