One last thing about host agencies, look at their preferred suppliers. Are these brands that you feel comfortable selling? Would the majority of your prospective clients be serviced by these suppliers?
With smaller agencies, the main benefits are their size. You aren’t just a number, you are a person. Each agency will offer some training, it will vary greatly between agencies. A minimum will include training on the major preferred suppliers the agency chooses to partner with, as well as back office services including a way to report your sales. Most, if not all will include a CRM, some training and you have the opportunity to use their industry credentials. For this, most will charge a fee- either monthly or annually.
However, some may offer it for free...at a cost! Various agencies have a different commission split. Some are based on the fee you pay; some are based on your sales with preferred suppliers. Your split may not be the same as other agents simply because of the variations of the contract you signed. Basically your split is better if you have higher sales or pay a higher fee. It is possible to get a 100% split at a much higher fee; as it is also possible to get no fees at a much lower split.
ow does this work, And what difference does it make to me? Which is better? A higher split or lower fees? Let’s take a look at that in a bit of detail. I warn you, these numbers are just for example. I like simple math, so these are not actual commissions or fees!
Let’s say your book a cruise where the total commission is $100. You are on a 60/40 split (meaning you keep 60% and the agency/host keeps 40%). You have no monthly fee. If that is all you sold for that month you get $60.
Now, let’s say you have a 90/10 split and pay $30 monthly for fees. On that same cruise, you would keep $90, and pay out $30 of that in fees. If that is all you sold you would come out the same.
So, now let’s say you booked two cruises with each being a $100 commission. With the first scenario you would net $120. With the second, you would net $150. And, let’s not forget that in the months you don’t have any sales you still pay the $30 monthly fee.
The subject of fees and splits is not as cut and dry as it appears at first. This is one of those places where you need to take a long look at what you expect to accomplish in your sales. Do your research! And Don’t Forget - - you are paid AFTER the client returns home. A monthly fee is paid by you. It is a cost of doing business. You may have sold five vacations this month, but none have traveled. So zero commission coming in and get expensive with a fee.
Which brings up an important question - How often do I get paid?
The short answer is after my client travels. The long answer is- most suppliers, hosts, and agencies pay commission after travel. (some, like various cruise lines, pay commission after final payment. However some agencies and hosts hold the commission until after travel) This can be anywhere from one week to six months after travel. Once your host or agency is paid, they pay you based on your contract. Some are weekly, twice a month, or once a month. This is known as ‘long tail’. You can book travel a year in advance and not see the commission for maybe six months after travel.
This is the major downside to being a Travel Agent. There is no quick money! Cash flow can often be an issue.
What kind of questions will I be asked if I apply?
Mainly you will be asked about your travel experience. After all you will be selling and planning travel! If you will be with a host or agency that primarily sell Disney, then your travel to Disney Destinations will be important. You may be asked about your computer skills. Since 99.9% of your work is on the computer, having a working knowledge of basic computer skills is important. The other 0.1% is phone calls, primarily on hold! You may be asked where you will physically work. You will need a private quiet place as well as a phone dedicated to work.
You may be asked questions about your experience in Customer Service. Being able to ‘deliver the goods’ is the most important part of your job.
Will clients be supplied to me?
Maybe. Some hosts give leads to agents, but they usually charge for them. And they may remain agency clients and not yours. Meaning when they come back for a second trip, they may not go to you. Most agencies and hosts do not supply leads, so you will need a supply of family and friends to book travel for.
Some agencies have marketing in place that you can take advantage of; while some agencies and hosts have email marketing that you can take advantage of. Again, this can vary.
What does Morris Travel offer?
We are a small family run agency that specializes in Family travel. Cruises, Theme Parks, and All Inclusives in the Caribbean. With a nod to those family members that have special needs.
We offer a CRM, website, and offer some self guided training and some one-on-one training. We provide G Suites for our email, word processing and office needs. We do not supply leads.
Based on your experience, (both travel related and sales related) we may offer monthly fees or annual fees, with splits between 60/40 and 90/10. Because we are small, we are always a phone call away for personal help when you encounter a problem or question.
While we know not everyone is a fit for our agency, we look forward to getting to know you.
So, there is a brief overview of becoming a Travel Agent. Did I answer all your questions? Of course not! Did I pique your interest? I hope so!
If you think you have what it takes to be a great Travel Professional, I urge you to contact us. Our website has a preliminary application here, fill it out and let's see if we are a match!
Most of the content is written by people at JMorris Travel. Every once in a while we will have a guest blogger, usually it is part of our 'family'.Always with a nod to Family Travel!