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March 27, 2019

Snapdocs… racially disproportionate

Filed under: Marketing Articles,Popular on Twitter — Tags: — admin @ 10:26 am

Have you ever noticed on Snapdocs, that in New York, Maryland and down South it is 80% black? America is 14% black, the signing agent profession, more like 20%, but in South Carolina on SnapDocs more like 85%. It is just very interesting how disproportionate this industry can be. All I have to say is, “Who’s the minority now?”

This is not a reality through any doing of Snapdocs. They are just doing their job allowing nature to take its course. And there is nothing wrong with this disparity unless you are scalping tickets for an Elton John concert in which case you might have trouble. But, what if you were wearing an “I voted for Trump” shirt? Then, you would start having even more problems unless those people are part of the 8% who voted for Trump. Obama talked about the top 1%, but with Trump, it’s the 8%. Jokes aside, I find this disproportionate search result to be very interesting.

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Snapdocs — when the texts stop
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21163

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March 9, 2019

Why You Shouldn’t Use an Online Notary

Here we cover six important reasons for NOT using an online notary public.

We’re living in an era driven by technological advancements. Today, people are willing to use YouTube as a babysitter and tablets as their kids’ companions. Be it engaging games, interactive tools for education or workflow productivity, technology always lends a helping hand but this gives rise to a few questions: Does technology really help us? Does technology need to disrupt everything? How deep into our personal affairs should we let technology creep?

Here we cover six important reasons for NOT using an online notary public:

Far Less Secure than In-Person
Lack of personal appearance defeats the purpose of notarization. Period. How can a notary properly identify someone in the world of AI when they appear on a computer screen? Audio/Video can be made from anywhere through any means. As I write this article, I did a simple Google search for “video overlay app” and about 152 Million results popped up with detailed instructions.

Huge Potential for Fraud
Here’s the dirty secret that online notaries don’t want you to know. Online notary companies require you to upload a copy of your documents so that they can place their seal on them, you then download your “notarized” documents and print them out. But guess what? A copy of your most important legal documents are now somewhere on the online notary’s datacenter just waiting for a hacker to harvest them. And we all hear the same news story almost weekly, “XYC Company has had their data breached and millions of users data was compromised.” What if you were named the beneficiary in your late relatives estate documents that were notarized by an online notary, but all of a sudden, someone else shows up in court with a copy of those same documents but with their name on them as the beneficiary?!?!

Huge Potential for Identity Theft
Internet security is another big one. If you don’t have huge secure data servers processing the data you’re uploading to the online notary, your personal information (ie. your ID credentials and documents) are being thrown out onto the World Wide Web without recourse. Once that data is internet bound, there is no coming back from a potential cyber attack.

It Costs More
In the State of California, notaries may charge a fee of $15 per signature notarized. Online notaries charge almost twice that at $25 per signature notarized. If you have multiple documents with multiple signers, you’re going to spend a whole lot more with an online notary than with a local notary whom you actually get to meet in person and shake hands with. “Shop Local” also applies to notaries.

You Might Need a Do-Over
The receiving party may not accept an out of state notary seal. A little known fact is that it’s up to the receiving party to decide if they will accept the notarization or not. Online notaries only exist in VA, TX and NV at the moment and the receiving party doesn’t have to accept an out of state seal, particularly if the receiving party is a state government agency. You’ll then need to spend more money getting your document re-notarized by a local notary in your home state.

Unemployment
How are local notaries supposed to make a living? Currently there are approximately 164,000 notaries in California. Now, we have a huge corporate company coming into CA (with the infrastructure already in place) and swallowing up notary jobs leaving thousands out of work. Imagine how hard it will be to find a notary if notaries have been replaced by an app but you can’t get an internet connection!

Conclusion
Technology has brought radical changes to our lives. But, we will end up having more disadvantages than advantages if our society overuses technology. What’s your take on this? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

Author: Matt G Miller
Contributing Writer: Kyle Eisenberg
I was given permission to publish this article by Matt Miller although it looks like it had already been published on his personal blog.

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February 27, 2019

Notary Public Journal

NOTARY JOURNALS

Not all states require maintaning an official journal of Notarial acts, but 123notary requires it as that is the only evidence you have should you go to court or get investigated. There are identity thieves and cons all over the place. They might pretend to be a home owner to steal that person’s equity or con grandma into giving her fortune away to some crooks. If your notarization ever winds up to court, your journal is the only record of what happened and who signed what, etc. Most Notaries think keeping a journal is an annoying task that they do because their state requires it. It is the same attitude that children have towards doing their homework at age seven. But, your journal can save your neck, and I know many whose hides have been saved who ended up in court.

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ONE JOURNAL ENTRY PER PERSON PER DOCUMENT

Most Notaries think that you create one entry for each signer and then cram in the names of all of the documents you are notarizing in that transaction. This is a very sloppy practice. If you pick up five packages from FedEx, do you sign once or do you sign five times, each for a particular tracking number? If you keep one journal entry per person per document, then you have a signature proving consent to be notarized for each document you notarize. Additionally, you must name the particular and complete name of each document, and not just say “loan docs.”

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INFORMATION

In your Notary Public Journal, you need to record the:

Full name of the document, not an abbreviation.

Date & Time of Notarization – Just consult your iPhone for this one.

Type of Notary Act – This might be Acknowledgment, Jurat, Oath, Affirmation, or another Notary act allowed in your state.

Document Date — many documents have a document date inscribed within that is an arbitrary date created by the document drafter. It could be the date the document was drafted, or the date it was intended to be signed, or a random arbitrary date.

Name & Address of Signer – Write down the name as it appears in the identification card.

Identification – Record the serial number, state and expiration date of the identification card.

Other distinguishing factors — if you are signing multiple documents with the same name such as Deeds of Trust, Grant Deeds, etc., you need to differentiate them somehow. Escrow numbers, names of grantors, grantees, APN numbers, property addresses, number of pages, or anything else can help identify a document after the fact in case you end up in court.

Signatures — each line of your journal needs to be signed by the corresponding person. If John and Sally are each signing three notarized documents, then John gets entry 1, 2, and 3 while sally gets 4, 5, and 6. Each signer must sign their three entries otherwise the entries are meaningless.

Thumbprints — I am skipping mentioning more about the other things that belong in a journal as most Notaries get it, however, few Notaries keep thumbprints. Your journal thumbprint is the one piece of evidence the FBI will ask for when they come knocking on your front door. Additionally, it discourages fraud as fraudulent people do not want to be thumbprinted.

Other Information — Although I am skipping elaborating about the other journal fields, I will make a quick note about the additional information section in a journal. That leaves space for information about credible witnesses, subscribing witnesses, unusual facts about the signers, the location, or the circumstances in which you are signing. If the signer claims that they are being kidnapped, write that down in the additional information section of your journal, then call the police. If the signer has a weird neck tattoo, you might need to remember that in court. Put it in your journal. The judge will think you are a very thorough Notary.

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FINAL NOTE

The purpose of journals is not only to please your state’s Secretary of State, but also to please judges, attorneys, investigators and FBI agents. Keeping a clean, correct and thorough journal will make a positive impression on the authorities and could keep you from being named as a suspect if God forbid you ever unknowingly Notarize an identity thief, fraud, or otherwise bad person. Notaries don’t get in trouble that often, but for those who make a career out of being a Notary, eventually you will be investigated at least once and perhaps end up in court, so keep your paperwork in order so the investigation is fast and smooth. Otherwise you might end up in court for a very long time — no joke! Roughly 1/7 of the Notaries on our site have had to spend time in court due to something that they notarized.

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December 16, 2018

Beginner Notaries 103 — What beginners need to know

Filed under: Popular on Twitter,Technical & Legal — admin @ 12:44 pm

Return to Table of Contents – Beginner Notaries 103

As a beginner Notary, there is a lot you need to know. Many things that experienced Notaries take for granted might take you a year or two to find out. Here are some quick pointers that might be valuable.

1. Your Listing’s Performance.
Listings on 123notary for new Notaries can give you miracle performance. However, no matter how much you pay for a listing on 123notary, the listing will not perform well unless you have a good notes section, reviews, and it helps a lot if you are 123notary certified (especially for newer Notaries.)

2. Your Profile’s Notes Section
Listings that lack a good notes section typically get ignored as that is the first piece of information that companies look for when they are hiring. If your notes are blank, short, or incomplete, your incoming phone log from companies will be equally blank. People want to get a sense of who you are, your professional background, and your skills before they invest in a phone call. Additionally, notes sections with spelling or grammar mistakes will be a huge issue for title companies who will bypass you if they have any cause for concern. 123notary’s blog has an entire section on how to write a great notes section with dozens of unique articles.

3. Notary Reviews
Reviews are your ticket to success. Never mind how great you say you are, talk is cheap if you are complimenting yourself. But, what your customers, especially title companies say about you really matters to those thinking of hiring you. 123notary has many articles about how to get reviews, so I suggest becoming an expert on the topic.

4. Reading Suggestions
Notaries should ideally read Notary blogs, forums, visit the NNA & 123notary Facebook groups (but not the private groups), newsletters, courses, handbooks, and anything else that could be considered helpful. Getting Notary advice from semi-unemployed Notaries who frequent Facebook is a very poor idea. Get your official Notary advice only from your state Notary division and no other source otherwise you might be very sorry.

Smart Notaries and dumb notaries alike realize that they need to spend time reading to keep up. Smart Notaries get courses from helpful companies and improve their skill sets. Smart Notaries also read what other Notaries say about various signing companies as some signing companies are not the best bet to work for. Dumb Notaries spend their time gossiping with other disgruntled Notaries on various private Facebook groups that generally engage in a lot of complaining and bashing. These dumb Notaries are also dumb enough to get Notary advice from Notaries on these groups who don’t know what they are doing. It is a perfect example of what Jesus said about the blind leading the blind. Get your notary advice from your state notary division. If you get any notary advice from any other source, cross check it with your state. We teach general notary concepts here at 123notary, but we cannot say with any certainty of our principles apply to your state.

5. Experience Counts
Signing and especially Title companies typically do not want to hire someone with less than two years of experience unless they are confident about that person’s knowledge. If you have an escrow background or are certified by 123notary, that will help compensate for your lack of experience. Knowing your documents inside out will help as well which would be a side effect of our certification.

6. Low-Ball Signing Companies
Companies that hire newer signing agents are generally not fun to work for. They require fax backs, micromanage, pay poorly and might nag you a lot. They have to, otherwise they would not be able to hire beginners and provide a high level of accuracy to their clients. So, expect to be treated like a child. Once you get some experience under your belt, you might be able to start accumulating title company clients little by little. On our blog we publish a list of companies that will hire beginners. You should talk to every company on that list.

7. Getting Title Company Work
Migrating from signing companies to working for title companies (who usually pay more, but how much more depends on how the industry is doing) is something people do as they gain experience, knowledge and skill. However, most Notaries cannot work purely for title companies after two years. It sometimes takes many more years before all of your clients are high paying wonderful clients who you love working for. So, there will be a lot of paying your dues.

8. Notary Etiquette
Most Notaries do not have good phone answering skills, nor do they have good communication skills. Having good Notary etiquette and good business skills can help you succeed. If your business skills are not completely up to par, it might be good to read our articles about etiquette and brush up. Answering the phone stating your name is a first. Answering questions the way they were asked without rambling on and on matters too. Accepting instruction from others and not engaging in bragging or whining matters a lot as well. Good etiquette will make you popular with all parties.

9. Notary Education
All Notaries need to study up and be experts at their state’s notary laws. But, knowing how to handle situations, and knowing your documents matters just as much. Reading blogs is a good way to keep informed, but there is no substitute for taking actual classes. For newer Notaries, passing our certification test is a great way to gain credibility as well.

10. Risks and Liability
It is risky being a Notary. 15% of our long term full-time Notaries have been to court at least once generally as a witness. A few Notaries even get sued or end up in legal trouble that can cost them big bucks. It behooves you to keep good records and follow Notary law to a T. Understanding Notary law is not enough. You need to know how to explain to clients what you can and cannot do as well as explain to a judge why you did what you did in a particular situation. One lady turned down a Notarization on correct grounds, got sued and lost because she could not communicate clearly to the judge what her reason was for declining the notarization. You also need to have direct communication with all signers and make sure people are aware of what they are signing, particularly if they are elderly. The Notary does not need to understand the documents, but the signers do, otherwise you might end up in court.

11. Your Attitude
Most Notaries have the attitude that they already know it all and there is nothing more that they need to know. Those who are NNA certified think of themselves as blessings to the industry. The fact is that those who have passed NNA’s test typically get very poor grades on our test. There is always more to learn in this business. It is best to stay open, assume that you do not know everything, and accept criticism from those in hiring capacities or those who run Notary agencies (like me.) You will be more popular with all parties involved if you are open to suggestion and take guidance from those who are a lot more experienced and knowledgeable than you are.

12. Advertising on 123notary.
Companies that pay well love 123notary. However, they typically only hire from the top of the list. If you are not in the top three or top five, you will probably only hear from companies that don’t pay that well. Top spots are not always available, so what should you do? Get the best spot you can, and then try to pass our certification, write a good notes section, and keep getting reviews. That way if a better spot opens up, I will be likely to give it to you rather than someone else. I give open spots to the most qualified member downline, so while you are waiting, try to work on your merit, so that you get the promotion!

13. Marketing Plan
Do you have a marketing plan? Many Notaries just wing it. That is not advisable. We suggest having a definitive, well thought out written plan. You can discuss that plan with others too for suggestions.

14. 123notary is here to help.
Smart Notaries come to us with questions, or ask for help with their notes section. We are here as a resource and much of our help is completely free. Dumb Notaries complain that we scrutinize them to maintain our standards, but smart Notaries take advantage of our free assistance. In the long run, which type of Notary do you think gets ahead?

15. Researching Signing Companies
Not all signing companies are good bets to work for. Read about them in the various forums to get more info. Additionally, Notary Rotary has something called Signing Central where you can look up ratings for the various signing companies. 123notary has a list of signing companies with reviews.

Good luck, and I hope you enjoy this short course.

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December 14, 2018

Notary arrested for stealing spices from borrowers

Filed under: Popular on Twitter,Virtual Comedy Themes — Tags: — admin @ 12:29 am

It is common for people to go to other people’s homes and steal Oxy-codene. However, this is a new one. There was a rash in what I call spice-jacking in the Orange County area of California. It turned out to be just one guy, and a notary. But, the authorities caught on and published some public awareness materials about the subject…

You may not know if you have been spice-jacked. Answer this questionaire, and if you said yes to five or more items on this list — contact the authorities immediately — you have been spice jacked…

Have you been notarized in the last six months?
Did the notary ask you to swear on your mother’s cooking instead of a bible? Or did he substitute the bible for a Julia Child’s encyclopedia of cooking?

Has your cumin come out?
Has your coriander meandered?
Has your rose-mary been annulled?
Is your mint no longer in mint condition?
Is your tarragon just gon?
Are you no longer on the same page with your sage? (or is it showing age?)
Has your card-amom been declined (or expired)?
Have your bay leave(s) become bay left(s)?
Has your garam masala (Indian spice mix) lost its kick?
Has your turmeric’s turm expired?
Has your oregano become ore-went-and-did-not-come-back?
Has your aleppo pepper been receiving funds from Putin?
Has your haba-near-o become haba-far-away-o?
Have your c-loves turned to c-hates?
Has your ginger disappeared and then reappeared on a deserted island with Gilligan?

If so, you may have been spice jacked. Please call 888-888-8888 for immediate assistance.

The notary who committed these crimes had a last minute call for an airport notarization. Someone needed one of those permission to travel forms to have their uncle take their kid to Zacatecas in Mexico. These forms typically need to be notarized if going to Mexico. So, the notary did the notarization, got paid cash, and then proceeded to the airport restaurant. At the next table over some TSA personel were having lunch. Then some other TSA people came over with their K-9. The K-9 started sniffing the Notary’s bag. The officer was sure that they would find drugs, but all they found were remains of… you guessed it… oregano and some exotic imported red pepper powder from Egypt. The authorities then had the Notary bring them to his car where they found a huge stash of stolen spices which the Notary had obtained from his various Notary appointments. He loved Notarizing Indians specifically for this reason. The authorities contacted Orange County police and the Notary got busted.

To be safe, from now on, keep your spices under lock and key just in case some other culinarily inspired Notaries get the wrong idea about your marjoram or herbs du provence.

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November 26, 2018

Five things a Notary can do worth $1000 per minute

Asking for reviews
Each minute you spend asking for a review can come back to you in the form of gold. It only takes a minute to ask, and if you ask enough people, you will get a handful of reviews which will double your incoming calls from 123notary. The next thing you know you will have repeat clients from those initial calls which you earned based on your reviews and you will be making lots more money.

Studying for certification
It takes a few hours to study for certification. But, the results can last a lifetime. Each minute of studying might be worth $1000 in the long term. So, whatever else you are doing. is it worth $1000 per minute? And what if I’m wrong and your study time is only worth $50 per minute. That is still more than a neurosurgeon makes. Speaking of neurology, my sciatic nerve hurts.

Call your old contacts
If you haven’t heard from someone, you could revive a long term client. That could be worth thousands.

Fix up your notes section
If I spent three minutes fixing up someone’s notes section, they get 55% more clicks. But, you can put more content in your notes and read up on what we recommend. We have a vast section all about how to fix up your notes. It takes very little effort, but could change your career.

Summary
There are many things a Notary can do to better themselves. The problem is, that Notaries have established habits, and don’t see the value of doing what 123notary says they should do. Those who listen to us often prosper in a huge way. What is the harm in going through a check list and just doing what makes sense? Getting more reviews could get you an additional hundred clients per year which could translate into thousands of jobs. What is that worth? And how much time did it take to get those extra clients? Two hours of asking for reviews, and you get $100,000 in extra income? That translates into about $1000 per minute. If you do the math, you will be kicking yourself for not focusing your time on priorities.

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How long should you wait to get paid?
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123notary elite Certification Study guide
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November 25, 2018

Can a Notary notarize a photograph?

Can you notarize a photograph?
Can a notary public notarize a photo?

You can not notarize a photograph. If you have a document that pertains to a particular photograph, you can staple the photo to the document and notarize the signature on the document. Something that not all people understand is that a Notary’s job is to administer oaths and notarize signatures… signatures that are on documents. A Notary cannot notarize a signature on a document unless there is notary verbiage acceptable to the state wherever the notarization is taking place.

Normally notaries perform Acknowledgments or Jurats when notarizing a signature. An Acknowledgment requires the signer to acknowledge having signed the instrument while a Jurat requires the signer to sign and swear to the truthfulness of the document, and do both actions in the physical presence of the Notary Public at the time of the notarization.

You could even put an embosser halfway through the photo with the other half going through the document as its attached to the document if you want to be a fancy and thorough Notary.

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Notary FAQ
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November 22, 2018

Snapdocs — are the jobs just too far away?

Filed under: Popular on Twitter,Signing Company Gossip — Tags: — admin @ 10:28 am

I talk to a lot of Notaries. I hear a lot of stories. The jobs that many people get offered from Snapdocs are often an hour, or two hours away. Considering how low jobs pay, how can someone who isn’t absolutely local take them? On the other hand, since pay is so low, the close people reject the jobs and people more far away keep getting offered these jobs.

That does not seem to be a realistic business model. Perhaps there should be minimum fees. Perhaps the Notaries would take more interest in responding if they could at least make a little bit of money.

The other thing that is deceiving about Snapdocs is that they are getting almost triple the clicks that 123notary gets. However, when we ask people where they get actual work, the high paying work is mostly from 123notary. Notary Rotary gets some work, but not as much as people get through our medium. And then people often say they get a little from Snapdocs, Notary Cafe, and perhaps signingagent.com or perhaps even Yelp which is my new and fierce competition.

Yelp has horrible Notaries, but they are masters of the art of the review, and that is what keeps them floating on Google along with us.

The bottom line is that there are very few active or serious notaries these days. Most people do a few jobs here and there, but do not specialize in it. In the old days there were a lot of very serious Notaries. That reality will not happen again unless interest rates keep coming down little by little. Right now we have the opposite effect. I wonder how long this will last. Hmmm.

.

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Compilation of posts about SnapDocs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21531

See our string of posts about snapdocs
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Snapdocs – racially disproportionate?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21226

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November 21, 2018

12 questions to ask for hospital notarizations

SAFETY TIPS AND 12 QUESTIONS TO ASK FOR HOSPITAL NOTARIZATIONS:
I get calls frequently for Notarizations in Jails and Hospitals.
This blog will focus on things you must do to protect yourself from lawsuits and damages when you get a desperate call to go out to a hospital to notarize documents to be signed by a patient, moistly a Power of Attorney. The phone call invariably comes from the child who has a parent admitted to the hospital.
What do you do as the Notary when the person calling says they will pay you whatever you charge as your mobile fee? Remember Rule #1: It is not always about the money. It is about your ability to follow the Notary laws and perform your job without taking short cuts.
The following list of questions is a short summary of the steps I have actually taken when I got such a call.

1. What is your relationship to the patient?
2. Do you have any other siblings or relatives who have a beneficial interest in the transaction?
3. Is the patient conscious? Coherent? On any medication?
4. Does the patient have a current valid ID with him or can you make it available when the notary arrives at the hospital?
5. Is the patient able to sign his name without any help?
6. Does the patient speak English and can he understand and answer simple questions coherently?
7. Does the patient have an attending physician and a Nurse assigned to him?
8. Do you have the number to the attending physician and nurse because I need to talk to them to get an accurate idea of the health and overall condition of the patient?
9. When can I talk to the patient directly by phone with a nurse present in the room?
10. What type of document are you having notarized?
11. What dates and times work for the patient?
12. My mobile fees are _____ and $15/signature notarized. After I get there if I make the determination that the person is unable to understand anything I ask him or is being forced to sign, I will not be able to notarize the document but will still charge you my mobile fee for coming out based on your representations over the phone. Are you okay with that because I don’t want to get into any arguments after I get there?

Believe me there has been more than one occasion I can recall where I had to leave without notarizing a document because the patient was unable to understand anything I asked, was incoherent and simply could not sign or even hold a pen to just mark an “X”. It is better to walk away from a Notarization where you know instinctively that it is wrong because the signer is not aware of what he is signing and inevitably you will end up being a party to a litigation by interested parties who believe that the Notary failed to take into account the coherence and soundness of mind of the signer at the time of the Notarization. This would invalidate your notarization and worse yet force you to pay legal expenses to defend yourself. Is it worth it? Absolutely not!

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November 19, 2018

The five year rule of experience for Notaries

Filed under: General Articles,Popular on Twitter — admin @ 11:48 am

For some reason, Notaries with exactly five years of experience are the most popular. Notaries who are new to our site tend to get poor click averages. Notaries who have been around for eight plus years tend to get apathetic and see a decline in clicks that increases little by little.

Notaries who brag that they have twenty years of experience need to understand that in our experience working with tens of thousands of Notaries, twenty years of experience equals someone who is generally sluggish, tired, washed out, arrogant, and rusty on Notary knowledge since they generally haven’t brushed up on their skills in decades.

If you want to brag about your experience, brag that you have exactly five years of experience. It is kind of like Fran the Nanny from Queens who says 29 for the rest of her life and never gets a day older. It is a good age to be, especially if you are still single.

Rough Stats: Clicks per day average for high ranking listings that are not 123notary certified.

12 years 1.4 clicks
8 years 1.2 clicks
5 years 1.8 clicks
3 years 1.3 clicks
1 year .7 clicks

Please keep in mind that these clicks are based on higher placed listings and there were few averaged. According to these results the 8 years people got less clicks than the 12 year veterans, but the trend shows a slow decline in clicks as people get settled into apathy and decline. The first five years of your career you develop technical and business knowledge that makes you better. Then, you get tired of learning, perhaps cocky and go into a decline cycle. On a brighter note, name recognition really helps in this business, so if your name has been around forever, you might get a lot of work just based on name recognition from the old timers at signing and title companies who know your name.

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