I have been with Avoya for almost 5 years, and have learned a lot and been helped a lot to get up and running. The first year is a little slow, as it would be anywhere. After that I was allowed to specialize in whatever areas and lines that I wanted. I have been able to be quite successful, and now I am enjoying repeat customers and referrals. The vendors really treat Avoya as a VIP and that feels good to have them appreciate what Avoya does for them as far as business.
If you have the experience of being in travel, but do not have clients of your own, this is a great place. You can start your base of clientele by working with their lead program. There is nothing out there like it. They also have a mentoring program that you can get started in -- definitely another boost up.
I was hesitant to write a review for Avoya because I know they read everyone's reviews online. However, my contract with them will be over this month and I wanted to share my very honest opinion of them.
Their program looks and seems great, and it probably is if you are an established agent with a large, consistent following. I was not. I worked for a huge travel agency where I did not get to keep my leads, and so when my mom died I went looking for a new agency to continue my travel career with. They promised "live leads" and that was the selling point. However, their "live leads" are not, for the most part, "live." You get leads usually from browsers, many of whom give fake contact info. If you don't sell them a vacation, your stats go down.
Next, when I did actually reach someone from a lead, they were in the VERY early stages of booking a cruise, and they never returned calls or emails. Also, many of the leads I was given were two-three weeks old, hardly "live" in my book.
Last summer I had knee surgery and was unable to work for a few weeks, and when I signed on I saw that I was allowed "0" leads. This was because I had not sold any cruises for several months. I believed, and was told, that this agency allowed you to work as you wanted to, but in reality, if you don't meet their criteria, they will not provide any leads...at all. It's very hard to earn money if you have no leads, and it's very hard to be given leads if you don't sell any cruises.
Again, if you had your own clientele it might work, but for a new agent, forget it.
My second complain is that I also felt nickel and dimed. I was assigned a toll-free number by Avoya, which had an 800 prefix. Unfortunately there was an insurance company in Canada with an 888 prefix, and I got hundreds of wrong number calls because of the similarities. When I asked about getting the number changed I was told there was a charge to do so. I also had a new landline number put in and I was charged $25 to change. I know it isn't difficult to do, but the company charges you for everything. The monthly fee is $49 and they will take the fee from your commission earnings without asking you. It would be nice to know that that is happening. It's little things like that that I found annoying.
My final straw was this year. I was contacted via email by the VP of sales and told that my sales and lead closes were too low (I have to work full-time as a teacher because I don't make enough to live on as a travel agent)and that Avoya felt I was not right for their company.
Again, I had missed time for knee surgery, and in August had spine surgery and was unable to do much of anything for a few weeks. still, they held strong to their plans and told me I would not be renewed. I pay them $49 every month whether or not I make a sale, so I have no idea how I was somehow hurting their reputation. I have sold cruises to my friends and family and earned commissions, but for some reason I just didn't fit the Avoya mold.
I have two bookings that don't need to be paid in full until February and I have absolutely no idea if I will even get my commission because they told me I will have to pay them if I go to another agency. Right now, I have no interest in working for a host agency again. I just want my commission, and I have a funny feeling I will never get it.
I think Avoya is good for someone who has a big following and who doesn't mind giving up some of their commissions to pay a host agency, but if you are new, this is not the place for you. You won't get good leads, you won't get paid right away, and they keep tabs on your closing stats and will let you go even though you pay their monthly and initial fee to join.
I sold over $1.5 million in bookings my first year with my previous company because I got active leads on the phone from people who were calling to book. This number is simply not do-able for the average agent going to Avoya. Maybe other people have had great experiences with them, but I would not recommend them.
I wanted to update my post. As of today I am no longer with Avoya so I can be a bit more frank. They very quickly blocked my access to my company email but fortunately I kept all of my bookings and info. They are holding my commission on my paid booking until 30 days after the cruise which is May 2013. I think it is wrong since policy is to pay an agent when they receive the check from the cruiseline. My other two bookings are going to be transferred to my new agency, Outside Agents. I had planned to leave the industry but because of the behavior of Avoya, I decided simply to go in another direction. I personally felt like they don't go out of their way with new agents even though they get paid monthly from their service charges, and it was a poor decision for me in 2010.
I have been in the travel industry for over 30 years and the best, most fulfilling years have been the last 4 with Avoya Travel.
As with all things it takes time to build your book of business and Avoya Travel gives you all of the tools to do so SUCCESSFULLY!
From their Live leads program, state of the art technology, and excellent relationship with our travel partners you are set on the path to success.
Yes, I work hard but I am the one reaping the rewards of my labor.
The rewards of a great income, selecting which vendors I want to sell, working when I want to, where I want to. I can work while sailing down the Rhine (if I choose to).
If you are looking for a Host agency that values YOU and your experience then go to joinavc.com for more details about this extraordinary opportuity to build YOUR OWN business with a great supportive company.
I was with Avoya for a year and I really wanted to love it. The leads were key to my decision to join them. But the problem is that the leads that I received were not in my area of specialty even though I was led to believe there would be many Disney leads. The majority of the leads I received were low end cruise lines.
The pros: The education opportunities and the technology is great! I did love their quote options for cruises. The format of the quote emails/invoices is very nice. Their support system is very good too. I always received timely replies when I had questions. Also it is a huge bonus to be able to book clients with American Express reward points. Finally, if you need cruise bookings to get your CLIA ACC, MCC, etc. Avoya is a great way to do that. But the commission split on these cruises that come from their leads is too low.
The cons: First the definition of lead is misleading. Anyone who goes to an Avoya site and enters their email address and clicks on ANY cruise/tour is considered a lead. There are a lot of folks just exploring who aren't really ready to book a trip out there! It was too much like "Big Brother" watching on the web for me. After I signed on I was told that if you closed 1 out of every 20 leads you were doing well. Personally that kind of return on my time investment was not worth my continuing with them.
For the few leads that were really interested in booking something, I found that the majority were just shoppers who wanted the absolute rock bottom price and then they wanted me to price match sites like Costco who offer huge OBC's.
Also, there are no opportunities to book air through Avoya except through the suppliers that offer it. But I also needed a host to ticket group air that I sell from time to time.
I've been affiliated with Avoya Travel for 2yrs and have really enjoyed it. I have no clients of my own so I rely 100% on the live lead program. The best advantage of the program is that you can sell the specific tour company, river cruise line or ocean cruise line that you really like to sell--you pick the vendors you work with. If you have experience in travel, I would strongly urge you to consider joining Avoya Travel American Express.
I have been in the travel industry for over 17 years.
I work for one company for 3 years and then I made the move to Avoya Travel.Best decision I have ever made.
Technology at best,leads ,costumer service and a great team of people that make you feel that you are really part of a big family.
Have made many good friends ,Travel at least ones a year on our national conference and other funtions.
In my opinion from A to Z Avoya is the best Host Agency
I have been in the travel industry for over 22 years.
since 2007 I affiliated my agency to Avoya Travel.
with my experience I was able to learn the system in no time and started selling travel right away.
Avoya is a great hot agency and it runs with integrity and professionalism at it best.
In only a year I was able to accomplish the award of Best of the Best and year after year up until 2014 I have been awarded the Best of the Best award which is at least a million dollars in gross sales in a year.For 2015 month of July my agency have sold a million plus therefore my gold is 2 million to be President club.
The live leads are amazing and easy to close if you know the products and have experience .I don’t understand how someone with 20 plus years of experience can’t close these leads and not be successful at Avoya travel.
All it takes is integrity,honesty, professionalism and knowledge
If you have these virtues there is no reason why anyone can be very successful affiliating your business with the best host agency in the industry Avoya travel.
I've been in the travel industry for 13 years. I've worked at a cruise line and for two previous American Express brick and mortar agencies. Since joining Avoya my sales have soared and I have complete control and autonomy over how and when I work. Avoya is supportive and innovative in their approach. They are always thinking outside the box to insure we are ahead of the curve, by miles. Joining the Avoya team truly changed my life, for the better and I've never had any regrets. There are so many host agencies to choose from but there really is only one choice if you want to be successful, work with professionals and have the backing of a company with integrity, Avoya.
I have just finished reading all of the reviews on this site. I don't know who Robert Kurze is but I do feel VERY sorry that he is obviously so ill-informed.
I am not going to repeat in detail what all of my other family members have mentioned. Suffice is to say all are true statements. Yes, we have 24 hour live leads, yes, we can choose our specialties be it land or sea vendors, yes we have our marketing done for us, yes we have the most innovative agent system out there and yes we strongly believe that professionalism, honesty and integrity to our clients, to each other, to our own characters and to our host agency are what sets us apart from all of the other host agencies. We are an amazing family and this is the point I would like to expound on.
I joined for the same reason most joined which is for the live leads program. But, I quickly learned that whomever phrased, " You can't teach and old dog new tricks" had never belonged to Avoya Trave/American Express. Being a part of this unique and extremely giving family has changed my life for the better 10000%. 5 stars isn't enough of a rating.
I decided to join when the "recession" was affecting most of our livelihoods and probably still is to most ( fortunately not to most of us at Avoya). From the moment you join us you are handed on a silver platter, every thing you can possibly think of to become financially successful. What's more, this is continuous in that there is absolutely no limit on how much you can succeed. It is your choice how you run your own business and what you want to attain. There is no holding you back. Avoya Travel/American Express is a huge, and I mean huge, network of professional travel advisors that beleive in giving the personal attention and service to each client just like we expect for ourselves when we are the ones in need of assistance. Our main goal is to build long lasting clientele relationships gaining repeat business and referrals. No man is an island and this is not an easy goal to attain. It involves hard work and dedication. Having am entire family of professionals and peers to stand by your side and turn to, is beyond explaining in written words.
Where else can you be a home-based agent and feel as if you are surrounded by family 24 hours 7 days a week? Not only do we help one another if we can't work, we help one another while we are working. If we need a fine restaurant in Vienna or a private guide in Dubai, no more then 5 minutes go by before we all help give you the answers to your needs. There is no competition because when we take that lead, it is your lead and no one elses to view. Where else can you pick the phone up without any reserve , and call our co-founding Presidents Brad and Van Anderson, Scott Koepf, former President of NACTA , Steve Hirshan, David and Michael Anderson and many other high profile industry leaders that are part of our family... to talk over a problem, make a suggestion, get an answer for anything you may need? You don't just join Avoya, you become part of a very close-knit. caring family.
We are handed every possible opportunity to become financially sucessessful. If you need any help be it 3PM or 3AM someone is always there to help make your clients travel experience seamless as well as lower your stress level. Considering you are spending a good half of your life working, having such a giving family of agents and administrators to lean on , is an amazing attribute to say the least.
IF you are looking for a second chance on life and career, if you are looking for a place you never walk alone, if you are serious about being part of an award winning, highly innovative and much sought after host agency, well then "Greetings Pilgrim, Your Search Has Ended". Be happy to answer any questions anyone may have if what I've said isn't enough to make you realize you too can have a new lease on life.
I highly recommend Avoya Travel to anyone who is considering joining a host agency for the following reasons:
There is a support staff to help you at every step of the way. You are your own boss, so you can work as hard as you want to or as little. There is wonderful training from Avoya and many suppliers. You are affiliating yourself with a brand that is well known in the industry. I love having the ability to have all of the perks of American Express and use that to benefit my clients. The company is contantly growing and updating itself on every level. There is a very large colleagial aspect as well. For example, I am looking forward to seeing other agents at this years conference that I met last year. It is clear to me that we are there for each other. There are opportunities to participate in Fams and other learning experiences. It should be emphasized to all who want to participate in Avoya that there is definately a very ethical vibe, as there should be. I wholeheartedly recommend Avoya as an excellent host agency that you can be proud to be a part of.
I have been with Avoya four years and made the right decision . The owners are wonderful people to work for and very caring. . You have the flexibility to work and take vacation whenever you want . You get paid on a weekly basis . They will even given you an advance if you need it. There are plenty of leads for you to make plenty of money, so the choice is yours.
You are always offered to attend cruise and tour operator webinars to keep updated on the latest .
Their support staff is there for you 7 days a week! Bonus commissions and cruise give aways!!
Need I say more?? Get on board with Avoya. ,!!
Review Avoya Travel, an American Express Travel Representative
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