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January 18, 2022

Low-Ball Signing Co’s? How to get biz directly from Title

Originally published many years ago

Do you get business from low-ball signing companies? Are you sick of it? Aren’t we all.
Notaries do a lot of reactive posts about bad offers, but look at it from a different point of view. Let’s be proactive instead of reactive here.

First of all, it doesn’t matter how many bad offers you get as long as you get a few good offers.

Second of all, if you have little experience or training as a signing agent, you are not entitled to anything better than a low-ball offer.

Third, consider this. Some notaries are saying that low-ball signing companies need notaries more than notaries need them. I think that if this were true, that no notary would work for them. Yet, notaries do work for them. However, if you have had it up to here with these bad offers, here is a not too sophisticated strategy that can get these guys to stop bothering you.

Take an offer from a low-ball signing company. Do a nice job with a smile. Do all the fax-backs, etc. Then, find out who the Title company is who offered this job to the signing company. Contact the Title company directly and offer them your services directly at a reasonable price.

Keep in mind that signing companies are in business for a reason. If they charge $150 and pay the notaries $60, why do Title companies use them in the first place? Signing companies can take huge quantities of work off the shoulders of Title companies with a 100% reliability rate. They not only supervise the work, but they guarantee that all of thework will get done correctly and on time, otherwise they get fired. But, what if you are a responsible notary who is a better quality notary than what those signign companies use and charge $85 to work direct with Title. Okay, that’s not enough. What about $95? Think about it. Make your offer attractive to Title and you can “steal” some Title companies away from these nitwits who keep texting you! Teach them a lesson.

On the other hand, I do not recommend contacting Title companies directly unless you have signed at least 700 loans, are certified by at least three agencies, and have a very stellar track record. Title companies don’t play around with beginner’s luck — they want professionals!

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You might also like:

If you contact Title companies directly, what do they want?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16110

A newbie at a Title company
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15774

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January 7, 2022

The Joy of Saying NO

This was published originally many years ago.

A call comes in from SSS (Sleazy Signing Service) asking if I was available to do a notary job. “Yes” I reply; please tell me more. The job is “precisely” 1.3 miles from your location. It has a single “tiny” PDF. There are “about” 12 pages, and we will provide a return account number for making a UPS label, at no cost to you. I am starting to get the feeling that this is a bottom fisher, but am curious as to the location. Where is the signing to be done? They give a location in the middle of Manhattan, the absolutely worst place for traffic. Mass transit also goes there but the service is quite slow and the waits for bus or train are lengthy. The subway train is faster, but the platforms are not air conditioned and it’s like standing next to a pizza oven.

“Shall I send you a confirmation and the docs?” You can, but first you need to understand how I run my business. I am the seller of the service and set both the price and the payment terms. My fee is $150 (much more than I usually charge, but I had a bad feeling and wanted to get rid of this particular SSS); and that is payable within the next 10 minutes on my site, via PayPal, prior to my printing of the documents.

We don’t work that way, we are willing to pay $40, and you will have to include an invoice when you return the completed documents and we will send a check during our next disbursement cycle; are you interested? No. I didn’t hear you, please repeat what you said. No. Dial tone.

Of course this is an extreme example. Their offer of $40 would entail at least 2 hours of effort, and the expenditure of over a gallon of near 5$ fuel. You know the components of doing any notary work. Calls, printing, travel, record keeping, trip to UPS, dunning for peanuts (in this case), etc. What I can’t understand is the (feigned?) surprise at SSS when I declined their offer. Are there notaries out there who will jump for any lowballer offer? I sure hope not.

However, NO is not always the best answer and you can’t say that “perhaps” or “maybe” you will take the assignment. But you CAN tell them you will be accepting the assignment – AND – will be checking their reputation. If you find they have a negative or no reputation, you will be requiring that they pay “up front”. Some might never mention that process, and will choose to do their “credit checking” as soon as they can get to a computer. If they have a good history, just do the job. But, if they have a bunch of negatives – call and “require” payment in advance.

Back to the fee amount. You know what you must charge to earn a living. Isn’t it about time that you put your foot down and declined lowball offers. Some notaries are out there taking the low fees; and the SSSs in this world have endless phone time to find them. Are you fed up with finding on the HUD that the SSS received $250 and your share is $75? I work with several very honorable Signing Services that take 25$ to 50$ “off the top”. But I always receive the majority of the fee. The reason you don’t is that you have trouble saying NO. Practice, look in the mirror and repeat NO NO NO – I refuse to allow anyone to take advantage of me.

I’m sitting at my PC typing this for you. I am exceedingly happy that I do NOT have a toxic receivable of $40 to chase after putting in 2+ hours in midtown traffic. I prefer to try to influence my fellow notaries to just say NO to the lowballers. You can do it, think: NO NO NO. After you decline the first lowballer you will feel great, and will be ready to “dump” the ones that follow.

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You might also like:

The art of the decline — to new Notary jobs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15783

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December 31, 2021

The future of Notary work

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 8:03 am

The way the world looks, the way things are going, it looks very bleak, but not for notarizing those who are owing (borrowers).

I looked into my crystal ball, and it was revealed to me. And no, I didn’t get the cheap kind at crystal balls for less. I saw a world of chaos, turmoil, crime, strife. Perhaps inflation would go way up, and interest rates too. People would be dying in mass from the long term side effects of the vaccine that was supposed to keep us “safe”. Where is your safety now Fred said looking down at his demised wife Sylvia lying in her grave three years after taking one of the vaccines. Did the FDA approve it? Was it tested in the long run? No, because there was no time. We had to administer it to as many young and middle aged people as possible who had a one in ten thousand or less chance of dying from Covid, and that was to keep them “safe.” They were more in danger of dying from being struck by lightning or being molested by a variety of politicians in NY or NJ whose names we won’t mention. But, I digress.

Then, it seems that God is upset with the world and upset with America. He has retracted his blessings. But, what does that mean for the Notaries of America? Is that good or bad for us they ask? Here is my thought.

Between disasters, war, vaccine related deaths, and economic chaos, there will be more people buying and selling properties. Notaries these days do lots of “buyers” and “sellers.” Foreclosures often require a notary too. Refinancing tends to be higher when interest rates are low, but in this crazy reality we are entering, people might get refinances if interest rates go up in anticipation that they would go up much more.

I don’t know exactly what the future holds for us other than WW3, Armageddon, The Messiah, and hopefully a store near me that sells powdered Mexican style pequin pepper (goes great in stir fries). But, I see that Notary work will be busy probably for the next ten years or more.

I believe that the angels got me into this business partly because they knew it suited me. And partly because in 2000 when they got me into this, they saw the shutdowns and quarantines coming and wanted me to have a job I could do from home so I would be economically stable. Well, I am feeling very fortunate and grateful for the good graces of these higher beings who saved my rear that time and many other times.

My only advice to you Notaries out there is:
Get more reviews
Get a catchy business name and register it.
Become an expert at writing a compelling notes section
Stay close (or closer) to God, so when he destroys the planet he’ll consider saving you as an individual even if he sacks your community (no joke).
And try the Thai green curry on Wilshire — it’s really excellent; just the right amount of spice.

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December 18, 2021

Thinking of upgrading on 123notary? Read this first

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 12:19 pm

I make my living selling high placed listings and upgrades. Yet I talk people out of it half the time. But, why? People who do well with high placed listings have complete looking listings.

Being high on the list raises the quantity of people who see your listing

Having a quality listing raises the batting average of how many people who see your listing actually call you.

If your listing is high quality and on the bottom, you get work, but not much. But, if you raise that high quality listing up the list, it will get more work.

A low quality listing with no notes, or stripped down notes, no reviews, no 123notary certification, and not much else will not do well high or low. This is why I discourage people brand new from upgrading.

Yes, join 123notary. Get a regular or preferential listing to start with. But, then work on your notes section. Put lots of useful information, not fluff. Get reviews, and pass our test. If you mention you are certified or approved by other agencies that helps too. If you have all of the bells and whistles on your listing, then your upgrade will be cost effective. That way I make my money for something that benefits you. I don’t want to take more than $120 of your money unless I am sure that what you are buying is right for you.

I call it — reverse sales. Untalking someone into a sale or talking them out of a sale. But, if you are right for the spot, then I will put that expensive top spot on the list of options that I recommend. This is how I do it.

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December 12, 2021

Many Notaries on 123notary get out of state title companies

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 12:00 pm

I keep hearing that the type of business people get on 123notary is better than on any other directory. I work hard to keep 123notary good. I do this by quizzing people, and helping people with their notes section. I weed out listings with dysfunctional phone numbers and those who are not responsive too. All of this is the basic nuts and bolts of quality control.

But, I have heard from several Notaries that they get a lot of out of state work from 123notary.com, and mostly from title companies. This is great news. My hard work has paid off if people get great jobs. I feel like I accomplished something. But, honestly it is time for a long vacation.

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November 20, 2021

123notary’s social media took a dive

Filed under: Social Media — admin @ 9:11 am

Our social media used to be very popular. 2015 was our best year if I remember correctly. We were getting thousands of clicks from Facebook and more from other mediums too.

But, then things slowed down. Our posts were not getting as many views. And then a few years later Covid hit.

For those of you who do not know, I was going to specific spots to do Feng Shui for my social media. For most people, feng shui is something you read about in a book that might be real or might not be real. I studied it and had analytics for which places impacted my income for the next day or two, and which places impacted my social media.

I would go to Warner Brothers studios and pay for a tour that I was not even interested in. My Facebook would go crazy when I did that. I would go to certain bars where I didn’t even like the people, or at least not that much, except for Brad — he was cool. I would get a lot more Facebook clicks after that due to the energies. How mystical!

But, those places are not doing much business now and have no buzz. Furthermore, with the Covid vaccine rules, I might not even be able to go to a bar for a long time.

So, I cannot do much to spice up my social campaign. But, the newsletter is doing okay which is something I control myself which is nice. I could post on Twitter too. That never got that much traffic but was fun.

I don’t know if I should continue doing much other than blogging because it just isn’t working out. I’ll have to think deeply on this one.

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November 16, 2021

Your photo is worth 1000 words… misspelled words

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 8:43 am

As I go through the other directories looking for Notaries to add, I notice a correlation between the quality of your photo and the quality of how you do in real life on my site. I cross-reference data on my site to photos on Snapdocs for example. Here is what I noticed.

1. A good photo shows your face clearly. Some mediocre photos show a person far from the camera, and perhaps with other people.

2. A good photo has a good background. If you show a photo of you in your messy house, or in a neighborhood with lots of trees, cars, and buildings, it is disorienting to the person looking at the photo. If you show the wall of an attractive building behind you, or one where the background doesn’t distract from the main point of the photo (you), then that is a good point. Those with professional photos often have a solid color background behind them. Additionally, if you are wearing a dark shirt or have a dark skin tone and have a dark background, you blend into the background. If you wear dark, have a light background. If you wear a white shirt, perhaps a darker background.

3. Some people come across as very beautiful or sexy. That might be nice for a dating app. Remember, you are on Notary apps, and your clients probably don’t want to date you, and probably don’t want to date them — although you never know. After a few drinks the game changes completely. Try to look professional.

4. Try to look like someone who works in a bank or office who handles paperwork. Some of the people on SnapDocs look like lowlifes, or like people who work at the corner store. People who are serious about hiring a Notary want someone who looks like a professional clerical type. You don’t have to look that smart, but you do have to look responsible and conservative. So, if you drink a lot, or do drugs, or are tired, don’t have your photo taken until you can appear sober, alert, well dressed, and presentable.

SUMMARY
Most of the Notaries on Snapdocs and NotaryCafe look like people I wouldn’t hire even if it were to save my own life. Many people look like they have attitude problems, or look unprofessional, or worse. People who don’t eat properly or who take drugs or too much alcohol develop an air of haziness and have a faded appearance. You can spot these types very easily. They look like people who are mentally slow, and who will not get things done correctly or on time — and above all, will not care. If you want to get hired — don’t look like that.

I can sense a lot by tuning into people, and their photos. Some women look like they have anger problems. Others look depressed, terrified, or something else. When you are handling half million dollar loans, you need to look like a methodical clerical type who is pleasant, but not too emotional. Try to fit the part so to speak when you are having your photo taken and in real life.

People with good photos have a one in three chance of being acceptable to 123notary after we are done talking to them and quizzing them. Those with no photo or a mediocre photo are in my experience not worth adding as they are more like a less than 10% chance of worth keeping.

SUGGESTIONS
If you want to do well as a Notary, most sites have the option to post a photo. 123notary does not do this as we focus on information and not a fashion show. However, a photo reveals a lot about your soul and who you are, or at least who you are pretending to be.

1. Investing $100 or more on a professional photo shoot makes sense. Being well rested, wearing professional attire and having someone top notch take 50 photos of you in different poses and backgrounds makes sense. You choose the best ones and work with those. I did this for dating apps and got tons of responses from my top notch photos. The photo worked miracles, although I didn’t meet anyone compatible. But, married life is like a prison I hear, so I am happy that I have my freedom. But, as a Notary, you want clients, not freedom, so get a photo taken by a pro.

2. Spend time having photos taken of you with different professional looking outfits and backgrounds and then compare them. You will do much better with photos if you can pick the best one out of several dozen or several hundred. The average guy just takes some sub-par photo and upload it and then wonder why nobody calls them. Don’t be that guy.

3. Spend some time looking at photos of people who do look like professional clerical types and try to see how they portray themselves. I find that they are not too happy, not sad, not too fashionable, but neatly kept. They dress like they work at an office, but not too fancy usually. They keep their hair neat. Most of all, they look like they get work done in a timely manner.

4. SigningAgent.com has a much higher rate of professional looking people. Whether they are good Notaries or not remains to be seen, but most of the photos look like people I would not have an issue with at a minimum.

5. How you present yourself in general really matters. Having a clear photo where you can see your face easily when it is a thumbnail photo, and with a clear background is key. Most Notaries do not give much relevant information in their notes section. Having reviews from clients about your service is also critical and very few new additions to our site have even one review. Lastly, being certified by 123notary, Notary2Pro and LSS really helps a lot. If you have all the bells and whistles, your phone will probably ring.

But, if you have a bad photo, just remember this:
A mediocre photo is worth 1000 words — misspelled words.

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November 12, 2021

High placed listings on 123notary — the current climate

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 8:34 am

123notary has always specialized in selling high placed listings. We are the most popular directory with Title and Escrow and they like the top rolling Notaries as a general rule. However the landscape has changed. Certain places used to be popular, but those spots are not as popular anymore.

In the old days, Miami, Broward, Palm Beach, Tampa area, Jacksonville, Southern California Bay Area, Phoenix Chicago, Seattle, Dallas, and Houston were booked solid in terms of top spots. New York was also somewhat busy but not as much as these other areas.

Now, the Florida and Texas areas are still popular. But, California has almost fallen off the map in terms of top listings. We have so many availabilities. Did people pack up and leave the state or did they just get depressed and stop trying? Chicago lost of a lot of steam as well. Seattle area lost some steam too. We had a top spot for a while and still might. Note — that both the Democrat areas lost steam while the Republican areas held their ground. I am a Libertarian so I don’t like either party, but at least the Republicans function which is a lot more than I can say for their competitors.

But, now Idaho has its top listings booked up in many areas. That never used to be the case. So, the Californians moved to Idaho and the New Yorkers to Florida.

But, for some reason, the top spots in New York City are still taken despite that New York is a disaster area. So, NY is the only democrat state to hold its ground in the Notary industry on our site. Hmm. I’ll have to reflect on that one. New York has always been an odd ball as far as Notary marketing is concerned.

SUMMARY
To sum it up:

Which areas are doing worse:
CA, IL, WA

Which areas held their ground:
AZ, FL, NY, TX

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November 10, 2021

Top placed listings are like men. The good ones are always taken

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 8:20 am

Someone asked if there were any spots left in San Diego City area. I explained that high placed listings in San Diego are like men. The good ones are always taken.

On the other hand, I am not taken. Does that mean I am not good, or that nobody recognizes my greatness other than Mrs. Meao. She gets it. Her assessment of value is based on whether you know how to scratch her back in just the right place and in just the right way. If you get her KFC then you will get kisses too. For some reason she liked my orange shampoo. I got 30 kisses (nose kisses) every time I used it. Oh my goodness.

Maybe I should walk around with a sign saying, “High quality man on board.” Or I could wear a suit to show the world how important I am. But, I work at home in my underwear. I don’t need to look important to do my job. Mrs. Meao doesn’t care what I wear just as long as she can sniff it.

On the other hand, sometimes there are high placements in popular areas on 123notary and the market doesn’t demand them at particular moments of time. Sometimes a particular area will be slow for a few years and then booked up for a few years.

Really seasoned notaries are also like good men. They think they are too good to be listed on 123notary in many cases. They have enough regulars that they don’t want new clients. These notaries usually have at least 15,000 signings under their belt and are older. They represent far less than 1% of the notaries on the market, but I bump into them and they let me know how they don’t need me. Gee thanks!

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November 4, 2021

Notary on 123notary gets his notes professionally written

Filed under: Your Notes Section — admin @ 8:07 am

One of our most serious notaries on our site got his profile notes written by an advertising expert. The expert did a good job, except for a few things.

It is easier to read designations such as certifications, E&O insurance, etc., if written in bullet point format. It is also good to have a long list of packages you are familiar with.

I might not be an expert at notes writing, but I know what content needs to be there. Nice cozy text is attractive to read, but nothing beats cold hard facts, and warm fuzzy information about yourself.

So, yes, have your notes professionally written if you can afford it. But, make sure they understand the basic content that has to be there, because if they are not in our industry, they might not know. Or if they are in our industry, they still might not know. That is why I exist — to keep the record straight and to avoid omitting critical information.

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