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May 12, 2014

Do you have to be a CSS to get work these days?

CSS = Certified Signing Specialist

Notaries are complaining that there isn’t enough work. Early 2014 has been brutal and late 2013 was horrible. Things just died around September 2013. But, the new laws are making it worse. I don’t know if the laws about this topic are being enforced, but I heard that signing companies would be required b law to use a CSS unless they couldn’t find one.

A CSS is someone who passed a yearly background check, and passed a new much harder signing agent exam that is up to government standards. The NNA administers this type of education and 123notary does not. 123notary has its own certification exam for signers which is very basic and proves basic competency to think under time pressure. 123notary’s certification exam gets signers a lot more work on 123notary and is good for the life of your listing, but is not recognized on other sites.

Notaries are asking me if they absolutely have to spend the several hundred dollars each year to get this new designation. My thoughts are that only a few hundred notaries will spend the money and take the time to get this advanced, but necessary designation. The others simply don’t make enough income from notary work, or don’t have the skills or motivation to do it. The result of this across-the-board stubbornness is that non-CSS Notaries will still be necessary simply because there will be so few CSS Notaries around. Signing companies will not have a choice when things get busy and will have to hire those who didn’t go through the CSS program.

BUT,

Those who do go through the program and spend the $300+ will get a larger market share. Whenever you have a designation that others don’t have — whether necessary or not, you get more work. 123notary’s certification has never been officially recognized by anyone, yet those who have it get more than double the work than those who don’t on our site in comparable positions on the search results. Those who have the CSS which in contrast to our informal certifcation IS necessary will get a much bigger market share. In a dead market, a bigger market share might not look that great. But, things change. Notaries tend to base their decisions on today and tomorrow. If you get an important designation and renew it regularly, you will have it three years later when the market picks up and you will be the one raking in the bucks while others are trying out new recipes for Ramen noodles (the one with the slow-cooked pork belly is actually not that bad.)

Are you in good hands?

Tweets:
(1) Notaries are complaining that there isn’t enough work. But, w/o your CSS you might not get any!
(2) I heard that signing co’s would be required to use a CSS unless they couldn’t find one!
(3) So many OTHER notaries are too stubborn to get the CSS designation, so you might survive w/o it.
(4) Do you really need that annual background check? You might get a better market share if you do.
(5) For those who don’t think they need the new CSS designation, we have some good Ramen recipes for you.

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February 1, 2014

We require notaries to be registered on our approved list

We require notaries to be registered on our approved list

An interesting dialogue on our Twitter:

==============

We require notaries to be registered on our approved list because fraud is so rampant in Southern California.

What approved list?

Fidelity National Title is the parent company for Chicago Title, Fidelity Title Ticor Title, Lawyers Title, and Alamo Title. You will need a sponsor in your area to apply to be on our list.

Thanks for the info

============

Many companies use 123notary to find notaries to add to their list. But, these picky companies won’t hire you right off. They browse through the profiles to see if there is someone good who they didn’t see before. If you look promising, they might talk to you, and ask you a few test questions. After that, they might consider going to the next step in their process. But, high class picky companies will not just call random notaries and start trying to qualify them. They are too smart for that. They only pick the best of the best. They don’t need thousands of notaries. They only need a few hundred top notch ones.

Tweets:
(1) We require notaries to be registered on our approved list because fraud is so rampant in California.
(2) Many companies use 123notary, but they won’t use you right off. They pick and choose the best
(3) High class co’s pick the best of the best notaries. If you’re on 123notary.com, you’ve already cleared an important hurdle.

You might also like:

A great attitude gets the most jobs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6493

Companies that will hire NEW signers!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7059

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November 2, 2013

5 or 6 reviews doubles your business?

5 or 6 reviews doubles your business?

OMG! Can that really be true? But, this is not a secret. We tell everyone. Statistically, if you get five or six reviews on your listing, you would get double the calls that you would get if you had no reviews. This is an average, and is not true in all cases. The main thing you have to realize is that people who use 123notary are looking at various things. They are looking to see if you are certified by 123notary (not by NNA). They are looking at your notes section — is yours informative or does it sound like everyone else’s? And most important, they are looking to see if you have reviews.

The top notary didn’t have a review…
Imagine that you are looking at a list of 20 notaries in Wahacha County, State-achusetts. Let’s say that the top notary on the list has no reviews, but someone down the list has fifteen reviews. You might be tempted to call that guy down the list first, and then as a backup, you might call that top notary who has no reviews. Placement on 123notary matters, but so do reviews!

It is a competition!
The most important thing to understand is that notaries who have more reviews than any other notary in their area tend to get more calls. If the notary with the most reviews in your area has three reviews, and you also have three, you are okay. You need to be mindful that someone could get a few new ones while you are not paying attention. But, what if you have six reviews, the next best notary in town has five reviews, and then you slack off. The next thing you know, someone new and enthusiastic might get ten reviews right away, and your phone might stop ringing. This is a competition. Take it seriously. Your income depends on it!

How to ask and who to ask?
You get reviews by asking satisfied clients to write a review for you. Email them a link to your review page as well. Signing & Title companies are the least likely to write a review for you. But, individuals and borrowers who you did a nice job for might be very happy to write a review. Ask everyone, but expect less of those big companies. Every other notary in town is also asking them for a review and they are buried with requests. You might even consider taking on more “regular” notary jobs for individuals, just so it might be easier to accumulate reviews.

Keep reviews fresh!
Freshness of reviews matters too. If all of your reviews are from 2009, people who read the reviews will remember that Janet Jackson song — What have you done for me lately? How come no recent reviews? Think about it.

If you have any questions about getting reviews, ask us!

Please read more about reviews
http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=287

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October 24, 2013

He made $35,000 a month his first year in business?

He what? He made how much? Am I dreaming? Who is this guy?

I just got off the phone with him. I will not disclose his location or name for his privacy. I just talked with a gentleman who has multiple listings on 123notary.com. He says these listings bring him so much business that the phone is ringing off the hook and he is reeling in the business. But, $35,000 a month? He says this is his first year in business. He hires people on salary to drive around and do signings. He pays for the car and other expenses himself and pays them an hourly salary (not big bucks, so don’t get your hopes up). The sheer volume of business this guy is getting is amazing.

Honestly, from talking to him, he sounds like a very cool guy, and very motivated. He fits the profile of a winner in my book. But, still, this type of success is unprecedented in someone’s first year. I understand that the market is picking up for notaries, but still. We have another gentleman who is running a very similar type of operation and very successfully. He has notaries in four or five states and pays them on salary. He gets business right and left and has a huge staff in the office and in the field.

So, if your business is not all it can be, think about what the personality traits of a success story are. There are many successes on 123notary, and you can be one of them. Be an up beat person who gets the job done and doesn’t create obstacles for others. If others create obstacles for you, then create systematic policies for dealing with these problems instead of complaining. Remember — winners find solutions. My idea is to try to adopt the mind-set of someone whose business is off the hook, and that will help you be one of the notaries who is on your way to a huge success!

Tweets:
(1) He bought 8 listings on 123notary.com, hired people to do signings for him & made $35000/month!
(2) If your business could be better, think about what the personality traits of a success story are.
(3) Be an upbeat person who gets the job done and doesn’t create obstacles for others.
(4) If others create obstacles for you, then create policies for dealing with these problems instead of complaining. Winners find solutions.

You might also like:

$10,000 a month on a bad month
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3891

The Notary, The Mafia & The FedEx Drop Box
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3891

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September 21, 2013

$10,000 per month on a bad month

I just got off the phone with a notary who is doing really well who advertises on our site. Business has been better for most notaries recently, but not as good as for this husband and wife team. I will not mention their names or locations to protect their identity.

I talked to them about their renewal. Since our prices can go up or down for a particular position at any point in time, some notaries complain about their new price. If the price goes up, they argue and try to reason with me about how it was less last year. If the price goes down, then they think I was cheating them last year. Either way they get upset and criticize me.

This husband and wife team had a different approach. He said something to the tune of — You doubled my rate, but that is okay! Your site is amazing. We get almost all of our business from your site. I don’t know how you do it. We are making more than $10,000 a month in our notary business.

I was flabbergasted. I had heard the story of the new notary company making $35,000 per month which was an amazing story. But, now another notary making six digits. Unbelievable! So, my faith is renewed in a mobile notary public’s ability to make the type of living that makes other people drool.

Please take this blog entry as an opportunity to take a leap in faith that YOU can make six digits in your notary business. Yes, you have to do everything right, but you can do a bang up job, right?

You might also like:

A detailed look at the Ninja Course
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4621

Uncertified and not a single call
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3887

From 3 jobs per week to 3 jobs per day!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3940

Notary accidentally arrested for robbing a bank?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6541

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September 13, 2013

A great attitude gets the most jobs

A Great Attitude Gets the Most Jobs (If You Answer the Phone)

One title company told us recently, “I never believe notaries who say ‘error-free’ or ‘100% error free’– because everyone makes mistakes. But I would like to hear a notary say, ‘If I do make a mistake–I correct it. I will be glad to drive back to the borrowers if I need to.’ That’s the kind of positive attitude we like.”

The notaries who attract the most work again and again are the ones who may not be perfect, but do it all–try hard to learn everything, use best practices, get certification from several sources, get reviews, share stories–and keep attracting work because they have such a great attitude. And we can tell who these notaries are from the very beginning…and so can the companies that hire them. Here are a few notable examples.

This 60-ish man is a notary who had been in the collections industry and also a notary since 1985. From the very first time we spoke with him, he wanted to learn; he wanted to be the best. He has now been a full-time signing agent for a year, and has done 1000+ loans: he followed our advice and now has a thriving business and is training other notaries to help him. He bought a top position, took one of our courses, got certified, got reviews…and appreciated every experience. He says, of the notary work, “I’ve never worked harder in my life.” But he loves the work, and keeps on getting more and more. He always replies to an email. He always has wonderful things to say on the phone, and always finds a sincere compliment for everyone; if he is busy, he lets you know–without ever being rude. He just keeps taking our advice, and his business keeps growing. He is never cynical, and every company that calls him loves to work with him.

And–he always answers the phone.

Another notary who comes to mind is a woman who joined 123notary recently. She has extensive experience in the mortgage industry, but was willing to look at all the sample notes sections we recommended and created a fabulous notes section using everything she could think of in her background. She didn’t think she was above all this just because she had a lot of experience. Her notes were nearly perfect when she sent the first draft, but she was still willing to keep working on them. She also was eager to get our certification–despite her experience that includes almost 10,000 signings– and spent a lot of time studying our “phoninar” blogs; of course, she got the certification. She will do well on the site because of her positive attitude and willingness to make an effort. She always answers the phone.

Our final notary, a young woman, has barely started on her notary career, but is already getting a few jobs because of the energy she puts into everything she does. Her notes section really tells what kind of a person she is (does not mind pets at the signing table), and gives lenders an idea of why they should hire her–even though she has done fewer than 10 signings. For example, experienced in IT, she tells us “Technology is my soul,” and explains how her background in that industry supports her detail work as a notary. She can really have a great conversation on the phone…which often ends in jobs and good reviews. And, guess what? She always answers the phone!

Tweets:
(1) Is it better to say, “1000 error free signings,” or, “If I make a mistake I’ll fix it ASAP.”
(2) The notaries who get ahead are not the ones who brag, but the ones who really want to learn & do a great job!
(3) The notaries who attract the most work get multiple certifications, reviews, and have great attitudes.
(4) A great conversation on the phone often attracts jobs and good reviews, which attracts more jobs. Always answering the phone helps!

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July 10, 2013

6 FREE things 123notary does for its clients

123notary does all types of free things for its clients. Why? We want our clients to
do well so that they stick with us year after year. Here are some things we do:

(1) Free Listings
We offer free listings to many new notaries. We typically do not offer free listings for more than a year unless you are in a very remote area or have 123notary certification

(2) Free Help with Notes
We offer free help with your notes section. You can email us and we will help you add unique content to your notes section as well as organize your existing contents.

(3) Free Strategical Help
We offer strategical help that can mean the difference between making it and breaking it in the notary profession.

(4) Free Educational Materials for Signing Agents
We offer free educational materials in our blog. We do not publish those every day, but when we do, they are very useful.

(5) Free Guidance for Getting Reviews
We offer guidance to help you get reviews. Sometimes asking for reviews is not enough. You need to know who to ask, how to ask, and how to follow up.

(6) Free Signing Agent Tips
Carmen has made it a tradition to help notaries out with their loan signing questions. What other agency does that for free — or does that at all?

What other notary agency does all this for free if at all?

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March 19, 2013

How to write a notes section if you have no experience

People ask us this question every day. What do I put in my notes section if I have no experience. So many notaries leave their notes blank. Nobody will hire you if you leave your notes unfilled. If you don’t have any experience, there are still many things to write about.

You can write about what types of notarizations you are willing to do. Be specific — readers love specifics. You can also write about what you used to do. Readers love to get to know you by reading your notes. The more they say, the more they like you.

Here are some examples.

(1) Someone with no experience
I am available to perform any type of notarization for any type of document or loan signing. Deeds, Affidavits, Contracts, Refinances, or any other type of loan or document is fine. I provide service from 9am to 9pm six days a week. I’m fluent in Malay & English. Call any time!

My professional background is very varied. I worked in a Mortgage company for five years, but was an assistant to a well known comedian before that. I also worked in Real Estate for three years. I have a BS in Chemistry. I also play the violin and flute (No, not at the same time).

(2) Someone with a dozen loans signed
I have signed many refinances, and a few reverse mortgages. I am happy to assist you with any type of loan or document signing 24 hours a day! Just give me a call and let’s get started.

I have 30 years of experience working in an insurance company. I have a Masters degree in photosynthesis.

Call me today!

(3) Someone with notary experience, but no loan experience
I have been a notary for 12 years and have completed hundreds of document signings for a wide range of clients. I have signed Deeds of Trust, Grant Deeds, Warranty Deeds, Powers of Attorney, Wills, Affidavits, Contracts, Permission for minors to travel, Affidavits of domicile, and many other documents. Call me any time for a loan or document signing.

I am a real go-getter, and a hard worker. I put in that extra effort to get the job done right. I also help the clients understand the notarization process and what their options are. Legally, I can not decide what type of notarization to offer, but I educate the signers as to what the different types of notarizations mean, and how they are most frequently used.

I used to work as a stockbroker at Tuna, Jones & Barney for three decades. I have an MBA in Marketing

——————————

We are trying to train the notaries to put their selling features at the top of the notes. Selling features are any facts that make you stand out such as experience, or familiarity with certain types of documents or loans. Or, a selling feature could be a smoothly written line about who you are as a person that makes you stand out in a nice way. Detailed personality descriptions should go in the 2nd paragraph as a rule. If you want to talk about your professional background before you were a notary, please put that at the bottom. So many notaries put their real estate or insurance information at the top of their notes, and it simply counts against them as the clients are more interested in reading about their notary skills, since they want to hire the notary to do notary work — not real estate work!

Twitter:
(1) Write about what types of loans & docs ur familiar with & what you did for a living before you were a notary.
(2) What are your selling features as a notary & how do you communicate them in your notes?
(3) Notaries who get ahead put hard information in their notes, not bragging or unverifiable claims.

You might also like:

What goes where in your notes section?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1076

Winning techniques for getting reviews
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2625

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February 27, 2013

2013 analytics: which notaries are getting more business?

Carmen and I talked in depth about this issue about nine months ago. And yes, notaries should pay a lot more attention to analytics.

Some notaries are doing a lot better than other notaries on 123notary. But, what are the factors? Has anything changed in the last year since we talked about analytics the last time?

Notaries with excellent notes sections outperform notaries with mediocre notes in comparable positions by double or triple in most cases.

Basically, my new analysis was about notes sections. Notes are our main focus for 2013 by the way. I studied how to write a good notes section, and what makes a notes section good. Several years ago, I studied the difference between having a long notes section and a short one. But, this year the focus was on the QUALITY of the notes section irrespective of size.

I learned that notes sections can be good or bad based on how well they are written (obviously), how well organized they are, and how much relevant content they have. Many notes sections have many words, but not much information that would be interesting to the prospective client. Other notes sections have information that is mildly interesting at the top, while failing to mention compelling reasons why someone should hire them.

The results of my findings were that notaries with quality notes averaged considerably more clicks than those with a poorly written notes section. I categorized several dozen notes sections in various cities by assigning them a letter grade from A to F. The unfortunate part of this study, was that there were hardly any A’s to compare, even fewer B’s, and no F’s near the top of the list. How can I compare clicks from a listing at the top of the search results with a listing left vacuous at the bottom of the list. My other click comparisons were between listings at similar places in various search results. To sum it up, there were very few A’s, F’s were at the bottom of the page, and I was forced to compare C’s and D’s for the most part.

To clarify matters for the reader — an “A” notes section would be well organized, have interesting and informative content, and be well written. B notes might be well written, but have some organizational flaws, or leave out some critical information. C notes might be average, and not more than one or two paragraphs. D notes would be blatantly short and incomplete, while F notes might be completely vacant, or at least short and deeply flawed.

My incomplete results yielded some conclusions: Listings with:
> “A” quality notes got around 50% more clicks than listings with B quality notes.
> “A”quality notes get about double or triple the clicks that listings with C notes get
> “A” quality notes get perhaps quadruple or more clicks than listings with D or F notes get in comparable positions, but there is very little data to support this claim.
> “A” quality notes might get about 10 times the quantity of clicks that a D or F notes listing might get further down the list
> Listings with REVIEWS and poor notes systematically performed better than listings with great notes and no reviews.
> B quality notes did systematically better than C quality notes (around 50% better). C did better than D.
> There was little difference between notes that scored D and F in terms of click performance, although D was about 20% higher on average in clicks — compared to a much higher percentage between A’s and B’s, B’s and C’s, C’s and D’s.

Conclusion:
The components that make your listing thrive consist of: Placement, Reviews, Notes, and Certification. Reviews is 30% of the formula, so if you don’t like the idea of asking for a review — please change your likes and dislikes. Notes account for 20% of the performance of your listing. Although not as important as placement or reviews, there is a huge difference between doing a super job and a terrible job in terms of click performance. The irony is that it takes only 20 minutes to write a brilliant notes section. But, the financial rewards can be in the thousands per month simply for investing that 20 minutes in your notes section. Is 20 minutes worth an extra $20,000 per year? That is $1000 per minute! What is your time worth?

Commentary
Sally and I analyzed many notes sections from some of our best notaries. We were very disappointed that only about 1% of our notaries got an A on their notes section. No notary got an A on their notes thumbnail — which is the top 150 characters that shows up on the search results page (unless I wrote it for them). People decide whether to click on you or not depending on what you write in the first line of your notes — so take it seriously! Less than 1% of the notaries got a B. Most notaries got a C who were in a high or medium position. The notaries in the lower middle and the bottom got dismal scores on their notes.

Why is it that so few notaries ask for help with their notes when their notes affect their whole future? Are they suicidal?

You might also like:

A few testimonials on 123notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=700

The top 1% and the 99% in the notary world
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4168

Does Elite Certification Help?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4229

The Technique — getting reviews!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2625

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January 17, 2013

From 3 jobs per week to 3 jobs per day!

I posted an entry on our forum to see if people were getting more work recently. Based on my calls around the country, some notaries are really getting the business. We got a response to that post, but not the type of response I was expecting.

Brandon stated that he WAS getting 3 jobs per week.

THEN, he took the 123notary.com certification test and then started getting 3 jobs PER DAY!

What a difference.

http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=5527

For those of you who think that the 123notary certification test is not that well designed, or for those of you who think that you don’t NEED to take it — think again. Getting work depends on the credibility you get with the signing companies for passing our test. If you are going to be on OUR directory, then think about passing OUR test. Conversely, if you want to advertise on signingagent.com and not with us, then get certified by the NNA.

When I was a notary I didn’t do all of the whining that the notaries these days do. I got certified by FIVE agencies and learned a little something extra from each preperation book and test.

You might also like:

How do you let people know you are a notary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1936

Pricing for notary work: different strokes for different folks
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=697

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