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Working as a home-based travel agent is more popular than ever before. In fact, more than half of travel agents in a recent study say they’re based right out of their own homes.
With plenty of perks like flexible scheduling and the ability to be their own boss, agents are switching away from traditional brick and mortar storefronts faster than snowbirds flock to the Sunshine State. But running a home-based travel agency isn’t for everyone.
Think you’ve got what it takes?
Here are 5 traits that every home-based travel agent must have:
1. They’re Their Own Cheerleader
Rah-rah-sis-boom-bah! Ok, maybe you don’t need an actual cheer, but when it comes to working as a home-based travel agent, there’s no greater asset than a positive, ambitious personality. Without a supervisor for guidance or a favorite coworker to inspire you, it can be easy to slack off. The secret to success is a strong work ethic and the ability to self-motivate. Top home-based travel agents don’t just recline their seats and wait for the drink cart. Instead, they’re up and about, constantly searching for potential new customers and dreaming up innovative marketing strategies.
2. They Have a Shipshape State of Mind
Just like a captain and his ship, home-based travel agents know that strong organizational skills help them stay afloat. By maintaining a tidy, designated workspace and structuring and prioritizing a busy schedule, travel agents can easily balance customer communication, booking requests and other job duties. And, when something inevitably goes awry for a client on vacation, a well-organized agent can quickly problem-solve and avoid that sinking, pit-of-the-stomach feeling.
3. They Channel Their Inner Social Butterfly
Home-based doesn’t (and shouldn’t!) mean homebody. Connecting with customers is key, and successful home-based travel agents use social media to do so. Networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are a great way to interact and build strong bonds with your clients. Get them talking with swoon-worthy snaps of tropical getaways or use Facebook Live to stream an interactive Q&A session on travel tips and tricks. Keep it friendly, fun, and informative, and you’ll soon earn the trust of even the most discerning client.
Learn how to use social media to get new customers and how to keep them loyal in our new eBook.
4. They’re Passionate About Creating Remarkable Experiences
When it comes to travel, one destination doesn’t fit all. A good home-based travel agent is a lot like a stylist, sizing up each customer independently and thoroughly researching their vacation budgets and desires. Skip the predictable and deliver tailored experiences instead, like glam-packed bachelorette weekends and family-friendly outdoor adventures. Be passionate about creating personalized experiences and you’ll score smiles… and repeat customers.
5. They Stay Current
Toss the typewriter. Ditch the dial-up. Today’s travelers are just that—today’s. They use the latest gadgets and gizmos, so you should too. Leading home-based travel agents embrace new technology, such as smartphones and voice assistants, because they know it can help save time and keep them organized.
Along with staying tech-savvy, it’s also essential to keep up-to-date on industry trends. Smart agents have an insatiable appetite for learning and scour the internet for industry blogs (we’re partial to Bedsonline) and news articles for what’s in…and out…in the travel trade. Just keep in mind, some trends do come full circle. We hear travel fanny packs are making a comeback.