I started as a travel agent in 1993. After I had my first child, I wanted to be home but still wanted to be in the travel industry. So, I started my own agency in 1997. In 1999, I began to take on independent agents. I wanted to offer others an opportunity to create their own travel business that worked with their schedule, family, and other commitments. I can now say Dugan’s Travels has given this opportunity to over 600 agents.
Why should an agent choose Dugan’s Travels?
I think the most common thing we hear is that Dugan’s is willing to take on agents that have no experience but a lot of passion.
• We offer a training program for all agents entering our agency regardless of experience.
• We offer continuous back office support.
• Our start-up fees and maintenance fees are low.
• We have an agent only website for agents to communicate with one another.
• We offer free use of CLIENTEASE, our web-based CRM
• We have top tier commissions with many of the preferred suppliers.
Can you expand more on the agent’s only website? That sounds really interesting.
Sure. When agents join the agency they are given limited access to the website. They are able to see the agent desk which gives them links to all of the training steps. Once they have completed training they are given full access. The website offers 15 different forums for agents to participate in. Everything from supplier help, destination help, to agents posting reviews for cruises and all-inclusive resorts. Although our agents are spread across the country we can bring them together on our website to work together. The site also offers continuing education from our various suppliers as well as a training calendar that lists Dugan’s only webinars hosted by our wonderful BDM’s. Our suppliers have worked hard and spent a lot of time and money creating online training for their products. We encourage our agents to constantly take advantage of these training tools.
What are the fees associated with becoming an independent agent with Dugan’s?
With Dugan’s you aren’t buying a franchise, you are creating something of your own. The sign-up fee is $170 which includes the direct deposit fee and the first year’s E & O insurance. We ask that agents work to sell $3,000 a month. If agents are unable to do this they are charged a $15 fee for that month. There is a$50 premium each year to maintain the E & O insurance.
What is the training program like?
The training program is comprehensive. First, agents read and take a quiz on our agency handbook. It covers procedures and protocol for our agency and general travel information. Next, agents are given some travel situations and are asked to put together quotes for the client. We also have agents put together a cruise proposal. Agents really take this opportunity to figure out how they would like to present information to a prospective client. A good proposal goes a long way toward landing a client instead of the client going directly to a supplier’s website to book. The next step goes over customer service and how essential it is to running a successful business. Finally, we train them on our CRM product CLIENTEASE.
Our agents work closely with our training coordinator to make sure that by the time they finish training they have a good understanding of the industry, how to book travel, and how to work successfully within Dugan’s Travels.
Are you part of a travel consortium?
Yes. I am proud to say we are part of Vacation.com. With are both Presidents’ Circle and Inner Circle with them. This allows our agents to offer their clients benefits that aren’t available to other agents. They offer fantastic booking tools and a great training that agents can use to increase their knowledge on a particular supplier or destination. This has been a wonderful partnership.
What else should prospective agents know about Dugan’s Travels?
There is so much to tell! Dugan’s truly is a family environment. I have a great management team in place that truly cares about the agents, our business, and our place in the travel industry. We have all worked hard to make Dugan’s a place where agents feel welcomed, valued, and successful.
To find out more about Dugan’s Travels visit www.travelathome.com.