Tag-Archive for " home based "

FAM’s Over…Now What
Nov 06

FAM’s Over…Now What

For professional travel agents, FAM trips are useful tools to boost your product knowledge. But what you do AFTER the trip is vital to making the most of your FAM experience.

The first step is to organize all of the materials you brought home.

You probably collected business cards from resort staff members or tour operator representatives. On each card, jot down a quick note of the place, date, and circumstances of how you met each person. This will help you jog your memory if you need to make contact later on.

Sort through all of the brochures, manuals, or other promotional items you acquired. Keep some for client distribution, and others for your own personal reference. If you picked up resort maps, fact sheets, or other similar items, it is useful to scan these and save copies to your computer.

Review any notes that you took during your property tours, and decide how you want to store them for future use. You may want to write your thoughts and observations on the applicable pages of your own reference copy of a property brochure or training manual. Another option is to use note-taking software, such as Evernote or OneNote. These programs allow you to organize and categorize your personal notes, pictures, and other media. The key is to make the information easy to find when you need it.

Lastly, download any of the photos and videos that you took from your camera to your computer. Once again, organization is important. Sort them into folders that are labeled by property name and the date of your visit.

Now that you have organized your materials, it’s time to put them to use. You want to share your knowledge and experience with as many clients, and potential clients, as possible.

One way to do this effectively is through social media. Add photos to your personal and business Facebook pages. Place each property’s photos in its own unique folder.  You don’t need to use hundreds of images. Carefully select specific photos that highlight the property’s main features and room categories. Label each picture with a brief description so that viewers know what they are looking at.

Another way to share your experience is via a travel blog. This allows you to share more detailed thoughts and observations. You can add in tips such as specific types of travelers that would enjoy a property, differences in room categories, or other useful information. Add in a few key pictures, and don’t forget to include a link back to the complete album on your Facebook page.

If you think a specific client would benefit from learning about your trip, make an effort to contact them directly. Send an email with a personal invitation to view your Facebook album or blog post. Or call to tell them that you recently visited a property or destination they would love, and offer to meet up with them to share your experiences.

Finally, make an effort to follow-up with any of the key contacts that you made during the trip. Send an email or card thanking each person that gave you a guided tour or conducted a training session. Ask them any follow-up questions that came to mind after your visit. Send them a link to your Facebook page or blog, so that they can see how you are actively promoting their products. This will help you to establish a useful network of professional connections. Also ask the suppliers to add you to their email lists to be informed of any specials, booking incentives, or news about the properties and ships you toured.

Taking the time to properly follow-up after your trip will help you to turn your FAM experience into increased sales and greater client satisfaction.

Are you ready to go? KHM Travel Agents can look under “Meetings and Events” in their Agent Portal to view upcoming FAM opportunities. Not a KHM Travel Agent yet? Visit www.KHMTravel.com to learn more about the training and support available to start your own home-based travel business.

How to Change Common Perceptions of Travel Agents
Sep 09

How to Change Common Perceptions of Travel Agents

As a travel agent, the way your customers feel about you is important. The more you show you care about them, the more likely it is that you will get repeat clients that will provide valuable referrals. With that in mind, providing good customer service to your clients should naturally be a major priority in your day-to-day schedule. It is important to develop a reputation to live up to. And for many, it all begins with breaking away from the perception and stereotypes of what it means to be a travel agent.

Your clients‘ perceptions of being a travel agent can be different based on where they live, their ages, and their past experiences working with travel professionals. For many, you may find that their perception of a travel agent is someone who sifts through travel deals and websites behind a computer for hours at a time, trying to locate the best price for clients. People may even think what you do is easy and they could do it themselves, especially if they believe they could save some money.

Your friends and family may perceive travel agents differently especially if they observe you traveling to exotic destinations for training and site visits. However, this is where you will gain credentials, and firsthand experiences that will set you apart from your competition. Your friends and family may actually believe that you are always on “vacation” and what you do is more of a “hobby” it is than an actual career or business.

Society, in general, may believe that all travel agents do is book airline tickets and hotel rooms. Why? Because back in the 1990′s, the storefront travel agency did just that. They focused on corporate travel where the bulk of their business was airline ticketing. In fact, at that time, only about 20% of their travel business was leisure travel or vacations. Many people also think that using a travel agent costs more…that the commissions you are paid get added to the cost of their trip. You will need to help educate consumers on the fact that the commission comes directly from the suppliers, and booking through an agent does not increase the total cost of your their trip.

When you first became a travel agent, your initial perception of yourself is that you need to be “everything to everyone.” Some new agents may fall into this trap and actually become good at planning a lot of different types of travel, but not an “expert” at anything.  This overwhelming need to learn and do everything can be a dangerous and slippery climb to the top and generally the reward of success takes much longer.

To truly know how to break through all these different perceptions of what people think you do, it is important to really understand and appreciate the value of what you will actually offer your clients as a travel professional.  That’s right…you really aren’t a travel agent, you are a travel professional.  So, what does that mean?

As a travel professional, you are passionate about helping to plan memorable travel experiences for your clients.  It’s a vacation they may have saved years for that may even offer them a “lifetime of photos and memories.”  You will be a part of making all of that happen for your clients.

You may help plan that perfect destination wedding or honeymoon with all the amenities to offer exquisite romance.  Or perhaps you may be sending a struggling couple on a much needed vacation alone together to get reacquainted.  You may be involved in planning a “vow renewal ceremony” for a second wedding the couple will never forget.  Or you may even help plan that “affordable” summer vacation for a “family of 7″ that would have never been able to travel if it wasn’t for your help in making it happen.  They say just “one vacation can offer a lifetime of memories,” and YOU can be a part of all of that.

What you do as a travel professional breaks away from all the perceptions of what others may believe you do.  And part of the process of living up to that image of what you actually do for your clients starts with how you take care of them from the very beginning until they return home.  Remember, you are a travel professional, an expert, and a consultant that helps plan unforgettable getaways!

Not a KHM Travel Agent yet? Visit www.KHMTravel.com to learn more about the training and support available to start your career as a home-based travel agent.

How to Sell Value Over Price
Jul 26

How to Sell Value Over Price

As a new travel agent, it is perceived that selling travel seems to be all about the “price.” Some new agents will scour the Internet and travel supplier sites to look for the cheapest prices, least-expensive excursions, lowest category cruise cabins, and off-the beaten path resorts, just so they can quote the lowest price to their potential client. Inexperience says “to be the best, you need to be the lowest.”

The phrase “you get what you pay for” is a cliché for a reason. Offering the lowest price, isn’t always the best. And trying to have the lowest price or setting yourself up to be known for “cheap travel” is a recipe for disaster.

When a travel agents focus on price and price alone, they end up being just a “vending machine” for travel, trying to compete with the travel megasites on the Internet. This is the worst mistake you can make as a travel agent when positioning yourself in the marketplace.

And besides, if your prices are the lowest, and your client chooses you because of it, they will probably only be loyal to finding that lowest price and not loyal to you as their agent. Your goal as a travel agent is to gain and retain clients, so you need to ask yourself, what about service and quality? What about YOU?

As you become more experienced, educated and confident with being a travel expert, what you sell becomes less about the price and more about the value you offer. A little tip…Instead of thinking of yourself as a travel agent, consider yourself a “travel professional.”

A travel professional is someone who is trained and experienced in planning travel and vacations for clients. Planning travel is about the services you are going to offer your client that will result in a stress-free vacation experience that will create memories to last a lifetime. These services can include researching and comparing vacation options, sharing your expert knowledge, coordinating excursions and arranging activities, answering questions, processing the booking, handling documents, and being your clients’ advocate before, during, and after their trip.

Over time as you become educated, try to visit destinations and resorts for trainings, so you can provide firsthand experiences on what is great and what just “looks great” on a website. Showing clients photos and videos that you personally took while being trained at these destinations, resorts, or cruises is the greatest marketing tool you can have when selling yourself, selling a destination and selling value, NOT price.

Remember, ultimately if you decide to sell on price, everyone loses. Your client loses because he or she may have not gotten the best service and product and you lose because you may not have gotten the sale. Warren Buffet said it best, “Price is what you pay, VALUE is what you get.”

Is a Travel Agent Career Right for YOU?
Mar 13

Is a Travel Agent Career Right for YOU?

How you would describe your dream job? Would you enjoy the flexibility to work from home? Set your own hours? Sell a product that customers actually LIKE to buy? Have the opportunity to travel to new places, often at a discount? Then a work from home travel agent career may be right for YOU!

A travel agent career allows you to be your own boss. As an independent contractor of a host travel agency, you are in full control of the type of business you would like to build. You may choose the travel products you want to sell and decide how to market your business. Whether you desire to work part-time or full-time, the possibilities as a work from home travel agent are endless.

What type of person can have a successful travel agent career? A large part of the job involves developing relationships with clients, so good communication skills are vital. Being familiar with basic computer operations is also helpful, since email and online booking engines will be used for reservations. The ability to stay organized is key. Most of all, a work from home travel agent needs to be self-motivated and have a strong desire to succeed.

Is it necessary to attend a travel agent school or receive any kind of travel agent certification before beginning a travel agent career? Education is certainly beneficial to increase your knowledge of travel products, booking procedures, and popular destinations. A large portion of this can be learned at home via the internet, without attending a travel agent school. Most travel suppliers will offer an introductory travel agent course, allowing the agent to learn the basics of making reservations. Many popular destinations offer a travel agent certification program which allows the agent to become a sales specialist for that area.

KHM Travel offers an extensive travel agent training program to its family of agents. A variety of basic travel agent courses and webinars are available at no cost. A more extensive travel agent course from Compass Travel Academy is offered at a discount to KHM agents. This coursework also counts as credits toward the travel agent certification levels offered by The Travel Institute.

Are you ready to get started in your exciting new travel agent career? Contact KHM Travel at 877-220-9260 x. 200 for more information or visit www.KHMTravel.com and let the adventure begin!

Begin An At Home Based Travel Business Now
Jan 04

Many entrepreneurs can sometimes feel overwhelmed in their business when they discover that owning and managing a company is not very easy or glamorous. This should be the fact that many fail in the first 3 years. There’s one kind of small enterprise though where the opposite is experienced. What is it? A home based travel agency. Following 4 reasons that explain why owning your very own travel agent makes for contented business possession.

Home Based Travel AgencyIt’s Straightforward to Find Purchasers : Buyers are the most vital asset of any business. And, getting them is a challenge many small companies face. When you own your travel agency, the world at large is your shopper base. This makes finding purchasers infinitely simpler than in other kinds of companies. You can take reservations from local purchasers, from state consumers and from global clients. And, you can do it at any point of the day or night This is a big advantage for new entrepreneurs for it suggests that irrespective of what time of the year you open your doors, as it were, your services will be requested.

Earn Commissions Around The Clock : Travel is not a 9-5 business ; it’s an around-the-clock business. Buyers can log onto the web and order travel for family reunions, honeymoons, graduation cruises and more each minute of each day. What does this mean to you? That when you own your own travel office, you can make commissions all of the time. You can not say that for plenty of companies.

Travel Deductions For You : When you launch your own travel agent, you receive reductions on your own travel. It is like your business paying you to do business! You receive kickbacks on airline tickets, 5 star hotels, fine cafes and more. This is, in reality why many started home based travel agents. Because they really like to travel, they decide, Why not benefit from it and earn some money at the same time.

Deductions For Friends And Family : many are not aware that when you own your very own travel agent, acquaintances and family have entitlement to discounts as well.

As the travel agent owner, you make money when they book thru your business. Yes, you read right. Your friends and family get deductions and you earn cash at the exact same time. It is a winning situation for all. When you own your very own home based travel business, a wonderful new world literally opens down to you. Find out more about the best way to start a fun career as a home based travel business owner at www.KHMTravel.com or call Burt Kramer at 1-877-220-9260.

Start A Home Based Travel Agency
Dec 01

Although owning and operating your own business has its rewards, it is often easier and more profitable to start a home business travel agency instead. Usually, most small businesses fail within the first three years, but these statistics do not apply if you decide to become a travel agent. There are three main reasons why it pays to become an independent travel consultant: you will always have plenty of customers, you will make money around-the-clock, and you will enjoy travel discounts for yourself, your family, and your friends.

Plenty of Customers

Home Based Travel AgencyWithout customers you have no business, and one of the reasons why most small businesses fail in three years is that they run out of leads, prospects, and customers. This, fortunately, is not true in the travel business because demand far exceeds supply. When you’re a work at home travel agent, you will get customers from the city you live in, from all over the country, and from all over the world. What’s more, you can make reservations day and night and your travel software applications make it easy to handle this stream of business. Unlike other businesses which are restricted to local customers or seasonal variations, these limitations do not apply to a home-based travel agency.

Make Money Around-The-Clock

In the travel business, the phrase “making money-around-the clock” is used literally, not figuratively. The influx of customers will not be limited to banker’s hours, but you will be open for business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your customers will be booking cruises, honeymoons, family reunions, and travel packages at all hours of the day or night. A work at home travel agent is someone who makes money all the time.

Travel Discounts

Those who love to travel themselves love this aspect of the business. It’s routine to receive deep discounts on travel expenses, ranging from air travel to staying in a luxury hotel or dining in a fancy restaurant. Your business is paying you to be in business!

These deep discounts not only apply to you when you become a travel agent, but also to your family and friends. Moreover, since you are booking them, you will get paid for it, too.

Start a home based travel agency today and get plenty to customers, make money around the clock, and enjoy deep discounts on your own personal travel. When you become a travel agent, you step into a new world full of profit and excitement. For more information call Burt Kramer at 877-220-9260.

Travel Agent Career – Travel Agent Career Options
Oct 01

Becoming a travel agent is a career that suits anyone who enjoys customer service, the art of traveling, and working with the latest technologies to facilitate organization and booking practices for their clients. This can be an international career, because a travel agent career could involve working from just about anywhere in the world and staying on top of travel trends.

Some travel agent career options would include finding work within a larger travel agency or booking organization. The more old fashioned of these options are those that are located in physical offices, but many travel agents will prefer to work out of a virtual agency. That can allow them the same network of support, but more freedom to work with their clients from a remote location.

Corporate travel is another travel agent career that combines the traditional work of a personal assistant with the latest trends and skill sets that are used by travel agents. Sometimes corporations will hire one staff member specifically to arrange travel for everyone in the company, which could also yield its own benefits in that you may have the chance to conduct travel in the most suitable manner.

There are a few different ways to launch a travel agent career. Some people will find work with larger host agencies that don’t require any prior experience. Others will get a degree specifically in tourism, travel or the hospitality fields. That could lead to a more open door in terms of travel options and the number of places that you could potentially find work in this industry.

While the main decision when starting up a travel agent career is whether to work independently or for an agency, there are other directions in the hospitality industry that you could take this career as well. Some future agents choose to start their career as booking agents at a hotel, or at an airport. That helps give insider knowledge that will help down the road when starting up a specific agency career.

A background in world history, computer systems, or other work experience can all come in handy when you decide to look into a travel agent career. It’s a good idea to evaluate your current skill set, and figure out what you can learn to help advance this more into the tourism and hospitality fields. This will open up the doors just a big wider, for a more long lasting and fulfilling career.

Host Travel Agency – Steps on How To Choose The Right Host Travel Agency?
Sep 01

There are a number of benefits to working with a host travel agency, if you are interested in moving forward quickly with your career path as an individual travel consultant. However, there can be a wide range of different agencies out there, and a few qualities to look for when you are narrowing these agencies down.

One of the first steps to take to choose the right host travel agency would be to verify the agency’s credentials and background. They should be certified by a professional hosting organization, or be active ASTA members. The exact credential can vary in between agencies, but there should be some sign that they are a valid, professional organization.

Another tip to keep in mind when comparing each host travel agency to find the right one is to look at their business track record. Ideally, they will already work with a number of top travel agents, who should be willing to give testimonials or positive reviews to new agents that might want to sign on board. One of the benefits of working with a host agency is having access to other professionals for advice and support.

When conducting initial research into the different host travel agency options, it’s also worth taking into consideration how their organization is run. Some work as multi level marketing schemes, with agents recruiting other agents and doing little travel agency work themselves. The best agencies will instead focus on customer service, and helping each independent agent receive the tools that he or she needs to succeed.

Narrowing down the best host travel agency options will also involve investigating how the pay scheme works. This includes what percentage the agency might take in exchange for helping you find new clients and providing valuable support and resources. The cut that they take from their agents will vary widely depending on how the agency is run, how large it is, and what types of fees that the agents are charging clients.

A little bit of organization and advance research can make a world of difference in finding the right host travel agency. Be sure that no outstanding complaints have been filed against the company, and that they are able to provide testimonials from their agents and the clients that the agents have helped. These should be readily available either on their website, or offered to prospective agents when asked.

Become a Top Travel Agent – Desirable Skill Sets to Become a Top Travel Agent
Aug 01

When looking at different jobs within the travel industry, some prefer to take on the responsibilities of organizing vacations for others. To become a top travel agent, however, you need to have a wide range of skill sets and Travel Agent Training. This includes not only technical skills but also a high level of impeccable customer service ability. You’ll be dealing not only with your own clients, but also with other professionals in the tourism industry.

Because such a high percentage of travel booking is now completed online, it’s necessary to have a skill set that leaves you feeling comfortable with computers and internet usage. That could include specific vocational training with searching database systems, or it could be more a matter of just knowing how to work search engines and booking systems properly.

To become a top travel agent, it’s necessary to have top notch communication skills. That involves being able to listen to clients and their needs, so that you are able to craft the perfect vacation. Communication skills are also important in terms of being able to articulate these client needs to tourism officials in other countries.

Having an interest in travel is a key component to become a top travel agent. If you don’t already enjoy traveling yourself, you won’t be able to have the right level of enthusiasm. This is also important in terms of being able to pass on travel tips to others, and learn more about specific safety concerns, visa issues, and other typical problems that may possibly present themselves while traveling.

Organizational and administrative skills come into play for travel agents. The reason why people hire travel agents in the first place instead of just booking their own reservations is to take the worry out of it and be sure that they can just sit back and relax. You want to make sure that you have the right organization systems in place so that there are no glitches in the system.

Speaking any foreign languages will come in handy as a skill set for anyone who wishes to become a top travel agent. Spanish is becoming more and more prevalent as one of the world’s top languages, and the interest in Japanese and Mandarin is also rising. Speaking any second language or more is bound to help you gain new clients and communicate more effectively with those in foreign countries.

Travel Agent Training- Get a Career in the Travel Industry
Jul 01

There are many elements of travel agent training to consider. The first and most important thing to know is that there is no formal education requirement for this career. While you can pursue education, you don’t have to. You need to first figure out what you are interested in doing with a travel career, as well as why you want to consider this industry. Whether you want to become a home-based agent or start your own travel agency, you can do it with ease.

You can get training by working for someone else as a travel agent, but this will not be as flexible or rewarding as working for yourself might be. Choosing to work for a travel agency will provide you with a lot more training and education, though. You will learn about vacation packages, airfare, booking hotels and cruises, and other elements. If you choose to work alone, you might find it harder to get the training that you need even though it can be done.

You will find many great careers in the travel industry, regardless of whether you’re looking for flexibility in your career, big commissions, or travel discounts that agents are known for getting. You will be able to get exactly what you want and need from your career if you take the time to look. It’s easy to find the perfect career with so many different opportunities out there.

You can find travel agent training in traditional classes, online, and through job training. You need to be sure that you look at all of the opportunities so that you can choose the best ones for your specific career goals and future expectations.

People choose careers in travel for a variety of reasons. You will enjoy a fun and exciting career in the travel and tourism industry, and can even find part-time work or enjoy it as an option for after retirement. Anyone from any walk of life can benefit from a career in this industry.

Making sure that you have the right experience and credentials is critical to your success. Of course, these skills are not hard to find in any situation. As long as you take the time to check out what’s available, you should have no trouble meeting your career goals. This is a great industry to work in, no matter why you choose it or where you want to go with it.

One company that can truly help you with your ambition to operate your travel agency business is KHM Travel Group. To get to know how this company can assist you with your Travel Agent Training, call Burt Kramer at 1-877-220-9260 now.