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Old 09-05-2012, 09:46 PM   #1
rachel09985
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Becoming an Independent Disney Travel Agent

Hi!

I am seriously contemplating becoming an independent disney travel agent specializing in WDW as a side job, I have a regular 8-5 M-F job.

Does anyone have any information regarding these types of companies where you can just become an agent even with no experience? I will get 60% of commission, they take 40% and I am responsible for getting clients, which I am up to the challenge.

i just want to know if there is anything I should be aware of before I agree to do this?

Thanks for your help! This would be a huge risk, but I know it would be fun and I love helping people plan so why not get paid something to do it!
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:48 PM   #2
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Contact your local AAA. They have a program where you could sell Disney Vacations through them with no experience and they train you and certify you with the expectation that you will maintain a minimum of $25,000 in yearly sales.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:52 PM   #3
rachel09985
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Originally Posted by DisneyDanielle85 View Post
Contact your local AAA. They have a program where you could sell Disney Vacations through them with no experience and they train you and certify you with the expectation that you will maintain a minimum of $25,000 in yearly sales.
Thanks but what happens if I didn't meet the $25K?
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:48 PM   #4
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I am also very intersted in this !!! any info would be greatly appreciated
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:49 PM   #5
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JMHO you cannot be an agent part time unless your clients can still be able to reach you at all times. Remember you will be responsible for your clients vacations, and need to be available for any disasters that may come up.

For example, if the recent hurricane Isaac would have headed to central FL, your phone would have been ringing off the hook all day long for advice on cancellations, etc. for anyone you had booked. Will you have someone to cover for you during the day? You will have a lot of irate clients if all they can reach is a voice mail message until you come home after 5.

Money wise, say for example you sold a $3000 package. At 60/40, using 10% commission just as an example, the agency will get $180 and you will get $120 AFTER the client stays (depending on how far in advance the booking is you might be waiting a very long time for any $$$). How much time will you be spending on that client? What if they cancel or find another deal with someone else and you get zilch after all your efforts?

You must carry a good E&O (Errors & Omissions) insurance policy to cover yourself in case of any booking errors you make in behalf of your client - or who says you did, and who then sues you.

Re the minimum sales amounts required - you have to meet quotas to receive any benefits, otherwise anyone could claim they are "travel agents". $25000 year in sales at 10% commission = $2500 total is only $1500 for the agency (60%) and $1000 for you (40%). Are you willing to work a year to sell $25,000 in sales just to make $1000 for the year?

Sorry this is such a downer post, but I want to make sure you think this through on all fronts, not just the sounds like lots of fun part.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seahunt View Post
JMHO you cannot be an agent part time unless your clients can still be able to reach you at all times. Remember you will be responsible for your clients vacations, and need to be available for any disasters that may come up.

For example, if the recent hurricane Isaac would have headed to central FL, your phone would have been ringing off the hook all day long for advice on cancellations, etc. for anyone you had booked. Will you have someone to cover for you during the day? You will have a lot of irate clients if all they can reach is a voice mail message until you come home after 5.

Money wise, say for example you sold a $3000 package. At 60/40, using 10% commission just as an example, the agency will get $180 and you will get $120 AFTER the client stays (depending on how far in advance the booking is you might be waiting a very long time for any $$$). How much time will you be spending on that client? What if they cancel or find another deal with someone else and you get zilch after all your efforts?

You must carry a good E&O (Errors & Omissions) insurance policy to cover yourself in case of any booking errors you make in behalf of your client - or who says you did, and who then sues you.

Re the minimum sales amounts required - you have to meet quotas to receive any benefits, otherwise anyone could claim they are "travel agents". $25000 year in sales at 10% commission = $2500 total is only $1500 for the agency (60%) and $1000 for you (40%). Are you willing to work a year to sell $25,000 in sales just to make $1000 for the year?

Sorry this is such a downer post, but I want to make sure you think this through on all fronts, not just the sounds like lots of fun part.
thanks, I do appreciate the feedback! My clients would still be able to reach me during the day. I have a flexible job that allows me to take breaks if needed. I know it would be a lot of work for a little amount of money but at the same time if all I do all day after work is research disney things and plan my vacation then I might as well get paid something and help others out.

I did know about the E&O Insurance as well.

I know it is a lot to think about and is not something I will just jump into so thank you for your advice! It definitely does make me think.
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Old 09-06-2012, 03:39 AM   #7
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I like your idea of becoming agent to such companies and getting paid for it but for that you have to be there always on duty to get the clients. It’s not easy task. Try to search for such companies who deal in this way on internet.
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:10 PM   #8
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thanks, I do appreciate the feedback! My clients would still be able to reach me during the day. I have a flexible job that allows me to take breaks if needed.
Just a little more food for thought.

If you decide to go the TA route, you might double check with your company to make sure they would be comfortable using your breaktime like that. I know with my company, once and a while wouldn't be a problem - but if it ended up being twice a day every day, we'd look closer at the situation and start tracking break time very carefully. Also, you would probably want to bring your own laptop and make sure it's using your wireless connection and not your company's.

Good luck with your decision!!
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:13 PM   #9
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My clients would still be able to reach me during the day. I have a flexible job that allows me to take breaks if needed.
Coming to this thread a little late, but wanted to throw out one more thought...speaking from the standpoint of someone who works in an HR capacity, our personnel policy manual expressly forbids performing functions of any type of side job during the hours you are working for us. When you are "on the clock," you may take the occasional personal call or check personal emails, but cannot do any work at all for any side business. I would check with your HR department for your employers' policy.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:31 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Seahunt View Post
JMHO you cannot be an agent part time unless your clients can still be able to reach you at all times. Remember you will be responsible for your clients vacations, and need to be available for any disasters that may come up.

For example, if the recent hurricane Isaac would have headed to central FL, your phone would have been ringing off the hook all day long for advice on cancellations, etc. for anyone you had booked. Will you have someone to cover for you during the day? You will have a lot of irate clients if all they can reach is a voice mail message until you come home after 5.

Money wise, say for example you sold a $3000 package. At 60/40, using 10% commission just as an example, the agency will get $180 and you will get $120 AFTER the client stays (depending on how far in advance the booking is you might be waiting a very long time for any $$$). How much time will you be spending on that client? What if they cancel or find another deal with someone else and you get zilch after all your efforts?

You must carry a good E&O (Errors & Omissions) insurance policy to cover yourself in case of any booking errors you make in behalf of your client - or who says you did, and who then sues you.

Re the minimum sales amounts required - you have to meet quotas to receive any benefits, otherwise anyone could claim they are "travel agents". $25000 year in sales at 10% commission = $2500 total is only $1500 for the agency (60%) and $1000 for you (40%). Are you willing to work a year to sell $25,000 in sales just to make $1000 for the year?

Sorry this is such a downer post, but I want to make sure you think this through on all fronts, not just the sounds like lots of fun part.
Excellent post. People get all starry-eyed when it comes to Disney but it can really be anything but. You can have people calling you at 2-3 a.m. because somethings not right and you have to fix it. It's almost like being a Doctor on call, although for a lot less money. Plus with so many others doing the exact same thing it's very hard to make any money at all. I too thought this was something I wanted to do a couple years ago but after I really researched everything that went into it I decided it wasn't for me.
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:34 AM   #11
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If that is your passion, then go for it! My mom was an at home travel agent and she booked high end trips. Some of her clients stayed in $10,000 a night hotels and flew on the Concorde (when it was still in business). No one ever called her in the middle of the night and she did not have to be by her phone 24/7.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:15 AM   #12
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Excellent post. People get all starry-eyed when it comes to Disney but it can really be anything but. You can have people calling you at 2-3 a.m. because somethings not right and you have to fix it. It's almost like being a Doctor on call, although for a lot less money. Plus with so many others doing the exact same thing it's very hard to make any money at all. I too thought this was something I wanted to do a couple years ago but after I really researched everything that went into it I decided it wasn't for me.

I think many do it because they love Disney, and love helping others plan trips to Disney (many are already doing this service for free for friends and family). They are ok with the low compensation, because they DO get some travel agent perks.

(I am not one, just my observation) Have fun if you choose to try it!
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:32 AM   #13
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Contact your local AAA. They have a program where you could sell Disney Vacations through them with no experience and they train you and certify you with the expectation that you will maintain a minimum of $25,000 in yearly sales.
And this is why I don't use AAA You could get the agent with "no experience"

Seriously I no longer use ANY of the "Disney speciality" agencies due to the overall lack of professionalism and knowledge. Most of the agents view it as a hobby and the service reflects that.

There's a LOT of competition and having used a couple of agencies not many good choices.

Remember that there are a LOT of people like me. I have several "friends" who "claim" to be Disney specialist agencies. None of them will ever get a penny from me and I am not fond of being hit on by them to plan my vacation LOL!

I won't use an agency without 24/7 coverage. I won't use an agency where my agent books trips in between her normal job or the kids' activities or "whenever she has time" LOL!
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:46 AM   #14
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And this is why I don't use AAA You could get the agent with "no experience"

Seriously I no longer use ANY of the "Disney speciality" agencies due to the overall lack of professionalism and knowledge. Most of the agents view it as a hobby and the service reflects that.

There's a LOT of competition and having used a couple of agencies not many good choices.

Remember that there are a LOT of people like me. I have several "friends" who "claim" to be Disney specialist agencies. None of them will ever get a penny from me and I am not fond of being hit on by them to plan my vacation LOL!

I won't use an agency without 24/7 coverage. I won't use an agency where my agent books trips in between her normal job or the kids' activities or "whenever she has time" LOL!
I 100% agree with this. Like I mentioned before people get all starry-eyed because it's Disney. Being a TA takes a lot of time, energy, money and just because you think it would be something to do part-time, it's not. Would you hire a part-time real estate agent to sell your house? I wouldn't. I'd want a professional whose only job is that. Same with a TA. If I have an issue and call you I don't want to hear your boss doesn't allow personal calls or that you'll take care of it after soccer practice. Making an selling things on Etsy is good for part-time. Being a TA is not.
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:40 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by OrangeCountyCommuter View Post
And this is why I don't use AAA You could get the agent with "no experience"

Seriously I no longer use ANY of the "Disney speciality" agencies due to the overall lack of professionalism and knowledge. Most of the agents view it as a hobby and the service reflects that.

There's a LOT of competition and having used a couple of agencies not many good choices.

Remember that there are a LOT of people like me. I have several "friends" who "claim" to be Disney specialist agencies. None of them will ever get a penny from me and I am not fond of being hit on by them to plan my vacation LOL!

I won't use an agency without 24/7 coverage. I won't use an agency where my agent books trips in between her normal job or the kids' activities or "whenever she has time" LOL!
I guess I'm trying to understand what you mean by this?
What's a 24/7 coverage? Something like orbitz, travelocity, and such?
I have yet to find a brick and mortar agency who offers 24/7 coverage. I'm curious about this statement.

I'm a part time TA as well and all my clients are referral only. I choose to be picky because I am too invested in my clients vacations everytime I plan them. I offer to plan EVERYTHING for my clients. They can pick and choose what they want me to do for them... and I charge $0....

All my clients know that they can reach me by phone or email and how to reach me when they are traveling. And I always make sure they understand the importance of having insurance coverage whenever they book with me.

I understand that not everyone will be comfortable booking with a part time agent. But if you find a good/reliable one I think they are worth their weight in gold.

Just MHO.
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