Does your university have an effective Latin America Education Agent Network? Good relationships with high quality agents is of huge importance to education institutions that wish to recruit from this vast region. Students and their families often feel safer when paying large tuition values to agents that are local to their country. In fact, at times, they are correct – consumer protection laws can be very strong in the region.
The dependence on agents is especially true for Brazil. Maybe a student met you at a fair and decided to study at your university. However, families will still opt for the added security of booking through an agent. This agent is responsible for the product they sold for the duration of its delivery. So, when they sell a full undergraduate programme, the agent must stay involved right through to the end of the course. If agents are not fully confident of the service and supports you provide, they will simply direct the student elsewhere. Similarly, if they don’t have quick and efficient communication with your institution to answer students queries. They don’t need the headache of having to chase anyone. No-one likes headaches, after all.
While Latin American agents traditionally concentrated most of their efforts in short cultural exchange and language programmes, this changed in the past 6-7 years. Driven by student demand, most agents now offer higher education courses. Many have specific departments responsible for this sector. Higher education is a much longer sales process, and it is imperative that agents not only have full training, but that they also have someone to quickly answer queries when they have clients in their office. If you want agents to sell your university courses, there needs to be someone available by text or instant messaging. Agents should not have to wait days for replies from an international office.
A mistake made by many schools and colleges is to sign agreements with a huge number of agents, without investing resources in efficient and effective training. The result is that no one will sell (unless the price is super low, which can actually damage your brand) if agents don’t fully understand the unique selling point of the institution. Agents will sell products that they know and are confident they can stand over.
There are many high quality agents in Latin America, but there are also some that are not recommended. Only align your brand with quality agents. If you offer quality programmes in a quality institution, then it makes sense to work with quality agents.
Interestingly, while agents in Latin America report that business was severely impacted by the global pandemic, most say that interest in higher education courses did not wane during the period of global lockdowns. In fact, interest grew as students in the region used social isolation periods to fully research their options for the inevitable reopening of international borders.
SOS will build your Latin America agent network, with the best in the region. We can train them and manage the whole interaction on your behalf. Arrange a call with us today