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June 28, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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June 27, 2017

# of loans vs. # of years or using “since”

Filed under: Your Notes Section — admin @ 8:57 am

We crunched some numbers to help find out which types of notes sections attract the most clicks and we have some answers.

Years vs. # of Loans
When I create a notes section for someone, I prefer to stress number of loans verses number of years. Since many Notaries do signings on the side, the number of years doesn’t give you an accurate idea of how experienced you really are. I signed more loans in one month than many people do in several years. If you were full-time, then number of years is a more informative statistic about you. But, number of loans (assuming you are not fibbing or off by a large margin) is a very accurate way to know how experienced you are. It doesn’t tell us if you are smart about signing loans, but at least we know you have done a few. But, what do the stats say?

After crunching some numbers for an hour, I came up with some stats for our top placed people on the site. Those who mentioned number of loans got roughly 40% more clicks than those who mentioned years, although those who mentioned years did fairly well compared to the average Notary as readers do identify with that statistic. Additionally, the top of your notes section shows up in the search results, and you can fit the number of loans signed using fewer characters leaving room for more critical information (selling points) about yourself. So, the number of loans is a better statistic to use (by far).

Since (year)
If you want to let people know how long you have been doing signings, if you use the word since, you don’t have to keep changing the number of years every 12 months. You can say three years of experience or doing signings since 2014. Since also does well in the stats.

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June 26, 2017

How do Notaries decide what a fair fee is?

Filed under: NSA Pricing, Fees & Income — admin @ 9:54 pm

Unfortunately, Notaries rarely think like business people. There is no such thing as a fair fee. Fees are based on supply and demand. Sometimes the quality of the Notary is not even considered which makes it hard for seasoned Notaries to survive in this low-ball world unless people swear by them. But, here are some erroneous ways of thinking that Notaries engage in.

1. The fee on the Closing Disclosure is $250, so therefor I deserve more than $50 which is what they offered me.
WRONG: You are worth what the market will pay you. If you are a new Notary, and $50 is the best you can do, it is better than starving.

2. I am a seasoned Notary and someone offered me $50. I feel insulted.
WRONG: If you are a seasoned Notary, you should be only worried with how much the top four offers per day are paying. You have time for four jobs per day unless you want to work overtime. If your top offers pay you $125, then it doesn’t matter what the other offers pay you as you won’t have time for them. The problem is you don’t have enough good offers, and the problem is not how many bad offers you get.

3. I got paid $90 per signing ten years ago, therefor, I should be making at least that now.
WRONG: Market conditions and interest rates have changed. There are too many Notaries (particularly of the low-ball variety who work for clearing house agencies) who will work for cheap. Additionally, with interest rates higher than they were before (which is still low comparative to the 70’s and 80’s) there are few refinances going on. You work for what the market will pay you.

4. I am using my toner, gas, paper, and wear and tear on my car, therefor I deserve at least $x per signing
WRONG: You can only get what people are willing to pay. If they don’t offer enough, you can consider alternate things you can do to make a similar or greater amount of money.

Summary
There is no right or wrong in what you are offered. Getting better offers is based on your experience, skill, desirability, negotiating skills, and how well you advertise. If you are getting “enough” job offers, but they don’t pay enough, you are not getting enough job offers. You need to get twenty offers per day so you can take offers either from the nicest companies, the best paying jobs, or the closest. Getting five offers of which you take four guarantees that they will be mostly not good offers as most offers are not. If you don’t take the cream of the offers you are not getting good offers, so advertise more and make sure your advertisements look good as well — that means having reviews!

There is no fair price or right price. Having a fixed price schedule is stupid too. You need flexibility. The market determines what you get paid, so learn to play the market instead of getting played like a Notary chump.

Rebuttal: Who you callin’ a chump?

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June 21, 2017

I am a Notary in good standing with the NNA

Filed under: Your Notes Section — admin @ 9:02 am

I see so many Notaries (really lame ones) who don’t know what to put in their notes section. Many write that they are an NNA member. That is basically as valuable as saying that you buy bananas at Albertson’s. Anyone can buy a banana, but does that make you a good Notary? Then there are other Notaries who boast that they are in good standing with the NNA.

The NNA is not a regulating authority for Notaries. They offer training, courses, supplies, insurance, and more. The only way to be in bad standing with the NNA is to fail to pay your renewal bill. It is your state government that you have to be in good standing with. They are the ones who can suspend, revoke or terminate your commission!

Yes, background screening is good. But, without the dates that the screening is valid, it is useless info in your notes section as it could be outdated. NNA Certification is a bit more valuable on your listing though as it proves that you passed a test or claim that you did.

So, put something of value in your notes such as what types of loans or documents you are familiar with. What is your professional background?

Having one professional membership such as NNA membership is better than zero. But, to look professional (rather than claiming to be professional with no basis) it is better to have a list of companies you are associated with.

A notes section should have all types of sections, each containing good information. Here is what your memberships section could look like.

(1) Professional Looking
Memberships:
NNA, 123notary, Notary Cafe, Notary Rotary, Association of South Carolina Realtors, Charleston Notary Association, and The Southern Entrepreneur Society.

(2) Looks like a new Notary who hasn’t a clue
I am an NNA Member in good standing.

It is good to be a NNA member. They have a lot to offer — and I stress the word THEY have a lot to offer. Being a member of theirs doesn’t prove that YOU have a lot to offer. So — what’s in your wallet (or notary bag?)

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June 20, 2017

The debate over what goes at the top of your notes section.

Filed under: Your Notes Section — admin @ 8:56 am

We have so many different types of notes sections out there, it is hard to know what is best. Some people emphasize their certifications, title companies they are on the approved list for, or types of loans they know how to sign. All of this is good information, but how do you win the game as far as creating a winning notes section. I compared high placed listings and also compared stats for Notaries in the same geographical areas and learned something. So, we have some answers!

As a general rule, what I found to be true is that my semicolon system of punchy sales points is the best way to format the top of your notes section if you want to get clicked on. Just put your most salient features at the top like this:

“Fluent Spanish; 123notary & Notary2Pro Certified; Apostilles; Last Minute Okay; Experienced with REO, Reverse, Construction, Investment Loans, Buyer & Sellers, Debt Consolidations…”

Notice how concise my points were. They have to fit in a small space because the top of your notes shows up on the search results page, and a goot top of your notes section will entice lots of clicks! here are some other points about what info could go near the top of your notes.

Adjectives & Fluffy Information
Telling the world what a great person you are and making lists of adjectives such as reliable, responsible, experienced, professional doesn’t get you anywhere. That is NOT information — it is unverifiable fluff. Being friendly, or people oriented are better self-descriptions as not all people claim to be friendly. Having a background profession such as customer service or elder-care can help you verify how patient and caring and good with people you really are. Prove it — don’t claim it! Rambling in your notes section about how you go everywhere and do any type of signing once again is not information. Stick to specifics and helpful information.

Any Type of Signing
I compared a metro where there were many types of notes sections. The one that says they do “any type of signing” did the worst. Tell us a list of at least six types of financial packages you know how to sign, i.e. Refinances, Purchases, REO, Reverse Mortgages, Helocs, Construction, Time-Shares, etc.

Lists of types of loans
In one particular metro I compared the top eight notes sections. The one who had a long and specific list of types of loans signed got the most clicks. The one who mentioned how many years they were a signing agent and then listed specifics was the next best.

Unrelated Experience
We had a guy who was a fireman. He mentioned this at the top of his notes section. That is better than leaving it blank, but his click average was far down the list.

Taking Paypal and Credit Cards
Here is something unusual to add to your notes section. I like it. But, the stats found this listing to be average in terms of clicks.

Full-Time
In another area where we compared notes, a Notary claiming to be full-time did above average.

Radius
A Notary listing who mentioned his radius did much better in terms of clicks than other Notaries right above or below him on the list. Radius is a specific piece of information that people can put their finger on.

Approved List
If you are on a white glove list or approved list of a Title company, that is a very good piece of information to add. We compared a few approved Notaries who mentioned it at the top of their notes who did substantially better than the others in similar positions in the same area.

Guarantee
We have very few Notaries making guarantees. However, the one who I analyzed who does have a money-back guarantee does better than the others in his area.

Repeating your Name or Hours
People can see your name and your 24 hour icon already and don’t need to see it again in your notes. You are taking up space at the top of your notes section where you could write something else. Dont’ waste space. Put your selling spots up top.

Certifications & E&O
It is good to mention this in your notes section, but not at the top of your notes section unless you can make it concise.

Prompt & Courteous
These adjectives do not get you clicks. Anyone can claim to be prompt and courteous. Let your work prove it, but let your notes inform people about something more substantial.

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June 19, 2017

Which Notary directories get high paying signings?

Filed under: Advertising — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 10:45 pm

Which Notary directories can help you get $150 jobs? Which Notary directory will help you get a high quantity of work. Which Notary directory will get you nicer clients? Here are some answers.

123notary — email us for a quote at info@123notary.com
123notary is a directory that refines its information daily. We attract all types of Notaries, but refine our list to put the absolute cream of the crop at the top of search results by using a complicated algorithm. This is why we are popular with Title companies and attract more high paying work than all other directories combined! Experienced Notaries on 123notary average $110 per signing. Disclaimer: Not all jobs from 123notary are amazing, but the percentage of good ones is higher than other directories, which puts you in a position to filter out the undesirable companies.

We put roughly 300 new notaries online every month and then take off half of the free new listings that have bad stats. We also have to remove older listings where the Notaries have become unresponsive. This constant refinement has made us the most reliable source for accurate information of any Notary directory.

123notary offers top placed listings in your county. All you have to do is email us at info@123notary.com and ask us for a quote for a high position in your area. Notaries with a top spot on 123notary get an exponentially higher quality of work as well as more total offers.

NotaryRotary
They are famous for their forum which is the most popular in the industry. Their directory is easy to use as it shows results in order of proximity to the search zip code. NotaryRotary focuses on closeness rather than on the quality or knowledge legal of the Notary. NotaryRotary gets a little bit of high paying Title Company work, but mostly signing company work.

SnapDocs
SnapDocs is a clearinghouse for the lowest paid and most undignified Notary work out there. Notaries get cattle calls via mass texts to all Notaries in the area for low paying jobs that often only pay $50 or $60 per signing. If you are a beginner and want to get your feet wet then try them. However, Notaries with experience are dropping off this medium like flies!

NotaryCafe
This is a much smaller directory that capitalizes on quality Notaries. Jobs are often higher paying, but there are not a lot of jobs to go around. Quantity is not a specialty of NotaryCafe unfortunately, but we still recommend them to more experienced Notaries.

SigningAgent.com
NNA’s directory has a lot of Notaries. Most of the Notaries are newer while there are a few experienced ones on board. The high point of this directory is that you can see the dates when Notaries became NNA certified and/or background screened which means a lot to signing companies. However, this company has not generated that much work for signing agents for years.

You might also like:

The state of Notary advertising in 2016
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16738

Best virtual comedy 2016 edition
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17693A comprehensive guide to Notary pricing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16504

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June 13, 2017

Putting jails & hospitals in your notes section

Filed under: Your Notes Section — admin @ 8:55 am

Analyzing notes sections is hard. If I compare clicks from various listings one has to consider their notes, reviews, placement, certifications, hours, and more. I am not comparing apples to apples which is why I have to look at a lot of profiles and make a lot of comparisons. But, here is what I found out about mentioning jails and hospitals in your notes section.

Jail
Adding information that specifies that you travel to jails can get your listing roughly 35% more clicks. Very few Notaries have experience going to jails and even fewer mention it at the top of their notes section. This was based on averaging 12 stats of Notaries who serviced jails and several dozen notaries in the same metros with similar listings who did not.

Hospitals
Adding information about how you travel to hospitals can get you about 37% more clicks.

Hospitals & Jails
If you do both hospitals and jails it still gets you about 35% more clicks on average.

What else matters?
I noticed that in listings with well written notes sections that were chock full of useful information, mentioning hospitals and jails got them 40% or more clicks than other Notaries with similar listings in the same area. However, Notaries with stripped down notes sections with limited information that mentioned hospitals and/or jails got only about 10% more clicks than those that didn’t. So, you need to consider how good the TOP of your notes section is as a whole. If you look on the search results page for your area, you will see how much of your notes section shows up and how informative it is. If you ramble about inconsequential details or leave your notes blank or with a one liner you will lose clicks. But, if you cram in as much information in a space efficient way as possible, you might be surprised at how well you do.

And by the way, not putting jails & hospitals in your notes section might end your notes section up in jail… or in the hospital due to low click ratios.

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June 12, 2017

They can find you anywhere and still write a review

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , — admin @ 8:28 am

But, they didn’t find me on 123notary! How can they write a review about me on 123notary?

Simple! They can find you on Yelp, SnapDocs, or anywhere else and still write a review about you on 123notary if you give them a link. The sad truth is that Yelp does better on many search results than 123notary simply because their reviews are better than ours. But, our Notaries are ten times as good as theirs. The other problem we have is that 123notary caters mostly to loan signing jobs. The type of people who are easiest to get a review from are those with a single document or something non-loan related.

It might be easier to get reviews on 123notary from people who found you somewhere else for a non-loan signing. But, those reviews will help attract loan signings. People want to know you are good. People want to know what your customers think about you more than they want to know anything else.

The main thing to remember about reviews is that you need to keep asking for them. Reviews will not come in mass numbers unless you ask. Reviews are the key to your success in this business. So, if you are too busy to ask for them, that is like being too busy for success.

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June 6, 2017

Don’t claim to be a Mortgage Broker in your notes

Filed under: Your Notes Section — admin @ 8:45 am

Carmen told me how badly people do who claim to be Mortgage Brokers in their notes. Nobody wants to hire them. It is better to be in the Mortgage Industry or an Originator, or something else. I scoured our directory to find someone claiming to be a Mortgage Broker. I looked through 15 major areas and only found one — and his click average was the worst in town. So, you can be a murderer, backdater, or a molester — but, don’t be a Mortgage Broker, if you know what’s good for you.

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June 5, 2017

How to make a good first impression

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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