2020 IFDA Summer Webinar Package
3 EMB CE/6 FD CE
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Illinois Funeral Directors Association
As a leading, independent wealth management firm, we deliver in-depth, personalized, unbiased service in a candid and common-sense manner. Our core service offering is Professional Trust Management. Building from that core, Argent provides an array of related financial services including:
• Wealth Management
• Investment Management
• Oil and Gas (Mineral) Management
• Employee Stock Ownership Plans
• Retirement Plan Administration
• Retirement Plan Consulting
• Funeral and Cemetery Trust Services
• Qualified Intermediary Services
• Governmental Services
• Philanthropic Services
• Timberland Investment Management
The National Funeral Directors Association is the world’s leading, largest and most trusted association to support funeral professionals. We provide our members with critical information, innovative tools, resources and the professional community they need to serve families, run sustainable businesses and become pillars in their communities.
Programs Included in this Bundle
Your Funeral Home has a Website… Is it any Good? What Does it Tell Your Customers about Cremation?
Date Published: July 7, 2020
This program speaks for itself with statistical information on today’s consumer and how they view a company’s website. Does it tell them what they want to know about cremation, or does it just give a few details so the family will choose burial over cremation? This program lets you become your own consumer advocate by looking at your website to determine why a family would choose you over your competitor. It’s an e-commerce world, and funeral homes are no different when it comes to outlining your services.Expand summary
The Four Stages of a Successful Social Media Cycle and How to Implement Them
Date Published: June 30, 2020
A successful social media campaign provides significantly improved branding of your funeral home, which has a direct effect on generating more pre-needs. Improved branding also has some effect on improving revenue per call and growing at-need calls. Understand what social media can and cannot do for your deathcare marketing.Expand summary
Sharing Your Story - Stepping Out of the Shadows
Date Published: July 1, 2020
This program tackles the challenge of how funeral professionals can share their story to dispel myths about funeral directors and the profession while building relationships in the community. Emphasis is on website content and social media content that can achieve these goals.Expand summary
Pressure's On... Let's Take Some Pressure off in the Prep Room
Date Published: July 14, 2020
An in-depth look into the physical sciences related to embalming. This course introduces the embalmer to the concepts of physics, which can be applied within their practice to provide a greater standard of care. From forces in the embalmer’s environment to fluid dynamics and how the embalming machine comes together, qualified embalmers may better understand how to achieve their goals.Expand summary
Plan Ahead: Succession, Estate, and Taxes
Date Published: July 28, 2020
Attendees will learn how to make sure their business is properly organized to work toward developing a business succession plan. Funeral directors will learn proper estate planning techniques, ideas for business succession planning, tax saving tips, and techniques for asset protection.Expand summary
Paper to Cloud - Moving to Technology Based Funeral Home Management
Date Published: July 15, 2020
This course explores the differences and benefits of migrating to a cloud-based funeral home management system from a paper-based filing system. We will examine the challenges that can occur when selecting and making such a transition as well as best practices. The course concludes with a demonstration of a cloud-based tool for reference.Expand summary
Most Common Violations of Embalming Standards of Care and How to Avoid Them
Date Published: July 8, 2020
While the funeral service profession is an ever-changing workplace, there are certain expected practices in embalming, known as “Standards of Care.” Understandably, funeral professionals are expected to follow these prescribed standards. These standards are ones that must be revisited by all levels of funeral service professionals over the course of their careers to ensure that consumers are treated fairly and with respect. Failure to follow standards of care also may lead to a negative reputation for the embalmer, the funeral home, and the funeral profession. It is of the utmost importance that funeral professionals and funeral homes revisit these core principles to ensure that the highest quality of care is provided to families who select and pay for the funeral professional’s services. Failure to follow professional standards of care may lead to costly litigation and failure to meet client expectations.
This one-hour (50 minute) seminar is focused on some of the most commonly violated standards of care related to embalming and funeral service practice across the United States. Suggested protocols, based on approved standards of care, will be offered and explained so that seminar participants can avoid these pitfalls. The following will be discussed during the seminar:
- What is a standard of care?
- Who sets these standards?
- Why following standards of care is so important?
- The cost of failing to uphold approved standards of care.
- Specific standards of care most commonly violated in the funeral profession, especially related to embalming and preparation of the un-embalmed body.
- Review of suggested embalming standards of care related to the previously mentioned violations.
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3 Drivers of Preneed Performance
Date Published: July 22, 2020
Funeral operators searching for ways to increase revenue and cash flow should start with maximizing the potential of their preneed trust business.
The funeral service profession is well-positioned to capitalize on this line of business for two reasons: an aging Baby Boomer generation and the appeal of preneed services to parents who want to take the financial burden off their children. But with increased threats from new and existing competitors and consumers looking at alternatives to traditional funerals, focusing on preneed trust business could be just the tonic to boost top-line growth and profit margins.
While operators understand how preneed trusts work, many are unaware of how a few key factors determine if future services are delivered at a profit or loss. While some factors are out of your control (stock and bond market performance), others are not (investment fees). Here are three key considerations to help you monitor your preneed trust program and improve the financial performance of your business:
1. Have a plan
Managing a trust without a plan is planning to fail. This failure to plan can be less obvious in periods of strong market performance but will be obvious in difficult markets. It all starts with an Investment Policy Statement (IPS). Your IPS should start with the limitations imposed by the state and take your appetite for market risk into account. It will define the levels of exposure in stocks, bonds, and cash that are acceptable. It should then go into more detail about the types of stocks (large, medium, small, or international companies). Similarly, the allocation to bonds should detail the credit quality limits or duration limits that should be in the portfolio. An IPS should be flexible enough to allow your investment manager to make decisions but specific enough that they will not exceed your tolerance of market or credit risk. Keep in mind our tolerance for risk changes over time so your IPS should be reviewed at least annually.
2. Use the data you have
All trusts are unique, given that the age and state of health vary widely among contract holders. The age of contract holders gives you insight into when they may be expected to go at-need and the current value gives you the ability to compare it to the current pricing. Comparing those two together will help you develop the Invest Policy Statement. Longer contract lengths increase the likelihood that the value of the trust will equal or exceed the current price of services. Operators should review contract value and length to maximize pricing and profits. This exercise is also extremely helpful in forecasting your revenue per call.
3. Review Trust Portfolio Performance
The investment performance and fee structure of your trust portfolio are key drivers in the profitability of your preneed program. Operators should only work with respected, top-performing money managers who offer competitive fee structures, which will maximize investment returns and minimize administrative costs.
Your portfolio should be benchmarked to the appropriate index – for example, the S&P 500 for equities or the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index for fixed income securities – for comparative purposes so you can evaluate investment performance and quantify the value your manager brings to the trust. If investments decline or do not keep pace with funeral service operating costs, the value of the trust may not cover the expense of delivering services and merchandise in the future. This will result in an unintended discount to your current pricing model.
Positioning for the Future
Preneed contracts represent between 30 and 50 percent of a funeral operator’s revenue and should be a key profit center for your business. Understanding the important drivers of financial performance for your trust operations will help you mitigate unnecessary risk, improve profits, and position your company for future growth.
No! Not a child! Embalming the Infant or Child Case to Make them as Lifelike as Possible
Date Published: July 29, 2020
When we hear that call come in that there is a child that we will be working with, for many of us our hearts sink. Especially if you have children of your own and you put yourself in the shoes of those parents. None of us wants to deal with a case like this, but what if we could recreate a lifelike viewing of the child for this family? Would this not be the best that we can do in this situation? In this next hour I hope to explore the many options that you have in order to make this lifeless child into a masterpiece that the family will never forget. By applying these tips to your next infant or child case, you will leave knowing that you did everything and more that the family could ask for.Expand summary