New Survey Suggests 35% Of CDN Agents Now Home-Based
Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw
A 2nd-annual survey of Canadian hosted agents suggests that over 35% of travel agents in Canada are now independent, home-based operators.
The survey of over 500 home based agents representing many different host agencies was commissioned by The Travel Agent Next Door and conducted in JAN by Rob Glennie Consulting. This year’s survey included a response size three times higher than the inaugural survey n 2017. responding year’s survey was conducted during the month of January by a private consulting firm.
“Understanding home-based agents’ priorities and their concerns are key to supporting them in the best way possible,” said Flemming Friisdahl, Founder, The Travel Agent Next Door. “This year’s results are consistent with some of the findings from last year but they also provide invaluable new insight.”
The survey reveals that 52% of the home-based agents who responded have only ever worked in that situation, which suggests a couple of things: home based agents have been around for longer than is commonly thought and people are now joining the industry as hosted agents from day one.
The survey also reveals the retail industry’s age conundrum: 87.3% of agents who responded are over 40, and 28.5% over 60. While suggesting that many home-based agents are highly experienced and converting to home based later in their careers, the statistics also underscore the need for new blood.
According to survey results, the key services home-based agents look for in a host agency are a customized website, the ability to work with management, a high level of support and the ability to network with other agents.
Just over 45% of hosted agents report being ‘very to extremely ‘happy with their host agency, however 12 % said they were ‘unhappy to very unhappy.’
Overall, however, survey respondents are happy to be at home. The survey revealed that 91.9% of agents who switched from a bricks and mortar or a store front to home-based said they were happier and 89.8% say they have a better work life balance, a 5% increase from last year.
The agents also reported a better quality of life, with top impacts including more time to travel and more time with family, the ability to work from anywhere, and the ability to be their boss.
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.