Are you thinking about becoming a Universal Studios travel agent and wondering where to start? Our guide below covers some of the most basic questions like this and many more to help get people interested in selling Universal Resort travel to friends, family and clients. Becoming a Universal Travel Agent isn’t as hard as one might think. It mostly comes down to choosing the right agency to help you get started.
What Does A Universal Travel Agent Do?
Like a guest looking to visit the Universal Resorts, agents plan out and book clients Universal trips. Whether you’re booking for an entire family, a solo traveler or a honeymoon, Universal Travel Agents can accommodate any client and their needs. Booking vacations for Universal can include all of the following:
- Tickets only
- Hotel only
- Tickets + Hotel
- Tickets + Hotel + Dining
- Packages + Transportation
Every guest is going to be different so an agent needs to be prepared to meet their clients wishes. While it is nice to book a full package for someone, they may only needs tickets because they used reward points to book their hotel. Agents have to be ready for anything.
But your work doesn’t stop there. An agent may be required to make changes based on their clients request. So you’ll need to be able to provide support from initial contact till end of travel.
And even when you’re client is done travelling, you should always remain in touch. Make sure they had a great time. Get feedback on their experience and then apply it moving forward.
How Do You Become A Universal Travel Agent?
If you’re interested in selling Universal vacations as a travel agent you’ll need to join a company that hires and trains agents. While there is no specific test that you take to become an agent, you will need to complete some training before you start booking.
Companies like Park Savers offer people interested in selling travel as an agent from home the opportunity to sell. They provide a welcome packet, online training and continued support after joining their program. You don’t have to have prior selling experience to join. Just a love of travel and an interest in selling Universal vacations.
Park Savers even provides E&O insurance for free for agents. Their program doesn’t require that you book a certain number in commission every year like many other programs out there. You can book as much or as little as you want. You’ll need a phone and computer to get started.
By joining a program like theirs, you will be able to start booking Universal vacations within a few days of joining. They offer online training that can be completed within 48 hrs. All you have to do is sign up and you’re on your way.
How Do Travel Agents Do Their Bookings?
Agents use online software programs to complete their bookings for clients. Online or Web-Based software allows agents to access and book from anywhere as long as they have an internet connection. The great thing about this is that the interface is very easy to use. It works very similar to if you were booking on your own, like a hotel. Enter your dates, number of guests and what you need (hotel, tickets, package).
From here you’ll be choosing your clients preferences like which hotel, property or not, how many days in the parks, etc. You’ll then enter the guests names and contact info. Then it’s time to check-out. The process couldn’t be more simple for the agent of the client.
Agencies like Park Savers use web-based software including VAX so that their agents can book and earn a commission. It’s very simple to see what they will be earning and, if they want, discount the guests package with it.
Is Training Provided For Universal Travel Agents?
Training is provided for Universal Agents and it’s all done online. Agents will learn everything from hotels and ticket types to entertainment and special offers. It’s key for an agent to know the resorts inside and out so that when they are helping a client, they can properly answer each question.
Training online doesn’t take long and can be complete in 1-2 days at your own pace. Training typically includes Powerpoint style reading and listening with small quizzes at the end to show you actually listened and learned. A final exam will then be taken and the agent can earn their training certificate.
Once training is completed the agent can then begin to book for clients. They are also able to receive agent discounts for themselves for tickets and hotels. Benefits can include discounts of up to 50% off. They are subject to change.
Do Universal Agents Receive Benefits?
Yes, agents who actively book and complete their yearly training have access to benefits directly from Universal including:
- 50% off up to 4 park tickets
- Up to 50% off rack rates for Universal Orlando Resort Hotels
Training must be completed each year. Once done your training is valid for 365 days from the date of certification. CLIA, ARC or IATA membership ID cards are required to redeem.
All benefits are subject to change.
How Much Do Universal Travel Agents Get Paid?
Like most travel agents in the industry, agents are commission-based so there is no set salary or hourly wage. How much an agent makes is based upon how many bookings they do and at what level. For instance, booking a tickets only package for clients won’t net much as tickets alone don’t add up to much.
When an agent books a complete package including tickets, hotel and transportation, they can net a very good commission. On average an agent will profit around $350-$400 per package whereas a tickets only situation will only net them $100-$200.
Often times a package with hotel and tickets only takes a few minutes longer than booking tickets only for Universal. So if an agent can include a hotel for their client, their pay goes up significantly.
An actively booking agent can expect to make between $1,200 and $2,000 a month. This averages out to be about 5 packages a month. For an agent who just wants to book here and there, they can expect to make between $800 and $1,200 a month.
While these numbers are just estimates, there are full-time agents who make over $3,000 a month booking Universal vacations.
The great thing about being commission based with a company like Park Savers is that you can work as much or as little as you want without having to meet minimums. Whether you book 1 package a month or 10, you’ll always get paid 70% or more as you move up. That’s the highest starting % in the industry.
What Do I Need To Get Started?
Most people who are just starting out already have the necessary tools to become an agent. In today’s world, all you need is a cell phone and a computer. Because the booking systems are web-based, you’ll need your computed and the internet to book. You can use your cell phone to call or text clients.
Most agents set-up an email for their agency so that clients see something professional. If you don’t have your own website, just create a Facebook page for your agency and allow messaging. A lot of great contact come from social media dn this is an easy way to communicate and share things with clients.
You’ll also want to research what your tax situation is going to be. Almost all Universal agents fall into the category of Independent Contractor which means you’ll receive a 1099 at the end of each tax year. A 1099 shows any commission that was paid to you. Taxes are never taken out. Because of this, some IC’s like to create an LLC or S-Corp to help deduct expenses.
However, if you don’t plan to book a lot you can probably get away with being a sole proprietor which means you and your business are one in the same. Do some research online or speak to a tax expert to see which one would be best for you.
Choosing The Right Universal Agency
When it comes to choosing the right agency to work with, there are several things to consider. First, how much do they pay when it comes to commission? Most agencies pay 50% to begin with. That means you’re doing a solid split down the middle with everything you book.
Second, do they have minimums that you need to meet? Some agencies do there by the month and some do them by the year. Minimums force agents to complete X number of bookings when they may not want to. An agency with no minimums allows the agent to book as much or as little as you want.
Third, does the agency provide E&O insurance? Many states require this of travel agents and it can get pricey, especially for a new agent just starting out. E&O insurance protects the agent and the client incase the agent makes a mistake and costs the client something. It keeps the agent from having to pay out of pocket and a means for the client to recover their loss.
Fourth, is the agency a registered Seller of Travel in FL and CA? If you live in either of these states and plan to sell to anyone living in these states, a Seller of Travel Certificate is required per state law to sell.
As of right now, there’s one agency that meets all these important requirements and that’s the Park Savers Agency. They currently offer the following for agents:
- Online Training
- VAX booking access for Universal Resorts
- CLIA ID Card access
- 70% starting commission
- E&O insurance for each agent at no cost
- Seller of Travel in CA and FL
- No minimum booking amount
- Monthly giveaways
- Constant support
- Online resources
The Park Savers agency has been hosting agents for over 10 years and have excelled at helping new and existing agents make the most of their sid-gig or full-time job booking Universal Resorts and more.