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October 17, 2018

When are Notaries rude to title companies?

Filed under: Etiquette — Tags: — admin @ 11:42 am

I wrote an article a few months ago stating that if you are rude to Jeremy (that’s me) that you are probably rude to title. I got lots of hateful responses. The point is that Notaries used the excuse that since I was not paying them, that they had the right to be rude to me and also that I was rude. But, I am only rude to people who provoke the hell out of me — which includes a long list of people.

But, this week, I talked to a few people who worked at signing and title companies to get the truth from their point of view. Here is what I found out.

Company 1.
A person who used to work in title for years told me that Notaries were regularly rude to people working in title, but that problem was no greater than any other problem they had.

Company 2
Another person who had worked in escrow as an assistant claimed that she had not heard of Notaries being rude to title officers. Hmm. A completely different story.

Company 3
This third person owned a small signing company in Arizona. He claimed that Notaries were rude to him, but only when he confronted them with something they did wrong that they were unwilling to take responsibility for. He confirmed my complaint that Notaries by and large make claims to be amazing, and are very unwilling to acknowledge their flaws or mistakes.

Summary
It seems to me that the reason for rudeness on the part of Notaries is coming from the same place as the self-promoting lies that Notaries tell. Most Notaries I deal with go on and on about how great they are, how much experience they have and how they never make mistakes. This is not only phony sounding, a pain in the neck (and ear) but a snow job. People who hire Notaries can see through the nonsense very quickly. When I ask people how many loans they have signed, 70% of people will give me a very long story about their career without answering my question which is a headache that I have to endure every time I do welcome calls. This type of bragging and not following instructions by answering the question the way it was asked is coming from the same place that the rudeness is coming from. A lack of modesty and a childish and confrontational attitude.

It would be better if Notaries would just answer questions as they were asked, adopt a more modest attitude about their work, study harder, and accept the fact that they are not perfect and that others in hiring or evaluative positions will scrutinize them. It is childish to assume that you are perfect and immature to get hostile if someone criticizes you. Expect criticism and accept it. In fact, you would be a better notary if you would hold yourself to higher standards.

If Notaries would scrutinize themselves and spend more time learning in a cautious and meticulous way, there would be less for others to criticize about them. This is a profession and there is no reason not to study. Only about 1% of our Notaries on board are willing to study on their own initiative. It should be 50% at least. Accepting the fact that even though you might have a lot of years on the job that there might be a lot you don’t know that you need to know would be another act of self-honesty and modesty.

I am not saying you should go through life berating yourselves, but the attitude of most Notaries is that of an immature show-off who cannot tolerate criticism. That kind of behavior and attitude is not professional and not attractive to hiring parties. If someone in a higher position than you says that you did something wrong or don’t know something you need to, rather than fight with them, accept their words as valuable input — because it is valuable input that might keep you from getting fired or locked up one day. Try to see things from a bigger perspective. And if you don’t like me berating you, then most of you need to act a lot more professional. If you acted professional as a group, there would be no reason to berate you in the first place.

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You might also like:

The way you treat Jeremy might be the same way you treat title
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19590

Attn. Title Companies – what you need to know about 2018 123notary certification.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21065

If you were hiring a notary, what would you look for?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16750

If Donald Trump hired you as a Notary, would you get fired?

If Trump hired you as a Notary, would you get fired?

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October 1, 2018

What would our certification mean if everyone had it?

Filed under: Certification & Communication Skills — admin @ 11:31 am

Our certification used to mean something five or ten years ago. Certified members used to value knowledge, study and get more business as a result of having our certification. In the last several years, the industry has changed, and Carmen pointed out that I was not in touch with the new collective attitude of the industry. There is less of a concern about education, knowledge, and more emphasis on micromanaging and low-balling. With the poor quality of notaries out there in 2018, it seems that the hiring parties have no other choice.

The average 123notary certified member had a reasonable knowledge of loan docs back in 2012. But, when I retested people in 2016, the knowledge level went down from around 65% to about 45%. I do not have exact records, and the percentages mean nothing unless you know who was tested and what position they were in, what the questions were, if it was timed, by email, phone, etc. To me, this is a significant drop in competency.

It is because of this drop in knowledge that I requizzed everyone. But, during my first round, I only asked eight questions, and was very liberal in grading. I did not want to decertify 99% of those who had the icon. I felt bad that so many were not passing. But, the not passing was because most Notaries did not know their job. They do their job wrong all day long but nobody caught them, except in a few cases that I heard about. So, I quizzed people again and again with free study guides hoping that people would study more and hoping I would get readings on how they did at notary, documents, and scenarios questions.

The results were that some people studied, but most ignored my emails or did a half-assed job answering the questions. Despite all the chances I gave people, most people did not take the certification seriously and lost it.

Many people got mad at me for all this testing. Some claimed it was demeaning and that they were a professional and knew their job and didn’t need to be tested. Others thought it was a nuisance. However, so many people did so badly, that without testing someone, I can only assume that they are failing in basic knowledge. I apologize for bothering everyone, but I did not have a very forward thinking plan for recertifying people in the past. Now, I am much more masterful about the step by step processes that are necessary. I know my audience better.

The reason I am doing all this testing is because:
(a) I want to screen out those who refuse to study or cooperate, or don’t know their stuff
(b) I want to not screen out too many people otherwise nobody will have our certification.

If I did it the old fashioned way, back in 2017, I would have had a comprehensive timed oral test by phone. I would have sent out two emails, the follow-up would be a week after the first. You would be required to not only answer the email but answer three questions based on material embedded in our course to force you to read our course (few will read it unless forced.) If I went out 1000 emails of this nature, I would probably get 150 qualified responses from those that read the materials. Then, I would test those 150 people on a timed phone test with the hardest questions first. That way I could end the test early if they had not studied. I would probably pass only about 20 people, and we would have 20 certified notaries. The others could study and retest.

Such a harsh way of doing business would have been too much of a shock for me back in 2017. However, it would have gotten the job done in three weeks flat instead of doing the job in wishy-washy stages like I did.

I wanted my certification to mean something to those hiring notaries. If idiots had my icon, then the certification would not mean anything. But, if I took it away from too many people, then nobody would have it and it would once again not mean anything. So, my strategy has been to try to get people to study so I could increase the quantity of deserving people who would have this icon. My strategy was very time consuming and caused too much grief to far too many people.

If I did it all over again, I would make it a lot harder to get the certification in the first place, because taking peoples’ certification away causes a lot of grief to all parties involved. I am older now. I am 49 now. I started certification when I was a starry eyed 32 year old with very little experience in the real world. Young people don’t think about the long term.

Many people who had our certification gamed the system and memorized the answers, had other people take the test for them, or simply forgot their knowledge because they stopped reading, took drugs, or got old and senile. I did not think of any of that when I was 32, but that is the first thing I think about now — mental decay.

Reading, thinking, walking, and grape juice is the best way to preserve your brain.

In the mean time, we are down to less than 200 people who have our certification and the users are starting to appreciate it because the quality went up.

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September 28, 2018

How can I get a goose that lays golden signings?

Filed under: Certification & Communication Skills — admin @ 8:23 am

Everybody wants a good that lays golden eggs. Coca-Cola stock is like this except the dividends are a very small percentage of the investment. But, at least it is one of the safest stocks out there.

123notary’s Elite Certification is proof of the very highest standard of Notarial knowledge out there. We have recently refined our study guides and testing standards to make it comprehensive and of great benefit to the notary in terms of safety precautions, knowledge of documents and procedures, and also knowledge of less common notarial practices.

Those who pass our test get more signings, more money per signing, and more favor with 123notary and title companies. We are letting people take the test for FREE in the mean time. It only requires a few hours of study and will reward you for the rest of your life — should you live so long. So, what is taking you so long?

Elite Study Guide
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20118

30 Point Course
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14233

Notary Public 101
http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=4561

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September 21, 2018

What traits do escrow officers look for in Notaries?

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: — admin @ 11:34 am

Here are some things that Escrow officers look for in Notaries.

1. Document knowledge.
You should know your documents inside out and know where to find the rate, prepayment penalty information, 1st payment info, APR, how to date and initial the RTC, etc.

2. Form Filling
Many loans have forms to fill out. The borrower will do the actual filling out, but the Notary needs to know how to assist in this process if you want to get hired again.

3. Personal Knowledge
Many Escrow Officers prefer to hire a Notary who is personally known (rather than proven on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to them rather than hire a signing agency who hires strangers. For jobs that are far away from the Escrow office, they might be more willing to hire signing services.

4. Personable
Are you the type of person who can interact nicely with others? Or are you difficult to communicate with, rude, complain a lot, or avoid people?

5. Available
If you are not available, or are not reachable by phone that is a problem. Then there are others who answer the phone and refuse to talk who are also not doing well in terms of availability.

6. Back to Back signings
If a signer is willing and able to do one signing after another, that is a selling feature for escrow.

7. What about certification?
Certification is only as valuable as the knowledge that goes with it. Escrow officers want knowledge and reliability, not claims of knowledge and reliability. Elite 123notary Certification is popular with title & escrow. But, very few Notaries bother trying to get it.

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You might also like:

If you work for title companies directly, what do they want?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16110

Why you should consider getting 123notary Elite Certified
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20094

Elite certification will benefit you the rest of your life
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20770

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September 17, 2018

What are Jeremy’s intentions?

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 7:48 am

Why is Jeremy mean? Why does he give so many quizzes? Why does he take away people’s certifications? We are amazingly great Notaries and don’t need to be quizzed and deserve $200 jobs, etc. So, what gives?

I (Jeremy) realize that people who hire Notaries have a lot to lose if they hire a bad Notary. I also realize that the other notary directories out there have mostly really awful Notaries who don’t answer their phone, don’t communicate well, and don’t know how to be good Notaries, let alone good signing agents.

Next, picture yourself having to deal with thousands of apathetic Notaries who put more effort into coming up with excuses and avoiding doing what they are asked to do rather than cooperating. Then, add a regular supply of viscious jerks who go out of their way to be as hostile as possible and then blabber all over Facebook saying what a jerk I am. I am just doing my job, but get pelted with hostility the minute I ask anything of my Notaries or have any rules. I do not have the freedom to set down any terms and conditions that are enforceable without being relentlessly attacked. If you were in this position, how nice would you be, and would you even last?

123notary’s business model has always been about identifying and marketing quality Notaries. Most Notaries think of themselves as high quality, however, in my point of view, only a handful are. When I talk to someone for five minutes and have to repeat myself ten times, or find that whatever I say gets scrambled, this is what I call bad communication skills. When I ask simple notary questions and get resistance, that is a sign of a bad attitude and lack of motivation. When I give a notary quiz email and half the answers come back wrong — which is average, that is bad. We are showing you to fancy title companies who want to get good Notaries from our site. Generally the title companies are happy with us as a rule. But, I want to give title the best Notaries possible and filter through my notaries on board to find the best ones to identify as being good — or at least give higher placement to.

Additionally, the ones who have my certification icon are notaries who in a sense I am personally recommending. After retesting certified members and seeing how they don’t respond to emails and they can’t give straight answers to easy questions, I am thinking, how can I recommend these people? I want solid people to recommend who are professional, answer questions in a straightforward way, and know their stuff. This shouldn’t be hard to filter out, but when you boil it down, you might only get a few dozen people who match this requirement.

I want to market my certification like I did in the old days. But, people stopped respecting it. After I retested people, I too started to disrespect my certification. Unmotivated, stubborn people who did not know their notary procedures at all, and who were unwilling to study had my certification. Even with an open book test and study guide, many people just didn’t read the study guide and failed. A basic misunderstanding of the most basic notary principles and aspects of following directions were the problem. It is not rocket science to be a Notary. But, for most of our Notaries — it might as well be.

In short — I am trying to have the best site possible, but am dealing with a crowd of thousands of apathetic Notaries who don’t know their job and don’t give a damn. My value system does not match the majority of the Notaries.

The bottom line:

(1) I want to attract work for decent Notaries. And if I can’t differentiate a great Notary from an average one, that means more work for Title to sift through them. If most of the notaries on my site don’t know how to be a safe and good Notary, in my mind, why would anyone want to hire them or use our site? This is why I put so much emphasis on free courses, studying, quizzing, etc. That way in my mind notaries who pass deserve to get hired and paid well. Unfortunately only a handful are motivated enough to pass.

If we were a directory with only bad Notaries, or where you couldn’t find hardly any good Notaries, people would not get much work from our directory. Think about it. Those that hire want quality, especially if they pay well.

(2) I want my certification to be valued like in the old days. If people who used to be good, who forgot their stuff, and have become old and sluggish are the only ones with my certification, no wonder people don’t value it anymore. I feel sad taking my certification away from so many people. But, they will only value it when so few people have it, that it becomes an identifier of the cream of the crop. Then people will want it again, but whether or not they will be able to pass the test is doubtful.

(3) When I quiz by phone I have to make 200 calls per day. I have to get each call done fast to get to the next. When a Notary holds me up with sluggish answers, giving me the runaround or antagonizes me, I lose my temper because I really don’t have time or patience. Then, the notary typically gets on the internet and tells everyone how rude I am and I normally kick that notary off my site or mark them up as being a problem. Notaries do not understand that after being talked back to dozens of times per day I am long past the end of my fuse. Talking back to the police is not a good idea and they will not be nice to you if you do it either. Please remember that I am quality control and NOT customer service. If I am screening you, there is no benefit to not being polite and cooperative.

(4) I want to have the best directory possible as I said before. If you cooperate with me by being nice and studying, you can share the fruits of the quality. Otherwise you probably won’t do very well on 123notary in the long run and you are the one who loses the most. A few hours of studying to save your career doesn’t sound unreasonable.

(5) About 5% of Notaries email me and say that they are on my site and that they too are tired of really bad Notaries. For each supporter I have, there are twenty in the opposition who are pro-horrible Notaries and want the industry to have nothing but the worst, because they don’t see the worst as being bad, but think that it doesn’t matter. You just stamp a form and throw a package in the Fedex — that is all there is too it, and anyone who thinks differently is a prick. Those values do not attract quality clients and to not attract me either.

(6) Those “good” notaries who value knowledge who are on my side typically do not spend much time on social media. They are too busy working. Those who are not working are the majority on all theses Facebook groups that bash me. If they would spend as much time studying as they do commiserating with other jerks, they might get ahead.

I just want to have a site I am proud of with notaries who are conscientious, and can handle any type of work-related situation. If that doesn’t gel with you, then I can’t help you!

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

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September 10, 2018

Compilation of posts about Notary etiquette

Filed under: Compilations,Etiquette — Tags: , — admin @ 9:12 am

Here are some posts about etiquette.

Notary Etiquette from Atheist to Zombie
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13718

Borrower Etiquette from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2995

Notary Marketing 102 Phone Etiquette
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19764

Notary Etiquette from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=300

What do you lose by being short with someone when you answer the phone
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16754

Do you ramble? What do your clients think?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4122

The Notary who called me back to tell me she couldn’t talk
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4098

Don’t answer the phone by saying “Hullo?”
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16576

Thank you, Excuse me, I’m sorry
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8882

Always be helpful
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15429

You lose $37.50 each time you don’t answer the phone
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16562

The joy of repeat clients
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=9794

Dress British Think Yiddish
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8643

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August 27, 2018

Emailing questions to notaries proves fruitful

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: — admin @ 11:07 am

I emailed hundreds of Notaries with notary questions. Carmen likes the idea, and she told me why.

1. Convenience — Notaries have the chance to answer the question at their convenience instead of being put on the spot by me which makes them uncomfortable and sometimes mad!

2. Learning — Notaries have the chance to learn something by looking things up in their NNA materials or on our blog or other sources. Learning should be a regular part of a Notary’s life, so I am glad to give them a chance to learn.

3. Certification — I have been able to give temporary certifications and reinstate people’s certifications who lost it because I could not reach them to test. I would like to have at least 1000 certified member, but people are mostly sluggish about studying and being cooperative, so this goal will not be possible until the market shifts.

4. Wrong Emails — I get to see whose emails bounce and whose are wrong. I can remove free listings who are out of the loop. This is valuable information and it only takes a minute for me to sent them an email and make a record of it.

I am happy that you are learning something, and hope you enjoy our Notary Public 101 course on the blog as it is packed with pertinent information, particularly the scenarios page which can get you out of a bind and save you from a bad review.

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August 24, 2018

Notaries who feel entitled

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

At 123notary, we have this unpopular practice of testing people to make sure they know what they are doing. Unfortunately, most fail our test with varying degrees of incompetence. People don’t like being quizzed because they know they will fail, yet they always claim to be great Notaries.

The problem is that some of our more loyal clients who have been Notaries for 20 years claim that they shouldn’t have to pass our test or take our test. Some of these people are operating on a 20% level of competency. How is it they survived in this business so long without knowing what they are doing. How is it that nobody else is chastising them for not knowing what they are doing. Customers who hire Notaries are normally unaware of proper notary procedure and also not aware of the consequences of careless Notary work. The result is that I am treated like the bad guy for being the one person who scrutinizes notaries. I do so because I do know the difference and don’t like the attitude of those who don’t give a damn.

In any case, we are having an argument with a New Mexico Notary who just won’t pass our test. He got a failing grade before, and now we jacked up his renewal rate since he is a risk to our reputation for quality. Why can’t he just study? It takes only a few hours to learn what you need to learn as a notary and that will help you for the rest of your life. Why all the resistance. Carmen even tutors people for free sometimes if they are a loyal client.

The fact is that I cannot make exceptions for veteran Notaries. All Notaries need to know what they are doing — no exceptions. If you don’t know, we will allow you to learn. But, refusing to learn is not an option. Our reputation with title companies matters to us, and I do not give you permission to ruin it.

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August 15, 2018

Please let me do my job without all the bashing

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 10:03 am

For those Notaries who have nothing better to do than bash 123notary, I have a message. The fact that you have time to bash us means that you don’t have many customers because you are not a good Notary, or in my opinion, not a real Notary.

If you spent the time you spend bashing us and everyone else who you don’t like, and spent that time studying to be the perfect Notary, and loan signing agent, you would get more jobs, probably double your income, and then you wouldn’t be angry and go around defaming people. Your bashing might be slanderous, illegal, and I could sue you for defamation, and I have Attorneys who specialize in that by the way.

I have a right to run my site according to policies that I feel make sense. Asking people to:

1. Score 70% on a Notary test seems very reasonable as we are a Notary directory.
2. Login to their listing every 120 days seems reasonable since you need to update your notes and number of signings and let the world know you take your listing seriously.
3. Be reasonably polite and know how to communicate.

My requirements are actually very lax compared to what they should be. I keep them lax because I live in the real world and know that I cannot expect 100% competency, even from our certified members.

You should mind your own business and learn to do your own business correctly instead of being an online lynch mob. You have damaged your businesses by being jerks, and caused me grief by harrassing me in a prolonged way. There is only bad karma from this. Knock it off. I am beginning to consider taking legal action against slander since the problem is so out of control.

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August 10, 2018

Refinances are dead, Foreclosures slow & Reverse very slow

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 11:30 am

Every type of loan is slow or dead right now.

My suggestion is to learn to do what Carmen and I call “general Notary work.” That means just notarizing random documents for people. This requires knowledge of how to handle notary situations and I suggest specializing in hospitals, jails, and business documents as well.

So, now you know why your phone isn’t ringing. The higher interest rates are making it very inauspicious to borrow money. However, things always change. What goes up must come down. If interest rates go up, eventually they will come down and you will be showered with work if you maintain your skills and your profile. Good luck.

You might also like:

Letter to Trump about the State of the Notary Industry
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19908

Is trump to blame for the notary slowdown?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19138

State of the notary industry = slow
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20632

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