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Top Review

January 15, 2017
After decades in the travel industry, I left to pursue other interests, but continued to have former clients ask me advice. I decided to go back into travel on a very part time basis, and help a few of my clients who couldn't get the service they were used to, when planning their complex custom trips. I signed with another agency who charged a hefty monthly fee, and were difficult to reach. After about a year, I left that host agency and signed with Outside Agents. There are a few cons, but having been in the business for as long as I have, they're not out of the ordinary. The requirement to change the Revelex password every so often (I rarely use it, so it turns out I need to change it every time I log in, at which time I've forgotten it anyway), that time my account was suspended accidentally because I was mistaken for someone else (it was reinstated immediately when I emailed to ask why), and when you work for yourself, your only coworker is the cat (and she is never going to grab lunch for me). The pros, however, are countless. When I have an issue, I can look on the website and find the person who can help me. They email me back within the hour (during business hours), and after hours, the owners give their cell phone numbers, so help is available virtually any time. Who does that? I don't even give my cell phone number to my own family! That accessibility is everything. Then, the commission structure. I am no longer a high volume agent, since I now do this very part time. They don't care how much business I do, and treat me like I'm the most important agent in the company. In spite of this, I get the benefit of the override commissions of the agency as a whole. A small brick and mortar might get 10% with a vendor, yet a home agent with a low volume could get 16% or 18% with that same vendor. The E&O insurance is included with the lower priced premium package. That's a big deal. When I need access to a vendor booking system that I haven't used before (that doesn't have self registration), I get a login super fast (during business hours). Even when I worked IN a travel office, I would often have to ask repeatedly for logins before the right person would be found, promising to do it "after lunch" and I'd end up spending a week on the phone with the vendor, booking and altering that reservation, and playing phone tag with the client. Outside Agents really gets it. They know how agents work, and they want to make sure we can function in the ways that make sense. Commissions are paid twice monthly, and are easy to track with the new system. I can see what vendor has paid, which ones haven't, and then I know which ones to shake down for payment. My client management system is easy to use (with provided training) and I'm not using my rolodex anymore. The start up fee was low (and refunded after my first booking, a single hotel night) and the monthly is so low, compared to other host agencies. On demand training, recorded webinars, and continuing education. They really do have it all.
August 27, 2018

My daughter and I decided to start a home-based agency together. We spent many months researching the best host agency to work with. (Thank you HAR for all the great information!) After creating many spreadsheets, contacting various hosts, webinars, etc. we selected OA and we are glad we did.

First, it is very cost-effective. We are at the most expensive level (with a sub-agent). The fee includes a high quality website, CRM, and most of all, LOTS of training. Their contract allows you drop at any time. There are no big upfront fees like with many other hosts. The commission structure is much better than many other agencies.

Second,the owners and staff are available. They have a good system for submitting questions and concerns--I usually get a response within hours. (once was on a Sunday from one of the owners!)

Third, Learning.There is a robust community of agents helping one another. There are a zillion hours of training on-line. There are reasonably priced face-to-face training. They have a mentor program.

Fourth, technology. Their CRM is easy to learn. The free website is beautiful and customizable. They have a great free group and booking genie option. They have a weekly email promotion program that you can choose to have sent to your clients (or not. They are continually updating and upgrading--a new online booking engine is coming soon.

Many new people like us feel overwhelmed at first--there is so much. But don't plan to make much, if any, money at first. It takes time. Plug away at learning and building relationships. There are some great posts in their forums from veteran successful agents.

We are extremely happy we chose OA.

June 25, 2018

I have been with OA for a short 8 months and it has been business changing! I have been with other agencies with little to no support and having to fight for commission on every booking. To this day my previous host owes me a significant amount of commission.
I researched for several months before making the leap to OA and when I say it was business changing I am not kidding. I met my 2018 Goal in the first 5 months and had to re-assess those goals.
I just returned from a life and again business changing week of training. When I say they have your back they are not kidding. I was struggling with a few features in the CRM and those were resolved within minutes of asking for personal help.
I have spoken to the owners Steve and Chad and the Sales manager Dan on multiple occations via email or phone prior to my training event with them. Dan has responded to emails at 11:30pm on a couple of instances, you can't beat that kind of support!
I wish I had made this change years ago! Thank you OA for being real and wanting each person under your host to succeed!

June 14, 2018

I had another host agency early on in my career and it was not a good experience at all for me.

I am so happy that a couple of months ago I decided to give the host agency route another try. I can not praise OA highly enough.

When I needed some "coaching" on how to go about making a group "work" (since it was my first cruise group that I had booked after being with OA), I reached out to Dan Crutchfield via email and he called me the same day, spending quite some time on the phone with me helping me understand the details of making this group work the way I needed it to. I never felt rushed or got the sense that he had better things to do (even though I'm sure he had a million other things he needed to be doing!)

Their training is above and beyond anything I ever expected. They are so much more than "just a host agency".
I truly feel that I have a partnership with OA, and I feel like a valued partner.

April 12, 2018

The experience I had in the past has always been positive. I was frustrated last week when I went to reactivate and was told no. I have spoken to one of the owners Steve today and there was some miscommunication on both sides. I am happy that they reached out to me and we got everything straightened out. I have some upcoming trips and really needed a host agency and since I never had any issues before with OA, I reactivated and am excited to move forward and book through OA.

March 29, 2018

As a travel agent with over 20 years of experience I am thrilled to be working with OA. I moved over about 4 years ago and its been a great relationship. The team at OA is constantly improving processes and technologies. It seems like my CRM wishlist just keeps materializing. They pay commissions promptly, answer questions on a dime and are always very pleasant to work with. I highly recommend signing up with OA! Looking forward to many more years!

March 28, 2018

I have been a Travel Agent for 5 years now and since signing up with Outside Agents a little over a year ago my business has doubled. They are a wonderful, supportive agency offering top commission & assistance for your business. Their technology is top of the line & gives you more time to focus on selling & marketing. The owners are very responsive & hands on; my emails are always addressed very quickly. The entire agency is wonderful & I'm lucky to be a part of the team. Although they are a large agency, I always feel important & respected.

March 14, 2018

While my rating is not related to the quality of platform offered I feel that I need to share my story. I signed up for a $21/month membership but shortly I realized it was not what I was looking for. In less than 2 hours after I signed up, I sent an email and requested the membership cancellation and asked my card not to be charged. The transaction was already pending (of course)
The charge was made on my CC and no confirmation of the receipt of my request was ever sent to me. i called today spoke with Kaitlin and asked why my card was still charged --- she said they need 30 days notice in advance for cancellation. While I totally understand the cancellation policy, I know that with any other business if you send cancellation request within the first 24 hours you can cancel any agreement. Even a car lease can be cancelled within the first 24 hours!!!!!

Host Agency Response
March 16, 2018


I'm sorry to hear that your experience wasn't what you wanted.

To be clear, you replied within 24 hours, not 2 hours. Regardless, let me explain why we don't offer a refund if an agent cancels within 24 hours.

When an agent signs up with us, automation kicks in so that we can get the agent up and running quickly. Part of this automation is the setup of 3rd party services for which we are billed automatically and for which we cannot get a refund even if we canceled within seconds. In fact, it costs us $39.80 to set up every agent that signs up.

So, clearly we invest in the opportunity to partner with our agents. It should also be equally clear as to why we cannot offer refunds as we state on our website during your registration process.

I hope this clears the matter for you.

As always, if you need anything at all, please don't hesitate to reach out.

March 11, 2018

I'm a newbie to the travel industry and researched many host agencies before deciding on OA. I really was a little wary, as I was waiting to find out what "the catch" was. It honestly sounds too good to be true. I have just returned from Boot Camp and am pleased to report, THERE IS NO CATCH!!! Fees are low and up front. Training is limitless. Support is outstanding. The only surprise for me was that there are NO surprises. I really feel like I made a good decision choosing OA and am excited to get things rolling.

February 28, 2018

This agency is amazing. They are always there to support and help you grow your business. Every one right down to the owners are so friendly and helpful. I could not ask for a better host agency to be affiliated with. I look forward to many more years working with them. if you are looking for a great host agency i highly recommend you sign up with Outside agents. You will not be disappointed.

February 16, 2018

Great technology and excellent upper level affiliations TravelLeaders/ I've been able to work my travel business part-time over the past two years with very little out-of-pocket cost and I've still learned a lot about the travel industry. Starting full-time this week and I couldn't be happier than to be hosted by Outside Agents.

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