A recent survey of home based travel agents produced some surprising results. We decided to speak with individual agents to find out how their personal experiences compared with the results of the survey.
Here is Rosanne Sewerynek of The Travel Agent Next Door’s response to a selection of the survey results.
Over 50 per cent became home based in last 5 years
Yes this is true. I became a full time home based travel agent just over three years ago.
Over 60 per cent were experienced agents before going home based
I was with a store front agency for five years. There were multiple reasons why I decided to go to a home based agency and I'd like to say one of the main reasons I made the change was all about coming to a company that was truly focused on 'my' success. I was looking for support - higher commissions - a company that has a good relationship with multiple suppliers - and highly qualified top end management team.
92 per cent said they have a better work life balance since becoming a hosted agent
Absolutely, life's balance is so much better now that I work from home. My husband is now semi- retired, and if my schedule allows me to we go play a game of golf or walk to the lake because we can - in the middle the day! My children have their young families now and I am thrilled that in the middle of the week I can visit them for a few days and I don't even have to think about leaving the office - it comes with me! All I need is the internet and my phone, how cool is that, I don't have to wait for the weekends only visit.
Almost 50 per cent said they were earning more now than before
I am earning quite a bit more on each booking - simply because of the commission program the company I am with offers. I do not necessarily sell more - but I sell differently. My clients stayed with me when I moved and I have focused on having them refer my services more - allowing for clientele growth. As well I became more active in my community hence putting my face to a name - building relationships - and it works. Be involved in your community, it helps greatly. The commission I earn on a booking now is more than double from the past store front agency I was with. I focus on working with our preferred and approved suppliers - commissions are higher and support is unquestionably the best.
89 per cent of home based agents are happier
I am extremely happy. When I was at a store front I had zero relationships with our BDMs - we were not allowed to. Now I have wonderful working relationships with many BDMs and this in turn helps my business in a way that never was before. Imagine that! I am a home based agent and now have better relationships with our suppliers! I choose this profession as something I can do as I lead into my retirement and certainly a profession that keeps my mind alert and well exercised daily, this is important to me. However, more important to me is time spent with my family and it is never compromised now that I work from home.