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September 8, 2019

The same signing dispatched from two services?

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 11:01 pm

This is a new one on me. I never heard of this before. A Notary commenting on our blog claims that a job for a loan on a particular address was offered to him by two signing services at very different prices. One was a low-ball, and the other a more reasonable offer.

She says that the signing services are competing against each other. But, this is weird. What if they both dispatch the job at the same time to two Notaries. Or would that not happen because once they input the information into the server that the job would not show up any more?

I don’t know how the system works, but that is weird. It reminds me of what the airlines do where you pay for one airline and find yourself on another. Hmmm.

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September 4, 2019

Is GPS ruining our minds?

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 10:58 pm

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ditch-the-gps-its-ruining-your-brain/2019/06/05/29a3170e-87af-11e9-98c1-e945ae5db8fb_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_source=pocket-newtab&utm_term=.d22afef6d055

GPS machines are causing us to think less, notice our surroundings less, and calculate less. Sure it is nice to know the most efficient way from point A to point B, but it is also nice to find things ourselves.

Conversely, I think that finding addresses used to be very hard in the old days. I would need a military flashlight at night to find numbers on houses, curbs, or mailboxes. GPS makes it easier to pinpoint what part of a block you are going to.

I guess I personally like GPS a lot because I travel to many cities, and it is hard to have maps to all of those cities. I remember my last trip to Texas and I drove from Los Angeles to Dallas to Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Fort Worth and then OKC. What a crazy trip. It tired me out. I might do it again but not for a while.

I find that once I have been to a place enough times, I no longer use GPS, even if it is far from home like El Paso. I just learn my way around. The hard part where GPS really helps is cut off streets, weird and unexpected locations for entrances to highways, and what to do when your street is shut down (happens a lot in El Paso.)

I am a map lover, and will always be. GPS or not, we still need to know how to read maps and coordinate our trips the way we want to. Over dependence on technology seems to be a limitation for our own development as a general rule.

As a final note, mobile notaries have enough to deal with, and GPS relieves most of the navigation headache. Back in the old days we had to follow constellations to figure out where the signing was as well as smoke signals. What do you guys think?

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Notaries in cars getting coffee
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August 29, 2019

I get so nervous when you call

Filed under: Certification & Communication Skills,General Articles — admin @ 10:53 pm

One customer said to me, “I get so nervous when you call, I feel like I am going to be quizzed.”

I am sorry that I make people so uncomfortable. I was reading online that alpha males make other people feel uncomfortable and inferior. But, I am only alpha about topics where I know more than others, or think I do. If you guys would become experts in your field rather than to just claim you are, there would be no issues acing my test consistently and no hurt feelings.

But, for those of you who do not like the idea of mastery, why be nervous? If you don’t value knowledge, why be nervous when you don’t have it?

You handle legal paperwork for a living. The financial consequences of screwing up a job are big not to mention the legal damages. It behooves you to know your job inside out. Why is it so difficult to convince everybody of this?

But, on a brighter note, in 2018 I abandoned quizzing people by phone unless they specifically requested it. It was too much drama and was effecting my health. Now I quiz by email mostly and only do a handful of phone quizzes. So no more nervousness when I call. It will be because you forgot to login or renew probably, and not a quiz — unless you requested a quiz.

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Testing Carmen on a bridge in 2003
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My bad karma from testing people by phone
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August 28, 2019

Certain things you don’t learn from experience

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 10:53 pm

Notaries who have a lot of experience seem to forget that you can keep doing the same thing wrong for twenty years and nobody will correct you. People with thirty years of experience often know less than beginners. But, how is this so?

1. Document knowledge
If you want to know more about documents, you can read loan signing courses. You can also read the actual documents. Be aware that many documents have document variations and one document name could have multiple meanings. Therefore you need to be aware of all of the potential meanings and assume the possibility that the document might be completely different from what it normally means as well. Many Notaries go through their careers never reading documents yet claiming “familiarity with the docs.” If you don’t read them then you are only familiar with the names of the documents and not the actual content of the documents.

2. Handling situations
As a signing agent, there are many tricky situations you can get into. Experience might help you to figure out how not to botch certain situations, but might not teach you how to handle less obvious situations. Our course Notary Public 101 goes over twenty common situations where Notaries can get into trouble. No Notary on our site does a thorough job confirming the signing without reading our course. I suggest reading up on handling situations.

3. Notary knowledge
You cannot know the rules of notarizing or know how to explain specific notary acts unless you read about it. You might have performed 50,000 notarizations, but if you performed them wrong, then the experience is worth nothing, or might be counterproductive. Reading up on notary procedure and law might be a good idea. After all, you are handling legal documents.

4. Marketing
Many Notaries go through their career doing the minimum in marketing. You might make a lot more money if you took marketing a lot more seriously. We have many blog articles on the topic.

5. Thinking about danger
What if you are in a house and the borrower goes psycho. That doesn’t happen often. There are techniques for handling danger. Some Notaries sit closest to the door, or at a particular angle from the door so they can see who is coming in. Other Notaries can spot a house with health hazards a mile away and redirect the signing to Starbucks. I’m not sure if there are any good guides to dealing with notary danger, but you can surely try to think of all the possibilities before you go out on a job. Otherwise you have to improvise at the last minute like a comedian doing improv at the Improv!

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Real life scenarios at loan signings
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19681

The five year rule of notary experience
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21089

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August 14, 2019

Millennial Notaries and gender roles

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 11:33 pm

It has come to my attention that many of the millennial Notaries are confused about gender roles.

We had a male Notary who did not want to lead at a signing. He claimed that leading might cause offense to the others because they might consider the signing to be part of the male patriarchy. However, the signers felt differently. They did not know what to do, and the Notary did not help. So, they called the signing company and the Notary got fired.

Another Notary did not want to talk to the wife at the signing for fear that he might come across as male chauvinist. During the whole signing, the husband and wife kept looking at each other giving each other weird looks. They did not know what to think.

A third Millennial Notary did a signing at Starbucks. The signer asked the lady next to him what time it was and proceeded to make small talk. The Notary said, “Not cool,” because many Millennials think it is not cool (and scary) to approach women. Kind of reminds you of the Gillette commercial for Millennials. But, such a situation happened to me at a bar, where the male millennial staff member got all afraid because I wanted to ask one of the Chinese girls if she preferred effeminate guys to masculine guys. In China, masculinity is out, and guys who act like girls are in. Good thing I speak English like a guy, but speak Chinese like a girl!

My question to millennials is:
If men stop approaching women (and many have due to getting shot down) then how will people date, get married or reproduce? I think that the millennial brain is too small to think that far in advance. Additionally, if a man is not masculine (in more than just “for show” ways) then how will he provide for and protect his family? 33% of millennials live with mommy and daddy. Not very macho if you ask me. Glad my family kicked me out of the house when I finished college otherwise I would have ended up an adult baby like them. Good God!

If gender roles are flexible, then just have your husband get pregnant for you half the time and have him breast feed the baby. After that, I’m sure his male genes will be equally suited to parenting a two, three and four year old child while the female bread winner goes out and makes money. Only 10% of wives make more than their husbands. Gender reversal is the standard way of thought for millennials, but biology dictates that the results of such an action would be far less than optimal or impossible. I guess the political pressure on people stops them from thinking coherently. But, I know how to think.

Newsflash — men and women are not the same. When men go out, they get approached by women roughly 10% of the time. It happens but is rare. When you go out on a date, the man normally pays. When you have a family, the women normally depends financially on the man, especially when she is pregnant or has an infant. So, it looks like men are doing 90% of the hunting people down and providing and women are doing the child rearing, even in these politically correct times. Correct me if I am wrong, that the brainwashing has changed its message, but biology is still consistent with our ancestors in Africa 200,000 years ago. Hmm, do you think my African ancestors had rhythm?

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A Millennial self-identifies as being a notary public
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The ADD culture and marketing your notary listing
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X is now a gender as well as a generation
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August 13, 2019

The iPhone crisis

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 11:32 pm

As we all know, society has changed since the advent of the iPhone. For me, an iPhone is a tool, just as the internet is. I use it to make money, communicate, and browse. But, I do not let the internet run my personal life nor do I go around staring at my iPhone 24 hours a day.

Whenever I go out, and particularly to Asian areas, I notice that Chinese seem to be glued to their iPhones. It is common knowledge that Chinese have some of the least developed social skills of any cultural group. But, this problem is not facilitated by burying their noses in books studying or iPhones while ignoring the world around them. Culturally, Chinese hate talking to strangers as well which compounds the problem. Every time I see a Chinese girl with an iPhone, the only thought that pops into my screen… I mean head is, “here we go again.” But, whites also do the same thing.

Shutting other human beings out of your life is not socially constructive behavior. Additionally, children being born might rather be born to a poorer family where the mother is emotionally available to the children instead of being focused entirely on her iPhone.

For those of you who don’t know, I am studying Chinese again. I started in 1986, and spent a lot of time in 1989 and 1990 studying. But, now I am upping my vocabulary and trying to get more practice talking before I go to Shanghai. I have noticed that I used to think that Chinese girls were unfriendly, but when I talk to Chinese guys, some of them take offense. Why? Being human is how God created us. Some of the people I am talking to are not completely human. Sorry to say, but true. I guess the females are less hostile to me than the men… Hmmm. What a world we live in… no wonder I’m lonely. I’m tempted to say, but I still have Mrs. Meao … aka Sheba, but she passed away many years ago and only visits me in dreams, even when there is no chicken involved!

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Are Notaries becoming unsnapped?
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A Notary orders pizza at a signing using an app
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July 11, 2019

Is prioritizing a skill that a Notary should have?

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 3:12 am

Notaries are not generally known for their skill at prioritizing. Making appointments, keeping appointments and printing documents, and excessive faxing are the skills that mobile notaries of today have. However, the day to day activities seem to take the full attention of most Notaries leaving little or no time for what I term as notarial self improvement.

123notary has learned that Notaries who invest in notary knowledge, getting reviews, and upgrading their notes section get disproportionately more work and make a lot more money than those who don’t. But, this takes work, time and effort. Learning Notary knowledge is hard. It requires hours of studying. Those who did well on my elite test studied around 30 hours in many cases. Getting reviews on the other hand is easier – it is just a question of asking (no pun intended) on a regular basis and making a habit of it. Revising your notes section is also hard. 123notary has a section in our blog called “your notes section” with dozens of blog articles on this topic. By reading those articles you will come up with dozens of ideas on how to make your notes more informative and pertinent. But, once again this takes time, and a lot of thought to do a good job. We can help too if you ask!

The feedback I get is that people are busy and will get around to self-improvement if they have time. Others feel their knowledge is good enough already and does not need to be updated. A few claim not to be full-time or serious about the industry in general and use that as an excuse. The bottom line is that improving their Notary career is not a priority.

Notaries with solid notary knowledge do make a lot more money than those who falsely claim to have solid knowledge which describes most Notaries. Most Notaries are at the 50% knowledge level which is not even good enough to be considered wishy-washy. People who hire Notaries do not ask for certifications or knowledge that much anymore, but their click behavior indicates that they favor people with exceptional knowledge and shun those with failing notary knowledge.

It might take 40 hours of work to do all of the self-help work you need to do as a Notary. Making time for that should be a priority because the time you spend upgrading your skills will pay for itself over the rest of your career. It might be worth hundreds of dollars per hour to do the upgrading work while only worth $30 per hour to do mundane tasks. So, why do most Notaries value low pay over high value work and then complain that they don’t make enough money? Elite Notaries get paid $14 more per signing, so rather than whining, why not become an elite member?

The bottom line is that Notaries get paid poorly and don’t make time to improve themselves because getting ahead is hardly ever a priority. Study is seen as drudgery. And for those who do see self-improvement as a priority, how can they find the time. The reasoning is that they will do it if they get time — but, time never comes. Why not do the less important tasks if you have time and put studying and self-improvement first? To find time to do certain things, you have to decide not to do other things. You also have to decide what things to do first.

If you start the day doing an hour of something that is critical and then do the less important things after — that is an effective way of prioritizing. If you set apart Tuesday to study and even if you get good work, you turn it down — that is prioritizing. I do not recommend turning away your bread and butter clients as you might lose them. But, low paying junk work you can turn down and you can ask your friends and family to hold on while you study. Serious people put their social network on hold regularly. Their friends don’t like it — but, without prioritizing, they would never get ahead. People in high positions are good at saying no to people so they can do more important tasks.

Those who remain their entire lives at the bottom of the totem-pole do so because they feel that the mundane tasks and people who bombard them daily and who are “in their face” are the priority because that is all they see. The trick is to analyze what is important in the long run and see things that are not in your face and understand their importance. The important thing to do is something that is not calling you every day, but something that is sitting in a book buried in your closet for example, or our Notary Public 101 course on our blog.

There are many ways to set priorities and schedule them into your life. The critical aspect is to make sure you identify your priorities and figure out how to schedule them so they get done first. Otherwise you will make a poor income for the rest of your life — should you indeed live so long.

The important lesson from this article is — To make prioritizing a priority!

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July 1, 2019

Will the next election help our Notary industry?

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 2:27 am

Disclaimer — this blog was written for entertainment purposes only and we by no means think that Marco Rubio wants to increase red tape in any way shape or form. Those types of statements were made in jest only as it relates to our Notary industry.

Is there a future for the notary industry? It is so slow I ask myself this regularly. I’ve seen ups, and I’ve seen downs. But, this down seems like something that ain’t never gonna end! But, maybe Marco Rubio will help. Maybe he will be our next president. He’s smart, and people tend to like him.

Campaign speech addressing (fictional)
Hi, My name is Marco Rubio, and I am running for the office of President of the United States of America. If I am elected, I will do everything in my power (and perhaps a few things not in my power as well) to ensure that there will be more refinances, reverse mortgages, HELOC, and debt consolidations. Additionally, I will raise requirements on various type of transactions requiring more types of legal documents to be notarized before they can be accepted by their respected custodian. This means more jobs for Notaries Public. The American Notary Public has been suffering financially for years, and I intend to create lots of extra red tape and paperwork for them to benefit from in the form of notary appointments. Remember my fellow Notaries — red tape is a dirty word to some, but to American Notaries, it should be a word of liberation, because your whole career is based on processing of documents that constitute red tape. And to all the audience members out there, I brought you a token of my appreciate of the American Notary Public. I bestow all of thee with… a complimentary mini-roll of red tape with the inscription — Marco Rubio for President. Something for you to remember me by.

In any case, having a new president or an election could create a stir in our waning industry. I wonder what will actually happen. Can I get into a time machine, consult my psychic, or should I just wait and find out?

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Feast or famine in the notary business
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Experienced signers are being weeded out of the notary business
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June 19, 2019

A Notary asks 123notary to please stop promoting NNA

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 12:23 pm

At 123notary, we like the products that NNA creates and I used their journals and products during my Notary commission back in the Jurassic period.

But, a Notary commented that he wanted me to stop promoting the NNA, because all they do is sell certifications and products, yet do nothing for the Notaries. He disliked the fact that their certification was based purely on regurgitation questions as well.

Let me rebut. The fact is that although, “all they do” is to sell certifications and products, the fact is that I like their products a whole lot. As far as their certification goes, I think that the testing standards need to be a whole lot harder. Additionally, I think that they need to have a prerequisite of passing their Notary Essentials course with a high grade before even being allowed to take their loan signing course. So, when I “promote” the NNA, which I do not for the NNA, but to be helpful to the Notaries so that they can get good products, I am not promoting their certification. It is not that they are in direct competition with us for certification. It is that their testing does not demonstrate knowledge at all, and nobody cares. It is a charade that seems to be a good way to get people to study, but not to master course materials. All in all, I’ll say — better than nothing, but not good enough!

So, will I stop promoting the NNA just because some of you don’t like them? No. I think NNA is helpful to Notaries, especially newer ones.

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Letter to the NNA about notary testing
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June 18, 2019

What does the x mean if it is next to your name

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 10:16 pm

One of the comments on our blog stated that one lady believed that you needed to be full-time to be a good signing agent. But, does “good” depend on how many hours per week you devote to your practice? In my opinion, being “good” means having a few thousand loans under your belt, having passed our test, and having a lot of good reviews.

To get to this point of being good you would have had to have been full-time at some point, but does it mean you have to keep being full-time forever? These days there is hardly any work, so how can you be full-time anyway?

So, what do you guys think? Full-time = good, or is that a crock?

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Which analytics get more clicks and why? A look at the 123notary analytics system
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