Most of the new agents we bring into our travel family are making transitions from a different host agency, so we get to see what can create some struggles for agents. Here is a list of things you can do if you are thinking about moving your host agency that can help prevent the dreaded “Changing Host Agency Blues.”
1) Plan: Changing hosts agencies is a big deal… life-changing in some cases. It is something that you need to prepare for, and plan for. Chances are, you will need to finalize some bookings you’ve made, wait for other bookings to travel, so you still earn the commission, and hold off new bookings to book with your new host. It’s a tricky balancing act, for sure. With some strategic planning head and preparedness, your transition will be easier. Chart out the pending bookings you need to complete and wait to travel. Check out your current host’s policy on paying out commissions after you’ve left, and decide which bookings are ones you cannot lose out earning your top potential, and which ones maybe you are willing to walk away from. And remember, sometimes changes like this will cost you some earnings, but realistically you have made the decision to move because it is the best move for you moving forward.
2) Be organized: Keep good notes for yourself on key information, key supplier contacts, and details you know you might need later. Go through your current client list and clean it up. Make sure all information is current and correct to ensure when you finalize your list, that everything is correct. Because there is no going back after you’ve left.
3) Be realistic: Transitioning to a different agency is going to take time, extra effort, and patience. It is best to understand the reality of it taking a few weeks, maybe even a few months for you to start feeling like you’ve “got your groove back” in your day to day business. Every host does things differently, so understanding that it will take you some time to get their processes down pat is in your best interest.
4) Be Open: Things are going to be different with your new host. Possibly most things you do now will be different… it is crucial for you to remain open to that change. You’ve made the decision, so moving onward and upward with an open heart will keep you positive and excited for the decision you made. We have heard time and time again from agents, that sometimes change is exactly what people need to be able to put the extra focus on growing the business they really want.
5) Be Prepared: Once you have made the change, you should be prepared to spend extra time learning, having extra communications with your new support and previous support team tying up any loose ends, and more time focusing on self-marketing and reaching out to clients to let them know of your move. And in true form, things to maybe not go as smoothly as you would like. A lot of what we deal with as agents are technology challenges… and we all know how sometimes technology doesn’t always cooperate in the ways we want them to. Being prepared or “expecting” some things to not go 100% smoothly can help soften the frustration IF that is the case.
6) Ask for Help: Your new support team should be there for you throughout this transition. You should be given the ways to contact any members of your support team as soon as you start to ensure that when you need help (which you might need a lot for the first little bit), you will be able to get it. Get to know the different levels of support and who is to help you will what aspect of your business. It will help in those moments when you are struggling to go straight to the right person to help.
7) Be optimistic: Change is hard. To come out the other side still knowing you made the right decision, there are a few things you can say to yourself: “This too shall pass” – You won’t always feel a little disoriented like you may at first. You will soon know where and how to find everything I need to grow my business with this host. “I made the right decision” – You decided to move for the right reasons, whatever reason it was. Trust that you followed your gut and remember the reasons why this is the host you went with. Was their focus on marketing and helping their agents grow their business what made you decide to move? Or maybe their dedication to company culture is what helped you decide. Whatever the reason, keep that on the forefront of your mind while making this important transition. “Learning anything new is a good exercise, no matter what” – learning a new skill, program, system, or process is never a bad thing. Challenging your brain to learn new things keeps you sharp, and on your toes and can help your energy level increase when helping your clients.
8) Seize the Opportunity: Change is sometimes a great opportunity for you to be able to “get in the news” again and spark you AND your clients spark. It can allow you the momentum to change a habit or include a new one you’ve always wanted. You can start posting on your social media more frequently, or emailing promotions more often, or start writing and sharing your travel blog! A change can also re-introduce yourself to clients that maybe haven’t been in touch for a bit and spark their interest in a trip they are thinking about. Whether you are sending a “hey I moved hosts” or changing your Facebook for business page name… this could act as a reminder to your cold clients.
Congratulations on making the right move for you, and hopefully with these hints, you will have some good ideas on how to make the transition a smooth one.
We hope you are an agent joining the Travel Masters family so we can work together to create the best possible transition for you. Our Support Team is always here to help in whatever way we can help.