What is J.MAK’s secret sauce?
We are a family, we are the hardest-working in the business, and we are hungry for more sauce! We scour email lists to see if there is an advisor name we don’t know, we use strong and fun social media to find those that opt out of newsletters, we meet for coffee with those that don’t need fancy dinners or don’t want to attend events. There are advisors who simply want great service for their clients and want to stay home with their families at night and not attend another “free food” event.
Most travel advisors want education more than anything, and that is what we share collectively with each other.
12 Questions With J.MAK (!)
Annie Fitzsimmons 8.15.2019 J.MAK is both the name of one of the biggest hotel representation firms in the travel industry and the nickname of the man behind the brand: Jon Makhmaltchi.
The company helps travel advisors learn about and sell its large portfolio of luxury hotel clients in Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, and the United States, offering exclusive perks, always-on customer service, and other resources. As for the man? Let’s just say he usually adds an exclamation point to his name: J.MAK! I asked him about how he works with advisors and grows his business, his favorite travel conferences, and the quickest way to get blacklisted in the travel industry. And he responded with his trademark enthusiasm. How exactly do you work with luxury travel advisors? Email is the key to efficient, fast communication. We try to be lightning fast in responding, helping them get the best offers and amenities for their clients, solving problems, responding day or night, 24/7. Most advisors simply want answers, not out-of-office replies. They don’t always know if the GM or director of sales is on vacation or doesn’t work weekends; we do know, and we do work weekends and evenings. Very few can say they do this, and I have a long list of advisors who would fact check this! One of our hashtags is #jmaksgotyourback. Face-to-face meetings is where my name was made. I can’t even count the number of road shows, trade shows, dinners, cocktail parties, and more that we have attended collectively over the past 21 years. Hospitality isn’t about fancy hotel rooms or first-class upgrades. It’s about making people feel good, whether on email, face to face, or dare I say, on the phone. How have you grown your business? It’s all organic. One happy client tells another, one happy travel advisor tells a hotelier, and so on. I’m so proud to say we have never approached a client first, ever. This is a formula I hope lasts forever. What is the story behind J.MAK, the name? Funny enough, the name J.MAK was born in travel. I was called JonJon and Mak-Mouthie in school, but J.MAK came a bit later. As I was waiting for my upgrade to clear on airport screens, there was my name up in lights; most of the time, you could only see J.MAK! In a world of a million travel conferences, which ones are best for you and your clients? I’m attending my 21st Virtuoso Week in 2019! Others include LE Miami, ILTM in Cannes, the Americas, and Asia, plus Proud Experiences. I’m checking out Emotions in Brooklyn this year, too. We believe that working with our clients is best. If they are at LE Miami, we are on sales calls in the Miami area.