Jamie Biesiada
Jamie Biesiada

At the end of May, Jeanne Polocheck, owner of Well Traveled Texan in Houston, kick-started a strategy last summer that would prove to be beneficial for her agency: She sent her advisors packing.

The good kind of packing.

"We sent all of our advisors on the road somewhere, and had them showing people what they were seeing," Polocheck recalled recently.

Well Traveled Texan is active on social media, so advisors regularly posted about their travels. One went to Lake Tahoe. Another headed to Aspen, Colo. Polocheck herself took her family to Utah.

"We just literally spread everybody out across the U.S.," she said.

One advisor, based out of the agency's Los Angeles location, rented a recreational vehicle. She, her husband and her son drove from Yosemite to Yellowstone, making a big loop over the course of two weeks.

She posted to social media every day, and "as soon as she got back, she got busy," Polocheck said.

The same thing happened to Polocheck herself. In late June, she flew her family into Denver so she could tell clients about the flight experience. Then they drove to Utah and spent time in Moab and Park City. She took photos and posted about everything they saw and did.

"While I was on the road, I got six different families that wanted to book the same exact itinerary I just did," she said. "As soon as they see that you're doing it, that -- I think -- gives them confidence that, OK, if my advisor is going and they're reporting back to me . we told the good, the bad and the ugly. I mean everything."

Bookings followed the advisors' travel. That much became clear as the year progressed, Polocheck said.

For instance, in September, she and another advisor were in Mexico doing site inspections. They followed the tried-and-true pattern of posting and sharing about everything from the flight experience, the restaurants, the hotels.

Part of the trip's purpose was to highlight the safety measures in place in Cabo San Lucas, Polocheck said, adding, "they're doing a tremendous amount and we wanted to report on it." 

Again, the move paid off.

"We have booked so many Cabo trips since we got back," she said. "It was people who called and said, 'Hey, I saw you were in Cabo. Tell me about it. Did you really feel safe?' And then they booked it."

Well Traveled Texan had a nice number of bookings for Mexico over the Thanksgiving holiday, and more around Christmas.

Polocheck herself will be spending Christmas in Riviera Maya. Of course, she plans on reporting about it via social media.

There are also options for those travel advisors unwilling or unable to travel right now.

For instance, Largay Travel has seen success after dividing advisors into teams and tasking them with in-depth research into individual states, then pooling their collective knowledge.

Keith Waldon, founder and director of Departure Lounge in Austin, Texas, said his team did something similar with an emphasis on private homes.

"We've got a good geographic spread of advisors all over the United States, and so, geographically, they divided up and studied what was around them and then shared it with the whole team," he said.

Departure Lounge advisors also studied domestic destinations, which resulted in large bookings at places like Vermejo in New Mexico, the Resort at Paws Up in Montana and Mexico.


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