Automating Your Practice on the Cheap
Gina, who’s been my logistics support team member for many years, has a daunting job. Not only does she keep the calendars straight for four attorneys, but she also schedules conference rooms, calls clients to remind them of their next-day appointments, prepares new files, inputs new matters into our CRM, and her daily tasks go on and on.
We’re using free and low-cost technology to automate many of her functions, such as Zapier and Lawmatics. We upgraded our CRM to a Microsoft Dynamics model so that it communicates better with the other programs we use. This isn’t replacing Gina, it’s just freeing her up to do the many things that she does best. The more you automate, the easier life is not only for you but for your clients. Moreover, when you use today’s amazing technology, you don’t have to hire more hands as quickly, saving money.
How about keeping track of files? I can look at my Smartphone to see what stage any given file is in, who has it, and what the next step is. We started that with Trello but are now moving that to Lawmatics as well. Keeping track of our work-in-progress is no small task when you have more than 220 estate administration files, 850 clients in our Client Care Program and more than 250 active estate planning files in the process.
Even if you don’t have that volume, it’s important to automate now. It’s easier to put good systems in place before your practice grows to an unmanageable level where files are slipping through the cracks. If that’s happening already, then you have some work to do now!
It’s been my feeling that estate planning firms are behind the curve implementing technology, and those that catch up are more likely to be the winners in today’s highly competitive marketplace. As I said above, most of the technology we use to automate and save time is not expensive.
One of the programs that I’ve really fallen in love with is Loom. Loom enables me to create and send a recording of me reviewing documents. It’s as if I’m on a Teams or Zoom call sharing draft documents, discussing various provisions. This enables the client to watch and listen, and to share it with one of her family members. Sometimes we send my Looms to a client’s accountant and financial advisor. Doing so saves enormous amounts of time at the document review stage.
Did this email give you some great ideas? Imagine all of the others you’ll get over two days at Practice Xcelerator!
To your bigger future,
Craig R. Hersch
Florida Bar Board Certified Wills, Trusts & Estates Attorney
Senior Partner, The Sheppard Law Firm
Founder, The Freedom Practice®
PS – Remember – September 17th at noon ET is a free preview! Put it on your calendar now!