Notary Blog – Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice –

Notary Blog – Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice – Control Panel

May 5, 2016

The Flo-tary and the name your price tool special

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:22 pm

FLO: Have you heard about 123notary’s new mix and match special?

NOTARY: No I haven’t

FLO: Well, it’s really cool. You get to use the name your price tool.

NOTARY: But, I don’t want to spend anything.

FLO: I guess you’re out of luck. But, you have to pay to play.

NOTARY: I spent all my money on Christmas presents

FLO: Do those Christmas presents get you ahead in the Notary business?

NOTARY: No, but I got more experience signing things — especially using digital pads at the store.

FLO: I see. Well, maybe you should think about investing in what will help you in the future. The new mix and match allows you to get high places in as many counties you want. But, you get to choose with ones you want and at what placement.

NOTARY: Um… Maybe it would be easier if you gave me a quote.

FLO: Okay, I’ll just use the quote system over here. Uh-oh, there are those boring looking guys in the blue suits.

BORING GUYS IN BLUE SUITS: Hi, we’re the boring guys in the blue suits from that other Notary company. We also are having a mix and match special. Don’t listen to Flo. Try ours.

NOTARY: Well, how does yours work?

BORING GUYS IN BLUE SUITS: We’ll give you more zips.

NOTARY: But, does your site get any traffic.

BORING GUYS IN BLUE SUITS: Ummm, you get this free Christmas ornament if you buy from us.

FLO: Would you like to see the stats from their site?

BORING GUYS IN BLUE SUITS: Hmm, we have to go now. We’re late for a meeting.

NOTARY: So, let’s use the you name my price tool

FLO: Okay, all of the counties you have in the highest available placement for $200?

NOTARY: I’ll sleep on it.

FLO: You snooze you lose.

NOTARY: Gotta go. Tell the guys in the blue suits I said bye.

FLO: I’ll do that!


May 4, 2016

At 123notary, we treat you like you’d treat you

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 12:20 pm

NOTARY: I have an error on my commission

123NOTARY: Errors and omission?

NOTARY: My commission. My name is wrong with my commission?

123NOTARY: No problem, just ask the Lender if you can cross out and initial.

NOTARY: No, not on a loan signing on my commission

123NOTARY: Oh, your commission. Just use white out. Or actually, contact your state Notary division.

NOTARY: State Prison

123NOTARY: Notary division

NOTARY: Notary Prison

123NOTARY: I think we’re on the same page here.

NOTARY: Yes. But, I can’t notarize that page until I fix the error on my commission.

123NOTARY: No problem, the NNA sells great E&O insurance at affordable prices. Just contact them. We don’t get involved in that.

NOTARY: The National Medical Association? The NMA

123NOTARY: No, the NNA. The National Notary Association. They are a great spot for one stop shopping. They even have a hotline in case you have a question at a signing about a technical or notary law matter.

NOTARY: Got it — errors and omissions insurance.

123NOTARY: Yes, errors and commission insurance.

NOTARY: Errors and omissions.

123NOTARY: Errors and commission

NOTARY: I think we’re on the same page here. You know, calling you is just like me helping me, if I were you.

123NOTARY: And if you were me!

FLO: Now, that’s Progressive!


May 3, 2016

How to Chase Away Clients

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 3:01 am

How to Chase Away Clients
Through the years, by accident, inattention or just plain stupidity – I have chased away some clients. We all have. Miztakes are a normal part of the human existence. Show me someone who claims to never make mistakes; I will show you a delusional individual. Probably the most offensive mistakes are those resulting in a lack of judgment. The perpetrator knows what they are doing – it’s just that their “bright idea” is offensive to the recipient of their “wisdom”.

I will start out with the antics of a foolish notary that I personally know. And, know enough to avoid that one both personally and in business efforts. This klutz had the understanding that doctors often need notaries (true enough) to process their statements as to the health of a patient. Typically required for adoptions, this process is routine. Thus, the mentally inept one starts properly enough; by defining a market that has a recurring need. That’s good thinking make no mistake about this: fools can think clearly – they just draw the wrong action conclusions.

With the idea of filling the rather restricted cranial cavity, the notary proceeds to develop some advertising. Self praise is piled high, claims to be anywhere in moments, having the lowest fees in town and other nonsense that rambles on and on. What started out as a one page “flyer” morphs into a densely worded manifesto; with an astonishing 5 page length! With the masterpiece ready, self absorption and a lack of respect for others kicks in mightily.

Having the usual unlimited local calling plan, this proceeds to FAX the five pages of rubbish to every doctor, hospital, and clinic within 20 miles! Not bothering to keep records, it is sent multiple times (due to the way they listed their business) to an unfortunate, but now highly vocal few. Of course the ones who received it only once are also outraged. For the next few days the most common phrase in the medical community is “I got the same junk too”. Blacklisted!

The notary did what was thought to be good for the notary. Totally lacking was any consideration for the recipient. The notary quickly became very well known, but in a very negative way. That notary’s notoriety will last forever, possibly extending beyond medical. Mouse brain would have been better off mailing a pencil with an ad. That probably would not be very effective, but it would not create flaming animosity.

Yesterday, I visited, as requested one of my regulars. The location is about 5 minutes away. The owner immediately told me he forgot to reschedule; as the document had not arrived. It was due to arrive today. He told me that today, my second visit, my fee would be double; to pay for my efforts yesterday. I asked for, and received 1.5 of my regular fee; cutting the prior day in half. He asked why I was not accepting 2X my fee. Because it feels right, was my reply.

It’s easy to lose a client and hard to acquire one. That’s a Marketing 101 truism. To chase them away simply put yourself on their side of the transaction. Would you be happy or sad? Picture the humble = symbol. Is the deal = in benefit for both sides? Only a win win arrangement will result in repeat business. Some strive for >= (greater than equal), good for you; not so good for them. Charging $1000 for a 3AM emergency notarization might get the cash; to be followed by a lawsuit for price gouging. Follow your head and your heart, not just your wallet.


May 2, 2016

Not being 123notary certified = only getting 47% of the work you would have gotten.

Most Notaries claim they don’t “need” to be 123notary certified. They are already NNA certified or already know it all. Our certification is not to teach you anything. Our purpose is to verify that you are up to a particular level of knowledge. The people who use our site take our certification very seriously and they skip over people who don’t have it. In fact, those who are not certified only get 47% of the jobs they would have gotten if they were certified according to my number crunching.

If you are paying $100 for a listing, but only getting $47 of the value, that’s terrible, right? But, most Notaries on our site are in exactly this position. They pay every year, but some other Notary who pays the same that they do is getting more than double the jobs they pay. So, you’d think that the uncertified Notaries would wake up and just study and take a test. But, they rarely do. Most of them took it before and failed and just gave up. If you give up on our test, you’re giving up on getting work from good companies.

So, what is the solution? Study! If you study hard, you can do better the next time you take the test. A little studying won’t kill you. Plus, this is your career and you should take it seriously. Not knowing what you are doing not only doesn’t make sense, but is dangerous!


April 30, 2016

Should you study loan documents, or get a neck tattoo?

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 12:55 am

Notaries are by nature very short-sighted people. If business is good this month, then they assume that for the rest of their life that things will stay the same. Notaries get all bent out of shape when anything changes, because they want everything to be the same. The only changes they will accept are lower prices and higher income. But, even if you give them lower prices, they will still complain because, “why didn’t you give me a better price before?” The problem with this short-term way of thought is that the world doesn’t stay the same, and certain choices you make will help you or haunt you for the rest of your life or commission (whichever comes first.) Here is a tale of three Notaries and the choices they made. Forgive me if parts of it resemble a Jack in the Box commercial.

Should you get 123notary certified, take the next signing, or get a neck tattoo? It might seem like an obvious choice to you, but it was not to Jim.

Notary #1
Jim decided to get a neck tattoo. Sure, he had heard about the benefits of certification. But, he didn’t think he “needed” it because companies were hiring him. He didn’t grasp the concept of being hired more, or being possibly paid more. He only understood that he made enough money for the basic necessities such as: Putting food on the table, beer, and getting neck tattoos. His tattoo set him back $217.00. But, there’s more. Jim didn’t realize before he got his tattoo that his social life might be affected by his decision. He lost half of his friends due to his neck tattoo. But, on a brighter note, he gained some new friends who were more understanding of his decision. His new friends took him on a ride on their Harley and introduced him to new and exciting substances that Jim would never have found out about otherwise. Jim’s Notary business suffered because of his neck tatto as well. He lost 40% of his business which ended up costing him $5613.00 over the course of his first year in business. Maybe Jim’s decision was not the best, but who am I to judge?

Notary #2
Shelly wanted to get 123notary certified, but every time she wanted to study, something got in the way. A signing would be offered to her, or a birthday party. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to study. She realized certification would help her in the long run, but giving up a $90 signing seemed like a waste of income potential, and Shelly didn’t like to waste any opportunity. Years went by, but Shelly continued to stay busy.

Notary #3
Tammy had listened to what Jeremy had said on the phone.

Jeremy – “123notary certification doubles your jobs from your listing on on average. Results may vary from individual to individual though. If you get $317.00 more business per month as a result of your 123notary certification which is a reasonable estimate if you have a higher placed listing, over the course of 10 years, you would get $38,000 extra business. It might take you 10 hours to study for our certification exam. So, you could say that each hour of studying is worth $3800 in that case. Of the things that make you “too busy” to study for our test, which of them is worth $3800 per hour in long term revenue?”

Tammy – “Hmm, that is a really good point. I never thought about it like that. I believe in prioritizing. I am going to put everything on the side and study right now!”

A week later, Tammy had passed our exam and was getting more business! But, 10 years later Tammy met Jim at a bar. Jim explained how he had lost everything. Nobody wanted to hire him, his friends had all died of overdoses and motorcycle crashes, and his life was horrible. Shelly happened to show up at the bar and explained how business had taken a sudden downturn. Instead of studying and actually trying to know something, she quit and got a job. Meanwhile, Tammy had gotten Elite certified by 123notary, bought five top spots, and was making 100K+ per year at her Notary business. Of the three, it is clear the education wins the game and Tammy prioritized her time and strategized!


April 29, 2016

Notary Amusement Park

Filed under: Virtual Comedy Themes — admin @ 7:36 am

Have you ever been to Notary Land, or ever wanted to? Well, now is your chance to know all about it without leaving home, and without having to purchase a ticket.

The Stamp Room
The stamp room is a room filled with all types of stamps. Large stamps, small ones, microscopic stamps, and more. There are even stamp robots that walk around the room answering notorial questions. If they can’t answer a particular question, they are trained to call Siri.

The Embosser Wheel
Spin the embosser wheel and win a prize. The problem is that you have to sign for your prize and get that signature notarized. You can also throw a ball and knock over one of the stuffed notary seals. For Mexican Notaries with kids, you can get a Notary seal shaped pinata. When you bust the pinata open, you’ll get notary shaped chocolates falling out.

The jRobot
This robot is a Notary Public. It can do any Notary act better than most humans do. The problem is that it wasn’t programmed to laugh at jokes.

“You know a funny thing happened to me on the way over here today. I ran a yellow light and the guy right in front of me one lane over stopped next to me at the red light. He asked me why I didn’t run this red light too. I said I was saving this one for you”

“I find that statement highly illogical” (in a monotone)

The Hall of Notaries
Then enter the hall of notaries where you can see famous notaries from different states who lived throughout the ages. You can see their achievements, and see where a few of them went wrong. Learn about the Virginia Notary who was investigated by the FBI for notarizing a terrorist with a stolen or faked ID here. Also, you can learn about the first American Notaries who helped the founding fathers get the Declaration of Independence notarized. You might not know this, but the notary for that signing was actually late to his appointment because he double booked, and then got stuck in traffic behind a really wide ox-cart.

Mickey Mouse Notarizations
Tired of dealing with Mickey Mouse Notaries who don’t know what they are doing? Well, at our amusement park, you can get a Mickey Mouse Notary from someone who does know what they are doing — and in a high pitched voice too. He will check your ID, make you sign a fur coated journal, and stamp your document. Just don’t be upset when you find out his fur boots are shaped like Notary seals.

The Gift Shop
Get Notary T-shirts at the Notary gift shop. Some shirts have notary seals, others say, “I love 123notary.” There is another that says, “At 123notary, you’re more than just a number, but we’re not.” For women they have a t-shirt that says, “I love being a Notary.” And another that says, “I’m not your husband’s mistress, I’m the Notary.” You can also get Notary seal souvenirs, Notary chocolates with huckleberry filling, and Notary magnets for your fridge.

Finish it off with some funnel cake
Most amusement parks have funnel cake. But, can they make the cake look like a signature? At the Notary amusement park they can! You can get it with bananas, blueberries, strawberries, whipped cream and cinnamon.


April 28, 2016

Waiting for Santa on a Christmas Signing & two other stories

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 7:22 am

A signing from Christmas past
Well, in this story, Santa had already came. The Notary was at the signer’s house waiting for the signers. The Notary had a list and knew if the signers had been good or bad. The reality was that the couple signing was flying in from another city and were stuck at the airport. They asked the Notary if he could wait for them to get home. The Notary foolishly agreed.

Now, if I were the Notary, I would only have agreed if the borrower’s could have called their neighbors and had me in for some glugg. I don’t even know what that is, but Swedish people drink it for Christmas. Eggnog would do the trick too. In any case, the Notary waited for a really long time. By the time the signers got home and signed the loan, five hours had gone by. Fortunately the signing was in California where it is not that cold. I think the Notary could have added to the drama by parking a fake sleigh in the front lawn.

Drunk and disorderly borrowers
I had a situation come up during one of my notary signings where I didn’t want to do any notary signings for 6 months. I didn’t want to do any notary work at all as a result of this signing. I went to a house where I was in a really uncomfortable situation where everyone there was really drunk. I felt really threatened, and not safe. I walked into the home and immediately felt like leaving. The lending company that sent me had no idea about this family’s drinking situation when I called them afterwards to tell them what happened. All I know is that after this situation, I call the clients and really talk to them at length to get a feel for what they are like. I ask lots of questions. I get as much information as I can about the signing and about them. First impressions really count, and if you walk into a situation and your gut tells you to leave, LEAVE! Bail on the signing immediately if you don’t feel safe. I am more cautious now after that signing, and I think it’s really important to always be aware of your surroundings, the people you are with, to always have an exit strategy, and to not be afraid to immediately walk out if it doesn’t feel right!

They had gone to the same high school as my deceased son
I had a closing with a family at the end of last year in the city I live in that was very interesting and heartwarming. We talked a lot during the signing and found that we had a lot of similarities in common, including the fact that most of the family’s children had gone to the same high school as my deceased son. When the mother asked who my son was and I told her his name, she immediately started screaming and calling for her daughter. My son had died 5 years earlier in an accident. Her daughter was classmates with my son and knew him. So I spoke to the daughter and the mother and found out that the mother’s sister’s son had just died suddenly. They asked me if I would be willing to reach out to her and speak to her and help her through the grieving process because I knew what that was like. My heart hurt for them and so of course I said yes, and I did just that. We’ve all become friends since this signing, and I’m glad that I was able to help them in more ways than just being a notary.


April 27, 2016

Notarizing at a blind man’s home & other stories

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 7:21 am

The blind man
I got a call for a notarization at the home of a blind man who lived by himself. When I spoke to him, I asked if he had someone else that he’d like there to help him, and he said, “ Oh no, I’ll be fine.” so I showed up at the signing prepared. I read through the entire document out loud so that he could hear everything in it, and I just put his finger down where he was to sign. His mother had just died, and he was needing to notarize documents so that he could acquire his home. I was quite impressed with his independence and capabilities of living alone. I decided to do the signing as a public service, and I was so happy to help him.

I once had a signing done on two tree trunks outside. The house was so dirty he was too embarrassed to have me go inside. So he insisted on doing it outside. Luckily it was a sunny day with no sign of rain!

Woman’s Jail
I had a really difficult signing to do at the women’s jail. When I got to the facility, the sheriff met me, and took me to a young Latina woman who was signing her life to her child. Her two year old was living with family members, and to make matters trickier, she was pregnant while in jail. It was really heartbreaking to see what was happening to her and her family.

Another time when I was at the same women’s facility, I had a signing involving a woman who had been in the US since she was 6 months old from Mexico. She was now in her 40’s and had gotten in trouble with drugs and was about to be deported because she was an unregistered resident. Prior to her arrest, she happened to also win a large jackpot at a local casino, so her husband was trying to get access to the money to help get her out of jail and keep her in the US. When I arrived there, the husband met me with her id, and the guards were being really awful. They made us wait a really long time before we were able to see her. Her husband was beside himself and was desperate to help her. The release of the jackpot money was in her name and her mother’s name, and the casino had been holding it, so he wanted it to be released to him so that he could hire a lawyer. Unfortunately he stiffed me my signing fee so I never heard from him or about what had ended up happening.

The retired general
I had a signing once with a retired general. He was sharp in mind, but tired, ill, and in a diaper. The entire 90 page document signing was an effort so I told him that I would dance for him if he got bored, which he chuckled at. I felt bad that he had to do the signing since he was so ill, but I did my best to cheer him up and help him get through it quickly so that he could rest.

I had an unusual signing in a house once where the wife was downstairs, and the husband was upstairs and they didn’t want to sit together in one location to get it done. So I got the wife to sign everything first, and then went upstairs and had the husband sign afterwards. The husband had a frightening looking cantaloupe sized boil on his right hand that looked super painful. I had to sterilize everything afterwards after the signing!


April 26, 2016

The Signature Name Affidavit

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 2:59 am

The Signature/Name Affidavit
It is most likely that you are not processing this simple form properly. First, the good news; of all the forms in various loan packages this one is probably one of the most uniform. There really is little variation in how this form is structured. I will get to where most “go wrong”; but first a bit about the purpose and structure of the SNA.

The package comes from many sources. There are bank docs, title docs, escrow docs and perhaps some from other sources. It’s a virtual certainty that the borrower name will have some slight variation on documents. Of course the key name is the one on the ID and that is the name that you will notarize; we all know that. But, how about the name variations present in the package? This form is used to state, under oath, that the affiant is “also” known as. It’s a one way form. It can only be used to add variations to the notarized name as proven. It cannot be used to “prove”, for notarization purposes a name that does not match the ID presented.

The first entry is the legal name, which I define as what is on the ID. Thus, if the middle name is on that line it must be on the ID. If, for example the middle name is NOT on the ID, it should be redacted from the top line (proven name only) and that name “demoted” to an “also known as” line in the second area. Yes, the 3 part name is their legal name, BUT – as it was not proven to me I cannot notarize it. If the ID has only the middle initial, that is the “first line” entry. They can “acquire” the middle name in full as an “also known as” in a subsequent entry.

All subsequent entries (AKAs) should include variations, including but not limited to maiden names. The most common variations are the inclusion and omission of middle initials. One approach to completing the form is to keep it on the table while processing other documents. Add to the AKA section each name variation as noticed. Ask the borrower to print and sign the AKA in parallel to processing the bulk of the package. The printed name on the left will have the variation; usually the “matching” signature on the right will be the same for each entry.

The SNA can be used in court, along with a handwriting expert; to determine a signature is authentic on a document. As the signatures were witnessed by a notary, they can be accepted as valid when comparing to a different document. For this reason it’s a good practice to N/A any unused AKA lines; so subsequent names / signatures cannot be added; do you do that?

At the start of this entry I said you probably are not processing this properly, now to prove that statement. After the AKAs there is usually a statement “and that (usually filled in with the preprinted AKA(s)) are one and the same person”. However, you probably added one or more names to the AKA entries, and had the borrower sign on the right. What you might be overlooking is the need to ALSO put the added AKAs to the statement at the bottom! Take a look at an AKA form; there is a reason that they left plenty of room. That section is often overlooked!

It’s a signing, not a closing for most of us. We are there to collect signatures and initials. It’s rare for ALL the docs to have precisely the same name; rarer still for that name to be exactly what is on the presented ID. Proper completion of the SNA is mandatory, and avoiding a redraw will mark you as both a hero and a skilled professional. But don’t go overboard; adding your own SNA is probably not a good idea. If you need one and it was not supplied, call for “what to do”!


April 25, 2016

123notary’s comprehensive guide to getting reviews

Filed under: Popular on Linked In,Reviews — admin @ 2:52 am

To do well on 123notary, you need our certification (not someone else’s,) a good notes section on your profile, and a few good reviews. You don’t need a million reviews (although Ken in NYC thinks he does and has close to a million now.) But, at least one solid review every quarter will keep you far ahead of the game. The catch is how to get reviews, how to ask for them, who to ask, when, and what else to do? Here are some pointers, and then the articles listed below will keep you entertained for the rest of the evening!

1. Get a new review at least once per quarter.
You don’t need a new review every week, just once every few months. This will keep you ahead of the competition in most cases, or at least not far behind if you live where the real review sharks are. Ken has over 400 reviews now, so competing with him will be impossible. But, doing your best will impress all.

2. Understand the 8% rule
Only 8% of people you ask will give you a review. You might have better luck if you deliver stellar service, show up on time, and offer to do extra at no cost. You get more by giving more without asking for return, so give to charity, help thy neighbor, and do extra for your Notary clients.

3. Only ask those who praise you
It is a waste of time to ask for reviews from those who didn’t like your work. Ask those who liked your work and ask right after they say how much they liked your work.

4. Individuals are easier to get reviews from than title & escrow or signing companies.
Signing companies and big companies that hire many Notaries are bombarded with requests for reviews. Yes, ask them, but don’t base your success at getting reviews on the big guys. You stand a 3% chance of getting a review. If this means you should accept a few jobs from regular clients who just want an Affidavit notarized, it might be a good idea as reviews are life and death.

5. Email a link
It is difficult for people to maneouver 123notary. There are too many pages, and too much going on. Make their life simple and email a link to your review page. Ask for their email and send a link. If they can’t find the review page, they won’t write a review.

6. Don’t get three reviews the same day
Many Notaries do this and it looks tacky. They get three reviews within hours of each other and then no reviews for years. If you ask a list of people for reviews, then spread it out over time. If we think your reviews are fake or that you posted them yourself, you are in trouble!

7. Old reviews lose their steam
If you have all of your reviews from 2012, and no new ones, you will get as much business as if you didn’t have any reviews. Keep your reviews current if you want to get business.

8. Five or Six reviews doubles your business!
What? Oh my God! Only five or six? That might mean asking eighty or so people. But, the benefits of these reviews will last for years. Imagine paying 123notary the same amount of money, but getting double the output from your listing, plus having more pride!

Review oriented articles you should read

5-6 reviews doubles your business!

Do you have reviews? Are they old?

Don’t ask for a review at the wrong time!

Testimonials about how good our review system is!

How to write an email to ask for a review

Ask but don’t beg for a review

Does a review from a title company count more?

He got 7 reviews the same day and I suspected fraud!

Removing a negative review for a Notary

People always believe what other people say about you

If movie reviews get up to four stars, why not Notary reviews?

Word of mouse is important

How many reviews makes a difference?

Fake reviews, how do I know they are fake?

Reviews from Title companies

Do signing company reviews get companies to pay?

Are all reviews created equal?

The technique — getting reviews

Tips for your notes section

I’m experienced and pay attention to detail

What to write in your notes section

You’re Unique — you don’t say (in your notes section)

10 quick changes to your notes that can double your calls!

Are you too factual or too personal?


Older Posts »