First thank you for the posts and replies. Posts/replies in general seem to be fewer and more far between these days. …And I hope anyone with outstanding invoices with AOE (or other SS) gets paid soon! Most of us are frustrated and many struggling, and I pray the new “House” at some point next year starts turning the tide on our current national fiscal direction in a manner resulting in a rebounding RE market.
AOE must not be completely out of business (I hope), I received and completed an order from them just a few weeks ago, was able to reach the owner by email and phone fairly promptly when I discovered docs were incomplete on SO. I have received occasional offers and completed several signings for AOE, many months apart when the offer was decent enough to respond to and received payments at around 30 - 45 days each time, only having to remind him/them on my first AOE signing about 10 months ago.
Acknowledging the heads-up in this thread re AOE, it might be prudent to start ramping up the calling/emailing at 30 days, like I am having to do with several others. I have found in this RE cycle that measured reminders and subtle pressure has worked best, as I continue to squeeze a few more deals and checks out of the slow payers than I might otherwise have, as a Tally at the end of the month, than perhaps if I had flamed-up the situation…maybe.
I look at it a little bit this way … everyone is slower, and if I am to rely on a portion of my business to be Platform and SS sourced, I should expect it to also be slower for them with likely higher indirect overhead, and the impact on many of them compounded, with brokers and lenders downsizing and/or going out of business and more and more Title companies going to RON and Escrow Officers keeping signings in-house.
Looking at one Platform which seems to come up a lot on this forum - Snap Docs (and their contacted SS) seems to have a horrible rep on every forum I I am aware of, for the most part, going back years now, yet some still seem to love them, and keep them in business. Last week I spoke to a remote Loan Originator for a large lender who I was doing a signing for through ServiceLink. The LO expressed she was thinking she might want to become an AZ Notary/NSA because her LO income had dropped by more than 50% and she thought she might make more as an NSA (my bad, was caught off-guard, and chuckled out loud). I asked her why she thought that. She responded she thought NSAs got paid at least $100 or more per signing because when their company uses SnapDocs in CA, and they put $200 in the LE/CD/Alta for the signing fee…and I chuckled out loud aging. Most of you can imagine how I had to hold my tongue… but it was confirmation that Snapdocs seems to be surviving … by at least the SD players keeping 70% of the deal, and funding the SD model. I still receive offers from SD (I never take), nearly every day. On one time over a year ago I thought about “firing them”, as other have claimed on this forum they have. But I decided to consider them somewhat of a litmus test or canary in the mine…When I don’t receive any more notices through them, I will know the low paying SS may be all be fading away (a good thing in the long run), shifting remaining business to better players, I hope.
Sorry I digress…However, finding and working with a slow paying (but hanging on) SS player in this market is possibly a way to make a few more $$, and when I find those, I sprinkle a little sugar on those relationships rather than vinegar (perhaps delusional I will get paid being closer to top of their list), by letting them know I will be patient and work with them on payment, if we have an understanding that is coming by XYZ date, or the claws will come out)…standing to fight another day together, should the day come. Unless you have a bunch of direct escrow and title relationships up your sleeve, it might be better to hesitate torching a SS relationship right now, until all other options otherwise have been explored - especially if things start to turn around next year.
I appreciate this forum for the messages of alarm when it comes to a potentially bad SS ), so that I can verify and choose to avoid the really troubled players and reconfirm my own research. However, I have a couple of those allegedly bad players as actual good revenue streams for me over the last couple of years, after developing a relationship of understanding and trust with then despite a negative rep on this forum and others. I do encourage others to avoid SS on the SD platform (most are notably low payers unless last minute and desperate), not to be pursued for any reason IMO, even if they pay fast - I say let their biz drown, they are on SD for a reason - these SS are cheap as a rule, one in particular (you know who they are), and are only reasonable as rare exception, which always seems to be an unfamiliar SD SS, at last minute or an evening/weekend signing (because their top tier was busy?)
The rare posts of a good player, and the occasional pearl of who to call/email when chasing down a back-door-way into a SS who is ghosting (like this one), are the posts that mostly get my attention these days - keep them coming, they help us all, one way or another.
As far as our negative posts impacting a SS in a negative way or in any way, IMO, I really question that. My thoughts are it’s a numbers game … millions of Notaries in this country, ten’s and tens of thousands NSAs ( ore than the industry can support right now), and how many on this forum?? and other forums?? then drill down to active regular viewers, reviewers, posters as a % of the industry population? …I’m not sure any SS company is really challenged in terms of finding Notaries/NSAs, for even last-minute signings, if they need to, even if they have bad forum reps. It cracks me up (and not in a good way) how almost every SS company website touts the 10’s of thousands of Notaries in their “nationwide network”… if they can’t find one from their preferred and second tiers, they just check the profiles here on Notary Cafe, or one or two other forums, NNA, etc., and roll the dice…I’m guessing somebody always bites and take their deals, regardless of how low the fee is. And when “rarely” no one does, you see the suspiciously same offer (time/place/fee) show up from another platform or SS a short time later, for the same or higher fee, maybe now a TBD time, and then the thumb racing begins…
I do wish all members of this Forum and Notary Cafe “Blessed Holidays”, and I pray for a better 2023 for all of us!
Signing off for 2022