One of the key elements making life easier for home-based agents is a proliferation of Web sites that help them build vacations at the click of a few buttons. Recently, as part of the launch of its new Web site, Creative Leisure International unveiled a new tool that lets agents create customized online brochures that match clients' vacation choices and unique requirements. The name? CreativeMatch. Catchy, no? And very much to the point.
This agent-only Web presence incorporates the Petaluma, CA-based company's Villas of Distinction portfolio of more than 1,000 luxury villas in Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean, France, Italy, Portugal, and the California Wine Country. This lets you include villas and resorts in customized brochures that make it easy to show clients the full experience.
"This is a way for agents to create personalized brochures for their clients," says Frank Samson, president and CEO of Creative Leisure. "After they use CreativeMatch for awhile, they won't want the paper brochures any longer."
Four-color, 60- to 70-page brochures are expensive, and Creative Leisure has found that agents' use of them is falling, according to Samson. But the online CreativeMatch products are not just prefabricated brochures that agents download as a PDF, he adds. "They are created specifically for the client and fine-tuned. The agent can then say, "Here's what I put together for you.'"
Register online to use Creative-Match. Once registered, you can select information on a specific destination. The site includes content on each resort and villa in Creative Leisure's portfolio, as well as background information on destinations and color images.
The online brochures include a table of contents with links to descriptive material, including useful information on a destination, along with links to details on specific villas and resorts. There is also an area for pricing, terms and conditions, recommendations and other information—and you can add a personalized message to your client from your agency. Completed brochures can be e-mailed or printed and handed to the client.
Says Michele Erbs, marketing manager for Creative Leisure: "We were trying to build a better brochure. By the time a company prints a brochure and sends it out, it's already outdated. One of the unique things about the CreativeMatch customized brochures is they are not static.
"The e-mail is not a static page; it exists as a series of Web pages, so Creative Leisure can upload changes to those pages, and the next time the client brings up the brochure it will contain new information or images," Erbs explains. The process of creating the brochure is user-friendly, guiding agents through it step by step.
Creative Leisure plans to enhance the CreativeMatch brochure tool by tying it into its reservations system in the future. It will also add such new features as information on restaurants and activities at specific destinations, as well as the Creative Leisure newsletter, which would include staff write-ups of destinations they've visited.