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February 5, 2018

Why can’t I just do my job without all the bashing?

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 9:19 am

Anytime I enforce any rule on 123notary which preserves order, I get endless bashing. If I announce a new policy, there will be an online riot on Facebook and Linked In. If I remove people for refusing to login to their listing, there will be endless strings on Notary Rotary. When I enstated mandatory quizzing which was only about five questions, people had fits and wanted to argue, threaten me with lawsuits and defame me.

I am trying to run a quality directory here. That is all I want to do. I don’t want to harm anyone. Actually, I want to prevent people from being harmed, namely the fools who hire these rabid Notaries who are out to get me. They want to be enemies with the people who list them and who hire them. Bad attitude. If you want to get ahead, think of the people who help you as friends and not enemies.

Many accused me of not being “professional.” I agree. By listing substandard Notaries, I am being very unprofessional. The Notaries who call me unprofessional call me so because I put my foot down when they talk back to me and I forcefully take the upper hand in the conversation. This would not need to happen if people would just act politely and understand that this is indeed my site, my personal property, and I am the one who decides how it is run and not someone else. When you are in my house, you wipe your feet, but you do not have to take off your shoes. My house, my rules. Very simple to understand. In your house you do what you like.

The amount of hatred and bashing has been going on for years, but the general atmosphere and lack of standards seems to have taken a new low in 2017 and I am basically deciding that it is not respectable to list some of these people. So, in order to get rid of the really hostile people and provide a positive atmosphere for those who want to learn and who want to be cooperative and quality Notaries, I am going to change policies, raise prices, and make mentoring and eductation a mandatory part of being listed on 123notary for ALL paying listings. This is great for Notaries who enjoy it because that means low cost and high quality learning and will help them make a lot more money in the long run. For those who hate the idea of cooperating with anyone, it might be the parting of the ways for us. We’ll see. Or maybe you’ll change your attitude. My attitude is going more and more towards standards, and the more you fight me, the higher my standards will be.

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January 8, 2018

Calling during a hurricane

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 8:43 am

One of my customers was so upset that I was so rude to call him during a hurricane. I call people in fifty different states each with different times zones and weather. How am I supposed to keep track of exactly where and when there is a hurricane. And if the hurricane is so bad, why answer the phone in the first place.

What I think is that people just don’t want to be bothered by me period. I am annoying, I always want them to login, take a quiz, or prove they know what they are doing. My requests are necessary for me to be able to list them. But, others see it as a pure nuissance. So, what can I do?

I just don’t get why he is so upset. If you don’t want to talk, then say you are busy. This person wrote me a long email about how it is impolite to call someone during a hurricane. Maybe he should have a welcome message, saying, “Sorry, but we are having a hurricane — press one to continue and probably be called rude, or hang up now.”

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December 25, 2017

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

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 11:01 am

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

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

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

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

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December 18, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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December 12, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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December 11, 2017

Following directions — what’s the big deal?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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November 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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