I have been with Outside Agents for roughly 7 months. I am extremely happy. There is plenty of training. I wasn't promised to "get rich quick". I am working slowly, completing training, and there is always someone to answer my questions, whether it is an email or a phone call.
Commissions are paid in a timely manner and everyone I have spoken with has been very helpful, even if I am doing something wrong.
You get what you put into it. If you work hard and follow the advice in the training videos you will see your business build slowly, but I can honestly say it is worth the investment. I don't see me changing host companies and I have been approached by others with different host agencies.
OA has been my one and only host agency and I have nothing but praise for them. Easy to reach anytime, wonderful support if I have issues and technology that improves all the time. What was supposed to be a hobby for me has exploded into succes beyond anything I could have imagined. This is s family owned business and they all go above and beyond to offer training and tools for success.
I picked OA after 2-3 months of research and have never looked back. I truly cannot imagine paying a monthly fee to another host and receiving anywhere close to the service and support Chad and Steve provide to each of us.
Like anything, you have to work hard, pay attention and do the training and you will succeed!
Chad, Steve and Dan, along with all of the office staff bend over backwards. If you are looking for a get rich quick scheme, this is not the company for you. If you are willing to put in the work and want a team that is dedicated to you and want to build a foundation that will grow year after year, than Outside Agents could be the perfect choice. I could not be happier. Even with 5000 agent, there is no "you are agent number blah blah." That just don't happen here. They make it a point to know their agents and know them by name. Best thing of all is I can pick up the phone 24/7 and call one of the owners and they would be willing to talk to me about anything.
I am new to the travel industry, so I did a lot of research before I decided on a host agency. OA always came out on top, I had decided to call the agency to ask some questions, and the owner answered the phone! To me, that was impressive. Chad answered all my concerns, he was extremely helpful, and didn't pressure me. The training for someone new is outstanding, and there is a lot of it. The OA community is great, ask a question, and there is always someone to help and steer you in the right directions, all my fellow agents will go out of their way to make sure you succeed. There are no hidden fees, the technology is outstanding. OA also has the best relationships out there with all the vendors. Commissions are great and the OA/agent split can't be beat. I work this part time, but our business is growing at a better rate than expected. I don't ever see changing agencies, OA has it all, from great staff, to being low cost that helps you get started. Sihn up today, you won't regret it!
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.
I was working with this hosting agency and learning the ropes of what it took to become a travel agent and out of the blue I was dropped. They originally told me that it was because of not bringing in a set amount of work (but I was doing a t least 3-5 trips plus my own while setting a trip for 20 to Aruba). Then I was told it was due to some other issue. I just didn't understand the situation but this experience made me leery of dealing with host agencies.
We appreciate your post and the opportunity to clarify the issue.
You we're suspended nearly 9 months ago for 2 reasons.
First, you were only booking yourself. This violated your contract with us as we require at least 3 client bookings for each self booking. We have this requirement as we're not a consumer discount organization.
Second, you posted spam from indiegogo which we took down as it was in violation of our Terms & Conditions. You then re-posted the same spam.
We communicated both issues to you via email and we received no reply so we terminated your account. We honestly had no other alternative.
As always, we're here to help if you need anything at all. We're just a phone call away.
I came from another agency that was not supportive, nor helpful. When I called OA, the first person to answer the call was an owner. Yes, an owner. He didn't try to twist my arm. He knew that I was just trying to get information. He was upbeat and personable. It did not take me long to join and leave my old host behind. They bent over backwards to help me and give me the OK on a CLIA card that I earned with the other company I was with and they would never allow me to have. My business has grown at my own pace. If I have questions, there are easy avenues to get questions answered. Form the chat system to message boards to live help - I am covered 24/7. I can also help others!
The new Agent Genie is a godsend! Industries best technology! Thank you OA!
Outside Agents is by far the best host agency out there today. They are always quick to help you out in any situation and I am amazed that I can speak directly to the owners! The technology is amazing and so easy to use. I don't have enough hours in the day to do all of the training that they offer. I could not be happier that I chose to become a part of their team!
They are extremely hard to get in contact with. They changed their website and now I can't log in. I am currently on here looking at new host agencies.
Dear Mr. Williams,
I apologize that you are having trouble getting in touch with us.
I checked our phone server logs and found no voice mails from your phone number we have on record and no support tickets submitted from you.
We've been sending out notifications about the change for weeks. You should be able to use your email to retrieve your password. If not, just give us a call at 866.208.5604. My personal extension is 210. I'll be happy to help.
Also, you should have received, as all our agents do, an email from Steve and I, the owners of the company, with our personal cell phone numbers. You're always welcome to call us with any question, problems, concerns, or just to say "Hi!"
If you are not receiving our email communications, please give us a call and we can check to see if it is a spam related issue.
As always, just let us know if you need anything at all.
WARNING!!! Wish I didn't have to give 1/2 a star. The old saying "you get what you pay for" is true here! The "back office" here is something from the stone age and their new system they are so proud of is just "ok" NEVER NEVER agree to their website host Agent Studio. I had to get nasty with them for help after paying $21 a month for their service. I own a Real Estate Agency and I have years of success as a business owner and I can honestly say this was one of the worst experiences I have had in a while. THIS IS NOT A TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED COMPANY!
Dear Ms. Jennings,
My name is Chad Burt. I'm one of the owners of OutsideAgents.com.
First, let me express my regret that your experience with us and our technology partners was not what you had hoped it would be. With nearly 5000 agents, we are recognized as one of the leading host agencies in the industry today. This having been said, I understand that in no way does "one size fit all."
I do, however, need to address a few of your points.
First, in terms of our technological prowess, we've been awarded CLIA’s Hall of Fame Award for Innovation and have received multiple other awards for our technology and forward thinking culture. I'd like to think that we received these awards from the highest levels of our industry because we're doing something right. Of course, one person’s treasure is another's trash. So, I completely understand if your vision of technology in the travel industry is different than ours.
Next, I'd like to explore further your statement that, "I had to get nasty with them for help after paying $21 a month for their service." If you'll look at the full exchange you had with AS (which can be seen here) you'll see that within an hour of signing up, you asked a question and, as is normal procedure, the staff at AS asked that you do a basic training so that you would best understand the functionality of your subscription level. Your immediate reply was, "Looks like I'll be cancelling!!" While I understand your frustration, we at OutsideAgents.com do the same thing. We ask our agents to take less than 40 minutes of training before we answer questions that are covered in the training. It is simply the best way to do things. It's kind of like having to take English 101 before participating in English 201…it's only fair that you take the time to learn the basics before engaging the professor one on one.
After your reply, AS again tried to assist you, to which you replied, "I'm not an idiot and you still haven't answered my question. You are supposed to be SUPPORT why can you not answer my question." They tried to explain the cause of your issue and a possible resolution, to which you replied, "I said forget it I'm canceling you've already made me mad and I don't want to deal with you." All of this within 24 hours of registering.
I'm not sure how they could have better assisted any agent in this situation. In addition, you, like all of our agents, have the personal cell numbers of both the owners of OutsideAgents.com. I truly wish you had called either of us, as we would have bent over backwards to help you. Ask any of our agents, that's just how we are.
In conclusion, let me say that we respect the opinions of all of our agents. Further, we strive to be partners to each of our agents rather than just a service provider. As such, we are always here to help. A simple phone call is most often all it takes to resolve any issue. Again, I truly wish you had taken the opportunity to give us a call to find a resolution rather than just get mad. I'm certain that you, like thousands of our other agent partners, would be much happier having made the call than just walking away mad.
As always, we're here to help. Please don't hesitate to give us a call.
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