In 2020, people all around the world were forced to make do with at-home workspaces, but in a lot of cases, travel agents were ahead of the curve. Many worked from home or other ‘remote’ locations for years prior to the pandemic, but what about those who didn’t?
Some advisors are still in bricks and mortar type companies, working as part of a bigger company or brand. If you are thinking of swapping the office key card for the opportunity to work for yourself, MTA paves the way. We recently caught up with fresh MTA advisor Rachel Visser to find out more about her transition into being her own boss!
Travel Weekly: Hi Rachel, could you tell me a little about your career in the travel industry, how long you have been working in the industry and where you were before MTA?
Rachel Visser: I have been a travel consultant for 25 years and have worked for various offices across the flight centre Travel Group for all of this time. For the first ten years I was with the Flight Centre brand and then the following 15 years with Travel Associates. I started in a busy high performing city office in my 20’s and then moved to Brighton to a job share arrangement after I had children. From there I moved to the Travel Associates brand, first in Brighton and then Sandringham.
TW: Can you describe the process of moving to MTA, was it an easy transition?
RV: Yes it was very easy. Everything is very clearly explained and handed over to you so that you can set yourself up in a couple of hours. MTA head office support and technology are there to give you help any time you need it. I was up and running and making bookings and had worked out pretty quickly how to use their invoicing platform, which is very easy, by mid morning. A week later I attended a 3 day training course which covered the systems in more detail so by the end of the second week I felt very comfortable with the systems. There’s also a support team at head office who I could call or email at any time with any small questions.
TW: What are the differences working for a bricks and mortar business compared to MTA?
RV: The big difference is the flexibility. I set my own hours and I can be at home when I want to be. With a bricks and mortar office someone needs to be there from 9am – 5pm to open the front door and answer the phone because you are a street facing retail business so the expectation is that someone will always be there.
TW: What was the biggest draw to MTA?
RV: There were many reasons. The flexibility to choose my own hours and also to be at home so that I could be around my family more. Flexibility to choose the suppliers I want to work with. A fast and efficient invoicing system. The financial side of bookings is all handled by head office giving me more time to focus on bookings. MTA support also look after my clients while I’m on leave. Also financially it’s much better reward for effort.
TW: How has the move to MTA changed your work live balance?
RV:Things are pretty hectic at the moment because of travel demand and leading into the northern hemisphere summer however I am really enjoying being at home where I can structure my day to do whatever needs to be done for the family in between work.
I ALSO SEE A LOT MORE OF MY FAMILY WHICH WAS MY GOAL. I AM ENJOYING NOT FEELING LIKE I AM CHASING MY TAIL ALL THE TIME BETWEEN THE OFFICE AND THE HOME.
TW: MTA has a range of global partners in many areas of the industry, is this something you feel gives you a broader range of options as an agent?
RV: Yes it’s excellent and I am really enjoying this. They have some excellent alliances with travel industry partners. I really love the freedom you are given to work with any supplier of your choice as well.
TW: What has been the biggest area of growth in recent months for bookings?
RV: Europe, Europe, Europe for me particularly Portugal, Spain, Greece and Croatia. They’re hot spots this year.
TW: What would you say to agents who are considering a move to MTA?
RV: Do it. No time like the present. Take the reins and drive the business the way you want to. The change has been a very positive one for me. I was hesitant having been in a bricks and mortar business for such a long time but the change has been very rewarding.
Credit: Travel Weekly