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View Full Version : Is anyone out there a Home-based TA???


sjams
07-07-2006, 05:46 PM
I posted this on the Community Board and someone told me to pose this question on this board...so here goes....

I am interested in becoming a home based TA and would like some insight from those who are just that. I have a vast knowledge of DL and WDW and would love to specialize in that. I have to admit that I have learned more by reading boards like these and websites and read tons of books...

Anyone out there willing to offer advice...

thanks

DisneyGirl4188
07-07-2006, 06:06 PM
I am also interested in this. I have found one agency that hires people without training, but they aren't hiring until later this year.

Do most agencies what people who have completed classes or can anyone be hired?

I have seen a few places that want money up front; is this how it usually works (these places require you have your own client base at first, they just provide the needed materials.)

drcorey
07-07-2006, 10:20 PM
I was one once for Incentive Connection, you are your own agent and they act as consolidator for your home business. Disney won't let a untrained agent sell for them, I had to go for training classes just to sell the Disney experiance. just the training manuals and startup fees cost as much as going to a school. Plus, I learned a lot of companys didn't want to deal with home agents.
Here is thier web site if you still want to check it out. http://www.ictravel.com/new.asp

Corey+

p.s. I think I still have some VHS training tapes, make offer.

disneyleslie
07-07-2006, 10:20 PM
Hi There:

I am a home-based agent and have been for the past 10 years - I started when it wasn't cool = but now it is more of an accepted thing. In regards to disney, don't expect to make a whole lot of money from it - I actually went into it thinking I would sell tons of disney but I would say the bulk of my biz. now is family/couples all-inclusives, etc.

I started out with family and friends - if you do a good job your name will defiinitely spread - however, it is interesting but the bulk of my biz is not close family and friends and if I do there stuff, they are probably the most work. It is not a high paying field - but it works for me as I have two teens and a 7 year old so I can be home for them when needed - for me it is something for me besides the kids who are my top priority.

I have been with ictravelhost.com for the past 3-4 years and he(Robbert) is great - the commission split I have is 80/20 - he has different levels depending on exprience, etc and how much help you need - I basically don't need much but I run stuff through him as he has higher overrides.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me - lhook@wi.rr.com - happy to help if I can.

Leslie

CarolA
07-08-2006, 10:21 AM
I am also interested in this. I have found one agency that hires people without training, but they aren't hiring until later this year.

Do most agencies what people who have completed classes or can anyone be hired?

I have seen a few places that want money up front; is this how it usually works (these places require you have your own client base at first, they just provide the needed materials.)


OK. A lot of these places are just rip offs. If they want money up front RUN! Now you may be expected to pay for your own training. I would suggest doing some research in your home town and seeing if you can get live training there. Make very sure you are going to a certified program.

Also, anyplace that "gurantees" you TA discounts is probably a red flag. TA discounts require that you be a member of thier professional assoications and that is not as easy as paying "Bubba's website" $200. You then get a card that is useless.

I was checking into Pop Century in June and there was a guy there with one of these "website" TA cards. Basically he was an idiot! He wanted an upgraded room (AT POP?) and wanted to know why he wasn't getting the TA discount. (Perhaps because he isn't a REAL TA???)

rach2674
07-08-2006, 11:52 AM
Hi There:

I am a home-based agent and have been for the past 10 years - I started when it wasn't cool = but now it is more of an accepted thing. In regards to disney, don't expect to make a whole lot of money from it - I actually went into it thinking I would sell tons of disney but I would say the bulk of my biz. now is family/couples all-inclusives, etc.


I used to be a travel agent and I'd love to do it from home, but now with the airlines paying no commission I could see the only money would come from tours and cruises. Most of the ones I've seen online look like a big scam, but I'd be interested in a real opportunity. Do you get an IATAN card? I know they don't do much anymore, but I'd love to have one again.

Can you let me know more of how you do things, like is there a central location they send the docs to or are they sent to you? Do you do ticketing, etc.? You can PM me if you'd like.

Thanks!

Rachel

MemoryMakers2669
07-08-2006, 12:06 PM
I am a home based agent, that works for a local agency, a cruise one in fact. They did NO Disney until I came along, but now it is pretty normal for them, even the other agents. I work with a partner and we split the commissions on the things we book. We found this agency through one of her co workers, but didn't need that lady really. This agency only has one employee, all the others are outside agents.

My suggestion is to call ALL agencies in your area and even those within an hour or so from you. Just simply ask them if they use outside agents. Outside agents cost the agency nothing at all. They make part of the commission of what they book, so it is really a good thing for them. A 50/50 split is normal and I wouldn't accept less than that.

I do all my work from home and when I have a booking (which most of which are Disney and Cruises, but also I get a lot of all-inclusives and VEGAS..which pays a LOT) I just fax over the Reservation Form to them and they do all the rest like sending out the invoice to the client, and then all paper work that comes in for them. I really just book them. I rarely need to go there!

All my clients are from word of mouth, which was slow at first, but it has taken off BIG TIME! I do a very good job with the little details that make people love me. Like I book a lot of Southwest and I watch it and when the price goes down, I make sure I get them a credit for future use, or I use it myself most times and send the a check for the difference...people LOVE that! I also watch my cruises for price changes and get that adjusted. My agency hates that I do this, because they think the main thing is their own commission, but I disagree.

While my checks can be small, like this month was only $160, my September check will be well over $1000 and that is with me only getting 25% of the commission. We get 50%, but I split it with my friend that does it with me.

I don't recommend going in with a partner though. Over the last 3.5 years, I have done 90% of the bookings, but only earned 50% of the commission. I plan to get out of this arrangement soon with her, but she has picked up a lot of business herself now, so it might just work out afterall.

Let me know if you have any questions!

MemoryMakers2669
07-08-2006, 12:07 PM
Oh yeah, I paid NOTHING to do this, I even got my business cards for free. I was completely trained and the only thing you need at all, is the phone numbers and the IATA/CLIA, etc numbers for booking. Very simple!

MemoryMakers2669
07-08-2006, 12:09 PM
drcorey, who told you untrained agents can't sell for Disney? I did and have! Not that I am untrained at all by any means at this point, but I have no formal training at all. All on the job training pretty much. They didn't require anything from me to book my first or any of my trips.

And all others, cruiselines, the Vegas company I love, Apple Vacations, etc, have NO CLUE that I am a home based agent (unless my kids are screaming in the background..LOL). They never ask this!

MemoryMakers2669
07-08-2006, 12:15 PM
To get an IATAN card, which gets you the discounts, you have to MAKE $5000 each year in commission. While it isn't impossible to do, it will take a while to get there. I wouldn't go into this business just to get travel discounts. I personally do it because I have a passion for this world and knowing about it more and just love travel (not that I have done much real traveling yet) in general.

nbodyhome
07-08-2006, 04:15 PM
To get an IATAN card, which gets you the discounts, you have to MAKE $5000 each year in commission. While it isn't impossible to do, it will take a while to get there. I wouldn't go into this business just to get travel discounts. I personally do it because I have a passion for this world and knowing about it more and just love travel (not that I have done much real traveling yet) in general.

I have had a card for a few years, and I can count the number of times I've used a TA discount on one finger. If you are looking for travel discounts, try Expedia, Travelocity, AAA.

poohfriend
07-08-2006, 07:27 PM
About 4 months ago, I signed up with an agency that helped train me in the basics. The start up fees for many are expensive, but I don't see where you get that much. I would be very wary of anything trying to charge you a lot upfront.

I have a 75/25 split as a new agent. Start up costs were under $200 -- including my CLIA (Cruise Line) card, insurance, business cards and the first marketing piece for my business.

My first booking was a Disney trip for a friend and It will over all my start up costs + another $200.

I basically run my own business from home and go through the travel agency for everything. They get higher commission rates so it offsets the 25% I give to them for my bookings. Plus I have other home based agents to turn to if I have a question about a destination or supplier.

So far I'm pleased -- and am glad to have taken the plunge. It's not a big money making business, but I hope to make enough to help my family have a vacation each year.

Good luck in your adventure. If you want more info on my agency, PM me :sunny: !



(By the way, I respect the travel agency that supports the DIS boards and don't solicit business from my fellow DISERS. If anyone needs a great Disney agent, you can contact me...but know that DREAMS is exceptional and deals exclusively with Disney.)

BeachBaby310
07-09-2006, 09:21 AM
Hi, I'm a home based TA also. A good sight to look at if you are looking for a host agency is www.ossn.com. They have a list of host agencies with their info and websites. :surfweb:

Good Luck!!! :sunny:

bradleysnana
07-09-2006, 12:43 PM
Wow, things have changed:

To get an IATAN card, which gets you the discounts, you have to MAKE $5000 each year in commission

Back when I did this about 10 years ago, you only had to make $600 in commission to get your IATAN card.

sjams
07-09-2006, 01:27 PM
Hi again..OP here...
Now I am totally confused...not by ya'll, but by the amount of info I have gotten. I have looked into Dugan's, ICTravel, Kelly Monoghan's books, travel planners international, dreams unlimited, small world, ossn, and many others. How am I to know which ones are legit? I am soo LOST as to who would be the best out there for me. So here are my requirements and stats: I am about to put my youngest in kinder so I would like to stay home to be there if the need arises. I am not out to make a ton of money, but supplement my DH's income and to have money in the bank for vacations and education(not in that order!) I love to travel and Disney especially (like most of us here) and would like to be a Disney Specialist. I am NOT a sales person by nature, thus I will need some, okay LOTS, of guidance since I have never done this before. I don't want to plunk a lot of money down either. I have the ability to advertise thru the kids school for free, which would be good, right? I have a college degree in teaching so I am really organized. I have worked in numerous office settings thru college so that should help out in the bookkeeping arena, right?

So there in a 'nutshell' is me...Now what should I do?

janet

mking624
07-09-2006, 02:58 PM
Hi, I'm a home based TA also. A good sight to look at if you are looking for a host agency is www.ossn.com. They have a list of host agencies with their info and websites. :surfweb:

Good Luck!!! :sunny:
I looked into this because I've been considering becoming a TA for a couple of years now (especially since we're adopting and once we have our child home, I want to quit my job). I'm not in it for the money and realize that this isn't going to pay a lot of money and that's fine by me. I've done plenty of planning for friends and family with their trips free of charge...so it's never been about money so much as it's been excitement about vacation. So I checked out the site to see the list of host agencies you mentioned...turns out, you can only see that list if you're a member...and you have to pay about $145 for a new membership. So I guess a good question to be asked is one that Janet asked....what are legit host agencies? I've been looking at Dugan's, and I saw Dreams and Small World but don't know if those are considered host agencies or not since there isn't info on their site and I can't see the list on ossn...so does anyone have any info on specific host agencies?

sjams
07-09-2006, 09:11 PM
bumping so maybe we can get some more anwers!!! :thumbsup2

lclark0621
07-09-2006, 10:32 PM
I am also a home based TA & love it!

I have a wonderful host agency that is very helpful. I had very little start up costs & the agency offers a ton of free training I can do as I want to.

CarolinaBlue
07-10-2006, 12:18 PM
Bumping up because this is something that I have wanted to do, but don't know where to start. Do you need a lot of training for the job? I have looked at a few agencies on the web and they don't really say that you need prior training or experience. One of them wants $299 for independent contractors sales and marketing kit and then $199 per year after that. I wonder if this is legit? :confused3

MemoryMakers2669
07-10-2006, 02:16 PM
CarolinaBlue, they just might be legit, but there is no reason to pay those fees really. Other companies don't charge any fees.