Agents who have deep and diverse knowledge of many product types – not just sun and beach destinations – including cruise, river cruise, luxury, coach tours, etc. have a much higher likelihood to be successful in a home-based environment, according to the third annual National Travel Agent Survey.
In fact, these agents have the ability to earn 50% more than their call centre or store front agency counterparts once they go home-based.
The findings suggest that if you are currently in an office, call centre or storefront and you have great product and destination expertise, you really should consider going home-based!
And the study showed that of all types of agents – storefront, call centre, corporate and home-based – the home-based agents showed considerably more expertise across many product types than any of the other agents surveyed. This included higher margin product sales.
Here’s what the survey found among full-time, home-based agents – their percentage of sales of non-mainstream product types:
Groups – 7%
Ocean Cruise – 8.9%
Coach Tour 5.4%
Weddings – 3.4%
River Cruise – 4.8%
European Package / Tour – 6.6%
Sun & Beach – 14.5%
Some of the data suggests that some home-based agents are in an older age bracket and have more years of experience than the non-home-based agents and this may explain that they have gathered a broader product expertise over the years in more diverse products beyond such mainstream products as sun, beach, air only and car rental.
Home-based agents also reported sales to less traditional destinations such as:
Australia and New Zealand – 4%
South America – 4%
Asia – 3.4%
Home-based agents also scored themselves high in their confidence and expertise in selling higher margin destinations:
Luxury – 28.6% said they either ‘Rocked’ or were ‘An All Star’
River Cruise – 39.7% said they either ‘Rocked’ or were ‘An All Star’
Europe – 37.4 % said they either ‘Rocked’ or were ‘An All Star’
Product expertise and diversity was mentioned as a key component in response to questions about what makes them happy and successful home-based agents. The ability to sell whatever they want, rather than what their agency wants them to sell, was also a positive factor about being home-based.
The third annual National Travel Agent Survey, an independent nationwide survey of Canadian travel agents, was expanded for the first time to include non-hosted agents on commission and/or salary, with close to 700 travel agents from all across Canada taking part, representing a wide variety of chains, consortiums, host agencies, call centres and independents.
The Travel Agent Next Door has gained access to the results of the survey and will be sharing it with industry partners and suppliers in the coming weeks, as well as releasing interesting findings from the survey in its marketing and communications over the next few months.