I worked with a small agency for about four years before starting to think about opening my own agency. I did TONS of research and realized that going with a host was the best option for me. Over the course of three months, I did tons of research online, called hosts directly, and got in touch with agents with different business models to get advice. I was very nervous about leaving the agency I was with and branching out.
I chose Outside Agents because I was most impressed with their customer service, and because they had a great commission split. It wasn't until after I made the change that I really started seeing the benefits though.
They have an excellent training system on all sorts of destinations. It's so easy and great to look up any preferred supplier and contact a BDM or get training on their website. Membership with OA includes a great CRM that automates so much of my job. The commission rate with suppliers is pretty much always maxed out because of the volume of sales, so I'm making a lot more money than I was with a small agency. There's tons of support, and everyone is so genuine and dedicated to helping you excel professionally. This was one of the best professional decisions I have ever made!
Signing up with Outside Agents is one of the best business decisions I've made for my young travel company. As I transitioned from my former career to becoming a home-based agent, I realized how important it was/is to have the right training, education and back office support. Outside Agents not only provided these essentials but their responsiveness in resolving issues is outstanding. And when it comes to systems & technology, I just love how OA keeps it current, up-to-date and user-friendly.
I have been with Outside Agents for only 3 months, and this is my first gig in the travel industry. I have booked trips for years for my friends and family, and had always wanted to be a travel agent. I researched host agencies for about 4 months before I chose them- and to be honest, until the second that my log-in worked and my technology was suddenly available, I had doubts! "What if they're a scam or multilevel marketing scheme? Are there hidden costs, and why do they cost so much less than everyone else? What if I can't understand what to do? What if I hate it?" The truth is that you will get strong support from the moment you sign up, you will start training, you will build your website, and you will take responsibility as a business owner to learn and grow, but you won't do it alone. I've attended two live trainings, which were invaluable, because once you get into the systems, you will have questions. I have met the owners, managers, sales support, and the ANGELS who take care of us, the "circle of knowledge" ladies! This is a family owned business, and it's obvious if you visit that everyone has a great deal of love and respect for one another. I always feel as if I'm treated fairly, even when I goof. If you immerse yourself in the business of "learning the business", you will be successful. I just passed my three month anniversary, and my next sale will take me over the $100,000 in sales mark, and I realize now how much I still have to learn! It's not easy, but if you work at it, you will be so happy that you joined OA. The potential is huge, you will not regret this step!
I started my Travel Adviser career in Nov 2018. Originally I signed up with another Host Group. They told me they had training and mentoring. Sounded like a good deal. I wasted/lost 4 months with them. There was no training or mentoring and agent tools were outdated. I wasn't the only one that couldn't figure out how to start, I saw many FB posts from other newbies asking the same questions. After further research I decided to switch to Outside Agents. WOW, what a difference. I knew within the first 15 minutes that I had made the right decision to switch. It has now been about 4 months and I am still very happy. The training, communication and agent tools are great.
It has been two years and what a great two years it has been! I do this part time and I really enjoy it. Support, help, training.....it's all there for the taking. I love the suppliers available and feel confident in my ability to help my clients.
I have been with Outside Agents for almost 5 years now and feel like I made the right choice from the beginning. This site is the reason I chose Outside Agents and I want to share my experience with others. I have a successful travel business going. I have access to tons of On Demand training, Live Webinars and On Site hands on training. There is only an extra charge for the On Site training and the cost is always reasonable. Steve and Chad are very responsive and helpful and connect personally with their agents. Dan is an excellent resource for groups and linking in BDMs as needed should any problems arise for your clients. The rest of the OA home office team are helpful and supportive as well. Having a home office that has your back gives me confidence in the services and products I provide to my clients. Their CRM is excellent and both the CRM and website are included in your monthly technology package which is only around $10 for the basic. They operate under the premise that it is truly your business and you grow it under your own direction. They listen to the feedback from their agents. You are not locked into any exclusive contracts and there are no non-compete clauses to agree to. You own the clients you cultivate 100%. They have some basic policies in place for the protection of the client and to make sure that agents are truly travel agents. This is not a MLM opportunity - so if you want that go somewhere else. True travel professionals work under Outside Agents and Outside Agents maintains that integrity. I am at the highest commission level with them and going strong. Commissions ranges are 80-95%, some of the highest in the industry. Way to go Outside Agents and thanks for the opportunities you have allowed me!
Five months in here is an open and honest review of Outside Agents
1. Access to vendors: 5 out of 5
2. Technology: 3
3. Support: 4
4. Price: 5
5. Value: 4
6. Overall Impression: 4
Access to vendors; With TLN as its consortium, almost all the vendors are there at good commission point. If they aren't, they've negotiated with OA so you're clear.
Technology: Slow loading is its main issue. The other big one is customization of website. I had a website review done by the Small Business Council of Wyoming. It was a nightmare report, and none of it was fixable by me. Everything is locked down on the homepage, and the header cannot be customized. Metadata is not accessible, so SEO cannot be completed.
Support: When it can be fixed, they fix it. If it can't be, well, support goes out the door. Main issue: My webpage throws a "Bad Gateway" error on Firefox. The solution: Use Chrome. Great for me, but what about my clients?
Price: $51 a month for two agents (my partner and me). No setup fees. Includes your E&O as well. You can also go in for $21, but that doesn't include customizing your website. (See above before you count that as a minus)
Value: Get the website issues fixed, and this goes to a 5. You get more than you pay for as is right now.
Overall Impression: Outside Agents is great if you're not looking to do an elaborate website. It's low entry price makes joining affordable. It has great vendor training and good business training.
I joined Outside Agents 1 year ago and my only regret is I did not do it years ago. I have been in the travel industry for 10 years and prior to Outside Agents, I worked for another host who did very little on training compared to the training thats available with Outside Agents. Now, I feel like I actually own my own business rather than working for someone else and I make a lot more money. One of the things I was most impressed about was how quickly OA pays out commissions, with the other company I worked with sometimes it would be a couple months after a trip before I would see a dime. I have more control over my bookings now and the opportunities and training offered is unlimited. You also receive much support from other Agents who work for OA thru Social Media. Don't short change yourself if you are serious about this industry and being successful.... contact Outside Agents today.
I've been with Outside Agents now for about a year and half and it's been a wonderful experience. I was previously with another host for about 6 months that wasn't the right fit for me. After speaking to some friends in the industry, I took the time to study the different hosts and what they had to offer. I chose OA because it had everything I wanted. I've never regretted that decision. After attending my first boot camp training session, I felt so energized and ready for what lied ahead. One month later, I made the top 50 list of agents (we have about 5000 agents) They give you the tools to be successful. It's like being part of a family . The owner's Steve an Chad are there for you if and when you need them. Dan does an excellent job organizing great training events for us. The whole office staff is very helpful. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
I have been with Outside Agents for less than one year and I am happy that the Lord led me this way. They are super helpful and I have gotten so much support. I don't have another agency to compare them with as I am a new travel consultant, but I am very pleased with the service that I have received so far. They are very affordable and for new agents, that is very important as you normally can't afford much overhead in the beginning stages of your business. OA makes it affordable for the beginner and gives you so much in return. I am very pleased and I hope that it stays this way as I continue my travel consulting journey being a entrepreneur in the Travel Industry. They really seem to want you to succeed as a business owner and it is not all about them. We are in this together and they treat you as such at least my contact with them thru cyberspace as I have not met any staff in person yet; however all my internet and phone contact have be super. May OA continue to one of the premier Host out there. Again, I am glad that I was led to join their team.
Wow...just Wow. Yes, you totally get us. We actually want our agent to succeed. At the end of the day, this is how we all win. Thank-you, from the bottom of our hearts, Mennie, for your thoughts and feedback.
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