SOURCE: Avoya Travel

Avoya Travel is a leading travel company and American Express Travel Representative

August 22, 2017 10:00 ET

Independent Agency Owners in Avoya Travel Network Find a Good Solution for Retirement

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL--(Marketwired - August 22, 2017) - Avoya Travel®, the travel industry's most innovative brand, shares how two successful Independent Agencies in the Avoya Network™ formed a creative solution to a question that travel professionals who have been in the industry for years are now starting to ask -- how should I setup a plan to retire in a way that is best for me and my business?

While more and more new travel professionals are joining the industry every day -- for the Avoya Network, growth is up over 200% in 2017 -- there are many independent travel agency owners who have been working hard for years and are starting to think about retirement. In fact, a recent report by Hot Travel Jobs showed that plans to retire have increased for both corporate and leisure travel agents.

Carol Howell and Diedre and John Bloom's solution for their retirement planning was to merge their Independent Agencies by forming an LLC with an agreement to protect each other's commissions and clients. With Avoya's support, they formed Bloom and Howell LLC and are now more successful than ever before, producing over $3 million in 2016.

For Howell and the Blooms, their plan has already enabled John to enter retirement and just book his existing return clients, while Diedre and Carol are still actively claiming Avoya Live Leads™ and continuing to build their business.

Their plan protects Howell's and the Blooms' assets and books of business should either Howell or the Blooms not be able to continue working. Howell would finish their existing client bookings and give that commission to the Blooms' estate, and the Blooms would do the same for Howell. Their plan to transfer the business to the remaining partner has been made much easier now that they are partners in the same LLC.

"Our plan provides peace of mind that our livelihood is protected and it is a logical path to our retirement. It has been seamless for our customers and hasn't affected much of our day-to-day operations," said Howell. "We like that we can still take our own Avoya Live Leads, give our clients the personalized service they expect from us, and take our own vacations. Avoya's support has helped make it all possible, and with their Live Leads, reputation, and amazing technology we are able to run a successful business together."

Howell and the Blooms also sorted out all the remaining details such as E&O insurance and bank accounts. They simplified, and saved money at the same time, by keeping only one insurance policy and one business bank account.

Even though Howell's business is based in Michigan, and the Blooms' is based in Washington, by using Avoya's exclusive Agent Power™ technology they are all easily able to manage their bookings, share the work load, and support each other when needed, just as if they were in the same office. Since Agent Power's built-in commission tracking automatically accounts for their commissions, Howell and the Blooms can easily keep track of all their income and make sure it ends up quickly into their own personal bank account every week.

"Our initial plan was to control the distribution of our commissions and our book of business should something happen to us. The partnership we've formed works because it's based in friendship, respect, and trust of one another," said John Bloom. "It also works for our clients because we know how to sell each other's specialties and share the same service values."

Howell and the Blooms met and became friends through Avoya. They started out backing up each other's businesses through Avoya's My Colleague System™ when one took vacation or was out of the office. Throughout the years, they bonded over their like-minded philosophy of running an Independent Agency in the Avoya Network and their long careers in travel.

The Blooms have been a husband and wife agent duo since the mid-1990s. They moved from brick-and-mortar to home-based after 9/11, affiliated their Independent Agency with the Avoya Network in 2008, and have thrived ever since as million dollar top producers specializing in tours and river cruises.

Howell also joined the Avoya Network in 2008 after three decades in travel -- from working a travel agency desk at Robinson's to handling entertainment travel for Hollywood's elite and blockbuster productions like "Sex in the City" and "We Were Soldiers". Specializing in river cruises, Carol has been continuously honored as one of Avoya's Best of the Best Independent Agencies for her $1 million-plus in sales each year.

"Any agent or agency that looks at combining their businesses of course needs to work out all of the details, but it can be done," advises Diedre Bloom. "Our partnership works because we trust each other and we have Avoya's Live Leads, support, and technology helping make it all possible."

About Avoya Travel:

Avoya Travel is a family-owned company with a longstanding reputation for being one of the world's most innovative marketing and travel technology companies. As an American Express Travel Representative for more than 30 years, and one of their largest sellers of cruises and tours, Avoya is deeply committed to Integrity and Professionalism™, service, and value in every aspect of planning cruises and vacations. Through an elite network of independently owned and operated travel agencies, Avoya provides exclusive discounts, amenities, and first-class customer service to travelers worldwide. Cruise lines and travel partners recognize this, as Avoya has received numerous accolades, including being repeatedly named Travel Partner of the Year by Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Carnival Cruises, American Express, Oceania Cruises, and more. Today, Avoya is headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, with support offices throughout the United States.

Travel agency owners, travel professionals, and others interested in owning and operating their own travel business should contact Avoya Travel at 800-521-2597 or visit www.JoinAvoya.com. Travelers interested in booking their next vacation with Avoya Travel, should call 800-357-2261 or visit www.AvoyaTravel.com.