Not all host agencies are the same, and a recent survey commissioned by The Travel Agent Next Door helps us understand some of the key benefits, from the agent’s point of view, that host agencies can bring their associates.
The survey also explains why so many experienced agents are choosing to go home based and why the number of home based agents in Canada is thought to be about 33 per cent.
The survey also makes it clear that home based agents definitely shop around and will move to other host agencies if they are not satisfied. Currently the survey showed that 76.2 per cent of home based agents are satisfied with their current host agency but it also shows that 69 per cent have worked with more than one host agency.
It is important for home based agents to carefully read their contracts with the host agency to be certain they understand the exit clauses and whether their contract automatically renews if they don’t take the right steps to prevent it, if they want to move to another host agency. There are many services that agents can expect to receive from a host agency but in the survey, one that jumped out was the importance of a website. 80 per cent of home based agents surveyed said they were provided with their own website by their host agency.
The agents, most of whom indicated they were already experienced agents working in bricks and mortar agencies before going home based, also said they were earning a greater share of their commission now that they are working with a host agency.
In fact, 48.6 per cent said they earn greater share of their commission than when they worked in an agency.
Another important area is support when errors happen. 88 per cent of host agencies provide some degree of support when agents make errors in bookings, according to the agents surveyed.
Finally, 70 per cent of the agents said that being supported by a host agency saved them admin time.
Flemming Friisdahl, Founder of The Travel Agent Next Door, says his company will continue to invest in third party research into the home based sector and that they fully intend to share this information with the industry. “By understanding home based agents better, we can offer the best programs for their needs,” he said.