A question to my experienced loan signing agents. What 3 things would you recommend a new loan signing agent do to get their business jump started?
crickets… Be in an area with zero competition, sign up with every co. you can find, figure out your costs of EVERYTHING so when that 1st call comes and they want you to go 100 miles for $85, you’ve educated yourself to know that’s a loss. I don’t think anyone can ‘jump start’ this. You just have to be patient, don’t give up your day job, and wait until their favorite notary in your area is busy and they give you a chance.
You’re full of wisdom, Arichter
Not really. What you see is EXPERIENCE. Otherwise known as the school of hard knocks.
It just kills me seeing these companies preying on newbs who are eager to get their feet wet by offering fees that result in a loss. This isn’t rocket science, but to be successful, you must initially put in a considerable amount of work. Biggest of which is KNOW YOUR COSTS as that will determine what a profitable fee will be. One size does not fit all.
Sign up with every service you can and take every job that comes your way regardless of fee. This is exactly what I did 5 years ago and business blew up with growth. As you get more experience companies will find you and you will get to understand company’s not to work with. I do not work with Closing Exchange, Doc Pros and Coast to Coast but I had to do business with them to weed them out. When you are providing a fee to to a title company take in account the furthest distance in that county from your location. Example. I live in North Carolina which I could drive as little as 30 miles to 60 miles in Wake County. As long as companies want to pay by county I always use the furthest distance.
I really do disagree with ‘take the job, regardless of fee’ for several reasons:
- They really don’t know how inexperienced you are (this isn’t rocket science) so don’t think you have to go cheap to get the job as most likely, their ‘area favorite’ couldn’t do it, so they called you.
- Once you’ve put yourself in the bargain bin with a co., they’ll never pay you ‘top shelf’. You can burn thru a lot of better paying but new-to-you co’s that way. Don’t do it.
Take your time and know your business. Not all business is good business and be comfortable with the fact that you are going to make some mistakes. Just be prepared to act responsibly and fix them as quickly as possible.
Thanks for all of the educated advice. As a newby, I will be taking heed.
I have been in this business for nearly 30 years. I was a loan processor and underwriter for 16 years.
Do not just take any fee as the woman said above. Remember you are self employed when you do this. You have to take expenses, including your time, out of that money. You don’t get all the money. YOU ARE A BUSINESS! You have to take out costs for paper, toner, equipment, fuel, time including the processing time and drive time in addition to paying taxes!
Do you see why you don’t just take any fee? Would a business operate in a way where they make no profit? That would not make sense.
Well you are a business. You need to operate it like one.
I live in Hawaii where the cost of living is high so we may charge a bit more, but I am sure toner and paper is the same price everywhere.
Do a spreadsheet. Take the fee, take out all of the expenses and then see how much you earn per hour, which really is about 3 hours of your time.
You have to process the documents, drive to the signing, do the signing and then drop off the package. Plus all your time doing correspondence etc.
You will see quite quickly that you are actually not making anything…no profit. You would be operating at a loss.
I think many notaries don’t understand that you are a business. A business has a business plan and is operating to make a profit. Every business is this way no matter if you own a huge corporation or you operate a notary business.
The MOST important thing besides operating this as a serious business is to DO A GOOD JOB. People will come back to you when you do a good job.
Remember…the notary companies, title companies are businesses too. They are trying to earn a profit too.
Some of these cheap companies also will tend to give you lots of headaches and surprises.
Then you are not just being paid too low now you have to give MORE of your time just to get documents (which is happening a lot right now) and deal with things that you don’t have to deal with with a good company.
Don’t just sit there and undervalue your worth.
TAKE YOUR TIME reviewing the documents to make sure they are all right.
Before the signing, review all the documents ahead of time…here is one reason why you don’t want to work with companies giving you documents at the 12th hour. If you have ANY questions ASK! I cannot emphasize this enough. Do not assume ANYTHING. No question is to stupid to ask. What would be stupid is to not know something, not ask, and then an error occurs.
You will make mistakes…it happens…and if you make a mistake, acknowledge it and fix it right away. If THEY made the mistake don’t let them push you around either.
It is a give and take relationship. Just because you are new doesn’t mean you can’t do a good job.
ALSO, my sister started doing this and I helped her review the documents ahead of time in the beginning. If you have another signing person you can FaceTime with for your first signings that helps
You will see a pattern. Basically all packages are the same. There are variances between them depending on the transaction type, but they will have a pattern. The more you do, the more of the documents will be second nature.
ALSO, do not feel like you should go into a deep discussion about each document. You can give a general explanation of each document. The note, closing statement and the deed of trust/mortgage are really the documents most people care about and that really matter honestly. The other documents are just reviews of some details of the loan, a form to say the occupancy, a form to show your aliases, your loan application etc.
Do not over analyze it. The majority of people don’t want you to go depth about every single document.
I could say much more but basically in summary:
OPERATE AS A BUSINESS WHERE YOU NEED A PROFIT. This is a business so operate it like one.
DO A GOOD JOB. That may seem obvious, but check your work at least 3 times VERY carefully. It is really easy to miss things. SLOW DOWN when reviewing the documents. You do not have to go super slow when having them sign initially, just go at a steady pace, but review carefully first at the signing table when done. Do not feel rushed at that point, the borrowers will appreciate you putting importance on doing a good job. They also would rather the signing part go at a steady pace because it can be exhausting for the clients who are sign and do not take more than an hour. The brain tunes out really at 30 minutes. At that point, they are done and relaxed and then you can review them to make sure all looks good.
Then before you leave, in your car, check them again before you leave without the pressure of the clients watching you…its called performance anxiety and its real. This way you are still there if you catch something.
Then when you are dropping off, check one more time before you drop.
VALUE YOURSELF. You are a CRUCIAL part of the transaction. Without us, the transactions cannot happen. So remember to do a good job. Missing things can cause problems for the parties involved. But we are more important than you know. I was on the other side and you are IMPORTANT!! See yourself that way
Anyway…best of luck…stay focused and ASK QUESTIONS.
ALOHA from Maui!!
Very good advices to take into consideration, especially to think as a business owner and review, review, review documents!
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I agree, and I love your remarks and wisdom
thank you sooooo much this was such a great answer I value your knowledge and experience
hi there…i really like and respect your feedback and comments . Im located in Delaware - what state are you in? would welcome your feedback with many many questions.
Wow! Ty for this. This is truly good information and inspiring.
Sounds like a good idea
I truly thank you for this response. I am a newbie, and I am trying to read the do’s and don’ts from the seasoned SA’s. Your information gave me a lot of insight for future use. Thank You!!
Thank you for the info.
I love the Loan Signing System with instructor Mark Wills. I learned so much and more on how to be a great NSA.
I agree with everything you said!! We are a professional business and without our service the loans wouldn’t be successful for the companies. Thank you!