Monday, June 28, 2010

How To Start A Signing Service (Or Maybe How NOT To Start A Signing Service)

There seems to be more than a few new signing services that have popped up lately. Maybe they've arrived to fill the void left by those that have gone out of business or stopped paying their signing agents. If you've recently started a signing service or plan on starting one, may I make a few suggestions?

What's in a Name? - It's amazing how many companies have the same or similar names. Maybe it would be wise to put some thought into the name and do some research. If Acme Signing Service, Acme Closers, Acme National, and Acme Notaries already exist, I'm thinking you probably shouldn't name your company Acme. Especially if one or more of the other companies has had payment or service issues.

A Capital Idea - If a signing agent does their job, they should get paid. They don't get paid only if you get paid, they don't get paid after you deal with whatever unexpected emergency has arisen, and they don't get paid only after they make a lot of noise. If you want to start a signing service, you should have sufficient starting capital to pay your signing agents.

Less is More - Do you want to scare off even the best signing agents? Then by all means, make your notary closers sign a seven page contract detailing every obligation they're required to meet (with of course no obligation on your end), every legal disclaimer possible, and every error that's going to get them punished, dumped, or flogged. Instead of having us sign that pseudo-legal contract that you lifted from another signing service, just take the time to find good closers that you can trust. Let's build a working relationship from the start instead of an adversarial relationship.

You Don't Know Me at All - You want documentation? Sure. E & O, bond, proof of commission? OK. Resume, references, background check? I've got that. But do you really know what you're getting? None of that tells you what you really need to know. A great closer is knowledgeable. A great closer is personable. A great closer is confident. A great closer knows how to connect with people. Do you really want to know if a closer will represent your company and your clients in a positive and professional manner? Call us. Talk to us. Ask us questions. Then maybe you'll know.

You Get What You Pay For - Anybody can be the cheapest. Do you really want to succeed in the long run? Then forget cheap. Low-ball signing services are failing. They're losing clients. They're struggling to pay their closers. Their reputations are damaged beyond repair. No decent closers will work for them. It's a losing model. Instead, be the best. Offer a quality service. Offer something that your competitors don't. Hire the best, pay a fair fee, be knowledgeable about the entire process, be available, communicate, be easy to work with, and above all have integrity.

Any other suggestions?


Brenda Stone said...

The signing service name game has always baffled me. Not only are they redundant, the owners choose names which are not very professional. Remember that one which was Something in Motion?

Every other point in your entry was on the mark.

creative@heart said...

I agree wholeheartedly with your comments. The business name issue is something that irks me to no end. Will never understand why a business would not do some research before picking a name!

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Notaries if you are tired of getting the run around from signing services and not getting paid what your services are worth than join our Notary Referral Service where we recruit Escrow / Title companies. Our members develop direct relationships with Title and Escrow companies. There are no middlemen involved! You, the notary negotiates your fees direct with the client. is a member-based organization that promotes confidence in its member’s abilities, ethics, and professionalism to the client. At NAC the notary ALWAYS comes first! We exist purely for the benefit of notaries!