Originally Posted by Amberderossi
We know there are other agencies out there that do not charge a consultation fee and we welcome our prospects to go that route if they wish. We just know they would be getting a different experience than the one we offer.
As I've said previously, if the business model works for you, by all means go ahead.
To your statement above, I have to say not necessarily. I know alot of outstanding and very experienced cruise travel agents who I'm betting supply service equal to anything you can provide... who love their jobs, know the industry inside and out and work within the commission structure, without charging additional fees.
Since you like to make comparisons... here's a recent transaction I'm familiar with. I have a friend who just bought a 4200 sq. ft. vacation home in Arizona for over $1 million. He's actually been hunting for 2 years before he found the home he wanted for the price wanted.
Had the real estate agent told him they expected to be paid a "consultation fee" for their expertise, he'd have looked for another agent. Or had they turned him away as a "tire kicker" because he didn't buy on the first go around, they would have lost out on a very significant payday.
Instead the agent kept watching the market, and stayed in contact presenting more properties they felt he might be interested in. Over the 2 years they established a relationship, and the agent is now also going to oversee the renovation they've decided to proceed with, and is being paid 10% of the construction renovation costs because the owners are from out of town.
There are many travel agents who participate in these message boards and share their expertise without payment in advance. They may do it hoping to make some connections, but most likely do it because they love their industry, and don't mind lending people a hand.
Honestly, I personally prefer to deal with agents like that. But then, I've been here more than 10 years doing the same thing without making big bucks for it either.