Jake Cassar is winning in more ways than one. Only joining Travel Counsellors less than a year ago, the Pascoe Vale-based travel agent has thrived since making the move from a retail travel agency, and he has an award to prove it. His performance has been so impressive he was recently named winner of the Best Newcomer Award at the annual Travel Counsellors conference.
Jake’s success can be attributed to many factors, with his extensive globetrotting experience playing a big part in why his clients view him as their go-to travel expert. Having visited more than 80 countries and lived in three European cities, his genuine passion for travel and personal experience living abroad is invaluable.
Now that he’s a Travel Counsellor, Jake has the time to create tailor-made itineraries and deliver the type of customer service that inspires loyalty in customers.
“I have more time for the client. I can sell the customer exactly what they want and need. I never had time like that in the retail store, there were always targets you had to meet,” explains Jake.
“In the long run it makes your customers more loyal to you because you are making their trip better than just selling them a flight and insurance.” Giving the 9 - 5 grind the heave-ho in favour of working remotely has not only allowed Jake to spend more time with his wife and two children, it’s also allowed him to connect with his customers at times that suit them.
The technology offered by Travel Counsellors was also a major drawcard for Jake, who uses a range of tools to work from home and on the road. “It’s basically having your retail travel agency inside your laptop. It means you can work wherever you want. I’ve worked off a cruise ship on the rivers in Europe. I’ve worked from a camp site on Kangaroo Island. I just got back from Thailand and I’m going to New Zealand next week. I can do what I want, when I want. I can work everywhere,” says Jake.
Apart from working his own hours and accessing incredible technology, Jake sees other benefits that come with being a Travel Counsellor. After more than 10 years working in retail travel agencies, Jake was tired of being limited by the rigid, structured agency environment that dictates what products you sell and what targets you need to meet.
“I’m building my business up the way I want it to be. In a retail store, I was a number. Here, it’s like family. It’s amazing. It’s been the best decision,” says Jake.
“Being a part of a global company means we have better products, better service. It’s fantastic for my customers and great for my business, I wish that I did it earlier!”