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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 27, 2017

How do you get reviews if you have multiple listings?

Filed under: Reviews — admin @ 10:39 am

When people want additional areas on 123notary, there are different ways to sell it to them. I can put another area on their basic listing and give them high placement in that other area. Or, I can sell them a completely new n# in another county. The people who get a separate listing tend to renew these spots more in the long run. However, they get mad because the reviews from the original listing do not show up. So, what is the solution?

As I am looking for unique content on each listing, I want reviews to be organic to each listing. When people copy the reviews from one listing to another, the dates show up from the date they did the copying. Having five reviews from December 14, 2015 looks very cheesy. So, I allow the Notary to copy their favorite review. And I will copy another review on another day. That way they can start with two reviews that do not show up on the same day. Additionally, since these reviews are the best two out of how ever many they have, those reviews will carry a lot of weight.

A well written relatively current review is worth a lot more to the users than some dried up review from 2012. People will think you are washed out if you only have old reviews. So, having two new reviews is worth a lot. Then, you can get some new organic reviews on top of that. You only really need six reviews to do well on 123notary. After six, the return is very marginal if any.

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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 20, 2017

Another tip for getting reviews

Filed under: Reviews — admin @ 10:34 am

As I have said many times, people give you a review when you are the best they’ve had or the worst. Average people don’t get too many reviews. Those who ask everyone who likes their work for a review and forward a link to their review page get reviews — those who don’t ask get few if any. It’s a numbers game.

But, I have been writing a lot of nice reviews for people who merit it. Very few people get 100% on my Notary questions. Since we have 5000 professional Notaries on our site, it is ironic that only about 3% are good enough to get a review from me about how good their Notary knowledge is. But, in general it is hard to get a review, so why not get one by being an expert Notary and getting a review from me.

I am not sure what a review from me is worth. People might think I’m biased as a site owner and manager. This is not true. If you get 100% on my Notary questions you get a review whether I like you or not. But, trust me, it is so hard to find someone who will get 100%, that if I start out not liking you, I’ll start liking you. I like quality — plain and simple.

I have also been giving people reviews who did well on my recertification questions. Yes, it is annoying to take my quiz, but you get something out of it that lasts forever if you do well – a review! A review is worth its weight in gold or platinum, so view it as a precious gift.

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November 6, 2017

10 rules for negotiating Notary fees

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 10:29 am

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.

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October 30, 2017

A follower with two Masters

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 10:50 am

In the spiritual game, we are told that we can only have one spiritual Master at a time. The reasoning is that multiple masters would cause confusion, differing ideologies, and might do conflicting spiritual work at you at the same time not knowing that some other master had done some other spiritual work on you recently. The result can lead to a mess, conflicting loyalties and other bad side effects.

Running 123notary is a little like having two masters. Since the Notaries are paying me, they feel that they can behave as they like, be as ignorent about Notary procedure as they want to be, and get away with it without even being questioned because after all, they are paying me. Even Carmen claims that I am not business minded because I care more about the quality of the people being added to my site than what they are paying me. However I beg to differ.

Title and Escrow companies prefer 123notary over any other site. Why? Because we offer the highest quality of Notaries around. No other site offers the same average quality of Notaries. However, after testing many of our Notaries, I will vouch for the vact that most of our Notaries are far from my minimal idea of quality. We have roughly 25% quality Notaries on our site while signingagent.com has about 2%, Snapdocs has 1% and NotaryRotary might have about 15%. We also get rid of the really unacceptable Notaries which is something no other site has done before. So we have a higher percentage of top end Notaries and a much lower percentage of the “F” quality Notaries.

I have to please the Title & Escrow Gods or they will not come to my site as much. To please them I have to maintain as high a quality standard as possible. It is also pleasing to me to have a quality site, and as of October 03, 2017 when I am writing this article, I am not completely satisfied with the quality of my site’s quality. There is much room for improvement.

If I please the Notaries who are paying me but upset the Title Gods, then nobody will come to our site and then the paying Notaries will stop paying soon after. If I upset the Notaries but please the Title Gods, most of the Notaries will feel that if they want business they will have to stick with 123.

I would like to please all parties as much as possible. But, if quality is an issue, I will err on the site of pleasing the Title Gods. Without them our ship is sunk!

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October 25, 2017

Does 123notary have the authority to quiz people?

Filed under: Marketing Articles — 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 occassion when I will ask you a few questions. I also request that you know how to be a competent Notary.

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October 9, 2017

The 24 hour icon and what it means

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 12:57 am

Many people list hours of 8am to 8pm and want a 24 hour icon. This sounds a little odd. Aren’t you a 12 hour Notary? Others are open from 4pm to 8pm and want the icon too. So, who is the 24 hour icon for, and what does it mean?

The hours you post on 123notary are the hours that people can contact you. This might not be made clear, but that is what I mean. But, it can get complicated.

Many Notaries will go out on jobs at 2am, but only if notified ahead of time. These Notaries normally sleep during normal human hours and don’t want to be bothered unless they know you are paying and they know ahead of time.

Other Notaries really are 24 hours and do not sleep much. They don’t mind if you call them at 2am.

The problem with our icon is that lots of people want it as it attracts lots more business and makes you look like a serious player. The problem is that many people who have it simply don’t answer the phone after hours and some even get belligerent if you call them late.

THEM: “Do you know what time it is?”

JEREMY: “Yes, it is 9:20pm and you are a 24 hour Notary. The night is young!”

THEM: “Well, me and my husband are just setting down for bed, so call back during business hours.

JEREMY: “But, I AM calling during business hours — namely YOUR business (click)… hello, are you still there?”

So folks, please only get a 24 hour icon if you meet the following criteria.

1. You enjoy being called at all hours of the night.
2. You don’t mind if the call is merely a price inquiry from someone shopping around.
3. You are willing to get dressed and leave the house at any hour.
4. If Jeremy at 123notary calls you between 9pm and 11pm (and he might) that you don’t get made.
5. You actually answer your phone at night instead of just letting it ring like most people.

Thanks!

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October 4, 2017

123notary. We’ll have to rename it 123fakenotary.com or psychonotary.com

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 12:39 am

I don’t mean to sound like Donald Trump, but there is a huge problem with fake Notaries. The complaints we get about Notaries are not that they don’t know how to do Notary work unless they are brand new beginners. It is more that they don’t communicate well or follow directions. Sometimes people leave clients high and dry or are rude as well. Rudeness is a bad problem and the rude notaries also systemically accuse me of being rude. I am expected to be polite when others are spitting all over me. They don’t know me too well aparantly.

In any case, by calling thousands of Notaries asking them Notary questions to make sure they know what they are doing, I run into psychos. I ran into one guy who was so upset, that he called and texted me 200 times over a four day period. He would just call and then a minute later call again and keep it up. The only thing I didn’t get was, when is this maniac going to quit.

His motive was to scare me. It worked. I called his local police in Michigan and my local police here as well. They told me not to fill out a report unless he was in front of my house. I think I’ll fill out a report anyway. I don’t like psychos.

My psychic counselor told me that it is good I found that guy, becuase if I had kept him on the directory he would have terrorized my users which I cannot afford.

The main thing Notaries need to understand about 123notary is that the reason we get high quality traffic is because we maintain a level of quality on the site. Those who have free listings who are below a particular standard get cut from the list. Those with high level listings who do not know how to be a Notary get priced out of their spot. We have ways to make it difficult for bad Notaries to survive on our list because we are a directory for good Notaries with cooperative attitudes.

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October 2, 2017

Additions to policies regarding listings, certificaiton and elite

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 12:37 am

Here are some new official policies for being listed and having various certifications. Please note that in addition to testing Notaries on general competency in the areas we test them in, we also keep score for general communication skills. Notaries who exhibit various forms of incompetency, bad attitudes, or listening comprehension issues will be written up in our notes which are private and not accessable to the public in any way shape or form.

(1) Requirements for being listed on 123notary.com.
In addition to being a current Notary Public, you must exhibit a certain level of competency to us at 123notary by means of a phone quiz. We require a minimum of 70% passing to ensure being willing to list you on the basis of competency. For those that score less than 70%, we might make exceptions if they are in an area with not so many other Notaries, or not so many other Notaries who passed our test. Issues that we expect Notaries to be competent in include:

Identification, Journals, Notary Acts, Oaths, Certificates, and Seals.

(2) Requirements for getting or keeping certification from 123notary.com.
Our previous rule was that if you were certified by 123notary, that the certification fee was a one time fee only. As of October 2017, we will require Notaries to recertify every (2) years. This will be at a small cost to those who purchased certification after Oct, 2017 and at no cost for those who initially got certified before that date.

All certified Notaries will be quizzed by phone no more than once per calendar year. The quiz for certified Notaries will include questions about:

(a) General Notary Knowledge: Identification, Journals, Notary Acts, Oaths, Certificates, and Seals.
(b) Handling situations before, at, or after loan signings.
(c) General knowledge of basic loan documents which normally include questions about FAQ’s borrowers have and what information is in which document.

(3) Requirements for keeping our Elite certification on 123notary.com.

All elite certified notaries on 123notary will be quizzed by phone no more than once per calendar year for quality standards. The quiz will include.

(a) General Notary Knowledge: Identification, Journals, Notary Acts, Oaths, Certificates, and Seals.
(b) Handling situations before, at, or after loan signings.
(c) General knowledge of basic loan documents which normally include questions about FAQ’s borrowers have and what information is in which document.
(d) Advanced Notary knowledge such as advanced vocabulary, Apostilles, less common documents, and generally harder questions.

Grading for elite certificaiton will be at a higher standard than for the regular certified Notaries although we do not have a set standard for a passing percentage due to the fact that the difficulty of questions can vary from test to test.

(4) It is possible we might have a Platinum certification with an even higher standard in the future. However, during 2017 we will focus on maintaining set standards for the regular certification and elite. Please keep reading the blog to see if Platinum or Platinum Gray is mentioned.

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