FAQs

Choosing a host agency to support your business is the most important decision you will make after deciding to become a independent travel advisor. Because your business success will depend not only on your commitment to innovative marketing and sound business practices, but also on the power and reputation of your host company, you have a lot to consider when choosing a luxury travel host agency. Read some of our FAQs to get a deeper understanding of our hosting program.

Brownell generally accepts about 3% of the applicants to our hosting program. We are seeking successful travel professionals who understand that our program is focused solely on your business success – versus other host agencies for travel agents who promise full support and a 100% commission rebate, but almost never deliver on that promise.

Here are some of the most asked questions about our program:

Q. How do I get started?
A.The first step is to fill out the Hosting Program Questionnaire HERE or the Mentoring Program Questionnaire HERE and a member of our hosting team will contact you.

Q. Do I receive training?
A.YES, yes, and yes! Learning, sharing, training and growing IC’s knowledge and expertise is core to the Brownell hosting programs. In addition to Brownell’s deep database of recorded business development classes for advisors, we offer in-person and online interactive training programs to suit lots of different learning styles. Brownell offers support and resources for a variety of professional travel agent certification programs, including the Travel Institute Certified Travel Agents, Certified Travel Counselor, CLIA’s Master Cruise Counselor and more. The options for earning professional certifications are almost endless, depending on your interests and specialties. Learn more about our training programs HERE and HERE.

Q. What does it cost?
A. Depending on which program (hosting or mentoring) is the right fit for you, there is an initial startup investment for on-boarding, but no on-going monthly or annual fees. Virtuoso does have minimal fees to participate in their personalized marketing campaigns, and you will have an annual liability insurance premium which is paid directly to the insurance underwriter.

Q. What sort of marketing support will I receive?
A.As much as you need or want. Brownell has the largest Marketing Team of any Virtuoso Agency. Consider them your dedicated Marketing and PR firm and your secret weapon. At a fraction of the cost of hiring a marketing firm, you will have access to customized collateral, copy writing, social media materials, e-newsletters, certificates,  client gifts and more. Brownell’s “Team Marketing” has more than 30 years combined experience in the luxury travel industry. Brownell is also a Virtuoso Member agency, giving you access to the powerful Virtuoso Marketing tools and publications. Learn about our marketing support HERE.

Q. What is Brownell’s commission split?
A.The commission split varies based on your annual income, and ranges between 70% to 85%.

Q. Do you offer a 100% commission rebate program?
A. No, we do not.We’ve studied this business model very carefully and cannot offer this option and continue to offer the high level of support for our independent associates. In order to offer a 100% commission rebate, we’d have to eliminate many of our support systems that have made us the best luxury travel host agency in the business, and we’d also have to require our ICs to do a lot of their own accounting work. We offer the finest support systems in the hosting industry and handle your accounting work, commission collections and tech support so you have plenty of time to sell.

{See how the Brownell model compares to the 100% commission rebate model HERE}

Q. What are Brownell’s commission rates with vendors?
A.We are among the leading luxury travel sellers in the USA and we are at the top level of commissions with most vendors. One of the differentiators between Brownell’s model and 100% Commission Rebate models are that our ICs are paid what we earn with suppliers, whereas many 100% Commission Rebate agencies keep 1-3% commission as back-end overrides. Would you rather earn 100% of a lower rate or 70-80% of the highest rates?

Q. Does Brownell offer commission collection services?
A. Our process for collections is second to none and we consider it a source of pride and competitive advantage. Less than 1% of commissions earned by advisors and associates go uncollected. That means more money goes in your pocket, and sooner. Many host agencies put the onus of identifying and collecting commissions on their agents.  Many times with penalties, sometimes up to 100%, if not collected within a narrow time frame. We believe your commissions are YOUR commissions no matter how or when they are received, and we employ a full-time person who is dedicated to collecting commissions on your behalf.

Q: Can I begin selling travel on a part-time basis and continue with my current job?
A: No, our Hosting and Mentoring Programs are designed for those who are solely focused on building a successful travel consulting business without any other career obligations.

Q: Do you offer any employment opportunities?
A:
Our Hosting and Mentoring Programs are not salaried employment opportunities, but are designed for entrepreneurs who are independent business owners. Brownell does offer employment opportunities in our office locations (Atlanta, Birmingham and Mobile). You can review employment opportunities HERE.

Q. Am I able to operate under my own name and branding?
A.
Absolutely! Not only do we encourage our associates use their own brands, we offer brand-development, awareness and promotion services. Your brand’s success is our primary focus.

Q. If I am not a GDS user, can Brownell help me book air for my clients?
A.
It’s our philosophy that air planning and booking is an essential component to a well-rounded, luxury itinerary. However, SABRE scripts and GDS codes are definitely not everyone’s cup of tea! Brownell has a dedicated team of experienced International and Domestic air specialists to book air for your clients. Easy, right? It gets better. You earn the commission on the tickets. Since the inception of our “Air Desk” many of our independent advisors have earned tens of thousands of dollars in additional revenue.