The bail bond industry has seen tremendous growth in recent years, thanks to determined entrepreneurs, as well as public protection through various trade associations in the US. Given the risks involved, however, it’s crucial that every bond dealer understands the rules of the game, and employs the best practices to ensure success.
Below are some effective tips to managing your bail bond clients:
Choosing the right software
Bond dealing is easy when you only have a few clients. But, as your business grows, you’ll need an organized system to help you manage activities such as writing and tracking bonds, tracking court dates, monitoring arrest records and accounting. The many bail-specific systems available can make it hard to choose which is best for your operation. Nevertheless, knowing what to look for will help you to examine the software correctly.
Among the factors to consider before buying bond management software include:
- The company’s longevity – The age of the software company is a good indication of whether they’ll be around for the long run or leave you out to dry in a few years.
- User-friendliness – Software that’s easy to set up and use will save you time
- Customer support – The software provider should be able and willing to take your call and mitigate a problem anytime, day or night.
- Data security – Bail information is sensitive. The highest security standards are therefore needed for the protection of client data.
- Frequent updates – The software should be progressive to keep pace with the changes in the business landscape.
Credit card payment
Bail bond clients can make payments through various methods, all of which an agent must be willing to accommodate. However, credit cards have consistently proven to be the most convenient form of payment for both the client and the bond dealer.
While it’s reasonable to take commitment fee payment in cash depending on the nature of the case, credit cards can sign the client up for automatic monthly repayments, which make it easier to track the bond. Moreover, bond payment paperwork can be completed via email or fax, which eliminates the need for clients to come to the office.
Bond dealing is considered “high-risk” by banks, but thanks to third-party credit card processing companies like eMerchantBroker, your bail bond business can start accepting card payments from its clients.
Keeping tabs on clients while they clear their bail is among the bond dealer’s most important day jobs. To ensure clients conform with the terms of the bond agreement, you’ll need a plausible check-in system. Depending on the perceived risks, you can have a client check in every day, a few days each week or once a week.
Check-ins can be done physically, over the phone or through a website. Although not a form of having a client check in, GPS can also be a useful tool to monitor their whereabouts. You can require your highest-risk clients to wear an ankle bracelet for real-time monitoring.
In addition to protecting your money, a check-in system acts as a quick alert measure in case a client decides to flee.
Bond dealing has its strings, but the right strategy is all you need to make it a lucrative operation.