After a crazy October/November/December, things seem to have ground to halt where I am. I’ve reached out to my title company clients to make sure I’m still active, and I am. Has anyone else been experiencing this?
I’ve literally gone from turning down to work due to overbooking to getting ZERO calls per day.
Would love to hear other experiences!
December I completed 76 signings, January I was down to 39. First week of Feb I’ve done three where the first week of January I did 12. Not quite sure what is going on, I hope this isn’t the beginning of the end.
76 and 39 signings in Dec & Jan? How many miles you putting on doing that many signings? I did just 27 signings in Jan and Snapdocs says I did 761 miles just doing those. And that doesn’t include a few randoms that don’t use Snapdocs. Doing 76 signings is a ton of driving time unless you work direct or have a printer in your vehicle. I don’t know how you juggle that and stay organized being on the road doing 76 signings cause it seems when I’ve booked 3 or more signings in a day that I seldom leave the house with all 3 documents and have to run back home in between appts to print out one of the sets & run back out again which pretty much sucks. Seems to never fail I can leave in the morning with everything printed out and I can go from appt to appt and drop at FedEx at the end of the day. That’d be waayyy to convenient.
Hi there, for December according to the snapdocs report I put on 1407 miles and in January 534.
I only do this part time if the afternoons / evenings and weekends. I’ve gotten my process down to a science and honestly December didn’t seem overly busy until the final numbers came out. Fortuatnly my travel area is not large, the county I’m in only has 250K people so I don’t have the traffic many of you do. I’m also very lucky the fedex main station is one mile from my home.
You are correct the mid route interruptions to go print are a disruption. I’ve thought about adding a printer to my truck but until I see how often this will benefit me I just decline the signing if it doesn’t work in my schedule for the day.
I just started this as fill in for my unstable job back in June, as of last night I did my 415th signing.
This is a fabulous gig, much more rewarding than my full time job.
You do have it down pretty good. I’m much better than I was early on zig zagging back & forth just to take the work. Now I try to schedule much better & counter offer but it all depends cause right now it’s pretty slow so other agents are jumping on the signings Im passing up because I want a higher fee so they take the $90 refi 25 miles out & my counter of $115 doesn’t fly right now so I gotta settle for less or nothing at all. And gas just went up another .30/gal today here. I started last summer in June as well but I have done half the signing volume you have. I took some cheapies early on an hour drive each way just to get some experience. And I messed up a time or two and had to make the hour drive just to get some initials I overlooked. That sucked. Now I don’t take anything more than 45 min away & being wintertime it gets dark by 5pm so I don’t take anything after 4pm. My eyesight driving at night just isn’t what it used to be. Throw in some winter driving conditions, distracted drivers with their phones in their face who don’t slow down & all the high beam led headlights that don’t seem to care as long as they can see and I don’t bother with the night signings this time of year after 5. So my options are fairly limited until daylight savings time rolls around again and I can do evening signings til 9pm. I have 4 signings booked tomorrow (Fri) up until 3:30pm and a weather advisory forecast tomorrow with 2-4"of snow and 30 mph winds so I’m anticipating a white knuckle day of driving about 150+ miles.
Good for you on the number of signings tommorow!
When I started I did the same where I took bad money for long distances. I made a mistake and had to go back twice to a location that was 70 miles out. great learning experience and what not to cover. I now cover a much more narrow scope. As others have said not all money is good money you have to understand your costs to decide if something is workable.
At the time I’m seeing the fees trend down but I’m trying to hold steadfast in fees, but may have to start making concessions for closer jobs and let the distance ones go.
I too am limiting how late and weather related events drives my decision making process. It seems in the local area that is the game. At month end we got about 4" snow and most pulled the plug on signings, title and signing companies rapidly increased their rates and even started calling offering $300… I continued to decline as that’s less than my $500 insurance deductible if something goes bad
Yeah, it’s slow for me as well. Must be that winter halt coming in that would happen around December before COVID hit.
I have had my business for 5 years and keep a spread sheet of data broken down by month for each year so I see similar trends. Last year changed my method of accepting signings. Created a fee sheet broke down by city/town name and zip code. Within 30 miles of my zip code basic fee $150 Scans + $25. Further mileage fees increase. I do not discriminate - same fee for all offers and don’t accept less. I work part time not full time. Jan 21 twenty signings $3,300. Work smarter not harder. I also provide donation signings for Make A Wish Foundations and seniors. Mileage is tracked but more important is money made per month. Donations of service are tax deductible with receipts.
In this industry we have to live by our calendar. On my calendar I put the town in the heading of every appt, that tells me approx how much time I need between appointments. (assuming you know your area) My calendar also includes travel time and miles to and from every appt… In my opinion you need all this info at your fingertips when a call comes in about a possible assignment.
Snapdocs does help you track your miles but I map every single appt, round trip, so I know time and mileage, You need an accurate record of miles for your taxes.
If you are efficient with your calendar , you can comfortably do more closings.
History has shown me that the first 2 weeks of the month are typically slow, while the last 2 weeks of the month are busy. When a bank holiday is coming up, I’ve learned to work on Saturday. I’ve also found that if I’m offered work in the first 2 weeks of the month, my counteroffers are rarely accepted.
With the huge influx of newbies, expect rates to remain lower. They want to gain experience, and are willing to take a 200+ page Refi with scan backs for $85.
I’ve found 2nd and 4th quarters tend to be busier than 1st and 3rd. On a monthly basis I tend to take signings during the first two weeks that are closer to the office as counter offers are often ignored. During the last two weeks, especially the last week, my counter offers go up significantly. I also tend to avoid long distance signings as the added travel time is an opportunity cost for a more signings closer to home base. I will make always make accommodations those on my preferred SS/Title/Lender list. There are also SS/Lenders/Title Companies I refuse to service due various reasons as these tend to be more costly to my bottom line.
Thanks so much for bringing this topic up @washmobilenotary. I’m based in Denver and started in June. I have been slowly building up my business with an average of 60-65 signings a month. (My goal is 80-100, or 4-5 a day). I was on track to meet that goal in December and then everything slowed down the last two weeks of the year. January was dismal with only 36 signings. I think that was in part due to my not accepting all of these low ball offers that have started coming in from both SS and Title companies who were paying higher rates last year. I haven’t been in the industry long enough to know the trends, so I’m wondering is that a typical new year tactic? Or as @suebee88 suggested is it just an influx of newbies? (Even with 365 signings under my belt, I’m still very much a newbie…just a slightly more knowledgeable one. )
On the topic of trends, one I have noticed is that signings pick up around the 9th-11th each month for buyers and refis because the borrowers are trying to close before the 15th deadline so they can skip two months of payments. Does that seem about right for your regions?