Questions to Ask a Prospective Host Agency
So you’ve decided to use a host travel agency. Don’t rely on google to answer your questions. Call the agency, and get information from the direct source. You’ll have a better understanding of what the agency is about and whether or not it is a good fit for you and your business. Remember: you’re interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you.
On the flip side, agencies get tons of inquiries of people who aren’t serious about becoming a full-time travel advisor. They want to weed out the people looking for travel discounts or free trips so it’s important to know what to say. We share 10 questions to ask prospective agencies below.
1. What kind of support do you offer?
Not all host agency support is created equal. Some offer a full-time dedicated support team, an accounting department to chase commissions and crunch the numbers, and/or a tech team to keep you connected with the office; others leave it up to the advisor.
2. What is your commission split?
Understand what the commission split is, and ask if it will change as your sell more.
3. What types of training do you offer?
Is it up to your to invest in training opportunities, or will the agency arrange webinars, meetings, and educational travel?
4. What type of payment system do you use? Do I receive comprehensive financial reports on all my sales?
As a small business owner, it is important for you to have proper paperwork and accounting records of your finances.
5. Do you offer help with collecting commissions from vendors?
Some vendors send the commission within 30 days of the clients travel while others have to be tracked down. Will your host agency do that or is it up to you? Ask what percentage of commission are left unclaimed to see the big picture.
6. Will I receive leads?
When you start your agency, it is important to have a wide circle of family, friends, and acquaintances that can become your clients. However, you will want to reach a new audience and your agency could help with that through lead generation.
7. Do you offer any help with marketing?
Marketing is another way to reach a new audience as well as create your unique branding.
8. What level of commission are you with top vendors?
Understanding the agency’s top vendors will give you a deeper insight into what type of travel they sell. If they have top commission levels with the same vendors you prefer, it’s a good match!
9. Do you offer a program with a monthly fee and 100% commission rebate?
It is important to have a full understanding of the commission structure. If the host agency offers 100% commission, ask what support (accounting, marketing, tech) is included.
10. Do you offer educational travel opportunities?
You must experience a destination to truly understand it. Some agencies offer agency-exclusive educationals and get invitations by vendors while others leave it up to each advisor.
11. Do you offer back up support while I am traveling?
If you won’t have an assistant at first, you’ll need someone helping out during emergencies when your flying halfway across the world or in a remote location.
12. Do you have any meetings or training opportunities that I can attend?
Just like educational travel is crucial to your success, ongoing training and networking is also important.
For more information on the Brownell Hosting Program, click here.