TORONTO — Results from the just-released second annual home-based agent survey show that more than 35% of travel agents in Canada are now independent, home-based contractors.
Conducted in January 2018, the independent nationwide survey of Canadian hosted travel agents tripled in response size from the 2017 study. The survey was conducted by a private consulting firm and logged responses from more than 500 home-based agents representing many different host agencies.
“Understanding home-based agents’ priorities and their concerns are key to supporting them in the best way possible,” said Flemming Friisdahl, Founder, The Travel Agent Next Door. Friisdahl says The Travel Agent Next Door will use the data to frame how it can best serve agents going forward.
This year’s results are consistent with some of the findings from last year but they also provide invaluable new insight, he says.
Here are some of the 2018 home-based agent survey’s key findings:
- 52% of the home-based agents who responded have only ever worked as a home-based agent, which suggests that home-based agents have been around for longer than is commonly thought, and that people are now joining the industry as hosted agents from the get-go.
- 87% of agents who responded are 40+ years of age, and 28.5% are 60+, and worked for many years in a bricks-and-mortar agency. Many home-based agents are highly experienced and are converting to home-based later in their careers, says Friisdahl.
- What do home-based agents look for in a host agency? A customized website, the ability to work with management, the level of support and the ability to network with other agents, according to the survey.
- 45%+ of hosted agents said they are ‘very’ to ‘extremely’ happy with their host agency, however 12% said they were ‘unhappy to very unhappy’.
- 92% percent of agents who switched from a bricks-and-mortar or a storefront to home-based said they were happier and 90% of agents believe they have a better work-life balance, up 5% over last year.
- Responding agents also reported a better quality of life, with top impacts including more time to travel and more time with family, the ability to work from anywhere, and the ability to “be my own boss”.