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Thinking of switching to a different host agency? Before making the switch, there are so many factors to consider, and it can oftentimes feel like you’re piecing together a puzzle where support, mentorship, community, and financials need to fit just right!

Steph Lee, founder of Host Agency Reviews, joins this episode to discuss the intricacies of finding the right host agency for your business growth. From commission structures to training programs and culture dynamics, this conversation gives insights for both new and seasoned travel advisors.

Different Hosting Models

When selecting a host agency, you’ll encounter several models to consider, each with its own unique benefits. Franchise host agencies offer the advantage of established brand recognition and a proven business model, often providing extensive training and marketing support. Brick-and-mortar host agencies provide a physical location for your business, which can be beneficial if you prefer face-to-face interactions with clients and colleagues. The employee model typically means working as a full-time travel advisor with set hours and benefits, providing more stability and support from the agency. On the other hand, the independent contractor (IC) model offers greater flexibility and autonomy, allowing you to set your hours and focus on building your client base. Understanding these models will help you determine which aligns best with your business goals and working style.

Reasons A Change May Be Worth Considering

There are several reasons why a travel advisor might consider leaving their current host agency. One major factor could be the desire for more mentorship and professional development opportunities, especially if they feel their growth is stagnating. Another reason could be the aspiration to establish their own brand and operate with greater independence. Financial considerations also play a big role; a better commission split with another host agency can significantly impact their earnings. Additionally, advisors might seek more opportunities to attend industry shows, receive awards, and gain recognition, which can be pivotal for their career advancement. Ultimately, the decision to switch is often driven by the pursuit of better support, financial benefits, and professional growth.

Considerations Before Switching Hosts

There are a few key things you’ll want to consider to make the switch as smooth as possible. First, take a good look at your current contract to understand the termination terms—this will tell you if there are any notice periods or fees you need to be aware of. Next, give your clients a heads-up about the change to keep their trust and avoid any confusion.

You’ll also need to get familiar with new systems and technology at your new host agency, so be ready for that learning curve. Lastly, make sure you have a plan in place for tracking commissions. Ensure all your pending commissions with your current host are squared away and set up a clear system with your new host to keep track of future earnings. These steps will help you transition smoothly and keep your business running without a hitch.

Culture Is King

The leadership style and involvement level are crucial in shaping the culture of a travel host agency. When leaders are supportive and actively engaged, it creates a positive and collaborative environment where advisors feel appreciated and motivated. Leaders who are approachable and involved in daily operations can offer valuable guidance, mentorship, and support, helping advisors tackle challenges and reach their goals. This hands-on approach fosters a strong sense of community and trust, encouraging advisors to share ideas and work together. Conversely, a detached leadership style can result in a disconnected and less motivated team. In short, how leaders interact with and support their advisors plays a key role in creating a thriving and successful agency culture.

Want to hear more? Tune into Episode 79 on Tique Talks!

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