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How I Landed My First Assignments As A Notary Signing Agent

Signing-resized.jpgIn my previous article, “How I Decided To Become A Notary Signing Agent,” I talked about how I was inspired to try Notary work while looking for a change of career. But when I decided to become a Notary Signing Agent, it was completely new business for me. I needed to familiarize myself with the ins and outs of notarizing signatures on loan documents.

I decided the first step in my new career would be to gain some experience working through signing agencies. The pay is less than working directly with title and escrow companies, but I decided it would be better way for a rookie like myself to get those first assignments and learn the basics of a loan document signing before I tried looking for work with local businesses in person.

I signed up with several different free services, with varying degrees of success. While I also received emails from websites offering me signings in exchange for me paying them an upfront fee, I decided a website requiring fees wasn’t the way I wanted to go when marketing myself. Some sites charged large fees if you filed a payment dispute or required me to agree not to file a complaint if I had a credit card issue with the site.  I didn’t feel comfortable with that.

Here are some of the agencies and websites I contacted, and my experiences with them so far:

Snapdocs has been the most successful source of signings for me to date. I’ve completed more than 20 signings after signing up with them, two refinances and 10 HELOCS. The pay is low (average $50 for a HELOC, $75 for a refinance), but the experience has been incredibly valuable.

It took a while to land my first assignment. I responded quickly to texts but was often passed over at first. But I persisted and finally landed a couple of signings. Since then, I’ve become familiar with one agency in particular and I’ve received assignments pretty regularly from them via Snapdocs.

Timios is close to where I live and was recommended by a website I visited, so I went in person to their office to introduce myself and see if they had any opportunities available. I've had one assignment from them so far. 

Bancserv I was pretty excited about. I had seen their booth at the NNA Conference in Las Vegas and they seemed like a good organization to work with. Keep in mind that they only accept applications from new Notaries during the first few days of each month. I passed and was approved and am looking forward to receiving an assignment through them.

I’ve had a few other queries and offers from other organizations. A couple of emails ended up in my spam folder, which I now check regularly so I do not miss any opportunities.

I’m pretty pleased with my progress to date and have now begun reaching out to other local companies to take it to the next level.


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James Gilden became a Notary Signing Agent in July 2018. He is a writer and publishing professional who has written for the New York TimesLos Angeles TimesChicago Tribune and others. He has also worked for SAGE Publishing and The American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is working on a book about World War II centered on the story of his great uncle, a decorated B-17 bomber pilot who was shot down over Nazi occupied France and became a POW.

 

22 Comments

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Chris Parreira

14 Jan 2019

Great job James. I have beebn a nsa part-time for almost 2 years. I am started out just like you did. Its hard getting to work directly with a title company or real estate office. I am on snap docs and with a few other signing services which is enough for me at this time.

Linda Romero

16 Jan 2019

Has anyone noticed that the companies are offering way less money recently than before?

Karen

11 Feb 2019

I am a new NNA signing agent in Washington State and am struggling to get any signing requests. I am listed on SnapDocs and SigningAgent.com. I searched online reviews of several "pay for" signing agencies that email me to sign up and they all have pretty bad reviews. I am not finding any other free signing agencies to sign up with. I called several escrow/title/lending companies to ask for a contract signing agent package and all require 2 years experience and references, or aren't taking any new contracted agents for at least 6 months. I read all NNA articles on starting this new business and apply the advice. I'm beginning to feel I made a mistake investing so much money in this new profession. Any advice getting new assignments is greatly appreciated.

National Notary Association

12 Feb 2019

Hello Karen. One option you may wish to consider is offering to perform general mobile Notary services as well as loan signings, which can help build experience, make potential contacts and supplement your income during slow periods in the mortgage industry. This article from Notary Signing Agent Daniel Lewis offers some suggestions: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2016/10/finding-general-notary-work If you are looking for other ways to diversify your services, please take a look at our Alternate Income Opportunities articles: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/alternate-income-opportunities We hope these articles are helpful to you and wish you good luck with your business!

Cristi Wilburn

07 Jun 2019

I just started in February this year. Been a notary longer than that tho. When I did my classes I also signed up for a year on 123notary. I have received several just from that. I am also on Snapdocs. I get some there. One thing I have learned is if that can't find you they can't hire you. 123Notary lets them search my area and my name pops up. Also, just because they offer a certain price does not mean you cannot negotiate. I do it all the time. I factor in my driving and time. I always tell them why I am charging more and most are ok with it.

Mary

13 Feb 2020

I became a Notary Signing Agent in October 2019. I have yet to get an assignment here in the city where I live. Even though I put the areas where I live. Now I respond really fast to the text messages but never get the signings. I have invested a lot of money to become a signing agent. What do they go by when you respond by the text? Do they choose the Agent with the most experience? How do you get experience if you never get the assignment? I will not give up.

National Notary Association

14 Feb 2020

Hello. These articles may provide some helpful information for you: How Long Does It Take To Make Money As A New Notary Signing Agent? https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2014/04/how-long-make-money-notary-signing-agent Effective Business Development For The Notary Signing Agent https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2013/09/business-development-notary-signing-agent

Adriana Avina

31 Mar 2020

I just recently passed the notary exam and finished the certification with NNA....i dont have my commission yet and already received a call for assignment. So sad i could not take it..

B.B.

11 Jun 2020

James, Thank You for sharing your Signing experiences. I'm anxiously awaiting taking my class/test next week- delays from COVID.. Have you experienced signing up with a larger Brokers office to be their "In house Notary" that their Loan Officers would utilize? That was my experience before the bubble blew, when I was a Loan Doc Signing Agent more than 10 years ago. Can't wait for your Book to come out- I'm very interested in those WWII experiences, as my Mom survived those tumultuous times!

Leslie Massey

18 Jun 2020

Thanks for sharing. I don’t know how to get started. I just passed my exam this month

Chandan Chandra Saha

06 Aug 2020

Very good

Kike A Masi

19 Oct 2020

Keep in mind some states are escrow states which means the lawyers handle loan signings. California and Washington are escrow states

Annika Louise Kilgus

19 Oct 2020

Thank you for sharing your story and the companies you've liked. It's a great help!

PJ

21 Oct 2020

Queation I just recently heard of a Loan Signing Agent... I've been a notary for the last 5 yrs. Is it "required that you take the course" over been laid off due to Covid-19 and money is really tight.

National Notary Association

22 Oct 2020

Hello. Many lenders and companies that work with Signing Agents require them to undergo certification and a background screening. For more information, please see here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/signing-agent/nsa

Mark Cather

31 Dec 2020

I have been a signing agent since September of this year. I have yet to land a single assignment. Not one. I use snapdocs but I never get assigned anything. I use several others with the same results. Nothing. I get texts and emails all the time, and I respond to each and every one. Yet no assignments. As of 12/31/2020 @ 3:44 PM I have not received one single assignment and I have responded to at least 100 messages as being available. You have to know somebody to get regular assignments, the rest of the "available" signings appear to be the undesirable table scraps and are thrown to the dogs in a mass email/text. I can't even get a scrap. I have spent hundreds of $ on stamps, notary commission, "training", printer, toner, paper etc. I sure could use that money right now to pay some past due bills. If you're thinking about becoming a signing agent, you better know someone who can hook you up with signings otherwise it's a total cattle call.

Lloyd Cutler

08 Mar 2021

I just went through the process, including NNA Certification, along with my wife. We have all the supplies, the right printer and printer accessories. We've dedicated a laptop to process the documents and have signed up with several notary signing agent providers. This is the calm before the hoped for storm. I've been a business professional since 1979. Who wants to go with us first?

Jeanne Covington

22 Mar 2021

Thank you for your article. It was very insightful and encouraging. I have been considering taking the leap of becoming a NSA for a year or so now. I have been an "in-house" notary for my employer for over 16 years, am close to retirement, and was looking forward to taking my notary skills to the "next level." From reading the many comments, I get the sense that perhaps some of the NSA providers take into consideration your experience as a notary and as a NSA before picking you for assignments?

sonya_stringfellow@yahoo.com

25 May 2021

Iam so inspired by all the comments. I am a new Signing Agent in Illinois and I am so excited to receive my first assignment. I have everything I need to start but no assignments are coming my way. Is it because Iam only 1 month in? 🤔 Is anyone aware of any title companies that is free to sign up? Thank you

emonroeproperties@gmail.com

12 Oct 2021

Anyone know how to write a bio for a notary signing agent and realtor?

Vonda

16 Oct 2021

I became a notary for my employer in June 2021. I am interested in becoming a NSA. what do you suggest I need (office supplies) to start with?

National Notary Association

18 Oct 2021

Hello. This article has a list of recommended supplies and cost estimates: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2017/05/cost-becoming-notary-signing-agent

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