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Notary Bulletin

Becoming A 'Go-To' Signing Agent

TIP-personal-appearance-ART-8-17-09.jpgThe goal of every Notary Signing Agent is to become the “go-to” person for clients in their area. Knowledge, flexibility, and professionalism go a long way toward achieving that goal.

The key to getting and keeping business is by being professional in your demeanor, knowledgeable in your role, and attentive to the needs of your clients, says Ryan Flaherty, Operations Manager of LSI, a division of Lender Processing Services.

Flaherty offers these practical tips on how to grow your business by becoming a company or client’s main “go-to” Notary Signing Agent.

1. Dress The Part — Not Over Or Under

Unless you’re approached on the deck of a cruise ship for an impromptu notarization, flip-flops and a bikini top are never proper attire when meeting with signers. You should also exercise care in not over-dressing for meetings, which could make casually dressed signers uncomfortable. “Dress to the importance of the transaction,” recommends Flaherty, noting that NSAs are often the only person seen during the loan process. While your actual attire may vary from client to client, make sure your overall look is tidy and well-kept.

2. Offer Mistake-Free Accuracy

Clients want two things: efficiency and accuracy. Guarantee customer satisfaction by offering knowledgeable, error-free service that takes the least amount of time. This starts with getting the proper NSA education to make sure you understand how to perform your role. But, says Flaherty, you can ensure a high level of quality control by making it a practice to review all documents before leaving for an appointment, and again prior to exiting the appointment. Always remain respectful of the borrower’s time, but never allow them to rush you through the signing, which can result in costly errors.

3. Provide Customer Service That Is Focused And Positive

Small-talk can put customers at ease, but keep the friendly chit-chat to a minimum. “Stay focused and free of distraction, and minimize personal talk,” says Flaherty. He warns NSAs against speaking negatively about the lender or title company, which can come across as unprofessional. Don’t waste clients’ time by accepting phone calls, returning texts, or otherwise taking attention away from the task at hand.

4. Flexibility And Communication Pay Off

One sure-fire way to gain “go-to” status is to be readily available at a moment’s notice. If a company or client can trust you to take the job — whether it’s in the evening, on the weekend, or even over a holiday — you will likely become the person they reach out to in a pinch. Once you’ve accepted an assignment, Flaherty warns against backing out or double-booking, which can negatively impact your reputation. He also advises NSAs to ensure a responsive, proactive turnaround on assignments, including prompt confirmation with borrowers on the closing status, and a swift dropping off of loan documents.

5. Make It Memorable

Some NSAs thank their hiring Title Agent with small tokens, like a coffee shop gift card, but leaving a good impression doesn’t require a hit to your wallet. Carrying business cards adds a sense of professionalism, and some NSAs wear a badge to identify themselves to signers. Keeping loan packets well-organized, neatly labeled and secured with binder clips makes it easy for signers to navigate complicated paperwork. Practical “leave behind” items — such as a business card with a tip calculator on the back, or a magnet calendar with your contact information — can be a good way to market your business and help ensure additional assignments.

Kelle Clarke is a Contributing Editor with the National Notary Association.

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