Finding the Right Host Agency
Finding the Right Host Agency
It’s a great time to become a travel advisor. The demand is high and rising, and the opportunities are vast. While I love to see ambitious new entrepreneurs entering the travel industry, those entrepreneurs will have to think about how to gain a competitive edge if they want to stand out from the crowd.
For travel advisors hoping to make it in today’s competitive market, aligning with a reputable host agency can be a game-changer. Naturally, as the President of Nexion Travel Group, I’m biased. Nexion is an outstanding host agency, but I don’t want us to simply rest on our laurels. Instead, I’d like to spell out what I think are the most important qualities to look for in a host.
So with that, here are qualities to that I think make for an exceptional host agency.
Define Your Goals and Niche
Before diving head-first into the search, take a moment to clearly define your business goals and target market. Understanding the niche you fill in the travel market will help you narrow down host agencies that cater to your area of expertise. It could be luxury cruises, adventure travel, corporate excursions, or something completely novel that no one else has come up with yet. A compatible host agency should be able to help you move towards your vision.
Evaluate Industry Reputation
Reputation can speak volumes in any industry. Research host agencies thoroughly, considering factors like longevity, client reviews, and industry affiliations. Aim for agencies with a proven track record of success, and most importantly, satisfied members.
Look for Support and Resources
Look for a host agency that offers robust support and resources to its members. This might include access to preferred suppliers, marketing tools, education/training programs, and administrative assistance. The more comprehensive the support, the more time and energy you can put towards growing your business.
Accessible Technology and Booking Platforms
Having access to efficient technology isn’t really optional in the modern business world. While tech is rarely flawless, a competent host agency with user-friendly booking platforms and up-to-date software will streamline your operations, improve client experiences, and save you a great deal of time and frustration.
Ask About Commission Structures
You’re a hard-working professional who deserves to get paid for what you do. Transparent commission structures are a cornerstone of a reliable host agency. Ensure that you fully comprehend how commissions are handled, including payment frequency and any associated fees. A reputable host agency will provide clear, written agreements, leaving no room for ambiguity.
Consider Networking Opportunities
I say it all the time, networking is one of the most powerful tools for growth in this industry. Seek host agencies that facilitate opportunities to connect you with fellow advisors, industry experts, and suppliers. Conferences, workshops, and online forums can be instrumental for expanding both your industry knowledge and client base.
Choosing the right host agency is a critical decision for any new travel advisor, and it may seem overwhelming at first. But by considering your goals and evaluating the various benefits, you can make an informed choice that sets the stage for success in the incredible world of travel. Remember, a reliable host agency is not just a partner, but a catalyst for your business’s growth and prosperity.
I hope that you, the advisor, will continue to hold us to these standards and help us be the best host agency we can be.