I am just beyond frustrated with this industry. I do this as a part time gig to pay bills, I teach full time, but this industry is just asking for too much and pays too little. They really want me to do a refinance for 100 bucks that has 200 pages and want me to travel there. ALL the signing services are paying less. A refinance no matter how big should be no lower than 100 but these services constantly yelling me te the average is $80. Gas prices in my area are $3+. What idiots are out here doing $80 refinances. Now if it was a hybrid closing, ok but those be taking just as long as regular signings, and I still have to drive. It is almost like the Signing services, title companies do not give a care. Like if they need things done so well, they need to get the credentials and do the work for themselves.
I am a hustler and will do what has to be done to get where I need to go but this business is not worth it at all in my opinion and experience, but it does pay the bills. There isn’t a company that I work with that I 100% would be loyal to. Not a one. They all treat you as expendable, and I’m not even heavily experienced yet, I have been at this for about a year.
Plus things are slowing down and with the market oversaturated with agents. It is getting down to the nitty-gritty. I am looking at any other contractor work that can I can do, freight brokering and process serving because this stuff ain’t it.
After 1/4 century in this biz, it IS getting to the point where I’m looking for other ways to make money, too. And it isn’t only because of low offered fee that I must continually, repeatedly counter; it’s also the offers for jobs way out of my area that, again, I must continually, repeatedly decline in order to maintain a high ‘rating’. Seems the ability to click away on multiple names has replaced all intelligence.
Taylor, you’ve encapsulated the essence of all the seasoned certified notary signing agents [CNSA] have been sharing for an extended period of time . . . Your assessment is accurate, concise, & reflects the real world view for most regions within the US.
Unfortunately, the ‘hype’ advertised by some for this business sector seems to outweigh reality for some who watch those ads.
Wishing you the BEST in whatever you choose to pursue for your part-time choice.
I’m experiencing the same where I’m at. Too many Notaries who bought in to the 6 figure income fallacy, slow down in the real estate business, reduction of fees. I received a $60 offer for a Texas Cash Out that requires the use of a Law Office that will cost me $50. I later saw comments from newbies stating they would take this signing. No amount of reasoning would convince them they were losing money on this closing.
Oh, donchaknow…they’re doing it to get their experience numbers up, so they can start charging $175 a pop. They truly think this will work–while being royally used for now & tossed under the bus when the next ‘get experience’ person comes along. It’s really sad.
I’m seeing a slight uptick in re-signings because the newbies made some serious errors. I charge my full fees for these. I’ve yet to have a TC or SS complain.
If they’d hired me from the start it would have cost them less from the start.
That’s the only upside of this ‘rush to the bottom’.
Arichter, those who can hold on long enough will survive. Eventually the herd will be thinned out, fly-by-nights will disappear, and fees ‘may’ return to normal. I don’t expect this to happen anytime soon.
A very accurate observation. Our industry has declined for multiple factors and finding a different source of income is now a priority.
What you said about errors makes me think of what I was told by a signing service rep a week ago. It was my first loan signing (actually a loan modification) so it was only fifteen pages. (Just a side note; I have already been paid. They pay weekly, instead of every 30 days.)
After her initial texts and emails, we exchanged a few more about the pages to be signed by the homeowners, in addition to the acknowledgment I would be notarizing. Apparently, I had not stated my thought clearly enough. She then called to tell me that only one page gets notarized.
I said “Yes, I understand I’ll only be notarizing one page,” then I told her the specific page, so she would feel comfortable.
I was quite surprised by the reason she needed to clarify. Some notaries she has hired, have notarized all pages that the homeowners signed, regardless if they need to be, or not. Although brand new at this, I know I’m supposed to review the docs ahead of time so I’ll know which page(s) to notarize.
That simple conversation with her helped give me confidence in my ability. It certainly does not mean I’ll never make a mistake. It does, though, let me know that more experience does not necessarily mean a better job performance.
So, you get experience by taking what you can. The point is to get the experience and then, when you’ve paid your dues, you can start demanding more pay. Or, market yourself to go direct in order to make more. I don’t understand the concept that people bring up they should be paid more when they have not done any or many signings. Just my opinion.
Nahhh it is about getting paid for said service fairly. An $80 leaves me with maybe a $40 after 2ish hrs. I might as well just drive for doordash. It would be easier and cheaper and I would get a better profit. The argument here is that the signing services want superior to halitosis without paying superior price. I’ve probably done at least 400+ closings by now. I use to work for as an assistant to a signing agent before I started and she taught me the papers. My mistakes usually don’t delay funding, but are rarely perfect. I’m more likely to check over a package that’s paying me $125 plus than anything less? Because of the incentive. Doing a bunch of $80 refinances is working harder, not smarted. I would take 4 100 signings over 6 or 7 $80 ones,unless they were hybrid.
I think your sentiment is well said.
I was very excited upon starting this work and prided myself on obtaining the knowledge to do the best job possible. I made my mistakes, got better, and enjoyed the process.
Now I am just annoyed. The expectations, the low prices, and the lack of understanding that I am not doing this for charity. I do not want to take anything from the field because 2020 was an amazing year of signing work but this is a part-time gig for me. I will wait out and see if the field recognizes the value of our services.
It’s supply and demand. As long as they have plenty of people, they will pay what they pay. If you’re not willing to market yourself and go direct, where you get paid more (and rightly so), then you are choosing how much you are paid and there is no reason to complain.
You can not pay cheap for quality. Just like notaries are expected to lower expectations these signing services should too. Getting direct work is not easy. Unless you got some trick you wanna share. To be helpful
Well first of all I do understand the frustration in the notary business these days, lots of pages to print, travel times, pay, etc. However, we should not be calling anyone an “idiot”. We don’t know how many mouths a person has to feed or if there’s a roof needed over their heads. When a notary is new to the business they do have to learn the job. Reading these blogs should help somewhat, but on the job training is really what a new notary does. That’s why it’s important to voice our opinions in a different manner. We need to encourage them. Set some expectations. Not tear down the position. Being a notary like any other job has it’s ups and downs. At least you can opt to accept the job or not. That, my friends I would think is a blessing. Because if that bill doesn’t get paid, don’t blame the title or closing company. Blessing to the newbies. Oh yeah, I would recommend the newbies to always strive to do the best quality job you can. There should be no difference whether you’re paid $50 or $200.
Exactly we all got mouths to feed and roofs to keep over our heads which means we collective need to make a profit. Who fault is it then?v because it sure ain’t mine. Then to address your point if you want quality it isn’t gonna come cheap. No I will not go an extra mile for $80 refi that is 150+ pages. You lose money and time. No, that is stupid it is unprofressive and working backwards. It is an old people mentality to keep working at a terrible job or in terrible conditions… when this whole industry doesn’t function without us. Young people are leaving this mentality behind, and demanding more for our worth. Because now young ppl can’t afford to live. So who is to blame when my profit is short huh!!!
The “fly by nights” will never disappear. There is always new “fly by nights” coming on. There is never a shortage of new “fly by nights” who find out they can’t make a living. Always. The companies are not really looking for people to gain experience. They are just looking for people to work for next to nothing. That is their excuse. "When you get 150 signings or more we can pay you more?. NEVER HAPPEN. They will then tell the newbies the same thing.
You will not be paid more when you get 150 signings. It’s an excuse. They know newbies will come on board and they will tell them the same thing because notary signing agents quit for lack of income. Always newbies told the same thing.
Truth!!! You understand this business.