What is a home-based agent?
That question is answered here.
What is a referral agent?
That question is answered here.
What is a host agency?
That question is answered here.
Is this a viable business? Isn’t everybody booking all their travel on the Internet?
First, the simple fact is that everyone is NOT booking all their travel on the Internet. In fact, many people who used to book online are returning to travel agents. Also, studies conducted by the travel industry have shown that most people will use the Internet to do basic research and then book with a real person, either a travel agent or a reservationist at the supplier. Besides, a lot of people, especially older, well-heeled folks with a lot of money to spend on travel, don’t even know how to use the Internet.
Second, most of the travel that is booked on the Internet is simple point-to-point airline travel, the cheapest travel there is and travel that pays no commission. This is not business you, as a home-based agent, want anyway.
This is a viable business because it involves person-to-person contact and real selling. People only go on the Internet when they know what they’re looking for. Home-based travel agents make good money by sharing their love of travel, making people aware of what’s out there, and awakening in them a desire to take a trip.
How do I get clients?
Finding new clients and making current customers repeat customers is one of your primary duties as a home-based agent. Finding new clients is a process called “prospecting.” The home study course provides an entire section of this important aspect of your business.
Can I do this in Canada?
Yes. We have launched many Canadians on their home-based travel agent careers. The course contains much that will be of use to Canadians, such as which host agencies work with Canadians and how to get your own IATA number.
Can I do this in __________ ?
The home-based travel agent model seems to be catching on.The Host Agency Directory lists host agencies in Australia, Ireland, the Netherlands, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, as well as in the U.S. and Canada. Plus, there are some U.S. host agencies that will deal with outside agents regardless of where they live.
However, the course was designed with North America in mind. While the principles are universal, we make no claim to know the laws in all the world’s nearly 200 countries.
Can I use you as my host agency?
No. We are not a host agency and we do not sell a “business opportunity.” That is why we are free to tell you what the vendors of business opportunities won’t –- how the business really works and how you can truly go into business for yourself, not someone else.
How much does it cost to get started as a home-based travel agent?
How does nothing sound? It is actually possible to hook up with a host agency for nothing. Others charge several thousands of dollars. The home study course covers them all.
Of course, there are costs involved with starting any business. The course concentrates on saving you money and guiding you to the least expensive and most cost effective strategies. If you really want to do it on the cheap, you can get started for well under $100, and that includes business cards! Most people, however, invest more into their business, some at the beginning and others gradually, over time.
The most important initial investment you can make is in our home study course. Of course, that’s just our opinion.
I’m not interested in making a lot of money, but I’d like to broaden my travel horizons and get good deals for my friends. Is this possible?
Sure it is. Of course, the more you travel, the more you save. The more upscale travel you are used to, the more attractive the savings will be.
However, if you currently travel only on the cheap, it will take you a while to justify the expense of becoming a home-based agent. On the other hand, if you round up a bunch of friends to travel with you, you can do very well as far as making your travel dollar stretch farther. The course shows you exactly how to do this.
My company does a lot of traveling and we are thinking about setting up our own in-house travel agency. Is that possible?
Yes. The course will guide you in choosing a host agency. Be aware, however, that there is little or no commission money in air travel. Since many travel agencies now charge fees for ticketing services, you will save up to $40 on each airline booking. Where you will really notice the savings is in the increased access to information.
How soon before I start seeing the benefits of being a home-based agent? Like fam trips and discounts?
You will start seeing discounts immediately if you are booking your own travel. And there are some “tricks” that newcomers can use to start taking low-cost fam trips almost immediately. The course covers all this. However, the best deals come with time and experience.
If you think you will be able to travel around the world for next to nothing while doing no work, you have come to the wrong place. There are plenty of places that will be glad to take your money and promise you just that. Once you discover it’s not true, you’ll find that the fine print says you don’t get your money back. This site and the home study course are designed to save you from making that mistake.
What’s a typical commission split?
When you take in the industry as a whole, it seems that the most common split is 50-50. But the course does not teach you to be common. The course will show how to get 70% or 80% of the commission. It is even possible to get 100% of the commission, but that is offset by per-transaction fees that lower the effective commission rate. All this is explained in the course.
How much money can I make as a home-based agent?
That’s difficult to say. There are a great many variables. A lot depends on what you decide to sell and how hard you work at it. But consider this: Send a couple on a $4,000 cruise or tour and you can earn anywhere from $200 to $600. (The course will show you how to get to the higher end of that commission range.) A recent survey by Travel Weekly magazine revealed that some home-based agents earn over $100,000 a year, including a few who only work part-time!
Please understand that we make no claims or guarantees of your future earnings. Ultimately, how much money you make depends on you, your commitment, the time and effort you invest, the products you sell, the market in which you sell them, the type of home-based travel agent you decide to become, and a whole host of other factors over which we have no control.
I am thinking of signing up with Host Agency X. Are they reputable?
The Host Agency Directory that comes with the course provides information on over 300 host agencies. To begin with, how could anyone possibly monitor that many agencies for their honesty and integrity, especially since the agency that is honest today could find itself in financial difficulty tomorrow and stop paying commissions? That’s one reason we do not recommend for or against any agency. More important, we believe that only you can make the decision about which host agency is right for you.
Choosing a host agency just because someone tells you, “Well, I haven’t heard anything bad about them,” is a very foolish move to make. That’s why the course teaches you exactly how to investigate every host agency offer thoroughly. Taking shortcuts is dangerous to your wealth.
For more on this topic, read this article.
How do I get a travel agent ID? An IATA card? My IATA number? The IATAN card? My ARC number?
These questions reflect some basic misunderstandings about how the travel distribution system works and what being a home-based travel agent is all about. You actually don’t need any of these things to be a home-based travel agent. You can get them (or some of them) but you don’t really need them. You can simply use someone else’s!
The home study course explains how the business really works, how to book travel and make money without any of these things and how to get them when – and if – it is appropriate.
If you are asking the question because you think that having any of these things will enable you to get unbelievable travel discounts, the course will set you straight on that score as well.
You can use the Travel Industry Dictionary to look up definitions of all of these terms.
Do I need special software?
No. See the next question.
How do I get hooked up with Sabre or Apollo (or another GDS)?
That depends on which host agency you are using. However, once you have taken our home study course and discover how home-based travel agents really make money, you may want to rethink the need for a GDS.