I see some negative reviews on here who have the opposite results that I have had with this company. If you did not get support then you are doing something wrong as they are always there. We went from $45.000 in total sales in 2015 and are at $700,000 in sales this year and could not have done without their support and help. Some of the people in their forum think it happens by magic but it is a JOB. You have to work at it and have a passion for it. I have been with other hosts and what the negative reviews stated is what I found elsewhere. I can not imagine trying to do the amount of business we are doing now with host XXXXX. Well we wouldn't be doing that much business. LOL You can't go wrong with Outside Agents and Chad and Steve.
I began selling travel 11 years ago and joined one of the top rated host agencies . I was with that agency until July, 2018. From the very beginning I was frustrated by the lack of support and the incessant fees for little things like asking for access to a supplier for the second time. But, I am not here to complain about a prior host.
I started with Outside Agents (OA) in July, 2018. I could not be happier with my decision to change host agencies. OA has been phenomenal. They have put so much thought into the tools they make available to their agents.
Their Client Relation Management (CRM) has everything an agent could want and things we didn't know we needed. They have automated many of the functions agents do everyday. There is a client portal where clients can see their trip information, communicate with the agent, and enter passport and credit card information. The reports available allow the agent to know exactly where they are financially at all times.
There is an emarketing system that will send marketing information to clients on a weekly basis. But not without the approval of the agent. So you can opt out if information being sent is not in keeping with your niche.
Training is incredible. Every tool provided by OA is accompanied with sufficient training to allow agents to utilize all that is offered. Training is delivered through video as well as written documentation. All of which is easy to follow. I struggle some with the videos but I think they are being updated.
Support is readily available. As others have mentioned, staff at OA are incredibly responsive. When a ticket for help is submitted staff respond within an hour during the week and as soon as possible on the weekends.
In short OA does everything possible to insure agents have all the tools, training, and support needed to succeed.
What started as a way to feed the travel habit for me and my friends has turned into a pretty great business and I could not have done it without Outside Agents! They have always gone above and beyond when it comes to any questions, problems, concerns, etc that I have. After being with them for over 10 years, it still amazes me that the owners are both only a phone call away!
It is the leadershp that makes OA so successsful - two people at the helm who truly love the business and their agents! They never cease to amaze me with the continuous technology upgrades to help all agents growing.
Chad & Steve make me feel appreciated and they are always will to help all of us become successful. Truly thankful and blessed to be a part of OA!
Chad Burt & Steve Muraca, co-owners, are active participants in the business and make themselves as well as their staff available to agents on a personal hands-on basis. They give us numerous platforms and personal training (through Dan Crutchfield, Sales Manager), both at the headquarters in Jacksonville and on-demand in the form of supplier interviews, webinars, and pre-recorded in-depth training (which results in certification with various suppliers). I had returned from a FAM a week ago and had contacted a prospect who left their info on my business contact page, and upon research, I noticed a very large update had been installed on my website (and all other agents' who have their website) destinations page which makes us agents look very professional with detailed info regarding numerous worldwide destinations. This was a major upgrade and an example of how OA strives to give us all the tools to sell travel. There are numerous MAG (My Agent Genie) platforms which are continually upgraded with special features we ask for and some they just know we could use -- examples include: CRM (Customer Relationship) where we can build invoices, send welcome home letters, and send out emails, as well as many more options, in addition to all the customer details; training modules; promotions offered; preferred supplier contact details as well as other info; agent community portals to chat amongst ourselves; an SOS platform to address any current issues (manned by the staff) regarding any platform or supplier problems; and other general info such as top agent leaderboard (top leaders are also privy to special FAM-like trips rewarding them generously). On-site training at the headquarters is reasonably priced (averages about $100/week, with complimentary shuttle service to/from the office) provided by a top hotel who offers us reduced rates and breakfast as well. During this training, there is a friendly get-together with dinner at a local establishment. In short, if you are looking for a personable, hands-on agency who supplies all the needed tools, Outside Agents is your Host Agency (part of the Travel Leaders Group). They have also won numerous awards, exponentially increasing in the last few years.
I am fairly new to Outside agents and am very happy with my choice. The support and training is available for you and all you need to do is put the time in. I attended the New Agent boot camp in August which was outstanding. They are really here to support you, they don’t just say it they mean it. Dan helped transfer a large RCCL group booking to me, we were up against the clock and he provided the OA doc in less than 24 hours. If I had not attended the new agents training I would not have received this booking! I am not a techie but Amber is so on top of her game that she can explain website content in easy to follow terms. I have watched several of Ambers training videos and my non tech self was able to create my website, update content and transfer my domain! There is no way I could have done this on my own. If you get stuck no worries send in s SOS ticket and Amber comes to the rescue. I was recently watching Amber’s videos and creating a new booking and payment page, well I got stuck and couldn’t figure it out and just when I was about to pull my hair out Amber calls me and walks me through the process and answered any and all questions I had. I was even able to load a text module on my new page! Bottom line Amber is clear and professional and accessible and took the time to make sure I was comfortable. I really appreciated the phone call and her assistance has helped me tremendously!
I have been a Travel Advisor for 4 years. I first started with a different host agency and struggled for the first two years with them. My commission split with them was significantly low because I was just starting and that level was supposed to include some “hand holding”. I did not receive the help I needed and found the other host agency unhelpful. I joined Outside Agents two years ago and started with a considerable jump in my commission split starting out. They also provide a large amount of training that is consistently being updated. The technology they are providing is fantastic, something I wouldn’t be able to afford on my own and have not seen offered with other host agencies.
Outside Agents have been very responsive to my questions and I have access to a mentor. I have recently had an issue with my business (an issue not involving Outside Agents) and Chad Burt, one of the owners, has been working with me over the last two weeks helping me to resolve it. He has been responsive on the weekends as well. I appreciate his guidance and the support he has given me and I know I am with a great host agency.
I booked several travel engagements through Outside Agent. I was able to confirm that Outside Agent received payment/commissions for my bookings. They refused to bay the me several hundreds of dollars in commission stating I didn't complete a form correctly. I emailed/faxes the commission forms several time. Each time there was some excuse as to why it wasn't processed. The bottom line is THEY WILL RIP YOU OFF AND NOT PAY YOU!
Dear Ms. Adams,
I've had my staff search extensively for any record of a Teresa Adams having been an agent with us. We can find no such record.
In addition, you mention that you emailed/faxed the reservations to us. We haven't processed bookings by email in years. I'm concerned that you may have us confused with another host.
Regardless, we have a 99.97% success rate in paying agents correctly over the past decade. Those errors are corrected within a few days with a little help from the agent and vendor.
Please feel free to reach out to us if you were in fact hosted with us and we'll be happy to research any problems.
Not a good experience at all. I jumped right in and did their training, reached out to several of the staff with questions. Booked approximately $20k worth of travel in my first three months. Was hopeful, but now discouraged after a series of short, curt email responses to questions from their staff. Chad said one thing right in response to a previous reviewer - speaking about his company he said, "We’re one of the largest hosts in America and pride ourselves on our support." It's true, they are one of the largest, but big isn't always better. How he can they pride themselves in support baffles me... maybe support for the million dollar travel sellers, but for someone like me who jumped in with both feet and had a commitment to work hard, I certainly feel the support lacks greatly. Saddened by my experiences with Outside Agents!
I apologize that we failed to meet your expectations. I've called twice and sent two emails as I'd love to speak with you regarding the specific areas in which we can improve.
We're deeply committed to all of our agents, especially those that show the initiative and commitment to work hard. Please give me a call to discuss. I'd love to speak with you. You can call my office or my cell.
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.
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!
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