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There are many business structures you can align your travel agency with and understanding what makes a host agency different to a consortium, franchise or standard home based agency group will help you make the right decision.

It's no secret the internet has changed the travel business. In many ways it made business more challenging for traditional stores, and yet it opened up a whole new frontier for home based travel agents. It has allowed agents to work remotely with only a phone and a computer necessary for conducting all their client transactions and back office accounting. At the same time consumer acceptance of home based employment generally has grown, especially in the last 5 years or so. This has resulted in more and more travel agents either moving to being self employed or even closing an existing store and working out of home.

With this growth of home based agents came a new travel agency business model - the host agency.

A host agency acts as an umbrella agency for home based agents, with each agent utilising the host agency's services and credentials, including licensing or accreditation, technology, marketing, supplier relationships, client & vendor accounting and more.

In return for these services a host agency typically offers a commission split with their agents plus a monthly management fee. These fees can vary quite dramatically between agencies depending on a range of criteria and the full extent of the services provided, so it pays to compare in detail.

What's the difference between a host agency and other home based agency groups?

In short, a host agency is a very flexible business model. It provides for and supports home based agents in promoting their own brand, with their own trading name, logo, email and website etc. It does not operate as a consumer brand in its own right.

The advantage of this approach is that the agent is truly building their own business, with the host providing all the back end support and even marketing to help it grow and prosper.

What services does a host agency typically provide and how do I choose the right one for me?

The level of services and support can vary between host agencies and the different models available to home based agents. Finding the right agency for you will depend on your specific needs, and the search may at first seem daunting and possibly quite confusing.

We encourage you to follow these 4 simple steps

1. Build a vision of your own business

What will it look like? Will you have your own brand? Will you specialize, for example in cruising or groups? Do you want to be known for your cutting edge website or marketing?

2. Research

Visit as many websites as you can that deal with home based agents. Not only in terms of host agencies themselves, but also resource centres devoted to home agents. Find out more about what being home based really means and this will also help in step 1.

3. Contact and question

Prepare a set of questions for potential host agents. When are commissions paid? What products or segments are their strength? What technology is provided? Then contact them and open a dialogue. Don't be afraid to take your time and get to know the contact person and get a feel for the company culture.

4. Make the move

Once you have decided on the best option, make the move. The great thing about joining a host agency is you are not alone. Each party has a vested interest in making the relationship work and you have the support of an experienced team to help you all the way.

So what's the case for Your Travel Centre?

At YTC we believe we offer the most comprehensive suite of inclusions of any home based agency business in Australia. And through our second brand, Cruise Holidays Australia we provide a powerful cruise offering, including a live search and booking facility on every agents individual website. Perhaps most importantly, you can choose to operate under your own trading name and we only market your business, under your brand name, not ours. You are building your own brand equity and if you ever decide to move your business, or sell it, you will have a tangible asset with a brand you have built over time.

Our list of inclusions:

     Your own customisable mobile compatible website fully maintained with fortnightly
             updated travel products

     Email newsletter delivered to your database fortnightly with your brand and contacts 

     Product Manager producing regular travel packages with a strong focus on cruising

     Client accounting done for you

     Mid Office, CRM and Booking Management System

     Choice of GDS

     Intranet providing a knowledge centre for our online training, marketing calendar and more

     Technical, processing and product support services

     Business development support

     Holiday leave support - up to 4 weeks annually

     No long term contract - we only ask you to commit for an initial 12 month term

Why use a host agency?
Checkout our top 10 reasons why a host agency is good for your travel business

Why your own business?
Imagine your full potential, reached. With your own business you're in control of your future

Marketing Muscle
Your own stand alone customisable website and personalised email newsletter delivered to your clients for you

Work Smarter
Work more efficiently with our custom built suite of technology tools and resources to help you manage your business

 

Find out more about how we can help you reach your potential

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