“How much money can I make as a home-based travel agent?”
Good question. Hard answer.
It may sound corny, but the amount of money you make is really up to you. There are three main reasons for this:
1. Being a home-based travel agent is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. You can design your business any way you wish — to make a little money or a lot.
2. Being a home-based travel agent involves selling, and it is a truism in sales that whenever you want a raise you can get one — all you have to do is sell some more.
3. How much you can make is, to some extent, determined by what you’re selling. If you fall into what I call the “cheap travel trap”, you won’t make a lot of money. If you sell the right products, you can make a killing.
But let’s say, for the sake of discussion, you want to make a lot of money. Here are some things to do:
Sell high-ticket items. A $5,000 trip pays a better commission than a $4,000 one. Selling a high ticket item doesn’t mean you have to give your client a bad deal. All-inclusive products (cruises, resorts, tours, etc.) give excellent value in spite of what might initially seem like a higher price tag. In essence, you are earning commission on things (like meals) that ordinarily aren’t commissionable.
Sell to rich people. Not as hard as it might sound. Rich people leave tracks and it’s easy to locate them.
Sell at a high margin. While you’re at it, why not sell a product that pays a 15% commission instead of one that pays 10%.
Use preferred suppliers. This is the best (and easiest) way to get a higher commission.
Choose your customers well. You might not be able to afford to be picky at first, but once your business is established, concentrate on the good customers (regular travelers, high ticket buyers) and guide the less profitable customers elsewhere. Remember, one of the greatest advantages the home-based travel agent has over the traditional storefront agency is that you can define your business any way you want.
Specialize. Experience shows that specialists earn more than generalists. The increased knowledge gained by focusing pays off big.
Track your commissions. You’d be surprised how much money goes missing because travel agents don’t do a good job of keeping track of what’s owed them and making sure they get it.
Always ask for more. Better commissions, better terms, better perks. From your host agency, from your suppliers. Ask and you might receive. Don’t ask and you’ll almost never receive. And don’t forget to try and “upsell” your customers — point out to them how little it costs to extend the trip one more day or upgrade to a better room or cabin.
These are just a few of the many tips, techniques, and insights covered in depth in our home study course. If you are ready to order the course and launch a successful home-based travel agent career, CLICK HERE.