It’s time to pay attention, as this will really affect your wallet. Over the past few years, the consolidation activity in the industry has been at the agency level with mergers, buyouts and consortia affiliation changes. In many cases, agencies have become aligned with multiple consortia and distribution channels, all of which give that agency a great deal of flexibility and choice. A while back, aligning with multiple networks was done on the hush-hush and everyone turned a head on it.
Now, all this activity is out in the open and loyalty to a single entity has gone out the window for many.
You could say this new world is all part of our industry’s survival, versatility, perseverance and ability to thrive in this ever-changing market. This is the new travel agency landscape.
Now on to you, the travel advisor. You’re the one that drives this commerce engine. It’s your turn to have transparency in your earnings and prove your worth to your owner. Independent contractors comprise the majority of the advisors in the luxury space. They are in control, since most don’t have contracts and can walk away anytime with the wonderful client list they brought to the table in the first place. How these independent contractors have been paid has always been different, since no industry standard exists. It was a very private discussion with your owner that you kept to yourself. These days, very reputable agencies are offering very transparent commission plans that pay up to 100 percent commissions based on yearly dollar volume. So now host agencies that targeted remote advisors are seeing competition from full-service agencies. There’s only one phrase to describe this: it’s a game changer!
My advice is to do your homework and make sure the services you are used to are not compromised. It’s not worth the extra money in your pocket when you have dissatisfied clients. The cat is out of the bag and commission percentages will no longer be a mystery. Game on!