Gentlemanly wisdom from a veteran bail bondsman and recovery agent: When subcontracting, treat your colleagues with respect.
As more and more states are codifying their statutes for regulating the fugitive recovery industry, networking with agents in different regions will likely prove not just cost effective, but a requirement for us to travel into other states to retrieve bail absconders.
I’ve used the services of many people from coast to coast and border to border and have always tried to maintain a good reputation while doing so. As someone who believes in networking as both good policy and the best way to comply with these new laws, I thought I’d pass on a few thoughts on contracting for services. While these are my own personal beliefs based on years of experience, I hope you’ll find my suggestions useful in your interactions with other agents.
Pay fairly and promptly.
Never allow your personal or professional reputation to be besmirched over matters of money. Ask a fair price for your services and pay a fair price when contracting the services of another agent. Always pay upon the completion of the contract— in cash would be preferable—but if the contracted agent agrees to accept a check, never write a check that can’t be cashed immediately. Remember, you are the one who asked for and accepted their help. The responsibility to pay is yours and not the bonding company, the indemnitor, or any other third party.
Don’t badmouth the guy you hired.
Never denigrate the services of people you contracted. You asked for their help. As the agent in charge of the case, you reserve the responsibility to terminate their involvement at any time; but you should never badmouth them, especially if they helped you complete your assignment successfully. They are not there to be the primary agent. You hired them to assist you.
Whenever possible, you should give the contracted agent as much advance notice as possible that you will be in their area and might need their assistance. Last-minute requests are usually a sign of poor planning and do not speak well of your professionalism.
Don’t crown yourself king.
Avoid giving yourself titles of little or no meaning. Do not refer to yourself as an elevated rank or title as it is considered by many old hands to be an indicator of a wannabe or rookie. If your name alone isn’t sufficient to command the respect that you think you deserve, work harder to establish your reputation instead of arbitrarily designating yourself as a “special” anything, or CEO, or any other ridiculous title.
Be a considerate host and guest.
You should always be respectful of local agents when you come into their territory. They most likely have more knowledge of the local environment than you do and will probably be more helpful if you do not come off as a know-it-all.” When hosting another agent, either by invitation or circumstance, be a generous and gracious host. Buying a cup of coffee or dinner should be a given, especially if you’re imposing on their time. Being gracious will make it less of an imposition and will most likely lead to relationships that grow stronger with time and experience.
As the Good Book says, “A good name is to be more treasured than silver or gold.” If you adhere to the outline above and improve on it with your own practices, you’ll reap rewards well beyond the monetary. You’ll know that you never have to be embarrassed or see your reputation called into question.