June 2016 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
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June 28, 2016

How good is your technical knowledge, should you learn more?

Most Notaries feel that they know it all and don’t need to learn anything more. But, the knowledge necessary to make it in this profession is deep and what you need to know keeps changing. So, you my friend need to keep reading. In addition to passing the certification exams of the various Notary companies out there, you also need to read.

What types of eduational content should you read? NNA has a good blog with technical posts. 123notary has a wealth of technical blogs as well.

123notary’s 30 point course
http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=3442

Best Notary Blog Articles for Advanced Notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14736

Signing Agent best practices – 63 points
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4315

What’s the difference in getting 16 clicks a month and 100+?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13185

Notary Information for beginners — best posts
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10472

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

Notary Journals from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8348

Business Tips for Notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=3246

Marketing Articles for Notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=3256

Jail & Hospital Signings
http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=3251

Technical & Legal Posts
http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=3244

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June 27, 2016

How much should you spend on advertising?

Filed under: Advertising,Ninja Theme Articles — Tags: , — admin @ 5:42 am

Many Notaries don’t want to spend much on Notary advertising because they don’t make much money or are just getting started. You cannot make money without spending money. Other Notaries have a presence on our site, but left their notes section blank, have no reviews, are not 123notary certified, and then blame us if they didn’t get any business. That is your fault for not dressing your listing up! If you pay $100 to go to a formal dance and show up in ripped clothing with your hair messed up and nobody dances with you — is that the fault of the people you paid $100 or your own fault?

1. Get a foundation before you pay big bucks
You need to get Notary certifications, reviews, and a good notes section before you pay big bucks for advertising

2. Assess the value of your advertising
All serious Notaries track their new sales. They keep track of where the sale or lead originated from. If you get 27% of your new sales from 123notary, then that is a factor in how much you spend on advertising the following year.

3. Base spending on income
If you have a listing with a good foundation as we described above, see how much new business you got from us. If you got a lot, then you should reinvest about 10% of the income you made in new business from our site. Or, you could figure out how much residual business you got from leads from our site as many will use you again and again for years to come. You might want to pay us 2% of the total long-term value of the business you got including residuals. The math is a bit complicated and involves some guess work as well. But, you have to do it otherwise you will be a poor investor.

4. Additional Areas
If you want to advertise in several counties on 123notary.com, see how well you do in those counties. If you spend money on one county and nothing comes back — try another county. Find the counties that work for you and stick with them as long as they continue working. Your success in a particular area might depend on proximity, the current competition (which could change overnight), population, and other factors.

5. How should you start?
Start by investing $100 in a listing with us, get our Notary certification and pass it. Get some reviews, and polish your listing. If things go well, then get a prorated upgrade with Carmen and move up the list and get other areas. If things don’t do that well, then keep what you have.

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You might also like:

A comprehensive guide to Notary pricing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16504

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June 24, 2016

The Steve Jobs Notary Smart-Seal

If Steve Jobs created a hi-tech Notary Seal, what would it be like?
I can imagine several scenarios. There could be a seal that looks like a regular Notary seal, but with a touch screen. The seal could tell you when your last ink fill up was and when the next time you will need to fill the ink would be. Or the seal could affix itself to make sure the seal’s impression was perfect every time. The real genious of Steve Jobs is that he made his inventions easy to use, cool, and personalized. His creations became an inseperable part of our lives. If only his spirit could guide some living people on creating that ideal Notary seal…

Additionally, the seal could have a smart feature that could sort through your emails and identify any emails pertaining to recent or current jobs, and even interface with your GPS to make sure that you get to your next job on time.

But, what about a more futuristic Notary Seal?
In my blog about UFO Notarizations, their notarizations were done with microchips that were inserted within the fibers of documents, or watermarks with identifying traits. I was picturing a business card shaped notary seal that could insert coding into the document using laser beams. But, also scan the name, date and other features of the document and keep an electronic record of the notarization. The device could be touch sensitive so that anyone who “borrowed” the seal from the Notary wouldn’t be able to use it. To use this futuristic seal, you would just lie it down in the seal area, press a button, and it would do it’s affixing itself.

Additionally, the Notary Seal could be used to scan ID’s and check them against records from the DMV, Dept of State, or even foreign governments. In the future, we might all be connected. Thumbprints could also be used with this tiny device. Best of all, if you lost your seal, you could call it with your cell phone and it would start beeping. With even better technology, the device would be able to identify signers purely based on their thumbprints or even have voice recognition.

Taking it a step forward, what if the Notary Seal device could have a Siri type character that would answer Notary questions.

NOTARY#1 “Siri, can I use a Military ID as identification?”

NOTARY #2 “Siri, if a California ID is expired, but it has not been five years since its issue date, can I still use it?

SIRI: Can’t you see I’m having lunch? Ask me later after I’m fully recharged… Humans!!!!

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You might also like:

New Notary apps that you really need!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=9797

Apps that Notaries have never heard of that could change your life!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16311

Notary apps for the iPhone 7 that you’ve never dreamed of!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10977

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June 19, 2016

Ken’s tips for the Closing Disclosure

Timing Changes to the Closing Process
Well, it’s bye bye time for the good old TIL and HUD. No longer will notaries be waiting for approval of the “final HUD”. Hooray. Borrowers will usually have the new Closing Statement 6 days prior to notary arrival! Less chance for a surprise at the table.
The changes to loan and closing procedures are far more than a few new documents. The biggest changes are to the closing time-lines.

Documents
The HUD-1 and Truth in Lending forms will be replaced by a new “Closing Disclosure.”

Terminology
You will need to learn a new vocabulary. Some common terms are:
TRID = TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure
CD = Closing Disclosure
Consummation = Closing
CFPB = Consumer Finance Protection Bureau

Time Frames
New timing and delivery requirements will change the way we handle closings. This is the BIG news for the 123notary.com gang! There is new stuff to consider about timing:
The final Closing Disclosure must be delivered and received no later than 3 business days prior to closing.

If the lender sends the final documents 6 business days prior to closing, they don’t need to prove the buyer(s) receipt.

Most lenders will mail the closing disclosure 6 business days before closing. This pushes back the time frames for closing and makes it harder, if not impossible to address late breaking changes or issues in the days leading up to closing.
Fewer last minute notary requests: Lenders will have less time to get loans approved and the parties will have much more difficulty making last minute changes and adjustments.

You might also like:

The Closing Disclosure
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16217

The 4506, Name Affidavit, Deeds, and more documents explained
http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=2074

TRID information courtesy of Carmen
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18932

Index of information about documents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20258

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June 18, 2016

National Preferred Notary

Here is what Notaries are saying about this outfit.
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6118

lcox60
“Well it is 2016 now and not much has changed. I did a closing for you on December 30,2015 and today is March 14, 2016 and I have still not received payment. I sent an email to Harley Owens, the scheduler on February 22nd, she replied that she was forwarding to accounting, I called accounting on March 4th and left a voicemail, still no reply, I called today and spoke to scheduling department and the woman I spoke with, (I did not get a name) said my name was on the list to be paid and they were waiting no accounting or owner to come in to find out when this could be resolved. Very unprofessional, I will not be accepting any other jobs from you and I live in an area where I network with the other signing agents in the area, I have already sent an email to them warning them. I happen to know you recently got a new account for Vanderbilt Closings, I used to get their jobs from DocPros, I was in the local Clayton office today to do a cash closing for them and informed the manager that I have not been able to get paid from you for a December closing, she was going to notify corporate. This is not the way to do business. My next action will be to contact my attorney.”

esnotary
“Finally received my check on December 14. Check was dated 12/10/15. So much for their payment policy!”

esnotary
“Update: I ended up sending them an email letting them know that I would contact Escrow regarding payment if I didn’t hear back from them. Well, I contacted Escrow and they sent and email asking whether or not I had been paid (Escrow showed they deposited the check October 31). They replied that payment had been sent. Escrow asked when and where the payment had been sent and they never responded to her! NEVER AGAIN!”

esnotary
“I did a closing for them on 10/15/15. I asked about their payment policy. Their policy states that closings performed between the 1-15th of the month are paid on the 30th. Signings between the 16-30th are paid on the 15th of the subsequent month. Well, it’s now December 5th and still no check. I have sent emails with no response. I finally called and Harley said that a whole bunch of checks went out in the past week but she would have to research to see if mine was in there. Then they call me to do another loan this weekend! Sunday Morning! I said that I haven’t even been paid for my October closing. As I am friends with the borrowers I actually took this closing, but oh boy I hope I’m not playing the fool!”

28205bj
“I finally received a check on 11/13/14. This is not the way I run my business. When I do a closing I expect to be paid in a timely manner.”

coordinator
“I have contacted you via email and phone numerous times regarding my payment of the above signing. It’s been over 45 days closing on 60 and that is unacceptable.

If someone would have contacted me this would have been much easier to handle but after seeing your “reputation” on 123 Notary I find I have no further reason to continue to wait.

I am expecting a call tomorrow at my number 209-256-2576 to explain that the check for the above signing will be placed in the mail later that day and I expect to receive it by Friday, November 14, 2014.

If I do not receive it by then I will be contacting other forums for notaries to be aware of accepting your signing appointments, I already have the BBB on favorites for your part of the state of California, and I have your Certified Notary Signing company name pulled up from the SOS to lodge additional complaints.

I have also pulled the information for Primary Title Services LLC Attn Vicky J Santamaria off the Skokie IL office to make them aware that that they are dealing with an exceptionally unprofessional company – to say the least. And recommend using a different signing service as to make sure their name, once they are made fully aware of the ongoings – does not become an accessory.

Upon Monday, November 17,2014, if I didn’t receive the check (or it’s short) I will also be contacting my attorney with added penalties and interest added to the amount due – gotta love Legal Shield!”

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You might also like:

90 days no payment list of signing companies
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15887

The “They met my fee” list of signing companies
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16979

Read the current gossip about signing companies
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=gossip

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June 13, 2016

Don’t answer the phone by saying, “Hullo?”

Quick tip of the day

When people are searching for Notaries, if they want someone professional, they will not be satisfied if you answer the phone saing, “Hello?” You might not know the difference, and most other people might not either, but if you want to cater to those who have standards, someone so simple as how you answer the phone actually matters. The low-ballers (who you are tired of hearing from) are delighted to hear a “hello” as that is an indication that maybe you’ll work for cheap since you probably aren’t that professional or businesslike. But, more demanding companies are looking at how you communicate, how much you know (and NOT how much you claim to know.)

123notary has found that the Notaries that survived with us for ten years have a much higher rate of announcing their personal or company name upon answering the phone. The rate was about 50% for veteran Notaries. These people survived when most Notaries dropped out of the game which should tell you something. Our newer Notaries announce their name roughly 20% of the time which is very unprofessional. Since 123notary needs numbers and lots of numbers to continue its rep of having choices (and being “the numbers site” as we are called when people complain about us on Notary Rotary — we need to keep those numbers up.) But, we need quality as well as quantity which is why we strip our site regularly of low performing free listings and even paid listings that refuse to login for extended periods of time.

So, be professional in all ways including how you answer the phone. And yes, it matters!

Exceptions to the rule:

1. If your company name is “Hello, Inc.”, then you can say Hello when answering the phone.

2. If you sell Aloe Vera as a side business, you can answer the phone saying, “Aloe?” People might think you are Russian if you say it like that, but that’s okay just as long as there isn’t a shortage.

3. If your name is Lionel Ritchey, you can say, “Hello, is it me you’re looking for?”

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You might also like:

Notary etiquette from Atheist to Zombie
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13718

Thank you, Excuse me, I’m sorry
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8882

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June 11, 2016

Signing Trac

Here is what Notaries are saying about this outfit
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=5761

36768
“I just did a simple loan mod agreement for them at the end of Feb. 15 min appointment tops and I submitted my request for payment on 3/1/2016 and they paid me just now via Deluxe Online checks. 3/7/2016 so they paid within 1 week of billing. They only allow you to submit your invoices at the beginning of the following month. Example. All jobs done in Feb can be submitted on Mar 1st and so on. No troubles here so far.”

dawnrin
“I’ve been doing little signings for them lately. They’ve all been HELOC appts. The docs are at the borrower’s house and I’m in and out in about 20 minutes. They pay $50 for the signing as no printing nor faxbacks are necessary. Plus, they don’t send you further than about 10 miles for this fee. You bill them monthly now. I emailed them my Nov. invoice on Dec. 1st and was sent a Deluxe e-check the very next day! I don’t know what changed, but it seems to be working for now.”

peanut20
“I just did a signing for them and I was paid within 1 week, they are now paying through the deluxe check payment system, I was actually a bit amazed how quick they were.”

dhelmic2
“I have done several signing for them and can’t remember why I keep taking them. I get paid, but have to wait way too long for payment.”

Florida Girl (7-02-14)
“I have completed two signings for them recently.
1st was on Friday 4/18/14 and I have not been paid for it yet.
2nd and I am not sure why I accepted that without being paid for the first was on 6/21/14”

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You might also like:

Global Notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=global-notary

National Loan Closers
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=national-loan-closers

The 90 days no payment list of signing companies
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15887

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June 10, 2016

Notary & Escort Service

We just found out that one of our Notary’s number was the same number as for an escort rating service. Somebody complained. At first I had no idea what was going on. Was this a way to get a beautiful blond to notarize you, and do possibly more? Or, was this a case of mistaken identify. So, I called the Notary and she explained that she had had the number for only a year, and that it was possible that the escort service had the number before that.

If you google this person’s number, you can get her listing on 123notary or the escort service coming out in the search results. Glad I checked up on this problem and figured it out. I made a note in her profile that everything is okay!

But, what if there were an escort service that assisted male clients in going to see a Notary in a Notary office? They could make sure you have your ID, and a whole lot more! They could make sure your name on the document matches the name on your ID before you waste the time of a busy Notary. What a great service to humanity that would be!

CLIENT: Okay, I have my document right here.

NOTARY ESCORT: Let me see your ID! The name on the document doesn’t match the name on the ID. You’ve been very very bad!

CLIENT: Uh-oh.

NOTARY ESCORT: You’ll have to draft up a new document, otherwise you’ll be punished!

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You might also like:

Two & a half Notaries — learning the ropes
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=twoandahalfmen

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June 9, 2016

A comprehensive guide to Notary Pricing

It’s been a long time since I have written an article on pricing, so I feel it is high time! Most Notaries want to have a fixed fee and make tons of money. This is not always possible. The Notary market is a market with lots of little ups and down that a smart Notary needs to constantly adjust to. It’s smarter to have systems and formulas worked out ahead of time so you know how to react to these fluctuations.

There are fast days and slow days, monthly highs and lows, as well as changes in the market that happen over the years. There are also changes in who is competing with you in your area at a particular time. The key is to be flexible and learn how to charge accordingly. Here is how I would set my prices.

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1. Time Involved
A smart Notary should charge based on how much time is spent. Notary jobs during rush hour involve more time. Jobs that involve printing more than the average amount of pages should be billed accordingly. Smart Notaries ask who the Lender or Bank is. This is because the name of the Lender can determine with some accuracy the size of the package. Signing companies lie about package sizes which is why smart Notaries ask. Additionally, there are many loan types and some require more time. Refinances are faster, while Construction Loans are longer but have more professional and businesslike signers. Reverse Mortgages, VA, and FHA take more time. Piggy Backs are double signings and have double the pages and double the Notary work. Time for doing a signing is based on these components:

Negotiating Time — Some companies are easy and pleasant to deal with. If it is fast getting assignments faxed or emailed to you and easy to confirm with the borrower, take notes of that time. It can differ from company to company.

Printing Time — Notaries should charge by the page for e-documents. Printing takes time, and often involves waiting for documents to be ready which can be hours if you work with irresponsible companies.

Driving Time –Factor in how much time it takes to get from point A to B. Keep notes so you’ll know how to charge for jobs to particular cities in the future.

Signing time — Some Lenders have loans that get signed quickly. Some Lenders answer the phone and get situations handled quickly while others don’t.

Loan Type Influences Time Spent — VA & FHA signings are just plain longer. Reverse Mortgages are for the elderly who are less businesslike and might need a lot more time to sign. Power of Attorney signings are the most likely not to fund, so take that into consideration. Piggy Back loans are double the signatures and double the notarizations. But, once everyone has sat down and you have your journal out, it goes quickly.

Fax Back Time — Fax Backs are a pain in the rear, but they serve a purpose. Signing companies can hire newbies and get away with it, because the signing company can check your work before it gets sent back to Title. They no longer need experienced Notaries. However, fax backs take time, so if your time is worth something, charge for each page faxed back.

Cancellation Rate Time Waste — Factor cancellation rate and billing time into the price.

Billing Time — Some companies pay on the first request while others require hounding.

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2. Expenses Itemized

Printing Documents — is not only time consuming but costs money. You are using up paper, toner, cartridges, ink, and using up your time to restock what you used up. Charge accordingly.

Car Expenses — Driving a car is not free. Tires wear down, brakes wear out, plus you need to change the oil, filters, shocks, transmission, and more. So, in addition to time, try to work a mileage fee into your pricing in addition to charging for time.

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3. Track Record & Risk of Not Getting Paid

Late Documents — If the signing company or title company was late getting your edocuments in the past, make a note of that. Keep detailed records of each company. Record how fast they paid you on each job. Recalculate their average days to payment every month just to keep records updated. Also, keep records for how late they are sending edocuments or how incompetent they are about keeping their borrowers informed. If you are dealing with a flake, charge more.

Unknown PartiesIf you accept a job from an unknown lender, or one with a bad reputation online, you might charge more, or make them pay up front. You should always charge extra when there is any type of risk involved. . These signings assume risk. Some of the risk is spending an unpredictable amount of time or not getting paid at all.

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4. Payment Terms
If a Lender will only pay you if the loan funds, you need to charge more. Some Lenders will not pay your printing fee if the job gets cancelled, so make sure you know what the terms of the agreement are. Some will pay part of a travel fee if the job gets cancelled mid-way. However, the signing company booked your time, and you can’t give your leftover time to some other company at the last minute just because they needed to cancel. You have to commit your time to them, but do you make companies commit to paying you?

I personally feel that Notaries should set their own terms. You are not a bank, and it is not your job to gamble on whether or not a loan funds. You should be paid before, or within 72 hours of a signing in my opinion. But, you can make your own terms. Beginners have to accept the terms dictated to them, but old pros can make their own terms and get away with it. However, if you do accept terms that limit your ability to guarantee payment, charge a lot more.

Recommended Reading:
Issues to consider when creating a signing agent services contract
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2593

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5. Travel Fees for Non Loan Signing Work
Most Notaries charge $25 to $50 travel fee, and more if it is for jails or hospitals. You also charge by the signature on top of the travel fee. Charge based on how valuable your time is worth. If you are desperate for work, charge less. If your time is limited, charge more. If you have lots of other things to do, you have less supply of time so you can charge more — this is a strategy to consider — so stay busy my friends.

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6. Jails & Hospital Notary Jobs
Charge more for jails and hospitals because these are the jobs where there is a lot more that can go wrong. You also will not be dealing with the cream of the crop. You can get stood up at a jail. Inmates do not have ID and your credible witness or ID carrier might not show up. ID’s might be expired. Hospital patients are often drugged making it impossible to notarize them. Half of them can’t even hold a pen, so how can they possibly sign? Consider this when deciding upon your jail & hospital travel fees which should be $60 to $150 depending on how greedy you are! Some Notaries are afraid to go to jails, but it is safe, and that is where you can make money fast. Just make sure you have them read their ID to you over the phone including expiration date or you will be very sorry. Also, get your travel fee in cash at the door BEFORE you see the signer. They might not be available or might not want to sign! Be prepared!

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7. General Pricing Models
Keep in mind that a few years ago, Notaries could get paid a lot more. With Snapdocs and lower demand, companies can pay a lot less and get away with it.

Situations where you charge more or less
(1) Charge less during the first 17 days of the month. It is slower, and you have more time.
(2) Charge more during the end of the month. Additionally, you can charge more if you schedule a job several days in advance because you might miss out on a better offer. Additionally, jobs scheduled in advance in my day had a 25% cancellation rate which will wreak havoc on your schedule.
(3) Charge less if you are having a slow day and someone needs a last minute signing. If you are doing nothing, why not sell that time.
(4) eSignings have less physical pages, but often take longer because the signer and their spouse need to take turns looking at the computer screen not to mention the chance of delays due to technical issues.
(5) Charge extra if there are three or more signers on a loan.
(6) Charge more if the company cancels a lot
(7) Charge less if a company has a good track record and is easy and fast to deal with — or pleasant!
(8.) Charge more if there are lots of signatures to notarize.

Pricing Recommendations For Beginners. 0-500 signings

Basic Signing $60-$80
E-Documents: $10-$25 extra per double set or 7 cents per page
Pickups: $25 extra
Dropoffs: $20 extra — there is less waiting time during dropoffs
Reverse Mortgages: $100
Piggy Backs: $100
Regular Notary Work Travel Fee: $30 if within 30 minutes
Jail & Hospitals: $50

Pricing Recommendations for Intermediates. 500-3000 signings
Basic Signing: $80-$120; E-Documents: $20-$40 or 10 cents per page; Pickups: $30 extra; Dropoffs: $25 extra; Reverse Mortgages: $125; Piggy Backs: $125; Regular Travel Fee: $40 if within 30 miles; Jails & Hospitals: $70

When to charge in advance
You are not a bank and you should not offer endless credit to any signing company. Some of them will string you along and not pay you or play games with payments making it unclear which job they are paying for. Decide in advance how much credit to give each company and keep records. If you have a six month track record with a company and they pay you on time, you might offer them credit for six jobs. For all others, do one or two jobs, but don’t do any more until you get paid. It is not a bad idea to charge up front with Paypal, but few companies will pay a beginner up front. Ken, our seasoned Notary always gets paid up front, but he is a pro.

(1) New Companies — do one job, but don’t do a second until you get paid for the first unless they have a stellar record for payment on the forums.
(2) Some Track Record — do two jobs, but don’t do a third until you get paid for the first.
(3) Good Track Record — Watch out: good companies can turn bad if they experience financial difficulties or labor shortages. Do not offer credit for more than six jobs no matter what. A good track record should be over at least six months.

Don’t complain
There are many Notaries who have gone out of business because there is too much competition for too few jobs. If you are getting paid, getting experience, and staying afloat, you are ahead of the game. Many Notaries have this idea that they should get $125 per signing ever time. Unfortunately, it no longer works like this. So, take what you can get and just do your best! If you get more experience, you will be worth more in the long run. Additionally, the market could have an upswing at any time, so keep a positive thought.

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You might also like:

Do you have to be a CSS to get work these days?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8914

A great attitude gets most of the jobs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6493

Notary Marketing 102’s guide to negotiating Notary fees
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19784

Notary Public 102’s guide to Notary pricing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19781

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June 7, 2016

And Drop Off The Package

And Drop Off The Package
You did “almost” everything right. The call was logged and scheduled. You confirmed with the borrower. The signing went smoothly in every respect. All required “pick ups” were included. When you printed the docs you also printed a separate PDF with the FedEx airbill. You slip the airbill into the pouch, seal the envelope and, well prior to pickup time, the package is dropped off. Mission accomplished, check to follow.

Perhaps not, considering the rather outspoken title person making your cell phone’s speaker vibrate violently. “We got our delivery, it was not delivered; where did you leave it – at a local bar?” That’s certainly not the case. It was only yesterday afternoon; you clearly recall bringing it to the local FedEx office – NOT a street side drop box. There was a long line for the sole representative on duty at the time. Usually you hand it over the counter and ask for a “drop off receipt”. But, as this was so very routine, and the wait would be long – you slipped it into the drop box IN the FedEx office. You have done this dozens of time before, never a problem.

Without a drop off receipt to scan and email, you have no proof of drop off. So, you make the trip (as demanded by title) to the FedEx office. It’s a long wait, but eventually you get to speak to the office manager and explain the situation. “I have good news for you”, sayeth the manager, “I have the package, let me get it and return it to you!” Not really good news, but better than no news. Soon the manager returns and hands you the envelope. “Why did you not ship it? – it has a prepaid airbill”.
“That may look like an airbill to you but it is totally illegible! My staff was not able to read the account that would be paying; also the scanner could not read the bar code. We were hoping you would return to claim it”. Groan. You know that if you had waited for the drop off receipt, it would have failed the scan – while you still had time to do something. Now it’s the next day and the title people are having fits. Of course the blame will be on you. They will claim that you did not print the PDF properly. They will ask why you shipped an illegible airbill.

It kinda sounds like a 60 yard touchdown run, only to trip over one’s untied shoelace at the one yard line. The call to title yields the expected results – colorfully. They insist that you, while at the FedEx office – FAX the entire package immediately. You must also rent some PC time to print a replacement airbill so it can be shipped while you are there. This time they explicitly ask for a FAX of the drop off receipt. They consider you a klutz that needs micromanagement.

With demands accommodated, you return home to reprint that PDF with the airbill. Just as you suspected it was sent as garbage – nothing you could do would make it print correctly. However, if you had given it a glance at “doc print time” you would have noticed the problem. At that time you would have been able to call the sender and get a replacement PDF, or, at least the proper charge code to use on a hand written replacement airbill. But you did not catch THEIR error.

When I was a kid we used to play Tug of War. A long thick rope, us kids holding on each end with a gigantic mud puddle in the middle. The team captain would be at the end of the rope, with the rope tied around the captain’s waist. The losing team kids would let go prior to the mud puddle. Being last in the chain, like a signing agent; the team captain was dragged into the mud.

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