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Old 02-08-2013, 06:51 PM   #31
TheRustyScupper
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1) We had a neighbor that became a Disney TA.
2) She never realized how much work there was to get started.
3) And, how skimpy the money was for A LONG TIME.
4) She was passing out biz card in the neighborhood, at church, everywhere.
5) She finally gave it up.
6) Now, she is back to making Disney ressies on the phone at home - she
. . . averages about $11-$13/hr
. . . answers call-ins from people wanting Disney ressies
. . . can name her own hours (but needs to keep them once named)
. . . doesn't have to worry about canvassing for new business

NOTE: Being a Disney ressie clerk is a pretty good work-at-home job.
She needed a private phone line, headset, a quiet room with no kid or pet
noises in the background, and had to work the hours she posted the
prior week. (If she didn't answer the phone buy the third ring, like she
was in the potty, she could be fired after "X" amount of occurrences. So,
it was important for her th schedule her coffee breaks a week in advance,
just like a real office job.)
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:56 PM   #32
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Also, Disney has quotas per agent, not per agency.

I just got hooked up with an Earmarked agency and got my access to the college of knowledge today.

I'm scared to death to try this, but I am really good at being organized, detailed, and helping people with Disney. I have a FT 8-5 job and my host agency knows this and swears it won't be a problem. They have a phone line just for agents who need assistance. Hopefully it works out, but if not, at least I know I tried.
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:57 PM   #33
StitchesGr8Fan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRustyScupper
1) We had a neighbor that became a Disney TA.
2) She never realized how much work there was to get started.
3) And, how skimpy the money was for A LONG TIME.
4) She was passing out biz card in the neighborhood, at church, everywhere.
5) She finally gave it up.
6) Now, she is back to making Disney ressies on the phone at home - she
. . . averages about $11-$13/hr
. . . answers call-ins from people wanting Disney ressies
. . . can name her own hours (but needs to keep them once named)
. . . doesn't have to worry about canvassing for new business

NOTE: Being a Disney ressie clerk is a pretty good work-at-home job.
She needed a private phone line, headset, a quiet room with no kid or pet
noises in the background, and had to work the hours she posted the
prior week. (If she didn't answer the phone buy the third ring, like she
was in the potty, she could be fired after "X" amount of occurrences. So,
it was important for her th schedule her coffee breaks a week in advance,
just like a real office job.)
I didn't think Disney hired people to work from home?
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:17 PM   #34
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I actually just applied with an agency the other day and am waiting on the owner to send me the secondary interview, so hopefully will be getting that soon and getting started on the College of Knowledge. I am excited to just start learning more about the business. I'm not unrealistic, I know this is a real job with real work and real responsibility, but I am also optimistic that it will be a job that I enjoy.

Oh and I was referred to this agency by a disboards member who is already working with the agency. They have a "join our team" type page and I just filled out the questions and got a response the next day. So far so good!
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:20 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papamouse1 View Post
Well, I posted in one of these posts a few months back to find out more info. Since then I took the plunge! I e-mailed Dreams Unlimited on a couple occasions but they never contacted back (probably not looking for a part-timer with no background), so I did a search as was mentioned and signed up with an agency. Finished my Disney School of Knowledge in just a few days, set up a website (scrapbook-travel.com) and got completely addicted!! I loved the whole learning process so much that I have now done the travel specialist certification for Universal, SeaWorld, Carnival Cruise, Royal Caribbean & Celebrity Cruise, Atlantis in Bahamas, and even Hyatt Hotels. You can also get access through agentrez and VAX to book any hotel, car, air, etc. that you would book through a place like Expedia. SO here's the lowdown on how to get started... much of this has been said, just trying to bring it all together more clearly.

Step #1 -- Find an existing travel agent that will bring you onboard as one of their Disney Travel Specialists
You can't just go to Disney and do the School of Knowledge, you have to have a CLIA/IATA number of your own or use one from the agency you work for in order to take the classes and get setup. If you only want to do Disney, you can finish the required schooling and prep in a week... literally.

Step #2 -- If your company does not supply leads and you need to generate your own leads, you should consider setting up a webpage.
Weebly or Wix offer some great free sites, you just have to pay for domain. But understand just because you build it and even if it is a good site, if you plan on doing enough business to make this pay off even part-time, you will have to put forth the effort to generate business in other ways. I set up my web page, got everything running tight, put it on facebook and then (queue the cricket sounds) nothing! My page has been up for a couple weeks, with 150-200 visits to my page a day, and not one lead as of yet. My only sales have been through handing out business cards, letting FB friends know... marketing myself.

Truth is even if your agency will give yo some leads, you really have to get out there and market yourself to make this worthwhile.

Step 3 -- Expect to put in some time and effort (and a little money) into this.
Ordering in brochures... handing out cards... getting Google Ads set up so your ad ever shows up in Google... It's simple, you will not generate any movement without working at it.

Couple other thoughts about comments by PP's
mdsoccermom & brymolmom.... Well said! While it is still alot of fun helping, this is not just chatting with friends. They have expectations, and it is your "job" to make things right. Hanging out in chat rooms and giving hints to friends about our love of Disney is fun! This is work... it can be fun work, but it IS work.


this was probably one of my biggest disappointments. Basically all of the Disney discounts/special that are offered to agents require that you have your own CLIA or IATA card. These are official cards that show you are a travel agent. The problem is you work FOR a travel agent, you aren't one. The CLIA card (Cruise Lines card) will allow the agent to hand out 4 cards to their "staff", but since most of the agencies you will work for all have dozens of agents, chances you will get a card from them is slim. With the agency I am with, I can get an IATA card, but not until I do at least $5000 in sales. Now that is doable if you put some effort into it, so I am hoping I can get my card in a couple months... but without the card, most of the benefits that are offered by Disney, Universal, Carnival, etc. are not available to you

So if you are thinking you will sign up just get discounts on your personal trips... have some fun planning trips... have truly inflexible hours to offer...

Just enjoy the boards and help people here
The IATA card requirement is $5,000 in earned commissions in a rolling 12 month period, not $5,000 in sales, and that is $5,000 in commission after the agency split.

I will say that word of mouth and referrals are the best way to get clients. I had clients travel recently that have sent 4 new clients to me, but I do it all for those clients that want that level of service. I think the clincher for these particular clients was texting me while they were at Illuminations and asking for help in changing the next night's ADR time. I had it changed for them by the time Illuminations was over. I was also able to get one client into the Half-Marathon after it had sold out through Disney. I do feel a bit like a doctor though (Dr. Disney, LOL!), on call almost 24/7 sometimes and when clients are traveling, I stick extremely close to my agency phone and e-mail. I have had to make myself not look at my work e-mail after 11pm though, otherwise some nights, I wouldn't get any sleep! :-)

-Astrid
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:54 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arihillfarm View Post
The IATA card requirement is $5,000 in earned commissions in a rolling 12 month period, not $5,000 in sales, and that is $5,000 in commission after the agency split....

-Astrid
I had heard this was true at some agencies... Our agency (and several others I googled) list it like this..

Eligibility Requirements

The applicant must meet ALL following conditions:
Be an owner, employee or an independent contractor of an IATAN accredited location.
Be registered with IATAN.
Devote a minimum of 20 hours per week to the business of selling travel.
Earn a minimum of USD 5,000 in salary and/or commissions in the prior 12 months.
Be at least 18 years of age.

Even the IATA site itself does not list the requirement for it to be commissions only

Congrats on your journey as a TA
Hope you enjoy it more than you are frustrated hehe...
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:12 PM   #37
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My friend started doing this 6 months ago. She is doing well.

BUT she is working very hard! Her other job is only PT, so that helps. Also it helps that she is outgoing, has many contacts thru Facebook, and is tied into the Disney online community. She is in Pittsburgh, and maybe that helps too, for local contacts.

Her agency seems to arrange training seminars too? she has one at Universal coming up soon.

I could not do it, for sure, it is not me..... but I guess it can work for some people.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:01 AM   #38
arihillfarm
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Our agency lists it like that also, but to be "legal" they limit commission total for IATA purposes to what is paid to us and reported on our 1099s. As independent contractors we are not on salary, so we have to use our commission earnings for eligibility.

If I sounded frustrated, that wasn't my intent at all! I very much enjoy doing this and enjoy getting to know my clients on a personal level. Before I started this three years ago, I was teaching college and was also a professional stage manager for dance and theater (and I still freelance from as an SM from time to time), so anyone that knows what stage managers do, would understand that this is a perfect fit for someone like me. :-)

-Astrid

Quote:
Originally Posted by papamouse1 View Post
I had heard this was true at some agencies... Our agency (and several others I googled) list it like this..

Eligibility Requirements

The applicant must meet ALL following conditions:
Be an owner, employee or an independent contractor of an IATAN accredited location.
Be registered with IATAN.
Devote a minimum of 20 hours per week to the business of selling travel.
Earn a minimum of USD 5,000 in salary and/or commissions in the prior 12 months.
Be at least 18 years of age.

Even the IATA site itself does not list the requirement for it to be commissions only

Congrats on your journey as a TA
Hope you enjoy it more than you are frustrated hehe...
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:02 AM   #39
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at first it sounds fun...then I stop and read all this,and realize I wouldn't want to do this,even though I have legendary 'disney planning/saving' skills around here... but I think we all do here....and that could be why it's a difficult job,planning for disney is SO EASY. there is so much free info available,and so many easily accessed specials, that most people(like myself) can find and use those specials as we like.
(heck,my last trip was 10 days,4 'adults' onsite+Universal onsite total cost was 2400.00 including food,car rent and tickets)
which just illustrates my point....it must be hard to make much $$$ doing it for others,b/c of the above....and I'm one of MANY who know how to do this kind of thing... plus it's not as much fun for me to plan for others trips...
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:38 PM   #40
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If you are truly interested then look for a "host agency". There is a site that lists all of the host agencies with reviews for each by actual agents. Like everything, they are all structured a little different. I think it is called host agency reviews. I started with one a few years ago and I keep my clientele nice and small so no Disney perks but I still love it. For me it is more of an outlet but like others have said...it is work and most people want the free advice. It is disheartening when you spend hours researching for someone only to find out they booked online or directly after all your work and they still call you when something goes wrong. Yup they do. also, dont expect to actually be able to support yourself right away because the commission for each ressie is peanuts. It is all about sales volume or focusing in luxury travel but then you need those connections for the affluent clients. It can be done just tons of work!

Good Luck!
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:14 PM   #41
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The idea of being a Disney TA is tempting. HOWEVER, I know I would have to spend a couple grand just to get going (ie new computer, getting a land line, business cards, website) and I don't have that amount of money. However, it's also something I wouldn't be able to do until at least the fall of 2014 (when my son hits 1st grade and is in school all day; love the child to pieces, but he sometimes makes our 1 child home sound like a 3 child home LOL).

Likewise, I LOVE to bake and make treats. I send a basket full with my mom once a week to pass out where she works. I've been told many times that I need to start my own bakery/sweet shop. But, I don't know that it's something I'd enjoy doing on a daily basis on a MASS production level. Not to mention, the start up costs of running my own business.

Who knows...maybe in a few years when my son is settled in school every school year, I'll consider one of the two. But we'll see.
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:27 PM   #42
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Help becoming a Disney TA

Hi all! I am new here and I would LOVE for anyone that has info on becoming a Disney TA to message me!! Please! I realize it is a very demanding job, and I have read all the pros and cons... I am still interested... I would appreciate any help! Thank you!
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:25 PM   #43
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Good Luck to everyone who is trying to get started as a TA! I am trying to make that jump myself so I'll be along for the ride!
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:45 PM   #44
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I have been working as an agent for a little over a year. It's a lot of work to get business and it can be frustrating at times. The best advice I can give is to keep at it and don't stop marketing yourself. When I spend a good amount of time sending emails and posting on Facebook I can see the work paying off. I wouldn't expect being able to quit your regular job, commission checks are nice, but not nearly enough unless your one heck of an agent.

My recent issue has been other people in my area becoming Disney agents. I was the only one around and now I have a little competition to keep me motivated.

Good luck and keep you head up and enjoy what you do. If it gets to a point to where you don't enjoy it then walk away.
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:15 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IADtoMCO304
I have been working as an agent for a little over a year. It's a lot of work to get business and it can be frustrating at times. The best advice I can give is to keep at it and don't stop marketing yourself. When I spend a good amount of time sending emails and posting on Facebook I can see the work paying off. I wouldn't expect being able to quit your regular job, commission checks are nice, but not nearly enough unless your one heck of an agent.

My recent issue has been other people in my area becoming Disney agents. I was the only one around and now I have a little competition to keep me motivated.

Good luck and keep you head up and enjoy what you do. If it gets to a point to where you don't enjoy it then walk away.
I have recently had the issue with others coming into the area. Now I'm just going to work harder.
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