5 Host Agency Myths: Debunked!

host-agency-mythsChoosing a host agency can be daunting. It is hard to decipher which agency is best for your unique business model. Plus, the hosting lingo combined with the endless promises can make even the most seasoned Travel Advisor wary of what these agencies actually deliver. Below are 5 common host agency myths + the facts to help make your decision a little easier

Myth 1: 100% Commission Model means more money

Truth: A 100% commission model doesn’t always mean you earn more. The primary revenue model for many host agencies is to take their extra commission earnings as back-end overrides. For example: the agency may be at the “15% commission level” with a supplier, but take 5% as a direct payment to the agency, and pays Advisors only 10%.  At Brownell, we use our aggregate sales power to help you earn more with each booking. We are at the top level of commission with countless suppliers and YOU benefit from those extra commission points.

So let’s break this down: You make a booking for $10,000 booking.

Commission Model Booking Commission Level YOU EARN
100% $10,000 10% (house keeps additional 5% commission) $1000
85% $10,000 15% $1275
80% $10,000 15% $1200
75% $10,000 15% $1125

Myth 2: By joining a host agency, all you have to do is sell travel—they’ll take care of collecting commissions.

Truth: Accounting support comes in all shapes and sizes. Some agencies might claim to collect your commissions, but in reality, you have to take the time to go through the entire list of company-wide commissions and claim yours. And if you miss any, too bad—ain’t nobody got time for that!!

At Brownell, our dedicated team goes above and beyond to make selling travel your only responsibility. Our settlement statements show you the monies you’ve earned and are being paid, monies that are in the house that you’ll get later, all monies that are outstanding, your most recent 12 months income, and expenses you’ve incurred. We’ll even track down any outstanding commissions and get them to you.

Myth 3: As an Independent Advisor, I will receive the same support as in-house Advisors.

Truth: In some agencies this is true; in others it is not. When deciding which host agency to choose, make sure the agency has a team dedicated only to the independent contractors. If not, you might be the lowest on the totem pole.

Brownell has an entire team dedicated solely to our Independent Associates. From wire transfers to collecting commissions to reporting and more, our Hosting support team works only to support the ICs.

Myth 4: All marketing support is created equally.

Truth: Most agencies promise marketing support. First, determine what your needs are and will be in the future. (Think: newsletters, client events, social media, graphic design, ad development, web design and blog guidance) Then figure out if which potential host agencies will be able to provide for those needs or if you will need to hire an outside firm.

Brownell’s in-house marketing team can help you with all your needs – logo design, event conceptualization, newsletters and e-blasts, and more. We create blog content that you can share on your own blog and social media pages and can help you write and develop your own. If marketing isn’t your bag, we even build and design e-blast with exclusive offers and updates and will send to your clients – all you have to say is “yes!”

Myth 5: I’ll have access to the latest trainings, property updates, reports, and educational trips at my fingertips.

Truth: Again, the level of training and resources varies greatly depending on the agency. Staying ahead of the trend in the travel world is vital to be a successful Travel Advisor. You don’t want your clients to know of the newest properties before you do, after all! Talk to host agencies to see how they share information between advisors. Is there an internal database or online forum? Also, discuss how their educational programs work. Will they be offered through the agency or will you have to arrange them all yourself? Will there be any support to help cover the costs?

Travel partners from around the globe visit the Brownell offices constantly to share updates and promotions. Even if you’re not there, one of our team members takes detailed notes and files them in our extensive database. You’ll also be able to sign up for exclusive webinars as well as training sessions. Some of the best trainings come from first-hand experiences. Brownell has invitations to the top educational trips, and many of our partners create trips solely for Brownell Advisors.