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Travel Agent Resources

Why You Should Be a 24 Hour Travel Agent

By Courtney Eisen

February 23, 2024

If you want to take this career seriously, consider being available 24/7/365. If you join our host agency, this is a requirement. Before you balk and scroll away, hear us out. Being available to clients is critical to building and maintaining trust, proper service, increasing your earnings, and gaining more referrals. Let's break down our reasoning.

Put Yourself in The Client's Shoes

Imagine you have decided to use a travel agent because you want a better experience. You finally find one you love and decide to book your trip through them. You plan a multi-destination journey through Asia, but when you arrive in Japan, you find out that your connecting flight has been canceled. You have no idea what to do. You call your agent, but they don't answer. You feel lost and exhausted and spend hours on hold with the airlines.

Would you use that travel agent again? Probably not. In fact, at that point, you would prefer to wait on hold with a booking site's call center. At least someone would be there to help you navigate this complicated wrench in your plans.

Now imagine that your agent did answer as soon as you called. They tell you not to worry; they will make updates to your itinerary and send a new flight confirmation shortly. You would probably stick with that agent for life and tell your friends about how they saved the day. See the difference?

Whether you have clients traveling in multiple time zones or not, you need to be available to assist your clients in crisis. Being there for a traveler in need builds trust, loyalty, and overall confidence. Not being there, however, will plant seeds of doubt as to whether using a travel agent is really better than just handling the trip themselves.

You Aren't Just Competing With Other Travel Agents

This is obvious, but I want to make sure it sinks in; you are not competing solely with other travel agents. We've all heard it a million times, but we live in a fast-paced world where convenience and immediate gratification are king. When your client gets excited about a trip, you want to close them then and there. You do not want to schedule them during your office hours or weeks out. If you make them wait, they may get antsy and decide to book directly with the hotel, airline, and/or a booking site. Sure, your most loyal clients might wait, but why make them? As agents, we earn money based on commission. Booking a trip, once you get the hang of it, doesn't take much time. You could have your client booked and happy in 15-45 minutes and make anything from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Why would you turn down that opportunity?

This concept applies even more heavily to new potential clients. People who have never used travel agents before may feel annoyed if they reach out and you let them know you won't be available for days or even weeks. If your goal is to make six or seven figures, then make the money and close the deals when they are hot. Your clients will be happier, and your bank account will be healthier.

Remember, besides other agents, you can lose clients to booking sites, direct booking, travel clubs, Airbnb, etc. Never leave the client feeling like they can service themselves better than you can. Be an agent who gives their clients peace of mind.

The Reality of Nighttime Hours

Most of our agents are booking trips at night. It's when people wind down from their day and have time to dream about their next escape. Being available at night is something you need to consider. Of course, everyone's networks are different, but in general, staying up late and sleeping in will become the norm as you grow your travel business and operate across multiple time zones.

It is important to know that there will be frantic calls in the middle of the night from clients, and you will need to wake up and help them. David Eisen, our founder, has shared that this only happens to him a couple of times a year, so don't read this and think it's a regular thing. Similar to the example at the beginning of the article, there are situations where your clients may be anxious, exhausted, in a foreign country and looking for a knight in shining armor. Be that knight, and they will be forever grateful. While we hope all of our client's trips go off without a hitch, you never know when global events, weather, or other "acts of god" might disrupt travel plans. These moments are opportunities to go above and beyond for your clients, and the rewards are immense. You will likely give your clients an amazing story that they will share with their friends, bringing you new business. Additionally, though we don't share personal information about clients, you will gain a story that you can share vaguely with others as examples of what makes you an excellent agent.

Taking a step back, am I suggesting that you wake up in the middle of the night to answer someone who sent a vague Facebook Message at 4 AM about a trip? No. Not unless they are a VIP client who you know is going to make a big booking. Some things can wait; sleep is important. However, even new clients with small budgets should be answered promptly. You can get to them as soon as you wake up. You want to build a reputation for being responsive, dependable, and efficient.

Service Luxury Clients, Or Lose Them

We have clients spending tens of thousands of dollars a night at hotels, meaning we're earning thousands of dollars in commission from each of their trips. The mature luxury client will expect you to be available should they need anything. From restaurant reservations to last-minute tours, extending their stays, or whatever they might need assistance with, you will be their go-to person. If you can't handle that, expect to lose the client because there are plenty of agents out there, especially at LuxRally Travel, who would be more than happy to gain that business.

You must keep in mind that people who spend huge sums on their trips do so in order to avoid inconveniences. Your job is to ensure they do not deal with any minutia. Sometimes that means being inconvenienced. This is a reality of being a top-tier agent.

If that sounds overwhelming, don't worry. We have an in-house concierge team to help service ultra-luxury clients, taking some of the pressure off our agents. There is a cost to using the concierge, but it's an option that allows you to gain world-class client support without paying a six-figure salary to a full-time staff member. Using our concierge support is covered extensively in our free travel agent training.

Conclusion, Being a 24 Hour Agent Will Make Your Life Easier

Sounds contradictory? It's not. When you work as needed, it gives you a lot of flexibility. Helping clients when they need you means you aren't spending as much time making to-do lists, following up, playing phone tag, etc. Those tasks don't make you money. It shifts your workflow so that when you're working, you're earning a commission. Your life will become simpler, and your clients will be happier. Most importantly, though, being a 27/7/365 agent will increase your earnings, and money makes life easier. Procrastinating takes more work than just getting things done.

Here's an example. I went to watch the premier of a popular movie with David Eisen. We were all excited about this particular screening, including David. However, about halfway through the show, one of David's VIP clients called him. Did he mute the call and keep watching? No. He discreetly left the theatre to find out what the client needed. He made a few thousand dollars by taking that call. How does money solve this issue? Well, if you are a movie buff, you might already know that you can rent out an entire movie theatre and play a movie of your choice for a few hundred dollars. In this case, if he had missed too much of the movie, he could have easily just bought out the theatre at another time and gotten an even better experience. However, the call only took about 15 minutes of his time. If you wouldn't have left the theatre, you might want to shift your mindset.

Another example is that David now has a full-time driver. Living in Miami, time spent driving can kill productivity. Now, he can work while riding in the back of his car versus wasting hours in traffic. He can afford this because he is a 24/7/365 agent who knows how to properly service the world's wealthiest travelers. Essentially, David makes money keeping people from being inconvenienced, and in turn, can afford to avoid the inconveniences of daily life in most cases.

If this sounds like a culture or ethos you relate to, check out our free travel agent training. We are picky about who we accept into our program, so make sure to communicate why you would be an asset to our company when you apply. We want people who are here to make money and who are not simply looking to have a hobby with travel perks, though we very much enjoy the perks that come along with being top producers. Our training will reinforce the mindset touched on in this article, giving you the potential to become a high-earning travel agent.

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