Home-based agents: Don’t fall for the gimmicks


Home-based agents: Don’t fall for the gimmicks
Christine Hogg

Christine Hogg is the Associate Digital Editor at PAX Global Media. Prior to joining PAX, she obtained her Honours BA in Journalism from the University of Toronto. Upon graduating, she went on to write for several travel publications while travelling the world. Her longest trip was a three-week stint in Europe, and the shortest was a 16-hour adventure in Iceland. Get in touch: christine@paxglobalmedia.com.

If you are a successful home based agent, you're what every host agency is looking for.

Host agencies are actively competing to add agents and the industry is seeing a variety of incentives being offered to persuade agents to sign up.

But agents should be very wary of special offers. It is always important to carefully examine a host agency’s program and ensure that you are getting the best value and the most comprehensive program.

Free memberships: too good to be true?

Recently we have seen host agencies offering free membership for a period of time or waiving their annual fees. This kind of offer may look appealing at the outset but it is important to always examine every detail before you sign.

If an agency is not charging you a fee then they are making their money in other ways. One way or another you will be contributing to that host agency’s bottom line.

And if the host agency is willing to negotiate with you, how do you know if you are getting the best deal or if other agents got a better one? You are better off dealing with a host agency that shows you all its cards and treats everyone as equal business owners!

Things to consider
  1. They say they offer you marketing tools. Ask what are the tools? What is the cost of each item and who pays to distribute it?
  2. They say they have digital marketing tools for you. Ask if they are customized? If so, is there an extra cost for this?
  3. Do you get your own website? If so, is there a charge? Is it a bookable website? How many booking engines does it have? IS there a charge for each booking engine?
  4. What is your commission split with the host agency? Does it always stay the same or is there a plan to increase your share based on performance? Ask to see their plan and ask what their other agents are getting.
  5. Is the commission split negotiable?
  6. Ask to see all of the tools and programs the agency offers. Make sure you actually see the details.

The bottom line is, look beyond the initial savings and goodies being offered. You need a host agency that supports you in every way. Check them out carefully!

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