Maintaining a sub-agent network is most crucial for any international overseas consultancy. This is because one agent or agency cannot provide all the options that their clients demand. Neither can they handle the administrative burden of processing thousands of applicants at once. The logistics itself would seem impossible. Besides, good universities only have a limited number of representatives in the market. And working as sub-agent is the only way you can reach these universities. Having a large sub-agent network is always a major advantage. It creates a friendly market trend and generally, is a win-win situation for both parties. It helps create a worldwide business community where everyone benefits. Besides this, a large sub-agent network also helps bridge the gap between students and universities.
Who are Sub-Agents?
A sub-agent is a person whose duties as an agent is delegated to him or her by another agent. Though this is universally true, a sub-agent’s role for international overseas consultancy can slightly differ. For instance, a sub-agent is a person who provides students with the main representative (or agent) of a university. Not the other way around. Hence, the agency with the university connection becomes the primary agent.
Most international overseas consultancy tend to approach sub-agents when they want to send more students to their partner universities. This allows them to access a larger number clients from various regions of the world. Which would have otherwise been unreachable. This is highly beneficial for all parties involved, including the students, since they now have a larger choice of universities that were not available before.
Startup international overseas consultancy also tend to approach larger agencies to work as sub-agents. This will help them build a stronger and reliable network of agents and gain momentum. Let’s say if an education agency needs to send a client to a university that they do not have a connection with.
Must have qualities of a Sub-Agent
Building a large sub-agent network sounds very appealing, the more the merrier. But you must always be careful choosing business partners. And yes, are they are your business partners. You will be actively sharing income and dealing with financial matters. So, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Here are a few notable characteristics of a good sub-agent.
Trust and loyalty
Trust is and has always been, the number one factor when it comes to choosing business partners. And sub-agents are no different. The financial strain between two businesses can break a good relationship. Hence, you need to make sure that there are trust and loyalty between your agency and sub-agents. Though this is not a general practice, you can also keep signed contracts with your sub-agents. If a sub-agent is unwilling to do so, it is definitely a red flag.
Should be self-motivated
There is no bigger turnoff than an unmotivated sub-agent. They should always be highly enthusiastic and self-motivated. Especially in this industry where clients or prospects have literally hundreds of choices for service. This business is highly competitive and keeping an unenthusiastic sub-agent is nothing but a recipe for disaster.
Should have good judgment
A good sub-agent should have a strong judgment skill when it comes to recognizing student needs. They should not give advice based on commissions. They should become a part of their client’s student journey and their visa application process. Sometimes a sub-agent may send you clients that don’t intend to complete their university degree and are looking for a midway transfer. Sending such students to your top university partners might disappoint them, hampering your relation.
Sub-agents should be comfortable using automation
Moving with technology never fails to improve efficiency. And likewise, sub-agents should also be able to adapt to changes in the industry. For instance, if you use an education agency CRM to maintain your database and financials, dealing with a sub-agent who is not acquainted with automation can be difficult. You might have to start maintaining manual logs just for their sake. So it might not be a deal breaker but should definitely consider it.
Should maintain a strong code of ethics
International overseas consultancy agents are familiar with the dilemma of maintaining an ethical business and keeping up with the competition. However, the ones that can maintain a balance are the ones that you must look for. Not just sub-agents, but any education agency should try to keep their ethics and business competition on a check. Always keep yourself away from the discount game and distance agents that like to practice it just for the sake of competition. It is an unhealthy practice that can kill your business.
Basically, sub-agent networks are what keeps the education agency industry running. It creates a healthy competition and collaborative environment between partner agencies. And helps the education industry in its overall growth and development. They are a major contributing factor to the global mobility of students worldwide.