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February 3, 2017

Comedic Notary Pricing from Apo-steal-of-a-deal to Zilch (not getting paid).

Filed under: Andy Cowan,Comprehensive Guides,Humorous Posts — Tags: — admin @ 9:04 pm

Comedic Notary Pricing from Apo-steal-of-a-deal to Zilch (not getting paid).

Getting paid is serious business. But in this blog, we’re going “goofy.”

REVERSE MORTGAGES

Segagtrom. So much for literally reversing “mortgages.” In the reverse mortgage I’ll be referring to here, you get paid before you do the signing. If they don’t pay you ahead of time, charge 150 bucks. If they don’t pay you that, reverse the charges on the UPS. You can also drive in reverse to the signing. Unless you happen to be in a parking lot, in which case backing up causes serious tire damage. I can back that up in a notarized statement.

INSPECTIONS

When you inspect a house by taking photos, if it’s cheesy looking, tell it to smile and say cheese. If there are lines from broken plaster on the wall they don’t want you to shoot, charge them extra to Photoshop the lines out. Charge twenty to thirty dollars for inspection, unless the photos need touchup. When you visit their restroom and inspect their medicine cabinet, charge them a snooping fee.

REFINANCING

When getting signatures for mortgage signings, charge them a
re-re-re-re-re-refinancing fee if the signer stutters.

EDOCS OR DOCUMENTS

Ink is to a printer what cocaine is to a dealer. The first sample is free, and then they have you hooked on a very expensive habit. So be sure to charge accordingly for depleting your ink supply as you type out documents. Make sure they don’t pay you with money they printed out on their printers. Although the ink would probably be worth more than the money.

TRAVEL FEE FOR MOBILE NOTARIES

It’s been years since doctors made house calls. If you’re making a house call to notarize something, you better make sure you’re compensated for such service. Some charge by the mile, some charge by the amount of time to get there. As for the comedic price list, charge them like Dominos Pizza. They’ll get a free signing if you don’t arrive within thirty minutes or less. And when you do arrive, make sure you act extra cheesy. And top it off with an extra signature. If the signing is late at night, charge them a surcharge. If they treat you with disrespect, charge them a you-forgot-to-call-me “sir” charge.

LATE FEES

If they’re not ready for you when you arrive for the signing, charge them a late fee. If they’re not ready for you when you arrive because they’re dead, charge the next-of-kin a late, late fee. If it’s so late that it’s technically the wee hours of the morning, charge them an early fee. If they can’t pay you till tomorrow, charge them a late fee for the early fee. If they can’t pay you till after the both of you sit down and finish watching an old movie on TV, charge them a late, late show late fee for the early fee.

WAITING FEES

The more you wait to be paid, the more you charge them. If you wait till hell freezes over, charge them a waiting/defrosting fee. You’re like a taxi stuck in park with the meter running. If they haven’t reached the destination yet but they’re still your client, that will cost them. That should give you a lift. (Or for the cabbie and Uber haters out there, “Lyft”)

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June 9, 2016

A comprehensive guide to Notary Pricing

It’s been a long time since I have written an article on pricing, so I feel it is high time! Most Notaries want to have a fixed fee and make tons of money. This is not always possible. The Notary market is a market with lots of little ups and down that a smart Notary needs to constantly adjust to. It’s smarter to have systems and formulas worked out ahead of time so you know how to react to these fluctuations.

There are fast days and slow days, monthly highs and lows, as well as changes in the market that happen over the years. There are also changes in who is competing with you in your area at a particular time. The key is to be flexible and learn how to charge accordingly. Here is how I would set my prices.

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1. Time Involved
A smart Notary should charge based on how much time is spent. Notary jobs during rush hour involve more time. Jobs that involve printing more than the average amount of pages should be billed accordingly. Smart Notaries ask who the Lender or Bank is. This is because the name of the Lender can determine with some accuracy the size of the package. Signing companies lie about package sizes which is why smart Notaries ask. Additionally, there are many loan types and some require more time. Refinances are faster, while Construction Loans are longer but have more professional and businesslike signers. Reverse Mortgages, VA, and FHA take more time. Piggy Backs are double signings and have double the pages and double the Notary work. Time for doing a signing is based on these components:

Negotiating Time — Some companies are easy and pleasant to deal with. If it is fast getting assignments faxed or emailed to you and easy to confirm with the borrower, take notes of that time. It can differ from company to company.

Printing Time — Notaries should charge by the page for e-documents. Printing takes time, and often involves waiting for documents to be ready which can be hours if you work with irresponsible companies.

Driving Time –Factor in how much time it takes to get from point A to B. Keep notes so you’ll know how to charge for jobs to particular cities in the future.

Signing time — Some Lenders have loans that get signed quickly. Some Lenders answer the phone and get situations handled quickly while others don’t.

Loan Type Influences Time Spent — VA & FHA signings are just plain longer. Reverse Mortgages are for the elderly who are less businesslike and might need a lot more time to sign. Power of Attorney signings are the most likely not to fund, so take that into consideration. Piggy Back loans are double the signatures and double the notarizations. But, once everyone has sat down and you have your journal out, it goes quickly.

Fax Back Time — Fax Backs are a pain in the rear, but they serve a purpose. Signing companies can hire newbies and get away with it, because the signing company can check your work before it gets sent back to Title. They no longer need experienced Notaries. However, fax backs take time, so if your time is worth something, charge for each page faxed back.

Cancellation Rate Time Waste — Factor cancellation rate and billing time into the price.

Billing Time — Some companies pay on the first request while others require hounding.

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2. Expenses Itemized

Printing Documents — is not only time consuming but costs money. You are using up paper, toner, cartridges, ink, and using up your time to restock what you used up. Charge accordingly.

Car Expenses — Driving a car is not free. Tires wear down, brakes wear out, plus you need to change the oil, filters, shocks, transmission, and more. So, in addition to time, try to work a mileage fee into your pricing in addition to charging for time.

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3. Track Record & Risk of Not Getting Paid

Late Documents — If the signing company or title company was late getting your edocuments in the past, make a note of that. Keep detailed records of each company. Record how fast they paid you on each job. Recalculate their average days to payment every month just to keep records updated. Also, keep records for how late they are sending edocuments or how incompetent they are about keeping their borrowers informed. If you are dealing with a flake, charge more.

Unknown PartiesIf you accept a job from an unknown lender, or one with a bad reputation online, you might charge more, or make them pay up front. You should always charge extra when there is any type of risk involved. . These signings assume risk. Some of the risk is spending an unpredictable amount of time or not getting paid at all.

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4. Payment Terms
If a Lender will only pay you if the loan funds, you need to charge more. Some Lenders will not pay your printing fee if the job gets cancelled, so make sure you know what the terms of the agreement are. Some will pay part of a travel fee if the job gets cancelled mid-way. However, the signing company booked your time, and you can’t give your leftover time to some other company at the last minute just because they needed to cancel. You have to commit your time to them, but do you make companies commit to paying you?

I personally feel that Notaries should set their own terms. You are not a bank, and it is not your job to gamble on whether or not a loan funds. You should be paid before, or within 72 hours of a signing in my opinion. But, you can make your own terms. Beginners have to accept the terms dictated to them, but old pros can make their own terms and get away with it. However, if you do accept terms that limit your ability to guarantee payment, charge a lot more.

Recommended Reading:
Issues to consider when creating a signing agent services contract
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2593

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5. Travel Fees for Non Loan Signing Work
Most Notaries charge $25 to $50 travel fee, and more if it is for jails or hospitals. You also charge by the signature on top of the travel fee. Charge based on how valuable your time is worth. If you are desperate for work, charge less. If your time is limited, charge more. If you have lots of other things to do, you have less supply of time so you can charge more — this is a strategy to consider — so stay busy my friends.

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6. Jails & Hospital Notary Jobs
Charge more for jails and hospitals because these are the jobs where there is a lot more that can go wrong. You also will not be dealing with the cream of the crop. You can get stood up at a jail. Inmates do not have ID and your credible witness or ID carrier might not show up. ID’s might be expired. Hospital patients are often drugged making it impossible to notarize them. Half of them can’t even hold a pen, so how can they possibly sign? Consider this when deciding upon your jail & hospital travel fees which should be $60 to $150 depending on how greedy you are! Some Notaries are afraid to go to jails, but it is safe, and that is where you can make money fast. Just make sure you have them read their ID to you over the phone including expiration date or you will be very sorry. Also, get your travel fee in cash at the door BEFORE you see the signer. They might not be available or might not want to sign! Be prepared!

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7. General Pricing Models
Keep in mind that a few years ago, Notaries could get paid a lot more. With Snapdocs and lower demand, companies can pay a lot less and get away with it.

Situations where you charge more or less
(1) Charge less during the first 17 days of the month. It is slower, and you have more time.
(2) Charge more during the end of the month. Additionally, you can charge more if you schedule a job several days in advance because you might miss out on a better offer. Additionally, jobs scheduled in advance in my day had a 25% cancellation rate which will wreak havoc on your schedule.
(3) Charge less if you are having a slow day and someone needs a last minute signing. If you are doing nothing, why not sell that time.
(4) eSignings have less physical pages, but often take longer because the signer and their spouse need to take turns looking at the computer screen not to mention the chance of delays due to technical issues.
(5) Charge extra if there are three or more signers on a loan.
(6) Charge more if the company cancels a lot
(7) Charge less if a company has a good track record and is easy and fast to deal with — or pleasant!
(8.) Charge more if there are lots of signatures to notarize.

Pricing Recommendations For Beginners. 0-500 signings

Basic Signing $60-$80
E-Documents: $10-$25 extra per double set or 7 cents per page
Pickups: $25 extra
Dropoffs: $20 extra — there is less waiting time during dropoffs
Reverse Mortgages: $100
Piggy Backs: $100
Regular Notary Work Travel Fee: $30 if within 30 minutes
Jail & Hospitals: $50

Pricing Recommendations for Intermediates. 500-3000 signings
Basic Signing: $80-$120; E-Documents: $20-$40 or 10 cents per page; Pickups: $30 extra; Dropoffs: $25 extra; Reverse Mortgages: $125; Piggy Backs: $125; Regular Travel Fee: $40 if within 30 miles; Jails & Hospitals: $70

When to charge in advance
You are not a bank and you should not offer endless credit to any signing company. Some of them will string you along and not pay you or play games with payments making it unclear which job they are paying for. Decide in advance how much credit to give each company and keep records. If you have a six month track record with a company and they pay you on time, you might offer them credit for six jobs. For all others, do one or two jobs, but don’t do any more until you get paid. It is not a bad idea to charge up front with Paypal, but few companies will pay a beginner up front. Ken, our seasoned Notary always gets paid up front, but he is a pro.

(1) New Companies — do one job, but don’t do a second until you get paid for the first unless they have a stellar record for payment on the forums.
(2) Some Track Record — do two jobs, but don’t do a third until you get paid for the first.
(3) Good Track Record — Watch out: good companies can turn bad if they experience financial difficulties or labor shortages. Do not offer credit for more than six jobs no matter what. A good track record should be over at least six months.

Don’t complain
There are many Notaries who have gone out of business because there is too much competition for too few jobs. If you are getting paid, getting experience, and staying afloat, you are ahead of the game. Many Notaries have this idea that they should get $125 per signing ever time. Unfortunately, it no longer works like this. So, take what you can get and just do your best! If you get more experience, you will be worth more in the long run. Additionally, the market could have an upswing at any time, so keep a positive thought.

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March 9, 2011

Pricing Formulas & Time Spent

Pricing formulas – time spent?
 
At 123notary, we help notaries try to understand the components of pricing.  How hungry you are for work is the most important factor, but time spent is another.  It is not always straight forward to understand how much time a job is going to entail.
 
Traffic
If someone asks you to do a job late at night, you might not like it if you are not a night owl.  However, there is usually no traffic at night after 9pm.  If you live in Los Angeles or NYC, you will be very happy to avoid traffic for once.  If it were me, I would want more to go out during rush hour, especially if the job is far away.
 
Miles?
Not all miles are created equal.  A job 100 miles away on a highway in Montana might be only slightly more than an hour and twenty minutes away. You can go 75 over there.  But, what about a job that is five miles away on congested roads. Some roads seem to always be congested.  Don’t bill based on mileage unless you are forced to by law ( and some states have fixed mileage rates for notaries travel fees ).  Charge the mileage based on how long it will take you.
 
More signers or more notarized signatures?
I used to be the fastest notary this side of the Pecos.  I could do ten signatures for four signers in less than thirty minutes.  Thats a total of 40 signatures and five pages of journal.  I was fast and furious.  But, long sets of documents, or extra notarizations take time.
 
Is the lender missing a few marbles?
Some lenders do not adequately inform their borrowers about the documents or the numbers in the loan.  These days, the laws are more stringent for lenders to keep their borrowers informed about the specifics of their loans.  If a particular lender always has loans that go smoothly, while another lender always gives you nightmares, that costs you extra time which needs to be incorporated into the formula.
 
Unknown company?
Always background check all companies who want you to work for them.  Look them up on our list of signing companies or use your i-phone / android to visit www.123notary.com/S.  Visit our forum or the notary rotary forum.  If you don’t know a company, you can read what others have experienced with them.  You might charge more if working for an unknown company simply because you don’t know what to expect.  Unless they have a well documented track record with others, you don’t know if you will get paid either.
 
Jails
Jails are tricky.  I would not go to a jail until you have read our blog about jails.  You need to make sure the inmate is where they are supposed to be and that you have ID, and that your contact person shows up on time. There is a lot of coordination and waiting that goes on with jail jobs.  Charge accordingly!  10-20% of the time with jail jobs you will not get paid due to lock-downs, no-shows, and ID problems, so incorporate that into your fee too.
 
Hospitals
Hospital notarizations are almost as tricky as jails, and sometimes more tricky.  Travel time to the hospital is the same as to any notary job.  But, waiting time is a constant.  People in hospital beds rarely jump up to see you, produce their ID, and are ready to go!  They are generally sleeping or drugged when you arrive and don’t know who you are.  They have forgotten that their niece is having them sign a document.  Getting them to sit up could take 20 minutes, and bring the book, “Zen and the art of holding a pen” with you — you’ll need it.  Some of the signers can not move their own arm without shaking the pen up and down the page.   If you want to do hospital notariations, please read our blog first so you will know the ins and outs (particularly the outs).  Charge a lot extra for this type of job, because they will have no qualms about keeping you there for hours without compensating you. 
 
People in hospitals, regardless of whether they are nurses, patients, or family members of patients have a very different time consciousness.  They are there for hours and nothing happens.  They are conditioned to the idea that things happen slowly.  If it takes thirty minutes to find a pen, and forty-five minutes to find an ID which isn’t even current, thats fast for them.  A New York minute might take three hours in a hospital.  Try to make sure the hospital folks have their document ready, and current identification in their hand before you get in your car.  I would charge 50-100% extra travel fee for hospitals to incorporate waiting time.  You might tell them that if you are kept waiting, there is a fee for each 20 minutes you are kept waiting.  The first 20 minutes is free, but after that waiting fees must be paid at the beginning of each 20 minute period and that the travel fee must be paid at the door before you even go up the stairs. 
 
On a brighter note, after being in business for a few years (or decades), you will eventually meet a few people at hospitals and jails who actually respect you and your time (no guarantees).  You might eventually meet people who show up prepared without you babysitting them.  Its possible!  So, think positively!
 
Remember — charge for your time, hassle and risk.  Don’t let people take liberties with you, and be prepared and educated about all normal notary situations.
 
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