Why choose homeworking?

KELLY COOKES, leisure director, Travel Specialists by Advantage “Travel homeworking

has been on the rise for years, and Covid-19 has only accelerated this trend, with agents looking for more-flexible business models and remote working as customers’ shopping habits have changed. Our model offers a competitive, easily scalable solution with extensive support.”

TRICIA HANDLEY- HUGHES, UK director, InteleTravel “Homeworking lets you take control

niches such as luxury, honeymoons and weddings, as they have a good mark-up. “You can’t compete on bucket-and-spade holiday prices with Tui or OTAs.” She regards cloud-based technology as vital because it allows PTS agents to work in shared offices if they prefer, or while away on fam trips.

Support systems Support from head office and fellow homeworkers is another crucial consideration, and many, such as Advantage, operate a buddy system to help cover holidays, trips or training courses.

During the pandemic, Advantage has also been supporting agents with video updates on its Wellness Wednesdays, offering tips about physical and mental health. In a similar vein, The Personal Travel Agents

at Co-operative Travel ran a virtual three-day conference in September to help homeworkers survive in the ‘new normal’. Video calls are another way to offer social and

practical support. GoCruise & Travel Franchise hosted quiz nights during lockdown, while The Holiday Village and Travel-pa hold weekly Zoom catch-ups for their homeworkers. Training at head offices is often provided although Covid-19 has meant much of it this

year has been moved online. Not Just Travel would usually have a week’s training at its Bournemouth head office, plus a Millionaires’ Retreat in April and September. The group still hopes to take homeworkers away to Mexico next year. Homeworkers at Not Just Travel events may also have seen the brand’s ambassador, former Olympic champion Daley Thompson, who talks about long-term visions, hard work and sacrifice.

Tech talk The quality of technology and booking systems is another factor. Hamish Kaumaya, founder and managing

director at Travel-pa, a division of Sunset Travel, says the company’s in-house system can help agents make bookings in “seconds”. Francisco Canales, corporate development

manager at Supertravel Concierge, also flags his group’s “standout” travel platform, Aztec. And John Milburn, head of homeworking

and telesales at Hays Travel, says: “Make sure you have a real office space or quiet place such as a spare bedroom. Don’t worry about the technology as we sort all that out for you. “Depending on what package agents take, we will provide the leads, help develop your business to generate leads yourself, or do both.”

and run a business with hours to suit you. As with any business, the harder the effort, the better the rewards! Plus, there’s freedom and flexibility – never again will you need to commute or be beholden to others.”

PAULA NUTTALL, managing director, The Holiday Village “I have been in travel homeworking

businesses since 1997 and truly believe there has never been a better time to make the move. Your flexibility and availability outside normal trading hours, and until customers safely return home, will be a key factor as they look to book their next holiday.”

MICHAEL SMITH, director, Hippocampus Travel (part of Global Travel Collection)

“Being an independent advisor is one of the best ways to channel your entrepreneurial spirit. Nothing makes me prouder than thinking of the loyal clients I’ve grown over the years. I have full control over their travel experiences and love sharing the journey with them.”

29 OCTOBER 2020


PICTURES: Shutterstock, Matt Sprake

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