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Monday,  July 22, 2024   5:04 PM
Agency owners! Consider a host agency!

Although we have focused this column on what to look for in a host agency for home based agents, there is a new model now available where small agencies can also enjoy all the benefits of having a host agency to rely on.

If you own an agency and you’ve maybe thought about an exit strategy…or you are just tired of all the behind the scenes work associated with owning a business and would like to concentrate on selling travel, then you will want to learn more about this option.

Most agents enjoy selling travel, dealing with customers, helping make their dreams come true and providing good service. You don’t often hear agency owners or managers say how much they enjoy invoicing, or marketing, or accounting or payroll.

Well, all the benefits that the right host agency can offer home based agents are now available to agencies, too.

This solution is perfect for agency owners who would like to slow down a bit, be relieved of some of the grind of operating their own business, but who really don’t want to retire and who enjoy the travel business. Let’s face it: we all enjoy the business, that’s why once it gets in our blood, few of us ever leave.

Leave the hassles behind

So imagine owning a travel agency…but without most of the paperwork! And giving you support for your supplier, marketing and administrative needs.

There are many other benefits to this arrangement: Your costs will decrease. You will have the opportunity to maximize your earnings by being part of a group. And, you will have access to great marketing and other tools to help you attract and retain customers.

Before you sell your agency or close it, be sure to look at this option. The Travel Agent Next Door has a program that could be just what you’ve been looking for.

Think about branding

Another point to consider is: how important is your brand? We hear a lot about branding these days…it used to be that branding was something ranchers did to their livestock so they were easily identifiable. Since that time, brand has come to mean the name of a product or service, or almost anything. And today, people are considered to be their own “brand”, in some circumstances. You hear about rock stars such as Beyonce or Justin Timberlake as being a “brand."

Well, the same is true in the travel industry; we have many retail brands and now, as more and more travel agents move to becoming independent travel professionals, some are becoming brands themselves.

Your brand could be the name of your business, as in Faraway Places Travel, or it could be simply your name, Claire Korchinsky Travel.

Once you are known to your clients and in your community by your brand, it has value. It represents something…perhaps trust, expertise, reliability, good customer service, etc.

So when you join a host agency, it will be very important to understand what your options are with regard to branding. You may like the host agency’s brand a lot, in which case, go with that. Or you may want to keep your own brand.

Be sure to ask lots of questions. Whose name will appear on your invoices, on your website and on your business cards?

Make sure you know what your options are and be sure to weigh them! Go with the brand that will serve you best.

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