There are pros and cons to everything that we do in life.
In this blog, I’m going to talk about the pros and cons of being a notary loan signing agent who works for loan signing services and notary signing agents who bypass those signing services and work directly with escrow officers, loan officers, and real estate agents.
Watch the Video:
Before I start, let me first say that this is all personal preference. What may be a pro to one person may be a con to someone else. So let's examine both methods in a little more detail...
First, what are the pros of using loan signing services to get business?
1) No sales are required - To get loan signing service business, you simply enter your name in databases and wait for the phone to ring. Leads just fall into your lap.
2) You are only judged by your work - Punctuality, thoroughness, and not missing signatures or dates is key. You are not judged by what you look like, what you drive, or how many times a week you deliver Starbucks coffee.
3) No peer-to-peer interaction to get business or process orders - You simply get an order. Complete that order. Drop off the documents in FedEx. And the appointment is done.
These are the primary reasons why people love signing service business.
But what are some of the cons to working for loan signing service companies?
1) You split the fee with the signing service. You usually get around $100 per appointment and I've heard as low as $60, leaving about $50 to $90 on the table for every signing that you do.
2) You have to actually print the loans docs yourself since signing services email the loan docs directly to you. Therefore, you’ll need a dual tray printer - one that prints legal and letter, along with a supply of ink and paper. This additional cost can affect your bottom line.
3) You have to drop of docs at FedEx once an appointment is over and if it’s late in the day, you’re still expected to make it on time.
4) And finally, there’s usually a 30-day delay in payment because the escrow company pays the loan signing service and then the loan signing service pays you.
So those are the major pros and cons of doing signing service business.
The way I see things, it boils down to this: in exchange for getting business sent to you automatically, you get a reduced fee and you have to print documents yourself and make FedEx drops.
Once again, I have some students telling me that they don't see a problem and the tradeoff is worth it. I've had students say, “I make a reduced fee but I have to do zero sales. I'm confused. What's the issue?” Like I said earlier: perspective.
The good news is, if you don't like splitting the fee with someone and you don't want to print docs, there is the option of getting business directly from escrow officers, loan officers, and real estate agents. This is what I call direct loan signing business .
So let's talk about the pros of cons of being a notary signing agent who gets direct business.
First, the Pros:
1) You keep every penny of the signing fee, no splitting it with a signing service. This is usually about $50 to $90 MORE per signing.
2) The escrow company will print out loan docs for you eliminating any printing costs.
3) Easy lead generation. If one escrow officer, loan officer, or real estate agent uses you as a loan signing agent in their office and you do a good job, others in the office will follow.
4) No FedEx deadlines to make. Doing a signing at 5PM? Docs just need to be returned the next day. Less stress.
5) You get paid quicker and directly from escrow. Once the loan close, checks are cut and you get paid.
Now, some of the cons:
1) You’ll have to get good at sales; you’ll have to learn to sell yourself. Needless to say, most direct business sources already have signing agents they use. Therefore, you need to convince them to pick you over someone else. I have a number of unique strategies to help you in my ‘How to Get Loan Signings’ course.
2) As in any type of sales, while giving out perks is not required, it is a kind thing to do. Starbucks and lunches are nice; that's what I usually do to show my appreciation. These activities have a cost and time commitment.
3) While FedEx is rarely ever mandatory for local direct business, returning docs immediately is sometimes required . If you do a 10AM signing, the escrow officer may need docs back by noon to fund by 1 in the afternoon.
4) Usually more is expected from you when working directly with escrow officers. As a loan signing agent with direct business, you have to go above and beyond to be sure the signing is perfect, even if the escrow officer makes a mistake. For example, if they forgot to include a certain document and ask you to go back out and get it signed, you’ll do it, often times for free... simply because you want the repeat business.
5) If you want to get repeat business from escrow companies, you’ll have to package loan docs, which generally takes an additional 10-15 minutes of work. But even more importantly, you have to learn how to package. Luckily, I have a packaging course that I teach in a step-by-step, easy to understand format. Be sure to check it out if you don’t know how to package documents properly!
Those are the major pros and cons of getting direct business.
As the saying goes: the grass isn't always greener on the other side. While the money may be more on the direct business side, there’s much more responsibility as well. And there’s something to be said about just hearing the phone ring and getting an order.
On the other hand, it might be well worth the extra responsibility, if you’re earning $50 to $90 more per appointment.
In conclusion, you can't always have your cake and eat too. You either do sales and make more money or you do zero sales and make a little less money. I personally don't think one is better than the other. It is just perspective.
Regardless, we make an amazing amount of money for a fairly simple task.
If you’re interested in learning how you can get loan signing business, or maybe you already get loan signing business and want to learn how to get direct business so you can make more money per appointment, get my ‘Get Loan Signings’ course!
I’m Mark, I teach the Loan Signing System, and I’m looking forward to seeing you become a great loan signing agent!
About the Author
Mark Wills is the course instructor of the top rated Loan Signing System agent training course. He has been an active professional loan signing agent for nearly 20 years and owns a loan signing service that does thousands of signings a year.