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January 18, 2022

Low-Ball Signing Co’s? How to get biz directly from Title

Originally published many years ago

Do you get business from low-ball signing companies? Are you sick of it? Aren’t we all.
Notaries do a lot of reactive posts about bad offers, but look at it from a different point of view. Let’s be proactive instead of reactive here.

First of all, it doesn’t matter how many bad offers you get as long as you get a few good offers.

Second of all, if you have little experience or training as a signing agent, you are not entitled to anything better than a low-ball offer.

Third, consider this. Some notaries are saying that low-ball signing companies need notaries more than notaries need them. I think that if this were true, that no notary would work for them. Yet, notaries do work for them. However, if you have had it up to here with these bad offers, here is a not too sophisticated strategy that can get these guys to stop bothering you.

Take an offer from a low-ball signing company. Do a nice job with a smile. Do all the fax-backs, etc. Then, find out who the Title company is who offered this job to the signing company. Contact the Title company directly and offer them your services directly at a reasonable price.

Keep in mind that signing companies are in business for a reason. If they charge $150 and pay the notaries $60, why do Title companies use them in the first place? Signing companies can take huge quantities of work off the shoulders of Title companies with a 100% reliability rate. They not only supervise the work, but they guarantee that all of thework will get done correctly and on time, otherwise they get fired. But, what if you are a responsible notary who is a better quality notary than what those signign companies use and charge $85 to work direct with Title. Okay, that’s not enough. What about $95? Think about it. Make your offer attractive to Title and you can “steal” some Title companies away from these nitwits who keep texting you! Teach them a lesson.

On the other hand, I do not recommend contacting Title companies directly unless you have signed at least 700 loans, are certified by at least three agencies, and have a very stellar track record. Title companies don’t play around with beginner’s luck — they want professionals!

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You might also like:

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

A newbie at a Title company
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15774

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January 7, 2022

The Joy of Saying NO

This was published originally many years ago.

A call comes in from SSS (Sleazy Signing Service) asking if I was available to do a notary job. “Yes” I reply; please tell me more. The job is “precisely” 1.3 miles from your location. It has a single “tiny” PDF. There are “about” 12 pages, and we will provide a return account number for making a UPS label, at no cost to you. I am starting to get the feeling that this is a bottom fisher, but am curious as to the location. Where is the signing to be done? They give a location in the middle of Manhattan, the absolutely worst place for traffic. Mass transit also goes there but the service is quite slow and the waits for bus or train are lengthy. The subway train is faster, but the platforms are not air conditioned and it’s like standing next to a pizza oven.

“Shall I send you a confirmation and the docs?” You can, but first you need to understand how I run my business. I am the seller of the service and set both the price and the payment terms. My fee is $150 (much more than I usually charge, but I had a bad feeling and wanted to get rid of this particular SSS); and that is payable within the next 10 minutes on my site, via PayPal, prior to my printing of the documents.

We don’t work that way, we are willing to pay $40, and you will have to include an invoice when you return the completed documents and we will send a check during our next disbursement cycle; are you interested? No. I didn’t hear you, please repeat what you said. No. Dial tone.

Of course this is an extreme example. Their offer of $40 would entail at least 2 hours of effort, and the expenditure of over a gallon of near 5$ fuel. You know the components of doing any notary work. Calls, printing, travel, record keeping, trip to UPS, dunning for peanuts (in this case), etc. What I can’t understand is the (feigned?) surprise at SSS when I declined their offer. Are there notaries out there who will jump for any lowballer offer? I sure hope not.

However, NO is not always the best answer and you can’t say that “perhaps” or “maybe” you will take the assignment. But you CAN tell them you will be accepting the assignment – AND – will be checking their reputation. If you find they have a negative or no reputation, you will be requiring that they pay “up front”. Some might never mention that process, and will choose to do their “credit checking” as soon as they can get to a computer. If they have a good history, just do the job. But, if they have a bunch of negatives – call and “require” payment in advance.

Back to the fee amount. You know what you must charge to earn a living. Isn’t it about time that you put your foot down and declined lowball offers. Some notaries are out there taking the low fees; and the SSSs in this world have endless phone time to find them. Are you fed up with finding on the HUD that the SSS received $250 and your share is $75? I work with several very honorable Signing Services that take 25$ to 50$ “off the top”. But I always receive the majority of the fee. The reason you don’t is that you have trouble saying NO. Practice, look in the mirror and repeat NO NO NO – I refuse to allow anyone to take advantage of me.

I’m sitting at my PC typing this for you. I am exceedingly happy that I do NOT have a toxic receivable of $40 to chase after putting in 2+ hours in midtown traffic. I prefer to try to influence my fellow notaries to just say NO to the lowballers. You can do it, think: NO NO NO. After you decline the first lowballer you will feel great, and will be ready to “dump” the ones that follow.

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You might also like:

The art of the decline — to new Notary jobs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15783

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December 31, 2021

The future of Notary work

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 8:03 am

The way the world looks, the way things are going, it looks very bleak, but not for notarizing those who are owing (borrowers).

I looked into my crystal ball, and it was revealed to me. And no, I didn’t get the cheap kind at crystal balls for less. I saw a world of chaos, turmoil, crime, strife. Perhaps inflation would go way up, and interest rates too. People would be dying in mass from the long term side effects of the vaccine that was supposed to keep us “safe”. Where is your safety now Fred said looking down at his demised wife Sylvia lying in her grave three years after taking one of the vaccines. Did the FDA approve it? Was it tested in the long run? No, because there was no time. We had to administer it to as many young and middle aged people as possible who had a one in ten thousand or less chance of dying from Covid, and that was to keep them “safe.” They were more in danger of dying from being struck by lightning or being molested by a variety of politicians in NY or NJ whose names we won’t mention. But, I digress.

Then, it seems that God is upset with the world and upset with America. He has retracted his blessings. But, what does that mean for the Notaries of America? Is that good or bad for us they ask? Here is my thought.

Between disasters, war, vaccine related deaths, and economic chaos, there will be more people buying and selling properties. Notaries these days do lots of “buyers” and “sellers.” Foreclosures often require a notary too. Refinancing tends to be higher when interest rates are low, but in this crazy reality we are entering, people might get refinances if interest rates go up in anticipation that they would go up much more.

I don’t know exactly what the future holds for us other than WW3, Armageddon, The Messiah, and hopefully a store near me that sells powdered Mexican style pequin pepper (goes great in stir fries). But, I see that Notary work will be busy probably for the next ten years or more.

I believe that the angels got me into this business partly because they knew it suited me. And partly because in 2000 when they got me into this, they saw the shutdowns and quarantines coming and wanted me to have a job I could do from home so I would be economically stable. Well, I am feeling very fortunate and grateful for the good graces of these higher beings who saved my rear that time and many other times.

My only advice to you Notaries out there is:
Get more reviews
Get a catchy business name and register it.
Become an expert at writing a compelling notes section
Stay close (or closer) to God, so when he destroys the planet he’ll consider saving you as an individual even if he sacks your community (no joke).
And try the Thai green curry on Wilshire — it’s really excellent; just the right amount of spice.

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December 12, 2021

Many Notaries on 123notary get out of state title companies

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 12:00 pm

I keep hearing that the type of business people get on 123notary is better than on any other directory. I work hard to keep 123notary good. I do this by quizzing people, and helping people with their notes section. I weed out listings with dysfunctional phone numbers and those who are not responsive too. All of this is the basic nuts and bolts of quality control.

But, I have heard from several Notaries that they get a lot of out of state work from 123notary.com, and mostly from title companies. This is great news. My hard work has paid off if people get great jobs. I feel like I accomplished something. But, honestly it is time for a long vacation.

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November 12, 2021

High placed listings on 123notary — the current climate

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 8:34 am

123notary has always specialized in selling high placed listings. We are the most popular directory with Title and Escrow and they like the top rolling Notaries as a general rule. However the landscape has changed. Certain places used to be popular, but those spots are not as popular anymore.

In the old days, Miami, Broward, Palm Beach, Tampa area, Jacksonville, Southern California Bay Area, Phoenix Chicago, Seattle, Dallas, and Houston were booked solid in terms of top spots. New York was also somewhat busy but not as much as these other areas.

Now, the Florida and Texas areas are still popular. But, California has almost fallen off the map in terms of top listings. We have so many availabilities. Did people pack up and leave the state or did they just get depressed and stop trying? Chicago lost of a lot of steam as well. Seattle area lost some steam too. We had a top spot for a while and still might. Note — that both the Democrat areas lost steam while the Republican areas held their ground. I am a Libertarian so I don’t like either party, but at least the Republicans function which is a lot more than I can say for their competitors.

But, now Idaho has its top listings booked up in many areas. That never used to be the case. So, the Californians moved to Idaho and the New Yorkers to Florida.

But, for some reason, the top spots in New York City are still taken despite that New York is a disaster area. So, NY is the only democrat state to hold its ground in the Notary industry on our site. Hmm. I’ll have to reflect on that one. New York has always been an odd ball as far as Notary marketing is concerned.

SUMMARY
To sum it up:

Which areas are doing worse:
CA, IL, WA

Which areas held their ground:
AZ, FL, NY, TX

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November 10, 2021

Top placed listings are like men. The good ones are always taken

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 8:20 am

Someone asked if there were any spots left in San Diego City area. I explained that high placed listings in San Diego are like men. The good ones are always taken.

On the other hand, I am not taken. Does that mean I am not good, or that nobody recognizes my greatness other than Mrs. Meao. She gets it. Her assessment of value is based on whether you know how to scratch her back in just the right place and in just the right way. If you get her KFC then you will get kisses too. For some reason she liked my orange shampoo. I got 30 kisses (nose kisses) every time I used it. Oh my goodness.

Maybe I should walk around with a sign saying, “High quality man on board.” Or I could wear a suit to show the world how important I am. But, I work at home in my underwear. I don’t need to look important to do my job. Mrs. Meao doesn’t care what I wear just as long as she can sniff it.

On the other hand, sometimes there are high placements in popular areas on 123notary and the market doesn’t demand them at particular moments of time. Sometimes a particular area will be slow for a few years and then booked up for a few years.

Really seasoned notaries are also like good men. They think they are too good to be listed on 123notary in many cases. They have enough regulars that they don’t want new clients. These notaries usually have at least 15,000 signings under their belt and are older. They represent far less than 1% of the notaries on the market, but I bump into them and they let me know how they don’t need me. Gee thanks!

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October 28, 2021

Is your personality compatible with Snapdocs or 123notary?

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 8:05 am

When I talk to new sign ups, many were referred from a course, an agency, or a friend. Word on the street is that Snapdocs, 123notary, and a few others are good places to sign up. However, I had to explain this to someone on a sales call, and I explained it differently.

I informed this nice lady from Ventura County that each site has its own personality. Whether you gel with that personality is something to think about before getting involved.
SnapDocs and 123notary both come highly recommended. But, if your personality doesn’t match, you are barking up the wrong tree in my opinion.

SnapDocs is for the snappy. It is for people with snappy personalities who answer texts at the speed of a millennial hooked on pumpkin frappachinos. It is for those who are caffeinated to the peak, whose jittery fingers snap into action whenever a text goes out. Those who are sluggish even by a matter of nanoseconds will get left out on Snapdocs unless it is for a job that nobody else wants.

123notary is for those who want to be treated like they are more than just a person. At 123notary, you are more than just a person, you are also a number, and we are three numbers. Those that do well on 123notary have particular personality traits. See if these match your traits.

1. You like logging into their listing every few months and manicuring their notes sections so that their factual, detailed, and unique information will interest and intrigue the readers (who read everything by the way just so that you know.)

2. You like asking for reviews and sending links to their review page so they can get more reviews to stand out.

3. Some like passing our certification test. This is more critical for new people on the site who do not have name recognition in the industry.

4. You like answering phone calls and emails for job offers(old school) rather than responding to texts or using apps (millennial B.S. in my opinion).

There are other options for advertising. Notary Rotary is old school and some people do well there. Less is required. Just put your name on a list and they have fewer requirements to do well than 123notary does. Notary Cafe gets some people work and they are not as caffeinated as SnapDocs despite their name. And then signingagent.com gets work for some, but not all. Don’t overlook Yelp, Google Local and other options.

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October 26, 2021

The goal of 123notary

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 8:03 am

The goal of 123notary is to keep title companies who use us happy. 123notary gets more title and escrow searches than any other directory out there. I have to compete as an individual human with 100 million dollar companies. They only way I can do this is because we live in a talent market these days rather than a purely capitalistic system.

I focus on having the best notaries, filtering out free listings that don’t measure up, filtering up good listings that deserve higher placement, etc. All of this is to give the best search results for title.

I quiz people, help them with their notes, coach them on getting reviews, teach industry competency, and even help people choose business names from time to time.

The goal is not to have the most listings, but to have a critical mass of Notaries who are worth calling and who have very complete looking listings. And I feel I have achieved that goal, although it is a lot of work to maintain!

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October 17, 2021

My response to NNA’s article: Is the Notary industry overcrowded?

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 7:39 am

My opinion on this matter is that there is a lot more notary work than there used to be. The crazy ups and downs in the economy, people losing their jobs due to covid related causes and getting new jobs. People escaping from certain areas and moving to other areas. All of this transitioning necessitates a lot more Notary work and Notaries. And yes, there are more Notaries out there than before. When people lose their job, the first thing that goes through their head is whether or not to become a Notary — or so it seems.

However, for the last eight or so years, new notaries and old alike lack the willingness to master their trade and become experts. Many take classes and pass tests. But, when I test them on actual notary or situational knowledge, few can get more than 80%.

So having lots of poor quality notaries who can’t even administer an Oath properly is not overcrowded. The quantity of what I consider to be qualified Notaries is as sparse as the population in Northern Alaska in between sled dog races. Actually, I think those races are in central Alaska along the biggest river when it freezes over. And the Northern lights are good in both places. But, I digress. What was I writing about again? Ah yes — Notaries.

POINTS IN THE NNA ARTICLE DISCUSSED

The author of the NNA article says that many Notaries claim that there is not enough work to go around. Qualified Notaries are not making this claim. They claim that there is not enough work that pays what they want to go around. Notaries with no name recognition, no skills to speak of and no experience would not get much work even if there were enough work to go around. I understand the author’s point, but when you look at the situation a little below the surface it looks very different.

The author states that RON or Remote Online Notary work creates new opportunities. This is a very true point. However, RON work is feast or famine. The 80:20 rule of Real Estate where 20% of the agents get 80% of the work applies to RON, if you change it to the 99:1 rule. It seems that the applications and sites catering to RON work favor the very solid Notaries who have seniority and know what they are doing. A handful of Notaries are cleaning up where the majority are lucky to get even one job. So, understanding RON from a business perspective is complicated and it does not provide work for the masses.

The author recommends: use the support of your fellow Notaries. Yes, this is a great idea. However, any successful notary who teams up with others will be very picky who they choose or their reputation will go down the drain. If a new Notary thinks they can partner up with an experienced Notary with a good customer base, this is very unlikely unless you developed a stellar reputation or are very socially close to the experienced Notary. But, in the long run, networking is a good idea. I did it for years, and many Notaries on 123notary do it too. Networking — it’s a good idea, but there are catches and many considerations.

The author recommends: Network with local businesses that need notary services. Once again, another good idea. But, this is an idea you should be using anyway regardless of how the notary market is doing. Call up local businesses. Or drop by and give them your card. A certain percentage will use you, so go to lots, and have lots of cards.

Then the author recommends: Find opportunities outside of your local area. This is what I recommend too. It is called widening your net. You should do that in any case whether business is fast or slow if the price is right or if it is for a client you like enough to drive. This point is a good one, but has nothing to do with overcrowding.

SUMMARY
I feel this particular NNA article is helpful, but is a general marketing article with a title that is specific to a particular type of market condition that the article does not address. The fact is that for years, the NNA has been outstanding at marketing to new Notaries, getting them on board and turning them into signing agents. Many of these Notaries are Realtors, Insurance workers, Mortgage and Escrow people, etc. NNA tends to attract a good crowd and a big crowd and floods the industry with signing agents. However, how many of these signing agents can pass a tough notary or signing agent exam? The answer is very few. And the reason is that people since about 2013 (yes I noticed this), have become lazy and don’t want to study hard. Even people with four different certifications don’t like to study hard. This is hard to believe but it is my experience.

Here is the original article
https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2021/09/is-the-notary-industry-overcrowded

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July 8, 2021

Business name ideas for a Notary in Vegas

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 3:10 am

I had this client who has been with me for years. He dropped out and then reappeared out of nowhere kind of like an Ace of Spades that got buried in the deck only to reappear just when you need it. I looked at his profile. There were two business names in use — one on his email, and another on his site which he said was outdated. I told him that both of the names were average. Not terrible, but neither had a ring. So, I sat down with him (by phone) and looked at some ideas that had some pizazz. Here is what we came up with and my commentary.

Wild Card Notary Services
Wow — amazing, mysterious and powerful. Really catches your attention in a good way and has a very Vegas feel to it.

High Limits Signing Service
There is a sense of excitement, risk and danger in this name. I wonder if this name would attract clients with deep pockets.

Royal Flush Notary
This name has a very elegant and opulent ring to it. I bet James Bond would like it.

Deuces Wild Signing Service
This name has Vegas written all over it, but also has intrigue due to that word, “wild” which adds such an interesting dimension to the name.

Stardust Notary Service
Named after an antiquated casino.

Silver Mine Notary Service
Very historical Nevada type of a theme.

Silver State Notary Service
A synonym for Nevada once again and a little bit more classy than saying, “Nevada Notary Service.”

Jackpot Notary Service
Sounds like a winner to me

High Wager Notary Service
Sounds like a gamble

Blackjack Notary Service
Classy, and has an Old West flavor to it.

Buy In Notary Service
A classy gambling term integrated into a Notary name.

Casino Notary Service
Sounds great, but sounds like you do mostly smoke filled casinos and get tired of having buffet seven days a week.

Good Odds Notary Service
A fun name, and the customer will probably have good luck with that service too.

Anti-Up Notary Service
I bet Kenny Rogers would approve of this name.

SUMMARY
I liked all of these names. I don’t know if my customer will register any of these with his county, but I think the top name really has a wow factor and an appeal to it. It sounds like an older guy who’s done it all, seen it all, and been in all types of hair raising situations. And in reality, he was in a few scary situations.

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