TravelManagers has plenty of reasons to celebrate having reached a significant milestone with the recent signing of personal travel manager number 500. The signing of South Australian Corinne Mutz representative for Upper Sturt, coincides with the American Society of Travel Agents confirming that 44% of its membership is now home-based and further enhances the companies market leading dominance as Australia’s premium home-based personal travel manager network.
“We are simply thrilled to have reached 500 personal travel managers. As the largest network of personal travel managers nationwide TravelManagers is in the enviable position of being the market leader in a business sector that is experiencing accelerated growth and at the forefront, not only of home-based consulting but of providing essential support services to clients as well,” says TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal.
Mutz is no stranger to TravelManagers. Technically her recent signing could be termed a re-signing as she first joined the company in 2009. It was the flexibility home-based consulting offered that first attracted her to the company.
“I had been living overseas and had no client base and the home-based concept was new to me, but the idea of being able to service my clients well and work independently was very appealing albeit frightening at the same time. I was looking for a challenge and an opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone so I took the plunge.”
In 2015 Mutz was targeted by a local agent starting their own home-based model. This was the catalyst behind Mutz’s decision to leave TravelManagers.
“I was being courted by a local agent starting her own home based model. The idea of doing something more local and organic sounded appealing at the time.”
However Mutz soon realised that the grass is not always greener.
“I realised quite quickly that I was constantly comparing TravelManagers with my new company. I’m sure I was terribly annoying as I was often providing ideas and suggestions to improve their business practices. I can speak from my 30 years travel experience and the reality is, TravelManagers are light years ahead of any other travel advisor. Travel agencies try to emulate the TravelManagers model but the support, systems, technology and expertise they offer is state of the art and is the result of many years of experience and constant learning and refinement, which simply can’t be replicated.”
As much as Mutz missed the TravelManagers’ systems, rules and professionalism it was her colleagues that she missed most.
“I realised that the systems and rules were in place to ensure financial security for our clients and our own benefit. I also really missed my colleagues, we were a close knit group and even though I kept in contact with a few of them it just wasn’t the same.”
In 2009 Mutz was one of the founding personal travel managers in South Australia and now there are 21 contracted personal travel managers in the South Australian region.
“When I joined TravelManagers in 2009 it was Penny Hill and myself and as we grew we became a family. We support each other in our common goal to be professional, represent our company well and provide our clients with personal service and tailor made holiday itineraries that suits their individual requirements. The ability to operate as an individual business partner but have the support of your colleagues to collaborate together is a real plus.”
Gazal applauds Mutz’s community spirit that really resonates with the TravelManagers family based philosophies.
“The mutual respect from the South Australian team epitomizes TravelManagers’ philosophy of personal travel managers working collectively together to support each other and foster community spirit. With personal travel managers having on average 20 years’ experience, we recognize each personal travel manager has wide-ranging strengths in different areas and actively encourage this type of peer community support both from a social and business point of view.”
Since her year’s hiatus Mutz has noticed some positive changes upon her return to TravelManagers.
“The focus on technology advancement and reinvestment in the business is clearly a winning formula for the company. I absolutely love the new payments platform where I can charge my client’s credit card within the back office system at any time, without having to separately access a third party provider. The efficiencies are priceless, saving me hours of processing each week. Having a dedicated and passionate cruise person is also an added benefit to the national partnership team and really shows the commitment to this growing market.”
Mutz has been overwhelmed with the level of support she has received from her fellow personal travel managers upon her return.
“I feel as though I never left, it’s like I’ve been on a brief holiday. TravelManagers has been such a big part of my life, even when I was ill last year so many personal travel managers from both South Australia and interstate kept in touch and supported me in my recovery. I have been welcomed back into the fold; they have wrapped their loving arms around me like a long lost friend. It has been an emotional and powerful experience for me.”
These sentiments are equally echoed by Gazal who made it very clear when Mutz left, the door would always be open for her to return.
“It’s like Corinne had never left and it was heart-warming seeing how enthusiastic and happy the South Australian team were to welcome her back to the clan. I am so very pleased Corinne made this major decision to come back home and we have all welcomed her with open arms.”
For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.