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May 14, 2019

30 year rates took a dive in January giving new hope to struggling Notaries

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 11:10 am

Meet Jane in South Dakota who just got through a polar vortex. She suffered freezing pipes, the risk of frostbite, being stuck at home, not to mention not being able to get Ramen noodles.. you know, the oriental flavor that is so much fun to garnish with sliced celery and eat with chopsticks. Well, I bet these lower interest rates are a happy surprise to Jane. That means a sudden increase in Notary work, and might lead also to better weather.

123notary’s sales are up about 7% from last year. Facebook is still sluggish and the forum is almost dead though. But, there is hope, hope for a better future.

30 year interest rates went down below 4.5% for the first time since April 2018. The question is, will they stay this low or get lower? If so, then Notaries will get work. If they go up, I might have to learn how to import plastic buddhas from China and compete with buddhasforless.com and they are a tough competitor.

See this link for a graph of 30 year interest rates
https://ycharts.com/indicators/30_year_mortgage_rate

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May 2, 2019

Your first 150 characters

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 12:10 pm

I am thinking of the parallels of an examination for children in ancient China where they had to recite and write some very complicated Chinese characters from memory. The first 150 characters would lead to a decision regarding whether or not you would be able to go to the fancy school, or be forced into a life of demeaning manual labor at low wages. I’m exaggerating, but that is how ancient (and modern) China is/are.

Your notes section is the same way. The first 150 characters of your notes section show up on the search results and determine how much interest people will have in reading more about you or calling you. If you write redundant, hokie, or just plain boring information, people will skip you. And then you will be forced into a life of demeaning manual labor at low wages like pulling a rick shaw. I’m exaggerating, that is how the modern (and ancient) notary world is/are.

On the other hand, if this were an Adam Sandler movie it might be called 150 first characters.

The the bottom line is… (are we already at the bottom line… let me take a look. hmmm. I think we are not quite there, but not far either) that we need to pay more attention to what goes into our notes section because that affects how we get chosen for work. All of this complaining that people don’t get any work, but how many people do what is within their power to get more work like doing up their notes? Do the math. Okay, this is more like creative writing than math, but you get the point.

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April 3, 2019

Do you invest in your notary business?

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 10:00 am

Some people who are Real Estate brokers invest heavily in licensing fees, insurance and other expenses to maintain their Real Estate career. But, how many Notaries invest heavily in their career? People who advertise with us often do, but not all of them.

E&O Insurance is not for free, but can make you look like a serious contender, especially if you get a lot of it. The irony is that when you try to collect, they might not pay if the situation is not a notary error. A signing agent error on a non-notarized document is not a notary error. Read the fine print.

High placed listings on 123notary get a lot more business than the rest. Smart people get it that they need one if they want their business to grow.

Asking for reviews is free, but an investment of a small effort on a regular basis. Smart Notaries understand that asking for reviews is investing in credibility and nothing beats credibility. If you have no credibility, then you are reduced to being one of those notaries who brags about how great they are when none of their customers think they are good enough to write a review for. Food for thought.

123notary certification gets more clicks and more title work. Most people think that knowledge is not important. But, the cost of screwing up a loan and losing a client is heavy. And the cost of not getting clients in the first place because you have no credibility is a problem too. Investing in knowledge pays off day after day for decades. So, why not invest in knowledge?

Writing more in your notes section takes very little time. It is an investment of minutes that can pay off for decades. Smart Notaries get it that they need a really comprehensive notes section. The others just write a one liner about how great they are. Do you think title companies are dumb enough to fall for that? Think again.

There are other ways to invest in your business. Websites, business names, education from other entities, and more. Those that take Notary work seriously typically do a lot better than those just winging it. Choose the path of solidity and you shall prosper.

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March 29, 2019

He stopped advertising with us because he got too much business?

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 9:47 am

I rarely have situations like this. But, once in a while I call one of the more seasoned Notaries and they don’t want to advertise for various reasons. It takes a long time in this business to get so much business that you don’t need to advertise. Normally those people have been doing this at least fifteen years before they are in that type of situation. Yes folks, it does take a long time to get established as a Notary Public. I only was a signing agent for six years, so I never got fully established.

In any case, when I called this person, he said that he used to be a corporate executive vice president of a corporation. He quit his job to become a Notary Public. He got so much business from our site that he couldn’t advertise any more because he couldn’t handle all of the calls.

However, business dropped so much in the last year, that he wanted to continue advertising and I was able to sell him an upgrade. He still gets lots of work, but from people who don’t pay him enough and he wants to attract some higher paying clients. Don’t we all? In any case, it was nice to get such a serous and fun client back. But, I am amazed that in 2018 he is getting six or more jobs per day, almost every day?

If you want to know a good background for being a successful mobile notary, try being a vice president of a business. That will make you sharp on being business-like. He also gave me the oddest compliment. He liked that I spoke in complete sentences which made me start to wonder…. Do other people use partial sentences? Don’t know. Doesn’t matter. Never thought about that.

In any case, if you want to get too much business, advertise on 123notary. But… make sure you have reviews. Reviews are a magnet on any site to get more positive attention.

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March 27, 2019

Snapdocs… racially disproportionate

Filed under: Marketing Articles — Tags: — admin @ 10:26 am

Have you ever noticed on Snapdocs, that in New York, Maryland and down South it is 80% black? America is 14% black, the signing agent profession, more like 20%, but in South Carolina on SnapDocs more like 85%. It is just very interesting how disproportionate this industry can be. All I have to say is, “Who’s the minority now?”

This is not a reality through any doing of Snapdocs. They are just doing their job allowing nature to take its course. And there is nothing wrong with this disparity unless you are scalping tickets for an Elton John concert in which case you might have trouble. But, what if you were wearing an “I voted for Trump” shirt? Then, you would start having even more problems unless those people are part of the 8% who voted for Trump. Obama talked about the top 1%, but with Trump, it’s the 8%. Jokes aside, I find this disproportionate search result to be very interesting.

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You might also like:

Compilation of posts about snapdocs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21531

See our string of posts about snapdocs
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=snapdocs

Snapdocs — when the texts stop
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21163

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March 25, 2019

What makes a p#10 preferential listing do well on 123notary?

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 9:51 am

Many people purchase preferential listings from us. They are cost effective and a great way to start out. But, some of these listings do well while others do not. Why?

Test Scores
Preferential listings are all subjected to Jeremy’s quiz (which nobody likes except for a few nerdy Notaries.) I used to do the test by phone, but this caused too much stress to all parties involved. So, now I do it by email which tests not only knowledge, but how fast you answer emails — if at all. Notaries who did well with preferential listings typically had above average test scores, but did not have high test scores — you could say the average score was mediocre plus. Average unfortunately is failing these days with the lack of emphasis on education. Preferential listings that did not do well typically did not respond to my quiz email or failed. So, yes, education and skill still matters and if you think you can succeed by winging it because nobody cares — you are wrong!

Reviews
The average preferential listing that got above average clicks had an average of about four reviews compared to zero or one with the unsuccessful listings. So, you do not need dozens of reviews, but you need a new one once every six months or so to do well.

Experience
People who hire Notaries want experience. But, Notaries sometimes lie about their experience. The preferential listings that performed well typically showed about 4000 loans signed compared to an average of 1500 for the less popular listings. So, having a lot of experience is not enough. You need more than a lot. FYI, the highest placed listings needed more like 6000 loans to do well because it is more competitive at the top. To get more experience, you need to say yes more, and work for people who are not that nice, and micromanage too much and don’t pay well. In the long run, your experience and knowledge is your gold. So study and get more jobs under your belt.

24/7 and Owl Icons
Preferential listings that do well offer late night service more times than not. Offering convenience helps a lot.

Notes
Preferential listings that did well typically have a well written notes section. Those that don’t perform well half the time don’t have a good notes section or any notes section. What you say about yourself and how you say it matters more than you think. Pay more attention to your notes section.

Summary
If you want a quick way to make your preferential listing do better, study from Notary Public 101 on our blog (which is free and very popular), ask people you have worked for for reviews and email them a link to your review page. Write a better notes section and ask for help if you need any. Additionally, consider offering service until 10:30pm so you can get an owl icon. Offering a more expansive list of specialties including hospitals, jails, and more types of loans not to mention last minute service can really help too. There are many things you can do to boost your business within 30 days. Why not do all of those things?

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March 24, 2019

Feast or famine in the Notary industry

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 10:26 am

For Notaries out there it is feast or famine.

Notary Cafe is a prime example of this. They publish stats on who is getting jobs and how many how recently. It is normally about 7% of the notaries give or take who are completely monopolizing the business while the others are going hungry. I guess people want to hire the good Notaries and forget the rest.

Our Facebook posts are the same. Certain posts get all the publicity while others get ignored.

On 123notary, the Notaries who are doing everything right get tons of business. But, how do we convince the newer Notaries how to get reviews, brush up their notes, and get certified? Few people listen, but those who do often prosper.

I just wonder what would happen if the industry picked up. Would companies have higher standards for Notaries and also pay more? Would the work be more equally spread out? Unfortunately, the way this business works, 1% of the notaries are experts, another 2% are not bad, 10% are somewhat reasonable, and the rest get a D or F. These are bad odds and create a type of pyramid where only the top of the pyramid gets lots of work and everybody else complains that they are not getting what they deserve. But, if you are a D or F, how much can you possibly deserve. Getting work at all is amazing if you don’t have solid industry related knowledge.

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A list of things you probably forgot to put in your notes section

Filed under: Your Notes Section — admin @ 4:34 am

Most Notaries write a notes section for their listing on 123notary. However, many do not know what to write. Here are some things you should write about. Take this as a check list.

Experience
Write about the types of loans or documents you know how to sign. Write about the type of work you did before you were a Notary or what distinguishes your experience as a notary. How many loans as well as how many years would also help the reader get an idea of what type of experience you have. Read more by clicking the link below…
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19052

Additional Information
Your certifications, courses taken, E&O, background screening, etc., Don’t forget to write about this because people do care.

Equipment
If you have special equipment, portable printers, scanners, fax machines, inverters, etc., people want to read about this. But, don’t put it up top as this is supplemental information. Experience and selling features go up top.

Special Skills
Are you bilingual? Do you visit hospitals or jails? How about a wide radius? Are you on the white glove list somewhere? Do you take credit cares or square? Put this up top as it is a selling feature.

Areas Covered
Your radius, counties or cities covered go at the bottom and there are 12 boxes to put your counties covered which includes your home county. We discourage putting zip codes as the list gets very long and messy and nobody wants to read it.

About You
This is the most misunderstood aspect of notes writing. Most people cannot write about themselves other than a long string of adjectives. Any idiot can write about how responsible and reliable they are and the more they claim these adjectives the less true I find them to be. However, describing yourself with specific facts is more helpful as well as credible. The fact you have an MBA, worked with the elderly at a nursing home for ten years or are ex-military are real facts about you. The fact you triple check your work and have your local FedEx stations memorized is fact vs. fluff.

Catchy Phrases
It is hard for most people to write a catchy phrase, but it can really pay off. People are bored with reading 1000 notes sections that all seem very similar. It sometimes looks like the same person wrote all of the notes sections on Notary Rotary… “I am reliable, background screened and have 50,000 E&O. I have signed many loans and do a lot of refinances.” After you see this a few thousand times you start seeing double. Put something unique and organized for a change. We wrote a few articles (that I linked below) on catchy phrases in notes sections and you should read those.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14690

Buzzwords to avoid
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19054

You might also like:
Examples of great notes sections
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18862

How to write a notes section
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16698

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March 23, 2019

To do well with a high placed listing, you need 6000 loans signed

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 9:52 am

If you want to purchase a high placed listing, I recommend it. However, to do well, you need experience, good communication skills, reviews, and knowledge. In short, you need a package of skills to do well on our directory. But, how much experience do you need?

In my opinion which may or may not add up in today’s world, your knowledge takes precedent over your experience. I would rather hire someone with 500 loans signed who can answer my hardest questions. Someone with 20000 loans signed who knows nothing and has been winging it all these years is less valuable because I think they are incompetent. I do not hire notaries, but those that do have their own standards. they want experience, but when I ask them “how much” experience, the answers are very wishy-washy. Generally people ask for two years of experience. But, when I interview Notaries with two years of experience they often have not signed a single loans.

Expressing experience in terms of loans signed is better than years in my opinion because it is a more accurate reflection of what you have actually done. However, people lie on their number of loans, or fail to update their number for years on end which leads to inaccurate information.

What I learned crunching numbers is that the Notaries who do well in high spots on our site typically have a median of about 6000 loans signed. 6000 real loans, not a fake number you input into your profile when you login. I am assuming that our # of loan data is roughly true for the most part although there are always liars.

This is not to say that those with less loans will not do well with a high spot. But, if you have less experience, you need to compensate for that by doing a lot of studying. Test results matter more for newer Notaries than for more experienced Notaries on our site according to my number crunching. Notary Public 101 is a nice course on our blog where you can learn the basics of Notary procedure, acts, vocabulary, real life scenarios, and loan documents. It is a very popular course and comes highly recommended.

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March 22, 2019

Which analytics get you more clicks and why? A change in the 123notary analytics system.

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 9:53 am

At 123notary, we have been using analytics for more than ten years. We do this to identify which listings are better quality than others. The issue is that there are 15 different factors we look at and all of those factors have to be weighed to compute a final points score.

One of the issues I have found is that analytics do not apply equally to listings in different placements. Here are some examples.

People who don’t answer the phone lose a lot of clicks in the high range of the search results while in the middle of the search results listings do not lose a lot of clicks on average by not picking up.

People who refuse to talk after answering the phone lose a lot of clicks in the middle of the list but do not in the high end of the list. This data seems to be opposite from the phone answering data. Basically people in the middle of the list don’t have to pick up, but if they do, they had better be nice and talk otherwise they will lose a lot of clicks.

People who argue with Jeremy (that’s me) can get away with it and that will not affect their scores. But, people who interrupt seem to get a lot worse click scores. The difference seems to be that arguing with Jeremy is something people only do with Jeremy, but not with clients because they think that my opinion of them doesn’t matter (boy are they wrong.) But, people who interrupt do this because of a lack of control and probably a screw loose. This screw loose will manifest with everybody. Additionally, if you refuse to answer questions over the phone with Jeremy, this does not seem to affect your click ratios at all.

So, let’s look at the factors in order of importance.

CRITICAL
If you have good reviews and lots of them, this counts in your favor as the most important analytic for clicks.

If you score well on Jeremy’s tests, it might not mean anything to you, but the other Notaries do not have the skills to match and are rarely willing to study, so this makes you stand out.

If you have horrible communication skills to the point where someone can barely talk with you, you will lose more clicks than from any other factor.

If you have someone else answer the phone for you, you will lose a lot of clicks.

MODERATE
If you give vague answers to questions, this affects your clicks. Vague answers are a sign of sluggish and unclear thinking. Your clients might want their questions answered in a way where they don’t have to ask for clarification.

Ignoring emails is another way to lose a fair number of clicks. If someone asks you questions by email and you ignore them, they will be less likely to click on your listing in the future or use you.

Refusing to talk after you have answered the phone is a fast way to lose clicks. If you can’t talk — don’t answer. Just send them a text if you feel the call is important.

Having an answering machine that does not state your name is another way to lose a lot of clicks.

SMALL
Rambling on and on is annoying, but title companies seem to be a lot more patient with this behavior than I am. I recommend controlling what comes out of your mouth on business calls. But, this is a lot smaller of a factor than I previously thought.

Background noise is something I can’t stand, but it doesn’t seem to affect click volume. If you can avoid background noise, you should.

Poor call backs. When you call someone back, refuse to announce who you are, but ask them who they are, and make them repeat themselves three times — to me this is unbearable and rude. But, this behavior for some reason does not seem to affect click rates.

Answering the phone saying, “hello?” seems very unprofessional to me. You have to announce yourself and then ask the person who they are, and instead of telling you they ask who you are after you have told them and then ask why you are calling. Some people you have to ask who they are three times to get a straight answer. However, this used to affect click ratios more, but these days since people are shopping for price more than quality, it does not affect your scores much. I still recommend acting professional if possible.

SUMMARY
The analytics that matter are reviews, clear communication, quiz scores, and answering your own phone. Many of the analytics I thought mattered before seem to be very trivial. I concluded that my personal value system is antiquated and does not matter in today’s world. I was running my directory based on what I thought is important. Now, I am running it based on what those who click feel is important. Things have changed in certain ways as a result.

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