September 2018 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice -

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September 30, 2018

The Story of Jeremy & Mitch; 123notary & eMarketingAssociates

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 8:15 am

For those of you who don’t know, 123notary has a long history filled with twists and turns. The very early history happened when Jeremy (that’s me – owner of 123notary) had trouble with his web designers at some Chinese company in San Gabriel and needed to find someone new. So, I (Jeremy) called some other local web companies and found Mitch who ran eMarketingAssociates. Mitch had only four total people in his office including himself. They fixed up my programming on 123notary and have been helping me ever since.

1999: The day I first drove in.
I remember meeting him. This was back in 1999 or 2000. He was in his 40’s. A very handsome, kind and charismatic guy (still is.) I enjoyed talking to him. He has memories too and perhaps I should get him to share his early memories and add to this article with those memories.

I remember a talk with Mitch back in 2006 when he said that he remember the day he met me. The memory of paranoid me, driving into his parking lot with my beaten up 1984 Toyota Corolla stuck in his head forever. Of course, at the time of that conversation in 2006 I had a 2004 Toyota Corolla which looked new and nice. I was a mess in those days, and in many ways still am. It is hard to keep my life in order when I have more things to do than I can handle. Now in 2018, I still have that 2004 Toyota Corolla, but it is now somewhat beaten up and the paint is fading, and I am missing two hub caps which are soon to be replaced. Such is life. But, now I can afford a new car. I just prefer my old one.

Mitch’s Business Grew
Mitch’s office slowly grew and grew from four people to twelve. Mitch is smart and got an office in an industrial zone which is a lot cheaper than getting it in an office area. There is also a lot more parking as well. So, he kept moving his office around in the same complex as his business grew.

His Business Evolved Too
Mitch went from doing web design and web programming to focusing mainly on social media and he runs all of my campaigns. This was good for my social media, but I was never able to find programmers as good as the ones Mitch had for the rest of my career. It is ten years after the fact and I still cannot find good programming. This is partly due to a change in the market, but also due to the good people Mitch hired.

Having Fun
One day, I asked both of the programmers in 2008 to go out to dinner with me for fun. They declined, but Mitch reversed the offer and took me out. Since then, Mitch and I go out two or three times a year to fun spots in Los Angeles and surrounding areas for Thai, Chinese, American, Italian and other types of cuisine and drinks. In fact we are going for drinks at the intercontinental next week.

Good Luck
Over time, I began to think of Mitch as one of my three best good luck people. That sounds very Chinese, but I believe it. Mitch’s suggestions and things I do with Mitch regularly turn out to be very lucky in the long run. He got me doing social media, blogging, and we found some lucky feng-shui hang out spots that bring us good luck as well. I guess God punishes me sometimes, but also gives me people who point me in the right direction and my life would be ruined without those people.

Uncanny Things in Common
The strange thing is that Mitch and I have a lot of things in common that other people would not have. We both new many people from Israel when we were young. We both do business with a lot of people from India (I lived in India briefly before.) We both are entrepreneurs or small business owners. Additionally, I studied Chinese in college as my major and Mitch’s wife is from Taiwan. What a bunch of uncanny commonalities. I only have this much in common with a small bunch of others who I can count on one hand.

I am glad I met Mitch. My life would not have turned out the way it did had I not known Mitch. Of the people in my entire life, he is one of the six including parents, my piano teacher and a few others, who had a profound effect on my development and success.

You might also like:

123notary’s tutorials raise test scores by 30 points

Most of what Jeremy & Carmen at 123notary offer all day is free

Who is involved with 123notary behind the scenes?

What are Jeremy’s favorite blog entries?


September 29, 2018

Now is the Right Time to become a Notary / Signing Agent

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 11:19 am

Now is the Right Time to become a Notary / Signing Agent

Sounds strange? You think the business is dying? Sure, at the moment things are slow. But, I forecast a booming future for the industry. There are many positive signs:

Baby Boomers Getting Out

The “old guard” of “seasoned” experts, born in the 40s are collecting Social Security or looking at the daisies from the root end. It’s time for the next generation. No doubt about it. They (and I) are “slowing down” and less willing to take on the pressure and rush aspects required to earn top fees. They disappear slowly, as their cells phones are unanswered; clients look for new solutions.

Cost of Entry is getting Lower

The tool set required by the modern Notary / Signing Agent is lower than in the past. Cell costs are very low with unlimited plans common. Sure, very fancy phones are super costly; but they are not necessary. As long as it can make and receive voice, text and email – it’s good enough. The cost of printers has fallen dramatically, HP Laserjet is still the benchmark, mine is a totally reconditioned 4350n (network “Ethernet” or WiFi) with duplexer for under $500. A separate FAX machine is unnecessary as Efax service for about ten bucks a month allows a PDF to be “sent as FAX” from any internet connected PC.

The Economy is on the Rise

I’m not going into a political discussion. But it’s hard to argue that personal wealth is not on the rise. This leads to more home ownership and other notary service needs. The “well rounded” notary; comfortable with Edocs and a variety of personal documents that require notarization will flourish. Case in point: I have noticed a great uptick in persons obtaining passports for their children for vacation purposes. Often only one parent can submit; with the notarized signature on the application of the other parent. I am getting LOTS of these lately.

Training is Readily Available

In addition to your state “rule book” many offer advanced classes and training. This was not so easy to obtain a few decades ago. Related to training is obtaining certifications as to your skill level. These “advanced degrees” draw clients to you like a magnet. A few hours a day, two or three for a couple of weeks can really advance your skill level. The big notary sites have blogs which are rich in real how to do information. Also read the “what not to do” equally important.

It’s not “Instant” Riches

Understand that your business, like any other business will grow slowly, At first it’s just some extra pocket money for a night out. Don’t quit your day job until you have a “critical mass” of repeat clients. Don’t forget to distribute your business card widely, perhaps with a cover letter about you and your services. Carry a well stocked “kit” of supplies, forms, embossers and stamps to meet any request. Your Notary Commission can and will yield the results you want; if you are willing to put the appropriate amount of effort into becoming the most skilled in your area.

You might also like:

How to become a successful mobile notary from scratch

How does pricing work for top placements on 123notary?


September 28, 2018

How can I get a goose that lays golden signings?

Filed under: Certification & Communication Skills — admin @ 8:23 am

Everybody wants a good that lays golden eggs. Coca-Cola stock is like this except the dividends are a very small percentage of the investment. But, at least it is one of the safest stocks out there.

123notary’s Elite Certification is proof of the very highest standard of Notarial knowledge out there. We have recently refined our study guides and testing standards to make it comprehensive and of great benefit to the notary in terms of safety precautions, knowledge of documents and procedures, and also knowledge of less common notarial practices.

Those who pass our test get more signings, more money per signing, and more favor with 123notary and title companies. We are letting people take the test for FREE in the mean time. It only requires a few hours of study and will reward you for the rest of your life — should you live so long. So, what is taking you so long?

Elite Study Guide

30 Point Course

Notary Public 101


September 27, 2018

If you accuse us of asking California questions, be specific

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 10:17 am

Many Notaries accuse us of asking California questions on our quizzes. Once in a while we do. But, put your money where you mouth is and be specific about what the question was and when it was asked.

I have also been accused of asking questions that are ambiguous or where there are more than one answer. Some of my questions have a really good answer and a mediocre answer which might be also correct. Is it so difficult to find the better of two correct answers?

I ask this type of “confusing” question to see how intimately you know your notary knowledge. If you understand the logic of my questions, and have intimacy of knowledge, the questions are easy and make sense. I believe the problem is that few Notaries really know their notary law.

How can you be a Notary when you cannot describe even a single Notary act? It baffles me. Hmmm.


September 26, 2018

How do you train an army of Notaries?

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 10:18 am

Other sites do not care about the quality of their Notaries. They just list Notaries and let nature take its course. I care very much about the quality of Notaries while the Notaries generally claim to be amazing Notaries, and then fail my test and argue about how the questions are not any good. The fact is that it is dangerous to the Notary to be a bad Notary. There are lots of ways to get in trouble. If you don’t know your loan documents well, that is a small issue, but not having solid Notary practices can get you in legal trouble.

So, with 6000 Notaries on my site, how can I possibly train them all? I actually have been training people by phone and email. But, very few are thankful because they don’t value knowledge and prudency. If I charged for my help, hardly anyone would take me up on it. Hmmm. Training 6000 people one by one is almost impossible. However, I can screen them and I did. It was exhausting and I will never do anything like that again. If I screen people in the future, it will be a lot quicker and perhaps only two or three questions instead of four to ten.

In the mean time, I am putting fun and free courses on the blog. I created a loan signing course a few years back called the 30 point course. That was popular. Then I created Notary Public 101 which is about best practices and is not state specific, but really helps people understand the nuts and bolts of what they do every day. Finally, I just created Notary Marketing 102. That is a great way to learn the art of getting lots of business — isn’t that what we all want?

So, I could train an army of Notaries one by one, but that is too tiring. For now, I will just publish free learning materials and sell courses and hope that some of it sinks in. Maybe I should do some mock quizzes on the blog too just so people get the hang of right answers vs. wrong.


September 25, 2018

The glass Notary seal-ing.

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 11:36 am

Women in the Notary industry have been complaining about the glass Notary seal-ing. They feel they can never get ahead in this industry. The high paying title companies won’t hire them enough and they get too much low-balling work from $50 signing companies who require fax backs. What can they do?

One Notary made a statement by purchasing a glass, see through Notary seal to protest this glass ceiling. Another took to the streets and picketed the Secretary of State Notary Division’s office. A third rebelled by passing the 123notary Elite Test and got elite certified. That last Notary started getting a lot more work.

The secret here is to become a master of your skill set instead of letting the industry drag you around like a prisoner handcuffed to the back of a train. Study more and be the best Notary you can. And one more thought. Instead of complaining about a glass ceiling, have some glass noodles at a local Chinese spot.


September 24, 2018

Want to stay in shape as a Notary? Try Notar-cizing

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 11:36 am

What is Notar-cizing? It is a way Notaries can get their exercise in. They can read the Secretary of State’s handbook over and over while jogging in place. They can practice lifting their seal up and down. Or they can staple certificates to documents again and again. It sounds kind of lame and insane, actually, but many Notaries claim they have lost weight doing these exercises.

Another suggestion is to answer Notary questions while walking. You could have your friend call you while you are doing your daily five miles and think your way through dozens of Notary questions.

If you really want to get in shape, job down to the Secretary of State’s office in your state capitol. You will be just like Forrest Gump jogging day after day. If that doesn’t get you slim, then it’s time for a visit to the Notary gym.


September 23, 2018

Index of Notary Courses & Educational Articles

Here are some of our most popular courses and educational articles


The 123notary Elite Certification Study Guide
Everything you need to know to pass the elite test, once you have passed the regular 123notary certification test

2018 Certification Standards
Everythign you need to know to pass our certification test

Notary Public 101
A guide to general best practices for Notaries Public.

The 30 point course
A guide to being a loan signing agent from A to Z

Notary Marketing 102
A complete guide to marketing your mobile notary and signing agent business.

Best blog articles for advanced Notaries

Signing Agent Best Practices: 63 Points



September 22, 2018

A new Notary shampoo called Affirma

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 11:38 am

How come my hair is so shiny when I go to Notary appointments? My secret? I use Affirma, and I swear by it. You can get Affirma at any Secretary of State beauty shop in the nation. Also, using Affirma can make you a better Notary, or so I’ve heard. Just lather up and rinse before your Notary appointments and you will be able to answer any question. Reading up from your handbook doesn’t hurt either.


September 21, 2018

What traits do escrow officers look for in Notaries?

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: — admin @ 11:34 am

Here are some things that Escrow officers look for in Notaries.

1. Document knowledge.
You should know your documents inside out and know where to find the rate, prepayment penalty information, 1st payment info, APR, how to date and initial the RTC, etc.

2. Form Filling
Many loans have forms to fill out. The borrower will do the actual filling out, but the Notary needs to know how to assist in this process if you want to get hired again.

3. Personal Knowledge
Many Escrow Officers prefer to hire a Notary who is personally known (rather than proven on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to them rather than hire a signing agency who hires strangers. For jobs that are far away from the Escrow office, they might be more willing to hire signing services.

4. Personable
Are you the type of person who can interact nicely with others? Or are you difficult to communicate with, rude, complain a lot, or avoid people?

5. Available
If you are not available, or are not reachable by phone that is a problem. Then there are others who answer the phone and refuse to talk who are also not doing well in terms of availability.

6. Back to Back signings
If a signer is willing and able to do one signing after another, that is a selling feature for escrow.

7. What about certification?
Certification is only as valuable as the knowledge that goes with it. Escrow officers want knowledge and reliability, not claims of knowledge and reliability. Elite 123notary Certification is popular with title & escrow. But, very few Notaries bother trying to get it.


You might also like:

If you work for title companies directly, what do they want?

Why you should consider getting 123notary Elite Certified

Elite certification will benefit you the rest of your life

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