Over the 10 years of training Notaries to become professional Notary Signing Agents, the one thing I found to be the most difficult for them is their first signing. This journey truly begins with their first step into a stranger’s home. People have certain expectations when someone enters their home such as their appearance, behavior, attitude and the professional assistance offered during the signing of their loan documents.
There are a few key items that have helped our graduates over the years to overcome their insecurity. These are all simple tasks but make a huge difference when beginning this new career.
- Dress appropriately and comfortably: This will make you feel good and boost your confidence.
- Be prepared: You must carry printed driving directions (just in case GPS fails), phone numbers, loan documents, notarial tools, necessary supplies, extra pens and always carry extra acknowledgements and jurats.
- Upon arrival: Park close to location but never in the driveway. Take a couple of deep breaths and get a feel for the area you are in.
- Upon ringing the bell put a nice friendly smile on your face.
- NUMBER ONE KEY….BE YOURSELF!!! If you try to be someone you are not, most people have a little alarm that goes off (often called our gut) and they are instantly distrustful of this stranger in their home. If they have a good feeling about you, they will trust you and your signing will go so much better!!
- Plan before you get there: How you will introduce yourself, how will you direct signers to sit at the table, how you will explain what will be happening during the signing process.
- Prepare a “Cheat Sheet” and hand one out to each signer with their name exactly as it is to be signed, as well as their initials and the correct date. Advise them to place in front of them while signing docs. This will eliminate the constant questions about how to sign or initial their name and asking you what the date is every time it is required.
- Place their borrower’s document copies under the set being signed so they do not have access to the copies until the signing has been completed. You do not want anyone distracted. It is crucial that you have their attention focused on the signing process.
- You will need to not only point to the information on the document but make sure that the signers are looking at the information along with you themselves. You do not want anyone to come back later and accuse you of providing them with any misinformation.
- Upon completion advise the signers that they are free to do whatever they need to around their home while you stay and double check the documents. Upon leaving their home move your car around the block and check the documents one more time. That way if something is incorrect you are near to their home and you can get it taken care of without having to drive.
Always book your appointments with enough time between each one to make sure you are on time. A very bad impression will be made if you are late to the signing. If you are running even as little as 5 minutes late, call and advise the signer(s) so they will not even for one-minute wonder where you are.