Each year, Luxury Travel Advisor introduces its Trendsetters, in which we highlight top advisors from the most prestigious luxury travel agencies across the United States and beyond. Now, to feature those who help make the Trendsetters the rock stars they are, we’re debuting Luxury Travel Advisor’s Road Warriors.
All of our 2019 Road Warriors are suppliers who were selected by our most recent batch of Trendsetters. Next up is Stephanie de Ortiz from Auberge Resorts Collection. She has served as the global sales director, West Coast for three years (after spending nine with The Leading Hotels of the World) and works out of Auberge’s office in Playa Vista, CA.
De Ortiz has a simple message when it comes to working successfully with the luxury travel advisor community: “Make everyone feel listened to and important.”
“I think about my own expectations if I called or emailed (or texted) someone with a request,” de Ortiz says. “I get back to everyone right away, even with a simple ‘I'm on it!’ message to acknowledge them right away and let them know I am in receipt of their request. I think it makes others feel important and don't we all want that?”
It’s also important to contact the advisor in the method they prefer. De Ortiz tells Luxury Travel Advisor that she’ll more often engage with Millennials and Gen Xers via text or email while Baby Boomers usually get a phone call. And to promote her properties, de Ortiz will send out quarterly e-blasts to top clients with a short summary of updates. “Everyone's time is valuable, so I try and keep focused on our resorts that have seasonal promotions,” de Ortiz says. “Efficiency is key!”
She also uses Facebook, Instagram and even her personal blog to spread word of Auberge Resorts’ latest news. “I throw the net far and get as much coverage as I can,” she adds.
Advisors who work with de Ortiz likely know she’s a big fan of dancing—and she likes to help advisors find their own rhythm. “My passion outside of work is dancing and I work that into sales trips, educational/familiarization trips and sales calls by either showing a few dance moves or even teaching a cardio-ballroom fitness class for the clients while on a trip with them,” she tells us. When you're on the road at least one week a month, as de Ortiz is, it's best to bring variety and some life into the mix.
The classes help her stand out among the other suppliers, but it also serves as a way for the advisors to get to know de Ortiz. “How’s the dancing?” is usually the first question de Ortiz receives whenever she walks into an agency.
On that note, de Ortiz recently brought in Louis van Amstel from ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” to teach travel advisors in Los Angeles and Dallas a few dance moves during events she hosted. Advisors do learn about the properties, too: This year’s theme was “Auberge Story Slam” and the properties each had one minute to entice advisors with a story about the destination or an on-property experience. The review? “They loved it,” de Ortiz says.