7 Organizational Tips For New Travel Agents
It is a hard business to start your own New Travel Agents. You are either working hard to find clients or trying to help them. It is possible to speak with dozens of venues and suppliers at once, compare prices and arrange for the little things that clients value most. One of the most difficult aspects of becoming a travel agent is managing your time and keeping track of all the details.
You’re not the only one who has blazed this path. To help new agents become more organized and efficient with their time, we have compiled a list of best practices for travel agents to help them get started.
1) Get some useful apps
Your tech is a good place to begin. You might think that we are promoting a unique all-in-one app for travel agents. You can find many great apps for consumers that will help you organize your time and files. They’re also competitively priced and are guaranteed to work. Personal organizers are not included as each person has different preferences regarding scheduling and time tracking. These are great tools for travel agents:
Evernote is an app that allows you to quickly organize and search documents, articles, links, scans and files. Evernote is a popular tool for travel agents to track individual trips and quickly reference items you have worked with previously.
Scanbot can be used as a mobile scanner or fax machine. Scanbot can scan all documents in high-quality and save them as PDFs or JPEGs to your Evernote library. It can also fax, which is useful for venues that were still alive in the 1980s or are making money.
Dropbox works in a similar way to Evernote, and can be used to backup all files on your computer. Dropbox is your data safety net.
Toggl, an innovative app, organizes and labels your time. Toggl is a stop-watch-style time manager that allows you to name, tag and organize every segment of your time. Toggl allows you to quickly track your time, change tasks and then add everything to your planner later.
Grammarly is essential for ensuring that your punctuation and spelling are correct. This applies not only to phone typos but also sentence structure and all the rest.
2) Track your time and schedule it
Our first tip, other than downloading apps, is to be in control of your time. It’s not enough to track your time, but plan it. Plan how you will spend your mornings, or even the night before you go to bed. Blocking out specific hours for business calls or emails is an important part of time planning. This depends on your time zone and the business’s open times.
If a client has a special request and needs to work a few extra hours, it’s okay. Stick to your plan. This will prevent time from running amok. You can set goals and timers. Then, switch between tasks as needed to ensure that you don’t forget anything. You can give yourself extra time for things that take longer than you expected.
3) Keep detailed client notes
To keep track of each client, use CRM (Client Relationship Management Software). Their names and travel plans are not enough. You also need to know their preferences for plane seats, their favorite colors and whether they like fast wifi or hotel room service.
These client notes are available almost immediately, and you can use a quick-reference tool to find everything you need. You can then link each client account with your files about their trips (past, present, or planning).
4) Organize Each Trip
You will need to take detailed notes about each trip. Evernote is the perfect tool to help you do this. You need an itinerary that is easy to follow, and you should also have access to all relevant information and resources related to your trip.
Keep track of the contact numbers for each venue or service that you book. Keep bookmarks for their most important websites and a screen-cap of or link to your receipt handy so they can ask. You should keep all information related to planning a trip. Make sure you organize it so that every piece of information is easily accessible when it’s most important. In an emergency, you may need this information.
5) Be alert during active trips
Keep your phone close at your side when you are traveling with a client. Being a great travel agent means being available to help clients in any situation. Do not lose your sleep over it. Be ready to get out of bed if necessary.
Keep your trip monitoring open on both your phone and computer so you can keep track of each client while they are away. You can always refer to their information and keep track of the schedule so that you are aware of where each client is at the moment. In case they call to say “I just arrived and there’s no driver”, you will need to know where they are and who they are expecting.
6) Cultivate Your Best Suppliers
Know your suppliers. Establish supplier relationships with hotels, restaurants, car rental companies, and chauffeur services. Keep track of the best deals you get and how they treat your customers. You can then make detailed notes about every supplier that you have ever dealt with and prioritize suppliers that offer better deals or more satisfying or added value.
Prioritize hotels that customers have raved about more than once. You can always find a better airline alternative if an airline is disappointing.
7) Keep track of your finances carefully
Last but not least, keep track of your finances with exact precision. Every receipt should be scanned and filed. Make sure to keep track of every receipt, every refund, or commission by creating separate folders and spreadsheets. To ensure your books are organized and maintained, you will likely want to work with an accountant as soon as possible. This is the best way to ensure you receive your full commissions and give your clients the best value.