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July 10, 2017

2020 – How the crash of the EU will affect the Notary Industry

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 9:48 am

2020 — the year the world begins to see straight about finance.
Abraham Lincoln once said that a house divided cannot stand. A house divided cannot stand for long — this is a true fact. The EU has about 28 economies within it, many of which are heavily in debt. Greece, Portugal, Iceland, and a few other countries are in a permanent state of being near the brink of default. Germany has been giving Greece some subsistence support in exchange for a little “austerity” or financial responsibility on the part of the Greeks. The fact is that many of the socialist countries, particularly in the Mediterranean do not like the idea of being financially responsible. They want to have extravagant benefits, and pay more out than they take in. In the real world, governments that wish to stay in business need more revenues than they have expenses, and they need savings. The same applies to individuals.

The debt scenario is likely to put a handful of EU countries in default, I estimate by around 2020. The problem is that France, Italy, Iceland, Portugal, Greece, and Spain are all on the list of potential defaulters. Three of the countries on that list are large and owe more than a trillion per piece. This default will cause some sort of a chain reaction and affect the economies of other European countries and world financial markets. The problem for us, is that our careers are based on services for the financial market — namely notary services on loans.

If the EU crashes financially, that could mean several possibilities for the Notary industry.

1. Lower Interest Rates >> More Refinances
World financial organizations will STOP lending to governments since governments will be found to be so unstable. Currently, financial institutions still have tremendous faith in most governments, but that can come crashing down like dominos the minute countries start to default one after the other. Financial institutions will either not lend at all (their business model is based on lending) or will lend to shoe with collateral, namely, people with houses. With many world governments out of the picture as competitors for loans, interest rates could fall, making a lot more work for Refinances possible.

2. A Housing and Oil Crash
It is also possible that the financial panic that results from multiple defaulting nations could stimulate a crash in the housing market leaving home owners with insufficient equity to borrow money. This would result in a slow-down in the already slow Refinance market and could kill the Reverse Mortgage market. Additionally, a crash in financial markets in Europe could lead to a bad depression in Europe. That could lead to a higher dollar due to a lack of faith in European currencies, lower oil prices due to lower world demand, and lower oil prices relative to the dollar due to a higher dollar. It would not surprise me if in 2020, gasoline is sold for $1.20 per gallon. Cheap petroleum could also lead to a spike in US airline profits. I

3. Recession & Lower Interest Rates
However, the depression in Europe which is a market for US goods could cause an economic slowdown in the USA. If there is a slowdown then businesses will not be borrowing as much money for expansion which means that home owners will have lower interest rates which means more Refinances.

What does Jeremy think?
I am not a psychic, although I use my psychic skills on the stock market and my accuracy has been aroun 57% if I meditate before I make predictions. 57% is great because that means I’m right almost 6 times for every 4 times I’m wrong which is good enough for regular profits.

A housing crash, low interest rates and a refusal to lend.
I believe that there will be a housing crash as a result of European financial crashes around 2019, 2020, or 2021. I cannot predict the exact year as each event hinges on another event preceding it causing a domino effect. I also believe there will lower interest rates combined with a paranoia of lending money to anyone. The paranoia that banks had from 2009 until the present about loaning to home owners will continue. Anyone without perfect credit or a high down payment or high equity will probably be denied a loan. Banks will be super picky about who they lend to. Gold could fluctuate quite a bit as people desperate for cash sell their gold and investors paranoid about security buy more gold.

1. Low Interest Rates >> A spike in Refinances to well qualified home owners
2. A Housing Crash >> A downturn in Reverse Mortgages due to low equity in homes after Real Estate downturn.
3. Low oil prices
4. Fluctuating gold prices that end up being higher than $2400 per ounce after 2022.
5. Debt ridden Mediterranean countries will default on loans one after the next. Other more stable governments will crash starting around 2025-ish too like Germany, Japan and possibly the USA (let’s hope not.)

Summary
My worst fear is an government financial collapse in the United States. That means your social security check will not come, you might not be able to retire, and all types of economic instability could come. This reality is the result of years of irresponsible financial behavior. If even half of the governments of the world would save instead of being permanently in debt, this global domino effect of government collapses wouldn’t be possible.. Hopefully humans will learn that usury is not a sin because some old guy with a beard who lived 4000 years ago said it is, but because out of control usury causes economic slavery, governmental dependency on other countries, as well as global economic crashes which ruin so many people’s lives. And as far as Notaries are concerned, the future of signing agent work from 2019 to 2030 is very shaky and uncertain. It might be more, less or about the same volume of work.

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June 28, 2017

$300 in 13 minutes. How Carmen cleans up in the Notary business

Filed under: Marketing Articles,NSA Pricing, Fees & Income — admin @ 9:07 am

Carmen has always realized, or at least since 2005, that you can’t just do Notary work only. There are not enough high paying jobs to keep you busy. Those who try to be full-time Notaries end up taking a lot of low paying work just to stay busy. Carmen has always believed that you should combine signing agent work with another profession that is flexible, so that you can take an hour or so off during the day to do a signing.

Carmen normally makes about $150 or $175 per signing, and since she only accepts close jobs, she is often back home within 40 minutes. She preps her borrowers over the phone so she can get in and out without any delay.

But, a few weeks ago she got a job. The lady was a repeat customer and asked what Carmen wanted to charge. Carmen said $200. But, the lady was feeling generous, and wanted to be in good hands next time around, so she offered Carmen $300. Talk about being popular or having good signing karma.

Carmen printed the documents, went to the job, and was in and out in 13 minutes. The signers knew what they were doing. It was a construction loan or investment loan for seasoned investors who were fast at signing documents and had their lawyer prep them on what it all meant BEFORE the signing rather than detaining the Notary for two hours while they read every word of every page. So, Carmen got everything signed and notarized in minutes and was out the door. The signers were impressed and happy that it was such a painless experience.

Had they hired some other Notary, it might have been sluggish, incompetent, and the Notary might have shown up late, or dropped the package in a drop box rather than a staffed Fedex station. There is a reason why people pay extra to hire seasoned pros. But, you don’t find too many seasoned folks at SnapDocs. For the best Notaries in the biz, you need to visit 123notary.com!

$300 jobs don’t come every day. However, if you sell yourself short, you will never get any. If you can afford to do so, charge more, and take only jobs from people who value you. Otherwise you will be calculating your gas expenses and how much a ream of paper costs for the rest of your life — should you live so long!

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June 5, 2017

How to make a good first impression

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 8:26 am

Jokes aside, as a Notary, you need to make a good impression with your seal. If the corners are too light or the seal was smudgy, your documents could get rejected by the county recorder and we can’t have that!

But, what about making a good personal impression? Here are some pointers.

1. It all starts out when the customer sees your advertisement on 123notary or another directory. Did you fill out all the fields in your advertisement page? Did you state what type of internet connection, laser printer you have? Did you say if you specialize in jail signings, affidavits, etc? You would be surprised by the amount of people who do not adequately fill in their notes section. Some people leave it blank, or jumble a bunch of unrelated facts in one hard to read paragraph. An informative and well written notes section filled with factual information is irreplaceable. As 123notary for help with your notes section. Just email us – it’s free.

2. If the customer doesn’t like your notes section they will not call you, so skip part 2 if that is the case. But, if they did like your notes, or are desperate, they might still call you. How you answer the phone matters.

“Hello, this is Donnie from Donnie’s Mobile Notary and Apostille.”

Notice how Donnie announces not only his company name, but his personal name. He doesn’t just say, “Hello” and make you ask who he is, or force you to repeat who you are three times before he divulges his secret of who he is.

3. Speak clearly and answer all of the client’s questions with clear, short answer. Don’t give roundabout answers. Don’t say “it depends.” Tell them what your mileage rate is or your rates to particular regions. Try to work out ahead of time what you charge for various jobs. Don’t make the negotiating process a headache otherwise you won’t be called again — unless they are desperate.

4. If someone asks what counties you go to, don’t tell them zip codes or cities. Just give them a quick list of counties. If you tell them your radius, tell them the names of the counties since that is what they asked for. If they ask for a radius, then give them a radius. And don’t ramble. Just the answer to the question, not more, not less.

5. When you show up, be well dressed, and on time. Announce yourself at the door. It is better if you also confirm the signing a day beforehand or a few hours beforehand to make sure everybody will be home.

6. Don’t discuss politics, religion or any controversial topics at the signing. You can make a little small talk, but don’t over do it. Your job is to get in and out and do a professional job at the signing. You can give them a business card after it is all over.

7. Get the FedEx in the box at a staffed location immediately after the signing. Don’t wait around. You might get busy and forget to drop it before the deadline.

And those are the basics for how to make a great first impression. If you have more information which you feel is relevant and helpful, please write a COMMENT to this blog entry!

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May 22, 2017

Are you a new Notary with a plan?

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 7:38 am

Most Notaries don’t have a plan or a mentor. To get ahead in business you have to know what you are going to do in a step by step kind of way.

I can tell by the way a Notary fills out his/her Notary profile on 123notary how thorough they are. The put together types get it together perfectly before I see it. Then there are others who had a problem with a password who get it together fast and ask for help on their own.

Unfortunately, there are many Notaries who write their phone number as 9493333333. This is not easy to read, and is a sign of thoughtlessness. I know they won’t do well. But, I don’t say anything! People leave their hours of operation blank as well as their number of loans signed. Whenever I ask how many loans they signed they tell me a long story about how they work at a bank. I don’t want to know about the bank, or how many years — I want to know how many loans. The inability to answer a question is a sign of not being mentally focused.

You need to be methodical and meticulous to be a good Notary, but you don’t need to be smart. I know some very mentally ungifted people who did well in life simply because they lived their life according to a check list and did everything the correct way and on time. Originality is completely unnecessary as well — I didn’t think of this phrase on my own, I found it in someone else’s blog (proves my point.)

You fill in your Notary profile the same way you should plan your business — step by step and leave no turn unstoned! Here is what you need to do to promote your business.

1. Get a mentor. Talk to them from time to time. You should repay them generously if they are any good. Carmen gives great phone help by the way and out of the goodness of her heart. That is good Notary karma!

2. Make a list of all of the signing and title companies to sign up with. You need to contact them each once a month after the fact to remind them that you have a pulse and a seal and know how to use the latter.

3. Contact the local convelescent homes and hospitals and give them your information.

4. Advertise on the big web directories. Starting your own website or Facebook profile for business is rarely a good marketing tactic and a huge waste of time (which is your greatest resource.) You need to fill in your profiles completely and get reviews and certifications as well. A well written notes section is the exception to the rule, but for successful Notaries, it is the rule. LinkedIn might be a place to build a profile although I would not invest more than one hour per week on social media unless you run a nationwide business like we do. I spend 15 hours a week on social media average between writing blogs, creating my Facebook posts, Twitter, and more.

5. Study and pass three or more Notary certification tests. Knowledge is king as most Notaries are horribly deficient in their Notary and signing knowledge. You can’t get ahead if you haven’t mastered your materials.

The logic behind being a good Notary is the same as what your teachers taught you back in Junior High. Don’t try to skip steps, have a plan, and be methodical about executing your plan. It is not rocket science. Being smart will not get you ahead. But, being an anal, meticulous, methodical person who plays by the book are the traits that a good Notary should have. Are you in good hands?

If you got off to a bad start in the Notary biz, just remember two things.

1. You can turn your failure around. (You can also turn your success around if you get lazy.)

2. Leave no turn unstoned

3. Time wounds all heels.

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May 8, 2017

Is Trump to blame for a Notary slowdown?

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 8:29 am

If you ask Carmen, Trump is to blame for just about everything. But, my broker has a very interesting opinion. The public has faith that Trump will cause a rise in the economy and business. Businesses will be borrowing more, doing more, and banks will have more freedom. Already rates have risen a little bit. And when interest rates rise, the economy does better (or vice versa), but Notaries get less Refinances. Hmmm. So, do we win or do we lose with higher rates.

Conversely, since I’ve been in this industry for a while, I’m not intimidated by higher interest rates. This is because I know that what goes up must come down, and when it comes down, 123notary will get a flood of new business and revenues!

Additionally, if Trump taxes imports from China and other countries, that means that the dollar will gain value. Additionally, if the result of taxing imports causes recessions in other countries, foreigners will invest more in the dollar causing another gain in the dollar. This means lower oil costs, a decrease in the price of gold, and other economical changes.

In the long run, we might have a bull market for a few years. But, Trump or no Trump, the world is headed towards an economic collapse as too many governments have maxed out their credit cards. When the crash comes, we might have negative interest rates or really low rates. People will finally be able to refinance, but God only knows if there will be jobs then. Hmmm.

In the mean time, my advice doesn’t change. Be at the top of your game and don’t worry about the market. It goes up and down and nothing stays the same. Just do your job and make American Notaries great again!

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April 12, 2017

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

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 8:13 am

Many Notaries love Trump while others despise him. America is so polarized due to Trump that if the ice caps melt, we are all in hot water (or frigid water.) But, what types of things do Notaries do that would get them fired by Trump that we are now tolerating?

As a note, I would say that all Americans are feeling Trump’s presence since the moment he was elected. People have become a lot more confident (or afraid). Political correctness has immediately gone to the wayside. It used to be 80% happy holidays and 20% merry Christmas. Now it is 80% merry Christmas even in November. We’re back to the 1960’s in many ways — riots and all. I believe that the American business culture will also tighten up and start firing people who don’t perform. We’ll wait and see. I’m more particular these days since the election. In June I was feeling the Bern — Now, I want to fire someone!

If you show up late without calling — you’re fired…
Trump’s time is worth a million dollars per second. You may not think a second is much time, but to a highly successful or impatient person — it is.

If you make a mistake…
If you make an honest mistake, perhaps that is okay if it doesn’t happen again and if you fix the mistake. But, what if you don’t know what you are doing and Don catches on to you?

If you are rude…
Trump doesn’t like rude people. Of course, people think he’s rude. Or is he just opinionated? If you are providing a service, there is no excuse for a bad attitude!

If you don’t know the answer to a question…
Trump would expect all Notaries to be able to answer all basic questions about Notary law and loan signing. If you don’t know the basics, I’m sure he would not hire you again. On the other hand, he probably wouldn’t expect you to know the Escrow end of the business.

If you didn’t dress well…
Being a Notary is a serious job. You are dealing with half a million dollar loans. You should dress for the part. Perhaps you should dress like James Bond. Ken says dress British, think Yiddish. But, if you live in Idaho, even the Jews there don’t think Yiddish. So, we’ll stick to the British part.

If you don’t want to make American Notaries great again…
Then you’re just plain fired.

The main thing is that you need to be at the top of your game. This means knowing your Notary law inside out, knowing your signing agent knowledge, being an expert at marketing your service, getting reviews, getting certified by at least three agencies including 123notary, and writing a great notes section about your service. Very few Notaries realize how critical it is to be a master of your trade. To survive in this competitive industry you don’t have a choice. So get on your game, otherwise — you’re fired!

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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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