Written By: Melissa Land, MBA, ACC, Marketing Coordinator – Dugan’s Travels
A Mom with A Mission…
When Dugan’s Travels began hosting agents 20 years ago, it as with the idea that women should be able to have it all: to raise their children while working at a job that they enjoy. A new mom at the time, Jennifer Dugan left the corporate travel agency at which she was employed, and set out to make her own way in the world – a way that would allow her to truly put her family first, while also advancing a career she loved. It wasn’t long before several other agents saw her success and reached out to follow suit.
…Becomes a Family of Agents
Today, Dugan’s Travels is proud to host a community of over 400 agents nationwide: moms, dads, and grandparents that want to build a career around their love of travel. Like many families, we are an eclectic group: our agents represent a variety of niche markets and demographics. We are Baby Boomers, GenX-ers and Millennials. Some work their businesses part-time, in the evenings and on weekends, while working a traditional “9-5” job. Others have chosen to make selling travel their only career and devote 40+ hours per week to the craft. Many are home-based, while still others operate as a retail storefront. Regardless of their starting point, all the professionals that have chosen to be hosted by Dugan’s Travels are dedicated to the craft of creating and selling vacation experiences. And we are passionate about meeting their needs of support, education and mentorship in an online, on-demand environment.
A Warm, Comfortable Welcome…
From the very beginning, agents will notice that Dugan’s Travels conducts business a bit differently than other host agencies. Before signing up, we request that all prospective agents participate in a brief telephone call with a member of our management team. Affectionately known as the Welcome Call, this chat is an opportunity for Dugan’s to get to know each interested agent, and to fully understand their unique business goals. The chat is also a time to ask questions and receive clarification of our features and benefits. Navigating the travel industry can be a confusing task; we seek to provide clarity and openness to the process!
…And Big Business Benefits…
Agents hosted by Dugan’s Travels have access to a wealth of exclusive, customized tools to aid in their business growth. These include agency, industry, niche-specific and trade-specific educational options.
Beginning with our New Agent Orientation Program, agents learn the preferred methods of doing business with Dugan’s Travels. While the orientation program resides on our custom Learning Management System – a 1-stop, online, on-demand portal to education and professional development content – the agent works under the careful tutelage of an experienced management team member. We understand that you wish to be in business for yourself, but never want you to feel that you are in business by yourself. You are never alone as a member of the Dugan’s Travels family!
We provide ongoing support through both our agent mentorship program (STEP: Support – Tutor – Excite – Prepare) and our Preferred Supplier program. Comprised of both interactive web meetings and one-on-one chats, S.T.E.P. provides education and direct help with business-building and business support tasks. Information and feedback are provided from both the agency and from agent colleagues. In our Preferred Supplier program, agents learn how to access and use the marketing resources provided by our most trusted supplier partners, as well as receive direction on resources for creating their own content.
Dugan’s Travel agents also have access to a vast range of free marketing services and an optional list of fee-based marketing services through our consortium, Travel Leaders Network.
In-house, we host several agent-sourced forums, including private Facebook groups. We are an active community of travel professionals that share ideas, best practices, challenges and success stories. With these platforms our agents can forge relationships and keep in touch, regardless of geographic location.
Location-independence is a major requirement for our independent agents! Dugan’s Travels answers that need by providing access to the custom CRM program, SmartAgency, for free as part of the annual support fee. Web-based and purpose-built specifically for our agency, SmartAgency allows agents to securely manage their businesses from anywhere!
…Yield Big Returns
When our agency members experience success, we give them the recognition they deserve! Through our Five Star Agent program, we celebrate our top performers with invitations to elite learning opportunities and live trainings, select branding materials, and access to an exclusive Five Star Agent retreat. Agents qualifying for these programs has grown each year, a testament to our mutual success!
The Family Discount
Our affiliation start-up and maintenance costs remain among the lowest in the industry. There are no hidden fees or charges. We do not see agents as profit centers, but as true industry partners. Dugan’s Travels want to make money with you. Like a great uncle investing in your first start-up: we invest in our agents because our success is tied to your success!
The Legacy Continues
Jennifer Dugan’s vision was for agents to exercise their passion and skill for planning travel while remaining available to their own families and commitments. Over 20 years later, her small business has blossomed into a successful enterprise that transforms the hobbyist into a travel professional. Under her guidance and direction, Dugan’s Travels continues to deliver the personalized attention and small, family-feel for which we have always been known – due in no small part to our active agent community. We are grateful to our agents for their continued affiliation, and tirelessly strive to deliver additional resources to aid in their business growth.
Join Our Family Today!
Our agent community is stronger than ever, but there is always room for another seat at our table. We would love to welcome you into our family of agents! For more information, and to schedule your welcome call, please visit www.travelathome.com.