I started out with Outside Agents so I don't really have anything else to compare them to. I can say this though... I do not think I would have made it beyond a couple of years if it weren't for Outside Agents. Their structure, the accessibility, not only to the staff but, to the owners themselves, the training available, the continuous technology upgrades and the agent community itself have all been beyond spectacular.
If you're reading this trying to decide on a host, I can't speak of other hosts but you could not go wrong by choosing Outside Agents.
This is the 3rd host agency I have dealt with and the best. The majority of my experience has been part time but I have learned a lot. Outside Agents has packages that fit all levels of involvement in the travel business at reasonable prices. Hope to grow in the business now that I am retired from prior jobs and I know the ability to grow is provided by OA!
I have worked under OutsideAgents since joining the travel industry. They are by far the most helpful, knowledgeable, and most importantly caring host agency. The amount of training we have access to is beyond what I ever expected, and their willingness to always be available and help out goes above and beyond. They have provided their independent agents with the right tools (chats, forums, CRM, LMS, etc.) to be successful. If you are looking for a host agency, choose OutsideAgents...you will not be disappointed.
I cannot say enough good things about Outside Agents. I had been with another host for my first year and felt like I should be getting more. I felt like I was always having to track down my payments, I had to pay for a CRM, and the website given to me was terrible. Outside Agents is COMPLETE opposite. They are HALF the cost of what I was paying, they pay higher commissions (start at 80%), the training program they offer is phenomenal, they give us a great CRM tool.
Other things that make my life easier? Before customers had to fill out a paper with their credit card info. OA gives us a tool where we can send an email with a pretty web page form for them to fill it out which is completely secure and we get it back as a PDF that is password protected. You can set up emails to automatically send reminding them payments are due, or welcoming them back from their vacation. I've only barely begun to touch on some of the great benefits from my new host as I am still learning. The website they give us for clients to book off of is awesome - that alone was reason enough for me to switch. Clients can book and I don't have to lift a finger (if they don't want me to).
Check them out - for $12/month you get Errors and Omission insurance and all the tools you need to be successful. I pay for the $20/month to get the better website and few more additional features. It is FAR worth it.
I have been with this host for 7 years and every year it just gets better and better. The technology,CRM management, and support system make my job so much easier. And nothing is better than knowing when your commission check is coming. So glad I chose them from the beginning.
I switched to OA three years ago! What a smart move on my part. Outside Agents goes beyond what I could ever hope for. Their commission structure is excellent, they offer more training then I can ever hope to complete and they are always developing more. In addition, the technology and back office tools that we have at our fingertips is absolutely fantastic AND they keep adding to it! The relationships between them and our suppliers is such that it greatly benefits their agents in so many areas, contacts and swift responses from the BDMS, training, offers and commission. The two owners, Chad and Steve, personally answer emails from their thousands of agents and in a very timely matter! Dan, the Sales Mangager, is always ready to help and is the mastermind behind developing training both on line and in person in which phenomenal training workshops both on property and off are offered throughout the year. The behind the scene staff is great as well, responding quickly to whatever questions we may have. Being a part of the Outside Agents family can ONLY bring positive changes to your business! Thankful to be a part of their "family"!
Outside Agents is truly the best host agency for travel agents. They are constantly improving all aspects of the "nuts and bolts," travel professionals use. They offer on demand training, amazing CRM program, weekly paychecks, and the best part, they are available for help with any questions you may have. They offer workshops at their training center, they will call you if you request to speak to someone, their commission split is excellent, and I could go on and on! I'm so thankful I have Outside Agents as my host agency. They make my job easy!
Outside Agents ROCK.
We have been with this agency a little over two years and my sales went from a part time of $7,000 last year to over $200,000 this year just by using all of the tools that they have to offer. I have my website thru them, my O&E with them and the support is out of this world.
In 2014, I made the decision to leave the stressful construction management world after 15 years, and take on new career. I wanted something I would feel alive & passionate about, and my research led me to becoming a travel agent.
Finding this site - hostagencyreviews.com - was a Godsend. The amount of information available, suggestions for what to look for in a host & most importantly, a personal call from Steph herself, gave me the momentum I needed to know that I was making good, well informed decisions with the possibility of having a viable career & income.
While each person will face their own challenges, I already had a decent business background and knew that my hot button was (and still is) technology. That was my main focus in finding a host. Other important key factors for me were honesty & integrity, a low price during my business building phase & more training available than I could humanly do, while maintaining a balanced family life.
Comparisons, location in proximity to me, reviews on here & the BBB and low start-up costs brought Outside Agents into my top 3 choices. Their promise to stay on top of technology and it's ever changing field, encouraged me to learn even more about them, and upon finding out what a computer nerd - affectionately speaking - that one of the co-owners, Chad Burt is, ultimately became my deciding factor. In addition to this realization; A family that can work together must be doing something right.
When you find an entity effectively managing over 4,000 IC's, and over half of the corporate office staff are family members, then you've struck gold. We all laugh about our dysfunctional families at times, but can you honestly say that you could work successfully with any of them? That's where integrity & honesty come in...from the top down. Co-owners & cousins, Chad Burt & Steve Muraca, Steve's mom & founder, Cheryl as well as his wife & sister-in-law are just some of the wonderful people you'll find working in this office, as well as others that may not be related by blood, but seem like family just the same.
When they tell you they're going to do something, they do it. They don't nickel and dime you to death, and they've never messed with my commissions. If a commission goes unpaid, they've always been quick to help you locate a reason from the vendor.
And then there's Dan. He is our sales manager. If you follow his methods - and his are very unique to this industry - the bookings will come. He doesn't sweat the small stuff and tends to over generalize in his broad statements, but I don't think you'll find a better trainer overall, than Dan Crutchfield. He's been around the industry forever and knows the ins & outs, so he's able to convey that in interesting ways that bring each of the suppliers and their reps into your world, face to face, no matter where you live. His knowledge is extensive and you'll find yourself repeating his mantra's throughout your daily life. I don't think I would be as successful as I am today, without Dan's invaluable training.
My personal track record involved maybe 2 small bookings my first year, then a few more and one big Sandals booking the next year. By year three, after creating my website, networking, registering with my local jurisdiction and all of the other preparatory things that OA spells out for you, I felt ready to face the retail travel world in a big way. Well maybe "ready" is too strong of a word, more like petrified - but in 2015 I decided to quit my full time job, and with the support of my husband, open a retail storefront agency, operated by myself & myself only, with Cruises & Tours Unlimited (aka: Outside Agents) as my sole host.
Within 6 months I had so many bookings that I had to bring on some help, and now, 2-1/2 years later, I have two full time sub-agents working in my office with me. That being said, it was about a year before I started making a decent income, as you don't get paid in most cases, until the guests travel, so when you're booking people for 6-12 months out, that's how long you'll wait to get paid on that trip.
When a client would come in asking me about going to a place that I knew nothing about, I at least knew where to start, by being able to quickly find our preferred supplier's that specialized in that area and could help me the best. We have a wealth of information at our fingertips within our OA community, training modules that allow us to learn more overnight than our clients ever could, and those things combined will give you the confidence to assure your client that you'll be able to give them a great travel package for a great price.
Now, in my fourth full year, we are closing out November, 2017 at 97% of the way towards our yearly goal of $480,000 in sales. I never knew I could do this, but I didn't let fear stand in my way or stop me, and again, I had a very supportive husband that let me quit my salaried job and take a loss for a year. He believed in me the whole time. I never could've done this without him or Outside Agents. OA Rocks! Give them a try, and you'll be a believer, too.
I have been with Outside Agents for Almost 3 years now. Once making the change to OA I went from a few clients to being in the top 30 Agents out of over 3000! They are always eager to help you with everything from small to large. I owe my success to OA and all their endless amount of training offered, the wonderful staff that goes above and beyond for each and every agent. As well as the endless contacts with so many Vendors from Cruise lines, Destination vacations etc.
If you want to succeed in this industry I would recommend Outside Agents!
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