A passion project in retirement that turned into a thriving business: Two reasons why and the how:
First, a little background: After twenty years of trading risk arbitrage and equity derivatives in downtown manhattan, the time had come for chapter two, or no chapter at all; the latter option was not appealing. My dad said, "what about being a travel advisor? You love to travel, have a great client list and have been to +60 countries. We use an advisor and it makes all the difference in the world?" I love the idea, but where do you begin?
With Wall Street clientele, the appeal of Virtuoso as the luxury leader in travel helped me narrow my search for a host agency on this very site. The other requirement was a real education; only GTN had both. The year-long program was vital to my success. One could launch without the education on the back of my extensive travel and business experience, but aren't your odds of success drastically higher if you are a true expert? Doesn't that take immersion and mentorship? Would I have done more damage to my budding travel reputation with the finance clients I hoped to convert to travel clients had I not? Would I get more than one chance from those clients?
Fast forward to December 2021, I am in GTN's top producers club (top 30) in my first full year of business! I am invited to the Virtuoso ultraluxe community, attended Belmond's signature Bellini event for 10 USA advisors in Sicily and was on a top producer retreat with GTN. Without education, it would not have unfolded this way and certainly not this quickly.
The second reason is: In real estate, the most valuable metric is location, location, location, but at a host agency, it is culture, culture, culture. The collaboration and support amongst advisors in our community is the silver bullet and goes hand in hand with the educational foundation of GTN. Imagine how much the collective mindshare benefits our clients. I was not expecting instant responses to questions or requests for advice yet opening up the browser to 7 responses in thirty minutes is common. It's another level of vetting and advocacy, but it only happens if the culture is there. We are not competing like local real estate agents who might compete for a listing in town. Our clients are worldwide, an enviable difference, and it means we are not competing so let's help each other win. We share tips, insights and experiences on our internal system in discussion groups that pale in comparison to snarky online forums. We travel together, 14 GTN advisors and I are just back from 12 days in Tanzania, and as a result, we grow together. It's made all the difference in professional growth inspired by culture and education. What more can you ask for?