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February 22, 2017

Notary study skills are poor. But, raising rates would attract better blood

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 7:27 am

The Notary industry needs new blood. But, people who are good at school normally have better options unless they want to slow down and enjoy a life with more freedom. The fact is that only 25% of our Notaries on board have passed our very easy certification test which only involves a few hours of study.

People who are Notaries today do not have the best study skills and do not realize how critical their tasks are. The Secretary of State Notary Divisions also don’t get it. To attract professional people, you need to offer higher rates, and perhaps higher minimum rates. You need to prevent sloppy people from getting into this industry to begin with. 123notary’s Elite Certified members are more studious as a bunch, but they represent only 2.5% of the total. California just raised its maximum rate for an Acknowledged signature to $15, but there is no minimum which makes it possible to get a Notary to work for peanuts as there are several hundred thousand others who can do the same job.

I am normally against the idea of minimum wage. But, there is so much exploitation and sloppy service in this business that I believe the solution is to put more money on the table and attract a better crowd. I can’t guarantee that paying more would attract more people. It might attract the worst quality Attorneys out there who can’t make a living doing Attorney work. Some of them answer Notary and signing questions so poorly that the average Non-Attorney notary could out-do them without even trying.

Maybe it would be better to have a minimum wage as an experiment to see if a higher quantity of more educated people would sign up, especially if the industry players decided to have higher standards. On the other hand, it might require fees of up to $300 per signing to attract motivated people rather than desperate people. I guess we’ll never find out!

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January 11, 2017

Interest rates went up 1/4% and will go up twice more.

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 8:14 am

As of Dec 14th, 2016 Interest rates went up a quarter of a percent. Business is already bad for Notaries and Trump is making it worst by giving Americans the idea that he will make America great again. That means that businesses will be borrowing more and rates will go up. That translates into less Refinances. But, it will get worse twice more in 2017. We might not see fast business for another few years if Trump is successful.

The Notary business does well when others do poorly. When everyone is unemployed and looking for work, more people become Notaries. On the other hand, when things are good and people see a Notary doing a signing at their house, they want to become a Notary too. When the economy is good and interest rates rise, the Notary business does poorly. But, when the economy is bad, then interest rates fall and people can afford a refinance.

On a brighter note, if the economy picks up, then home values will go shooting up and people will have more equity to borrow on.

I remember one New Yorker comic strip where the client is at a marina with his broker looking at the broker’s yacht and asks where his clients’ yachts are. I wonder when we will see the day when Notaries have yachts. Not in 2017, although I might be pleasantly wrong.

I do not try to put much faith in my ability to predict the future. The fact remains that our industry has its ups and downs and you have to be prepared for whatever the market does. This means making sure you are at the top of your game at all times, having multiple certifications, reviews, etc.

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December 31, 2016

Industry slow on all sites

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 1:35 am

I checked web stats in September and October. I thought that 123notary was going downhill. But, our competitors are also going downhill. Everybody’s stats were down about 15-20% in September and October. Then, during the holidays it is normally slow. I’m just hoping that we have a good next year. But, my stock broker told me that interest rates are probably going up based on the rumors that he is hearing.

If interest rates go up, that means less refinances. On the other hand, if rates go up, then if they come down, you will get a rush of refinances all at once which will keep you busy. In the last few years, Notaries have had to do more reverse mortgages and purchases as there are less refinances to go around.

Let’s hope that 2017 is a better year as 2016 was sluggish for 123notary. On a brighter note, all of the new reviews that Notaries are getting is going to have a very positive effect on the popularity of the site, so there is hope!

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December 8, 2016

Breaking news…fee increase for California Notary Publics

It has been a long time coming but fees have finally been increased to 15.00 per notarization, per person and other official acts performed by California Notary Public’s. Effective 1/1/2017. It has been in the works for years but finally has came to fruition. I have attached the Assembly bill for review.

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB2217

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December 3, 2016

A Notary Union — how would that work?

One Notary wanted a Notary Union. But, would a union help? What would happen? He wanted rates fixed at $150 per signing. It’s not legal to fix rates and $150 is too high.

Contracts
Signing companies would have to sign a contract with the union if they wanted to get some of the better veteran signing agents. Most or many veterans would join the union. The companies that hired union Notaries would only be able to hire union Notaries, and with a long term contract at ridiculous prices. Meanwhile the non-union signing companies would be able to hire anyone who wasn’t a union Notary. The problem here is that Title companies are only willing to pay so much. And if the union had a meeting where they were going to raise their rate to $160 per signing, they would virtually put the signing company out of business.

This is similar to what happened with car manufacturers and manufacturing in the Midwest which moved permanently to China leaving the union guys without a job at all. Unions helped certain Midwesterners and people in other parts of the country make extra money for about two or three decades by artificially controlling market conditions — and then the mother companies discovered a place called Asia and the party was over which led to mass unemployment.

Union Fees
Notaries would have to pay union fees, and go to union meetings. Very few Notaries make it to the NNA annual conference, so how will they make it to meetings? Notaries have so little money already, how will they pay fees? Most are not even full-time?

Corruption
Unions basically give privelege to a few of the workers, but do not help workers as a whole. In Boston in the 1980’s, certain more established classes of workers gained privelege to union jobs while Blacks and Puerto Ricans were generally left out until affirmative action became more prevelant. There is also a lot of power politics going in within unions for control. To me, unions are mafia-like power grabbing organizations which force companies to pay an elite group of workers above market level wages. This leaves those without social favor out of the picture and bankrupts companies in the long run. In the long run unions lead to unemployment, unfairness and misery.

The Solution
So, what is the solution to unfair wages? Markets! Fair and open markets solve all wage related problems. With open markets you get paid what you are worth. The problems the Notaries are facing these days is that there are lots of unskilled people who can do Notary work. They might not do a good job, but they can function with guidance. The skills of highly skilled Notaries are no longer valued like in the old days, and that is why the market hires too many unskilled Notaries and doesn’t pay the worthwhile Notaries enough — at least until signing companies come to their senses.

The Cause of the Problem
Part of the reason this is the case is because there are SO FEW highly skilled and reliable Notaries, that you can’t base your business model on only hiring the best. You might get a few “best” notaries, and the rest will be slouches! That is not a consistent business model. Most Notaries on 123notary just don’t know their documents, don’t know what information is where, and don’t know what to do if there is trouble. Most of our Notaries make a lot of claims of how good they are, but really only 250 Elite Certified Notaries on 123notary are hot stuff in my opinion. Those ultra-experienced and highly educated stampers are worth $150 per signing in most cases. The “regular” 123notary certified Notaries are worth about $100 per signing (in my opinion) and the un-123notary certified Notaries are worth $50. If you don’t know anything and have hardly any experience, why should you be paid much more than minimum wage?

My issue is NOT that Notaries are not paid a decent wage. My issue is that the 250 Elite Certified Notaries on our site who merit a better wage are not usually getting it. As for the uncertified majority, the fact that you get work at all is a miracle. I personally would not hire someone who couldn’t pass my test. My test doesn’t guarantee that you are a great Notary — however, it determines that you are at least worth trying and have potential and know your basics.

If it were up to me, anyone who didn’t pass our elite test wouldn’t be allowed to do any signing agent work. After all, this is a serious profession where you routinely handle half million dollar loans. Why hire someone who is any less than highly qualified for such critical work?

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November 27, 2016

The Notary and the Paypal Hold

Filed under: General Articles,Popular on Facebook (A little),Popular on Linked In — Tags: — admin @ 11:13 pm

Most of our customers make orders using 123epayment.com or talk to Carmen. Whenever people order through Carmen, we never have trouble with those orders. Carmen talks people through the transactions and tell them every detail about what they need to be aware about. The problem is when people order from Paypal.

We have been accepting Paypal transactions for over ten years now. Most transactions go through just fine. But, there are issues that pop up every month or two.

1. Vacation — If I’m on vacation and a stranger orders a course via Paypal, I will only be informed if I check my email. When I’m on vacation, I check my orders at 123epayment.com at least once in four days. But, I sometimes don’t go into my gmail for security reasons. I don’t want to get hacked by using a public computer. Sometimes people will create a claim or a dispute on their Paypal order because I am behind schedule processing their transaction.

2. Missing information — Most people who order from Paypal have a company name on the transaction and not a personal name. I look people up in my system by personal names. I can often track the email to their account, but not always if they use a different email. I often have to ask people what they purchased and what their n# is. Paypal has a NOTES section where you can write who you are, what you purchased, the name of the ecourse, the level of the position, etc. Most people choose not to inform me and make me guess or ask what they purchased. If everybody did this we would have to rename them PayNpal as they would be a Payn in the butt to use as a result of their clients (Not Paypal’s fault.)

3. Immediate Response Required — Somebody ordered a renewal from me on Paypal. I processed the renewal right away. The next day they sent me an email. I took more than 24 hours to respond to the email, so they filed a hold on the Paypal transaction. What a pain! I told the person that I answer emails daily, but I don’t sit 24 hours a day by my email in case someone emails me. I have many tasks to do, and their task is not the only task I have to do all day. Some customers think they are the only customer in the world. I take care of people as fast as I can, but conflicting tasks and limited time makes it hard. Even when I’m in town, I do not answer all emails within 24 hours, only most.

4. Not asking questions first — Some people buy something when they don’t know what they are buying. They also don’t tell me in the Paypal notes what they are buying. This results in a long email discussion going back and forth creating a long string. It is easier if people just talk to Carmen before buying something. She is an expert and can help.

Summary
The bottom line is — if you order from us via Paypal, we prefer that you are an existing customer. It is better that you are renewing something existing rather than doing a new purchase. It is excellent if you source your n#, name, and level of listing that you are renewing or the name of the ecourse. That way I know what you are getting and we have it in writing the first time. Also, it is better if you email me and ask for instructions for what to put in the Paypal transaction. That way we get it right the first time.

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November 8, 2016

We asked Notaries if they prefered Texts or Calls assigning them jobs

Most Notaries prefer to be called with a Notary job. That way they can negotiate the fees. However, you can also negitiate with a text. It is just as easy. It just involves more back and forth plus waiting.

If you are offered a $50 signing with 400 pages, just text them back asking for $400. You won’t get a response as your price is too high. But, if you try to be reasonable and ask for $80, you just might get it, especially if you get back to people quickly.

If you read Zen and the art of negotiating notary prices — it’s just like anything else. If you really want the job, bit a little low like $70. If you don’t care that much, bid $85. If you don’t want the job, but will go if they are desperate, then bid $120. Keep your prices proportional to your level of desperateness.

You might also like:

Notaries — get thumb relief!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16176

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October 25, 2016

Do you feel disenchanted with the Notary signing agent profession?

Are you feeling let down, disenchanted, hopeless, or broken hearted about the signing agent profession? Are the big Notary agencies not supporting you in what you feel you need to stay afloat and do well? To be truthful, the industry has changed, and there are more Notaries, less jobs, and lower pay. But, the basic skills you need as a signing agent have not changed. You need a good knowledge of your documents, Notary law, and basic scheduling and business skills.

Don’t depend on one Notary agency for all of your knowledge or support. Rather, create a resource pool. Choose several companies to be your support system. One might have a good hotline while the other might be better at email support. You might like one or two of the forums out there to research signing company reviews. You might like the courses from a particular agency, or perhaps you might want to take two or three signing agent courses to become solid in your knowledge (recommended.)

Here are our recommendations for the best Notary resources

123notary
FORUM — Look up signing company reviews while you are talking to them on your iphone using 123notary.com/s
Advertising — 123notary is the premiere spot for notary advertising, especially for highly experienced Notaries.
Courses — 123notary has easy to understand and afforable signing agent courses
Resources — visit our resource page to find our demand letter from hell which will get you paid — almost guaranteed.

NNA
Excellent for supplies
Great technical hotline
Highly Recommended Background Checks
more…

Notary2Pro
Their signing agent course produces very respectable results as the knowledge level of their graduates is excellent.

SnapDocs
Great for beginners. The average knowledge level on this site is low and so is the pay. But, if you are a beginner, this set up is suitable for you in the mean time.

NotaryRotary
Advertising — this is a great site to advertise your Notary services for new and experienced signing agents alike.
Forum — their forum has more cumulative data than any other, although the volume slowed down last year
Supplies — E&O insurance and Notary Suppies are also offered by NotaryRotary

That’s all for now. So, use the resources available to you and I think you’ll find it’s more than enough to keep you in great shape!

.

You might also like:

The Notary industry is getting more professional
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15987

My interpretation of how the Notary industry went South
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16500

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October 20, 2016

Lady Notaries need to show caution

I just talked to one female Notary. Several signers have asked her to go to the bedroom with them. She doesn’t understand this because she is in her fifties. She always sits in a 45 degree angle when presenting the paperwork. You can see who’s coming and who is not that way. You can’t predict what’s in someone’s head. You can also present your paperwork in order that way. This lady carries a gun wherever she goes.

I walked in. We sat there at the table, saw his ID, and proceeded. The documents were about fifty sheets. We finished the signing. He was acting a little strange. The guy wanted me to look at his pictures on the wall. It took 20 minutes just to get to the signing. He showed a picture of a pretty Indian girl. Then he wanted to show me a bigger picture in his bedroom. We talked into the hallway, and he was a big man.

You might also like:

I’d rather stop being a Notary than carry a gun
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15896

Can I bring my 12 year old to a signing?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15885

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August 11, 2016

Reminder: Login to your listing regularly; Get some new reviews

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: , , — admin @ 8:58 pm

Most Notaries forget to login to their Notary listing. After all, why should they. They are still alive and they have been doing this for years. Why would they suddenly go out of business? The fact is that every day on 123notary, at least one Notary goes out of business or moves. Some of them inform us, but others just say nothing. We learn that they are out of business when we call them at 200 days after their last login. Logging into your listing is like phoning home to let mom know you are okay. You know you are okay, but mom has no idea unless you check in from time to time.

Additionally, if your listing lacks reviews, you will not be getting your money’s worth. Get a new review every several months at a minimum. Just ask all of the clients who like you for a review and email them a link to the review page. It’s easier if you ask individuals rather than signing companies, but ask who you like! Good luck!

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How to get a lower price on your listing while getting more work
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14941

7 famous quotes from our blogs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3663

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