The first and biggest cost I had to starting this video was the education portion. I know from my research that a mobile loan signing agent's home based business relies heavily on their reputation, so getting myself prepared to present myself to a client so that I can confidently be able to explain every loan document to a seller, buyer or refinancer, was my number one priority. So the first thing I did was buy a course that gives the best loan signing agent training available on the internet.
The Loan Signing System
This course cost me $497 and I think this was worth every penny! So I did feel like I needed to explain to you, which loan singing system course to buy... actually my husband paid for the $197 dollar course, and that was so that he could have access to the course so that he could get his own certificate. But I went and checked out the course to see the differences between the two levels, and to see what he didn't have access to and there were some significant things.
There was a particular interview training portion in the 6 figure course where Mark interviewed two escrow officers who gave their opinions of what they were looking for when hiring a notary signing agent. Also, there was an interview with two six0figure signing agents. Those videos were some of my favorite in the whole course. The interview with the escrow officers gave an inside idea of what an escrow officer is really looking for, and why they would choose a mobile signing agent over another. I really connected with the interview with the other two gentlemen as well because Mark has a very strong personality and it's a lot different from mine, and one of the guys in the video was much more similar to me. So his approach to talking to escrow officers really resonated with me.
Mark shared some scripts for talking with escrow officers, real estate agents and most mortgage officers, and how to market yourself to them in order to get business. The reason I feel like that is very important is that, when you first start out in this home business, and what I'm doing right now, is signing up with loan signing services. However, while working with loan signing services, they are taking a portion of the notary fee that is allotted on the mortgage documentation. For instance, the notary fee might be $150 or $175 but the signing service may only pay me $100 to $125 dollars. If you begin working directly with an escrow officer, you can collect the whole fee yourself. So in the long run it makes most sense that if you want to grow your business as big as you can, to always be marketing yourself to build direct business relationships.
Third and Most Importantly,
Included in the 6 figure course is 6 months free access to the 6 figure Facebook Group. This is a private FaceBook group that Mark set up that gives you direct access to him at any time by tagging him in a post, so that he can respond any time. But also, it's just a wealth of knowledge. All the loan signing agents who I've seen interacting on the page are super friendly and really helpful, and I've seen questions answered in a split-second when someone's struggling out in the field, or even just when someone's just down and they need some encouragement. So that piece of the training, the access to the group is worth it's weight in gold.
Here's a tip to save in your first month in this business...If you feel like the costs to get started in this business are just out of reach, there is an option to purchase the 6 figure loan signing system on a monthly payment plan. The payment plan is only $88 per month, and while in the long run it'll end up costing you a bit more, about $30 dollars, you'd be able to get the training done, and get out there and start earning money as you continue to pay off the cost of the course over the next couple months.
National Notary Association Loan Signing Training
I also purchased the National Notary Association loan signing agent training so that I could get an understanding of what the NNA was teaching notary signing agents. So I went through this training after already completing the Loan Signing System's loan signing course. I have to say that the NNA's course paled in comparison. It was very basic, and didn't cover much in depth about how to actually explain documents to clients in a way that would make me feel comfortable or confident so that I could express that I knew what I was talking about. I feel like I can't recommend this training based on my experience with the Loan Signing System's excellent loan signing training program.
Getting your Commission and Notary Accessories
One of the first steps that mark recommends completing is to begin getting your commission completed in your state. Mark recommends going to the National Notary Association (NNA) to start this process, and I ordered their $270 Notary Signing Agent package. After purchasing this package and thoroughly examining the contents, I would NOT recommend going this path if you have other training options available. My husband actually did not purchase the plan from the NNA, but went straight to the State of Oregon. Here in the State of Oregon, there is a free notary training course online provided by the Secretary of State. This free notarization training was extremely thorough, and actually seemed to cover in detail more situations, gave specific examples of notarizing and I felt left you better prepared to be a successful Notary.
Breakdown of the NNA Complete Notary Package
Here is a breakdown of the entire NNA Complete Notary Package and how much the components cost, as well as where and how you can buy them at a savings:
My husband needed to buy all the same things in order to be a notary here within the State of Oregon and he was a bit more thrifty in his purchases. Here's how his purchases compared:
NNA Background Screening and Exam
So now we've gotten our commissions and our basic supplies, we're ready to start registering with loan signing service databases to make ourselves available to be assigned signings, but we quickly found that most signing services require this NNA background screening in order to register and accept jobs. The exam is quite easy, it just covers the notary code of conduct and is essentially open book. This background screening and exam cost $70.
You Need to be Able to Print... a lot
Another thing that I learned while completing Mark's course is that if you work for signing agencies, you'll be emailed loan document packages that you'll need to print out yourself. That often means printing a set of documents for signature, and a set of documents to leave as a copy for the buyer. That can be in excess of 250 pages of printing. There's really only one economical way to get this done, with a laser printer. Another thing to consider is that mortgage documents come in both letter sized paper AND legal sized paper, which will be intermixed throughout the package, so you need to have a laser printer that has two trays, one for letter and one for legal.
I looked at several printers that had the dual tray capability, and the one that was most commonly referred to was a Brother HL-L6200DWT. This printer is a reasonably priced dual tray laser printer that prints in monochrome, just what I needed. Unfortunately, for some reason I couldn't find it in stock anywhere! I searched all over the Internets and the only one I could find was listed on Amazon for $645 (Check today's Price on Amazon)! It was marked up from about $250, which is it's normal sale price. I really didn't want to have such a big expense before I had even gotten any loan signing agent jobs... so I kept looking. What I found was this!
Brother has the same printer in a single tray that sells for about $220 (check the current price on Amazon here) and it also has an additional tray you can add for about $180 (Check the current tray price here). I ended up purchasing these items separately for about $397, saving about $245 from purchasing the combo unit. This did come with it's own difficulties though. The printer needed to be set up to function properly, and although I thought that we had gotten it set up correctly, when I went print my first set of documents it didn't correctly switch between letter and legal! After a long stressful attempt to get the printer functioning, and spending about 1.5 hours on hold waiting for Brother customer service, I was able to get the printer functioning correctly!
And since you'll be printing a lot, you're going to need a lot of paper! I bought a case each of legal and letter sized paper so that I wouldn't have to worry about getting more for at least a little while. A case of letter paper cost about $28.78 (Check today's price here) and a case of legal paper which was about $29.99 (Check today's price here).
The documents that you printed, and the documents that you've had signed need to be protected. They contain valuable personal information that you may be held liable for if you released it. The best way to keep documents safe is in a briefcase that securely hides away these important papers. Also, you'll need to be able to carry several other things with you to a loan signing. You'll need your stamp, your journal, pens and various other papers that you may need for the signing including blank acknowledgments or a notice of rights to cancel rescission calendar. I searched around on Amazon a bit for a briefcase, or messenger bag, that would fit these needs and at the same time I wanted something that LOOKED professional and CUTE! I ended up spending a bit more money that my husband in this department so that I could have something that made me feel good.
I bought this stylish women's messenger bag for $49.99 (Check current price on Amazon).
My husband just wanted something functional and comfortable and he ended up getting this messenger bag for $28.78 (Check the Current Price on Amazon here).
How Much Did You Save?
So if you've been following along with this guide, you'll see that to actually make money with my loan signing business, my cost was about $1526.76. Well that was a bit more than I expected to spend to get this business off the ground... but it's also not that bad! To have a fully equipped home business that is capable of going out and making money on a daily basis, $1,500 doesn't seem too bad to me. Also, in the past 6 days since I registered with my first loan signing service I've gotten offers to sign 5 different times totaling $400!! My stamp hasn't arrived yet, but if it had I would have recouped almost 1/3 of my startup cost... in less than a week!! That seems like a great place to be in with this business. Also...
If you want to be a bit more thrifty like my husband, you can cut out some things that we've discovered aren't quite necessary and save. If you go back and add his numbers up, you'll see that to get his business going he spent about $844.75, which is a HUGE Savings over my business start up of about $682, wow!!
As an even bigger benefit, as I mentioned my stamp that was included in the NNA's package STILL HASNT ARRIVED, we're weeks after I ordered it and of course I can't go do any signings without it! My husband's stamp which was less than half the cost of mine arrived in 6 days, and he ALREADY GOT HIS FIRST SIGNING!
His stamp arrived which was the last supply that he needed, he registered for his first loan signing service, and the very next day got an offer for a signing, and made $100! He's well on his way to paying back all the expenses he had to get his business off the ground.
Ready to Go!
With that, we have all the supplies needed to get out there and actually start signing and actually start bringing money in! At this point you can start creating a profile for all the loan signing service companies that actually hire notary signing agents to complete the fieldwork for the escrow officers. When you have your profile up, with your supplies, your commission in hand and your background screening complete, your phone will start blowing up with text messages and emails for each signing service that you register for, and there are HUNDREDS of them.
So get these items and get out there and start being the entrepreneur you always dreamed of being!