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June 15, 2019

Organizing the table for efficiency

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 10:18 pm

I’m doing what I do every half year or so. I call it filtering through the comments on my blog to see if any of the ideas stated are worth developing upon. I came up with some good material this time. This idea was called: organizing the table for efficiency.

The lady who left the comment on this topic said that she had a technique for doing this. However, what are good table organizing techniques? Believe it or not, this was a popular topic for Japanese Notary discussion boards during the Edo Period (which precedes the Meiji period just for the record). In 18th century Japan, a great emphasis was placed on “correct technique” for organizing a table. The Notary procedure would start with the Notary knocking on the front door at the appointed time (punctuality was and still is a requirement for not getting your head cut off in Japan.) Then the Notary would do a special type of bow only done by official Notaries Public of the state. Next, the Notary would proceed to remove his/her shoes and then put on a set of guest slippers (commonly referred to as “gesto-srippa”). They would sit at the table.

No signing could take place without enjoying a little tea with some koto music in the background. The expensiveness of the tea would correspond directly to the amount of the loan. Making a mistake by buying run of the mill green tea at Trader Joe’s (because it was on sale) would not only cost you your loan, but in some cases…. your life!!! If you were the tea buyer, you would have to go to one of those fancy tea stores which I refer to as a bou-tea-que (boutique), and engage in a long and drawn out sniffing process having small oral tastes of particular fancy green teas. There would be a long and careful process that would proceed actually purchasing a small quantity of some varietal of tea. Sounds cumbersome, but I bet Mrs. Meao would like the sniffing part.

After the tea ceremony was over and everybody had said a Shinto style prayer to the local Notary Gods, then the signing would begin. First, there would be an organizing of the table. Since in Japanese culture (and in Jeremy culture, whatever that means) there should be nothing else on the table during a signing — no babies, no other papers, no objects, marijuana paraphernalia, samurai swords, and above all else — definitely no liquids. Liquids can go on a chair to the side of the table if you really need them.

Next, you could have the Notary sit at the head of the table and have the signers sit next to each other on the side. Or, the Notary could sit across from the signers on the other side of the table. The main thing is to put the documents face down to the right, or left of the head signer. In Japan that would traditionally be the man, although with all of the women’s rights movements, it might be a woman or a gender neutral person these days.

The main thing is that you have a stack of documents. If you want to go over some of them first before you sign, that is not a bad strategy. But, the documents should flow in an assembly line fashion from one end of the table to the other with no interruptions to then be checked by the Notary and then put in the FedEx Package.

What are your techniques for organizing the table for efficiency?

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June 12, 2019

To be a good signing agent, do you need to be full-time?

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 10:15 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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May 20, 2019

Are you a residence or a business owner?

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 11:05 am

Many of you Notaries behave more like a residence than a business owner. It is not very professional. When I call you I get a “hello?” and not a “Sampson signings, Judy speaking.” I am not the only one who cares about professionalism. The other thing is that if you are eating dinner you often refuse to talk. If you are a business forget about dinner and focus on the task at hand. Do you complain that people call you on a Sunday? That means you think of yourself as a residence. If you get mad when people call you after 9pm that means you think of your operation as a residence.

The fact is that whether you are registered or not, since you take money for offering a service, or are offering to do so, technically you could be legally construed as a business. So, get registered to keep it legal and start thinking of your self as a business. Maybe then you will start acting like a business.

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April 13, 2019

How to deal with dogs, messes, and other signing nightmares

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 10:47 am

As a signing agent, you have to deal with more than identification, documents and signers. You have to deal with people’s unstable mental condition, dogs, guns, kidnappers, sexual harassment, anger problems and more. So, how do you deal with all of this?

1. Messes
If you are a Notary confronted with a mess, keep in mind that there are different types of messes. Some are just a nuisance. Others are dangerous because you might trip on something. There could be insects or vermin. What’s worse, a house might have diseases or bacteria in it which could prove deadly. It is not worth risking your health. If a house is too messy for you, meet the signers at Starbucks. Do the signing with a Jurat-accino, but no drinks on the table.

2. Dogs
Dogs can be annoying or dangerous. Yet the owners see the dog jumping all over you and licking you and see you extremely upset and say, “Oh, he’s okay.” If a human touches you that is molestation, but if a dog does it, “Oh, he’s okay.” You need to give them the lecture that just because they love dogs doesn’t mean that you gave permission for their dog to jump on you or come near you. Dogs need to be behind locked doors. I remember going to a signing long time ago. I had them put the dog away. But, the door never latched. Ten minutes later the dog came out of the room and was creating havoc again. Dog owners get really mad at me for not liking their dogs. Rather than being mad at me — keep your dog quarantined! I am a cat in a human body and cats don’t like dogs.

3. Children
If children are running through the house, you can tell the signers that they need to be fully focused on the documents and the children need to be somewhere else having quiet time. It is too distracting having children buzzing around.

4. Naked people
This doesn’t happen that often, but it is possible for you to go to a signing to have a naked person walking around. Perhaps someone got out of the shower, or perhaps someone is an exhibitionist. There are also children who don’t know any better. You could ask them to put on clothing or you could just pack up and leave if it is too disconcerting.

5. Guns
We have a Notary who did a signing for the Klan. The wizard guy asked, “Is that a gun you have in that there bag?” Our Notary said yes, so as to appear normal to the wizard, although she didn’t really have a gun. It’s moments like this you feel glad or relieved to be white (or hwite as the case may be, not sure why the h comes first… must be a Southern thang.) The important thing to understand about this situation was that it is good that the wizard did not say, “What did you say about my daddy?” Then you know you are in trouble.

6. Single Men
If you are a young lady in the house of a single man who shows interest in you, just understand that men cannot get married unless they express interest in ladies. Ladies always complain about men showing interest in them. In the last several years with all of the new technology and social media, men are ignoring women more and more. It is hard to get married now. Women were better off with men interested. But, if you are in a situation where you feel uncomfortable, or you just want to take precautions, here is a list of things to do:

(a) Let your husband know where you are so he can call the police if he doesn’t hear back from you.
(b) Carry pepper spray and brass knuckles
(c) Sit at the table closest to the door in a position where you can see the door as well. You never know who will come through that door.
(d) Don’t go to a part of the house where you could become cornered.
(e) Don’t respond to the interest shown in you if any.
(f) Learn self defense at one of those schools where you learn to elbow people and stomp on their toes.

7. Kidnappers
I did a signing for a kidnapper. Or at least the people with him suggested they had been kidnapped. I don’t remember the details. This was in Monterey Park, CA. I think they were his family and didn’t want to go with him, but they had no money and no place to stay. So, what could they do? I don’t know what their real situation was. If you are notarizing people who are under duress, you might end up in court, so be careful.

8. Russian Spies
Don’t worry. We need them around to make sure Trump wins a second term. And if you ask them who they are, they always reply, “My name is Nicholai, I am Russian, I love taking walks and I play the violin.” If they ask you if you are the Notary, tell them, “I am, or at least… that is what people want me to think I am.”

9. People who resist being thumbprinted
Whether it is legal or not in your state to refuse to notarize someone who refuses to be thumb printed — it should not only be legal, but should be require to thumbprint your victims. In any case, that is a red flag if someone doesn’t want to be thumb printed. It means they might be shady or up to something. But, there is nothing you can do if the law in your state doesn’t protect you.

10. Hurricanes
If you are going to a signing in bad weather, consider that you might get stuck there. Do you want to spend eight hours with complete strangers and their signatures? On the other hand, if you get a signing and it starts raining ice, you need to think twice about whether or not you will get there at all. You might get fired if you cancel a job, but you might be saving your life as well.

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April 5, 2019

What title says and what they do are two different things

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 10:03 am

When Carmen and I talk to signing and title companies the answers are consistent. Hiring parties want experience (a minimum of 2 years) and they generally like reviews. They care how many years you have been in business especially.

But, when I pulled a list from signingagent.com that was segmented on how many years you had been in business — I called those people and found that they had hardly signed any loans if any, and had no clue what they were doing. The two years of experience title and signing companies typically say they want is worthless and stupid. Additionally, these people fail our quizzes miserably.

Those who do well on our quiz typically have 5000 or 10,000 loans under their belt (or kimono if they are female.)

However, the people who have certification get a lot more high paying jobs and a lot more title jobs. Those with standards prefer 123notary certified members even though when they talk to us they claim not to. One guy on our site who lost his certification lost ALL of his title calls over night. Hmmm. He wants his certification back and all I ask is that he studies.

So, title says they want experience, but what they really want is knowledge. Experience, perceived experience, and knowledge of how to handle situations is different.

You cannot judge someone by how many years they have been doing this. Twenty years looks great until you find out they know nothing about notary law. And then # of signings is a better analytic but people lie. If they say 5000, it might be closer to 800 which is a big difference. I have no way to know if a person is lying, but if I ask them how many loans they have signed, and their profile says 10,000 and they say 2000 over the phone — I know they are lying — that is proof.

Title companies like our certification — they are too ashamed to say it but they like it. They like reviews and experience too. How you write your notes section really matters as well. Take this all seriously as this is how you get work.

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January 21, 2019

A Notary discusses costs with Jeremy

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 12:37 am

JEREMY: So, you read my article about how studying to be elite certified is worth $533 per minute and worth $320,000 in extra income potentially over the next ten years?

NOTARY: Yes, but I have a more pressing issue.

JEREMY: More pressing than $320,000 in extra income which is enough to buy a four bedroom house with a jacuzzi?

NOTARY: Yes. I did a signing for XYZ signing company, and they had me print out documents and then cancelled the job. According to my calculations, I lose 67 cents in toner and $1.29 in paper. Should I try to collect?

JEREMY: Listen Spock, I think you should land the ship in a safe place before you try to collect your toner bill, and try to not interfere too much with the local population.

NOTARY: I’m considering suing for my $1.96 in lost costs.

JEREMY: Why don’t we spend half an hour talking about your $1.96 and completely ignore the $320,000 extra you could make if you studied.

NOTARY: I don’t like studying. I don’t feel it is necessary.

JEREMY: Yes, but the people who might hire you often do think it is necessary. Do you want to please fancy title companies, or enjoy not having to apply yourself? Studying to be elite certified has been estimated to be worth $533 per minute and instead you waste your time worrying about $2 that you will never get back? If you ask me, you have a problem identifying priorities and understanding return on investment. Families that get ahead invest in education, and Notaries that get ahead do the same. You don’t need to spend ten years on a PhD., only ten hours studying our free materials — you don’t even have to pay at this time!

NOTARY: Can you guarantee that I pass if I study?

JEREMY: Can you guarantee that you will do a thorough job studying?

NOTARY: Of course! I am always thorough!

JEREMY: No disrespect, but you got 40% last time I tested you. That is not very thorough.

NOTARY: Well, that is because of THE WAY you phrased the questions.

JEREMY: I phrased about forty questions the way I phrase them for a lady who studied thirty hours and earned an elite certification two days ago. She got 95% average and was not complaining. I think if you are unfamiliar with the subject matter, it doesn’t matter how I phrase the question, you will not understand it and not pass. I think you need to stop making excuses and hunker down and study if you intend to get ahead.

SUMMARY
It is clear that the majority of Notaries spend a lot of time complaining, making excuses, and a few even write hateful things in emails, blog commentaries and on Notary groups online. This negativity is very upsetting to me and drags the industry into a moral cesspool. Notaries focus on tiny things like small problems they had with companies rather than focusing on big things such as being experts in their field (and getting elite certified by 123notary.)

Additionally, most Notaries fool themselves and try to fool me into thinking they are experts in their field when they cannot adequately describe any particular Notary act in its entirety correctly, and normally have a 40% (average) understanding of Notary procedure. The deception, the arguing and the ignorance are not acceptable. This is why we request that you all study from our online materials on a regular basis. We publish free courses because you need to know how to be a good Notary rather than be good at pretending to be a good Notary. Start cracking the books instead of cooking the books so to speak.

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You might also like:

What are Jeremy’s favorite blog entries?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18837

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December 2, 2018

Complete guide for beginner Notaries

Filed under: Business Tips — Tags: — admin @ 10:58 am

As a beginner Notary, you need a fast way to get the knowledge you need, get your name out there, get business, and not get in trouble. We make this possible at 123notary.com. There will be some study time required but you can do it. Here is what we recommend.

EDUCATION
Before you get started as a Mobile Notary, you really need to know the ropes. You need to know how to do Notary work, and then how to handle Mobile Notary and Loan Signing jobs. We have free and paid courses that can help you with this. Notary Public 101 on our blog teaches the basics of Notary work and our 30 Point Course goes over loan signing. See our Loan Signing Courses page on our site for more comprehensive paid signing agent courses. We recommend you pass our signing agent test by phone as well. Skimming over the materials isn’t good enough. You need to know your craft inside out because you can get into legal trouble if you make mistakes handling situations and requests! Additionally, you need to know your state laws and we do not teach state laws — only generally prudent practices.

Notary Public 101
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19493

GETTING YOUR NAME OUT THERE
We have a list of loan signing companies that hire beginners. They pay less and micromanage a lot more, but that is how it is when you hire beginners. We also recommend talking to local title companies, real estate companies, Attorneys, Bail Bonds places, convalescent homes and giving them your card or contact information.

Signing Companies That Will Hire New Signers
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7059

MORE ON MARKETING
Please read our comprehensive marketing guide Notary Marketing 102 for detailed marketing advice as well as our other articles.
http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=4624

ADVERTISING
123notary offers premium Notary advertising at a wide variety of prices. Talk to us at our 888 number and find out what is right for you.

YOUR NOTES SECTION
Please read — How to write a notes section as a beginner. http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16698

ADDITIONAL READING
Blog articles for New Signing Agents & Beginners
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15891

Notary Information for Beginners — Best Posts
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10472

Which Notary Directories get high paying signings?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19201

A Comprehensive Guide to Notary Pricing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16504

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November 27, 2018

FAQ’s that a signing agent might want to ask 123notary

Filed under: Business Tips — Tags: — admin @ 9:26 am

Q. Can a Notary help draft documents?
A. You should not unless you have authorization to draft legal documents. Ask an Attorney for details.

Q. Can I notarize for a person who doesn’t speak my language?
A. As a general rule, a Notary needs direct communication with the signer, so sign up for Berlitz courses today!

Q. Can a Notary also be a witness?
A. As a general rule you can, and in some states it is even an official Notary Act to be a witness.

Q. Can a Notary assist in filling out an I-9?
A. This sounds like it might be a legal document and you should ask an Attorney if you can help fill it out. I would decline filling out forms for people unless you are a professional at doing exactly that.

Q. Can you amend a document that has already been notarized?
A. No, but you can have your client draft a new version of the document and notarize the new version from scratch.

Q. Do I need to keep a journal?
A. That is a state specific question that varies from state to state. However, since your journal is your only evidence in court if fraud is committed, it is suicide not to keep one. We also recommend journal thumbprints since some signers might be using false ID.

Q. How can I get more business?
A. 123notary has written a new course called Notary Public 102 which discusses how to get more business. Additionally, being the master of your trade and knowing your Notary basics inside out really help. Paying your dues working for low paying signings is another way to get experience which in turn helps attract more business.

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You might also like:

Loan Signing FAQ’s that Borrower’s Ask
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15457

FAQ How much do Notaries charge?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=5317

Notary FAQ based on recent search queries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2061

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June 6, 2018

Reminder — login to your listing and update your notes

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 11:59 am

Notaries,
Please login to your listing. There are many things to do on a regular basis.

1. Update your # of signings
2. Update your notes to include the new things you have learned and done in the last few months if they are worth reading about.
3. Ask for a review from your new and favorite clients. It is better to ask them right after they tell you how great you are.
4. Get on the list of some new signing companies and call some of the old ones who hired you.

Good luck and try to be regular at maintaining your presence!

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May 21, 2018

Names for Notary Businesses with Commentary

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 8:15 am

Notaries love to read about names for Notary businesses. Some names are geographical, some are funny, and some get you in trouble. Others sound cliche and a few are catchy. Here are some names we see and a few we made up for fun.

Notary 4 U
Now there is a name that works well on an email address.

Signatures 4 Less
Sounds like a bargain

Notaries R Us
Sounds like a Toys R Us commercial. Affidavits are in aisle three.

Seals on Wheels or Notary on Wheels
This on is popular.

Seal the Deal Mobile Notary
Talk about getting things done.

The Notarizer or The Noterator
I think Arnold has registered this name already.

Have Stamp Will Travel
Brings back memories of the old West.

What’s Up Docs
This signing service ended up not doing that well. People thought their name was goofy. But, Bugs Bunny liked it and that’s all that matters to me.

A1 Notary Services
Try this service out when Worcestershire Notary Services is busy!

Notary 90210
Great service, but discounts are probably not their thing in that zip code.

Notary Now
On a busy day, they temporarily change their name to Notary Later.

Jesus (pronounced Hey-soos) & the 12 Apostilles 24 hour Mobile Notary
“We’ll get the job done come hell or high water.”
Sounds like a great name for a Hispanic Notary & Apostille / Authentication Service.

Vampire 24 Hour Notary
“We are Vampires and never sleep. Our price for a Jurat is half a pint of blood with a straw.”

Right on Time Mobile Notary
If you worked for Domino’s Pizza you’ll have an in getting a job from these guys.

Prestige Mobile Notaries
I think the 90210 is still a better idea. Don’t say it — show it…

Royal Notary Service
I’m sure this is where Queen Elizabeth gets her Affidavits.

A. Paul Steele
Sounds like a great name unless your clients want an Authentication!

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You might also like:

Names for Notary businesses that can get you in trouble
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19064

Geographic Notary Business Names
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19060

Meao Notary Service Revisited

Meao Notary Service Revisited

Notary Business Names
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2302

Choosing a name for a business license
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7103

You could get sued if you don’t have a business license
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7100

Deceptive Identities – Companies that change their names
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1090

Stealing a Business Name
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2660

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