“I’ve known Montrose Travel since the early 1970’s. They were a top travel company then and are even more so today.Their integrity and entrepreneurial skills have enabled them to build one of the most reputable hosting programs available today.I would highly recommend MTravel.com for any home based agent looking for a new host.”
Tom Ogg and Associates, Inc.
I am a fairly new Montrose Travel HBA. I’ve been with Montrose since May 2010; however, I’ve been in the Travel business since late 2006. I also work a full time job and do my travel business on a part time basis.
The things I love most about Montrose Travel as a host agency is they provide me with all the training I’ve needed to grow my business, they offer me one/one counseling sessions to work out ways to market my business with very practical and cost-effective solutions that I can implement right away, they offer me support when any of my customers or I have issues with suppliers (they have resolved any conflicts and really go to bat for us!), they offer a great annual training conference that not only exposes us to some of our great preferred suppliers, but we learn a great deal in a short period of time by information exchange and social interactions. I try and attend all of the online training offered, but when I have a conflict, I have the option to use the archived training that is stored and available to me at any time. Montrose Travel also offers us CLIA training modules at no cost that certainly assisted me in reaching my goal to get become an accrediated cruise counselor. Because Montrose Travel offered this training, I just submitted my paperwork to CLIA and was able to complete the goal in half the time I had set. I just downloaded the necessary courses, completed them in my spare time, while I learned how to increase my cruise sales. This was a BLESSING! CLIA allows 2 years to qualify for your accrediation and I did it in 6 months, thanks to Montrose offering the necessary CLIA training!
I feel Montrose Travel keeps us competitive by investing in us and providing us with the up-to-date website that is functional, easy to navigate and offers very helpful travel information, and by listening to our business concerns and issues and implementing viable solutions with our success in mind. They offer us support in many ways that goes beyond the standard. For example, a fellow HBA from Iowa was in town (Long Beach) escorting an annual group cruise, this time to the Mexican Riviera. As part of their program, she hosted a pre-cruise party at a local Long Beach Hotel. I attended to assist with a fund raiser; however, I was happy to see that Andi and her family was also there. I was impressed that Andi and her family came out to support an HBA’s event on a Sunday evening in the rain. It was great to see them there and it shows that we are part of a wonderful family who truly cares us! I found out that the HBA also visited Montrose Travel for a tour and to meet many of the staff that she only knew by phone.
Speaking of Montrose staff, we have a great team that supports HBA’s with business development! They truly go the extra mile to assist us in our needs. When I had a client return from a Puerto Rico vacation with bed bug bites all over his body, I immediately called Montrose support when the hotel he stayed in gave me the runaround. Debbie Herroz of MTravel.com took care of the issue in a very timely fashion much to the delight of my client. It made me look great and I still have that client today.
One of the best things I like is the fact that HBA support is always friendly, willing to assist and very professional. They truly do go the extra mile to assist with any issue you may have, but they also provide us with the tools to get it done. I would be remiss if I neglected to say that they are very patient as well. They are very good as pointing out the right direction, which in most cases is all you need.
All in all, I am very happy I made the choice to join the MTravel.com team. I am very satisfied with the opportunities I’ve been given by being a part of the Montrose family. I can honestly say that I am making more money than I did with my former host agency due to the excellent training, training opportunities, support and one/one counseling sessions that Montrose has provided. I am becoming a GREAT travel professional with Montrose as my mentor!
Memorable Moments Travel
I would like to say that I am very excited with this opportunity. The training is awesome and I love the fact that almost everything is pushed through the website. I have been involved with other host agencies and for the first time I feel like I have the tools in front of me to be successful.
I didn’t get a chance to say it yesterday during the training, but thank you so much for the new online invoicing feature! It is going to be such a time saver. One of the things that takes up most of my time right now is getting the proposal/ invoices done and I really wished there was an easier way of doing it.
So thank you again! The training was very informative and I can’t wait to start invoicing directly on Agent Connex!
During the morning class at Sandals while on the FAM trip, they called me to the front of the room (170 people) to announce it was by birthday. They all sang to me… embarrassing, but a womderful thought, and they know who I am now!
During our stay there, we had the opportunity to speak to several folks about the business and more pointedly, who did I host with. When I told them I hosted with Montrose Travel, their face would light up and they wanted to know more about you guys. I can’t tell either of you how nice it is to have that happen. It indeed reflects on your hard work and devotion to your craft. Just as it does for you to remember my birthday.
RJS Travel and Cruise
After my husband spoke with you and looked at great detail into your company, he was so impressed and we decided to go ahead and apply. I am in the process of getting my clients and “advertising” myself to family and friends as well as my network of people. I already have three clients that I’m researching info for. Hopefully booking reservations for soon.
I’m so happy and pleased with your service and training. It’s incredible the support that you give out to your IC agents.
I just wanted to tell you that a few weeks ago I attended the webinar on how to grow your prospect list. Since I listened to it I have added 13 contacts! I know that isn’t a huge number, but its a start! Thank you for the encouragement!
Great Escapes Travel
I love the way MTravel is so organized and easy to access. The training is great and the websites we get to use have gotten rave reviews from clients.
Joan Moore Travel Design
What words of wisdom/advice do you have for other independent travel agency owners? Use Montrose Travel as your Host Agency. I can’t say enough about them. I have never spoken or e-mailed with anyone there who wasn’t extremely courteous, professional, and knowledgable.
If you could go back and do it all over again, what would you do and not do with your business, decisions you made, etc.? I would have started with Montrose Travel!
Thank you for Montrose Travel and the most caring staff I have ever encountered. You are the best in the industry. I, for one, feel so grateful to have MTravel.com on my side. I am the tortoise in the race, because my path has had a few detours. It is solid and will produce my success. See you on the cruise.
Only 4 You Travel
I just want to say thank you so much for inviting me and my daughter to the Christmas Party. I was very impressed with everything that Montrose Travel has to offer. My daughter also was just happy and thankful she had an opportunity to attend as well. We all know that Montrose Travel is truly the bomb. I can truly tell that Montrose takes care of their people. Again thanks for welcoming me and my family into your family.
Lewis Dream Vacation Travel Services
Thanks so much for sending the photograph of the group at the Annual Training Conference. That was a very special touch to help us hold on to the memories and put the faces with the names. Everyone was so nice and willing to share and learn from each other. The entire weekend was so rewarding both personal and professional. We are looking forward to getting together next November.
Edmar Travel Partners
I joined up with the MTravel.com crew last year after many years spent with another host that was less than ideal. I researched the host companies to death before making my decision to affiliate with Montrose. It’s my opinion that there are companies and then there are companies. The biggest difference that I have noticed between my last host and Montrose is a sense of family. I am incredibly humbled that I am just one of many hundreds of independents, and yet I still get to talk with the owner. Amazing!
Here are just a few responses to “Which host agency were you with prior to joining us and how do we compare?”
– I was with YTB and there is NO comparison. Montrose Travel is like family. I have learned so much about the industry and the support/help from all at Montrose Travel is outstanding. (Nancy O. – Getaways By Baby Boomers)
– I was with Global International. Montrose Travel is far superior in every way. (Nelson F.)
– I was with Gulliver’s Travel through Travelwize. Montrose Travel is 200% better and it has only been a month. I am very impressed with MTravel.com. (Shawnetta N. – HeartFelt Travels)
– I used to be with YTB, and trust me there is no comparison. Support, available product, a website that makes sense,and the webinars that are timely and directed to what we need and not to what the host thinks we need are all above and beyond what I left. I don’t need big brother standing on a pedestal dispensing his word. Advice and wisdom and experience I will take everyday. (Richard S. – RJS Travel and Cruise)
I’m sure you have heard this many times, but my highest praises for Susan. She is wonderful, capable, professional, warm and gives a great presentation!
The work she is doing with “Corporate Account A” is remarkable and her going with me yesterday and her presence helped me seal the deal with “Corporate Account B”. There are about 40 travelers I will be handling personally, and with Montrose Travel’s help, hopefully will be able to assist with hotel and car rental deals for them.
Thanks again for outstanding support!
Carol Whalen Travel
In regards to Orientation, I took it upon myself to listen to an archived version. It cleared just a few things up for me. I was so surprised at how something I thought was going to be more complicated turned out to be so simple! I also keep getting reminded that I actually know more than I think I do. LOL-it’s a good thing. Saying it again – how I’m impressed by the company’s excellence. You’re the Best!
I am very grateful to be affiliated with Montrose Travel and never ever have felt left out in the cold.and I trust your work ethic. I do not stay awake at night worrying about the future of my host agency.I have enough to worry about trying to keep ahead of my clients. =)
All Dream Vacations
Just a quick note to all of you to let you know how impressed I have been with your company and the support you each have provided to me. Your readiness to help, your very prompt responses to my questions and all that you have done on your website and with your email correspondence to get me started in the travel industry has been outstanding! You are all very organized and so efficient and effective in providing me with the tools I need to get this business started! Thank you for all you do!
JK Travel Professionals
Great training with Crystal Cruises today and sure gives me new ideas for a great market. Keep up the good work and I appreciate the hard work Montrose puts in for all of us home based agents. I also appreciate being associated with a company with the reputation that Montrose has. I have more than one client who has heard of Montrose Travel and your good reputation. I consider this a great tool when promoting myself that I can advertise my affiliation with Montrose. Today’s training just brought all of this to mind in Susie’s presentation and her obvious respect for you and Montrose.
All Dream Vacations
I wish I lived nearby as well, Andi! What an amazing company you really are. So family oriented and just plain people oriented. Haven’t spoken with anyone ever who wasn’t just really nice and helpful. Whatever you’re doing keep it up because you all have the right idea. It’s very refreshing!
I just wanted to take a moment and comment on my overall experience with Montrose Travel so far. As someone with no real prior experience other than making my own travel arrangements I was a little hesitant to step into this arena. I can say that I am thouroughly impressed with this organization. The level of support and the training offered is unbelieveable. You and the agency are truly a class act! I haven’t booked too many events as of yet, I have been focusing on raising my knowledge of the industry and what we have to offer. I have managed to achieve Commodore Consultant training level at Princess, Freestyle Specialist with NCL, and am currently focusing on Cunard Lines. The training offered by Montrose Travel, as well as the ability to review missed sessions is outstanding, and I feel I am beginning to gain confidence in knowing what I can tell a client that we can do for them, as well as a general idea of what each vacation option offers. Thank you so much for directing this type of operation, and I look forward to a fun filled future with Montrose!
My Best Trips
I hope that Las Vegas was productive and fun. I am completely overwhelmed by you guys. Thank you so very much for promoting my joining such an amazing company. I am very jazzed about this new venture for me.
We want to thank you for the lovely evening we had. It was such a joy to see so many employees getting awards and feeling their happiness in working for Montrose Travel. I was very impressed with the venue. We had to leave early to make it to another party! But glad I was able to see the joy your company shares with it’s employees. You really did seem like a happy family! This does not happen with companies now days. You should feel very proud of what you have accomplished.
Wanted to thank you for the lovely evening my husband and I had. Your Holiday Party was great and it was a pleasure to finally meet you. We were very impressed with your company and how well everyone loves working with your company. You have a great group of people working for you. We were delighted to meet Rhonda and her husband. They were very gracious and made us feel as part of the group. Laurie and her husband were also very friendly and gave us a welcomed feeling. I was very glad to meet Debbie and Cindy and now we’re able to put a face with a name when emailing each other. Thank you again for a wonderful party.
Yolanda Hayden Travel
I want to thank you so much for letting me join MTravel.com; I’m having the time of my life! There are certainly times when I realize I don’t know a danged thing, but I’m enjoying the learning process immensely. You all make it so fun, easy and accessible. I’ve never had such marvelous support or worked with an organization that treats its independent contractors so well. When you say that you believe your people are your greatest asset, you really mean it. What a wonderful way to be treated!!
I don’t know why I waited 30 years to take the leap, but I am ever so glad I finally did!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!
I just wanted to take the time to compliment Montrose on providing their agents such a wondering package… I’m very impressed with the website and the information the agent site contains… tons of useful information!!
I came to Montrose from another host agency late in October 2007. My decision to leave that host was because of the RCI issue and their loss of booking privileges… and being a new agent I really didn’t want to have to deal with that and decided to join your organization. And I have not looked back since..
Long story short.. I have been very happy with Montrose for many reasons:
- I have a terrific mentor at Montrose
- I am constantly kept in the loop of news throughout the travel industry
- I have strong support for any question I have.
- I am proud to mention that I am affiliated with Montrose Travel
- The training through Montrose always keeps me motivated and up-beat (even when I have to “squeeze” it in my schedule)
- The training through Montrose has always been excellent and of good quality.information very useful and gives me new ideas
These are only a few of the reasons I am excited and happy to be a HBA with Montrose Travel.
I hate to speak ill of the past, but with my other host I had to dig for information and training was very weak. Our training was presented twice a week with our mentor and one of the days was devoted to “cold” calling from referrals received from a referral company, the second day training was also presented by our mentor and was more a question & answer, maybe some tips.but nothing from the supplier direct (2 hours per week total). I only received travel industry information by signing up with MailPound, Travel Trade, etc (which I also had to discover on my own)… and though they are good resources I still had to dig out info that I felt I could use, nothing from my host agency. I also receive a lot of the trade magazines, but find that I already know some of what is in them because Montrose keeps me so well informed.
I know we are all independent contractors, but being new in an industry such as travel it is a huge help to receive so much information and training. We can all “book travel”, but booking travel and “designing” vacations for someone is much more than “booking travel”. In the beginning I felt a little overwhelmed with so much information, but am now a lot more comfortable and manage the flow of info much better. =)
I just took advantage of the CLIA agent membership and saved $30 because of an email message forwarded to me by Darrell. I had been contemplating joining CLIA for a while, so you can imagine my surprise and delight to see the message from Darrel with the discount.
I especially enjoy seeing articles in trade magazines that speak of Montrose, quote you (Andi) or mention one of Montrose agents. It is so nice to mention my host agency without having to explain why I am with one who cannot book Royal Caribbean, and believe me the cruising public knows the story.
So please feel free to keep on keeping me “overwhelmed”.
All Dream Vacations
This letter is to let you know that I am very appreciative of and don’t take for granted the hard work of Lori and indeed everyone with whom I have dealt from your accounting department. On almost a daily basis I get assistance from Lori, so it is she in particular about whom I write.
Yesterday after 3 hours of sleep the night before due to cough and congestion, I believe every one of my regular customers was contacting me with challenges. I left my house for 17 minutes at lunchtime to buy medicine. A customer called my personal cell for flight info he needed “right away”- I know he thinks I’m good, but I’ve yet to memorize every airline’s June Sacramento schedule. Stress levels were palpable and I did more than my fair share of accounting mistakes and just confusing invoicing. But Lori was there as always, efficiently, kindly and responsively helping me to un-do this and re-do that.
I still have nightmares about my first job as an agent. Understaffed, constantly bombarded, and any invoicing issues resulted in Accounting making us feel like 2 year olds on a time-out. My last job, our accountant was laid back, a quality I envy for a tropical vacation, but not in a financial district corporate agency. Nothing would get adjusted and a week or month later, the resulting problems arose. Lori is just right!
Your accounting department is what enables me to have this business. I couldn’t do it without you and if there is anything I can ever do or not do on my end to make your jobs easier, please do not hesitate to let me know.
I sure do appreciate Lori’s kindness, responsiveness and excellent help!
I have been in the travel industry for 22 years, and even worked in-house at Montrose Travel for a year. I loved it there, but I am a single mom, and really needed to have a home based business, so I started my own agency…I realized that I wanted a support system behind me, in case I was away on a trip, or needed help negotiating with a cruise line…Montrose Travel was the answer for me.
They are one of the largest agencies in the country… they have a stellar reputation among their preferred suppliers, and that really counts for something… I feel I have a team behind me in everything I do…I am in business FOR myself, but not BY myself. When you look at how much it costs to get your Seller of Travel permit, (not to mention the paperwork) plus E & O insurance, the fee you pay as a Home Based Agent is very reasonable…you have access to every kind of technology you could possibly want, whether it’s Apollo at home, or booking engines for the tour operators…you also have your very own website, which is completely taken care of for you…It’s fun to see my friends and family booking hotels, rental cars, air tickets without me even having to take care of it! They just go to my website!! Montrose Travel also gets top tier commissions and special rates that only a company as large as they can command…and we as Home Based Agents benefit from it.
I researched many companies out there, and I really am happy I made the decision to go with Montrose Travel… I have a wonderful support team that is there for me whenever I need it… (even when I was away on a cruise, they handled a BIG situation for me that arose in Europe!) I feel like I have peace of mind about my business.
Thank you for our picture from the holiday party. I have been meaning to thank you, Darrell, and Andi for including me as an HBA in all the various activities of Montrose Travel. It helps me feel a part of your organization. That connection is one thing that so many other HBA’s say is missing from their host agencies. I also appreciate how quickly I get a response to my many questions.
Again thank you and it was great seeing all the other agents and hearing of all the accolades. My husband was truly impressed over everything he saw (and he’s not easily impressed).
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for all that you do. Although it was my choice to be an affiliate with Montrose Travel, even though there were many options available to me, I am overwhelmingly excited that I am a member of the MT Family.
I’m proud of my association, but even more proud to be an agent. I just had a messy situation that I caused with a booking with a client. I booked originally with a third party vendor, and had to call the property direct to correct my issue, and just by saying “I’m Chris with Montrose Travel”, I was treated with respect and professionalism.
I’ve been a “member-of-the-public” when booking travel and have always been disgusted with the way I was treated. Now as a travel agent, those same corporate entities treat me with much more respect, that it’s a pleasure working with them. The problem was easily rectified and now we have a happy client, a happy agent and a happy reservation!
Your support and guidance are greatly appreciated.
I recently had the opportunity to share my experiences with a friend of mine who also is interested in returning to the travel world via home-based opportunities. She was a MAJOR corporate agent, but took time off to raise her family. She wants back in but with more flexibility and a sense of self. So naturally, I shared this opportunity. If all goes well, she may be joining the MT Family herself. Again, thank you for all that you do, and thank you for accepting me into the family.
Center Stage Travel Agency
My business partner and I have been with Montrose Travel for two years and had very limited work experience prior to that. Everything we know we learned from Montrose – directly on their in-depth Agent Connex Support Site, web-seminars, supplier seminars and their ever-ready support staff.
We find Andi and her staff most supportive, encouraging and patient with us. We appreciate their integrity, work ethics and knowledge. Through their clout with major suppliers and alliance with Virtuoso, our clients find our prices extremely competitive, and they are impressed with Montrose Travel’s solidity in the industry.
I think you will be as happy as we are with the Montrose family.
I started my search for the perfect host agency the same way many have, searching the internet for options. I was looking for a travel partner not just a host agency; Montrose Travel was that solution. Montrose Travel is a financially secure company with the buying power to give every Home Based Agent the competitive edge needed in the ever-changing travel market. Montrose Travel has a strong history as a national leader in every realm of the travel industry.
The diversity of products offered by Montrose Travel was very influential in my decision, their ability to offer support for nearly any product from corporate travel to honeymoon registries is a very unique ability in such a specialized market. Montrose Travel allows me to specialize in what my customers need, whatever segment of the travel industry that may be.
One of the most attractive and useful tools offered by Montrose Travel is their private labeled website, a website dedicated to each agent allowing customers to book online. This feature allows my clients to book virtually any type of travel online, allowing me to earn commissions 24 hours a day! This feature is beneficial to both the agent and the consumer. Essentially my agency never closes! Montrose Travel is one of the most technologically advanced hosts, allowing for a greater level of organization for home based agents.
When I started looking for a career, I knew I wanted something that offered flexibility in schedule and gave me the ability to change my income based on my needs. Montrose Travel is that answer. With their amazing office staff offering endless support and their strong purchasing power, I have the freedom to choose how my business is run. With a dedicated staff and extensive web support system, answers are at arms length to almost any question. This amount of information paired with the extensive amounts of training available to all agents is one of the reasons that Montrose Travel has been in operation for over 50 years. My partnership with Montrose Travel allows me to run my business today knowing that they will be there to support me tomorrow.
I just wanted to tell you how wonderful our website is! I’ve had occasion to really jump around it tonight. (I’m building a casual-chatty blog format website that will direct everyone to the real MTravel.com website), but I am amazed at how much content we have, and the capabilities of it. I just wanted to take a minute to tell you that I think it’s fantastic!
I sent out about 250 e-mails announcing “My new web site”…. and every single person who responded was very impressed with the site! Just thought you could pass that on to your people who do such a wonderful job at it. Again, thanks for everything.
…The decision for Direct Access to join forces with Montrose Travel was made in 1991 based on the knowledge that Montrose Travel had established one of the strongest business plans for independent contractors in the industry. Lucrative contracts exist with all of the major vendors allowing for maximum profitability, management support at the highest level to grow and seek new business, incentive goals, a commitment to cutting edge technology, and anongoing optional program for training and education. There is no other choice except for Montrose Travel for any Independent Contractor who is serious about their livelihood.
Direct Access Travel
With a reputation for honesty, quality, and profitability, my decision to join Montrose Travel many years ago was an easy one. With so many travel companies failing to meet the demands of the new travel marketplace, I wanted to be a part of a growing, dynamic company that was looking to the future. With over $110 million in buying power, and over 50 years of reputable service, Montrose Travel was an ideal choice for me and my clientele.
LCF Custom Travel & Tours
I came to Montrose Travel for one main reason…Montrose Travel’s good reputation. I talked to employees, ex-employees and customers and they all had nothing but good things to say about Montrose Travel. I didn’t even realize the opportunities Montrose Travel offered to make money until AFTER I started working with you. After all is said and done, not only am I glad that I came here, I regret not coming here sooner.
I begrudgingly made the move from my office of 11 years as the result of 9/11 and the airline commission cuts. Less than 3 months into my new home, I kept asking myself what took me so long? I was able to make more money, use Montrose Travel’s buying power to better service my clients (primarily legal and entertainment clientele). The clients loved having me be associated with an agency as large as Montrose Travel (#43 in the country makes quite an impact). To be able to go to presentations and provide the potential client with our professional looking materials is very impressive. I know their accounting offices sure love getting those reports which saves them hours of work and expense. I could probably go on and on, but the bottom line – it is the best move I ever made!
Corporate Travelers Club
I guess since I’m shy of my first full year, I’m an “inexperienced agent!” That does qualify me to comment to anyone considering joining us here at Montrose Travel.
WARNING: I think I must add right about now, that I am NOT being paid to write this, nor am I being forced to do so. I receive no financial compensation or points for my time. I’m NOT part of a sales team or recruitment effort.
Why the warning? Because I already know that I’m going to come off sounding like a major POM POM for Montrose Travel. I really just want you to know I will speak the truth about my experiences and it’s NOT with any hidden motivation for myself. Just the excitement that you are making a GREAT first step by contacting Andi in your search for a Host Agency.
I’m a single Dad with 1 son (who turns 21 this month). I own my own educational theatre company in Southern California, but have a huge passion for travel, and an even bigger passion for helping others travel. Making money is a great benefit as well!
I came to Montrose Travel in January of 2007. I did my research amongst all of the other Host Agencies out there and found out that really, they all offer pretty much the same deal with different price points. I have had previous experience with Montrose Travel over 15 years ago when I first got the idea to be a travel agent. That was around the time when the airlines decided not to offer commissions to agents and the industry looked like it was going to die, so I got out quicker than I had started. So for me, it was almost like coming back home. I was thankful that Montrose was still around and stronger than every, and offered this brilliant concept of Home Based Agents using the power of a Host Agency.
I could not be happier with my choice, nor prouder of my affiliation with Montrose Travel. EVERYONE is oddly generous and giving of their time, talents, knowledge and support. I say oddly generous, because I always thought that travel agents were so competitive. Well if we are, I have never felt it with Montrose. What I HAVE felt is being part of a very large family. A very large, loving family. It is in everyone’s interest at Montrose Travel, including the HBA’s, to have everyone succeed. No one wants a failure in the family, and everyone at Montrose strives to see everyone’s potential achieved and improved upon.
The HBA program affords you with every tool necessary for success and an unprecedented support team whose only objective is to see its agents flourish.
It’s like I tell my kids, you only get out of something what you put in. If you’re willing to take the education from the team at Montrose and apply it to yourself and your new agency, then you will be rewarded with something more valuable than an income; enjoying a new, successful career that you actually enjoy. Oh yeah, and tons of respect. And NOT just from the internals of Montrose Travel. With pride, I contact our vendors and I still haven’t gotten over the immense privilege of saying.”Hi Princess Cruises, this is Chris with Montrose Travel.” Our vendors acknowledge my affiliation with Montrose and open doors for me I doubt you can get with many of the Host Agencies out there. It’s amazing!
Center Stage Travel Agency
Chris R. was put in touch with a new prospective agent who wanted a referral. This was his response to her questions:
How did you get started?
What specific steps did you take to prepare and then start your own travel business? I was introduced to the concept of Home Based Agencies from some friends of mine working with another Host Agency (for the record, I believe my friends are now switching from their Host Agency to Montrose!) So, much like yourself, I began to research my options. Like I said earlier, most Host Agencies offer pretty much the same details as far as commission and promises of support. I have to admit, it was a daunting experience trying to weigh the pros and cons of each Host Agency. What really led me to Montrose was previous experience. Montrose Travel has attained and maintained a reputation as one of the Best Travel Agencies in the United States. I believe we are in the Top 30 in the industry. In addition, unlike other brick and mortar agencies, Montrose has continued to grow and expand from one small building in Montrose, California, to over several buildings to accommodate their growth and expansion. I believe we’re up to 4 physical buildings housing everything from Leisure, Groups, Honeymoon/Weddings, Corporate, Business Administration and more. This type of growth is physical proof of the sustaining power and upward mobility of this company. Most of the Host Agencies out there are just that…Host Agencies and run out of one office building. What that says to me is that they don’t have the 1) reputation Montrose has, nor 2) the buying power that Montrose has. A major component to travel is the leverage your Host Agency has with the vendors it serves (ie., Princess, American Airlines, Pleasant Holidays, etc.). Montrose is a Top Producing Agency with most of the major suppliers and we as IC’s benefit from their relationship. So the choice for me was clear…Montrose Travel had the reputation, connections and support all available for me to try. A VERY IMPORTANT THOUGHT OF MINE was…”Hey, it’s only $299 for a one year investment. If Montrose was NOT a fit for me, I was only out $299…a minimal risk for such a promising venture. .
What has your experience been like with Montrose? Pros/Cons?
Again, I’m going to sound like a Pom Pom Cheerleader. PROS all the way. We have a dedicated Montrose Travel Specialist whose sole concern is with the HBA’s. His name is Darrell. He is available to service any and all needs and questions. If he comes across a situation he is not personally familiar with, he researches other Montrose Staffers as resources and THEY call you and walk you through issues you may have. An added plus for me is the “hands-on” approach of Andi. She is one of the “Powers That Be” with Montrose Travel. The Big Wig. Yet she always makes time to make sure we HBA’s are happy and productive. It’s very rare to have the founders of the company get involved with us “independents.”
I’ve worked for other companies as outside sales, and I’ve always felt like a NUMBER instead of a member of the team. But not so with Montrose. Not to stray, but when I started with Montrose, they assigned me an IC number. I freaked out! I thought, “Oh No…I AM just another number to them.” But I quickly learned, that number was more for accounting purposes. Just last Friday, October 5, 2007, I dropped by the Montrose Offices (I have the privilege of living in close proximity) and the lady at the front desk inquired as to my name and whom I was there to see. When I told her my name, she got REALLY excited…”Oh, YOU’RE Chris R! I know you! I send you all of your faxes and documents! It’s a pleasure to put a face to the IC Number!” We ended up having a great conversation, as she was genuinely interested in how I was doing and how much I enjoyed my new business. So let’s see…Great support, Great vendor relations, GREAT online training, both in-house and with vendors who present specifically to the HBA’s at Montrose Travel. Now let me think. There has to be a CON or two?!? Hmmm…when I think of one, I’ll let you know! .
How satisfied are you with their customer and IC service?
Couldn’t be happier! Again, the customer support is great and more importantly, personal. The tools they offer us are incredible from the private labeled website, to great departments who are very much interested in your success.
What about their training?
Training is awesome! Every month they offer multiple sessions from basic topics to more detailed advanced issues. The best thing is, these courses are in a rotation, so if you miss one, you’ll be sure to catch it another time. And due to Montrose Travel’s Top Producer Status with many of the vendors, the vendors prepare special training sessions geared specifically to us – the HBA’s. In addition, our affiliation with Montrose allows us to train independently with the vendors directly. So far I’ve trained with Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises (I almost have my FREE CRUISE!), Marriott Hotels, Hyatt Hotels, Almond Resorts, Disney Vacations, just to name a few. And I ain’t about to stop now. I’m also enrolled to receive my travel accreditation through the Travel Institute/Academy. Soon I’ll receive my ACC with CLIA. Then if that wasn’t great enough, they “record” training sessions and they are available for us to view or RE-view online at a time convenient for us…and for me, that’s usually around 2am! Training is exceptional!
What kind of training do you recommend?
I know nothing about this industry. In the beginning, any training is great training, or rather ALL Training is great training. Later on as you get familiar with the industry and your clients, you may wish to focus in on what they call “niche” travel…servicing a specific population of clients. As for me…I want it all and don’t want to limit myself. This may prove too demanding, so I’m focusing my efforts on Cruises and Group Travel. However, I still offer my clients full service travel. With every new client and travel option, I learn VALUABLE information. Currently I have a Cruise Group of 40 passengers that I created and there is NO training better than doing it yourself. I also have another group planning a destination wedding for 75 to the Caribbean. Again, by doing, I learn more. And the staff at Montrose has stepped in on several occasions, bending over backward to help me. Let’s see…Weddings and Honeymoons emailed me and called me personally to offer samples of print materials, strategies to establish successful client/agent relationships. And while Montrose offers MANY in-house training opportunities, it’s always great to get training directly from the vendors and travel academies. I thought about doing an online educational series that will certify me as a Certified Travel Consultant (CTC) but I on’t have time with all my clients I’m juggling! I still may do it, if I can find the time!
With so many people booking on their own and airlines and now some cruise lines are getting rid of air commission, is this still a profitable industry?
There is SO MUCH MORE to travel than just your flight to and from a destination. Hotels, rental Cars, sightseeing, train travel, cruises, escorted tours, all-inclusive resorts, packaged travel…the list goes on. OH WAIT…what about a Bridal Registry?!?! Yup…a prospective Bride and Groom can establish a Bridal Registry with you to create their DREAM DESTINATION for their Honeymoon let’s say…they pick every amenity and excursion they want…regardless of the price. Then the guests can go through you to purchase a “portion of their trip!” When all is said and done, your clients, the Bride and Groom, are off on a vacation Honeymoon of a lifetime…and they don’t even pay for it!!!! But I’m getting off track to your question. Basically, the question is…Why You/Agent versus why don’t they buy it online themselves. The answer is quite simple and profound. CUSTOMER SERVICE. You can buy a ticket online, but if you have a problem while on vacation…who are you going to call? Travelocity? Someone unfamiliar with your itinerary? Desires? Preferences?!? As a travel agent, we offer clients something they CANNOT PURCHASE. Personalized service and peace of mind. Example: One of my clients booked a trip to Hawaii through me. They were hesitant because they always book it themselves online. They went through me to “help me out!” On their third day, they had a major issue with their rental car. They first tried to deal with it themselves and then someone got the smart idea to call me. They called and within 5 minutes, I was able to contact the vendor and correct their issue. These clients have vowed never to book online again. Then I have other clients who hate to travel because they hate searching for bargains…so they let me search for them, and when I find potential matches to their wishes, I email them or call them and then they can decide. It’s like having a personal assistant that handles your travel concerns. Sure we don’t get air commissions, BUT we get commissions on everything else they need to surround their air travel.
Where do you see this industry going?
I was recently at a training seminar for Royal Caribbean. They have poured, literally, millions of dollars into a new reservations system SPECIFICALLY TAILORED TO TRAVEL AGENTS. Vendors are hugely invested in their “Travel Partners” and appreciate our efforts to direct clients to their services. Where do I see it going? UP UP and AWAY!!!!
What advice would you give someone like me? What are the pitfalls? What are the successes?
My advice to you? What have you got to lose?!? It’s like going to school. You can study the textbook all you want, but until you put your knowledge to practical use, the research is of no value to you. Personally, I reiterate…at just $299 to get started if you’re inexperienced…you really have nothing to lose! When I started, I said, “Well, I’m going to dedicate myself until A) I make my initial investment back, or B) I hit my one year mark and then I’ll re-evaluate. Let’s just say, I made my initial investment back (two fold) within my very first two months…needless to say, I’m here to stay! WARNING: Montrose is GREAT, but the tool is only as good as the USER. If you dedicate yourself to this as a serious business choice, then ONLY success will follow. EVERYONE TRAVELS. Even if it’s only to a motel in the next city…that’s still 10% commission to you and me! And more priceless are the thanks and gratitude my clients have for me taking part in assuring their vacation was memorable and attainable.
I have been in the travel industry for over 24 years, and can’t say enough about Montrose. I’ve worked both in-house with them, and as a HBA – so I know all the staff, and how they do business. They are truly professional and dedicated to your success.
There are training calls and webinars available every week to help you grow as an agent. There is always someone available to help whether it is group travel, air tickets, that special hotel in Rome…you name it, I’ve always gotten support whenever I’ve needed it.
The website alone is worth the cost of your yearly membership. Your website is as powerful as Expedia or Travelocity, and it is with your own domain! I always book my rental cars, etc. on my own website, and get amazing rates!
I can’t say enough about Montrose as a host agency…here you are a ‘person’, not just one of the thousands of hopeful agents that sign up with a host agent… I think that is very important to consider as you begin your new career…
Oh, and the best advice I can give a new travel agent…..TRAVEL! as much as you can… so you can give your clients advice!
I came to Montrose Travel because in this climate of competition, no small agency can stay in business on their own. Montrose Travel’s volume and expertise in automation it makes it possible for us to survive.
I came to Montrose Travel in the mid 1990’s because I knew Montrose Travel was a large company – with great buying power and a strong management. I actually followed Glendale Travel because she was here and already very satisfied!
I chose Montrose Travel because I wanted to go with an agency that would help promote our business. When I came here over 20 years ago, I wanted to do a newsletter and block group space…you had the resources to help me with it. My business has grown quite large as a result and I appreciate the moral support.
CK Travel Saver
Being an IC at Montrose Travel allows me the autonomy to run my own business, and still enjoy the benefits of the large support system Montrose provides.
Respectability. Reliability. Responsibility. Re-flexibility. Marketability.
- Respectability – I felt that IC’s had a voice that would be listened too.
- Reliability – What I received from your Management Team, that their word could be reliable and straight.
- Responsibility – If you are a responsible person, then you could get support from MTravel.com.
- Re-flexibility – People at MTravel.com bend if necessary.
- Marketability – MTravel.com helps you market yourself as well as your business.
“BEST OF ALL WORLDS!!!”
Have I mentioned how fantastic Montrose has treated my agency? I am comforted to know I’ve finally found a host agency with heart and integrity.
Mia Anderson Travel
I wanted to take a chance to thank you for a great orientation. Montrose Travel came highly recommended by Annie C. with Barefeet Travel, and by far exceeded my expectations when I joined. I am so excited!
I just returned from the OSSN Home-Based Agent Conference in Las Vegas. I love learning more about this business!
My main purpose in writing is because I want to convey how impressed I am with Amy, Emily, and Rachelle. They were warm and personable as individuals, as well as exhibiting dedicated professionalism and efficiency. They sat side by side with us in the classrooms taking detailed notes, and showing the same enthusiasm for the subject we did. They kept us updated on any schedule changes, and extended themselves to ensure that everyone felt included in the “Montrose family”. Montrose is fortunate to have these three young women as part of the team, and I look forward to working beside them in the future
La Petite Travel Agency
Dear Debbie, Nancy and Emily (and Amy on a another call!),
Thank you SO much for your time on the phone today. You gave me so much wonderful information and I feel much more directed in putting together a presentation board. I really appreciate your support and look forward to this and many other successful events knowing I can raise my hand for help when I need to. You are awesome!
Beach Rodeos/The Added Benefit
In ending Debbie I want to add that I just love this company (and because I hear your voice LOVE YOU TOO!). You are so well educated and well- spoken. I could listen to you for hours. They have definitely put the right people in the right areas and this shows that there is true commitment here at Montrose. (You guys are so professional). I am so excited to grow and I can’t wait to meet you and the rest of the team. Thank you for making this new goal/career change so exciting to go after.
I just want to say how much I love this Facebook group and Montrose! Sometimes I forget how much support I have access to! I asked two simple questions on here yesterday and this afternoon I had two voicemails thanks to Andi and the staff at Montrose. The messages were people to help me. It also impresses me how active and involved Andi is with our group and helping us out herself rather than letting the staff take care of everything. And on top of all the great support staff this group is amazing too! We are all very lucky!!
Liz’s Great Escapes
I can’t thank you enough for taking me under the Montrose Travel umbrella. You and your staff genuinely show in training, introductions to suppliers, HBA notices, etc. just how much you care in seeing to it that we climb the steps to success. I am very appreciative.
View World Travel
Would you like to be one of these happy home based travel agents?