May 2017 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
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May 31, 2017

Are Signing Agents more than babysitters with stamps?

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: — admin @ 9:49 pm

The world doesn’t seem to respect Notaries or Signing Agents. We are just a formality, and a lowly paid worker who can be kept waiting, neglected, or in some cases not paid. Many Notaries who do loan signings go to the signing only to be kept waiting forever while the borrower reads every page and makes long calls to the Lender.

It is the Lender’s fault that borrowers don’t get the documents until the last minute. Borrowers could read the documents and find questions and errors ahead of time if they had 48 hours notice before the Notary shows up. If we lived in an ideal world, borrowers would be able to see their documents online and check them for issues. The Notary always arrives with a limited time frame and the borrower has to get through a package of 80 to 150 pages in an hour or so. They have never seen the documents and are under a lot of stress. It seems like a big con game where the Notary is the one whose feelings are not considered.

It is our job to babysit people while they read documents? What a waste of our time. If our signing agent profession was taken seriously, we wouldn’t be kept waiting while people read documents. Are $400 per hour Attorneys kept hostage while their client reads their briefs? Perhaps reading with a question and answer session, but not endless waiting time.

The basic problem is that it is too easy to become a Signing Agent, and therefor there are too many people doing it — and mostly people who don’t know what they are doing. That is why we are taken for granted and paid $50 while the Notary fee on the Closing Disclosure says $400. SnapDocs probably makes $15 on it too, which is 30% of what the Notary makes. What is the world coming to?

Just make sure the borrowers get to bed on time, and if there is an emergency, the numbers for the police, fire department and poison control are next to the phone taped to the wall. Oh, and feel free to have orange juice — it’s in the fridge!

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Becoming a Mom-tary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17497

Does knowledge matter any more as a signing agent?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19887

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May 30, 2017

Is it better to be “Bilingual” or speak Spanish?

Carmen and I both agreed on this. We both think that being “bilingual” is like being “certified.” Certified by whom? NNA certification? The standards are completely different from Notary2Pro or 123notary.com, so without knowing the agency who certified you it is meaningless to us. But, bilingual? Bilingual in what language? And how bilingual are you? Are you someone who took high school Spanish and can barely ask where the bathroom is or are you like Hector, a smooth Latino from Miami who is “single, bilingual, and ready to mingle?” Carmen and I were both WRONG — as hell.

I compared stats on 123notary.com. Overall, those who were “bilingual” got more clicks than those who were not, especially if they put that at the top of their notes section. But, in Southern Florida, being bilingual counts a lot more as the majority speaks Spanish. You can get by without English in Miami, but you won’t survive without daily Spanish. In most parts of the country you might get 10-20% more clicks by speaking Spanish, but in Southern Florida it can be up to double in many cases. But, how do the stats compare?

Those with 4 or more reviews who were bilingual in Southern Florida got 3.2 clicks per day while those who spoke Spanish and had 5 or more reviews only got 2.2. Of course the rest of their profiles and notes sections were not equal, so we are comparing apples to oranges, but the stats are very different.

Those with 2 or less reviews who were bilingual in Southern Florida got 2 clicks per day while those who spoke Spanish got 1.5 clicks per day.

So, what’s the deal with this buzz-word “Bilingual?” Why do people like it so much? It is vague, indescript, and leaves a lot to the imagination. So, Carmen and I agreed that we would test a lot more listings with the word Bilingual by putting the word at the top of their notes section and measure their stats over a month or two. Finally — Carmen and I agree on something!

My writer thinks that “Bilingual” has a more three-dimensional meaning and portrays the Notary as being multi-cultural, sophisticated, having international skills. So, maybe there is something to this bilingual thing.

Oh, and by the way — Hablamos Ingles!

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You might also like:

Notary Marketing 102’s guide to your notes section
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19788

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

2014 Excerpts from great notes sections
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13613

Where can I find a Spanish speaking Notary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18824

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May 28, 2017

My Next Notary Visit is Free

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 9:27 am

My Next Notary Visit is Free
Those who interact frequently with the public have tales to tell. Often they are sorrowful tales of unfair and unjust situations. Sometimes they are stories of pure joy and selflessness, the stuff of legends. This installment deals with neither of the above, this is about: Weird and absurd.
My client is a regular, usually with investment documents. Always there is a check on the table next to the passport. I could use “personally known” but check the ID every time. Usually the documents are making money for my client. That’s a good thing. This visit was an exception. It was not a very dramatic purpose that needed notarization, but IMHO a rather foolish reason.

Not foolish because of anything my client did; it was the “system” working very hard to force the absurd to be notarized. The Pension Fund had made a mistake. They issued a check a bit too big. No biggie, it would be routine to respond with a repayment check. But, that was not what the fund insisted upon. They required that the refund TO them be accompanied by their document stating the purpose of the enclosed check. And, required that document to be notarized.

The overpayment my client received would just about buy dinner for two at a diner. My mobile notary fee was a bit greater than the overpayment. Thus client was paying more for me to notarize the “return fee manifest” than the actual repayment amount. “That’s the way they are, and it’s impossible to talk with them”, sayeth the client. It was a silly situation. Long time client was “taking it on the chin” – caught in bureaucracy by a Pension Fund – that made the initial mistake.

This was absurd. There were two checks on the table; the larger one was for me, the smaller one addressed to the Pension Fund. I decided to leave my check where it was; and just leave without it. “Come Back – you forgot this” – “that’s OK, I would not feel right about taking it”. But client went on to say that I earned my fee and insisted that I take my check, so I did.

It still did not feel right. So, upon returning home I sent an email to the effect that my next visit would be free. That was accepted. Why “later” but not “now” puzzled me. Perhaps the client was giving me some time to reflect and not just react to the situation. Whatever the reason, I did not push the issue and await the next visit, for free – as agreed.

Mobile notaries have both personal and business relationships at the same time. There is no personal relationship when I shop at Wal-Mart or EBay. But, what we do is different. We meet people face to face, and, if we are “fair and honest” – they sense it. That forms a bond. It’s not forced or phony; it’s based upon mutual respect.

So I will forfeit a fee. It’s not the first time; and it won’t be the last time. Once, at about 5AM a caller called me a “money grubbing notary”. That was a good thing because I, half awake; had quoted my minimum fee – ignoring the time or the inches of snow on my car. Each situation is different and we need to use both our brain and our heart when interacting with the public. Of course the guiding principles of applicable notary law are chief – over all other considerations.

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May 24, 2017

May 23, 2017

How to negotiate signing fees like a pro!

There are several ground rules when it comes to negotiations.

1. The first offer rule
The person who makes the first offer will never get an optimal price. If you start the bidding first with a high price, you might just get declined without being given a chance. If you ask too little, you will miss out on more pay. If you let the other person make the offer, you will end up with more on average.

2. Whining ruins your image
Notaries are notorious for whining. “You only pay $70….. OHHHHHHH, why can’t you pay more?” Who needs this behavior? If you are such a great notary, you would have plenty of people offering you $125 to $150, and you would just hang up on these low-balling fools. But, if you whine like a baby, nobody will want to work with you even if you accept their pathetic offer. Most notaries are so bad, they are probably not even worth what the low-ballers offer them. Most notaries refuse to study to become fastidious professionals.

3. Take it or leave it
Sure, nobody likes fax backs, but don’t complain. You either accept the job or you don’t. If the signing has 300 pages per set of documents, don’t complain. You either say yes or no. When I do my billing, people always ask me, “What did I pay last year?”. My comment is that it doesn’t matter because last year is over, and that doesn’t effect what this year’s price will be. They want to waste my time looking something up for their emotional gratification which affects nothing. What a time waster. Don’t behave like this. If someone makes you an offer, you take it, leave it, or negotiate. If someone wants to politely negotiate with me instead of whining, they will get a lot farther. First of all I will value them more as a long term client. Second, I will know that they will behave professionally with the people who use my site — and I value that much more than how they treat me. Third, it is not a headache to deal with them. If I ask for $200, and you want to offer a polite counter offer, then go ahead. $100 would be rude because it is out of the ballpark. But, what about $150? Try it. I will probably say no, since my prices were computer generated using six inter-connected formulas. But, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

4. Getting companies to up their fee by $35 is possible
But, I know some very fancy notaries who are at the top of their game who get $50 companies to pay $85. These smooth operators get close-by jobs for $85 that are only a few minutes away. They have fast printers that print 45 pages per minute, so the double set of documents takes less than 10 minutes. They buy their toner or ink wholesale. They don’t whine — they PLAN, and they negotiate! So, in a little more than one hour, these seasoned Ninja Notaries get the call, print the documents, go to the job, get it signed, and get back home, and send the invoice. After expenses they probably made almost $70 per hour. Not bad! So, how do they do it?

5. How to impress the client
A seasoned notary will explain calmly how they are famous for doing clean-up jobs after notaries who didn’t know what they were doing ruined a loan. Why not start with a pro and get it done right the first time? How much did you say you offered again? $60? I understand that you are on a tight budget, but my minimum is $100. I can help you out for $85 today though, since I have a little more extra time than I normally do. Wouldn’t it be worth it to you to hire someone who has signed 4000 loans, and who is meticulous? I have state of the art machinery such as an HP 250,000 printer with quadruple trays, and I can explain all of the documents. Would you like to drill me and ask me a sampling of your hardest loan signing questions to see if I am up to your highest standards?

6. Ask them to ask you their toughest question
Most signing companies don’t ask notaries questions. They should. If you ask notaries questions, 90% fall on their face because they don’t have a clue what they are doing. So, if you do know what you are doing, tell the signing company to shop around, but to ask each of the notaries they talk to how they would explain the APR to a non-borrowing spouse. If you don’t get a good answer after 45 minutes, then call me back! No notary with fewer than 5000 signings can do a graceful job of answering this question even though it is ridiculously simple. It requires study, and most notaries are opposed to that idea!

7. Don’t say anything that sounds phony
Please notice that all of the points I made sound real. None of this, “I’m professional and accurate and do error-free signings.” That sounds phony. Make real selling points because you are selling yourself to people who have been in this business for years and have dealt with thousands of notaries — most of them bad ones at that. Figure out what to say that proves that you are the logical choice to hire, even at an inflated rate. After all, the extra pay translates into less aggravation after the fact. How much aggravation and potential re-drawing fees is the $20 savings worth to you anyway, you tell me?

8. Having a pricing formula sounds impressive
If you don’t like to negotiate, but like to use pricing formulas, that will make you look good. People who understand distances, time involved and other expenses are true professionals who know their business inside out. You might not always get the highest possible fee with formulas, but you will get respect and repeat business.

9. Negotiation points summarized:
I do clean-ups for other notaries who make mistakes; 5000 loans signed; ask me your hardest loan signing question and then ask the other notaries who you are calling; I have an HP (name) printer that prints 45 pages per minute. I have a mobile office — beat that. I’m ready now — let’s do this! All work guaranteed or your money back!

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

Can you negotiate prices with SnapDocs?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16236

Negotiating with aggressive callers
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16278

Notary Marketing 102 – Negotiating Fees (a thorough guide)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19784

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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 21, 2017

How to Explain Accrued Interest

Let’s talk about interest and how to explain it to a borrower during a loan signing.

What you’re about to watch is exactly how I would explain to a borrower if they thought the closing statement is wrong because they made their October payment.

(Insert YouTube Video)
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PknYiNUNJ4
Embed Code:

Allow me to dive into it deeper now.

First understand that this is important is because interest is a line item on the closing statement and without fail, questions comes up during a loan signing about interest. In my Loan Signing System course, the closing statement is the first document you should review with the borrower so you should be sure to understand this concept.

Once again, To make interest easier to understand let’s talk about the difference of renting and paying a mortgage. When you rent, you pay on the 1st and the covers you for the next 30 days. You’re paying those 30 days in advance. Essentially you pay rent and you are good for the next 30 days.

A mortgage is different. You pay in what is called, arrears. Meaning when you pay on the first of the month, you are actually paying for the previous 30 days that you lived in the home. Essentially you live for the 30 Days then pay for the 30 days behind you. Hence why it is called arrears.

So, let’s say you paid your september mortgage payment, you are actually paying for the month of August. And That is where it can be a little confusing for a borrower because most borrowers don’t know that.

Remember when your explaining it, when you rent, you pay for the 30 days in advance. When you have a mortgage you pay for 30 days in arrears.

So why is this is important to understand as notary loan signing agent? Because when you go over the closing statement with the borrower, they almost always will have a question on the interest they owe their current lender they are paying off.

Frequently, If the payoff says that the borrower owes interest for October 1st to October 16th, a lot of borrowers will gawk and tell you they made their October payment and the closing statement is wrong.

Remember, the first part of this video since their October 1st payment is paid in arrears, they’ve paid interest for September, NOT for October. So they still need to pay owe to the current lender for October that hasn’t yet been paid.

And since the closing statement does not say they owe interest from September 1st to October 16th, you know that escrow has accounted for their October payment being made because there is no september’s interest showing on the closing statement.

On that same vein, if you see that the closing statement says interest they owe on their payoff from September 1st to October 16th, you should be able to come to the conclusion that have not made their October payment.

But now, let’s talk about interest on the new loan.

Regardless if it is a purchase or refinance, there will be interest that is being collected on the new loan on the closing statement.

Now that you understand that interest is paid in arrears, this should be easier to understand. Using the same dates above, if the new loan is going to close on October 16th, the borrower will have to pay interest from October 17th to October 31st. At closing is the only time the borrower will pay interest in advance. The reason this occurs is because the lender does not want to collect a partial payment in arrears on November 1st.

That’s why the first payment is a month out and this example it would be December because that is the first opportunity to get one full month in arrears. Remember that the December 1st payment is for all of November.

If they collect a November 1st payment, it would only be for October 17th to October 31st. They don’t want that. Therefore, they have the borrower pay the October interest upfront and set their first payment date for December 1st.

So, if you see that the lender is collecting interest for October 17th to the 31st on the closing statement, you should be able to conclude that their first payment is December 1st.

sometimes when you go over a closing statement you will notice overlapping interest on the closing statement. Let’s say you see interest being collected on the old loan for October 1st to October 17th and interest on the new loan being collected from October 15th to October 31st. The borrower may ask why they are paying double interest on the overlapping days.

They are not. The escrow company has to estimate the closing date of escrow. So in order to not be short interest (for the payoff or the new loan), they show overlapping interest.
When the loan closes, the dates will match up perfectly and the borrower will get returned any unneeded interest directly from escrow.

Lastly, sometimes the borrower knows that the loan is suppose to close on the 15th. But yet the closing statement shows interest to the 18th. This is done on purpose. While the loan should close on the 15th what happens if it closes on the 17th for some unforeseen reason. If they didn’t over estimate they would be short interest. Just like the overlapping interest, if escrow over estimated any interest the borrower will get it back at closing from the escrow company.

Accrued interest is a topic that comes up frequently in your loan signings. Knowing how quickly answer simple questions will separate you from other signings agents who can not. Not to mention it will cut your signing time in half.

Remember our job is to be impartial not uneducated.

I’m Mark, I teach the Loan Signing System, and I’m looking forward to helping you become a top loan signing agent.

If you’re interested in learning more about these concepts, go to www.loansigningsystem.com!

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May 18, 2017

10 ways Female Notaries can protect themselves

Filed under: Best Practices,Popular on Facebook (very),Popular Overall — admin @ 10:40 pm

Life as a signing agent is generally very safe. I was a signing agent for seven years without incident. The worst thing that happened to me was being barked at by a little dog whose owners were a bunch of jerks. But, in the history of 123notary.com, there have been some creepy and dangerous things that have happened.

A list of dangerous things that have happened to Notaries:

1. One Notary was pushed down a short flight of stairs by an angry borrower that didn’t like his rate.
2. Another Notary got locked in a house while a borrower was taking a shower.
3. One Notary did a signing for a guy who had a room full of mannequins.
4. On another occasion a signer said, “You will be all alone with me.”
5. One guy had was a hoarder and had no place to sit other than a disconnected toilet in the middle of the room.
6. One signer came out of the house with a gun — however, he was not after the Notary, he was after a pit bull running around the neighborhood.
7. There are borrowers with AK-47’s in their house and weapons of all sorts.
8. Additionally, there are homes that just aren’t safe to go into due to mice, hoarding, bacteria, etc.
9. One of our New York Notaries went to a tenement building in the South Bronx where low-lifes were hanging around and making inappropriate comments to the Notary.
10. Sometimes a signer will get to a signing in the middle of an ice-storm, hurricane, or other bad weather.
11. One signer was invited into a guy’s bedroom to see a picture.

So, as you can see, being a Notary can be hazardous to your health. One was physically injured, but, nobody has been killed. Only two Notaries we have heard of have been sued: one by the Massachusetts Bar Association for doing signings without being an Attorney. The other one got sued because the Lender screwed up and the borrower was suing everybody. The most common problem Notaries face is not getting paid by signing companies. So, research who you work for before you do anything!

So, how can lady Notaries protect themselves in this dangerous world we live in. Here are some ideas!

1. An escape route
When you enter someone’s house. Sit in a place where you have a view of the door and who is coming. Also sit in a place where you have an escape route where you cannot be cornered.

2. Text your address to your hubby
Let your significant other know where you are going to be. Text him/her the address and schedule so they can call the police if you don’t get out of there alive. Keeping in contact with the signing company can also be a way to protect yourself assuming you have a close relationship with their reps. If they are generally unresponsive, then they would not constitute a security feature!

3. No hood after dark
Know your territories and don’t go to bad areas at night. Taking precautions is the most effective form of self-defence!

4. Bad weather is a lot more likely to harm you than bad people. Think twice before going out in an ice storm, or in other really inclement weather as you could get stranded, or in a very dangerous crash. You need to know how to distinguish between unpleasant and dangerous weather.

5. Going to remote areas where you could get lost on long dirt roads or mile long dirt driveways at night is not a great idea. There are rarely street lights in these areas as well. Seasoned Notaries refuse to go to these types of places at night.

6. Learn self-defence.
Women need to know how to get out of choke holds, and how to defend themselves from people who grab them. Do you know how to stomp on someone’s foot who is holding you from behind? Do you know how to elbow someone hard? You probably will never need these skills, but what if you do?

7. Carry a taser.
If you want to temporarily disable a person without harming them too badly, a taser can be the way to go.

8. Carry mace.
You are much more in danger from dogs than from humans. But, in either case, if anyone messes with you, they get a face full of mace!

9. Distress button
Some people have a little button on their person that they can press for distress. This is more something that spies or military would use, but it might be possible to get one. The question is, who will hear the distress signal?

10. Carry a loaded gun.
You can keep it in your car or take it in with you to the signing. But, if you shoot someone, you’ll be in court for a very long time, face jail time, and be in huge trouble. So, think about whether it is worth it or not ahead of time. If you don’t know how to use a gun, you might get yourself in even more danger. Knowing how to shoot is half the battle. Knowing how to get your gun out of your bag or glove compartment before the bad guys get you is the bigger half.

You might also like:

Lady Notaries need to show caution
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17469

I’d rather stop being a Notary than carry a gun
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15896

Notary pushed off stairs by borrower
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1097

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May 17, 2017

How much pay do you merit as a signing agent?

Filed under: General Articles,Popular Overall — admin @ 10:26 pm

Notaries are on the boards all day long complaining about low-paying signing companies, not getting paid, and fax backs. These are legitimate complaints. My complaint is that most Notaries are so anti-education that they don’t want to pay for our loan signing course, but won’t even study from the materials if they are free! We have lots of free educational materials on our blog that very few people read. So, my question is, how much pay do you merit?

Too many signing agents = low pay
Being a signing agent doesn’t cost much. It is an easy profession to get into. You don’t need to be a citizen, and you don’t need a college degree or even a high-school degree although that would help. You just need to be a resident of your state or in some cases a resident of a neighboring state who doesn’t have a felony conviction. Most states don’t even have a Notary exam. In my opinion there are too many signing agents simply because it is too easy to get into this line of work. If it were harder to get in, those inside would get paid more.

The majority of signing agents aren’t trained well
You don’t need to be an expert to be good as a signing agent. But, you do need to know your basics. Most Notaries do not know signing agent principles, don’t know their documents that well and don’t even understand the basics of Notary law and identifying signers. I don’t see too many Notaries brushing up on their Notary knowledge either. There are a few Notaries who take being at the top of their game seriously, who know their stuff and who are always reading or studying. In my opinion those are the ones who merit high pay, not the rest of the Notaries.

So, what do Notaries merit being paid?

NNA Certified
Only 20% of NNA Certified signers can pass the 123notary exam. So, passing their test doesn’t prove anything to me.

Not 123notary Certified
$50 per signing
$70 with eDocuments
Fax backs are not a bad idea, because an untrained Notary will undoubtedly screw up costing the borrower and lender thousands if they don’t make sure everything got signed correctly. Additionally, since 75-90% of the signing agents in the industry haven’t or can’t pass our certification exam, that constitutes a huge excess of Notaries in the market who have poor skills and therefore do not merit much pay. If the supply of untrained Notaries in proportion to the total were less, then they were merit more due to the rules of supply and demand.

123notary Certified
$80 for a signing
$105 with eDocuments
123notary certified signers represent 25% of the Notaries on 123notary and perhaps only 10% of the Notaries who advertise online in total. Since you are higher skills and there are fewer of you out there, you merit more pay and the time you invest in eDocuments is worth more as well.

Notary2Pro Certified
Notary2Pro’s certification is excellent and we usually recognize it. Since they specialize in training Notaries, they put a little extra care into the whole educational process than other agencies.

123notary Elite Certified
$100+ for a signing
$125-$150 for a signing with eDocuments
Only 2% to 3% of 123notary members are Elite Certified. They represent the cream of the crop in terms of knowledge and study habits. They took a very complicated course from us and passed a demanding exam. Unfortunately, since many companies have developed an assembly line system for dealing with inexperienced signers, the demand for seasoned pros is lower these days. However, for those people who want the best, the best are worth paying for.

What do 123notary signers make in real life?
Putting aside what I feel people should make, a recent poll of our signing agents revealed some interesting information. The respondents to the poll were mostly experienced, so the information they gave me does not represent what beginners are making.

Beginners — $60 to $90 per signing
Not 123notary Certified — $100 average per signing (edocs or not)
123notary Certified — $108 average per signing
123notary Elite Certified — $114 average per signing

Other Factors
How much you make as a signer depends on your connections and how well you present yourself. Notary education represents a big part of how much you get paid. But, how good your communication and business skills are represent an even bigger part. It is hard to put a finger on what good business skills are. But, answering your phone, dressing well, negotiating well, showing up on time and making sure your work gets done correctly are components of basic business skills. Sometimes people with a Real Estate or business background do better in this business than others. Having reviews on your profile, a great notes section, and a company name help your presentation a lot as well.

To sum it up, I cannot say what your work is intrinsically worth. But, if you haven’t proven yourself educationally, have no reviews, refuse to crack a book, and then complain all day about how low your pay is, perhaps you should think about improving yourself so that you merit more pay a few months down the road!

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May 16, 2017

Notary Email Tools

Filed under: Ken Edelstein,Popular on Facebook (very) — admin @ 8:41 am

I know, many of you are “more modern” and use the various social media tools, I don’t. But email is something I’m sure all of us use. I have what I consider to be a workable email system. It’s designed to support my work with flexibility and a minimum of annoyances.

The first items are two cell phones.
I like the Android Samsung S5 (full size) and the Android Samsung Avant (smaller). Both support user battery change and the addition of a memory chip. The S5 is for email, the smaller and easily mounted Avant is for voice. I like the simplicity of wireless charging. The S5 has an option for a “charging back”, and the little Avant has an add on QI receiver plugged into the USB port – it’s hidden between the phone and the protective case.

I use two sets of batteries for each phone and swap them at month end. There is a big advantage to removable storage cards. With the proper USB adapter, an attached memory card becomes a “drive letter” and all of your tools have access to files on the card. Much nicer than having to use the vendor supplied tool that typically has limited functions.

The next item is Pobox.com
– an email redirection service, with a very flexible spam elimination component. I have had the same email address since 1995 when I first subscribed to pobox. I have had multiple Internet Service Providers over the years, keeping my email address the same. Email goes to kene@pobox.com and is forwarded to the current ISP’s email address assigned to me. For example email sent to kene@pobox.com is forwarded to ken47@verizon.net. A copy of exactly the same email goes to my cell phone.

My address at pobox receives “first crack” at all email, thus the filters I have imposed apply to the home PC as well as the cell phone. The pobox email filters are superb. I set mine to the suggested level of “aggressive” and the junk goes away. Items that are questionable can be held for further inspection. Word lists of pests can be invoked to eliminate all email containing the words “tuna fish”, etc. The service costs $50 a year. Just to be rid, and I do mean RID of the junk mail is worth it. When you start getting junk from a new pest “Stinkos Cigars” just add that to the “drop” list and that email never makes it to either PC or phone.

Pobox also supports private domains, multiple incoming email addresses, and lots more. It would be worth your time to take a look at pobox.com, it’s nice to have the email address on a business card remain the same without having to notify the world when you change ISPs. Of course your email is also available on their web site. It’s available in a nice hierarchy with folders for Year, Month and Day. Revenge? Sure, it’s automatic – spam can be “bounced” back to the sender!

In our line of work minutes count. With pobox there is the option for “push” email. Email is sent to the phone when pobox receives it, no lag for the Samsung S5 to “check for incoming”. You probably will not “back level” to the phones I use, but putting pobox “in front of your current ISP” will pay major dividends when you decide to change ISPs. And, controlling the inbox is great.

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