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March 13, 2017

Buzzwords to avoid in your notes section

Filed under: Your Notes Section — admin @ 7:19 am

Some Notaries have mastered the art of writing an amazing notes section while others resort to cheap imitations. Using the wrong buzz words can backfire on you and I have seen this happen many times. A good notes section is about being unique and informative and not about making baseless claims.

Responsible
Don’t be reponsible — whatever you do. Show that you are responsible, but don’t claim it. Make them say how responsible you are in your review page. You will get less clicks to your listing if you claim to be responsible.

Dependable
Claiming to be dependable is as bad as claiming to be responsible. Just don’t!

Error-Free
It sounds too good to be true if you have signed 2000 error-free signings. Even if you claim 99.5% accuracy, nobody will believe it. Save it for the birds. You can’t prove it.

Detail-Oriented
The most sloppy people write that they are detail-oriented in their notes. This claim almost works against you.

Punctual
Prove it to your customers, but don’t claim it in your notes. This word just takes up space.

Professional
It is not bad to claim to be professional, but it doesn’t make it true either. This is more of a neutral non-buzz word. It won’t help you.

Modest
We use the word modest in our tutorial. But, don’t boast of being modest. Just be modest — or don’t just be modes.

Experienced
This is a neutral word, but it takes up space. It is better to say how experienced. Number of years is not as useful as number of loans and what types of loans. Be specific about your experience.

Personable
It is good to be friendly, but you need to back this up with some professional experience as a waitress or customer service experience. Make it sound believable and something people can put their finger on.

Flexible Schedule
Tell us your hours instead of saying flexible. Be specific.

I have a mentor
If you have not signed any loans, but your mentor is an expert, tell us how we can contact your mentor to hire them instead of you. Please keep the notes section about you and what you do, will do or have done.

You might also like:

Clarifying vague claims in your notes section
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4675

How to write a notes section if you are a beginner
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16698

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February 27, 2017

What NOT to put at the top of your notes section

Filed under: Your Notes Section — admin @ 7:20 am

The battle to get our Notaries to fill in their notes section is huge. But, the next hurdle is to get people to put the right stuff. Smart Notaries read our blog articles on how to write a great notes section or see what other Notaries in high places are doing. But, most Notaries write very generic and poorly organized notes. Here are some things you should not put in your notes section, or at least not at the top.

I have been a Real Estate Agent for ten years.
People are hiring you as a Notary, and not a Realtor. If you want to mention low in your notes additional things about yourself as a “by the way” type of thing, then fine. But, don’t put this at the top of your notes or you won’t get clicks.

NNA Certified
Certifications are good, but NNA certification doesn’t help so much on 123notary. Our certification helps on our site. You can mention NNA certification near the bottom of your notes where you talk about your E&O, and other background information.

Background Screened
Once again, this goes in your additional info section lower in your notes section.

I am dependable and responsible
The worst Notaries start their notes section with these meaningless adjectives. All Notaries consider themselves to be responsible, but when people hire them, it’s a different story. Responsible Notaries describe themselves and their skillsets WITHOUT using the word responsible.

I will keep your information confidential
That is as useful as to promise not to kill the borrower’s dog. People take for granted you won’t share their information with others as that could be considered criminal or grossly inconsiderate.

I’m flexible
How flexible? People who are open 9-5 claim to be flexible. The word means nothing. Give hours, not vagueness.

Repeating your name
The top of your notes section shows up on the search results page. People already know your name. They need to know your skills.

I am an experienced Notary Signing Agent
How much experience? Give specifics not wishy-washy statements.

Areas Covered
Put this near the bottom of your notes, not at the top. People want to know what you can do before they know where you can do it.

I understand I am representing you and your reputation
If you want to ramble on and on about wishy-washy understandings, do this low in your notes section in the section where you talk about your personal style.

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January 16, 2017

Notary Notes Makeover…

Filed under: Your Notes Section — Tags: , — admin @ 12:10 am

BEFORE
With over thirteen years of experience as a certified notary signing agent, exceptional customer service, attention to detail, reliability and professionalism are what you can expect. With thousands of loans signed, I guarantee a flawless mortgage loan closing from start to finish. Conveniently based in Long Beach, I cover both Los Angeles and Orange Counties. I have extensive experience with both commercial and residential loans in the areas of e-documents, purchases, refinances, helocs, second mortgages, piggybacks, and reverse mortgages. All notarizations for living trusts, apostilles, medical records, title transfers, foreign adoptions, prenuptial agreements, and power of attorney documents will be completed promptly and efficiently. I am fully GLBA compliant and background screened. For premier mobile notary services, give me a call to get started!

AFTER
13 years signing agent experience; 1000+ loans signed;

I have extensive experience with both commercial and residential loans in the areas of e-documents, purchases, refinances, helocs, second mortgages, piggybacks, and reverse mortgages.

All notarizations for living trusts, apostilles, medical records, title transfers, foreign adoptions, prenuptial agreements, and power of attorney documents will be completed promptly and efficiently.

I guarantee a flawless mortgage loan closing from start to finish. Excellent customer service, attention to detail, reliability and profesionalism are what you can expect. For premier mobile notary services, give me a call to get started!

NNA Certified
NNA Background Screened
High Speed 3-Tray Printer (65 pages / minute)

I cover Los Angeles & Orange Counties with an emphasis on the Long Beach area.
Thanks for visiting my listing on 123notary!

NOTE
The way I normally try to organize notes has a particular structure. First of all, information is separated into paragraphs. The top has punch points which are quick points that have a strong selling feature. An unusual service like Weddings, or a high amount of loans signed, jail or hospital signings might go on top. Last minute signings or a wide radius are also good and quick pieces of information to put on top.

After that, I like to talk about experience. Many Notaries bury their valuable experience under inexpensive claims of how “reliable” and “professional” they are. The least professional Notaries stress how professional they are, so why cheapen yourself by emphasizing what makes you look like a chump? A list of loan types, document types, or who you are on the white glove list with really helps a lot. That way people know what you are capable of.

Next, a note about your personal style or what is unique to you is good. This is where you talk about how you put the customers at ease and triple check your work.

Bullet points come next with certifications, equipment, the fact you have an MBA, etc. Bullet points should be two to six words long otherwise they won’t look good as bullet points.

Coverage area comes near the bottom and try to make it easy to read without too much rambling. Try to avoid a long list of zip codes. A final note can come at the bottom .

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November 16, 2016

Examples of great notes sections

Filed under: Popular on Facebook (shares),Your Notes Section — Tags: — admin @ 11:14 pm

Here are some notes sections that I feel are the best. If you stumbled upon a great notes section, you can recommend that I add it to the list as well. A good notes section is key to successful notary advertising!
To view these listings, just visit

http://www.123notary.com/notary-search.asp
And look up by n#

Thorough & Organized
22903
16383
15321
9639
22459
21162
18467
5745
4559
17098
7933
9741 Saliva Tests
1692

Short & Sweet
26885
922
1015
40077
37695

Good References & Lists of Capabilities
7557
8210
4952
21188
1585
1970
28750
28369
4544

Unusual
40770
15651
12886 Sand Ceremony
15651

More
7904
19734
7134
13404
9414
3325
22417
3639

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August 15, 2016

Do you ask for help with your notes or just neglect it?

Most Notaries do not do much with their notes section. Most either write nothing, a one liner, or a jumbled paragraph. The jumblers put all of their facts about their counties, E&O, loans they are familiar with, equipment, and personal style in one large hard to read jumbled paragraph. Don’t do this. Stay organized and put the unique information about you first. Also, try to avoid fluff about how great you are and stick to the facts without claiming how “reliable”, “responsible” and “boastful without verification” you are…

But, why not ask for help? You have seasoned experts here at 123notary just waiting to help you. Yet, so few Notaries ask for help. We can’t write your notes section for you, but we can edit it and remove the fluff, organize it, and break it into paragraphs. Asking for help might be the best thing you ever did, and it is free.

What do I put in my notes section?

Types of loans signed
Types of documents you’re familiar with
# of loans signed (NOT # of years)
Counties covered
Equipment
Miles of Radius
Last minute assignments?
Languages
About you — without all the reliable, responsible and accurate crap — and yes, it’s crap!
Professional memberships like the NNA, NotaryCafe, PAN, AAN, etc.
Signing Agent Certifications like Notary2Pro, NNA, etc.
Notary Background Screening
E&O Insurance — tell us how much you have
Professional Background especially if you have a Mortgage Background — be specific and don’t just say you were in the “legal industry” as they lends me to think you were the janitor or secretary in a law firm.
Anything else that is pertinent

So, that is how you start off. Write lots of notes, and then email us to check them for you. I’ll have tons of suggestions. And I’ll be very candid with you about what is fluff and what is good stuff!

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You might also like:

How to write a notes section if you are a beginner
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16698

Everything you need to know about writing a great notes section
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16074

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August 1, 2016

How often do you update your # of signings?

Many Notaries just don’t go into their listing often. They often say, “I’ll go in there.” But, how often do they really. When you login, it doesn’t count unless you either click the confirm link or change some info. Your number of signings changes daily, so that should be the first thing you change. Some Notaries have computer programs that track all of their signings. Others make an educated guess how many they’ve signed. The worst thing you can do as a Notary is to not know how many loans you’ve signed. When someone asks you, you say, “Gosh, I really don’t know.” That makes you look very unprofessional, doesn’t it? I wouldn’t hire a Notary who doesn’t take their trade seriously enough to have an estimate of how many loans they’ve signed.

So, I recommend going in every three or four months and tidying up your # of signings and brushing up your notes section a little bit. Paying attention is half of the game right there although Woody Allen claims that showing up is 80% of life.

You might also like:

What types of loans do you know how to sign?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16712

How to write a notes section if you are a beginner
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16698

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July 19, 2016

What types of loans do you know how to sign?

Please don’t say, “I sign them all.” Few Notaries really sign them all, so saying you sign them all makes it sound like you don’t know the names of all of the types of loans. If you are dressing up your Notary profile, it is recommended that you clearly state a list of the types of loans and/or documents that you are familiar with.

Loans
Refinances (1sts, 2nds, Piggy Backs, FHA, VA), Conventional, Commercial, Residential, Modifications, Debt Consolidations, Debt Settlements, Purchases, Cash Sales & Purchases, Reverse Mortgages, Applications, Annuities, Helocs, eSignings, Time Shares, and more… There might be more that I forgot to include, but those are the main ones.

Documents
Many other Notaries do I-9’s, Wills, Living Wills, Powers of Attorney, Affidavits, Auto Titles, Boat Titles, Permission for Minors to Travel, Contracts, and more.

The worst thing you can do is to claim that you have a good knowledge of the docs. That says nothing and sounds like baseless bragging. So, don’t be vague, and state the facts. Other facts about your service are helpful in you notes section.

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You might also like:

POA — Proceed on Alert
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14661

Can a Notary notarize a Will or Living Will?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7088

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July 11, 2016

How to write a notes section if you are a beginner

We wrote a similar article on this aspect of Notary advertising a few years ago. I think it was very helpful. But, let me structure this article as a quick tips article with itemized things to add to your notes section. The basic idea is that if you have no experience, you cannot talk about what you’ve already done. So, talk about what you are willing to do, where you go, or what training you have had.

Don’t write three paragraphs telling us how many years of experience your mentor has otherwise we’ll stop looking at your profile and start looking at your mentor’s profile. Remember, you are selling yourself, not your mentor.

Don’t write six paragraphs telling us about your Real Estate career as nobody is hiring you as a Realtor on 123notary.com. That is something to write a single line about LOWER in your notes.

Don’t waste space telling us how you respect the integrity of the transaction and how confidentiality of the transaction is of utmost importance. That tells us nothing except that you are claiming not to be a conman.

Don’t tell us how important it is to hire a Notary who is experienced and knowledgable. You think the browsers don’t already know this? They have hired tens of thousands of Notaries and are hiring Notaries daily. They know what is important, the question is, are you the kind of Notary they want?

Don’t write two paragraphs about how you are a new mom. People will assume that when they call you they’ll hear screaming in the background. Focus on Notary work.

Don’t use adjectives. people who claim to be reliable, responsible, experienced, professional, accurate, etc., are people who have nothing good to say about themselves who compensate by using a bunch of unverifiable claims about themselves which are usually not true. Experts who hire Notaries see through the nonsense faster than you can say, “skip my listing.” So, don’t use adjectives unless you can back them up with real information. So, what should you write about?

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BASICS

Basic information should go at the top of your notes section. If you bury the most critical information where nobody can find it, they won’t hire you. Pertinent knowledge, radius, and special services are what people need to know about first. Don’t bury this in a long paragraph about how wonderful you are!

Last Minute Signings — It is sometimes hard to find someone who accepts signings at the last minute. If you do, that really helps.

Hours — Letting the world know how early you start and how late you finish can really help.

Languages — Fluent in Thai? Let them know. There is more demand for Spanish and Vietnamese though based on word on the street. Also let us know if you are fluent, or only conversational. If you cannot get through a signing with your language, save us the trouble and don’t mention it.

Hospitals & Jails — Most Notaries aren’t experienced with these types of signings which are more demanding. Let people know if you do.

100 mile Radius — Most Notaries are wishy-washy about how far they go. They have three paragraphs of information about exceptions to the rule like if their coffee wasn’t good that morning, they won’t go too far into Morgan County, but if you pay extra they might consider Strantom County. Just list your radius and your counties without all of the hype please. Nobody has time for this.

Counties Covered — List as many counties as you can if you want to get lots of jobs. If you cover counties that nobody else does, even if it is a long drive, you might get a lot of new clients as a result.

Loans & Documents — List all types of documents or loans you know how to sign including types of loans. Most Notaries say they are familiar with most legal documents. This is vague. It is better to list the top several legal documents you see a lot of.

Catchy Phrase — Sometimes a catchy phrase about yourself, your business or service can win the game. Often it is a one-liner that is artfully phrased and catches people’s attention. Don’t bore them with fluff, dazzle them with class!

About You — What is unique about your service or about you that the reader might want to hear?

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EXPERIENCE

All of us have some type of experience. Mortgage and Escrow are the most valuable. Real Estate experience doesn’t translate into being a better Notary, and doesn’t make you that familiar with the documents despite what you may think or claim. However, you can mention it in a one liner. Mention other experience, but don’t write paragraphs on it. Keep it short. Military and Police experience are actually very helpful if you are a signer. That way you can keep the peace and use real bullet points in your notes sections!

Mortgage Experience — List any pertinent past experience, particularly if it is in Mortgage, Escrow, or Legal. Don’t be vague about the experience either. If you say you have experience in the legal industry we’ll assume you were a janitor or secretary. If you were a legal assistant, then say so.

Unrelated Experience — You can mention what you used to do for a living. It might be impressive if you were a bank president or dictator of a small country.

Military — If you were in the military, say so. That might prove that you are careful or on time.

Police — If you were in the police, that proves you know how to deal with difficult situations and crazy people. Mention it.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The bottom of your notes section should list all of your “other” information in an easy to read format. Some people use bullet points, and others just list it clearly so it is easy to read. Do NOT put this information in a long jumbled paragraph please.

Certifications — Are you NNA certified, Notary2Pro Certified? Say so

Memberships — Are you an NNA or AAN member? What about PAN or NotaryCafe? List all memberships.

E&O Insurance — Tell us how much you have. Some people only have $15,000 while some have a million.

Equipment— Is your printer a specific brand? Is it dual or triple tray? Does it print 200 pages per minute? Say so.

Closing Phrase — Thanks for visiting my profile on 123notary. I hope to hear from you soon. But, put it in your own words so it sounds a little more unique.

Uniqueness — Uniquess really counts. People who hire Notaries have read through thousands of profiles. If yours is unique and factual, you will stand out in a very positive way as most other people’s notes are jumbled, disorganized, and have no interesting information. Additionally, many of the others ramble on and on about how they value integrity which is a useless and unverifiable claim that is a waste of the readers time. If you waste the readers time, they are statistically less likely to use you. Give them unique and factual information and win the game. Many beginners do quite well on 123notary, especially those who express themselves well.

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You might also like:

How to write a notes section if you have no experience
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4173

What goes where in your notes?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1076

Everything you need to know about writing a great notes section
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16074

Unique Phrases from the Ninja Course
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14690

2014 Excerpts from great notes sections
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13613

2011 Excerpts from great notes sections
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1043

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June 6, 2016

Your jumbled or too short notes section is costing you 50% of your business

Notaries just don’t get it. They think that 123notary is a magic service. All they have to do is pay us some money and they will be rolling in jobs. They also have to follow our advice if they expect to get anywhere. Get reviews on your listing, pass our test, and for God’s sake, fill in your notes section. Below are some common problems with people’s notes sections.

1. Omitted
Many Notaries just don’t get around to filling in their notes or claim that they have nothing to say. Say something for God’s sake. Talk about your radius, professional background, types of documents or loans you are familiar with, or your personal style doing business.

2. Jumbled
Most Notaries write a long paragraph that includes their name, equipment, a few adjectives about how great they are, hours, counties and anything else they can think of. This is a disorganized mess and it means that your brain is a disorganized mess. Clean up your act and divide your notes section into logical paragraphs and keep it easy to read and formatted in an attractive way.

3. Fluff
Most Notaries tell you lots of fluff about themself that any other Notary would claim. Claiming it doesn’t make it true, and those reading your notes are tired of seeing the same old claims thousands of times in a row only to find out that the claims are very rarely true. I am professional, reliable, responsible, accurate, etc. are claims that won’t get you anywhere. Being experienced helps, but reliable counts against you. The most unreliable and unskilled Notaries are the first ones to claim to be reliable — think about that. Notaries that actually have merit talk about specific types of loans they sign, specific Title companies they are on the white glove list for, and specifics about what they do to get your job done. Facts — not fluff please unless you are in the pillow business!

4. TMI
Too much information can also be bad. If you are experienced with two hundred types of documents, it might not be a good idea to list them all. I would not list more than twenty, unless you have a link to your web site where you can list them all. Listing 500 zip codes also creates a mess on your profile and on my site. Please don’t do this. Keep the right amount of information and keep it straight.

5. Misinformation
Some people claim to speak Spanish when in fact they cannot get through a loan in Spanish. If you claim to know a language and put it in the language box, do NOT do so unless you know enough to get through a signing. This will involve understanding a lot of Mortgage and Legal terms which are not always known to the layperson, and you might not know from hanging out with Aunty Consuela who talks to you in Spanish about issues concerning daily life, your kids, your husband, your cooking (and how you added too much salt yesterday,) etc.

6. Omissions of quick & good content
Popular things to add that are typically not added in notes sections include:
Radius — those reading your profile would lose to know your radius.
Last minute assignments — since many are looking for you to jump and run, saying up top that you do last minute is good.
Equipment — Don’t write a novel on this, but some quick pointers on what you have might help.
Languages — Add this
Loan Types — a comprehensive list of loan types helps a lot. Don’t leave any out.

7. Rambling
Going on and on about how you put the client first and how you keep things confidential and you value professionalism to the utmost is using lots of words to say basically nothing. Be informative in what you say, and make sure the reader can put their finger on what you really mean rather than just rambling.

8. Education
You can mention all of the agencies you are certified by or background screened. Any designation is good. The more the merrier.

9. Keep your notes updated regularly
We keep track of how often you update your notes. Many people have had the same information for five years and we don’t like that. Login and brush things up from time to time.

10. Mistakes
Don’t make spelling mistakes as people will refuse to hire you based on that. Title companies assume that if you make a spelling mistake you will also make a mistake with their loan which is a reasonable assumption.

11. Ask for help
We help people with their notes. We make quick commentaries and can tidy things up. We can’t write it for you, but we can rearrange your notes or clean them up.

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You might also like:

How to write a notes section if you are a beginner
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16698

2014 excerpts from great notes sections
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13613

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March 7, 2016

Notary Notes — the date of your background screening

It is important to get background screened these days. Who you get background screened by matters too. We have heard that the NNA and Sterling background screenings are the most popular with Title companies. But, getting background screened and showing it to the world are two separate things.

123notary has a notes section on the bottom of every listing where Notaries can write about themselves and their qualifications. If they are knowledgeable about various types of loans, they can indicate that in their notes section. Most Notaries indicate that they have been background screened if they purchased that service. However, few Notaries mention the date they were background screened. Remember, background screening is like milk and bananas. They expire. If you don’t know when the issue date of the screening was you won’t know when it expires. Personally, I feel that one year is too short of a period to have to be re-screened. I would prefer if the Notaries could wear a t-shirt explaining their background screening situation with a note at the bottom that says —

“Best if used before 2-28-2017.”

Indicate the issue date of your background screening in your 123notary profile!

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You might also like:

Do you have to be a CSS to get work these days?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8914

Is having an NNA background check necessary to get work?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10385

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