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November 16, 2015

Should travel fees be flat?

Should anything be flat in the world of pricing?

Any notary who has a flat travel fee doesn’t understand that their time is not for free. Sure it is easier to have a flat notary travel fee, but what if a job is scheduled during rush hour, or is far away? You’ll spend all day long for a small travel fee. Keep in mind that most notaries on 123notary are loan signing agents and don’t do non-loan mobile notary work. However, if you want to do regular mobile notary work, there is cash to be made. No waiting for companies to send you checks, no invoicing, no fax backs, and no excuses!

It is easier when you have a flat travel fee for the first 20 miles, or some type of a radius. You could shorten the distance during rush hour to be more fair to yourself if you like. Or just keep it simple. I used to charge $35 travel fee and people would pay it. I learned that others would charge $50 and get it. Customers were desperate and would pay anything if you would just get there and do the job right away.

But, for longer commutes, many notaries don’t have a formula. Some have a mileage rate they stick to. Others just don’t have a plan. Mileage rates are good for highway driving, but not for in-town jobs. 30 miles in an urban area can easily take over an hour and wear down your brakes, while 50 miles on the highway can go by quickly.

In my opinion it’s easier to charge based on estimated time. Your formula will be complicated if you have separate rates based on how many miles, and then compensate if they are in a metro or on the highway, and then another adjustment if it is during rush hour. It is easier to say that the driving will take 75 minutes total for the round trip and that you will charge $50 for that. Your rates are up to you, but this is my suggestion.

Charge a fixed fee for the first 45 minutes of travel for your round trip.
Then charge extra for every additional estimated minute.
If you estimate wrong, then as my mechanic friends say, “eat it” meaning take the loss gracefully.

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1 Comment »

  1. Heck, no! For Christmas week, I had planned on asking $500.00/signing from the 21st to the 23rd, then $1,000.00 for Christmas eve and the day after. I’ve been there/done that, when they couldn’t find anybody else on those days, and twice had Refusals to sign, of which I’ve had 7 (RTS)/630 signings. DD used to be a full time NSA, now works 9-5/5 days/week and only does jobs on weekends. She and I got a call at 6PM for a must do job 2 hours away, and the company was seriously considering $1,000.00 for it. She got a no negotiating $300.00 for a last call HAD TO GET DONE job, where the borrower would cancel with that company if it didn’t get done THAT DAY. It was a 20 minute drive and doable and the other NSA had agreed, then went on vacation and blew off the assignment! WTF?!?!? THIS is why we get training in professionalism, when our competition act like childrne.
    So, no travel fees are entirely dependents upon variables. What I consider a standard job, close to my office or home have standard fees, and the vendors that call me about them are aware of this when they call me. I did a local job on Black Friday and I insisted on 3x my normal fee. Who sets a refi signing on Black Friday? Even then, I had to wait hours on the documents. There would have been a problem, had I not done my usual communication with the borrower and kept them up to snuff on what was going on, and had THEM call their lender.

    Comment by betty — January 7, 2016 @ 4:23 pm

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