It’s often said that being a SmartFlyer travel advisor is a dream job and we can’t help but agree. For thirty years and counting since our founding in 1990, we’ve aimed to create a work environment where a passion for hospitality can be fueled into creating client’s remarkable travel memories. While we can’t give away all of our secrets behind what makes this business so special, we’ve broken down some of our most commonly asked questions for those considering a career in luxury travel.
Do I need to have experience to become a luxury travel advisor with SmartFlyer?
While we love it when someone comes to us with travel industry experience, we encourage anyone familiar with luxury travel–if only from personal experience–to apply. Mentorship is at the core of our company pillars and we aim to share our collective knowledge with new-to-the-industry advisors as they grow their businesses.
What are you looking for when bringing on new team members?
Dynamic self-starters will find synergy in this space. Smarties (that’s what we call our agents!) are natural-born lovers of hospitality; a successful candidate thrives on nailing the details. If you’re looking for the secret on how to become a luxury travel advisor, it’s all rooted in professional relationships. We foster talent seeking a collaborative community as the tool to grow your own business and meet revenue goals.
Is your team salaried or work off an independent contractor model?
Both! While we do have an in-house team of experienced advisors, the vast majority of our network is made up of independent contractors who utilize the SmartFlyer brand to ensure their clients receive the best possible perks, but own their own businesses. We are only currently accepting applications for independent contractors.
Speaking of sales, are there minimum requirements?
Yes. These are reviewed as a part of our preliminary discussions to see if it’s a good fit on both sides. Upon expressing your interest via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’ll schedule an introductory call where we run through all the nitty-gritty!
Do I have to have an established book of business to join SmartFlyer?
If you’re an experienced agent, we do expect you to have clients in your back pocket that are ready to travel. If you’re new to the industry, we believe that your network is your net worth; so as long as you have a strong group of potential clients who look forward to trusting you with their future travels, we look forward to giving you the tools to execute those bookings.
Do you offer any training as a host agency?
Absolutely! There are countless opportunities for education including our weekly product and destination training with partners around the world. In terms of a formalized training program, we offer a bi-annual two-week course called Smartie School covering everything on how to become a luxury travel advisor. Beyond that, we host an annual agency-wide summit called CORE (Collaboration, Originality, Relationships, and Education) where we bring together our team and partners to strategize for the year ahead.
Is SmartFlyer you a member of any consortia?
Yes, for a decade and counting, SmartFlyer has proudly been a member of Virtuoso, the leading global network of agencies specializing in luxury and experiential travel. Virtuoso agents are partnered with over 1,800 of the world’s best companies such as hotels, cruise lines, tour operators, and more. In turn, SmartFlyer travel advisors use their personal connections and firsthand expertise to craft bespoke trips for clients, including unique experiences, special values, complimentary perks, VIP treatment, and rare access.
Which preferred hotel programs are you part of?
To name a few: Accor STEP, Belmond Bellini Club, Couture by Langham, Dorchester Collection’s Diamond Club, Four Seasons Preferred Partner, Hilton Impresario, Hyatt Privé, IHG Luxury & Lifestyle, Jumeirah Passport to Luxury, Mandarin Oriental Fan Club, Marriott STARS & Luminous (Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, EDITION), Peninsula Hotels PenClub, Rocco Forte Hotels Sir Rocco’s Knights, Rosewood Elite, Shangri-La’s The Luxury Circle, and SLH WithIn.
Okay, I’m ready to apply! What information should I share when I reach out?
If you have experience, we would like to see a brief description of your business and the type of travel you sell, a report on your last year’s sales and/or your average sale per booking as well as the top five hotels or suppliers you work with most often. If you are new to the industry, we would like to see a 1-3 page business plan that outlines the description of your targeted client demographic, how you plan on positioning yourself as a SmartFlyer travel advisor, and what marketing strategies you plan on using to bridge your credibility while reaching out to this potential network. Tie these elements together with a year-long outline of how you’ll hit sales goals.