A recent survey of home based travel agents produced great insight into why there is such rapid growth in the independent contractor sector. Here is Amanda Rauh of Travel By Amanda, hosted by The Travel Agent Next Door with her response to the survey results.
Over 50 per cent became home based in last five years
After the birth of my last child I didn't want to go back to an office full time. He just turned five!
Over 60 per cent were experienced agents before going home-based
I started as an agent in 1999, 3 days out of travel school. I have worked in a variety of positions from agent to manager. While I love the offices that I have worked in, the choice to go home based was based on my own desire to excel in the Travel Industry and balance my family life and make more money! Work smarter not harder.
92 per cent said they have a better work life balance since becoming a hosted agent
My work/life balance has been better since becoming a home based agent as I set my hours and boundaries with my clients. I am upfront with my clients that I work from home and that I am available to them outside of normal office hours - which actually works better for my family and usually theirs!
Almost 50 per cent said they were earning more now than before
Yes this is completely true. My sales alone in the first quarter of this year (2017) are almost exceeding the entire 2016 year. I attribute this to more people wanting to book with local businesses rather than lining the pockets of the big OTAs. It's also the personal touches and service that I provide that brings happy clients who then in turn refer their friends & family. I am not stuck with trying to conform to a big corporate policy - I can make my own bag tags etc. with my own logo!
89 per cent of home based agents are happier
Being able to have the flexibility of being home based the support of a big company and getting paid well are things that make me happy. If I need to make a doctor’s appointment or anything along those lines it's easier to work into a schedule that I set rather than Monday to Friday office hours.
What advice would you give to agents still working in an office about going home based?
My advice would be that if you are truly self- motivated, and dedicated to this industry then take the leap and go for it. If you have been in the industry a long time, you know it's full of fabulous suppliers, sales reps and more - being home based doesn't take any of that away! It just empowers you to work smarter!