Finally..a reality check as to how much a notary earns

The NNA has completed a survey of income. Here’s the link: How much can I earn as a mobile Notary or Signing Agent? | NNA

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some good information thanks for sharing

Thanks for sharing the link, Arichter. :sparkles::yellow_heart::angel: Agree with your comment after the article of providing a permanent link to this on their website.

The amalgamation of diverse numbers clearly demonstrates the level of ‘rarified air’ for full-time professionals who earn in the $100K range (quite limited).

See snippet from the article below from this url: How much can I earn as a mobile Notary or Signing Agent? | NNA

" * More than half of all full-time mobile Notaries earn $2,000 or more a month.

  • Nearly two-thirds of full-timers who have been in business for at least 3 years earn $4,000 or more a month, and 16 percent earn more than $7,500 a month.
  • 43 percent of all part-time, self-employed Notaries earn more than $500 a month; nearly 30 percent earn more than $1,000 a month.
  • 88 percent of full-timers and 80 percent of part-timers considered their businesses profitable enough to continue working as mobile Notaries."
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OK, I’m going to play devil’s advocate for a minute. Please don’t shoot the messenger. It is only food for thought.

Although the $$ stated are encouraging, I have to wonder if those figures are before or after taxes and expenses. I have been at this profession for 2 years now and I’m finding that loan signing work is almost always done at a loss when you look at its true cost to perform and before you account for the 30-40% set aside for taxes. Yes, I know there are write-offs but even those are starting to disappear. On the other hand, I find general notary work seems to drive the greatest amount of profit because there isn’t as great a business expense associated with it when compared to loan signings.

Furthermore, I find it concerning that there is such a drop in participation around year three and beyond. I would be interested in knowing what drives the mass exodus at that point.

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Great question. It would best be addressed to those who designed and facilitated the survey for the definitive data in that regard, Dana.

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From a purely speculative standpoint, here are a few of my thoughts on the possibilities . . .

A. After filing taxes for a few years, their business was categorized as a ‘Hobby’ due to the tangible Loss each year.
B. Their service region was completely saturated with highly skilled certified notary signing agents already and they were unable to develop sufficient business.
C. Their ‘net’ revenue generated was insufficient to support their expenses/lifestyle.
D. They grew weary from no insurance, no vacation, no holidays, etc. and returned to a ‘day job.’
E. Etc., etc., etc.

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Great response. I concur!

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First Arichter I’m a fan and love your comments. I read NNA link regarding Signing Agent income and would like to see more how they formulated information. My thoughts are location and experience play a large part in determining income. I work part-time as a Signing Agent and my income averages $3K to $4K per month. I stick to my fee schedule and DO NOT accept low ball offers. I also donate notary services to low income seniors, Make A Wish Foundation and local medical facilities. Enjoy my work and meet nice people and see many beautiful areas in Kitsap County WA that I never knew existed. Life is good!

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My first thought about this article is that this is just the NNA trying to make more money for themselves. I’m not saying that these facts aren’t true, but it paints a picture to attract people to venture into to this business and buy their training and products.

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is this true of other notaries? it’s a loss BEFORE taxes?

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What is also missing is to make over $7500 a month you must be charging normal to higher fees and you are working all hours of the day. To make that kind of money you have to be flexible and work early early and late late. You have no fixed schedule. If you’re charging only $75 for a closing you have to get 100 closings complete in that month. At least 30% of that income will be expenses - not including income tax. I think those people out there selling potential notaries their online classes are not telling the whole story when they juice up these people with the idea of making $10,000 + per month as a signing agent. I have been a full-time closer for well over a decade and trust me there is such a thing as Burn Out for full-time closers especially last year- 2020. Covid19 year was my best ever but I paid a mental and physical price. And I charge higher fees than calculated here. No matter how much of a people person you are the Covid19 restrictions and atmosphere will take a toll on anyone. Vacation was a necessity in January………sunshine and a lot of laughter.

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Hi Arichter ~ someone wrote you will not be a NSA after this year. I am 71 and have always been a fan of your comments. As long as I continue to make a decent part time income, will continue on the path. Love my work, meet nice people and see pretty places I never knew existed in our large county. People that hire us and try to push low ball rates will lose Notaries because they don’t consider our business expense. Future hope of all Notaries being electronic is dangerous and all states don’t agree. Example: Docs saved to cloud. Recent employee at Microsoft had his computer go down and was told ok everything is saved to cloud. The cloud only saves prescribed amount of data. He lost all of his work. Do people really want their real estate docs saved to cloud? Personally I save to external hard drive and save nothing to my computer. Times are going to change ~ that’s how life goes ~ but for the better??

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Not so. Just a ‘jumping to conclusions’ on a post I made due to all the automated/platform changes we’ve been experiencing. Sure would like to find something with less repetitive ‘stupid’ that would replace my income from NSA work. HAVEN’T & doubt I will. So am most definitely still in the field. Platforms are annoying for many reasons, but my main annoyance (I am in a low/volume/saturation/population area) is that platforms will send out multiple unacceptably low fee ‘offers’–despite the fact that I have counter-offered–I still get the next unacceptable slightly higher fee and must, once again, repeat my counter. This can happen 6 times a day and for several days. I find it super-annoying to have to keep repeating the same counter before they finally accept my fee.

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Happy to hear you will be around for a while. I run into the same situation where other notaries accepting the lowball fees. By internet search, have found out it is mostly newbies accepting those fees. Often I get assignments to fix those accepting lowball fees at my current stick to my guns rates days after I see original assignments posted. Personnel that broadcast signings are also newbies and have no concern for quality work. Also their software shows mileages that ridiculous and not real such as 30 miles as to reality of 60 miles. Works if you are a bird but driving distances are different. Yesterday had a call for Blaine WA which is near the Canadian border (way far away). Persons software showed it to be 30 miles away. When I go to Canada, I take the train ~ much more relaxing than the long drive. Love Canada but borders still closed. :mask:

Exactly! Just one of the ‘stupid’ I’m talking about. Calculating mileage by straight line radius is stupid at best and deceptive at worst. Algorithms are only as good as the program–all of which are quite lacking when it comes to reality. 5 miles here can be traveled in 5 or 15 minutes, depending on the ‘where’. But 5 miles in Los Angeles at rush hours…whole 'nother animal.
The only person who KNOWS is the notary.

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This is interesting and detailed. Thanks for posting this Arichter!

One very interesting statistic is the 2017 vs 2020 difference between earnings of full time notaries.
The majority of Full timers are earning less per month–I do NOT wonder why.

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When I initially reviewed these results it was very insightful & helpful.

Bringing this thread back to the forefront to help many of the newbies gain additional wisdom.

:sparkles:

P.S. Thanks again, @Arichter for ALL you do (day in & day out) for the Notary Café members. You’re the Best! :tulip::yellow_heart:

Speaking of reality checks, how was 2021 compared to 2020 for y’all? I had 13% fewer signings with an 8% higher overall fee. (Yes, I increased my fees trying to keep up with inflation’s increased costs.)

Thus far, this year, I don’t like what I’m seeing: considerably less signings being offered (even tho’ they’ve also increased the distance to location) and all at ridiculously low fees, with one notable exception. Fees offered during last week’s horrible ice/blizzard weather went up 110% (apparently with no takers as they are now coming thru again at the same ridiculously low fees).

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I did 58% fewer signings in 2021 compared to 2020 (by choice). Comparing income to income by year my paid rate was higher by 32%! That was due to doing more consistent business with one contractor who was my highest payer and made up about 80% of my signings for 2021. Both years were great. This year is going to prove to be a challenge. Many fewer offers and my consistent contractor and I are not seeing eye-to-eye about the need for me to reduce my rates. We’ll see how it goes. Good luck to all of us.

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Thank you for sharing.