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February 15, 2017

Building an image to show you are professional

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 7:33 am

The most common word that the least professional Notaries use to describe themselves is professional. “I’m very professional and 100% accurate.” Those are the Notaries I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. The key in this business is to come across as being professional without claiming to be. Behave in such a way that others say you are professional as their unbiased (less-biased) word carries more weight than yours.

Here are some ways to be professional.

1. Notes
Your notes section on your various advertisements such as 123notary, Notary Rotary, etc., needs to be informative, well organized, and not have spelling mistakes. Avoid vague statements that you can’t put your finger on such as how professional and reliable you are. Anyone can claim this, but claiming it doesn’t make it true. Putting that you signed 2673 Refinances gives a more defined impression. Telling us ten years in business doesn’t tell us what you did in those years. Did you sign ten loans per year, or are you so out of it that you don’t even have an idea of what you did in those years.

2. Phone Etiquette
How you answer the phone makes a difference. Some people announce their name and answer questions the way they were asked. Other people say, “hello” and then when you ask them how many loans they signed they tell you how many years instead — not professional and very annoying. Other people have screaming babies in the background. If you are in a noisy pub, tell your client you are going to go outside to where it is more quiet. You are not only solving the noise problem, but you are acknowledging that the client might not want to hear the noise. That is called being considerate and being considerate = being professional.

3. Dress
Do you dress well to the signing? Business casual is good. Jeans, t-shirts, shorts, unclean outfits, etc, just don’t cut it. Do you look well groomed? Looking good makes a big difference because people are shallow!

4. Punctuality
Don’t claim to be punctual, develop a reputation for being punctual. Show up early and wait. If you are always punctual, people will get a sense about you over the phone. Your punctuality will become part of your aura.

5. Web presence
If you have a Facebook page or website or other profile, you can link that to your profile on 123notary. If you make a professional impression on Facebook, people will get a good impression of you. You can mix personal life and business on Facebook to make the optimal impression, because people want to learn about all sides of your life on Facebook. A website that impresses is another good thing, but only if people can find it. So, link it to your profile as very few will find it on Google. On the other hand if your posts are in broken English and show photos of you in torn clothing getting drunk with rowdy friends, you might not make the best impression unless people want to invite you over to get drunk with them.

6. Doing a good job
Obviously doing good work, answering Notary questions effectively, and making very few if any mistakes counts. But, we all make mistakes. Anyone who says they don’t is a liar! If you do make a mistake, being willing to go back out there and fix it immediately at no cost is critical.

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February 9, 2017

Demand for bilingual signers is on the rise

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 7:28 am

The housing market is coming back, but those buying houses are more and more likely to be millenials and minorities. This means that Notaries who speak the languages of the borrowers will increasingly be in demand.

Many companies will give preference to a bilingual Notary if they have a choice in a situation where the borrower speaks another language. If the borrower is completely incompetent in English, then it is absolutely necessary to hire a bilingual Notary.

Bilingual Notaries often get paid more for signings. I met several Vietnamese ladies who get paid $300 per signing and won’t work for a penny less. That is an extreme case, but it happens. What is more common is for bilingual Notaries to get paid about the same as monolingual signers, but to get a better market share of work.

Unfortunately in America, native speakers of English very rarely develop proficiency in another language. Less than 1% of Americans born here to English speaking parents speak another language well. That vast majority of bilingual speakers in the United States were either born in another country or their parents were.

People who claim to be bilingual are not always as bilingual as they think they are. To be bilingual for the purpose of doing a loan signing, you need to be able to conduct the loan purely in your second language without using a dictionary more than once or twice during the signing. For Americans who learn Spanish or German as a second language, we normally are weak in our second language and need to look a lot of things up. Many people put, “some Spanish” in their language field. Our language field has room for names of languages, and not names of quantities like “some” or “limited.”

As people living in California, many of us feel compelled to learn some Spanish. We are surrounded wherever we go with Salvadoreans, Guatemalans, Mexicans, and other foreigners. The Persians and Arabs normally know good English while Chinese and Korean is too difficult for most of us to even consider learning. However, many of us take Spanish in school and find it an “approachable” language since it is a sister language to English with similar vocabulary, grammar and though processes. To be a teacher, hire a maid, or just to have a meal in certain neighborhoods you need Spanish.
I ordered pasta at an Italian place where the workers are all Central American. I said: 80% tomato and 20% meat sauce. She translated this to her co-worker as 80% carne y 20% tomate — and I said NOOOOOO!!!!!!! Ochenta percento tomate y veinte percento carne, dios mio! Thank God I was a teacher in an all Hispanic area for two years otherwise I would have gotten the wrong pasta!

Is it worth it to learn another language perfectly for Notary purposes? Learning another language is a lot of work. Notaries are not normally the most motivated of people considering that less than 25% can pass my easy Notary test. However, if you love languages and want to augment your career and make your life more interesting, it can be very rewarding. I remember doing signings where I had to give Oaths in Chinese, and then in Spanish. It made me feel competent even though I didn’t know that much simply because nobody else I know could do that!

Learning a language also changes your brain. Bilingual people think differently than our monolingual counterparts. Your brain develops new channels and faster reaction time to changing external environments. Monolingual folks tend to be inflexible in many circumstances.

You can read about the bilingual brain with this article
http://www.brainfacts.org/sensing-thinking-behaving/language/articles/2008/the-bilingual-brain/

Video about the bilingual brain
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMmOLN5zBLY

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February 6, 2017

5 times the clicks?

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 6:25 am

One of our customers had three listings. They were in different counties. But, I noticed that one of them had a few new reviews while one had a single old review from 2012, and the third had none.

I keep telling people that having reviews will get you more business, but this is an extreme example. The listing with the current reviews got five clicks a day average while the one without reviews got one click. The rate of calls you get is somewhat proportional to the number of clicks you are getting. However, five times the clicks usually means more than five times the calls since the relationship has an exponential component.

So, I asked the client if he could get a few reviews on the other listings. He said he would. Let’s see what happens.

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February 1, 2017

How does the 123notary points system work & why should you care?

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 7:01 am

123notary has an algorithm to assign a point value to each Notary listed with us. Why do we do this? Isn’t the fact that you paid us whatever subscription fee enough? No. First of all, the majority of our listings are free listings which appear at the bottom of the list.

Free Listings
We assign various placement levels via p#’s to free listings. The best free listings get a p#6 in their home area while the worst get a p#2. For free listings, your point score determines your placement and the score results are evaluated every month or so. If a free listing gets below a particular point score, they might be taken offline for good. Additionally, if a free listing doesn’t get enough clicks per month, we might remove them as well even if their points are good just because it looks like they are out of business or not doing much business if they are not getting many clicks.

Paid Listings
Paid listings are guaranteed a particular level on 123notary.com. If you have low points, you are still listed. However, many paid members want to upgrade. Your price for upgrading is determined based on the pricing in your area as well as your points score. If you have low points, you have to pay more for an upgrade as we want to encourage only our best members to elevate themselves to the top of the list.

Points Change
Please keep in mind that your points score is based on fourteen different factors and your point score can change. If you act grossly unprofessional, and get marked as such, that can stay on your record forever. But, your phone answering rate changes every time we call you. If you never answered your phone in 2013, but always answer in 2016, your old phone stats would get phased out and replaced by newer numbers. If you got a lot of reviews recently, your points would go up. If you pass our certification test, your points go far up. So, if your points are low, there are many things you can do about it. You can start by adding more to your notes section as keep track of the last time you fixed up your notes.

If you don’t login regularly
If you have really low stats and don’t login for 120 days, we reserve the right to remove your listing form 123notary until we hear from you. If you have high stats, we also have the right to remove you, but normally would give you a handful of courtesy calls first. If you give us the courtesy of maintaining a top notch listing, we will grace you with the courtesy of a few courtesy calls. If someone with high stats cannot be reached with courtesy calls, we normally still keep them online as they are valuable to our site to keep.

What can you do?
It pays to have good stats on 123notary. You can keep a free listing longer, get cheap upgrades, and not get removed for failing to upgrade. Update your notes, get reviews, pass our certification test, answer your phone, and announce your name when you answer your phone. Those are some of the best ways to get good points with us — and it’s so simple too. So, get lots of points and benefit us both — today!

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January 23, 2017

A new way to make money as a Mobile Notary — not what you think.

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 12:50 am

For the last few days, I have been going through people’s notes sections looking for small grammatical issues and small changes I could make to make the notes sections a little smoother. But, I learn things about what Notaries are up to by looking through so many notes sections. Just when I thought I had heard it all, we have a Notary who specializes in Prison Weddings.

I can picture some very threatening tall guy with long hair and tattoos up and down his neck, arm, and God knows where else marrying some sweet young thing who loves bad boys. But, in real life it’s probably not like that. Wait, my mind is picturing something else now. I’m picturing two very butch women with short hair totally in love with each other, with tears coming to their eyes as Sam the Notary proudly pronounces them woman and wife.

I can picture the woman being in there for a sexual crime, but her wife being in denial that Jennifer would ever do something like that. She must have been falsely accused!

NOTARY: I now pronounce you woman and wife.

JENNIFER: (sob, sob) Thank you so much. You have no idea what this means to me.

NOTARY: I also do background checks just in case you want to do some “after-the-fact” background checking.

KAREN: Why would I need to do that?

NOTARY: Just in case you want to check someone out before you get involved with them in any serious way.

WARDEN: You don’t need to background check anyone. I’ll tell you right now, you just married a sex offender!

KAREN: She would never do something like that.

NOTARY: And how would she know that having sex with Jennifer is offensive if she’s never had sex with her.

KAREN: You’re right, I haven’t ever had sex with Jennifer. Maybe you’re right.

JENNIFER: The other girls here didn’t have any complaints… ooops!!!

KAREN: What other girls? You mean I’m not the only one? The wedding’s off! Notary! Tear up that paperwork and nullify that Oath I verbally made.

NOTARY: Well, I’ll have to perform an Un-Oath to do that. I saw something like that on Harry Potter. They nullified a magic spell by doing an un-spell. It’s kind of the same thing!

KAREN: Well nullify it — because I’m done with Jennifer. She’s the most offensive person I’ve ever not had sex with. She should be locked up for being a not-sex offender!

WARDEN: I hope you got paid cash at the door.

NOTARY: I did. I just hope it’s not counterfeit, otherwise you’re going to have one more person in that cell.

WARDEN: Counterfeit Oath… counterfeit cash — it all adds up!

I also heard that prison bracelets can be used as ID now. But, prison bracelets don’t even have photos. Personally I think we should take retinal scans, DNA swabs and thumbprints every time we notarize anyone in jail. After all, they could be anybody!

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November 28, 2016

Strategies for efficiency in the Mobile Notary Business

For those of you who are mobile Notaries who want to get ahead, being efficient is half of the game. Here are some strategies that can help you use the most of your time, so you can make more money.

1. Take jobs that are close.
If you are running all the way to the other side of the county to make a lousy $75, you won’t have time to take job offers for closer jobs. Try to manage your distance and charge for it. Time wasted in labor-intensive work takes away from your availability which has a value.

2. Advanced payment
Tired of chasing down your fees? Are you tired of wasting time faxing invoices again and again? You will save a lot of time and grief if you require companies to pay up front. You migth not require all companies to pay up front, but at least ones with spotty track records should. Additionally, companies that use you a lot that you did several jobs for and haven’t gotten paid yet since it has only been a few weeks — you might have a credit limit for them and make them pay up front if they want more than three or four jobs done before you receive payment.

3. Fuel efficient cars
If you drive a car that guzzles your gas, that will eat into your profits. If you think that’s a problem now, think about ten years from now. Gas is more likely to be more expensive than less, unless China and India disappear from the face of the earth. With the rate of cancer in China, they just might disappear, but don’t hold your breath on that one.

4. Faster printers
Do you waste time waiting for your cheap printer to print stacks of documents? Perhaps you should invest in a really fast printer if you are committed to this industry. If you can print a set of documents in three or four minutes, that is fast. Each time you print two sets, you might save ten minutes. That adds up.

5. Faster eDocs
If you work for companies that send documents fast and don’t keep you waiting, you will save big amounts of time. The slow companies need to be charged extra, and unknown companies need to build a track record with you before you trust them. Not having to wait three hours for edocuments is actually a big deal. Waiting cuts into your time you will need for other customers, many of which will call at the last minute.

6. Know thy Fedex stations
If you know where all the Fedex stations are in your general area, you’ll know the fastest route to the nearest Fedex no matter where you are.

7. Mobile Printing
Instead of having to come all the way home to print, why not print on the road? Imagine all the time you’ll save. We’ve written several articles on mobile offices over the years. See if you can find those articles (good luck — they’re buried deep.)

8. Confirm the signing
Lots of time is wasted when you go to a Notary job only to find that people aren’t ready, don’t have proper ID, or didn’t ask their wife to come too. If you confirm and make sure everybody’s wife and ID are in order, your appointment will go more smoothly and you won’t have too many evenings ruined by a lack of preparation.

9. Shorter packages
If you know which banks have shorter packages, you can charge less for those. That way you get in and out of appointments fast.

10. Pray to the signing Gods
If you pray that your signers will sign fast, you’ll get in and out of appointments quickly. I said a similar prayer, but in a very different circumstance. I had to go meditate at a place that closed their gardens at 5pm. I prayed that they would not kick me out at 5pm. My prayer came true — and this was the only time I’ve been there out of dozens of times they let me stay so late. Unfortunatley, I got locked in and had to beg the nuns to let me go. If they hadn’t come so quickly, I would have had to pray to the nun Gods that the nuns would come. Prayer is tiring work!

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November 7, 2016

Which is more important? Doing a notary job or…

Most Notaries are creatures of habit. They do what they are accustomed to doing without thinking about what is more important. Those who get ahead in life have priorities and do the most important thing as fast as they can whether its customary or not.

Which is more important?
Notary Training
Doing a Notary Job
Getting a review
Taking jobs from individuals
Getting Paid
Facebook

In real life we have to do all of these things, but in what proportion? As far as your Notary career goes, the most amount of time will be spent doing actual jobs. However, man cannot live by notary jobs alone. You also need to fit in other things.

Study before you practice
At the beginning of your Notary career, many Notaries want to study as little as possible and jump into work. Sounds like me when I was 14, but I’ve grown up since then and believe in the art of knowing what you are doing and mastering my trade. Have you grown up? I did over 30 hours of study to become a notary and another 30 hours of study to become a loan signing agent. Compared to the time I spent in college it was nothing. But, being diligent about learning is important as the Notary profession requires a certain amount of knowledge and due diligence.

Too busy to get a review?
Getting reviews is something that most Notaries overlook because they are “too busy.” Asking for a review is worth roughly $83 per minute of your time. If you are “too busy.” Ask yourself what the value per minute of the tasks you are doing that make you too busy are. You will find that the work you are doing is worth 40 cents per minute that you are doing at the expense of $83. Which would you rather have after four minutes of work, $1.60 or $333? Most Notaries choose the $1.60 which is why they were born poor and will die poor if they get paid at all. The fact is that the value of reviews is like a goose that lives for three years and lays golden eggs. Every review you get will be read by hundreds of people, will affect their hiring decisions, and will make you popular for three years. You need new reviews as the older ones lose their impact on the buyers hiring decision.

A great strategy
Taking jobs from individuals when you normally take only Title company work is a very important strategy. Title companies are stingy about writing reviews. However, if you do a great job working for individuals, they will be a lot easier to get a review from. It is worth it from a strategical point of view to take jobs from individuals needing an Affidavit or Contract notarized just for the possibility of getting a review.

Don’t forget to send bills
Getting paid is also critical. Most Notaries don’t understand that being a Notary is not only about doing Notary work. It is about background screening companies before you take work from them to make sure they are reputable. That extra two minutes you spend background screening could save you from a nightmare down the road. So, why not spend two minutes background screening a company, spend more time writing threatening letters for payment, and spend a few minutes getting reviews.

Facebook & blogs
Facebook is a great way to read articles about the Notary profession, and to make yourself visible as a Notary if you attract local people. Reading blogs is a great way to augment your knowledge as well. It is not the same as formal study, but you can learn a lot and get a few laughs too.

Summary
If you are a Notary who spends 100% of your professional time doing Notary work, you will fail miserably. Instead, spend 3% of your time banging on the doors of title companies, signing companies, hospitals, and attorneys letting them know you are there. Spend 1% of your time asking for reviews. That 1% will get you 100% more business. Lose the 1%, lose the 100% — the math is simple. Allowing more time to send bills and threatening letters to signing companies who are late paying you will pay off too. That extra one hour per month or 1% of your timecould get you a few hundred back. Background screening companies a few minutes per company could save you from endless nightmares not getting paid or being jerked around. Working for individuals is the best way to get reviews and get paid cash — so, why would you not go out of your way to do this as a business strategy. Finally, those who keep in touch with what’s going on in the industry via Facebook, or blogs stay more informed, appear more knowledgeable and feel like more of a part of the industry. So, spend only 90% of your time doing actual Notary work and use the other 10% for activities that have exponential value!

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You might also like:

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

Signing companies hire you based on how good you are, NOT how good you claim to be
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16556

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November 6, 2016

For Background Checks, NNA & Sterling come highly recommended

The more seasoned Notaries know that they will lose a certain percentage of their business if they are not a background checked notary. Newer Notaries either are oblivious to this fact, or just get it without questioning the entire concept. While the ultra-seasoned Notaries with ten or more years of experience sometimes do not get background checked since their clientele trusts them and depends on them so much, that they can get away with no having it.

If you are a Mobile Notary Public and are not fully booked to capacity with great clients who deliver eDocuments on time, pay on time, and pay well, I strongly suggest getting a background check so that you won’t get weeded out by companies who have standards (which is a lot of them.)

But, whom do you get certified by? People in the industry told me that there are two companies whose background checks are highly prized. Keep in mind that not all background checks are created equal and the process of background checking and “What they are checking” in each check is not equivalent. Some checks are more thorough than others and some checks are honored more than others.

NNA & Sterling’s Background Checks are highly recommended
National Notary Association is a great place for one-stop Notary shopping. They sell Notary training materials, great supplies including Acknowledgment pads, The best journals in town, and more. Their Background Checks are recommended as well as they are highly recognized in the industry. Sterling is another quality source of background checks. A background check won’t do you any good unless it is recognized. So pick from the best. Background Checked Notaries get a lot more business, so it is definitely worth the cost.

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October 31, 2016

Safety Deposit Box Openings

Believe it or not, a Notary in New York is authorized to perform Safety Deposit Box Openings. Yes, if you are a New York Notary, you can get paid to witness a Safety Deposit Box Opening. You would be required to take an inventory of the contents of the box. Sometimes a bank has to terminate a safety deposit box because someone died, etc. In such a case, a Notary is necessary to make sure everything id documented correctly. It sounds like a fun task if you like going to banks.

I don’t know what they can charge for such an act though. It involves driving, parking, waiting, and performing a simple clerical task. In my opinion, a job like this should be billed at $40 for travel, a dollar a minute waiting time paid up front in 20 minute increments, as well as $10 for the actual paperwork for performing the safety deposit box opening.

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October 3, 2016

If you were hiring a Notary, what would you look for?

Most Notaries are missing the point. They know how good they are or how good they think they are. However, they do not understand the perspective of someone looking for a Notary. A skilled shopper has dealt with thousands of Notaries and can cut through the fluff in your profile faster than you can say backdate. The point is not how good you think you are, but creating the right impression so that pro Title companies think that you are the right type of Notary.

I heave dealt with 40,000 Notaries in my career. I see right through the fluff. The minute someone describes themself as professional or reliable, the only thought that goes through my head is that this person has nothing of value to say, so they substitute baseless adjectives for real information. A Notary who is “all that” would have something of substance to say about themselves. They would describe the types of loans they know how to sign and have something worthwhile about how they do their job.

What I hate most is how Notaries spend three paragraphs telling you how all client information will be held confidential and the integrity of the signing is of utmost importance. This tells me nothing except that you know how to waste space telling me a bunch of fluff. Obviously the information is confidential unless you are an identity thief. But, the identity thief is not going to advertise that they are going to sell your client’s information, are they? So, stick to useful facts.

If I can read three paragraphs of your writing and immediately tell that you are a person with experience and knowledge, I might just call you. The ones who write the fluff will not get called unless they have some certifications from agencies that I have faith in — like my own!

The people who browse 123notary are looking for:

1. Current reviews — not reviews from 2011

2. A well written notes section — not a notes section with lots of fluff and self-aggrandizing adjectives

3. General Facts. Facts about what you know how to do, where you go, who you are a member of, equipment, etc.

4. Well organized information. You might have all the facts, but if they are in a jumble, nobody wants to read that.

5. No mistakes — if you make spelling or grammar mistakes, that is proof to me that you will make mistakes on a signing — and don’t try to talk your way out of that. It is a proven fact!

6. Uniqueness — if you can say something interesting and classy about yourself that others cannot say, that counts for you. People are tired of reading what looks like copied and pasted notes sections that look generic. Most notes sections could be true of thousands of Notaries on any directory. So, by being refreshingly unique in a fun and cool way, you attract others.

7. 123notary.com certification — people who use our site want OUR certification, NOT NNA’s. It doesn’t hurt to have NNA”s, but everyone else has it, so it won’t make you stand out. Only the cream of the crop can pass our test, so it proves yourself.

8. High Placement — high placement isn’t free, and browsers know that. If you put your money where it counts, people will respect how serious and dedicated you are. So, spend some money and get a good spot on 123notary if you take your business seriously.

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You might also like:

Overseas companies hiring Notaries in America
http://blog.123notary.com/?s=hiring

Notary state of the union address
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16244

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