Sims Family Tours & Travel Host Travel Agency
Work from home selling travel

 


1)   Overview

a)   About Us

i)     We began just like you are.  We started in the Fall of 2001 researching the Travel Business, then Host Agencies.  We needed something part time and someone who would help us get started.  We found that in a host agency, and after four years, we decided that we're ready to provide that help and training for others looking to get into the Home Based Travel Industry boom.

b)   About This Business

i)     It's about selling, marketing and research.

(1)You will be successful at this business if you provide great (not just good) service and good (not necessarily great) prices.

(a)20% of your clients you definitely won't make a sale

(b)20% of your clients will be so easy to please, you can't help but make a sale

(c) It's the other 60% of your clients that are going to make or break your business.

(2)This is a business that you eat what you kill.

(3)There are many perks, and also some pitfalls.

(4)There's an adage in pro golf:  Don't spend the money before you make the putt.  It's the same in the travel business:  don't spend the money until you make the sale.  Be concerned about the best commission, but if you don't make the sale, you won't make anything.

(5)Follow up, Follow up, Follow up

(a)If you don't hear from a client, get back to them.

(b)Let people know the price is still the same (or has changed)

(c) ASK FOR THE SALE!

(6)You'll get discounts on travel

(7)There will be some tax advantages

ii)    Tell all your friends you're booking travel.

(1)Ask for people's business

(2)Go ahead and explain how you get paid – that it's the suppliers who pay you for selling their product.  Most people think you automatically charge a fee for your services.

iii)  Advertise.

(1)Do the things that will effectively get your name out to people who would benefit from your services.

iv)  Do flyers.

(1)Find bulletin boards and post specials

(2)Ask where you can include them with other businesses

v)   You can't have enough business cards, and you can't give out enough business cards.

(1)Make sure they're professional looking and contain all the contact information you can squeeze into them.

vi)  Work at getting your name out as someone who they'll think of to at least get a quote. 

vii)Get a web presence. 

viii)        Get resources from suppliers

(1)Get registered with as many suppliers as you can

(2)Get flyers, e brochures and marketing materials that you can hand out to potential clients

ix)  Get registered for email newsletters and updates with suppliers

2)   Qualifications?

a)   Beginners?

i)     Our agency will supply all the necessary training and support to help you become the best travel agent you can be.

b)   Experience Necessary?

i)     There's no experience necessary to join our agency as an outside agent

c)   Suggested Outside Reading

i)     You can't do enough outside reading.  This business is about experiences; the old adage time is money really applies.  The faster you know how to sort out suppliers to offer your clients the best travel value, the better you'll do at this business.

ii)    Here are two wonderful opportunities for outside reading:

(1)NACTA "How to Start a Home Based Travel Agency"

(2)Kelly Monaghan's Home-Based Travel Agent

3)   Information Required from Applicants

a)   Resume

i)     This can be very informal.  Tell us about yourself and your background.

b)   Personal Travel History

i)     Tell us where have you been?

ii)    Tell us how have you booked your travel in the past?

c)   Past Employment History

i)     Tell us a little about your past employment, vocational endeavors.

d)   Travel Industry Experience

i)     Tell us what your experience (if any) has been in the travel industry

e)   Sales Experience

i)     Tell us what sales experience (if any) you've had.

f)     No Financial or Credit History Required

g)   Signed Contract

i)     You will need to sign and return our contract agreement before we can start any training.

4)   Startup Costs with Sims Family Tours & Travel

a)   E&O Insurance $100 per year

b)   Initial one time Franchise Fee $50 to use "Sims Family Tours & Travel"

d)   Optional Costs

i)     Any memberships you choose to join as our affiliate

(1)CLIA ($99 year)

(2)NACTA

(3)ASTA

(4)etc.

5)   Hardware Requirements

a)   There are certain Hardware Requirements we require of you to have and maintain

i)     Any computer with internet access (DSL is preferred, but dial up 56k is acceptable) with a printer

ii)    Phone (not necessarily on a dedicated line, but that's helpful)

iii)  Fax Machine (not necessarily on a dedicated line, but that's helpful)

b)   There are certain Computer Software Requirements we require of you to have and learn how to use

i)     Must have a Yahoo! ID

ii)    Must be registered with Yahoo Groups SimsFamTrav

iv)  Adobe PDF reading software

v)   E-mail Software

6)   Training

a)   All franchisees and outside agents must successfully complete the required Sims Family Tours & Travel training program.

b)   All franchisees and outside agents must successfully complete varying supplier's product knowledge training at least every three months and provide copy of documentation

7)   Commission Rate

a)   Sales are described as any sales for which the agency receives a fee or commission

b)   70 (agent) / 30 (agency) of commission paid by supplier

c)   75 / 25 of commission paid by supplier if your gross sales reach and maintain $12,500 per year or you remain a franchisee or outside agent for more than two years.

d)   80 / 20 of commission paid by supplier if your gross sales reach and maintain $20,000 per year

e)   85 / 15 of commission paid by supplier if your gross sales reach and maintain $35,000 per year

f)     90 / 10 of commission paid by supplier if your gross sales reach and maintain $47,500 per year

g)   Franchisees & Outside Agents are not permitted for any reason to collect the gross amount from the client and submit the net amount to the supplier.

i)     Examples:

(1)You begin with us on July 3rd and by November 11th, you've had gross sales of $13,000.

(a)You would be paid 70% commission on your sales through November 11th;

(b)You would be paid 75% commission on your sales through November 11th of the next year.

(2)You reach the 80% commission rate on your sales on March 1st, but, you have major back surgery on June 20th  and your sales have dropped dramatically to around $6,000 per year. 

(a)You would still receive 80% commission until March 1st

(b)You will return to 70% on March 2nd.

h)   Other Fees

i)     All Credit Cards run through our agency portal will incur a 3.5% fee of the gross sale

ii)    Example:

(1)You charge a client a $10 fee for airline ticketing and you are at the 75% commission rate

(a)3.5% of $10 is $9.65

(b)75% of $9.65 is $7.24

(c) Your Commission would be $7.24

i)     Shipping and Handling of Documents

i)     You will be charged $5.15 (or current USPS Flat Rate Envelope price) for all travel documents shipped from the home office to you

j)     Commission Tracking and Payment

i)     Commissions are paid by check (unless other arrangements are made) monthly on the 25th of each month.

ii)    Any fees due Sims Family Tours & Travel will be subtracted from commission check.

iii)  Commissions will be paid for all franchisees & outside agent's bookings paid by suppliers through the 15th of the current month.

k)   All bookings must be reported to Sims Family Tours & Travel on the form located at http://hosttravelagency.simsfamtrav.com when they are made.

i)     They must include the following

(1)Confirmation Number

(2)Date of Booking

(3)Dates of Travel

(4)Supplier

(5)Client Name

(6)Client Address & Phone

(7)How the Documents will be sent from the supplier

(8)Method of Client Payment

(9)Gross Amount of Vacation for this supplier

(10)              How the booking was made (phone, supplier web site, fax)

(11)              Your name

(12)              Your e-mail address

(13)              You will receive a confirmation e-mail when the booking has been processed.

(14)              Example:

(a)You book a client on June 25, 2004 for travel dates of December 3-10, 2004.

(b)The client is flying (on air that you arranged and charged a fee for) to Orlando, staying at the Hampton Inn that you booked and going to Disney World on tickets you booked.

(c) You fill out a form for each supplier (air ticketing fee, Hilton (for the Hampton Inn), and Disney World.

(d)Since we will assume the air is non refundable, your airline ticketing fee  would be paid to us by the 15th of July for the Visa charge.  You would receive your pct. of the fee (minus the 3.5% charge) on your July 25th check.

(e)After the client travels, usually but not necessarily within a month, the supplier pays us.  If it's by the 15th of January, 2005, it would be on your January 25th check; if it's by the 15th of February, 2005, it would be on your February 25th check, etc.

(f)  This example is what you need to understand about getting paid in this business -- it's slow.  You make a sale in June of 2004 and might not realistically get fully paid for it until February of March of 2005.

8)   Booking Process

a)   General Info

i)     You can book all types of travel products through our agency

ii)    The Links file in Yahoo Groups SimsFamTrav shows all login ID's and passwords for online booking and travel agent portals

iii)  Our CLIA # is 00356414

(1)(there are some web sites that you substitute "CL" for the "00"

iv)  There are no restrictions to these types of travel

v)   For sale to count in your gross total, a fee must be collected by the agency

vi)  You can make a booking via internet or by phone to suppliers

vii)Care needs to be taken that you are receiving the highest commission

viii)        Research the supplier and make sure that the method you are using yields the highest commission

ix)  It is the agents responsibility to file the proper booking form when making a booking

x)   You need to collect information about clients before you make their booking (in order to alleviate repeat phone calls).

(1)Use the Passenger Information Form located in the files section of SimsFamtTavGroup

9)   Training and Support

a)   Booking Training can be found on Yahoo! Groups SimsFamTrav.

b)   Training can be waived for an experienced outside agent or franchisee

c)   Training will be done at your own pace through home study

d)   VAX training will be done through VAX

i)     Login to VAX, then go to Support for training opportunities

e)   All outside agents and franchisees will take certification courses of their own choosing and provide notification of passage every three months.

i)     Some great multi sites are:

(1)TA University

(2)Travel Weekly Seminars

10)        Support will be done by posting messages to the groups' Message Board

11)        Attendance at Seminars and Training Sessions held by suppliers will be made readily available and encouraged

12)        Faxes sent by suppliers will be broadcast faxed to outside agents and franchisees on the day they're received

a)   Sign up for these services individually for better service

13)        We will hold regularly scheduled chats for support to agents

14)        We will supply you with agency brochures on a need basis

15)        We will provide free web page space at simsfamtrav.com for franchisees

16)        We will provide free business cards for franchisees

17)        CLIA photo ID cards are available for $49

18)        FAMS (Familiarization Trips) provided by suppliers

a)   Are available and encouraged

b)   Any way we can help you get FAMS will be pursued.

19)        Referrals of Other Agents

a)    You will receive a bonus $10 for additional franchisees or $20 for Outside Agents that you refer to the Agency after they have paid their Initial Set Up Fee