Keith Souza is part of Souza Financial Group cleared by LPL Financial in Danville, Illinois.
I know this market pretty well. I’ve lived in this town my entire life so I know the people well and I know what they’re looking for. I like to be comfortable and have my clients comfortable around me so I normally wear jeans to work. I haven’t worn a suit and tie to work since I started my business 8 years ago. I limit the number of clients I have so I can properly service the ones I have. My approach is more personal. I’m in this town and I see these people at the grocery store, I play golf with them, and I go to their retirement parties. It’s really a scenario where I am, for the most part, their friend. I have my personal things around my office like photos of my family, my dog, and Blackhawks stuff because I’m a big Hawks fan. It’s pretty causal because that’s me. Early on before they are even a client, we sit down and figure out their goals and after getting to know me they can decide if my approach works for them or not. I’d rather leave them with a more focussed idea of who they want to be working with or refer them to other people I feel would be a better fit.
The people. My clients are my friends and having clients that I like is the biggest thing that I love about my job. I love what I do. I never wake up and feel like I don’t want to get up and go to work. I feel great and I love my job. I feel lucky everyday that I’m alive.
The amount you need to retire all has to do with how you want to live. If you’re a home body and you want to spend your time around the house or gardening, you don’t need to save as much as someone who wants to go on a lot of trips when they’re retired. For most people there isn’t a set number. The way I calculate it is to start back with a budget. You hear on a lot of ads “retire with the same amount of income you had when you were working.” The reality is, some people spend a lot more because they travel and some people spend a lot less because they don’t have to pay for gas, or car repairs from driving to and from work. I sit down with my clients and figure out what they want their retirement to be like in order to help them prepare.
The biggest thing I use Daylite for is the calendar. It’s just myself and my assistant that use Daylite, but everything runs though Daylite. The other big thing we use Daylite for is the contact history. With Daylite I can document every email, note, and meeting related to a client. I can attach my notes as a document to the contact after meeting with them so everything is connected. If our home office asks for documentation from a client, it’s easy for me to type in the name and see all the contact I’ve had with them. We also use keywords a lot. When a client buys a certain investment we add that investment plan as a keyword. We can then create a Smart List by filtering contacts with that keyword. This way if there is a change in one of our annuity vendors, we have a list of everyone that we need to email and can merge an email letter or make a call. I also use letter templates in Daylite to email clients a follow up and touch on the points we discussed in a meeting. I use the template to pull the contact and date details, and then personalize it by adding in other details.
I’ve been a Mac person for a long time and have been using Daylite since Daylite 3. When I started working on my own about 8 years ago, I wanted to find something powerful. I tried using SalesForce for 6 months but found it was too powerful for my needs. By that point I was fully integrated on my Mac and was looking for a solution that was specific to the Mac. That’s when I found Daylite. The biggest benefit was the ease of use. The ability to easily create an appointment on my iPhone and have it show up on my Mac is really great. If I’m at the chiropractor and need to make an appointment, I can create one from my iPhone and it syncs with my Mac.**