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July 3, 2017

Snapdocs’ Business Model Doesn’t Add Up


It was the best of times, and the worst of times. SnapDocs has the best technology but the worst notaries. Their business model should last as long as the careers of the accountants who gave Warren Beatty the wrong envelope. A chain of Notaries is as good as its weakest link. Just ask the crummiest McDonalds about that. So in the long run, how good can SnapDocs’ service be?

Two out of three notaries interviewed can’t stand them. And these weren’t SNAP decisions! Will SnapDocs’ ship come in, or did it never leave the docks? Hold on – I’m getting a text. Let’s see… thirty dollars for a signing a hundred miles away, with two hundred pages and 120 fax backs… no thanks! Four out of five notaries surveyed agree that one out of five notaries… is an idiot! And recommend sugarless gum for the borrowers who step in it on their way to a signing.

On the other hand (apologies to the amputees) one out of three notaries (and I was never great at fractions) really like the convenience and quantity of work they get from SnapDocs. And the signing companies love the technology and the convenience. But the love won’t last any longer than the rescission period if they don’t maintain critical mass. The question is… with such a small number of notaries who like them, can this business model last over the long haul? Another factor to consider is that out of SnapDocs’ roughly 6000 notaries, only about 800 of them have logged in in the last thirty days. SnapDocs’ technology can text dozens of nearby notaries, but if each area averages only 7 notaries that actually log in, how effective can this technology be if a critical mass of notaries aren’t cooperating with it?

We also notice SnapDocs’ web stats were down 70% in December, while 123notary was only down 25%.How long before their business model SNAPS?

Whoops, I’m getting another text. Can’t you see I’m driving??


You might also like:

If everyone complains about Snapdocs, why do they continue to grow?

The Uber principle at Snapdocs — new blood

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  1. You made only one mistake. You did not put snappy in your call block list – that would have avoided the second insulting call. Most blocker software has drop lists for voice and SMS – be sure to put snappy in both.

    Comment by Kenneth Edelstein — July 3, 2017 @ 2:15 pm

  2. Um…Snap Docs is just a platform. The offers come independent signing companies who use the Snap Docs platform. Snap Docs can not be faulted for the low ball offers. There are many companies who offer signings at excellent prices through this same platform.

    Comment by Lura Holden — April 30, 2018 @ 6:08 pm


    Comment by WAYNE M CIULLO — April 30, 2018 @ 6:27 pm

  4. I get good offers and bad offers from this platform, just depends on the signing company. If I don’t like the fee I put in what I want and if they want to pay it, they will. And it has an awesome spreadsheet of my history with them. And payment is always timely so I’m not sure what point this article is trying to make.

    Comment by Lisa Nassour — April 30, 2018 @ 6:57 pm

  5. You can use em or not, if the fee is not right then I don’t use em

    Comment by Jerry Jarvis — April 30, 2018 @ 7:47 pm

  6. Love the article and the attitude behind it. SnapDocs is easy to hate but it is just a platform. However, the companies that use it low-ball the fee more often than not and I actually feel “hide” behind it. Often these companies are small operations and probably will not last long term. I accept about one in 10 offers I get but I am also aware of the the truth behind the article’s comment about one in 5 is an idiot. I think the major difference is the notaries that became “closers” to supplement their notary business and those of us who close full time. The part-timers and those with no title or mortgage experience in their background are the biggest reasons source of problems for our reputations. I have lost out on jobs because I was in a closing and did not reply in time. But there are reasons that the ones who jump in a job right away are able to accept faster. They are not busy for a reason. They are what I call second tier to the real pros and are just waiting around for something to do. If you are good at what you do, good companies will call you first and prefer you over others. Those that get nothing but “blast” invitations are still working towards getting to that top tier.

    Comment by Jeff Arndt — April 30, 2018 @ 8:34 pm

  7. Kenneth:

    I agree with you 100%. I truly dislike Snapdocs.

    Lura, Wayne and Lisa:

    Are you sure you guys don’t work for Snapdocs. And about that 7000 signings. Didn’t you mean to say 700,000?

    Comment by Ellis Tharp — April 30, 2018 @ 10:23 pm

  8. Very negotiable. Pays what you want and need. Daily calls and opportunities never happens with 123

    Comment by Russ Nichols — April 30, 2018 @ 11:13 pm

  9. For those of you commenting who represent the extreme minority of those notaries satisfied with Snapdocs, I can only assume that you live in an area that doesn’t suffer from a massive glut of notaries. Unfortunately in the LA area, there is a massive glut of notaries and signing services know this and use Snapdocs. They rarely, if ever, negotiate. Many years ago, signing services pulled off a legendary snake-oil sales job on the lenders and/or escrow companies out there, convincing them that notaries must have massive E&O coverage (which of course, the signing services can afford). This is how the slow death of the individual mobile notary signing agent began. Sometimes, if you’ll actually see the E&O coverage requirement buried in the loan/escrow documents (usually 250k-500k).

    The signing services will do anything to increase their profits. I used to get $85-$100 from the signing services, but starting about 2 years ago, all the signing services saw the opportunity with Snapdocs, and applying basic econ 101 principles, now send text messages to hundreds of LA notaries at once offering $60-$75 and involving massive driving distances or time (remember, in LA, a 5 mile drive from 3-8pm takes about an hour). If your phone isn’t in your hand and unlocked at the time you receive the text, you’ve missed the assignment. Within 3-5 seconds, the assignment is gone.

    The ability to negotiate requires that supply and demand of notaries be at or near equilibrium. It’s not even close – where I live, there is a massive supply glut and apparently, there hasn’t been enough botched signings by desperado notaries taking the low pay to cause anything to change. Fees offered aren’t improving yet, probably because the number of transactions available aren’t increasing. In red-hot real estate markets (such as Westside LA), most transactions continue to be all cash).

    Most of the Snapdocs offerings are for seller closing documents and the pay offer is only $40-$60. Despite the fact that there are fewer pages, most require filling in forms that the signer has no idea about. No one ever informs them in advance of these forms and I’m usually stuck waiting while they call the RE agent, escrow etc. I can only explain basic info, not give advice (especially with all the tax forms). I only get the docs emailed to me 1-2 hours prior to appt, so even emailing the docs in advance to the signers rarely saves me any time.

    I’m only doing 2-3 loan closings/seller closing documents a month now. I’ve diversified by getting back into loan processing (what I used to do about 10 years ago). Not many loans out there, but it helps.

    Comment by BobH — May 1, 2018 @ 1:42 am

  10. I agree with Jeremy here…SnapDocs only sends low paying leads. Perhaps a few offer more but 99% of leads are low paying fees. The true leads I continually get that pay decent are from 123Notary.com

    Comment by Cathy — May 1, 2018 @ 5:51 pm

  11. who are you to be running your competition down? your website should stand for itself and you should not elevate yourself. I’ve heard more bad about you than I have about snapdocs. I was once a member (non-paying) and one day you called me and I was not able to take the time to answer your questions..poof!!! I was gone from your site. you sound like a dictator to me. Now for the last time…remove me from your list. Some of your emails are informative but lately it seems like you spend more time running others down that you do in promoting 123notary.

    Comment by Linda Kauffman — December 17, 2019 @ 12:18 pm

  12. Why is 123notary so shaken up an we see the “anti-snapdocs” article frequently.
    Snapdocs does not write about 123notary, every week or month or even once a year.

    As long as 123notary is good at SEO optimization and lands on top of google, they will stay relevant.
    Once that magic is gone, 123notary is also gone in the wind, swept away the the sands of time.

    Jeremy should wake up and think of change, that happens all the time & disruptions to established business models.

    Comment by BooBoo Notary — December 17, 2019 @ 5:13 pm

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