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

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June 30, 2017

I have a dream — Notary version

Filed under: General Stories — Tags: , — admin @ 10:52 pm

I have a dream that this industry will rise up and live out the true meaning of its purpose: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Notaries are created equal”… except for military Notaries who can only notarize at military bases and Louisiana Notaries who only have jurisdiction in their home parish and reciprocal parishes.

I have a dream that one day in the lobbies of Escrow offices in California, that the sons of former Notaries and the sons of former Loan Officers and Signing Companies will be able to sit down at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that Notaries will live in a nation where they are not judged by the color of their ink, but by the content of the documents they notarize… and whether or not they did well on the 123notary certification exam.

In a sense, we’ve come to our nation’s Secretary of State to cash a check from a signing company (that arrived sixty days late with lots of promises that the check was in the mail.) The check from the signing company was to buy our unalienable rights of a commission with a life of four years, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that the signing company’s check has bounced. America has given American Notaries a bad check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

We cannot notarize alone
And as we notarize, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead
We cannot turn to backdate either

Those who ask the devotees of civil Notary rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Notary is victim to the unspeakable horrors of low-balling, micromanaging, fax-backs, or no pay. We can never be satisfied as our intellectual integrity as Notaries is questioned every year by Notary organizations who wish to subject us to the indignity of retesting us. We cannot be satisfied as we have to continually be background screened and treated like potential criminals. We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like rolled fingerprints, and righteousness like a mighty stream of ink.

And when this happens, freedom will ring. We will speed up the day when every Notary that uses black ink or blue ink, every Loan Officer, Escrow Officers and Loan Originators, signing company clerks, and agnostics who refuse to use the word God in their Oath wording will be able to join hands and sing the words of the old Negro spiritual — wait a minute, don’t you mean… “African-American?”

$15 per signature at last! $15 per Acknowledgment at last!
Thank God Almighty, we Notaries are free at last!

Disclaimer: (Conditions and terms my vary by state. Notaries who are not licensed Attorneys may not give legal advice. For more information, please call your state’s Notary division)


June 29, 2017

The Notary Model

Filed under: General Stories,Popular on Linked In — admin @ 9:08 am

Once, there was a Notary model named Stacy. She was a signing agent just like the rest of us, but much better looking. Stacy’s motto was, “Don’t park in the run-way — or driveway.” She would show up at signings wearing the latest fashions and very high heels.

Stacy loves America, and became a Notary Republic to make the world a better place. She also loves puppies and does volunteer work for the “Help children spell” organization. Unfortunately, Stacy can’t spell herself and doesn’t realize she is a Notary Public, not a Notary Republic. But, her designer heart is in the right place. But, the bottom line is that it isn’t how you spell, it’s how you look.

Last week Stacy was walking down the runway with a designer Notary carry-all bag with a shiny pink material and room for all her Notary seals on the inside. She has a pink journal too with a matching pink stamp.

Then along came Ken, a successful Mortgage Broker who wanted to rescue Stacy from her misery, marry her, and take her to his mansion in the hills. So, Stacy is no longer doing Notary work. She has gone back to doing modeling — but, on a part time basis.


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June 28, 2017

$300 in 13 minutes. How Carmen cleans up in the Notary business

Carmen has always realized, or at least since 2005, that you can’t just do Notary work only. There are not enough high paying jobs to keep you busy. Those who try to be full-time Notaries end up taking a lot of low paying work just to stay busy. Carmen has always believed that you should combine signing agent work with another profession that is flexible, so that you can take an hour or so off during the day to do a signing.

Carmen normally makes about $150 or $175 per signing, and since she only accepts close jobs, she is often back home within 40 minutes. She preps her borrowers over the phone so she can get in and out without any delay.

But, a few weeks ago she got a job. The lady was a repeat customer and asked what Carmen wanted to charge. Carmen said $200. But, the lady was feeling generous, and wanted to be in good hands next time around, so she offered Carmen $300. Talk about being popular or having good signing karma.

Carmen printed the documents, went to the job, and was in and out in 13 minutes. The signers knew what they were doing. It was a construction loan or investment loan for seasoned investors who were fast at signing documents and had their lawyer prep them on what it all meant BEFORE the signing rather than detaining the Notary for two hours while they read every word of every page. So, Carmen got everything signed and notarized in minutes and was out the door. The signers were impressed and happy that it was such a painless experience.

Had they hired some other Notary, it might have been sluggish, incompetent, and the Notary might have shown up late, or dropped the package in a drop box rather than a staffed Fedex station. There is a reason why people pay extra to hire seasoned pros. But, you don’t find too many seasoned folks at SnapDocs. For the best Notaries in the biz, you need to visit 123notary.com!

$300 jobs don’t come every day. However, if you sell yourself short, you will never get any. If you can afford to do so, charge more, and take only jobs from people who value you. Otherwise you will be calculating your gas expenses and how much a ream of paper costs for the rest of your life — should you live so long!


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June 27, 2017

# of loans vs. # of years or using “since”

Filed under: Your Notes Section — admin @ 8:57 am

We crunched some numbers to help find out which types of notes sections attract the most clicks and we have some answers.

Years vs. # of Loans
When I create a notes section for someone, I prefer to stress number of loans verses number of years. Since many Notaries do signings on the side, the number of years doesn’t give you an accurate idea of how experienced you really are. I signed more loans in one month than many people do in several years. If you were full-time, then number of years is a more informative statistic about you. But, number of loans (assuming you are not fibbing or off by a large margin) is a very accurate way to know how experienced you are. It doesn’t tell us if you are smart about signing loans, but at least we know you have done a few. But, what do the stats say?

After crunching some numbers for an hour, I came up with some stats for our top placed people on the site. Those who mentioned number of loans got roughly 40% more clicks than those who mentioned years, although those who mentioned years did fairly well compared to the average Notary as readers do identify with that statistic. Additionally, the top of your notes section shows up in the search results, and you can fit the number of loans signed using fewer characters leaving room for more critical information (selling points) about yourself. So, the number of loans is a better statistic to use (by far).

Since (year)
If you want to let people know how long you have been doing signings, if you use the word since, you don’t have to keep changing the number of years every 12 months. You can say three years of experience or doing signings since 2014. Since also does well in the stats.


June 26, 2017

How do Notaries decide what a fair fee is?

Unfortunately, Notaries rarely think like business people. There is no such thing as a fair fee. Fees are based on supply and demand. Sometimes the quality of the Notary is not even considered which makes it hard for seasoned Notaries to survive in this low-ball world unless people swear by them. But, here are some erroneous ways of thinking that Notaries engage in.

1. The fee on the Closing Disclosure is $250, so therefor I deserve more than $50 which is what they offered me.
WRONG: You are worth what the market will pay you. If you are a new Notary, and $50 is the best you can do, it is better than starving.

2. I am a seasoned Notary and someone offered me $50. I feel insulted.
WRONG: If you are a seasoned Notary, you should be only worried with how much the top four offers per day are paying. You have time for four jobs per day unless you want to work overtime. If your top offers pay you $125, then it doesn’t matter what the other offers pay you as you won’t have time for them. The problem is you don’t have enough good offers, and the problem is not how many bad offers you get.

3. I got paid $90 per signing ten years ago, therefor, I should be making at least that now.
WRONG: Market conditions and interest rates have changed. There are too many Notaries (particularly of the low-ball variety who work for clearing house agencies) who will work for cheap. Additionally, with interest rates higher than they were before (which is still low comparative to the 70’s and 80’s) there are few refinances going on. You work for what the market will pay you.

4. I am using my toner, gas, paper, and wear and tear on my car, therefor I deserve at least $x per signing
WRONG: You can only get what people are willing to pay. If they don’t offer enough, you can consider alternate things you can do to make a similar or greater amount of money.

There is no right or wrong in what you are offered. Getting better offers is based on your experience, skill, desirability, negotiating skills, and how well you advertise. If you are getting “enough” job offers, but they don’t pay enough, you are not getting enough job offers. You need to get twenty offers per day so you can take offers either from the nicest companies, the best paying jobs, or the closest. Getting five offers of which you take four guarantees that they will be mostly not good offers as most offers are not. If you don’t take the cream of the offers you are not getting good offers, so advertise more and make sure your advertisements look good as well — that means having reviews!

There is no fair price or right price. Having a fixed price schedule is stupid too. You need flexibility. The market determines what you get paid, so learn to play the market instead of getting played like a Notary chump.

Rebuttal: Who you callin’ a chump?


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June 23, 2017

Your Highness or My Highness? Notaries in the Age of Pot

Filed under: Best Humorous Posts,Humorous Posts — admin @ 8:47 am

Your Highness or My Highness? Notaries in the Age of Pot

Warning — you might get high smoking this… I mean reading this document. How’s that for the pot calling the kettle black?

Putting words like Felon or Marijuana in a blog title is excellent, because those are great buzzwords, especially when the blog is about marijuana or other substances that get you buzzed.

I live in Los Angeles where I inhale a regular amount of second hand marijuana smoke just walking down the street. People think it’s okay to do drugs in public here. Maybe because it’s “legal,” that makes it okay. I don’t know if those micro-doses are good for me or not, but it might calm me down. It’s stressful dealing with 7000 irate Notaries every day.

Yesterday, a Supreme Court Justice ruled in favor of allowing Notaries to smoke marijuana while performing official Notary acts. What a stupid ruling — he must have been high when he made that decision. If you hire a Notary who smokes pot and he asks for a form of identification, don’t ask for his too. He’s paranoid enough that you might be a cop. Legal or not, old fears never die. Also be sure you bring munchies for when he’s finished, assuming the second-hand smoke doesn’t make you forget you brought munchies.

Some people claim that smoking marijuana increases your intelligence or makes you more creative. Michelangelo didn’t have to smoke pot. The air up there at the Sistine Chapel was high enough. I can see how pot could open channels in your brain, a la the ones in my cable package I never watch. However, being a Notary is more about keeping channels narrow, obeying the narrow word of the law, and making sure your signers do too.

Another point of view, is that some of the Notaries these days are so dumb that smoking marijuana would probably make for an improvement. Would it make them smart enough to realize they’re dumb when they aren’t smoking pot? I’ll smoke some pot and get back to you on that.

Finally, most Notaries are so resistant to studying loan signing and taking our test that a little toke of Mary Jane might get them through this arduous endeavor. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side of the high pressure sodium lights in your closet.

Speaking of the relaxing of legal barriers, a left-wing judge ruled in favor of no longer banning felons from becoming Notaries as that constitutes an unfair type of discrimination. (Not to be confused with a fair type of discrimination, rejecting people on dating sites who aren’t cute enough.) So, don’t be surprised if the next time you have a loan signing, an ex-gang banger from MS13 shows up with a shaved head, neck tattoos, and a few bullet holes in his shoulder and asks you to sign his journal. Next thing you know, that ex-gang banger might find it possible to become a Supreme Court Justice — after all, banning him would be discrimination. Unless he’s nominated in the final year of a Democratic President’s term. In which case, the only banging will be the head of the government’s head against the wall as Republicans refuse to meet with the ex-gang banger. But enough politics. This second-hand buzz is giving me the munchies.


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June 22, 2017

Jeremy takes his own cert test and got tricked

Filed under: Certification & Communication Skills — admin @ 9:05 am

I put a few trick questions in the cert test. I created this years ago and is it hard to follow as there is no spacing between the questions and LONG answers with multiple choice. I got the hard ones right. But, you will never guess which one I got wrong.

How many days does a borrower have to cancel a refinances.

I put 3 days not including Sundays and Holidays. WRONG!!! The correct answer was 3 days not including Sundays and FEDERAL Holidays! Gotcha. I guess I got myself. But, I passed the test in three and a half minutes with only one wrong which is still better than almost all of you guys!

So, the moral of the story is to know your stuff well so you don’t fall for trick questions and so you have time to review your answers.

If you haven’t taken our test yet, arrange time in your calendar to study. You will need several days of an hour or two per day to study. Also, make sure you have a test password. Email us if you don’t have one.


June 21, 2017

I am a Notary in good standing with the NNA

Filed under: Your Notes Section — admin @ 9:02 am

I see so many Notaries (really lame ones) who don’t know what to put in their notes section. Many write that they are an NNA member. That is basically as valuable as saying that you buy bananas at Albertson’s. Anyone can buy a banana, but does that make you a good Notary? Then there are other Notaries who boast that they are in good standing with the NNA.

The NNA is not a regulating authority for Notaries. They offer training, courses, supplies, insurance, and more. The only way to be in bad standing with the NNA is to fail to pay your renewal bill. It is your state government that you have to be in good standing with. They are the ones who can suspend, revoke or terminate your commission!

Yes, background screening is good. But, without the dates that the screening is valid, it is useless info in your notes section as it could be outdated. NNA Certification is a bit more valuable on your listing though as it proves that you passed a test or claim that you did.

So, put something of value in your notes such as what types of loans or documents you are familiar with. What is your professional background?

Having one professional membership such as NNA membership is better than zero. But, to look professional (rather than claiming to be professional with no basis) it is better to have a list of companies you are associated with.

A notes section should have all types of sections, each containing good information. Here is what your memberships section could look like.

(1) Professional Looking
NNA, 123notary, Notary Cafe, Notary Rotary, Association of South Carolina Realtors, Charleston Notary Association, and The Southern Entrepreneur Society.

(2) Looks like a new Notary who hasn’t a clue
I am an NNA Member in good standing.

It is good to be a NNA member. They have a lot to offer — and I stress the word THEY have a lot to offer. Being a member of theirs doesn’t prove that YOU have a lot to offer. So — what’s in your wallet (or notary bag?)


June 20, 2017

The debate over what goes at the top of your notes section.

Filed under: Your Notes Section — admin @ 8:56 am

We have so many different types of notes sections out there, it is hard to know what is best. Some people emphasize their certifications, title companies they are on the approved list for, or types of loans they know how to sign. All of this is good information, but how do you win the game as far as creating a winning notes section. I compared high placed listings and also compared stats for Notaries in the same geographical areas and learned something. So, we have some answers!

As a general rule, what I found to be true is that my semicolon system of punchy sales points is the best way to format the top of your notes section if you want to get clicked on. Just put your most salient features at the top like this:

“Fluent Spanish; 123notary & Notary2Pro Certified; Apostilles; Last Minute Okay; Experienced with REO, Reverse, Construction, Investment Loans, Buyer & Sellers, Debt Consolidations…”

Notice how concise my points were. They have to fit in a small space because the top of your notes shows up on the search results page, and a goot top of your notes section will entice lots of clicks! here are some other points about what info could go near the top of your notes.

Adjectives & Fluffy Information
Telling the world what a great person you are and making lists of adjectives such as reliable, responsible, experienced, professional doesn’t get you anywhere. That is NOT information — it is unverifiable fluff. Being friendly, or people oriented are better self-descriptions as not all people claim to be friendly. Having a background profession such as customer service or elder-care can help you verify how patient and caring and good with people you really are. Prove it — don’t claim it! Rambling in your notes section about how you go everywhere and do any type of signing once again is not information. Stick to specifics and helpful information.

Any Type of Signing
I compared a metro where there were many types of notes sections. The one that says they do “any type of signing” did the worst. Tell us a list of at least six types of financial packages you know how to sign, i.e. Refinances, Purchases, REO, Reverse Mortgages, Helocs, Construction, Time-Shares, etc.

Lists of types of loans
In one particular metro I compared the top eight notes sections. The one who had a long and specific list of types of loans signed got the most clicks. The one who mentioned how many years they were a signing agent and then listed specifics was the next best.

Unrelated Experience
We had a guy who was a fireman. He mentioned this at the top of his notes section. That is better than leaving it blank, but his click average was far down the list.

Taking Paypal and Credit Cards
Here is something unusual to add to your notes section. I like it. But, the stats found this listing to be average in terms of clicks.

In another area where we compared notes, a Notary claiming to be full-time did above average.

A Notary listing who mentioned his radius did much better in terms of clicks than other Notaries right above or below him on the list. Radius is a specific piece of information that people can put their finger on.

Approved List
If you are on a white glove list or approved list of a Title company, that is a very good piece of information to add. We compared a few approved Notaries who mentioned it at the top of their notes who did substantially better than the others in similar positions in the same area.

We have very few Notaries making guarantees. However, the one who I analyzed who does have a money-back guarantee does better than the others in his area.

Repeating your Name or Hours
People can see your name and your 24 hour icon already and don’t need to see it again in your notes. You are taking up space at the top of your notes section where you could write something else. Dont’ waste space. Put your selling spots up top.

Certifications & E&O
It is good to mention this in your notes section, but not at the top of your notes section unless you can make it concise.

Prompt & Courteous
These adjectives do not get you clicks. Anyone can claim to be prompt and courteous. Let your work prove it, but let your notes inform people about something more substantial.


June 19, 2017

Which Notary directories get high paying signings?

Which Notary directories can help you get $150 jobs? Which Notary directory will help you get a high quantity of work. Which Notary directory will get you nicer clients? Here are some answers.

123notary — email us for a quote at info@123notary.com
123notary is a directory that refines its information daily. We attract all types of Notaries, but refine our list to put the absolute cream of the crop at the top of search results by using a complicated algorithm. This is why we are popular with Title companies and attract more high paying work than all other directories combined! Experienced Notaries on 123notary average $110 per signing. Disclaimer: Not all jobs from 123notary are amazing, but the percentage of good ones is higher than other directories, which puts you in a position to filter out the undesirable companies.

We put roughly 300 new notaries online every month and then take off half of the free new listings that have bad stats. We also have to remove older listings where the Notaries have become unresponsive. This constant refinement has made us the most reliable source for accurate information of any Notary directory.

123notary offers top placed listings in your county. All you have to do is email us at info@123notary.com and ask us for a quote for a high position in your area. Notaries with a top spot on 123notary get an exponentially higher quality of work as well as more total offers.

They are famous for their forum which is the most popular in the industry. Their directory is easy to use as it shows results in order of proximity to the search zip code. NotaryRotary focuses on closeness rather than on the quality or knowledge legal of the Notary. NotaryRotary gets a little bit of high paying Title Company work, but mostly signing company work.

SnapDocs is a clearinghouse for the lowest paid and most undignified Notary work out there. Notaries get cattle calls via mass texts to all Notaries in the area for low paying jobs that often only pay $50 or $60 per signing. If you are a beginner and want to get your feet wet then try them. However, Notaries with experience are dropping off this medium like flies!

This is a much smaller directory that capitalizes on quality Notaries. Jobs are often higher paying, but there are not a lot of jobs to go around. Quantity is not a specialty of NotaryCafe unfortunately, but we still recommend them to more experienced Notaries.

NNA’s directory has a lot of Notaries. Most of the Notaries are newer while there are a few experienced ones on board. The high point of this directory is that you can see the dates when Notaries became NNA certified and/or background screened which means a lot to signing companies. However, this company has not generated that much work for signing agents for years.

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