At Montecito Village Travel, Human Connection means:
- Leadership through empathy
- Leadership through advocacy
- Leadership through knowledge
- Leadership through sacrifice
- Leadership through honesty and humility
- Leadership through community
In a year where many agencies faltered, Montecito Village Travel used the value of Human Connection in all of its communications, making it “Crisis Communication through the Human Connection.”
By combining the human connection with proactive advisor support, our advisor communications created a win, win situation in what was a devastating year. The first win was that we helped our advisors to remain focused on the things they could control that would positively impact their future business (training, education, communications and technology), we also provided them with verbiage for communicating with their clients to help foster stronger client/advisor relationships, and most importantly, we provided a sense of community and a forum for sharing information. The second win and unintended consequence was that our advisors shared stories of our proactive approach with their industry associates. This led to an influx of experienced and skilled travel advisors leaving other agencies to join our network.
How did Montecito Village Travel add the human connection to its communications? First, it started with action:
- MVT immediately waived all advisor marketing fees through the end of 2020. Currently marketing fees are waived through the end of 2021.
- MVT paid the advisor registration fees for anyone wishing to attend Virtuoso Travel Week (held virtually in 2020 and will be held both virtually and in person in 2021) to help ensure advisor preparedness for the return of travel
- MVT instantly locked in commission levels for advisors so that they could advance to a higher tier, but not go down to a lower commission share through December 31, 2021. Commission levels are now locked with the opportunity to advance but not decrease through December 31, 2022
- MVT lobbied for legislation on behalf of the Independent Contractor
- MVT communicated and interpreted how the CARES Act impacted advisors and the steps advisors needed to take to receive government PUA
- MVT surveyed advisors and then created a needs analysis form to prioritize where efforts were most needed and followed up with classes/sessions relevant to the needs of the advisors based on the needs analysis
- MVT increased the frequency of the monthly “Message from the President” email to a weekly format in order to share new information in a timelier manner and provide inspiration and a sense of community
- MVT created a COVID Central – an online resource for supplier information which was updated daily and cataloged by supplier type, supplier, order of receipt.