Hi everyone, welcome to the unique write-up on Financial Advisor Office.
When you read this write-up to the end, we assure you will know what a Financial Advisor Office should look like, steps to designing an office, and the trends of Interior design elements used.
In this article, we’ll talk about everything a financial advisor needs to know about designing their office, including:
Let’s kick this off with the steps.
Ever wondered how a financial advisor’s office should look like?
What is the ideal office layout, interior design, or decor?
Well, you are about to find out.
Steps to Designing a Financial Advisor Office Space
There are high chances that the office is the last place a potential client will visit before converting.
And so, it makes sense that the physical office projects the image a financial advisor shows in public.
This would require a financial planner to adopt an interior design that communicates not only the firm’s values but also the clients’ interests.
To achieve such an office environment would require so much more than what a traditional office offers.
Therefore, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to go about a financial advisor’s interior office design.
Step 1: The Financial Advisory Firm’s Identity
It’s impossible to have an office design that resonates with all the clients.
Therefore, instead of striving to please everyone, the first step to come up with design ideas is to understand the values of the financial planning firm.
What is the company’s vision?
The interior design ideas should communicate the company’s ethos.
The office design should reflect the advisory firm’s brand; that is what the firm stands for.
If the firm is trying to communicate that they are a community, a warm, loving space where like-minded people build wealth, then the investors should feel this vibe when in the office space.
Step 2: Identify the Niche Market
With firms trying to differentiate themselves, knowing what resonates with the niche market is paramount for office decor.
The key question here is, which office layout and decor resonate with the target market?
It’s crucial that the reception area, waiting room, offices, and conference room have an overlying theme that the target market finds comfortable.
It will be best if the advisory firm understands their client base so much that they know what interests them and incorporates personalized touches that highlight those interests.
Step 3: Develop an Office Interior Design that Aligns with the Firm’s and the Target Market’s Values
Here is where the two points above synchronize.
In essence, the company’s identity should align with the clients’ interests.
The office environment should communicate the brand identity and resonate with the target market.
This can only happen if the firm knows who they are and what they offer to which types of clients.
The identity that the firm projects in its office space must be consistent across all platforms, both online and offline.
Therefore, the best office interior design has one overlying theme that communicates what the firm stands for and the target market’s values.
Such an office makes the client base feel comfortable and welcomed.
Interior Design Elements for a Financial advisor’s Office
There’s more that goes into financial advisor office decor than what meets the eye.
This is because an advisor’s office plays a crucial role in creating a positive client experience.
Therefore, whether it’s a small office in the suburbs, a home office, or a modern office suite, an advisor must consider several elements to ensure their office environment promotes the client’s financial health.
Here are some of the interior design elements a financial advisor should consider.
Choosing the right color for a financial advisory firm is the single most complex part of office design.
Why is that?
If an advisor is not a color advisor, it’s almost impossible to get the psychology of color right.
The good news?
Almost impossible doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
So, to get us started on color psychology and what might be the ideal color for financial advisors’ offices, let’s look into what the different colors mean and the feelings they trigger.
Red is known to cause anxiety.
It triggers an increase in blood pressure.
People in spaces painted red or orange may experience increased respiration and heartbeat.
As such, it’s not the ideal office decor color for a financial advisor’s office.
Purple symbolizes royalty.
Variations of purple like mulberry, orchid, or mauve can be a unique color for an investment firm.
It has a subtle message that the firm is committed to growing its clients’ wealth.
Gold can be a perfect choice when used with other colors, such as royal purple, cream, or dark blue.
Black is usually associated with all the bad things.
But a touch of black on a light-colored background may be exactly what a financial service firm needs for a touch of elegance.
There’s more to grey than being dull and unattractive.
It can be used as an accent color to tone down the lighter colors in the office space.
Orange is prone to elicit feelings of happiness.
Shades of orange like papaya, pumpkin, apricot, or even peach can be a great choice when used with other colors.
Blue is the most used color in the financial industry.
Perhaps it’s because it’s the color of the sky and beautiful ocean waters.
Or maybe its symbolism to trust, loyalty, intelligence, and sincerity is the reason behind its wide usage.
An investment firm can adopt the different shades of blue to provoke confidence in their clients.
White is the perfect color to break the monotony of dull colors and bring in some light.
Shades of yellow like lemon, mellow, and chiffon elicit feelings of calmness and peace.
So, it’s not a bad option if an advisory firm wants to elicit a cheerful spirit among its employees and clients.
The colors used in interior design are important because different colors elicit different feelings.
As a wealth management firm, it’s in a personal finance advisor’s interest to ensure that the colors chosen make people feel comfortable and happy.
Another crucial factor when choosing the right color scheme is the target market’s age and gender.
An advisory service firm that targets women will probably choose a different color from one that targets men.
Research shows that older women are more comfortable with shades of black, grey, and purple.
Young women, on the other hand, embrace purple and yellow.
With that said, a financial service firm should settle for colors that, first and foremost, the employees are comfortable with.
This is for the simple reason that they are people who spend the most time in the office.
Furthermore, the rule of thumb is to settle for neutral colors when painting the walls.
It’s on rare occasions that one will go wrong with neutral colors.
The next trick is to bring some energy into a financial advisor’s office space by adding color through furniture, wall art, or plants.
Traditional offices mostly leverage natural lighting.
So, if a firm uses natural light, investing in high-quality window blinds can help regulate the amount of light that gets in.
But as more buildings crop up, many financial advisor offices are most likely to need additional lighting.
In this case, full-spectrum lighting is recommended.
The lighting of an office space shapes how clients perceive the office and how they feel in that space.
An open atmosphere with good lighting can transform a dull room into a vibrant space.
People tend to feel more comfortable in a well-lit office.
Such spaces also encourage open communication and promote feelings of happiness.
Another important aspect of lighting is to ensure clients’ seats are away from the window.
This is to minimize direct light and any distractions that might grab their attention.
Design and Furniture
The key when it comes to design and furniture layout is functionality.
The different office spaces have different functions.
Therefore, they should be designed with their functions in mind.
A blend of private meeting rooms, communal space, traditional offices, and casual sitting areas works perfectly.
More than that, there should be a balance between the office furniture and the amenities that enhance clients’ experience.
How furniture is laid out in an office implies different things.
Furniture may imply a physical barrier if it limits a client’s movement.
Therefore, it’s important to layout furniture in a way that promotes free movement.
It’s equally important to consider buffer zones in the office furniture arrangements.
Ideally, people start feeling uncomfortable when the interaction distance is somewhere between 48-60 inches.
But more than this general standard, interaction distance that makes people uncomfortable depends on gender and culture.
For instance, men are comfortable interacting at a longer distance, while women prefer smaller buffer zones.
Interaction between opposite sex will most likely be comfortable with a longer interaction distance.
When it comes to culture, clients from France or South America may prefer a shorter interaction distance than clients from Arab countries.
With an understanding of the target market, a financial advisor can better arrange the clients’ meeting areas with buffer zones in mind.
With that said, here are a few pointers to help with the office furniture layout.
- More than enhancing the office design, the furniture arrangement must meet the clients’ needs.
- Easy-to-move chairs and tables can be a great option in rooms where writing and sharing information is necessary.
- An advisory firm should consider having seating alternatives such that a client can choose where they are comfortable.
- It’s standard practice to keep the office and, specifically, the client meeting room clean at all times.
Ultimately, the goal is to ensure the office layout mimics the clients’ ideal natural space.
Office interior design is not complete until outside noise can’t interfere with the operations within the office.
Often, external noise can distract a financial planning session with a client.
There are high chances that clients will hold back their concerns if they can hear sounds from outside for the fear that the people outside can hear the conversation.
Moreover, external noise distracts the financial planner from their work.
It reduces productivity and makes the office environment a little less professional.
Therefore, to make a modern office more comfortable, an advisory service firm can invest in sound masking devices.
These devices mask the external noise by producing soft music, swirling wind, or wave sounds, making the office space more relaxing.
An office environment with a pleasant smell is inviting.
On the contrary, a space with a bad odor is unbearable.
No single client can comfortably sit in an office with a bad smell.
Smells from furniture, paint, cleaning products, and even cigarettes trigger migraines and mood swings.
Additionally, strong perfumes and colognes trigger allergic reactions and can be a source of discomfort.
As such, it’s important that meeting rooms and the reception area smell good.
A financial advisor can enhance the smell of their office by using room deodorizers with a cool smell, like the smell of fruits which most people don’t mind.
Whether it’s a home office, a small office, or an office in the city center, an advisor can never go wrong with accessories.
Accessories inject personality into the office decor.
It’s a sure way to connect with the clients and make them feel comfortable and confident in the advisor’s competency, depending on what’s displayed.
The accessories advisors display as part of the interior decor should first appeal to the advisory team themselves.
It’s key that since financial advisors are the people who stay in the office most of the time, the accessories are to their taste.
When the office environment is warm, advisors are most likely to be happy.
They’ll, in turn, exhibit a positive attitude, which will reflect in their behavior and how they treat clients.
At the same time, accessories should reflect the firm’s identity and resonate with the target market interest.
Besides that, having accessories calls for some maintenance work, including dusting them in the case of artworks or watering if they are plants.
Live plants have been scientifically proven to be soothing to human beings.
Green plants, in particular, have been shown to promote mood and make people relaxed.
Having a snake plant that doesn’t require much maintenance in the waiting room might be what a firm needs to make clients feel at ease and, of course, add some life to an otherwise dreary space.
Another accessory that can enhance the interior design is artwork, especially those that represent nature.
Finally, there’s no better way to win over potential clients than by displaying credentials on the wall.
A certified financial planner (CFP), for example, can display their certification where a client can see to communicate that they are competent enough to help the client meet their financial goals.
A typical traditional office has a boring clinical feel to it, which is not inviting at all.
Adding texture when doing the office decor adds some edge to a new office.
It makes a financial advisor’s office more receptive.
The right texture involves using soft materials on the walls, floors, and furniture to create a more inviting office.
Again, a financial advisor should settle for materials that absorb sound from the outside environment.
The weather outside might be hot or cold, but clients will always expect a comfortable office environment.
This calls for the financial advisor to ensure the temperatures inside are not too hot or too cold.
During summer, the recommended indoor temperature is 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
In Winter, 68 degrees Fahrenheit works best since there’s a need to conserve energy.
Beyond the temperature in the office, it’s important to ensure clients’ seats are in a comfortable place.
Having a client seat close to the door, the window or the air vent is generally not ideal.
Emerging Trends in Financial Advisor’s Office Design
With the limited movement during the pandemic and the subsequent lifting of movement restrictions, financial advisory offices have adopted new trends to make a meeting with clients more convenient and comfortable.
Here are three of such trends:
The clients’ rooms are increasingly becoming comfortable meet-up areas with casual, more intimate setup.
More financial practices are ensuring that these rooms are technologically enabled, such that clients can access meeting agendas on a tablet, a projection on the wall, or a large screen driven by the advisor.
This enhances communication during an advisor-client meeting as opposed to the back and forth of sharing documents.
Here, a client can see and follow up in real-time on what the advisor is talking about.
Moreover, financial service firms are incorporating snacks as part of their customer service offerings.
Depending on the client base, the snacks may include alcoholic beverages, coffee, fruits, pastries, etc.
Smaller, Intimate Offices
Rather than the big offices where financial advisors were expected to report to work, the industry is resorting to smaller, more intimate offices.
Though advisors were working from home during the pandemic, they managed to create more intimate relationships with their clients.
Given the distress of the time, they were providing more than financial advice.
Many client relationships established at this time proved more meaningful because of the deep conversations.
As such, more and more advisors realized the need to create office spaces that promote intimate conversations.
It has become clear that more than a place to conduct business, a financial advisor’s office should also be a sanctuary where clients have a positive experience.
Hence, the need to move to new offices or redesign old ones to serve the client’s need better.
Moreover, some advisory firms are considering moving closer to the client base for convenience.
Furthermore, since advisors resorted to working virtually, not all advisors are planning to work full time in the office, especially because the work from home system worked just fine.
Some may choose to report to the office when need be.
Therefore, smaller offices are becoming the best option.
Video conferencing has taken over one-on-one meetings.
It’s convenient and saves time.
Consequently, virtual rooms are becoming popular to allow virtual meetings to run smoothly.
Little by little, financial firms are investing in microphones, cameras, light rings, adjustable height desks, and backdrops to enable these meetings to take place without a hitch.
These video conferencing equipment are proving more convenient when set up in a dedicated video conferencing room.
This way, employees can easily access them and conduct meetings whenever need be rather than setting everything up in their personal offices when there’s a need for a virtual meeting.
There’s a lot that goes into designing a functional financial advisor’s office.
More than picking the right color scheme, the furniture, lighting, texture, and even artwork must be on point.
Additionally, integrating technology into the office design is proving important in enabling effective communication with clients.
Overall, the best office design communicates the firm’s ethos while simultaneously connecting to the clients’ interests.