Ramona El-Boustani, is the first to admit that juggling her responsibilities as a mother of five boys while running her own business from home and keeping her clients happy, can be tricky. But this 38 year old former developmental psychologist credits a routine and FlightSiteAgent for being able to run a tight ship. A registered travel agent, Ramona uses the online travel platform www.flightsiteagent.co.za to access competitive flight, car and accommodation rates. Then she marks them up and sells-on to her clients under her own brand, XYZ Travel – all from the comfort of her own home, at her leisure. Here, she shares a glimpse into her 9-5 as a work-from-home travel agent.
Q: The name of your agency says it all when it comes to what you want to achieve with your travel business. But running it from home and with your boys ranging in ages from 19 to eight years, it can’t be that easy. How do you do it, what is a typical day like?
A: My typical day starts at 05:00 with prayers until 06:00. Then it is breakfast and getting ready for school at 07:30. I home-school my boys until 12:30. In the afternoon we hit the gym for a couple of hours. I disappear into my office space until 18:00. I also help other children with extra English and Maths classes. I just make it work somehow. I am blessed because my husband is a chef so I don’t worry too much about cooking unless he is busy and then I get the food sorted.
Q: It certainly seems like a very full schedule with not too many spare hours. Why did you decide to become a FlightSiteAgent?
A: I have always loved the travel industry because I used to travel a lot. Now I can still be a part of it even though I don’t travel as much. FlightSiteAgent in a single word is a gift for that stay-at-home person who wants to start something, but has no capital. It’s ideal for the stay-at-home mom who loves the travel industry but doesn’t know where to begin, or has no experience but is willing to learn. The only thing I needed to start my business was my PC, internet connection, my phone and a printer.
Q: This certainly sounds like just the right fit for you, even without any formal experience in the travel industry. What kind of support do you get from FlightSiteAgent being a beginner?
A: Right now I am only selling flight tickets. The system is easy to understand and use. The staff at FlightSiteAgent are patient and absolutely helpful. I keep up with the various specials for my clients and I also try and follow the latest travel news.
Q: Where do you get your clients from?
A: There are no specific clients. I get people from everywhere travelling and wanting to learn more about XYZ Travel. I have handed out flyers to advertise and I hope to pick up more with the exposure from the clients I already have. And from what I have achieved so far, I believe the potential to make very good money at home is phenomenal.
Q: It is a bonus earning a living doing what you love. What else do you need to be a good agent?
A: From my experience one must be very patient, be willing to give more than you receive and be happy doing this job. I am an entrepreneur because I am able to run a small business, be with my children, spoil myself senseless when need be and save some for a rainy day.
Q: You are in the business of making holiday plans for other people. What is a holiday for you?
A: Holiday for me is just getting away from my routine; it doesn’t matter where or with whom. I pack very light so that if I go somewhere, I have a reason to buy and ample space to pack. I have learnt and read about so many beautiful places, so when I find that tranquil, peaceful place that immediately draws me to it that will have to suffice as a place on my bucket list.
How to get started with Flight Site Agent
To become a FlightSiteAgent like Ramona, simply register online at www.flightsiteagent.co.za and within minutes gain access to competitive air, car and hotel fares. Agents can brand their business to their liking and then market it to friends, family or peers. Agents are also in charge of their own commission structure as they decide how much to mark-up their base fares. And, as there are no registration or monthly fees to use the platform, overheads are kept in check.
FlightSiteAgent is a registered online travel provider that gives its independent agents access to competitive net fares to sell onto others under their own brand. Launched in March 2013, FlightSiteAgent is an extension of FlightSite (PTY) Ltd, an online travel supplier. It is part of Club Travel, a subsidiary of Thebe Tourism, and is owner-managed by Rian Bornman. While FlightSiteAgent’s headquarters are in Tygervalley, Cape Town, its network of affiliated agents can work anywhere in South Africa, providing they have an internet connection. Visit www.flightsiteagent.co.za.
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Want to hear from Ramona herself? She’s available on 082 699 6912
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