Sponsored Feature

The 11 Dos and Don’ts of Running an Investment Migration Firm

Kemal Nicholson of Cinvest Migration
IMI Official Partner

Investment migration is somewhat of a young industry. It continues to grow and evolve, and more people are getting into the business.

However, those experienced enough can tell you that it is a tough nut to crack and, to truly succeed as an investment migration professional, you need to gain experience quickly and build upon that of investment migration veterans.

I’ve been in the business for quite some time, and I want to share, based on my experience, the do’s and don’ts of investment migration.

The Dos 

1. Do approach every client as a consultant rather than as a salesperson. 

By listening to and assessing each client’s situation, you can provide them with the best solution that fits their needs. This creates a stronger bond with the client and ensures they will come back or refer their family or friends to you in the future.

2. Do employ a mixture of lead-generation techniques. 

Don’t settle for one lead generation channel; instead, utilize partners, social media platforms, word of mouth, mainstream media outlets, and more to ensure you have a steady stream of leads coming in. This method is critical for smaller firms, as it allows them to determine, through A/B testing, which lead generation channel works best for them and provides the best revenue for the lowest cost, which is critical in the start-up phase. 

3. Do capitalize on growing market awareness when expanding. 

Missing out on being the first entrant into an emerging outbound market isn’t always a bad thing. Public awareness of investment migration programs and practices is relatively low, so the new market entrant will face an uphill battle trying to raise awareness.

You can then piggyback on the heightened knowledge level of the market if you enter during the growth phase and utilize your marketing budget in a more profitable way. Don’t keep it too late, though; you need to time it perfectly to ensure you can get your slice of the market share.

4. Do utilize digital solutions

CRMs, book-keeping software, project management software, and even ERPs and SAP have a place in investment migration, yet they aren’t fully utilized.

Since the industry is quite new, there is very little or no dedicated software that serves investment migration consultancies to the tee, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook what is already there. Using the right solution can help you save time and money and aid in rapid expansion. 

AI can also be utilized in a multitude of ways to enhance the performance of any investment migration consultancy, and if you need a bit of tech to take your company to the next level but it isn’t available yet, maybe it is worth it to open your wallet and spend on building it. 

5. Do innovate new approaches to existing offerings

Investment migration “offerings” are peculiar. You do not really have the flexibility to shape your product based on your clientele’s needs because it is dictated by the laws of the government offering citizenship or residency.

However, your service procedure, client approach, and auxiliary services are much more flexible, and you can structure them in any way you see fit.

That includes creating packages, new payment breakdowns, additional services, or an overall company-wide approach. Don’t be afraid to innovate because, in a highly competitive field, a new service or practice may just put you ahead of the herd.

The Don’ts

1. Don’t overly rely on third-party service providers

Investment migration is a sensitive subject. There is a lot of personal information and money involved, so keeping an application as secure as possible is essential for your brand.

Over-reliance on third-party service providers may loosen your grip on applications, especially when the volume begins to increase. Try to keep as many steps of the procedure in-house before shifting the application out to your service provider. 

Also, try to keep admin processes under your roof. It may be cheaper or easier to use a marketing company or an IT service provider, but it will hinder your growth, and you’ll be doing what everyone else is doing, and that isn’t where you want to be. Speaking of…

2. Don’t copy everyone else

One of my major pet peeves is seeing investment migration ads on social media. No matter the company, the ads are almost always identical. 

Copy-pasting has become a standard practice in the industry, especially when it comes to advertising. Imagine you are an investor looking for a service provider, and you see the same video on four or five company profiles; how will you choose which one to go to?

Copying the “tried and tested method” that the rest of your competitors are using may be a safe bet to put you in the running, but it will never set you apart. 

This also goes for which programs you offer; if everyone is offering the same thing, then the differences will come in the shape of the service, aesthetics, or worse of all, the fees, and that always leads to a pyrrhic price war. 

3. Don’t offer all programs

Doing something different doesn’t mean you should offer every single investment migration program the world has to offer, especially if you have a smaller firm.

First of all, this will increase your reliance on third-party service providers. Secondly, it will distract your employees and make training and processing harder.

Thirdly, it is distracting to clients, who are prone to suffer from analysis paralysis. And it doesn’t give confidence as much as firms think it does. Imagine walking into a restaurant and seeing they have sushi, pizza, doner, and haggis on their menu; you instantly know they aren’t specialists and that your stomach is in for a rough night.

If you prefer citizenship by investment programs over golden visas, make them your core with a couple of satellite golden visas to supplement them. If you have expertise in North American programs, make that the cornerstone of your brand, and maybe forget about the MM2H. Greater focus leads to better processing and a unique brand.

4. Don’t treat all markets the same

An Egyptian investor won’t have the same needs as an Iranian one. Moving money out of Lebanon and China is difficult, but each one has its own obstacles.

If you treat every market you enter the same way you did your first one; then you’ll be missing out on a lot of clients because you did not cater to their needs or to the market’s reality.

Study each market carefully and set out an intricate plan on how to enter and practice within that market. Consumer behavior analysis often goes overlooked in investment migration; don’t fall for that same mistake.

5. Don’t cheapen your service or product

This one doesn’t need a lot of explanation. Rolls Royce doesn’t hold sales or discounts, so you shouldn’t either if you truly believe you are offering a top-tier service.

Cheapening your service will cheapen your brand, and then you are bound by a smaller budget that will ensure you have to cut corners in the future, and that will damage your overall service level, which, again, damages your brand. Then, it all spirals downward. 

6. Don’t hire low-wage staff and assume you can “train anyone”

You don’t have to be a Harvard-educated lawyer (or any lawyer) to practice investment migration. Yes, some positions do require certain degrees or certifications, but overall, anyone can get into the business.

But that doesn’t mean you should skim the talent pool for the cheapest labor available and assume you can teach investment migration to anyone. 

Each salesperson or operations executive you have mirrors your company, and you want the best to present your brand to clients.

Investment migration isn’t rocket science, true, but it is intricate, sensitive, and expansive. Anyone can understand the jist of it, but few can embrace its essence, and it is the latter who can take your company to the next level.

Learn more about Cinvest Migration’s work on our website.