April 2017 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
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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 22, 2017

How much does a Notary cost?

Many people want to know how much a notary can charge, or what a notary costs?
It depends on whether you want to buy the notary public or rent them. (sorry for the bad joke)

Notary fees are set by the state they are commissioned in. As a general rule a notary can only practice in the state they have their commission in.

Notary fees are normally based on a rate per signature that is notarized (in most states) while in Florida, notary fees are based on a fee for each time the notary’s seal is affixed. Interesting!

Q. What does a mobile notary charge?

A. Mobile Notaries normally charge the state appointed Notary fee in addition to a travel charge and waiting fees if you keep them waiting. Find the best Mobile Notary companies on 123notary.com and look up by zip — but, don’t keep them waiting. Mobile Notaries often do loan signings which are paid based on a fixed negotiated rate. Hospital and Jail signings are normally more expensive than regular traveling notary jobs as more is involved and more can go wrong (especially if the guards aren’t in a good mood.)

Q. What is the maximum fee a notary can charge for notarizing an Acknowledgment or Acknowledged Signature in 2016 or 2017?
A. Please consult our find a notary page and then look up your state

Q. What is the maximum fee a notary can charge for notarizing a Jurat with accompanying Oath in 2016 or 2017?
A. Please consult our find a notary page and then look up your state

Q. What is the maximum charge for a notary in my state?
A. The exact fee depends on the notary act. There are several common types of Notary acts including Acknowledgments, Jurats, Oaths, Depositions, and some states allow witnessing. So please look your state up on our find a notary page.

Please note that there are differences for the Notary acts that each state allows. All states allow Acknowledgments and Jurats, while some states allow obscure Notary acts such as Marine Protests, Proofs of Execution, Safety Deposit Box Openings, etc.

Another great resource might be your state’s Secretary of State Notary Division, as they will have all legal information about the office of notary public in their site.

Find great mobile notaries on 123notary.com! Save time and have a notary public come to your home, office, hospital, or jail cell.

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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 20, 2017

Vague communication is unacceptable

Filed under: Certification & Communication Skills — admin @ 7:16 am

If you are on the phone with someone and you answer their questions in a vague way, that will not make you popular.

1. How many loans have you signed?
Bad Answer: A lot
Wishy-Washy Answer: I’ve been doing this for years
Silly Answer: Oh Gosh
Involved Answer: Let’s see, five years doing oh, about twenty-three loans a month… hmm, about 1500 or so, I guess.
Good Answer: 1543

2. What are your hours of availability?
Bad Answer: I’m flexible
Wishy-Washy Answer: It depends or “Whenever”
Incomplete Answer: I’m available after work
Good Answer: I’m available 10am to 8pm Monday through Friday and from 11am to 6pm on the Weekends.

3. What types of loans do you know how to sign?
Bad Answer: All of them
Rambling Answer: I do Refinances and I did a line of credit yesterday, and I was going to do a Reverse Mortgage but they cancelled. Why do people cancel? And I think I might have done a Sellers, but I’m not really sure.
Good Answer: I have done Refinances, Purchases, Modifications, Reverse Mortgages, Structured Settlements and many other types of loans.

4. Could you describe yourself as a Notary?
Bad Answer: I’m professional, reliable and dependable.
Good Answer: I have been doing Notary work full time for a year. Before that I worked in an animal hospital with very frightened animals. I know how it feels to be in a strange place with strange people and sign strange paperwork. The humans had to sign medical power of attorneys for their pets.

5. What is your radius?
Good Answer: I travel fifty miles for my basic fees and charge $2 per mile radius extra for every additional mile.
Bad Answer: It depends on what you pay? Where is the signing?

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April 19, 2017

Our $7 sale on certification led to very few sales

Filed under: Certification & Communication Skills — admin @ 7:09 am

Notaries complain all day long about how high prices are. Listings are expensive, courses are expensive, and if they’ve taken the NNA course, why should they pay more to take ours?

Well, we had a $7 certification sale and only 15 people made a purchase. It seems that no matter how inexpensive education is, people don’t want it. 123notary certification helps people get a lot more business from 123notary — in fact, more than double. So, why would you resist doing a little studying and paying a little bit to double your incoming calls from our directory?

For those of you who want a free loan signing course, our 30 point course on our blog is free and open to the public without passwords. So, enjoy it!

http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=3442

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April 18, 2017

What lies beneath (your Notary stamp)

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 8:11 am

What Lies Beneath (Your Notary Stamp)
Most of us probably use a self inking notary stamp. That’s the one with the little ink pad that slides out to be re-inked or replaced. Which to do? Re-inking is cheaper, but, eventually; after many uses the stamp pad takes an impression. The die does not contact the pad enough to transfer the ink. Re-inking is OK for a while, but it is not a lifetime solution – buy a few replacement pads. But, as oft the case – I digress.

Having digressed on one thing my reader expects me to digress again. So…… I won’t disappoint. Did you, take out the inkpad and clean the rubber die – in the last year? Please do so. I use an old toothbrush (a soft one) with a few drops of Dawn dishwashing detergent. It’s good enough to clean the oil off of ducks, so it probably won’t irritate you or your precious stamp die. Wait an hour for everything to dry prior to reassembly.

OK reader, I’ve blathered on long enough. Now, to the title issue. But first a side note about Jeremy. He gripes and complains (to me!) often that the title of my articles do not let him “at a glance” know what the blog entry is about. Just to drive him extra nuts (as if he was not nutty enough already) – I added, the two somewhat re/un related paragraphs above. Perhaps our fearless leader will count this as a third irritating paragraph also!

So, without further ado (whatever that is) let’s think about “what lies beneath” the document you are about to stamp. Most of the time it is either other paperwork, or the table top. Both are relevant to making a proper image with your stamper. Yes, it is a rather mundane aspect of notarization. However, many are the loan packages that admonish you to affix a clear and readable stamp. In addition to you personally, that thousandth of a penny bit of ink must also “make a good impression”.

Stamping on a pile of paper is often the case, especially when they only provide to you a 9 X 12 inch area for your “workplace”. You need a “flat and level” area beneath the target location. The documents under the one you are about to stamp might not meet that requirement. Are there paperclips or those annoying little stickers on the pages below? If so your stamp will not image perfectly. If it’s a “piggy” the pile of paper will be somewhat “spongy”, and retract (compress) from the force of the stamp. The pile might also be irregular due to interspersed letter and legal pages. OK, you got it – you need to make sure the target is flat and even when working atop a pile of documents.

I prefer to work on the table top – if it qualifies, or can be made to qualify. Glass or smooth plastic is “almost” always great. Wood can have “grain” and provide an irregular surface. You will quickly find that irregular spot. It lies directly beneath where the year of your commission expiration date “would” have stamped clearly. But, alas, the last two digits of the year are not readable because there was a “dip” in the wood – exactly in the wrong place. You certainly would not attempt to stamp with the page laying on a concrete surface – far too rough. Sure, that’s obvious – but is the table you have under the page really smooth?

The solution is simple. You already have your “work order” and perhaps a printout of a map to the location. Those are “scrap” paper. Select what “appears” to be a good “stamping surface” and place (face down) two or three sheets of your scrap paper. Place the document to be stamped on your scrap paper and stamp. You are not working “on the pile” nor directly on the tabletop. Even a great looking glass table may have a tiny chip or two – and rest assured your stamp image would line up with that flaw.

Thus, even with a well maintained stamper, it’s possible due to environmental conditions to make a crappy impression. Call that “the mark of the Rookie”. My well seasoned (Tabasco Sauce?) readers probably know all of the above. The issue here is to put “best practices” into play – each and every (redundant) time. I know that you know all of the wordy ranting above. It is my hope that dwelling upon what you already know will remind you to “do the right thing” – and leave a clear readable stamp every time. Yes, it takes a few more moments of effort to ensure perfection, however it is those perfectionists that get the repeat calls.

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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 14, 2017

All About 123notary

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 12:13 am

All about 123notary — who we are, advertising with us, and how we started.

Many people know that 123notary is the one venue to advertise your Mobile Notary service that systematically gets results. We are the go-to site for notary advertising. Some people rave about the results we get. Others complain about how they don’t like our sometimes strict policies. But, almost all love the zany stories and helpful tips in our blog. So, let’s break it down how 123notary got started, and what we do.

The History of 123notary

123notary started back in 1999 and was originally designed to be an advertising site just for Jeremy. The other sites weren’t getting him enough business, so it was time to take control of advertising so there would be enough work. As time went on, the site graduated from being a purely Southern California directory covering only five counties to covering all of California. By 2001, we covered the entire United States.

Building up 123notary from scratch

We started this directory knowing almost nothing about the directory business. We just put a bunch of names and numbers on a list. Little did we realize that there is a lot more to running a directory than that. We realized we needed critical mass, so we added more than a thousand names to the list. Along with a bunch of other technical realizations about placement levels for additional counties, zip search results, etc., we realized that people drop out. As people drop out of the Notary business, we need new Notaries dropping in. My huge project adding 1000 Notaries to the list was something that would have to be repeated. So, a few years later, I added more people. Our numbers went up, and then month by month the numbers went down. This arduous process of adding names to the list would have to be repeated once again as our stats kept going down. After a while, it became a realization that we needed an organized way to keep our numbers up. So, I decided to create a monthly plan to add new Notaries to our list every month, and remove defunct listings every month as well. That system worked miracles and from that day forward, 123notary maintained a steady quantity of Notaries around 6200-7400.

Amazing breakthroughs in 2008 & 2009

Additionally, in 2008, the online advertising with Google Adwords started to get a lot more expensive. It was necessary to find a more cost-effective way to get clicks. Learning SEO was something that took a few years, but with a fantastic programmer named Mark, Jeremy was able to learn the art of SEO and get 123notary double the clicks it was getting before. The following year (2009) Mitch got Jeremy started on blogging and social media which again worked wonders for 123notary’s SEO, although that miracle took years to unfold.

What is 123notary now?
123notary is a the premiere Notary directory in the industry. No other directory has as high a quality of Notaries or gets as much traffic. We keep more information on our Notaries than any other directory. We have the general contact info, hours of operation, but also get into Notary specialties such as Reverse Mortgages, Hospital Signings, Immigration Documents, E&O insurance, Foreign Languages, and more. Additionally, 123notary goes through and helps Notaries edit their notes sections to make them easier to read and more informative. 123notary gets about 170,000 visitors per month and has about 6900 Notaries on board as of June, 2016.

Advertising

You can advertise with 123notary as a Mobile Notary for as little as $59 per year. Although we offer FREE listings which appear at the bottom of the search results, you can also elect to get a preferential listing for $99 or be #1 on the search results for a quoted price which might range from $200 on up depending on the area.

eCourses

123notary also sells loan signing certification courses and combos. Our most popular is the LS#3 combo which gives a thorough guide to loan signing, keeping records, marketing your services, examples of loan documents, and more. You can get a physical book or an ecourse. Read the course description!

How do I do well on 123notary?

To do well on 123notary requires more than just paying us an annual fee. You need to maintain your listing a little bit too, but it isn’t rocket science, and you have experienced professionals who are here to help at no extra cost. You need to write an amazing notes section about your experience, what’s unique about you, equipment, memberships, coverage areas, etc. We will help you edit your notes section at no cost to make it better organized and attractive. You also need reviews from your satisfied clients on your listing. All you have to do is ask, and email them a link, and some (but, unfortunately not all) of them will write you a review. A few reviews are like gold and will magically transform your listing as that is what the users want to see.

Help is always there when you advertise with 123notary

Other directories just take your money and leave you on your own. At 123notary, you can email us or call our 888 number for help. We give help with passwords for your listing, or ecourse. We also give free marketing and technical tips if you have a question. We’ll help brush up your listing at no cost as well as help you choose a business name — at at no cost if you have a paid listing with us!

Our Newsletter

In addition to providing advertising and courses, 123notary also has a free newsletter which has more than 5000 followers. Our newsletter is a free source of great industry information and laughs as well. We have articles about new signing companies, signing company gossip, technical signing agent tips, mobile notary marketing tips, and also comedy articles especially written for the Notary industry. No other newsletter provides the same diversity or quality of articles as we do. So, email us at info@123notary.com to sign up today!

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April 13, 2017

The Power of Attorney was Rejected

Filed under: Ken Edelstein,Popular on Facebook (shares) — Tags: — admin @ 9:15 pm

Booking the Job
It’s all too common for the public to think of notaries as being sources of free legal advice. “But you know so much more about these things than we do”. And, more to the point: “Will this Power of Attorney allow me to access the safe deposit box?” The first statement was flattery, hoping to “open the notary up a little”, the second an invitation for you to provide a legal opinion. I keep reflecting on the words of the Chief Clerk at the New York County Clerk office. “You check the ID, give an oath, and notarize nothing more”. Foolishly, I asked a “can I also” question. “If you don’t understand – nothing more – perhaps you should hand in your commission now”.

Recalling the stern admonition from the Chief Clerk, I tell my client that I am not permitted to answer their question. What I can do is check the Power of Attorney to see that the Principal, Agent, Monitor and Successor Agent areas are completed correctly. I can also check to see if specific powers were initialed correctly. As a professional notary, I add embossing to each notarization, a requirement for use in some jurisdictions and courts. Of course my clients blithely ignore my words. They again ask: “Will this Power of Attorney allow me to access the safe deposit box?”

The question falls under the “suitability for use” category. Will what I have do what I want? My consistent answer is first “I don’t know” and second: Only the ultimate recipient is able to answer that question. That entity, be it person or organization makes that decision. I can proceed now to notarize the Principal and the Agent (there were no Monitors or Successor Agents). Or, you can submit the blank Power of Attorney form to the “ultimate recipient” and ask them if your submission will accomplish the purpose you intend. As is usually the case; my client did decide to go ahead with the Power of Attorney they downloaded from the Internet.

Processing the Job
Fee was collected prior to meeting in the reception area of the prison. The incarcerated was to be the Principal, my client the Agent. I had mentioned the need for proper ID with my client; he showed me two driver licenses. One was his, the other for the prisoner. We proceed with the facility entry procedures; only carrying into the secure area the Power of Attorney and a pen. About an hour and a half later, Power of Attorney properly notarized for both Principal and Agent; after we retrieve personal property from the check-in lockers. They really don’t like an embosser going into the facility.

Aftermath (failure)
As related to me by my client: The safe deposit box clerk sent me to see an officer. Sorry, that form is not acceptable to the bank. We have our own Power of Attorney form and its use is required. I see you had it notarized, however, the wording does not meet bank requirements. Just a moment, here it is; this is the form you need to complete and have notarized. That clearly was not what my client wanted to hear. The prison is located two counties north of Manhattan.
So, what went wrong? As is often the case, there was blame enough for both of us. The client assumed a Power of Attorney is a Power of Attorney; any of them will do anything. I was only told that notarization of a Power of Attorney was required at an upstate prison. With my mind on the ID issue, I did not press for how the document would be used. It seems “a bit much” to ask the Agent what powers were to be granted by the Principal. I “could” have asked “how would it be used”? It ended up as a redo, I lowered to 2/3 fee; supposedly with the right Power of Attorney form, from the bank; all went well.

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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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