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April 30, 2018

Who is getting clicks in 2018?

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 10:17 am

Interpreting clicks is complicated and is a loaded subject. Those who are certified by 123notary get more clicks than the others, however, many do not click on them for fear that they might be expensive which is a realistic fear. The numbers below are based on limited data as I did not want to spend all day long averaging numbers. It is just to give you some sort of an idea. Clicks do not translate directly into jobs. Certified members get more high paying jobs but do not necessarily get more clicks.

High Listings
Elite Members 1.75 clicks/day average
Certified 1.57 clicks/day average
Not Certified 1.59 clicks/day average
Poor Stats 1.23 clicks/day average (notaries with failing test scores)

Conclusion
Elite members have a definitive advantage as users regard them as being the masters of their trade which is true. Only 100 of our 6000 currently listed members are Elite Certified and it is very hard to pass the test. So, it really makes you stand out. Then there were people who miserably failed our notary quiz with around 40% or less who are getting a lot fewer clicks per day. There was no definitive difference between those who were not certified who did reasonably on the notary quiz and those who are certified. Users do not value knowledge of documents that much but do value general notary knowledge to a particular extent.

Medium Members
Elite 1.56 clicks per day
Cert 1.3 clicks per day
Uncert 1.2 clicks per day
Bad Stats .96 clicks per day (notaries with failing test scores)

Interpretation
This time there was measurable difference in the clicks of certified members and an even bigger increase in clicks for those who are elite certified. Those Notaries who failed our Notary test were distinctive in their low clicks as users do value basic knowledge. One of the reasons that our elite certification is not more valued is that the elite members are expensive, and still do not have a 100% knowledge of the notary process or documents even though they are close. Maybe with more refinement of my certifications they will get more weight.

It seems that the most important thing is to try to make sure Notaries score at least 50% on their notary quiz to ensure happy users on our site.

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You might also like:

How does pricing for top spots on 123notary work?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19355

Which Notary Directories get the high paying signings?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19201

Answering the call and then not wanting to talk
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19640

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April 29, 2018

Do I need $1 million (E&O) insurance to get more Notary business?

Do I need $100,000 or $1 million in Errors & Omission (E&O) insurance to get more Notary business?
It is not uncommon for some companies to require that a Notary have more than the standard amount of E&O Insurance. There is no state mandated minimum for E&O unlike a Notary Bond where the law requires every Notary to file an official bond for $15,000 which is designed to pay limited claims against the Notary Public.

But please make no mistake. All Notaries must carry some form of E&O insurance to protect themselves from unintentional errors and omissions they make. Of course, E&O policies will not cover fraudulent acts or intentional errors. Without E&O Insurance, you will have to pay for the cost of the judgment or settlement and your own legal expenses. The financial impact can force a Notary to renounce his/her Notary commission and possibly even declare bankruptcy depending upon then severity of the error.

The high coverage of an E&O policy is based on the false perception that the companies would get a better class of Notary or that they are protected from any and all errors made by the Notary. This is farthest from the truth. I have more than 20 years of experience being a Notary and have never increased my E&O Insurance above the standard amount of $15,000/- primarily for 2 reasons. First, the number of companies requiring $100,000 or even $1 million in E&O Insurance are few and far between and the number of jobs that a Notary gets does not make up for the increased premium for the additional coverage. Second, the E&O policy only covers clerical errors and does not cover any fraudulent acts committed by the Notary. As a matter of practice, I double and sometimes triple check my work and am always cautious of the people who appear before me for a notarization. More importantly, I never do anything that even has the appearance of a scam or fraud. I have no intention of being someone’s boyfriend with no escape clause!!

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You might also like:

The 30 point course – beneficial interest and E&O Insurance
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14532

Posts about E&O Insurance
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=eo-insurance

Help, I’m being sued, and E&O insurance won’t help!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3570

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March 27, 2018

Does knowledge matter any more as a signing agent?

any Notaries are telling me that nobody tests them and nobody cares if they know anything. My clicks reveal that when I started my career as a directory owner that knowledge mattered a lot more. Now it still matters, but not as much.

Ten years ago a certified signing agent on 123notary would get more than double the clicks that an uncertified member in a similar position would get.

Now, even an Elite certified 123notary member gets only 80% more clicks than the absolute most notarially illiterate members.

So, knowledge still matters, just not as much.

However, I feel it is undignified not to be an expert at notary matters if you are a notary. Additionally, you can get into legal trouble if you are sloppy in your notary work. Failing to fill out:

Additional Information sections in Acknowledgments can lead to fraud that could get you subpoenaed!

Not keeping a journal can get you pegged as a suspect in identity fraud cases. It can also get you in trouble if someone forges your seal impression, your lack of a journal makes it look like you were the one that notarized the document in question.

Not keeping a journal correctly can lead to other problems. If you cram five documents in a single journal entry, the borrower could come back in court saying they only authorized you to notarize one of the documents. Since there is only one journal signature for five documents you won’t even know which document was authorized and bingo — you are a suspect in mortgage fraud — congratulations.

Not abiding by prudent practices identifying people with name variations can land you in court.

Making clerical mistakes filling out notarial forms can get you fired or sued

Saying no under the wrong circumstances can get you sued. Additionally, saying no under the correct circumstances but not properly explaining why can get you sued, and successfully sued.

So be careful and be an expert at Notary work. If you don’t know your loan documents, nobody cares. But, we do care if you know how to be a notary and follow directions and be polite and login to your listing regularly.

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You might also like:

123notary Loan Signing Courses
http://www.123notary.com/loan_signing_courses.html

Compilation of Certification posts
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16264

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December 25, 2017

123notary’s certifications will get you more business than before

Filed under: Marketing Articles,Popular on Linked In — Tags: — admin @ 11:01 am

A certification is only as valuable as the knowledge it represents. In the past, I thought our certified members were great and did not need to be tested. Then, things changed and I found I was wrong. I had to remove certifications from many people’s listings. So, now there are fewer 123notary certified members. However, the ones that have the icon have a higher level of knowledge than before. Therefore, having our certification icon will get you a bigger advantage now than ever before.

All you have to do is actually know how to be a Notary, know your loan documents, and know how to handle situations. Being 123notary certified is pathetically easy. I am shocked how many people cannot pass our test. It is easy. Most people would rather fail in their career than study a few hours. Studying is not that hard, and this is much easier than studying for a real license. So, what is the problem.

In the old days, 123notary certificaiton would get you roughly 2.5x more business. Now, that I am cleaned up my cert icon and where I put it, it will logically get more than that. I would estimate it would get people 4x more business. However, I need to wait a few months before I get formal readings. In any case this is huge. You would be a fool not to have our icon. The studying involved is only a few hours. It won’t kill you.

Additionally, the Elite icon is being scrutinized. It is not so easy to get, but you can do it if you put your mind to it. Ask us how to get the elite icon. And if you don’t believe me then ask Santa (if he’s real.)

Also read – Compilation of certification posts

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December 18, 2017

Answering the call and then not wanting to talk. Reasoning.

Filed under: Marketing Articles — Tags: , — admin @ 10:55 am

Many Notaries answer when I call them and then tell me that they do not have time to talk. Many are so rude that immediately upon answering they tell me — I’m at a party, I’m in a signing, I can’t talk. Why answer if you can’t talk.

The common excuse is that they thought it was the Lender or someone else. How insulting. That means you want to talk, but you just don’t want to talk to me.

As I’ve said before, if you are free enough to talk, have the consideration to give the other person 90 seconds or more before you tell them that you are in the middle of something. If you are in the middle of a signing, you won’t get your next job if you don’t answer your phone or if you refuse to talk.

Talk Schedule
At a signing — offer 90 seconds of talk before you tell the other person you are at a signing if it is a business call.
At a party — offer several minutes before you cut the other person off
At dinner — if you refuse to talk when you are eating, you might lose a lot of work. We are not French or Spaniards here who have long interrupted dinners and a semblance of quality of life. We are Americans damn it! We live for work! If you want to have a pleasant life, save up and live in Greece where their debt situation is out of control. It is because they spend too much time enjoying life and not enough time balancing their budget!

Personally, I do not call people that often. But, when I do, if you refuse to talk, that means I have to track you down and call you up to five times just to ask you a simple question. Making me run around just to ask you two or three questions is insane and unbusinesslike. Please consider my end of the bargain. I have thousands of people to call and any unnecessary avoidance just makes my life a lot more difficult and unpleasant.

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You might also like:

Notary Marketing 102: Phone & Communication Etiquette
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19764

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

Confirming the signing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19976

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December 12, 2017

The Notary Profession is a Profession — act like it is!

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 3:52 am

Carmen and I are tired of Notaries treating the Notary profession as if it is a quick way to make some cash on the side — Make a few extra bucks — five bucks here, ten bucks there. This is a very bad way to look at the profession. First of all, there is liability in this profession. You can get sued even if you don’t do anything wrong. People are doing big deals that are being Notarized. If something goes wrong, they can sue you for a few thousand dollars. If the Lender did something fraudulent, you might get wrongfully sued too. If you put your package in a drop box that doesn’t get picked up and the borrower loses their lock — guess what could happen? You get the idea.

The root of the problem lies with the states who mostly have low requirements or no requirements for being a Notary. If you are 18 or over, not a felon and are breathing, you can be a Notary. Being a notary is a profession that safeguards the transactions of multi-million dollar estates. Any lack of integrity or caution on the part of the Notary can lead to disaster.

Imagine that you Notarize John Hancock only to find out he was a different John Hancock and syphened a million dollars of equity from someone’s estate. You might end up in court as a witness, accomplice, or get sued for negligence. You have no idea what you are playing with in this profession. You have to be careful what you put your stamp on. You might step on a mine.

Many Notaries also think that becuase their state has minimal requirements, that it is not necessary to go above and beyond your state minimum Notarial behavior — this is wrong. If you don’t keep a journal, don’t use an embosser and don’t thumbprint, you can get in huge trouble.

Think of state requirements like you think of speed limits. If the law says you can go 100 on the highway as was the case in Montana in the past and perhaps present, that doesn’t mean you are safe doing so. There could be deadly accidents. Just because you slow down to 95, you think you are being prudent, but are you really? You are still going faster than is safe. You can blame the state, but you are responsible for your own behavior.

Most professions have licensing tests that you have to take every year or two. Some professions make you take a test of 200 questions to make sure you understand all of the regulations and standards in your industry. The Notary profession has NNA tests that are taken every year or two. California has an exam you take every four years. But, people complain when I want to ask a few questions. People try to convince me that they know it all and don’t need to be tested because of all of the years they have been in business. These are the same people who score 20% on my quizzes.

Once again, the Notary profession is a profession — treat it like one. You should be quizzed every year on all the sites you are on. Since the states do not test your competency, I am forced to. It is a huge waste of my time and really frustrating dealing with all these resistent and incompetent people who think they are so smart.

If you really are so smart, just answer the questions, get an A, and then get on with your day. It would take two minutes to test people if they just knew the answers. The problem is that they resist, and then have to think about everything I ask, and then want to argue, and I need to teach them things and a simple quiz can take fifteen minutes that should take two minutes if I were dealing with professionals. How upsetting and what a waste ot my time.

To be a professional you need to do more than study. You need to master the art of being a Notary. You need to know everything and skip the snow job of trying to convince others you know everything when you don’t. The con jobs are getting very old. I have heard it all too many times. I really don’t even want to list such people. 123notary is a directory for professionals, not posers. At least that is the word young people use these days. When I was growing up we didn’t use that king of language, we said fakers.

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December 11, 2017

Following directions — what’s the big deal?

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 3:53 am

Many Notaries think that other people’s directions don’t matter. The other people are just being anal. There is no intrinsic reason for all these nitpicky rules, right? Not true. Many brokers use our site and lose big when Notaries refuse to follow directions. A broker can lose $3000 to $5000 just because a Notary does not follow directions. However, when I give quizzes, experienced Notaries do not follow directions roughly half the time. How can people survive in this industry without getting complaints when they just don’t do what they have been asked? Maybe they are just lucky. Maybe they have avoided situations where there are consequences.

Part of following directions is communication. Most Notaries do not answer questions the way they were phrased. It is a sign of poor mental discipline and can also lead to problems down the line.

When I ask how many loans have you signed, the answer is normally in years, not loans. When I ask how many journal entries, the answer is often an incomplete answer where I have to do the math or a lecture about how their state doesn’t require a journal. When I ask my famous question about the green pen, the answer is always to second guess the instructions by calling when the instructions specifically said not to call.

In real life, there are no green pens, there are no brokers who don’t want you to call them, and there is no guy named Chad who never answers his phone. These problems only exist in Jeremyland. However, in real life, there are guys named Dave who fire you for not following directions and other guys named Jeff who offer you less because you carry on like an idiot who can’t answer simple questions.

If you want to get paid well, you have to discipline yourself. You need to know your notary procedures and documents inside out. You need to communicate perfectly, not ramble, not argue, etc. You need to be on time, dress well, and get documents back on time. You need basic judgement and communication skills too. Most Notaries have none of these skills and just spend a lot of time complaining. It is getting a bit old. You don’t get ahead by complaining and being resistent, but so many Notaries act this way.

The moral of the story is to place a bigger emphasis on following directions. Your reputation could be ruined because you did not follow directions even once. Bad reviews stay on your listing for three years — no exceptions unless they are blatantly fraudulent. You might also cost someone $5000 because you did not follow directions or did not get back to them. Their directions might mean nothing to you, but they mean something to the person paying you.

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November 23, 2017

A pleasant surprise

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 3:48 am

For the last few months I have been testing everyone on the site. Yes, it is very painstaking work and thankless. People complain, are rude, and evasive. I hate it. However, the quality of the site has been getting better as a result.

Once in a while I get a pleasant surprise. Someone will actually appreciate my hard work and tell me that what I am doing actually is useful and has a value. Others will surprise me by getting 100% on my quiz which makes me very happy. So, it’s not all depressing and heartbreaking. There are pleasant surprises.

On a sadder note, some of our best Notaries who we held as experts have lost their mojo and scored horribly on our quiz. Old age, disease, mental deterioration and other causes can lead to Notaries not doing well. It is so sad. But, what can I do?

It is unfortunate that it is a surprise when someone does well on my quiz. That should be the norm, not an abnormality. Oh well. Maybe in a few years, we will train everyone to be experts and then we will have an army of top notch Notaries. We’ll see.

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November 6, 2017

10 rules for negotiating Notary fees

Many Notaries complain about how little they get paid. And then I complain about how little they know. The two tend to go together and the pay is not going to go up before the knowledge does. However, there are negotiating techniques that can help.

1. Let them name their price first
In a bargaining game, it is better to let the other person bid first. You can always raise your ask price if they don’t offer enough. But, if they offer far too much, you would never get it if you asked first and asked too low.

2. Start with a high ask price
If you ask for $125, you can always go down on your price, especially if the job is close or fast. You can ask how many pages, fax backs, and notarizations are in the package. If it is quick, then give them a quick price.

3. Never whine
If you whine about the condition of the industry or how low the fee was, people will think you are a low life. Professionals don’t whine. Professionals operate! So, if you are offered $60, ask for $85 and see what happens.

4. Decline the low-ball offers
If you spend all day working for peanuts, then when the good jobs come, you won’t have time. Decline bad offers so you are free for good offers.

5. Answer your phone
If you only offer when you are not in a signing and not driving or cooking or thinking, you will miss 80% of your calls. How can you negotiate a good fee if you don’t take the call in the first place?

6. Act professional
Try to impress them without trying to impress them. Most Notaries try to do a snow job and brag about how great they are. Seasoned operators don’t do this. Smart professionals will engage you in an intelligent conversation about the job, the industry and the state of the union. Ask them questions about the job, where it is, who it is for, what type of loan it is, and about their career and industry working in title or escrow. But, whatever you do, don’t talk about your zero percent error rate and how reliable and experienced you are — nobody can verify your claims and nobody wants to hear it.

7. Never say hello
Unless you work for an aloe vera companies, don’t answer the phone saying “aloe?” Answer stating your company name and personal name. It sounds professional. If you have screaming kids in the background that sounds horribly unprofessional. Have a quiet place to answer the phone and if you are in a noisy place, try to go to a quieter place and apologize about the noise. Just because you don’t mind noise doesn’t mean the title company enjoys barking dog and screaming three year old.

8. Talk about real life
Sometimes I talk to Notaries who tell the Title company that you can call me to clean up the mess after you hire one of those $50 signers. Over half my work is clean up work. That sounds real to title companies unlike all the nonsense about how experienced and knowledgeable you are which just sounds like fluff. Tell real stories about how you handled complicated situations that others might have goofed. Mention that split signing where you did some complicated manouver on the Acknowledgment certificate and how you went out to sign the wife at 3am because she could only see you at that time due to her busy schedule as a nurse. This is impressive and much better than fluff.

9. Negotiate timing
You can offer a better rate if they get you late after rush hour. They might prefer to just offer you more and get the job booked.

10. Double book and get a bad review
Yes, you’ll get bad reviews from this, but double booking makes sense. People cancel jobs all the time when they hire you, so why can’t you cancel a few jobs. If you book jobs tightly, the other person will cancel 20% of the time — at least. So, if you book a job for $60 and someone else offers you $150, you can ditch the first job and take the other. You will probably get a bad review that will last for three years, but you will have $90 extra in your pocket. It’s a dirty technique. Not recommended, but food for thought and great blog material.

11. Never let them see you sweat.
Appearing calm and collected are the way to go. If you seem flustered, that is bad. Oops, that was eleven rules and I promised ten. Okay, disregard point eleven and just use antiperspirant.

You might also like:

How to negotiate fees like a pro
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19198

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

Notary Marketing 102 – Negotiating Fees
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19784

A complete guide to getting paid
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19794

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October 25, 2017

Does 123notary have the authority to quiz people?

Filed under: Marketing Articles,Popular on Linked In — admin @ 1:05 am

In the old days, I had to quiz people by phone but got tired of it because people were so slow and didn’t know their stuff. Then, I invested in technology to test people, but so many people failed, or cheated on the test, that the results were not practical. Now, I am back to testing people by phone. Since most people won’t volunteer to be tested, I call them up and ask questions. Most people comply although the quality of their answers is horrible. But, people have questioned my authority. Here are some common complaints that I get normally from people who get 20% or less on my test and have anger issues.

1. Who do you think you are to ask me questions?
My response: If you are listed on my site I have the right to ask questions. If you don’t like it, ask me to remove your listing and I will.

2. Do you think you are the NNA?
My response: The NNA is a nationwide Notary organization. So are we. They do not call people and ask questions, but do remote testing for people who want to be tested as a Notary or Signing Agent. We at 123notary also have Signing Agent certifications, so we are similar to the NNA in many ways. We do many of the same things they do except that they sell supplies and we don’t.

3. You are not a state licensing agency.
My response: The states do such a bad job commissioning completely unqualified, incompetent people that I have to take over where the states left off which is educating people and testing them. I am not authorized by any state to teach Notary issues, however nobody who is qualified will lift a finger for me so I have to do the work myself and it is tedious. I am a web site licensing agency. I offer the license to be listed on my website and I will take it away from you if you can’t function as a Notary Public.

4. We are paying customers, therefor you don’t have the right to ask us anything.
My response: Your last payment was in 2014 which was three years ago. You now have a free listing. But, even if you were up to date in your payments, I have a reputation with the people who use our site. If everytime you went to 123notary you got horrible Notaries who ruined your loans and cost you thousands of dollars, you would avoid my site. If every time you used 123notary you got angry jerks who were rude to you, you would only use NotaryRotary or some other site. I have to have competent and polite Notaries on my site or people will stop coming. That means I have the necessity to ask you questions to verify your competence. And if I learn that you are not competent as a Notary Public, I should probably remove you although I remove very few people for incompetence.

However, I was auditing the people who passed my online test. Many cheated by memorizing the answers or having someone test for them. So, the only way to keep you certified is to ask a few questions by phone to make sure your phone score is consistent with your online score. If you got 90% online and a 60% phone score that is close enough, but what if you get a 20% phone score? If I give my certification to people who cheated, then the certification loses its meaning and becomes worthless. All I ask is that you passed legitimately and I do not want to test you every year like the NNA. They have their way and I have mine.

Just because you are paying me $99 per year doesn’t give you the right to ruin my reputation with users. And just as you pay to go to a restaurant you have to behave properly or they can throw you out. When you pay for an air ticket you sit down when the captain tells you to even though you are the one paying. When you pay to go to school you follow their rules. It is the same on 123notary. All we ask is that you maintain your listing and behave politely on the unusual occasion when I will ask you a few questions. I also request that you know how to be a competent Notary.

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You might also like:

Notary Public 101 Quiz Questions
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19520

What are all these quizzes all about from Jeremy?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19379

Has anyone failed the notary exam
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1999

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