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May 22, 2017

Are you a new Notary with a plan?

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 7:38 am

Most Notaries don’t have a plan or a mentor. To get ahead in business you have to know what you are going to do in a step by step kind of way.

I can tell by the way a Notary fills out his/her Notary profile on 123notary how thorough they are. The put together types get it together perfectly before I see it. Then there are others who had a problem with a password who get it together fast and ask for help on their own.

Unfortunately, there are many Notaries who write their phone number as 9493333333. This is not easy to read, and is a sign of thoughtlessness. I know they won’t do well. But, I don’t say anything! People leave their hours of operation blank as well as their number of loans signed. Whenever I ask how many loans they signed they tell me a long story about how they work at a bank. I don’t want to know about the bank, or how many years — I want to know how many loans. The inability to answer a question is a sign of not being mentally focused.

You need to be methodical and meticulous to be a good Notary, but you don’t need to be smart. I know some very mentally ungifted people who did well in life simply because they lived their life according to a check list and did everything the correct way and on time. Originality is completely unnecessary as well — I didn’t think of this phrase on my own, I found it in someone else’s blog (proves my point.)

You fill in your Notary profile the same way you should plan your business — step by step and leave no turn unstoned! Here is what you need to do to promote your business.

1. Get a mentor. Talk to them from time to time. You should repay them generously if they are any good. Carmen gives great phone help by the way and out of the goodness of her heart. That is good Notary karma!

2. Make a list of all of the signing and title companies to sign up with. You need to contact them each once a month after the fact to remind them that you have a pulse and a seal and know how to use the latter.

3. Contact the local convelescent homes and hospitals and give them your information.

4. Advertise on the big web directories. Starting your own website or Facebook profile for business is rarely a good marketing tactic and a huge waste of time (which is your greatest resource.) You need to fill in your profiles completely and get reviews and certifications as well. A well written notes section is the exception to the rule, but for successful Notaries, it is the rule. LinkedIn might be a place to build a profile although I would not invest more than one hour per week on social media unless you run a nationwide business like we do. I spend 15 hours a week on social media average between writing blogs, creating my Facebook posts, Twitter, and more.

5. Study and pass three or more Notary certification tests. Knowledge is king as most Notaries are horribly deficient in their Notary and signing knowledge. You can’t get ahead if you haven’t mastered your materials.

The logic behind being a good Notary is the same as what your teachers taught you back in Junior High. Don’t try to skip steps, have a plan, and be methodical about executing your plan. It is not rocket science. Being smart will not get you ahead. But, being an anal, meticulous, methodical person who plays by the book are the traits that a good Notary should have. Are you in good hands?

If you got off to a bad start in the Notary biz, just remember two things.

1. You can turn your failure around. (You can also turn your success around if you get lazy.)

2. Leave no turn unstoned

3. Time wounds all heels.

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May 15, 2017

Instead of people finding you on Facebook…

Filed under: Social Media — admin @ 7:37 am

I used to think that Facebook is a place where Notaries wanted to advertise their services. Facebook is not a good place to advertise. However, you should periodically put that you are a Notary just in case someone who follows you who is nearby needs one.

On the other hand, people who visit 123notary or other directories want to know a little more about you. If you include a link to a website that makes for great reading material, particularly if you have an interesting site. I recommend against spending lots of money on websites. However, if you can get something cheap that looks good, you might impress clients. I got picked many times back over a decade ago because I had an interesting feng-shui site. It was not even related to Notary work, but they liked the art work and liked how intricate and well planned the site was. The site impressed them.

What if you use your Facebook as a place where people find you somewhere else, but then get routed to? This is a social media strategy that actually makes sense. Some people are sloppy about what goes on their Facebook page. They post photos that are not appropriate. Then their boss goes snooping around, finds inappropriate content and fires them — or doesn’t hire them in the first place.

The face is that you don’t know who is viewing your Facebook, so keep it professional and personal. Post interesting content, and keep it mixed up. If you post interesting content about what you did over the weekend and then some facts about a controversial notary request and how you handled it, you will attract. People like to get to know the personal and work sides of your life. However, if you post nothing about work other than complaints and post raunchy photos of you and your friends drunk or practically naked, you might turn a few people off.

Try to connect your networks in a logical way. The flow of traffic is always from point A to point B. The question is, which direction of traffic makes the most sense. For 123notary it is from Facebook

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May 8, 2017

Is Trump to blame for a Notary slowdown?

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 8:29 am

If you ask Carmen, Trump is to blame for just about everything. But, my broker has a very interesting opinion. The public has faith that Trump will cause a rise in the economy and business. Businesses will be borrowing more, doing more, and banks will have more freedom. Already rates have risen a little bit. And when interest rates rise, the economy does better (or vice versa), but Notaries get less Refinances. Hmmm. So, do we win or do we lose with higher rates.

Conversely, since I’ve been in this industry for a while, I’m not intimidated by higher interest rates. This is because I know that what goes up must come down, and when it comes down, 123notary will get a flood of new business and revenues!

Additionally, if Trump taxes imports from China and other countries, that means that the dollar will gain value. Additionally, if the result of taxing imports causes recessions in other countries, foreigners will invest more in the dollar causing another gain in the dollar. This means lower oil costs, a decrease in the price of gold, and other economical changes.

In the long run, we might have a bull market for a few years. But, Trump or no Trump, the world is headed towards an economic collapse as too many governments have maxed out their credit cards. When the crash comes, we might have negative interest rates or really low rates. People will finally be able to refinance, but God only knows if there will be jobs then. Hmmm.

In the mean time, my advice doesn’t change. Be at the top of your game and don’t worry about the market. It goes up and down and nothing stays the same. Just do your job and make American Notaries great again!

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May 1, 2017

Discounts for early booking? Hotels do this, why shouldn’t you?

Filed under: NSA Pricing, Fees & Income — admin @ 7:34 am

Hotels and airlines give you a better price if you book in advance. I think that Notaries should use this system too. But, be careful. You can’t just go around giving discounts to anyone.

CLIENT: How much do you charge?

NOTARY: It is $125 for a signing, but $90 if you book two or more days in advance. Unless you are one of those companies that cancels all the time.

CLIENT: Oh, not bad. I will book for Thursday at 9pm.

If people book at the last minute, if you are not doing anything, you can still discount their rate. But, if scheduling is tight, then charge a higher rate. Keep your pricing flexible for optimal results. Not everybody will want to use this strategy as some preferred fixed rates, or perhaps each of your clients has a fixed rate they are accustomed to.

If you get your appointments booked in advance you have a more predictable schedule and life. You can plan in advance. You know what part of town you will be in. You can book your schedule more efficiently with less holes. On the other hand, no discounts for people who cancel more than 20%.

You need to keep records of the average time it takes a company to pay. Keep records of the average number of cancellations. This all needs to be recorded in a database file on your computer or on paper. Paper doesn’t crash, so I suggest paper. Also, the math here isn’t that complicated, so you can do the averages on paper or use a computer program. What you charge people needs to depend on:

1. Performance of the company: how fast do they pay, how nice are they to you, etc.
2. Distance
3. # of pages in loan or how long it takes to do their loans
4. Time involved for fax backs.

Most Notaries don’t get it that pricing formulas are a little bit complicated. You have to integrate the company’s performance into the price. If a company pays slowly, then charge more or make them pay up front. If a company cancels, then make them pay a deposit or pay you more. Reward people for good behavior and make them pay if they cause you grief regularly. On the other hand, if a company is generally good, don’t penalize them for one or two small mistakes as that will be bad for your relationship!

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April 24, 2017

If everyone complains about Snapdocs, why do they continue to grow?

Filed under: Advertising — Tags: — admin @ 7:07 am

Despite constant bickering on the part of Notaries, Snapdocs continues to grow. Perhaps it is the convenience. You can send a message to twenty people simultaneously. But, it’s not convenient for the Notaries, and they don’t get paid well either.

Should Notaries continue to be signed up on Snapdocs? If they are desperate! It just seems like a huge headache. But, if you thrive on quantity of low paying and annoying jobs, it sounds like low-ball heaven.

The fact is that Snapdocs grew all year. They had a slow month in August or September according to some webstats I saw. I have no idea why. Perhaps some technical issues? Or perhaps their competitors (me) did something good!

How long will Notaries put up with cattle calls, low fees, fax backs and micromanaging? And how much will Snapdocs continue to grow?

123notary is going to have to compete a little harder and add some new high-tech features to regain some of the market share lost to Snapdocs. But, what type of features will we use? Find out!

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April 21, 2017

Notary Facebook

Filed under: Social Media — admin @ 8:17 am

Where else can Notaries go to share their smily faces, inked thumbs up, and experiences on the job. At Notary Facebook you can give something a seals up or seals down. And instead of “liking” someone you can give them a “signature.”

“Can you sign me on Notary Facebook?”
“Not without ID!”

Notary Facebook is run by Mark Signenberg and his wife Priseala.

See how your friends notarize and sign. See your friends’ photos of what happened at their last Notary gig. Get photos of their clients’ signatures, funny looking ID photos, and funny outfits that their signers wore at the appointment.

You can also post controversial comments.

SAMANTHA: “I love this photo of my client Sally.”

ROSE: “It doesn’t look a bit like her — I hope you took thumbprints!”

SAMANTHA: “Here is a thumbs up thumbprint for your information.”

ROSE: “BTW, the 80’s called — they want your hairstyle back!”

SAMANTHA: “Gee thanks. Yours looks like it’s from the 20’s.”

ROSE: “Ya-know… It takes two to fox trot.”

Mark Signenberg was walking alone in a cornfield late at night when a UFO descended.

MARK: “Are you going to abduct me and steal my algorithms?”

UFO GUYS: “No, but can you like us on Notary Facebook?”

MARK: “I guess, but are you intergallactic Notaries? I bet the commission is good for 1000 space years.”

UFO GUYS: “Actually, we can create better algorithms than you. Maybe you should be abducting us, or at least getting a few pointers.”

MARK: “Okay, I’ll like you or — sign you on Notary Facebook. BTW, when is your birthday in earth years?”

UFO GUY #1: A few years after the first pyramid in Giza was erected.

MARK: “Sorry I asked. But, if an erection lasts for more than 9000 years — call your doctor.”

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April 17, 2017

Being unique and factual in your notes section

Filed under: Your Notes Section — admin @ 7:17 am

I always tell Notaries that one of the keys to success in the Notary business is to be unique and factual in the way you advertise yourself. Please keep in mind that those who hire Notaries frequent Notary directories only to find thousands of Notaries whose notes section look like the same person wrote it.

Example of generic notes section:
NNA Certified, Professional E&O Insured, Experienced, I have the know how to get the job done. I sign refinances. Call ahead of time. I cover the Birmingham area.

Notice how most other Notaries are certified, professional have E&O, etc. This is content that goes at the bottom perhaps in a bullet format.

Example of a unique notes section
100 mile radius; Mobile Printing Capable; Money back or Re-Do if there is even one mistake; Specializing in Reverse Mortgages, Apostilles, Purchases, Refinances of all kinds, and have a wide experience with legal and medical documents.

I worked in a hospital with the dying, so hand-holding is something that doesn’t come new to me. If your borrower feels like dying on page 193 of a 200 page loan, I’ll know exactly what to do! I’ll get them through it. And if not, I carry body bags in my trunk as a precaution (just kidding.)

NNA Certified
NNA Background Screened
100K E&O

Call me for all of your last minute or scheduled requests. I cover Sumter, Leonoke, Essex, Sussex, and Wessex Counties.

Notice how the generic points are in a bullet format (sorry, we dont’ have official bullets on 123notary yet.) They are easy to read and BELOW the good stuff which is experience. Next, a note about the Notary’s personal style is written and in a very unique and morbidly comical way. You should probably shy away from morbid humor, but I wanted you to see the uniqueness. Then, at the bottom, coverage areas and final notes are made.

You might also like:

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

Everything you need to know about writing a great notes section
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16074

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April 12, 2017

If Trump hired you as a Notary, would you get fired?

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 8:13 am

Many Notaries love Trump while others despise him. America is so polarized due to Trump that if the ice caps melt, we are all in hot water (or frigid water.) But, what types of things do Notaries do that would get them fired by Trump that we are now tolerating?

As a note, I would say that all Americans are feeling Trump’s presence since the moment he was elected. People have become a lot more confident (or afraid). Political correctness has immediately gone to the wayside. It used to be 80% happy holidays and 20% merry Christmas. Now it is 80% merry Christmas even in November. We’re back to the 1960’s in many ways — riots and all. I believe that the American business culture will also tighten up and start firing people who don’t perform. We’ll wait and see. I’m more particular these days since the election. In June I was feeling the Bern — Now, I want to fire someone!

If you show up late without calling — you’re fired…
Trump’s time is worth a million dollars per second. You may not think a second is much time, but to a highly successful or impatient person — it is.

If you make a mistake…
If you make an honest mistake, perhaps that is okay if it doesn’t happen again and if you fix the mistake. But, what if you don’t know what you are doing and Don catches on to you?

If you are rude…
Trump doesn’t like rude people. Of course, people think he’s rude. Or is he just opinionated? If you are providing a service, there is no excuse for a bad attitude!

If you don’t know the answer to a question…
Trump would expect all Notaries to be able to answer all basic questions about Notary law and loan signing. If you don’t know the basics, I’m sure he would not hire you again. On the other hand, he probably wouldn’t expect you to know the Escrow end of the business.

If you didn’t dress well…
Being a Notary is a serious job. You are dealing with half a million dollar loans. You should dress for the part. Perhaps you should dress like James Bond. Ken says dress British, think Yiddish. But, if you live in Idaho, even the Jews there don’t think Yiddish. So, we’ll stick to the British part.

If you don’t want to make American Notaries great again…
Then you’re just plain fired.

The main thing is that you need to be at the top of your game. This means knowing your Notary law inside out, knowing your signing agent knowledge, being an expert at marketing your service, getting reviews, getting certified by at least three agencies including 123notary, and writing a great notes section about your service. Very few Notaries realize how critical it is to be a master of your trade. To survive in this competitive industry you don’t have a choice. So get on your game, otherwise — you’re fired!

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April 11, 2017

Reviews that tell a story

Filed under: Reviews — admin @ 10:10 pm

There are many types of reviews that you can see on 123notary. Some are poorly written, others are short, while a few make a strong statement. My question to myself is, which reviews are the most pleasant for the users (browsers) to read?

I recently removed many old reviews from 123notary. These were reviews from 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. Many customers were upset that I had removed their reviews as they are a status symbol. However, Google and the users on our site do not value old reviews. Google wants to see reviews from the last eighteen months, but rewards you more for what was published in the last few months. Users value what was published within the last three years which is a little more generous than Google.

After going through lots of deleted reviews and comparing them, I decided that the best reviews for clients to read were reviews that either told a story, or made a profound statement. If someone was the best Notary you ever had, or you give them an A++, that puts your review in the top 5% of reviews in my experience. Then, there are other reviews that go over the entire experience from the initial phone call, to showing up at the signing, and finishing the work. Some clients announce that they had a wonderful experience from start to finish.

Here are a few examples of reviews that I feel look super on 123notary

*****

I needed a last minute closing in our office because our closer became ill after eating lunch. In a rush I searched the internet found 123notary and started calling numbers on the 3rd number the phone answered on the 2nd ring and Mr. XYZ told me yes I can be right over and close this loan.

When Mr. XYZ arrived I was 1st impressed by how well dressed he was, he stepped in my office took one look at the package and said no problem. I had the buyers waiting for a 1/2 an hour and when Mr. XYZ walked in with his big smile and postive stance I was so relieved. When he started going over the package and interacting with the customer it was like he was an instant extension of our company. The one thing that stood out was his knowledge of the documents it is not everyday you find a mobile notary that can expalin a TIL correctly and where the customer can understand it.

He made the closing a great experience for my client everyone was laughing and having a great time. (NAME) turned a possible night mare into a dream come true.

****
(NAME) was the Notary Signing Agent assigned to a recent refinancing. She arrived on time and dressed appropriately. Sabrina came to the closing prepared and the closing went very smoothly. It was the best experience that we’ve had with a Notary. Sabrina is quite knowledgeable and kept things moving along. We would highly recommend (NAME) without any reservations.

****

I would recommend (NAME) for any notary job. She was on time, a thing that is seldom seen here in Miami. I had four business partners sitting around the table. (NAME) promptly recorded our drivers licenses in her journal and away we went. A 56 page document was signed and notarized. She offered to take our documents to FedEx and we took her up on her offer. Now that is what I call service.

****

I own a small construction company. We have unexpected things come up all the time. We found Carmen on Google several years ago when were in a pinch. We needed some documents notarized on very short notice. She came to our customers location quickly and got it done. She was a lifesaver. She is VERY knowledgable and knows what she”s doing. We will continue to be our first choice when choosing a notary.

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April 10, 2017

Documenting your Experience & Personal Style in your notes

Filed under: Your Notes Section — admin @ 7:18 am

A good notes section on a notary profile should cover many aspects. But, the first several paragraphs should talk about experience and personal style.

You can mention:
1. How many loans you have signed. You can mention how many years you have signed loans, but a # of loans is better.

2. Make a list of types of loans or financial products you have signed
Annuities, Applications, Cash Sales & Purchases, Debt Consolidations, Debt Settlements, eSignings, Helocs, Modifications, Purchases, Refinances (1sts, 2nds, Piggy Backs, FHA, VA, Conventional, Commercial, Residential), Reverse Mortgages, Seller’s Documents, Time Shares, and more…

3. Make a list of documents you have signed
Affidavits, Auto Titles, Boat Titles, Contracts, I-9’s, Living Wills, Permission for Minors to Travel, Powers of Attorney, Wills, and more.

4. Signing Agent since 1995.
Mentioning the year you started is better than counting how many years you have been doing this, otherwise you have to update your notes every year which you won’t remember and change it from nine years to ten years as a signing agent to eleven to I lost count or forgot!

5. Related Experience
If you are a Mortgage Broker, Originator, Escrow Officer, this is related experience and should come directly below your Notary Signing experience. It goes in the top part of your notes, but below the relevant experience. In short, put it in the bottom of the top of your notes if that makes sense (like anything else I say.)

6. Unrelated Experience
If you were a Realtor, Paralegal, Teacher, Programmer, or something unrelated, do not put this at the top of your notes. This is more of background information and goes somewhere in the bottom of your notes section. Realtors feel their experience makes them a better Notary and they feel they are “familiar with the docs,” but, they are not that familiar with I quiz them — not familiar at all. The Mortgage folks have relevant experience, the others do not.

7. Experience dealing with stressful situations
A few people who were police, military, or in customer service dealing with the most difficult of people can claim that they can diffuse stressful situations. This is a valuable skill that you can learn from unrelated professions. Dealing with people in general is very useful in the Notary world. The Notaries who get ahead have good people and business skills which are actually more important than your clerical Notary skills (but, don’t tell anyone I said that.)

8. Your personal style
Rather than use a bunch of baseless adjectives with commas between them to describe yourself, paint a picture of how you do your work and what sets you apart from the rest. Anything unique you can say about yourself will gain points. Do you triple check your work? Do you introduce yourself at the door? Will you stay until midnight if necessary? These are helpful things to know. Don’t just be professional, reliable and modest as all of our other notaries make the same claim.

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