Advice for a TA
About This Page: This is a discussion on Advice for a TA within the Ask the Travel Agents: Your Q&A, part of the PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel; Hi! I am currently an Independent Contractor Specializing in Disney Vacations but I am having some problems with my host ...
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Hi! I am currently an Independent Contractor Specializing in Disney Vacations but I am having some problems with my host agency and wondered if any of you have some advice. I started with my host agency almost a year ago, thought I was going to have plenty of time to learn and get started before my second child was born but that baby decided to come a little early. I thought maybe because of that ( I wasn't able to start selling vacations as early as I had hoped) I wasn't getting the support from my host agency. Well..... turns out even since I have been booking vacations they are still not very helpful and only care about their top selling agents. I really love what I am doing but sometimes feel like they are so unorganized they don't even know who their agents are, except the ones selling the most. They knew when I started under their agency that I had no prior TA experience, and said that they would help me and they were working on a new agent only website, which I have yet to see or hear anything about. When looking to become a TA I had looked into other host agencies, one denied me, and another required quite a bit of start up costs that we couldn't comfortably do at that time. I am currently in the position that I could change agencies, I have a friends vacation booked as well as my own but that's it. Any advice on what I should do would be greatly appriciated! Crossing my fingers for some on-site trainings to come up soon, which I know will help me better my knowledge and maybe even answer some of my questions. Just wondering if I should stick it out a little longer to gain more experience or go ahead and try to find a new agency now?
You're in a tough spot. Just remember since you booked your friends vacation with the host agency they will not be able to transfer to your new agency when you find one so that may be tricky. Your own personal reservation is a different situation.
Personally, if I wasn't happy with my host agent I would switch. You need to feel comfortable with you host agent...as a new agent you will have lots questions. It also should not cost a lot of money up front to get started with a host agency.
Honestly, when I interview prospective agents I tell them picking an agency is like picking a spouse. There are lots of options out there and something that is right for everyone. I strongly believe you need to click and be comfortable. I am guessing from your post, you have already shared your concerns with the current agency owner? If not, that would be the first step. If so, look around and ask lots of questions now that you know what you do or don't want. Agencies are very different, in fees, training, support, responsibilities and expectations. You could talk to several and find there is something better or that where you are is ideal.
You can find one with very low start up costs because I did. Mine does expect the agents to work and train very independently. However, that being said...they are always helpful. It is in their best interest to help you so if you feel you need more support maybe you should research other options.
Thank you all so much for your resposes! Since I posted this I booked quite a few more vacations, still having some problems with the agency but am giving them one last chance. I am going to look around for a new agency, I do have one in mind but would like to find some back-ups as well. I know it's been a few months since this was posted but wanted to go ahead and thank you all!
I just saw this and wanted to throw in my support for you. First, congrats on booking a few more vacations since you first posted this! Those bookings, no matter how many you make, always let you know you are on the right track!
As previously stated, you really do need to find a host you are comfortable with. Some people put all their time, energy, and effort into booking vacations (pretty much their only job) - in those cases, a host with a start-up fee is probably a good fit. They can recoup that money pretty quick, plus they are more likely to get assistance, training, and/or perks due to the money invested. Others may be booking travel as a hobby or side/second job. Since the time invested is much less, meaning fewer bookings, finding a host with no or low start-up fees is probably a better match. In that case, there are most likely few opportunities for training (or possibly more training, but all online and independent) and less support. It may take a little bit more of an effort to get the information needed, but once there things can move a bit more smoothly.
Research is the key to finding what suits you best! And ask others with a host you are interested in how they fit into their host agency before committing to one.