With all of the options out there among host agencies, how can a home-based agent be sure they are signing with the right one? And if they are a new home-based agent, it is going to be even more confusing.
Here are the top 10 questions you should always ask a host agency before you sign up:
- What is the ratio of agents that you are supporting to the number of support staff that are actual employees of the company?
- When you are told what the monthly fee is, be sure to ask what is actually included. It is very important to get a complete breakdown.
- Ask if you can be 100 per cent branded with your own name without the host agency’s name if you want to. Some host agencies insist on co-branding.
- When host agencies say a website is included, you should ask:
- Is it mobile-friendly?
- How many booking engines are there?
- Can you customize the site?
- Does the host agency post updates (promotions, content, blogs, etc.) daily on the site or do you have to?
- Is the site 100 per cent branded as you want it to be?
- Do you get full credit for all bookings made on the site?
- If the host agency does e-marketing on your behalf, is it custom branded to you and does it include your website link, contact info and social media links?
- Is distribution of any travel magazines included and delivered for you? Does the magazine promote Canadian suppliers, pricing and content?
- Does the host agency offer a bonus or profit sharing program?
- Can you bring in other agents under you and does the host agency help train them, pay them for you and provide a contract for you?
- Does the host agency offer an incentive program to help you attract new customers through referrals?
- Can you earn up to 100 per cent of the commission on key Canadian suppliers?
Finally, don’t sign without talking to one or two agents similar to yourself who is supported by that host agency. Search their Facebook page for agent names and reach out to them. It is better if you find the agents yourself, however, so that you get an unbiased opinion.