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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!


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?


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.


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?


June 3, 2019

I’m a high end Notary in a low ball world

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 11:24 pm

Are you a highbrow Notary in a low-brow world, or a high-end Notary in a low-ball world? join the club. There are lots of Notaries out there with tons of experience who have a lot of trouble getting paid well or getting work at all. On the other hand, there is what I call the double bell curve effect in the Notary world. There are lots of new Notaries, lots of mega-experience Notaries, but not so many people in the middle.

The problem as I see it is that there are many Notaries who perceive themselves as being high-end simply because they have experience. They hide behind their years of experience to compensate for the fact that they cannot explain a single Notary act and don’t have a clue how to deal with many common Notary situations. Another problem is that in today’s economy there are too many Notaries and too few jobs. With Snapdocs, if you are not fast to respond to texts you will be put lower on the text order algorithm and might stop getting offers altogether. So, how can you win during these desperate times? The answer is that there are no guarantees. However, being high end in virtue instead of high end in claim will help you a whole lot more. What do I mean?

I recently emailed about 150 notaries regarding their certification. I wanted them to study and quiz again at no cost. Half of them emailed me back and the other half did not. The ones that emailed me back did not read the email carefully. They omitted to read the part that said they had to study a lot. So, I responded to people one by one reminding them (the same way you remind children) that you have to study. I only got four requests from people who had studied sufficiently, and most of those four passed. What about the other 150? Why are people so stubborn, lazy, ignorant and uncooperative? If you can’t pass our certification test (which is really hard these days) then you are NOT a high end Notary. You are only a poser and a chump.

Additionally, getting more reviews on your profile will attract browsers, and so will having a well written notes section. To sum it up, a lot of expertise goes into being a Notary, but less than 1% of the people on our site have that knowledge or have any interest in acquiring that knowledge. This whole industry has turned low-end on me and I’m getting really sick of it. Even if it gets you nowhere, there is a certain dignity and professionalism in knowing your stuff. So please do so.


February 23, 2019

TEA — Trusted Enrollment Agent

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 9:30 am

What is a TEA, and do members of that profession get together once a year to have a TEA party in Boston?

The NNA offers a Trusted Enrollment Agent program. Those with TEA designation can do additional tasks that get additional jobs. TEA agents are trained to understand digital certificates which are used heavily in the biopharmaceutical industry. They also are trained to understand how to apply to obtain a digital certificate and do identity-proofing. They must also learn to identify and distinguish between different types of identification documents. I think they handle blood samples too, perhaps in a delivery function.

Word on the street is that TEA jobs don’t always pay well, but tastes better if you add a little sugar. But, any designation you can get will help. Personally, I feel there should be a choice between an Earl Gray TEA, and an Oolong TEA.

Q. Where does a TEA live?
A. In a TEA house.

Q. Which rap star is a Trusted Enrollment Agent?
A. I was thinking of Ice TEA, but I think he is doing mainly acting now.

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Augmenting your skill set to make more money as an NSA!

Forum discussion on TEA

Antiquated Notary Rotary discussion on TEA


January 14, 2019

Merit, Pay Grade & Answering Emails

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: — admin @ 12:33 am

Notaries complain all day long about everything. The ones not getting work seem to do more of the complaining. Notaries complain that they don’t get work, and that the pay is low, and that they often don’t even get paid. Here is my rebuttal…

1. If you don’t have a solid knowledge of Notary work, why do you even merit to have a notary seal? Sure the state governments just hand them out like candy canes at a Christmas party, but do you really deserve one?

2. If you complain about being quizzed, do you merit a notary seal in the first place? The notary profession is one that I take seriously because the security of people’s life savings are in your hands. One fake ID, and someone could lose their house with no paper trail since most of you do not keep thumbprints in your journal if you even keep a journal. You are playing with fire.

3. Many of you don’t answer your phone ever, and when you do, you refuse to talk. How can anyone good deal with you if you are impossible to talk to.

4. Last, but not least, since I got so much flack calling people with notary questions, I have resorted to emailing Notary questions. But, 95% of people simply do not answer the email. How can you have a professional relationship with people if you do not answer emails? That means that only 5% of you are worthy of being considered for being hired, and that is only if your knowledge is up to par.

The bottom line is that in the current condition of American Notaries, only 2% give or take merit being hired at all at any pay grade. The rest of you need to work on learning all about all aspects of notary work, answering your phone, talking, and answering emails, being cooperative, not whining so much and being professional rather than just claiming to be professional.

The condition of the people in this industry is bad beyond belief and only you can prevent forest fires and increase the average quality of American Notaries by being one of the good ones (not claiming to be one of the good ones) yourself.

Basically, what I am trying to say is stop whining, and start acting like a professional Notary which starts with understanding how to be a notary which is something only about 3% of you know how to be with any proficiency.

You might also like:

How much do you merit as a signing agent?

You want to get paid well as a mobile notary but do you merit a good rate?


January 9, 2019

Is 123notary tearing notaries down or building them up?

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 12:32 am

One Notary wrote to me claiming that we tear Notaries down. This may seem to be the case if you talk to Notaries who antagonize us. Because those who are rude to us often get a rude response because we have had enough with rude Notaries! In the long run, you need to be cooperative and polite to survive in this business.

123notary not only sells courses to help Notaries to be at the top of their knowledge, but publishes not hundreds, but thousands of helpful blog articles specifically tailored to help Notaries with all of their marketing needs and knowledge needs (which they don’t always acknowledge as needing.)

If you want to spit in our faces and antagonize us, you will probably see us as tearing you down. However, if you cooperate in our attempts to educate you, you will find that we offer free help that NOBODY ELSE will offer at any price. Take us for granted if you like, but the serious Notaries often give us a big thank you after we have helped them.

One reason Notaries might feel we tear them down is that when we quiz people, if they get mostly wrong answers, we will tell them that they don’t know what they are doing. Whose fault is this? Is it my fault for telling them they don’t know how to be a Notary or is it their fault for endangering the public and themselves and my reputation by having no clue what they are doing.

Being a good Notary protects you from:

1. Engaging in illegal notarizations which might include:

(a) Refusing to notarize when the request is perfectly legal
That can get you sued if there are damages. If someone cannot complete a sale on time and lose a few thousand, they can sue you and we have stories of this happening to our Notaries!

(b) Agreeing to notarize when the request is not legal
How would you know if you don’t understand notary law. The majority of Notaries do not understand the rules for the various common Notary Acts such as Acknowledgments, Jurats, Oaths, Affirmations, and Proofs of Execution. By misunderstanding the rules, you are likely to commit illegal acts daily which you might never get caught for, but it is still illegal and you could eventually get caught.

(c) Failing to administer an Oath or a relevant Oath when required
This can end you up in jail for five years on a felony. We have heard stories of several Notaries who got busted by judges for this and lost their commission. I did not hear of anyone being put in jail. But, I heard that some judges consider failing to administer an Oath when you said you did in writing to be perjury which is a felony and is a Federal offense not governed by your particular state rules.

(d) Failing to fill out a journal
If you don’t keep a journal or use short cuts, you might not have adequate evidence in court of what actually happened at a transaction. Those who have thorough records often get out of long court cases and I have stories from our Notaries to back up that claim. It only takes two minutes per assignment and can save your neck.

(e) Thumbprinting
Failure to keep a journal thumbprint would make identity thieves hard or impossible for investigative agencies to catch. Showing the FBI your journal entry with a fake ID’s serial number inscribed within it leads them into a brick wall.

(f) Additional information in Acknowledgments
Many Notaries feel that since this information below their stamp is optional that therefor they should not fill it out. Acknowledgments can fraudulently be swapped from one document to another if not thoroughly identified by use of the optional and additional information section. The NNA does a good job of creating these forms and I recommend them as a vendor.

If you think being a slipshod Notary is okay — I have elaborated the damages that it can cause you and society above. If you think that you are a great notary simply because you never got in trouble… yet… you could get in trouble, and the consequences are so severe, that it is not worth playing with. This is part of the reason why 123notary wants all Notaries listed with us to know their stuff up to our standards (not your standards or your state’s standards) because our standards are practical and will keep you out of most types of trouble you could get into. Additionally, it looks good and is proper to know your trade to a particular knowledge level.

You might also like:

What makes a preferential listing do well on 123notary?

The reason why 123notary scrutinizes its notaries

Compilation of posts about 123notary


January 8, 2019

Spousal States List

Which states are spousal states for Notary Loan Signing?
New Hampshire
New Jersey
North Carolina
North Dakota
South Dakota
West Virginia

If you are a married homeowner in a Spousal State, your spouse is required to sign certain documents to attest that he or she is aware of the new loan.

Typically, the spouse will need to sign the Deed of Trust, the Right to Cancel, the Truth-In-Lending (TIL), and a few other title and settlement documents.

Your spouse is not financially responsible for the mortgage transaction by signing these documents as long as they are not on the note (the note is the legal-binding document that defines the terms of the loan and who is responsible). They are just acknowledging that a new mortgage is being taken out against the property.

It’s also important to mention that anyone on the deed to your home must also sign the spousal documents, whether you live in a spousal state or not. All owners of the home must acknowledge that you are borrowing against the home.


You might also like:

Spousal States List on the Forum

The 30 point course – a free loan signing course on our blog

Signing Agent Best Practices


January 7, 2019

The reason why 123notary scrutinizes its Notaries

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: — admin @ 12:31 am

Most complaints about Notaries listed on our site never get back to us. People do not want to publish negative reviews because the information is online, the reviewer’s and reviewee’s name is on it, and the reviewer often fears legal retaliation or other types of retaliation. However, here is a review where the person complaining claims that because she found a bad Notary on 123notary, she will probably not use our site again! I personally lose when you ditch your customers that found you on my site — and that is why I want to make sure you are both responsive and know how to be a good Notary.

Text From Review with names taken out for privacy.

I will start off by saying the first time I spoke with (name of Notary omitted), I was very pleased. She seemed very friendly and convenient. I had scheduled an appointment with her over last week to meet this Monday at 11am. She agreed and told me to leave a message of the address, as I did. I never heard back from her for a conformation on meeting, so I called her this morning 11/21/16 at 8:39 and asked her if we were still okay to meet this morning at 11am. She said yes and I said okay great sounds good.

I showed up and there was no one. I waited in the parking lot for about five minutes before I tried calling her cell. It was turned off and went straight to voicemail. So I hung up and sent her a message letting her know I was there and waiting if she was lost to let me know and I’d help with directions. I tried her second number and it rang a few times then went to voicemail. I left a message again stating I was there and if she needed help to let me know. I also sent this number a text message as well. I tried calling a couple times again and figured maybe she was running behind.

By 11:35am, I had yet seen or received any contact information. I could not longer wait for her, so I had no choice to leave. So not only did this cause me to be upset, but a disappointment as well.

I had driven 72 miles there which was an hour and a half of my time up, plus another 72 miles and an hour and a half back home, for a no show. I was very disappointed that I was unable to have the services we had scheduled to not be completed.

I do not like to report non satisfaction reviews but this was a total waste of my time. A simple phone call saying this needed to be rescheduled, or that the service was unfortunately unable to be done today, something came up, or something. Instead I got a no call no show. I would not recommend this Notary again due to the inconvenience this has brought on to me today, as well as the returning phone calls that I never received a few times when I had left previous messages to her before this incident today. I just gave her the benefit of the doubt previously due to understanding she has a life and work and being busy. But again for the service today with being unprofessional that I was not contacted and wasted my gas,time, wear and tear on my vehicle, sitting and waiting for her, and the inconvenience and not even being able to return my phone call yet (as it’s 3:06pm) to apologize for this situation I will never recommend her again and probably never use the 123Notary website again. Thanks for your time and reading this review.

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Is 123notary building its notaries up or tearing them down?

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