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November 28, 2016

Strategies for efficiency in the Mobile Notary Business

Filed under: Marketing Articles — Tags: , — admin @ 12:31 am

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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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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September 19, 2016

Do you negotiate fees correctly over the phone?

Most Notaries study from loan signing classes, but never study the art of negotiation. Negotiating is not hard, but it is an art. Turks, Persians and Indians seem to excel at this while Americans haven’t a clue. In negotiating Notary fees, the secret is to make sure the other person makes an offer first. If you offer first, it might be too low in which case you’ll lose money. Or it might be too high in which case they’ll think you are too expensive and might not want to bargain. If they offer first, you can raise the price by $15 or $20 and still be in their ballpark or just agree if they are being reasonable.

On the other hand, if you want a reputation of charging fair fees for solid work, you can have a pricing formula based on time spent or even have fixed fees, or mileage fees. If you charge $110 per signing, that seems reasonable. They can always bargain you down to $85, and if it’s not too far, you might say yes and make some fast money.

I remember talking to a sub teacher who made $90 per day. Making $85 in two hours including driving and printing is better than $90 in a day. So, you are making more than teachers who are supposed to be the pillars of education in society today.

The other thing to remember is that you have to get your facts and terms straight before you quote a realistic price. If you don’t know how many pages, fax backs, signers, and notarizations there are, you might not give a true price. If you don’t know if the company is fibbing about the # of pages you’re in trouble too. If you don’t know if you get paid if the loan doesn’t fund, you’re in trouble too. Terms are as important as price or anything else. You can negotiate a $500 price, but if the loan doesn’t fund, you might get zilch.

So, put all the cards on the table before you quote your rate. You can quote first, or wait for them to make an offer. Additionally, most Notaries prefer phone offers to emails or texts because they can bargain more easily. You can bargain in any medium. Just state your rate and state your terms by text, email or phone. It is the same — just more delays in feedback.

You might also like:

A comprehensive guide to Notary pricing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16504

Can you negotiate prices with SnapDocs?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16236

Negotiating with aggressive callers
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16278

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September 12, 2016

What do you lose by not answering a call or being short with someone while answering

Many Notaries feel that it is rude to answer a call during a signing, so they don’t. They they call the person back after the signing when the person calling them is doing something else and might not want to be bothered.

What if the caller is offering you four jobs a week for the rest of your life. That might be worth $100,000 over the course of five years. But, you lost that job because you didn’t want to be rude. Maybe being rude is worth it. What do you think?

Next, what if you answer the call, but are rude to the caller by telling them that you are at a signing. This makes me feel very uncomfortable and tense. Why should I talk to them at all as they are in a desperate life threatening hurry to get off the phone. I usually say, “Never mind!” They don’t know who I am or what I’m calling about. They might be about to get kicked off 123notary, but they’ll never know because they didn’t offer me a chance. Or I might have been offering them some very valuable free tips, but they’ll never know.

If you answer a call, give the caller half a minute or so before you start to hussle them. Otherwise you might as well just not answer the call. It is rude to put someone under that type of pressure by answering the call only to tell them that you either can’t talk, or can’t talk for more than an ultra-tense five seconds. What is all the tension about. Nobody is going to miss a flight. Nobody is going to die if you talk for half a minute or so. They’ll be just fine. So just relax, because you don’t know how much you stand to lose by hustling a caller. You might lose your career or the better part of it.

So, answer your calls and be nice to those calling you otherwise you will lose — and you’ll lose more than you can imagine. You are in a business which requires answering your phone, otherwise nobody can book the next job with you and nobody can develop long term ties to you. If you don’t like answering the phone, then create a website — then you can answer emails!

You might also like:

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

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

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September 5, 2016

Experienced signers are being weeded out of the industry

In the old days, Notaries would make so much money. People could make $150 per signing if they had experience. $125 was a standard fee for Title companies. Unfortunately, even Title companies have lowered their fees to poverty level and hire beginners who fax back tons of pages so the Title company can quality check them. This is a sad state of affairs. But, honestly there is a shortage of qualified Notaries who can be trusted without all of the fax backs.

The problem is that for the few Notaries that are worth paying extra for, there is not enough business. You also cannot make your business model on hiring top notch Notaries since there are so few of them. A top notch Notary on 123notary merits about $110 to $125 per signing and are getting that in real life. There are about 2000 Notaries who are 123notary certified which demonstrates basic knowledge. There are about 250 who are Elite Certified which proves superior Notary skills and understanding. The elite certified Notaries are making the money, but the volume isn’t there. And as a result, many Notaries have dropped out of the profession. It is sad that some of the best Notaries dropped out and even sadder that they dropped out due to price competition.

So, inexperienced Notaries who work for $40 are being phased in while experts are leaving the field. I hope one day that this will change. Let’s pray!

On the other hand, Notaries with experience are weeding themselves off of the SnapDocs database. More and more Notaries are sick of the low-balling and cattle calls that go on over there. They are relying more on their long-term contacts, and other directories as a source of work.

(Added 1-01-2017)
With interest rates on the rise, business is likely to be slow in 2017. Goldman Sachs predicts a slow and steady rise in interest rates over the next year with a tenth of a percent average rise per quarter. This will be very bad for the Notary industry and I pray that we don’t lose our best members.
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/here-are-goldmans-2017-forecasts-for-stocks-oil-and-more-in-one-chart-2016-11-18?link=sfmw_tw

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Best blog articles for advanced Notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14736

My interpretation of how the Notary industry went South
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16500

See our string of Snapdocs articles
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=snapdocs

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August 29, 2016

Sending small seasonal items in the mail as thank you gifts

Filed under: Marketing Articles — Tags: — admin @ 9:35 am

Do you thank your clients?
Does the thought count more than the action?
According to yogic philosophy it actually does.

Some Notaries send handwritten thank you notes. Others send a little calendar in December. These little things might be little, but you get into people’s heads and hearts when you do them even though most of the small gifts end up in the garbage. Perhaps a beautiful post card that the recipient might actually like is the best key. They might even keep it if the photos are of Yosemite or Yellow Mountain in China.

Think about thank — and see if that helps you out.
If it does — then thank me too!

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Cheesy ways to promote yourself
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16690

What kind of impression do you want to make?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16604

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August 20, 2016

10 ways to “deal” with SnapDocs

A guide to high survival in a low-ball world.

These days, so many Notaries are complaining more and more about SnapDocs. In fact, the drama is so intense, that posts about SnapDocs are the most popular articles on our blog these days. SnapDocs is not bad, they just have a system which you haven’t mastered yet, Grasshopper! SnapDocs caters to companies who care about price, but don’t care about experience. Those who want top-notch seasoned Notaries come to 123notary as we focus on having the highest caliber of Notaries at the top of the list. So, read this and you’ll learn the secrets of high survival in a low-ball world.

(1) CALCULATE TIME
Calculate how many minutes you’ll need to fulfill the request.
Some Notaries complain if the fee is too low without looking at the time involved. $40 is not bad if the job is within ten minutes and there are no fax backs and very few pages. For a ten page signing ten minutes away, you might be there and back again in less than an hour. How many people do you know who complain about making $40 per hour? Read the text and see where the address is and how many pages are involved.

Regardless of the specifications, calculate how much time you need to:
Print, Drive, Call, Sign, Fax, and Fedex.

(2) BACKGROUND CHECK
Background Check the reliability of the company making the assignment
Tired of screwball signing companies? Low-balling is not the worst thing. Not getting paid, or being held hostage for three hours waiting for edocuments while your other clients are waiting is. You can background check companies on www.123notary.com/s using your iphone. I just updated the “votes” on all of the signing companies on our list in May 2016.

(3) MAKE COUNTER OFFERS
If you get a job from SnapDocs that comes as a text, you’ll be alerted to the location, number of fax backs and other basics about the job. You can use that information to calculate the amount of time needed to fulfill the order. Based on the time involved, you can decide how much to charge. If you have a base rate for your time (make it more expensive during the last week of the month) then you’ll know exactly what to charge. You might discount your fees a little for SnapDocs clients as they clearly don’t want to pay much.

If you get an offer for $50 to do a Refinance for two signers with twenty pages of fax backs, you can make a counter offer of $85. Some Notaries bid $125 and never get called back. You have to price your bid within the market otherwise you might as well just not use SnapDocs at all.

If you bill your time at $30 per hour and a job will require 54 minutes, ask for $27. Or if you’ll need two hours, then ask for $60. This is a very reasonable way of quoting rates that is fair to you as well as the client.

(4) NEWBIES — GAIN EXPERIENCE!!!
If you are new in the Notary business, I advise not being too picky about what people pay, providing they pay within 45 days. You need to get at least 1500 loans under your belt to be taken seriously by the big guys such as prominent title companies. You should pass the 123notary & NNA certification test if you want to be taken seriously as well. If you want to get experience in a hurry, SnapDocs is one way to do it. You’ll get tons of jobs, and all you have to do is drive, fax, and sign. You might not get paid that much, but experience is worth its weight in gold, so consider that your payoff.

Our list of signing companies that hire new signers is another way for newbies to get started.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7059

(5) FILL IN YOUR EMPTY TIME
If your other customers book in advance, and your daily schedule has some holes, SnapDocs might be the perfect way to fill in those unused hours. Although you might not get paid that much, at least you will have something to do so you (and your printer) won’t get bored. If you make $200 a day average doing signings for your regulars and you can pick up another $60 from SnapDocs, that is not a bad daily average.

(6) WIN OVER NEW CLIENTS
What a new client will pay you is different from someone who knows and trusts you. Once you build up trust with a client over the course of a few jobs, or a few months, you might be able to charge more. If they have a written track record about your service and know that you won’t screw up, they might pay you $20 more than they would pay another guy even though they are low-balling. So, you can use SnapDocs to meet new clients, and then once you have them hooked, jack your rates up a bit — but, not too much of a bit as you are still dealing with low-ballers.

(7) THE FIRST 3 WEEKS OF THE MONTH
Business is normally sluggish during the 3rd to the 22nd. So, that might be a great time to augment your business by using SnapDocs! You might need to save time during the end of the month for your regulars, but when things are slow, you should be willing to work at a somewhat lower rate.

(8) LOOK FOR CLOSE JOBS
Working for cheap is not that bad if you can find close jobs. If you get twenty texts per day from SnapDocs, and one or two is really close, you can try to nab those close ones and make some fast money. The key is having something to do during the other seven hours of your work day. If you make $60 for a signing ten minutes away, you might be making $50 per hour when all is said, done, and faxed.

(9) GET PAID UP FRONT
Ken is on our forum all the time offering some old school common sense to our Notaries. The message is — you are not a bank, why do you offer credit to strangers with no collateral? You don’t know if or when those signing companies will pay you. So, why not get $85 up front via Paypal? If they really need you they will pay you!

(10) THE CARMEN METHOD — ABSTINENCE
Carmen thinks that Notaries just shouldn’t use SnapDocs as the fees offered are too low. You can use abstinance as a way of dealing with this situation. Seasoned signers will never get paid what they are worth on SnapDocs, your experience is just not valued enough. With all of the faxing back, they can double check a newbies work and get accurate work at half the price by micromanaging. So, if you are “all that,” then get Elite Certified by 123notary and stick with us as you’ll get paid more from leads from our site — and forget about the cattle callers!

A final note from Jeremy — “Why am I promoting my competitor?”

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May best signing company gossip
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15417

My interpretation of how the Notary industry went South
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16500

Signing Stream
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16658

List of New Signing Companies Feed
http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=419

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