A: You earn money in three different ways. You earn commission from the hotels, cruises and tours that you sell. Also, in some cases, you apply your own mark-up to package itineraries. And the third way is that we advise that you charge a professional service fee in most cases.
A: It’s difficult to provide income expectations because it really depends on the effort an individual puts in and whether they follow the systems and processes I teach. Because of this, I can’t make any guarantees. But, in saying that, I’ve been training advisors using the same system for almost ten years, so here’s a breakdown of some averages for successful advisors:
1st year: $20,000 Low. $35,000 Average. $50,000 High
2nd year: $35,000 Low $55,000 Average $75,000 High
3-5 years: $45,000 Low. $55,000 Average. $90,000 High
After 5 years: The “Low” and “Average” don’t change much after 5 years, but a Virtuoso study showed that said 34% of agencies say their top advisors make over $100,000 per year. In fact, great advisors continue to make more and more as they get more experienced and bring on an assistant or two. I know a small handful of advisors that make $300,000-$500,000 per year (with an assistant or two).
A: Once the course is completed, your costs are quite minimal to get going. I provide you with a website template so all you need to do is click to change the wording and the images. If you’d rather have someone do it for you, we have a web designer in India that can do it for $50 or so (depending on how much you want done).
The website is hosted on a specialized web platform for travel advisors. The charge is $45 per month to host the website and use their technology. Their technology allows us to post travel blogs (a key component in your marketing plan) onto your site with no hassle, so the $45 is well worth the investment. You don’t need to use our template system to get started so this is an optional expense, although it will certainly help.
I recommend spending about $5-10 per day in advertising when you start out although that’s not necessary. I provide a number of different options to find clients. Some of them are free and others have a cost.
You can spend more if you want to fill yourself up with clients faster, if you like. This is done through Facebook advertising. I show you exactly what you need to do to manage your own Facebook advertising in a step-by-step video, but if you would rather have someone else manage it, we’ve teamed up with an expert that can manage it for you very inexpensively (about $50 per month).
Like I mentioned, I provide other methods as well, so the advertising cost is completely up to you.
There are no out-of-pocket up-front association fees to get started. Your host agency (whether it’s us or any other company) charges a percentage of your earning for our/their services, so you’re only paying something if you’re making something. The industry average is for host agencies to charge 30% percent of what you make, which is what we charge. Some host agencies also charge a small fee per month (under $50).
Other than that, there isn’t much else. You can get business cards printed if you like. You can have someone design a logo for you if you like. You can have some semi-professional photos taken if you like. But none of these are necessary and I recommend holding off until you’re bringing clients in. If you do have money to spend on these things right away, I think you’d be better off putting it towards more Facebook advertising instead of these things. Of course, it’s your call.
A: Luxury Travel Advisors work similarly to a real estate agent. The agent is their own small business, and they have an agreement with a large company that helps support them so they don’t have to do everything on their own.
In travel, those large businesses are called “Host Agencies”. So a Luxury Travel Advisor would sign up with a Host Agency to help them with their accounting, invoicing, licensing, supplier relationships, Virtuoso membership, training, etc. All the added background things that you don’t want to have to manage on your own, so you can concentrate on selling!
There are many different varieties of Host Agencies, each offering different levels of support. The common way that you pay for the Host Agency is as a percentage of what you earn. The amounts can range from 10% of your earnings up to 50%, depending on how much support they provide, how much business you do and whether they provide leads. The great part is that you don’t pay anything unless you’re making money, so you don’t have to worry about up-front expenses before you get going.
I dedicate a whole module in the course on how to choose the best Host Agency for you. I go through all of the factors to look at and all of the different questions you need to ask yourself and them. There is no right or wrong answer, it’s just a matter of choosing the right one for you.
Of course, I would love for you to sign up with us as your Host Agency when you finish the course, although I wouldn’t want to pressure you to do that. Once you’ve had a chance to view the module on Host Agencies, you’ll be able to make the right decision for you.
A: For most states and provinces, you don’t need a license or certification to be a travel agent. The exceptions are California, Hawaii, Florida, Iowa and Washington in the US and Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia in Canada. If you live in one of these areas, don’t let that scare you. It’s quite easy to get a license and isn’t something that will hold you back.
A: No, this is not mulit-level marketing or a pyramid scheme in any way. There’s nothing in the program about getting more people to work under you and you don’t make any money from anyone else selling travel or recruiting.
If anything, its like the real estate agent model. You are your own boss and you have a large organization that you belong to that helps you with your structure, training and accounting.
A: The course itself is 6 weeks long, so once it’s complete, you are officially a Luxury Travel Advisor and can start selling right away and earning money. Some advisors immediately reach out to family, friends and acquaintances and start booking travel right from day one. Others rely more on the marketing, which takes a month or two to get going.
The length of time it takes you to actually get paid on what you earn can vary, depending on the type of trips you sell in the first month or two. Some types of travel pay right away and others pay out after the client travels. For example, if you sell a trip to Italy leaving within a few months, you’ll likely get paid on it within a couple of weeks. But if you book a cruise departing a year from now, you wouldn’t get paid until the cruise departs, so there’s a bit of a wait.
It normally takes about 6-12 months to get a normalized income from commissions you earn on last-minute trips in addition to commission from trips you’ve earned in previous months. Because of this, I often tell people to start travel part-time for a few months until the income takes over what they are earning in their full-time job.
A: The course itself is a membership site made up of 6 modules of comprehensive recorded videos and handouts. There’s a private members Facebook group where you can ask questions about the content and every two weeks I do a live Question & Answer session where I answer any questions thrown my way.
Once you’ve completed the course, you’ll sign up with a host agency and they are there to answer your specific questions in regards to suppliers, systems, etc. If you sign with our agency, you’ll also a have access to the private Facebook group made up of all of the experienced agents that are a great help.
I’m also available one on one for more specific and difficult type questions. For example, one student that recently finished the course is putting together a group tour with a friend and wanted to strategize how to work out the commission structure. These are things I’m happy to help with.
The great thing about this is that we’re all in this to see you succeed. The better you do, the better we do, so we want to be sure to support you the best we can.
A: The course is six modules, with one module delivered each week for six weeks. The bulk of the course is recorded videos, so you can work through it at your own pace on your own time. There’s no time limit, so you can take as long as you like to finish, although it’s not possible to work through it faster than six weeks. This is partly due to the technology that doesn’t allow us to change the timing on an individual basis, but more importantly, because it’s extremely important to take your time with each module. The information provided is very important and the homework assignments are vital to ensure you will successful.
If the entire course was open all at once, many people would rush through the material simply to get to the end, without absorbing the important material.
I know the extra time it takes to work through the course seems like a waste of time, but trust me, a year from now when you’re a successful Luxury Travel Advisor, you will be thanking me!
A: We don’t teach the booking systems anymore because the reality is that very few new advisors ever need them. They are antiquated systems and quite difficult to learn, and there are so many different ways to book travel nowadays. In fact, I know how to use the system and I haven’t even opened it on my computer in over two years! My course shows you the alternative methods to book travel.
With that being said, we do have free access to training for that system so it would be available to you if you wanted it, but to be honest, unless you’re selling corporate travel, I wouldn’t recommend it. You’re much better off spending the time learning about travel suppliers.
A: There really is no technical “minimum” time commitment. You’ll get back based on what you put in, so the more hours you work, the busier you will be. But perhaps you only want to work part time? That’s perfectly fine. If this is the case, you only take on the number of clients you require to stay busy for the number of hour per week you want to dedicate to it. I know advisors that work less than 10 hours per week and others that work more than 60 hours per week, plus everything in between. It’s really up to you.