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June 19, 2020

Is your local notary market saturated?

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 10:16 pm

Recently I have been putting more notaries on 123notary.com. Our popularity went up as a result even though the quality of the notaries I added was not good. However, Notaries in very populated areas who were at the bottom of the list did not do well.

In counties (or subcounties in parts of California where we use that division) where we have 30 or more Notaries, those at the bottom of the list who were newly added hardly got any calls.

On the other hand, in other parts of the country where areas have zero to twenty Notaries, newly added Notaries were getting a generous quantity of clicks comparable to Notaries who have been with us for years.

If your market is saturated, that is not necessarily a problem. It just means you have to stand out and be listed higher on the list. We can help advise you on all of these matters. Remember – Notaries are plentiful, but Notaries who are experts at their game are rare and stand out.

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June 7, 2020

How do you market to title companies?

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 10:12 pm

Over the years we have heard many approaches to marketing to title companies. Obviously having a good online presence is the most time efficient because using that method they would come to you. But, what if you took a more aggressive approach?

1. Calling title companies
If you make a list of title companies and call them, that is a great way to get business. Keep in mind that there are different reps. They all say that they will share your info with the others, but they hang up so fast that how do you know that they will. It is good to talk to as many reps as possible, potentially on multiple phone calls to each companies.

2. Mailing title companies
If you want to do a nationwide campaign, focus more on companies within 90 minutes of you. But, you can contact title companies throughout the nation by mail. A few Notaries have done this. The response rate is low, but you contact so many companies, that you will get clients. You could mail them a card with basic information, rates, areas covered, etc.

3. Online presence
You are already doing this. But, there are more effective ways to do online advertising than just being online. Ask me how. More listings in more areas, higher placement, more certifications, better notes sections, more reviews, etc., all help.

4. Lots of E&O.
Some title companies require lots of E&O and the amount can vary. 500K E&O will help make you stand out from the other Notaries and might help attract title companies.

5. If you work for a particular title company, pass out cards to the various reps. If you have to go to a particular branch, get to know them as individuals. Title company people are not the most friendly in the world, so try to keep it quick.

6. Visiting title companies in person is time consuming. But, you can see how it works and let us know.

7. Be willing to take those out of the way jobs. Getting in with title is hard. But, once you are in, they might give you regular work. So, be willing to go wherever or whenever for that first job so they can sample your work.

Let us know if you have any other tips in the comments.

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May 29, 2020

How do you increase your client base to all title and no signing companies?

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 10:09 pm

This is easier said than done. Different people have different experiences climbing to the top of the food chain in this business. As a general rule, you start out working mainly for low paying signing companies who micromanage. Some of those companies might not pay at all. Working for companies that don’t pay is a great way to rack up experience, but not a great way to pay your rent. As time goes on, you will gradually get a higher share of higher paying title companies.

Title companies like experience. They also like it if you in addition to claiming to have a zero percent error rate, actually have not made any errors, at least not on their work. A professional disposition also helps and that is hard to explain. The Notaries that get mostly title companies tend to have 5000-10000 loans under their belt. It takes time to get that much experience. At a rate of 1000 loans per year if you are a busy Notary, you need five to ten years of experience and then you are at the top of the pyramid.

Please keep in mind that most Notaries average about 200 loans per year, so they never accumulate this type of experience. Please also keep in mind that only about 5-10% of the Notaries listed on 123notary.com have 5000 loans signed and only 1-3% have 10,000+. Yes, it is lonely at the top.

Basically, the name of the game of Notary fame is to be a scarce commodity. If you have more experience, more knowledge, better professionalism, phone etiquette, etc., you will get paid more. People with 123notary Elite Certification are part of the top fraction of a percent and they get paid a lot more. Anything you can do to differentiate yourself from the others will help.

So, get more experience, more certifications, more reviews, maintain your listing better, and learn to be an expert at seeming professional over the phone. Then, you will get more title companies…. eventually.

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May 9, 2020

123notary changed its business model a little bit

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 9:42 am

This year due to the change in the type of demand there is for Notaries, we changed our algorithm at 123notary. We used to emphasize quality of the Notaries. However, we reduced the size of the site down to 5300 and lost so much market share compared to Notary Rotary that I decided that my former business strategy no longer applied as the market changed. So, I proceeded to add many more notaries to the site and put a greater value on click averages.

The quality based algorithm (still a major factor in our overall algorithm but toned down a bit) was based on how Jeremy (that’s me) felt about the quality of the notaries. That algorithm helped for many years, but lost its effectiveness recently. So, now I am basing placement of free listings and discounts for high placed listings more on click averages. Click averages are an indication of how popular you are with the users. Since my goal is to attract users, I decided to give preference to those that they liked rather than to those that I liked although I still give some points to those who are pleasing to me on the basis of phone manners and notary knowledge.

Now we have 7600 Notaries on the site and a modified algorithm. The new system has attracted 20% more clicks and a lot of new high placed sign ups.

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February 7, 2020

Marketing Article Resources

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 11:01 pm

Here are some of our better marketing related articles that have been
published. Many of these got buried in the list, so this is my way of
reviving them.

Index of best posts about Notary Marketing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20284

Compilation of posts about Notary Business Names
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21760

Five things a notary can do worth $1000 per minute
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20521

How to write a notes section if you are a beginner
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16698

10 rules for negotiating notary fees
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19620

Getting paid, a comprehensive timeline
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22643

He took Jeremy’s advice and got new title companies
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22277

A lot of information he knew but forgot about says on 123notary client
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22225

Your number of loans signed just went down?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21236

Do you invest in your notary business?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22129

Why you should consider getting 123notary elite certified
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20094

Does knowledge matter any more as a signing agent?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19887

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January 7, 2020

A Notary in Nevada made $10,000 in one month in 2019?

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 9:22 am

Yes, it is possible to make money as a Notary in 2019. Our other articles about successful Notaries were mostly from 2013 or before as business was not fast from 2014 until mid 2019. But, this Notary did 90 signings and made $10,000 in a single month. And yes, her primary advertising is on 123notary.

She is full of energy and enthusiasm. She had eighteen months experience, so she was not seasoned by any standards. Additionally, she did not drive more than 20 miles in any direction. She got roughly half of the work from 123notary too.

It is always refreshing to learn about a new notary who is doing well in 2019 as it was very slow for so long. Most of the Notaries who make the big money have years and years of experience. So, how can newer Notaries do well? Being very businesslike, answering the phone, maintaining your listing information, getting reviews, and advertising with a high spot on 123notary.

I hope to hear more stories like this.

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November 18, 2019

Notary vacation — hiring the wrong helper

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 5:49 am

Do you like going on vacation? Can you afford to? That is because you have regular customers. How much of a vacation could you afford without those customers other than camping at KOA?

Many Notaries like to go on vacation. Smart ones have back ups that are tried and true. But, dumb ones ruin their reputation farming their work out to people who miss appointments, screw up loans or cause other types of problems.

So, how do you figure out who is a safe person to use as a back up? Perhaps you need to try them out on a few jobs before you go off into the wild. See if they are dependable. See if they even accept jobs. See if they leave you high and dry or start arguing with you and everyone else.

When you hire people, there is so much that can go wrong. Expect this, and try to develop a small pool of people who are fairly reliable. It is like having a small signing service. Otherwise, don’t have a back up or helper. Just tell them that you are not available while you are away and they can use their regular folks.

One more thing to consider is that your regular clients might develop new loves while you are away, and since you have no commitment, it isn’t adultery either. You might lose many of your best clients if you go away regularly because they want you if they want you and they will develop new habits while you are gone. If they are forced to try someone new while you are in Orlando, and that someone new does the job better than you or has a prettier voice — you will not get called again until pretty voice is busy. So, don’t take your clients for granted!

You might also like:

How to lose half your clients while on vacation
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=596

If you were hiring a notary, what would you look for?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16750

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November 12, 2019

123notary trained her and now she is getting jobs off the hook

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 5:29 am

It all started when someone signed up for a listing many months ago. I talked to her on the phone and the phone call lasted for seven hours she was so interesting. I gave her lots of tips, and she read my blog tutorials on Notary work. When she took my new and more difficult quiz, she got 84% while the others averaged about 35-40%. My new quiz
has many following directions, handling situations and tough notary questions which most people just cannot handle.

The last time I called this lady, she said, “I can’t talk, I’m at a signing. The listing is really working out well.” Then we talked later on that evening and she said she had been getting a lot of work. Something like eighty signings in the last two months which is amazing for someone brand new with no experience.

So, this is an example of someone who listens to our advice, studies hard, and puts attention into their listing. The result is success and happiness!

You might also like:

He took Jeremy’s advice and got new title companies
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22277

What is the secret to Carmen’s success?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20059

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October 11, 2019

A notary writes — I would not cross the street for $60

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 11:24 pm

I apologize for my lack of information. But, in the Notary profession, nothing costs $6. Perhaps that was the extra fee for eDocuments, but that is what a Sprite costs at the Improv where I met that cool 62 year old guy who looks 45 who rides a cool motorcycle and lived in China before — so charismatic! I was impressed by him and let him know. The Sprite, not so impressive though.

In any case, one Notary wrote a response to a blog article — I would not cross the street for $6. My commentary is: What if it were a very narrow street. In that case I might cross it for only $3. And what if I were already on the side of that street when offered the $6. It would be no big deal, especially if I got paid for a return trip so I don’t go back with an “empty load” as the truckers say.

When considering fees for tasks, please consider the whole package and see if is the best use of your time. If you are offered $60 for a job, the expenses are $11.50 and the next best thing you can do with your time is clean your attic, then compare the intrinsic value of those two activities.

You might also like:

Five things a notary can do worth $1000 per minute
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20521

$30 loan signings, is it worth it under any circumstance?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10456

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October 1, 2019

Getting paid – a comprehensive timeline

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 11:17 pm

Many Notaries have a problem getting paid. It’s not you — it’s the industry. But, by using good principles, you can avoid most of the drama. Here are some guidelines to help you through every step of the process.

BEFORE THE SIGNING
When you get that call from a particular company, you need to either have records on each company out there, or be able to look them up. That means you either need online records on a cloud, or accessible from your iPhone, or have a cheat sheet in your glove compartment with up to date records on all signing companies. You need to keep track of:

1. How many jobs have they given you
2. Payment record — average # of days to pay
3. How much outstanding
4. Are they pleasant to work for
5. Cancellation rate.
6. What is their track record on the forums and 123notary’s list of signing companies.

If company cancels too much, you should up their rate or make them pay a cancellation fee or nonrefundable deposit up front, otherwise you will be left holding the bag (and the freshly printed documents.) If a company owes you more than a few hundred, you should deny service until they pay up. If a company has no track record with you, please consider asking them to pay up front via Paypal. If you are a newer signing agent and desperate to get experience, you should be more flexible and take more risks so you get experience. People who use 123notary reward Notaries for having a lot of experience.

You can check new companies on your iPhone while on the road to see how they do on the various forums and 123notary’s list of signing companies with reviews. If a company has a bad track record of payment, you should charge up front or you will likely get stiffed. Some of these companies have no remorse.

CONFIRMING THE SIGNING
Confirming the signing using our tips in the real life scenarios section of Notary Public 101 will not help you get paid, but will help you reduce the amount of signings that end in mid-air. If the signer doesn’t have ID with matching names, or if the other signers aren’t going to be there, or if they don’t have that cashier’s check they need — you are better off not going to their house as it will be a waste of time. Signings that end in “no signs” often do not get paid, so by avoiding this type of scenario, you will have less unpaid jobs as a total percentage.

AT THE SIGNING — MISTAKES
Most Notaries brag about how they have a 99.9% accuracy rate. The truth is that most Notaries make mistakes from time to time, and sometimes FedEx or the Lender screws up too resulting in a second trip. In my experience it is very hard to get paid for a second trip. Companies will often offer to pay, and then not pay you. So, triple checking your work and getting packages to FedEx fast will help reduce your rate of non-paying jobs and also help you from getting fired as much.

AFTER THE SIGNING — FAX
After you are done with your signing, fax a bill and include all pertinent information such as the borrower’s name, property address, loan number, and whatever else the signing or title company wants. Send a bill every week by fax or email or whatever medium your company wants. Also, keep records of every signing company you work for, and all of the jobs they assigned to you. When they pay you, you can indicate the date when they paid you to the right of the job description, borrower name, property address on your records. Your records can be paper or online. It is very fast to do this by paper by the way and less chance of data loss unless you keep the paper in your car.

EVERY MONTH — RECORDS
Every month or so, update your records that you keep in your car. Keep records on each signing company. Track how many jobs they gave you, how fast they pay, what they still owe you, how much you like them. You can assign them a grade too. You can have a customized pricing strategy for each company depending on their track record. You can give lower prices for companies you like. I would base prices on estimated time spent and NOT a fixed price. You could have a — near, medium and far price, or a price that is more intricate depending on number of pages, number of signers, distance, time of day, etc. That is up to you. But, having an intricate pricing strategy will make your life a little more complicated, but will weed out the more difficult companies, or at least make them pay for grief they cause you. Otherwise, those companies will think they can get away with causing Notaries endless headaches. You could keep two sets of these records and update them monthly. One at home and one in the car. If someone offers you a job, don’t quote a price until you look at your records and see if they are on the “A” list.

30 DAYS
If a company is past 30 days, time to consider sending them a demand letter. Or you could wait until the 45 day mark depending on how tough you are. We have a demand letter (from hell) template on our resources page. People have had consistently excellent luck with it, and it was given to us by our very most seasoned Notaries on the site.

45-60 DAYS
If anyone gets to this point, definitely send them a demand letter, but consider hiring an Attorney to write a letter threatening them. There are Attorneys who will write a letter for about $30 using their legal assistants. If a company owe you $300 or more, it might be worth it to write a letter. You can also charge for damages which include your time lost and legal fees.

CONTRACTS
We wrote another article on contracts. Signing companies have contracts to protect their interests. Their contract defends what is convenient and good for the signing company but not what is good for the Notary. You can have your own contract too and make people sign it if they want your services. If you are inexperienced, many companies might not sign it. But, if they need you and you have experience, they just might. You can state terms about partial signings, no shows, cancelled jobs, printing fees, resigns, and whatever else you want. Try to be reasonable in your terms if you expect anyone to sign it and continue using your services.

CREDIT
Try to determine before hand how much credit to offer to particular companies. This needs to be customized. Companies with a bad track record should not get any credit and must pay up front. Companies that have been solid towards you for years might get $400. But, don’t offer more than that because good companies turn bad all the time the minute they run into credit problems. Each company you work for should have a credit rating with you and an individual amount of credit you will offer them. When they offer you a job, see how much they are in debt to you already before saying yes, otherwise — it’s Paypal — or no job!

Trouble getting paid?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15339

Tips for getting paid
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19794

Scary results when someone uses our demand letter from hell
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2006

Template for our famous demand letter
http://www.123notary.com/howto-get-paid-signing-agent.htm

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