Should I break up with my host agency?

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Should I break up with my host agency?

These days, there seem to be more host agencies than ever. Even before the pandemic, more and more travel advisors were driven to work for themselves as independent contractors (ICs). That was fueled further by Covid-19, which drove many to move their employees to IC status. The pandemic also gave entrepreneurial companies and individuals time to launch new host agencies entirely.

But with so many hosts out there, how do you choose the right one? And when it's time to make a change, how do you break up with your current host agency?

This week, Trade Secrets co-hosts Emma Weissmann and Jamie Biesiada get into the thick of hosts with Andy Ogg, co-owner of

Episode sponsor:

This episode is sponsored by Windstar Cruises.

In this episode:

.         1:15 - Meet our guest, Andy Ogg, of
.         1:56 - Travel advisor Nikki compares finding a host agency to dating -- you don't have to marry the first host you date
.         4:30 - How do you learn about host agencies and vet the hosts you're considering affiliating with?
.         7:10 - Nikki asks: when is it time to look at changing hosts?
.         11:53 - When you decide to break up with a host, how do you approach that breakup conversation?
.         14:23 - Heather switched hosts a year ago. She was looking for a bigger host with more training and an affiliation with Virtuoso. The sense of community at her new host, Departure Lounge, was a bonus.
.         15:48 - Why might one particular consortium affiliation appeal more than others?
.         18:16 - An agent lives in a state where ICs aren't really protected. They had to walk away from their last host and left a number of commissions behind. What kind of advice does Andy have about actually leaving a host, not just breaking up?
.         20:13 - Listener Morgan shares some of the questions that she found most helpful the second time she switched hosts (spoiler: there is no such thing as a "perfect" host agency).
.         22:27 - Andy shares his top tips
.         24:46 - Which host agency is the best?
.         27:53 - Have travel advisors ever just decided to start their own host agency?

Further resources:

A host of problems: A cautionary tale

A travel agent's guide to host agencies

Host agencies have grown with IC numbers

Host agencies on the rise

A must-read guide to choosing a travel agent network's top agencies for 2022 (video)'s host agency checklist (free download)'s 22-part free course on how to start a home-based agency

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