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All Reviews

295 reviews
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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.
April 8, 2019

If you want to be a business owner with an amazing strong agency behind you join Outside Agents. They are the best! What I love the most is the family feeling, they have fabulous training continuously in Jacksonville so you really get to know the owners, Dan (best sales manager around), the office staff, fellow agents and BDM's. New agent bootcamp, advanced agent, luxury training, groups and more. We also have a forum and facebook page where your questions get answered right away. Commission structure is great and they pay weekly, wow. Great tools too. Highly recommended, would never go anywhere else.

April 8, 2019

We startered our agency with another host agency and they took 50% of our commssion but took that as part of doing business. When we thought we had enough time in the business we started lookinf for a host agency and found Outside Agents at the Home based travel agents convference in Las Vegas a while back. Out of all of the Host Agencies that we talked with at this conference, they were the only host that would allow us to run our business the way we wanted. With a few rules to follow, and they are only there to help us, we have now been with them for awhile and with no regrets. We get the training we need, the support when we need it, and a phone conversation about a challenge all the time. Although we had only one challenge that was not taken care of, and it was probably my fault, I would still recommend them highly as a Host Agency. If you join you will not look around for anyone else, but please don't blame them if you don't follow the legal rules

April 7, 2019

I have been with Outside Agents for over 10 years and it has been the right choice for me. Outside Agents have grown and continue to grow as a host agency. They are family own and it is still amazing to me how much they care about us. They listen and will help in any way needed or will answer questions/issue we may be having. Their technology and the back-office has significantly improved and continues to improve over the years. I have tried other host agencies, but no one company will equal up to the service that Outside Agents has provided. Thanks Outside Agents. We love what you do and thank you for being here for us.

April 6, 2019

Outside Agents was the best decision I made in 2017.
I began my business as a travel agent in August of 2017 and was so excited to get started. Outside Agents sent me information when I registered with them about where to access trainings, the group forum, access to travel leaders network etc. I took the time to quickly learn how to input my bookings into their systems so that I could stay organized and get my commission when booking customers.
They have always been available if I have an issue, our sales manager responds ASAP to emails or calls and their trainings are phenomenal. Without them, I wouldn't be doubling my commission from last year.
I have spoken with agents that were previously with another host and said they will never switch again; they are so happy with OA and so am I.
There is not a crazy fee (just a small monthly fee; which is totally worth it by the way) and they even provide you with a website!
If you're considering joining a host agency, this is the best there is.

April 6, 2019

I think I finally found my halleluja!

Previously I was a sub for an agent working with a different Host. I'm a very independent and capable person, but found that host's educational structure to be cumbersome and found their community to be elitist and standoffish. I spent a year biding my time, and exploring other options that would more closely match my personality and business model.

Outside Agents is the perfect fit for me and my business. The owners set the tone and culture for the entire enterprise, and it is one of encouragement, inclusion and true community. The technology is first rate, and continually evolving to keep up with current trends. Agents can choose the plan that fits their needs best, and even at base level have access to first-rate CRM, on-demand training, mentoring and the ability to network with thousands of other agents in real-time. Starting split of 80% is fantastic considering the low cost of their entry level, and agents can work their way up to 95% split based on sales and commission history. There is no better value out there!

The in-house training is top notch, and the Sales Manager has a strong background in the industry, which is why their training is consistently awarded for excellence. Training is available online 2/47, in addition to the onsite training opportunities which occur year round. Mentoring is also available, for those who need more one-on-one targeted help.

Choosing Outside Agents has been the best possible decision for me, and for my business.

April 6, 2019

I started in the travel business in 2017 with Outside Agents as my host agency and I have been very pleased with the service they provide. We have access to LOTS of live and online trainings. The response time for questions is VERY fast... usually within an hour or so, or even minutes sometimes. I've had questions answered over the weekends too! They have great commission rates with suppliers and my take home percentage is good. I feel like I am really able to grow my business through OA like I would like to.

February 19, 2019

As a relatively new agent, I still have a lot to learn. I researched many options on Host Agency Review and finally narrowed my choices down to Outside Agents and another agency. My decision was based on my finances. Yours may be different. However, bear in mind that starting an agency requires more than an agency, it involves all the little things that will set your business apart from all the other, more established agents in your area.
I created a logo, purchased business cards and a domain name, etc, etc. Can you begin without any of these things? Of course you can. It's a choice. So, here is why I Choose Outside Agents.
Fully functional website. - You have the option of 3 options of website functionality. I choose the middle option and was advised to start at the lowest option since I was brand new. However, only the top 2 website options allow you to bring your own domain name, something I already owned.
Training! Outside Agents offers so much training. There were travel related options I never heard of, or considered. The abundance of training offered is also rewarded by associated badges. It is worth the time investment.
Mentoring - You can request to be mentored and an assessment will be made, by the mentor to exactly what level of assistance you need. This is your business. You are responsible for yourself, but you have plenty of assistance.
Customer Service has been gracious, even when I have not...
Financial outlay - My main reason was looking at what my budget could afford without commissions and for how long. Since the monthly charge is not that much, I will be able to withstand months without pay and not effect my monthly budget. This was a critical concern for me, since I am retired with a fixed budget.
I have made a bit of money. Not as much as I expected, but I am in a great position to make a lot more.
Finally, I also took the 7 Day Set-Up Challenge. I hope you will too! Good luck on your business venture! You picked a wonderful time to be in TRAVEL!

January 29, 2019

My B.S. was in hospitality and tourism, and I new for a long time that I wanted to become a travel consultant. In December of 2017 my husband and I finally decided to move forward with my dream. I even used this site to select in selecting a host agency. At the beginning of 2018 I joined OA and I've never regretted.

Yesterday I sold my first Disney vacation for a extended family of 13 today. Today I will finalize a second Disney booking for another family, and Wednesday an inaugural sailing on the Carnival Mardi Gras.

What’s most exciting is that with other sales I’m already 1/3 of the way to my total sales in 2018 and it’s only January!

The encouragement and help from OA staff, the training they provide, and the online community of other agents is such a blessing. I can’t imagine a better place to be! The best thing you can do is join OA and commit to the education so you can be the an amazing asset to your clients. I'll never go anywhere else.

January 15, 2019

Hello, I just had a phone call with Steve. I owned two travel agencies in the past, was in travel for years, decided to retire but still book personal, family and close friends travel. So to do so the past few years I have been with outside agents. Well I guess I Thought I had been!!! My credit card has been charged every month! In July I booked two $12,000 cruises, one for friends and one for my spouse and myself to travel with them. I tried to sign into my account last night to make a final payment on the cruises. It said I was unable to sign in so I called this morning. Steve answered the phone and was EXTREMELY RUDE. I thought this was a company for Everyone who wanted to sell travel, NOT only the top producers! If I was going to work full time I would still own my own agency!!! I will be going into a REAL LOCAL Travel Agency today to transfer these bookings to someone who knows that it’s Very Unprofessional to be rude to people!!! This is not a Company that I would EVER recommend anyone to use, being RUDE is never acceptable if you are a customer oriented company. My husband and I have owned several successful companies and being nice to people is what makes a successful company. Also I was told my credit card had not been charged since November. Why was I not notified that I was no longer welcome at this company? No response is expected or welcome. I have to time in my life for this very unprofessional company.

Host Agency Response
January 17, 2019

Dear Ms. Campbell,

I apologize if you felt Steve was rude during your conversation, I was sitting next to him during the call and he was very straight forward. I regret you found his candor in explaining your many contract violations to be offensive. The fact remains, unfortunately, we had to terminate your contract due to your numerous breaches of our independent contractor agreement. Let me explain.

First, you failed to report your bookings for nearly six months. Your contract clearly indicates that you must report bookings within 72 hours. We have this requirement to protect you so that if there’s a problem with a booking, we can contact you.

Next, you violated our 3 to 1 ratio requirement of client bookings to self-bookings. Your first and only booking was for you and your friends to go on a cruise. We are not a discount club.

Finally, we require our agents to make a booking for a client every 6-12 months (depending on how active the agent is in training, etc.) in order to stay active. We actually left you active for over a year and a half as a courtesy.

Given these violations, we had to terminate your contract. I sincerely regret this did not rest well with you, but we must treat all of our agent relationships equally, fairly, and with integrity.

Please forward the vendor, ship, sailing date, and reservation numbers in question to me. I’ll take care of it from there.

I wish you all the best with your new agency.

Sincerely,

Chad Burt
Co-Owner
OutsideAgents.com

January 7, 2019

I have 25 years hotel management experience and 12 years of booking my own professional travel. This is to give you the context of my review. I spent several weeks making my choice, and I am glad I went with this one.

1. Customer service. Steve, Marty, Chad, Becky, and Allison have taken great care of us since we joined. We should have signed up my partner as a sub-agent. We signed him up as a Independent Agent instead. Not only did were they helpful in fixing the issue, the refunded the original fee for what was our error.

2. Help Desk. Great service here, even during the holidays. System is somewhat easy to use, but it is kind of a hassle to have to sign into it when you're signed into the Travel Agent Portal. That said, it works, and Kudos to the people there.

3. magCRM uses TESSA. You can automate a lot of tasks. Be prepared to spend some time setting it up.

I am going to state outright, their technology is slightly less than intuitive. I have an IT background, and I sometimes have to take a couple of seconds to figure it out. This is not meant as a negative comment, but do keep it in mind during your initial workings with Outside Agents Systems. It also can lag a bit.

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