Luxico launches agent platform with fully visible commission rates

Luxico, an Australian luxury home rental service which started in 2013 and is exclusively managing A$700 million (US$464 million) worth of property in Australia, has recently launched a web portal for travel agents.

‌The portal will enable travel agents to obtain real-time rates on the spot, check on immediate availability, as well as put in provisional bookings without having to wait for the reservations team in Australia to return their call.

Australian luxury home rental service, Luxico, has launched a web portal for travel agents; Aqua in Airlie Beach, pictured (Photo: Luxico)

‌“There is no other villa platform that’s integrated with trade in Australia, and provides (clear) commissionable rates. For any other company, agents don’t know what they are going to get. But for us, all of our products have the travel agent’s commission included in the advertised rate. Even if the client were to book directly, there is rate parity, and they will never find it cheaper online than what a travel agent can offer. That’s the beauty of the portal,” Alex Ormerod, managing director of Luxico, shared with TTG Asia.

‌The reason Luxico can do this is because it manages every aspect, which means that the company “controls the keys, and both the rates and availability”. It is also part of the Virtuoso network where a number of the bookings actually come through.

‌She added: “Some of our villas in the higher price points also have an upgrade option, where travel agents can request for additional services such as a private butler or daily housekeeping service. These all cost extra, and can be added to the package. At Luxico, these add-ons are also commissionable for travel agents, which is something they like because normally, add-on services are not commissionable.”

‌This is a boon for agents based in Asia, as most of Luxico’s Asian clients, particular the high-end travellers, comes through travel agents. It also helps that Luxico has staff to meet and greet the guests, which “takes the pressure off the travel agent, particularly when they are based somewhere else”.

‌When asked about the business breakdown, Ormerod shared that pre-Covid, 51 per cent of the company’s business – mostly multigenerational and family groups, as well as the occasional celebrity – were from international markets, most of whom came from the US and the UK, followed by Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand.

‌“We’re starting to see internationals pick up but it’s still a long way from where it was. Families are our core business, but we haven’t yet seen international visitor visitation come in,” she said.

‌Ormerod attributed this to the “long purchase decision” for international travellers, where a holiday to Australia is usually longer in length, and planned several months in advance.

‌“We’re anticipating that we’ll start seeing a lot more international travellers coming through this summer and into 2024. We plan to go pretty hard at trade events next year, but for this year, we’re focusing more on the existing direct connections that we have within our travel agent networks. We (have working relations) with over 5,000 agents, so we’re doing a lot of online webinars (to keep them updated of our latest products),” said Ormerod.

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