Dugan became an outside sales agent back in 1995. She was trying to make extra money doing leisure travel from
her home while working as a corporate travel agent for the government full time. She teamed up with a local agency and
found they offered no support and whenever she needed something, she had to come into the office and wait for an agent to
allow her to use their computer. It was frustrating and once she got her first month's statement finding out she OWED
money that she had never been even told about, she gave up.
Later on down the road, Jennifer had her first child.
She tried going back to work and even at part time, it made her miserable. The agency she was working for part time
offered her an outside sales position. She only made 40% commission and had to pay to have her computer access at home.
It was the start of what she learned outside agents needed. From there she worked with several host agencies.
There were several problems she encountered no matter what agency she worked with.
- Low commissions paid to the person actually doing the
- Commissions often not paid at all
- Fees she was not informed about or more than she was
told they would be
- Shipping costs outweighed the commissions
- No help when she needed it
- The attitude of the host agency was doing her a favor
by allowing her to work with them
- The buck being passed to her anytime something went
wrong even when it was the host agency's fault
- Host agency acting as if she was owned by them
- Host agency was behind on technology and if they offered
anything at all, it cost her money to use it.
- She felt alone
In 1999, Jennifer began to take on people who wanted
to get into the travel industry but had no prior experience. It sounded simple at first, but those without experience
not only needed guidance and education- they needed the basics that Jennifer herself needed from a host agency. She
started off small taking on agents and word began to spread online about what she offered.
Each year the agency began to grow with more agents
and soon she began to even get experienced agents looking for an agency to work with. Every year more training was added
to the training program and the agency's handbook began to get more and more pages added.
Today with over 500 outside sales agents ranging
in experience from none to 20 years in the industry- Dugan's Travels has done it all.
We keep up to date on technology and the industry.
The very first agent who joined Jennifer as an outside agent is still with us today in charge of the training of new agents.
We keep costs down low for agents. We work as a team and each year our sales grow higher. There have even been
agents who have left our agency to start their own host agencies. We make it look easy, but really it is not.
Taking on agents means being responsible for their actions.
A successful agent needs two things. A great host
agency that is owned and operated by someone with experience and knowledge of what an outside sales agent needs and an outside
sales agent who is willing to learn and go after the business that is out there.
When you are comparing Dugan's Travels to other agencies-
consider these things:
We have been in business since 1997. We have had
agents since 1999. Jennifer has been an agent since 1992.
We pay 75% commission. Agents who stay with us
for 3 years- go up to 80% commission after their 3rd anniversary.
We have made it through rough times like Sept 11th and
have a reserve so that if something happens- you are not left high and dry without your commission checks. New agencies
have not been around long enough for you to know if they will be here 6 months from now. It sounds really easy to have
a host agency, but many of them are unprepared to give up their own life savings to make the agency get through bad times.
Many host agencies are in it solely for the money.
Many of them are run by people who have no formal training or years experience as a travel agent. They figure they know
how to book things online using websites such as Travelocity so they can operate a travel agency. There is more to running
a travel agency than that.
How many agents work with them? 3 or so?
How can you know they are going to pay those 3 agents and how do they have a history long enough to know you will be okay
6 months from now? Be weary of someone who has been with an agency for less than 6 months and is trying to get you to
join- they don't know if that agency is really what they say they are. You need a host agency with a history but is
not so old they have no clue how to use the internet to your advantage.
Even if a host agency claims to pay a higher commission
than Dugan's Travels, that does not mean you will ever see it. And if they are only making 10% with Carnival Cruise
line and paying 80% commission you are making less than with Dugan's Travels.
For example: A cruise that is $2000 prior to taxes,
port charges and fees.
An agency only making 10% commission would mean $200.00.
If they pay 80% commission, you will be owed $160.00.
Our agency making 16% commission on the same cruise
is $320.00 x 75% is $240.00.
Really take some time to get to know the agency you
are interested in joining. Contact agents who work with them. Get a feel for what they stand for. Don't
just pick the first agency that comes up in the web search engine. Anyone can pay any amount of money to be displayed
first on the search engines.
We hope this helps and that you will compare
our agency when looking for your host agency.