October 20, 2021

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Travel Experts Advises on Choosing a Host Agency

2 min read

In light of an increasing number of travel advisors looking to partner with host agencies, Travel Experts is sharing advice on how to choose the best partner.

“Selecting a Host Agency or consortium to join is an important decision not to be taken lightly,” said Susan Ferrell, Founder and President of Travel Experts, now celebrating 37 years in business.

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Ferrell noted that now is an especially challenging time due to the pandemic and a good partnership can affect success and help advisors thrive.

“It has been said that the company that an independent travel advisor keeps makes all the difference in their ability to survive and be successful, especially now as the travel industry continues to face challenges as a result of the continuing pandemic,” said Ferrell.

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While one main reason to join a host agency is to reduce overhead as well as to take advantage of opportunities to maximize revenue potential, effective marketing, technology solutions and support staff, there are other things that travel advisors should consider.

“Advisors should also look for contract flexibility as another way to minimize costs,” advised Ferrell.

Ferrell points out that travel advisors should look into the terms of their contracts, fees, costs and more before entering into a partnership.

“With Travel Experts there are no start-up fees to join, and advisors pay only a flat monthly fee to be a member with no long-term contract required,” said Ferrell.

She also noted: “It’s vital to compare the levels of commissions in order to maximize revenue potential. Not all plans are alike and advisors need to compare.”

Ferrell said that one of the most important aspects of a host agency is its support network and staff.

Ferrell advised those looking for a host agency to consider the following:

—A dedicated support staff who makes advisors feel like an individual but will also address problems, especially during challenging times

—Staff that offer professional development, along with guidance on important issues, such as how to promote an advisor’s business, leverage social media effectively, charge fees and other related matters

—Staff that provide access to a comprehensive collection of resources, ideally encompassing the full scope of the business – accounting, administration, human resources, legal issues, meetings, IT infrastructure, operations, sales and travel management

“Many host agencies are a hybrid of staff employees with independent contractors added as an afterthought,” Ferrell said, adding: “It’s to the independent advisor’s benefit to aligning themselves with a host agency that only handles them and does not try to balance resources and sales between their own employees and their independent contractors.”

Ferrell also noted that with Travel Experts, advisors have access to Virtuoso, including personalized marketing materials and said that services such as these should also be considered.

“Make sure the Host Agency provides support for marketing campaigns and strategy implementation,” she said.

Technology is another consideration, noting that with good technology travel advisors can focus more of their time on selling travel.

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