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What you can learn from the US travel agent who made $330k+ in the middle of a pandemic

Dan Eisen is on track to earn US$1 million in commissions in 2021. Pretty impressive considering we’re in the middle of a global pandemic. 


Yes, Eisen lives in the US, where vaccination rates and the urge to travel is high, and the country’s domestic travel offering spans 50 states (not in a near-constant state of lockdown). But Eisen’s tactics are something from which all businesses (even Aussie agents in lockdown) can learn. 


Like so many in the travel industry, Eisen spent the start of the pandemic waiting for things to get better. But then he started thinking about what opportunities were available during the pandemic, Zenger News via Forbes reported. 


He thought about his “champagne customers” who had money to burn. So he reached out to them via email, text and phone and started talking about what opportunities for travel were available to them.


Many of his customers liked to drive, which “leaves them more open to travel during Covid-19 since they don’t have to board planes,” Eisen said.


He then would steer his clients to stay in large (and subsequently pricey) hotel suites, which also created social distance. 


“This led to an increase in sales as more guests purchased larger hotel rooms at higher cost to be more socially distant,” he said.



Eisen then became an expert in travel restrictions, finding out where was open and what travellers needed to do to get there. 


By creating luxurious and safe travel packages for his clients, by June of 2020, Eisen had restored about 60 percent of his business, “by October 2020 we were back at 100 percent,” he told Zenger. 


“In my business the word ‘no’ should basically be reserved for anything that is illegal or unethical. ”


Eisen told the story of a client who wanted 42 brand-new pillows delivered to his Manhattan hotel room. The hotel was unable to accommodate the request, so Eisen called a Manhattan attorney and offered to pay his hourly rate to buy the pillows and deliver them.


Another couple wanted to smoke in their spacious hotel suite, a no-no for the hotel. When Eisen reminded the general manager about the tens of thousands of dollars per night that the couple was spending, ashtrays appeared in their suite.


Despite coming from an IT background, Eisen doesn’t use software to scrutinise hotel rates, instead he studies the customer. 


“I have probably lost thousands doing this in the short-term, because prioritising client requests over hotel rates are not always the most profitable to me as an agent, but in the long-term it has made for an everlasting customer lifecycle, in a way I consider it a fiduciary duty,” Eisen said.

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