Different companies have different payment schedules. Whether a company pays in a timely manner or not, the critical thing is for the Notary to be aware of how long it takes companies to pay. If you read forum complaints, you will see if other Notaries have had a problem with a particular company. If you keep a database on paper or on a computer, and keep records of how long each company has taken to pay others, you will have a track record for each company. Most Notaries unfortunately do not do their homework and that is why bad signing companies exist and also why newer Notaries get screwed. Do your homework; Don’t get screwed!
It is standard for companies to pay in 30 days. Most companies have a monthly billing cycle. It might take 30-59 days to get paid if they do their payments on a particular day of the month. If they pay on the 15th and you complete a job on the 16th, what if they pay you on the 15th of the month on the second month after you do the job? Hmm.
Then, there are companies that are always short on cash who string Notaries along. This is just unprofessional and not respectable. You should pay for what you get, otherwise don’t ask people to do anything for you. The Notaries who are the least valuable to the signing company, or who they have a weaker relationship with, or who are the least pushy are thes ones who get strung along. If you allow them credit for two jobs and they ask for a third without paying for the other two first they will be forced to pay you if they want your work. For a Notary who is really good, they might conform to your terms. But, if you are an unskilled whiner — good luck!
Some companies just don’t pay, or make you wait forever and go through the run around. This is just a waste of time and those companies should be put out of business.
What do I recommend?
(1) If a company is reliable about paying, then I recommend accepting anything within 60 days providing you don’t have to bill multiple times or micromanage them to get paid. 10-60 days with one bill is acceptable. The minute you have to invest extra time billing a company, you should consider charging in advance, or raising their rate by at least $20 extra.
(2) If you prefer to get paid fast, you weed out a vast quantity of your market share by demanding payment in 30 days.
(3) You can offer better terms and/or better pricing to companies that offer faster pay. You can offer them more work, volume discounts, and more attentive service to reward them for making your life easier. That way you can still get jobs from the slow-but-sure paying companies, but less of them. This is called using an algorithm — something Jeremy likes.
(4) If you adopt the Ken Edelstein philosophy and require payment up front, you will not have a problem worrying about getting paid. But, Ken is the best Notary in the business, and everyone knows it. So, that is why companies pay him more and by Paypal.com in advance to do Notary work for them while other Notaries might have trouble getting paid in advance. Ken is in the Notary business, not the money lending without collateral business. Think about it.
(5) You can apply to more Title companies. Many pay within 10-15 days. You can research them on the forums, or just try them out to see how much they pay. If they pay you fast, you can offer to do more work for them farther away to give them an incentive to use you more. You are advised to give them extra special service as well so they will continue to use you and use you frequently.
For those Notaries who are inexperienced, not well educated in signing topics, and very picky as well. I recommend swallowing your pride. You have to pay your dues in this business to do well. I suggest having 2000 signings under your belt before you begin to get picky. The real professionals who get paid well most of the time have at least 7000 signings. When I was at 4000 signings I got paid well by only about 40% of my jobs which should give you an idea. It is not fast and easy to make it to the top in this profession. Swallow your pride and work for any reasonable conditions for any company that is honest and decent even if they make you wait 60 days.>