I’ve recently been thinking about whether we at Langford Travel, or other travel agents, who build peoples dreams and expectations actually “oversell” in light of a recent article about estate agents. “Estate agents stretching the facts, say regulators http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42430547″
I think there are some major differences in that when you sell a building or home the overselling can normally be found at the time of visiting the property for the first time – that idyllic country view in the pictures can be shown to be false when you see the tall hedge blocking that view unless you are on the roof peering sideways through the velux window in the attic or that short trip to the shops is only short if you rush across the busy main road and then cut through the grounds of a neighbours house.
Most of the dream building we do in Travel is in response to a clients questions – how can I get a better room, how can I make the trip more comfortable? (upgrade the room, choose flights with good departure or arrival times). Some travel agents put offers in the window or tour operators put advertisements in newspapers and this is probably where we have to be careful because it is like an estate agents ad – pictures and descriptions is what entices the buyer.
It’s why at Langford Travel we like to spend time with people and we have so many repeat customers. We have long conversations with people or we personally remember clients likes and dislikes when we book their trips. Having the face to face interaction or a long telephone call can iron out so many misunderstandings, its why we have an (unwritten) rule that after 3 emails we will always talk to people.
So remember next time you book a holiday (or buy a house) that you ask the right questions or give the travel agent as much information about yourself and your expectations. Using the internet to research a holiday or booking a trip straight from an ad in the paper, magazine or on a web site can lead to problems as it will only tell you what they want you to know or asking a specific question can sometimes lead to a specific answer whereas interaction with a human who interprets your questions or asks open questions will get you that dream holiday. You only discover that dream has in fact come true when you get to your destination; most of our client seem pleased with our interpretations!