5 Host Agency Myths: Debunked! - Brownell Hosting

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 ModelBookingCommission LevelYOU EARN
100%$10,00010% (house keeps additional 5% commission)$1000

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.


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Julie Jones, St. Louis, MO

Constant support, encouragement and super-fast response times

“The best things about the Brownell Hosting are the constant support, encouragement and super-fast response times. And, of course, the hosting team. LOVE.THEM.ALL!!! Brownell is so special and the support IC’s receive is unbelievable!! I feel so immensely blessed to be a part of the Brownell family!!!”

Martha King, Signal Mountain,TN

The best quality of "work-life!"

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Martha King, Richmond, VA

I love the one-on-one marketing support

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Kristen Nix, Whitefish, MO

The support when I travel gives me great peace of mind

” Brownell Hosting offers support to IC’s that are traveling and need assistance with coverage. This gives me great peace of mind!”

Stephanie Miller Murphy, Mandeville, LA

The best support an IC could ask for. Bar NONE.

“Brownell Hosting offers the best support an IC could ask for. Bar NONE. They make me feel like there is no stupid question and help me feel like i’m actually working in the office instead of from my home. They actually listen to suggestions and implement changes.”

Louisa Gehring, Cincinnati, OH

Business Support

“Thank you for your assistance in helping me attain my goal to increase booking volume. I am feeling very positive and optimistic thanks to you.”

Margaret Pratt, Memphis, TN

Beyond Helpful

“Wow – seriously yall, this is amazing! We are all so lucky to have such a proactive and innovating hosting team. Thanks so much for continually evolving and assisting us to the best of your ability. Seriously, what yall think of and how organized you are is beyond helpful! Yall are awesome!”

Blaire Kochar, Houston, TX

Helped connect me with editors for press opportunities

“Team Marketing was really helpful in assisting me in the re-branding of my business, creating collateral and connecting me with editors for press opportunities.”

Courtney Regan, San Francisco, CA

Freedom to sell with quick support

“The hosting program allows me freedom to do my work. I always receive an answer quickly on any of my numerous questions!”

Marion Harbison, Chattanooga, TN

The sky is the limit here!

“Brownell Hosting is the gold standard in host agency programs. From the onboard training to the day-to-day support, the hosting team offers best practice strategies and industry insight to ensure I stand apart in the marketplace. Even as a home-based advisor, I feel incredibly connected with not just the hosting team but the entire Brownell Family. There is a collaborative and supportive environment among the advisors which truly gives me an advantage in designing client travel experiences. I am so proud to be affiliated with such a prestigious agency. The sky is the limit here!”

Irene Quisenberry, Tampa, FL

Team Marketing is tops

“I love all of the creative marketing help. The very most helpful thing was when they prepped me for my interview with Travel Agent Central. Their guidance on that was so spectacular, and I genuinely feel as though I could not have handled that without them. Team Marketing is a very important part of my plans to grow my business, and I always feel very supported.”

Kristen Meckem, Bend, OR

Client-Facing Newsletter

“A huge shout out to the Brownell marketing team for this month’s Fernweh. It’s always well done — so simple, yet professional and enough of an eye-catcher that clients actually read it — but this month’s issue is particularly good. I love the white labeling Brownell does, and am very proud to have this newsletter going to my clients.”

Linda Terrill, Atlanta, GA

We love the social media content & tips

“Social media is always a challenge for us, so we love the content & tips from Brownell’s marketing team!!!”

King & Whitson, Chattanooga, TN & Washington, VA

Brownell is the best in the industry

“Brownell is the best in the industry. The staff, back end support, superlative processes and response times are tops.”

Jennifer Royster, Clemmons, NC

I count my lucky stars that I work with Brownell

“There is no agency better than Brownell! Our Hosting Team is there to hold our hands through the good and the bad. What a huge support group we have! I count my lucky stars every day that I am fortunate to be working for Brownell. The hosting staff is such a comforting and hands on team. They are positive reinforcements of acknowledging when we excel and encourage us to grow our business by having the opportunities to travel and experience the wonderful hotels and resorts we sell worldwide.”

Caroline Wallace, Richmond, VA

The support and education is amazing

“I love the hosting program because the support and education is amazing! The support team is so enthusiastic and passionate, it is a continuing inspiration. Makes me want to work harder and better!”

Catherine Whitworth, Athens, GA


“You ladies are simply AMAZING!! Every time I turn around you are doing something so special!!! What a talented group!!”

Catherine Whitworth, Athens, GA

I don't know how you do it

“I really don’t know how you do it, but the common denominator in all Brownell Advisors is that they are all the BEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD!!!!!!”

Susan Teeple, Amarillo, TX

Brownell ICs are the Best

Your Brownell IC’s are the very best I have ever met. Congratulations on your excellent Brownell program.

Evelyn Weber, Manager, Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France