To help you on the road to choosing the right consortia, we reached out to a few travel advisors to find out how they went about choosing the one that was right for them.
Mary Lou Boal, Travel Leaders
Mary Lou Boal, who has been an agent for 38 years and is owner of Total Travel Services, says, “Without my membership with Travel Leaders I would have had to give up my agency. They saved us. After all the changes in the industry and the agencies that bought out each other, the little agencies were left out on our own to make whatever commission we could. We had no organized voice that spoke for us all.… This is the reason I stayed with Travel Leaders and learned that they take care of and help through negotiations to get a better commission for the smaller under-represented agency.” She suggests agents “find a match for you…you must consider the cost for what you get in return. If you are in a consortia that costs more than you can produce, you might be in the wrong one.”
Lori Gold, Virtuoso
Lori Gold, a home-based agent with Twil Travel, has been in the business for almost 12 years, and a member of Virtuoso from the start. She specializes in family travel and honeymoons, as well as bookings to the Caribbean and Mexico. Gold says she realizes that she couldn’t live without Virtuoso. “The relationships are world-class (literally!). The Virtuoso network is strong and everyone has your back. The connections and access to contacts at all of the Virtuoso hotels are extremely helpful. I find that Virtuoso clients are treated the best of the best around the world. The amenities that we can pass on to our clients are invaluable. Clients are paying the same price as they would by booking direct, but they get all sorts of extras, which really add up,” she says. She recently came back from a Virtuoso FAM and says, “it was one of the most incredible trips of my life, and will help me sell the destination much better.” She suggests agents “find one that matches what you sell, and join. You won’t regret it!”
Sharon Manzy, Cruise Planners
Sharon Manzy, a home-based agent, partnered with Cruise Planners. “The technology was the determining factor for me. The ease of researching and sending cruise quotes; the automation of important dates within 5-10 minutes; the support is great from Home Office—we get a coach when you sign up and when you graduate you get a new coach for the duration of your term,” she adds. “I chose the consortia to have more options and benefits for my guests, and also to separate myself from the competition. The training gave me skills to be more professional in my sales process and speaking with my guests.” Her advice is, “When joining a host agency/consortia, please remember what YOU will need, not what they are offering you.”
Go to recmd.it/AgentConsortia to find more tips from travel advisors who’ve successfully partnered with MAST Travel Network & Signature Travel Network.