Travel Agents

Switching to home-based? Here’s what you need to know

Settling back into the daily grind can be tough – especially when you factor in the daily commute, long hours and being away from your dog for long periods of time.

Nothing kills the New Year motivation like hard work and minimal rewards.

For travel advisors, we may have the answer. If the prospect of working from home or in a cute café, choosing the hours you work and ultimately becoming your own boss sounds appealing to you then perhaps it’s time to take the plunge and become a mobile travel advisor.

Not all mobile travel companies are created equal so it’s important to do your research. Lucky for you, we were able to hunt down an advisor who has already put in the hard yards.

Deb Duncan recently returned to Mobile Travel Advisors (MTA) after a two-month stint exploring “greener pastures” elsewhere in the industry.

“And the grass is definitely not greener!” she told us.

Duncan has been in the industry for 40 years and has spent the past four working as a mobile advisor with MTA as well as managing her own training business. Before starting with MTA, she owned her own agency, and has even worked with other mobile advisor companies – so she knows her stuff!

“What I love about MTA is the trust,” Duncan said.

“They trust that you will do your best within MTA, but you can be part-time if you want to be.

“It’s the freedom and flexibility that sets them apart from other mobile-based brands.”

When choosing a mobile-based business, it’s important to ask questions about their support team. Make sure they offer FULL support without an extra fee. Duncan told us MTA offers 24/7 ticketing and IT assistance for emergencies with no extra fees even if it’s after hours.

And don’t forget to check if they will support you when you go on holiday or need to take leave.

Deb Duncan exploring Carnaby Street, London
Deb Duncan exploring Carnaby Street, London

“I’ve just come back from a one-month holiday in London with my daughter and I didn’t have to worry about anything,” Duncan remarked.

“They treat my clients just like I do. It’s not just a backup, I’m replaced with top consultants – and I get the commission!”

Speaking of commissions, that’s another thing you need to consider when choosing an agency. On face value, some mobile-based businesses seem to offer a higher commission split, but there are some crafty traps here you need to look out for.

For example: are they including all the commission they receive before they split it with you? MTA’s buying power means the commissions they receive from their suppliers are the best in the business.

“It’s the best value buying power you can get in the industry,” Duncan confirmed.

“They actually get the Australian traveller culture better than anyone I’ve known in my 40 years in the industry.

“And their marketing support is absolutely spot on and incredibly proactive. They’re really in-tune with the clients and what we’re selling which makes it so much easier.”

The next thing you must consider is ticketing. Some agencies charge up to $25 to issue a ticket! And that can really hit your bottom line. Not MTA though. Any ticketing assistance you need is all included!

The last thing to check off your list is your defence against insolvency. Will your agency reimburse you if a supplier becomes insolvent? Because MTA will with their Zero Flight Risk™ – a cast-iron guarantee for client monies when booked with an MTA approved supplier.

Checklists aside, Duncan told us it all comes back to support and flexibility.

“With MTA there’s absolutely no pressure. It’s the trust in each other that makes the difference,” she concluded.

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