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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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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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