To say travel advisors are busy is an understatement – from managing client bookings to marketing their travel services to scouting out new products. Apps can help ease hectic schedules, keeping agents organized and operations streamlined.
There’s a host of apps, established and new, available to download. So, what’s worth your time? Ron Cates, Constant Contact founder, did the work so you don’t have to. “I’ve tested just about all the apps in the top 50 productivity list,” he told over 200 agents at the Travel MarketPlace conference last week in Vancouver. Here are his top picks:
“Anything you want to take a note on, from passwords to ideas, scan business cards, or record audio and video will be in the cloud automatically,” Cates said. From there, all of your notes will be accessible on any browser. With 60 megabytes of new storage per month, there is plenty of space for you to get organized.
The file hosting service stores files in the cloud and on your computer, so you can pull up your account from anywhere and access your documents and photos. It is also a good safety net, just in case something happens to your computer, so your files can always be accessed. Additionally, if you want to send a client a large file and email cannot handle the size, you can paste a Dropbox link. “It makes any size file shareable,” Cates added.
While this app is automatically on iPhones, Cates argues many don’t use it to its full potential. Agents can configure it to pull travel-related news, sending everything they need to know right to their inboxes. For more social media content, agents can easily post the news to their Facebook or Twitter accounts with the tap of a button.
Busy week? Schedule social media posts in advance with Hootsuite. An easy-to-navigate dashboard allows you to create content across social media platforms. You can take a deeper dive with Hootsuite Academy, which has courses (both for free and a one-time fee) on social media best practices and social marketing skills.
“Like a dating app for small business,” Alignable connects you with other small businesses within a five-mile radius to discuss anything from client lists to new hires. It's a "way to communicate with people right in your world, in your local community,” Cates said. The app is available on Android and iPhones.
You can create professional marketing materials for free via Adobe Spark. Three versions allow you to tailor the marketing to your needs: Page, Video, or Post. It’s all available through Apple products or Windows.
With Spark Page, you can easily create a landing page through a simplified web editing platform, with tools that let you mix text and imagery. Spark Video allows you to create professional looking videos with titles and transitions that can be downloaded anywhere on your website. Spark Post helps create professional graphics through layering images with text and filters.
“It takes money to make money,” and with that in mind, Cates suggested utilizing Fundbox, a service that provides short-term financing for small businesses. A typical credit line can range from $1,000 to $25,000. Repayment is completed through 12 weekly payments, with each payment including one-twelfth of the principal and one-twelfth of a fee. “You get charged based on what you use, and the rates are very competitive,” Cates added.