March 2019 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
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March 24, 2019

A list of things you probably forgot to put in your notes section

Filed under: Your Notes Section — admin @ 4:34 am

Most Notaries write a notes section for their listing on 123notary. However, many do not know what to write. Here are some things you should write about. Take this as a check list.

Experience
Write about the types of loans or documents you know how to sign. Write about the type of work you did before you were a Notary or what distinguishes your experience as a notary. How many loans as well as how many years would also help the reader get an idea of what type of experience you have. Read more by clicking the link below…
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19052

Additional Information
Your certifications, courses taken, E&O, background screening, etc., Don’t forget to write about this because people do care.

Equipment
If you have special equipment, portable printers, scanners, fax machines, inverters, etc., people want to read about this. But, don’t put it up top as this is supplemental information. Experience and selling features go up top.

Special Skills
Are you bilingual? Do you visit hospitals or jails? How about a wide radius? Are you on the white glove list somewhere? Do you take credit cares or square? Put this up top as it is a selling feature.

Areas Covered
Your radius, counties or cities covered go at the bottom and there are 12 boxes to put your counties covered which includes your home county. We discourage putting zip codes as the list gets very long and messy and nobody wants to read it.

About You
This is the most misunderstood aspect of notes writing. Most people cannot write about themselves other than a long string of adjectives. Any idiot can write about how responsible and reliable they are and the more they claim these adjectives the less true I find them to be. However, describing yourself with specific facts is more helpful as well as credible. The fact you have an MBA, worked with the elderly at a nursing home for ten years or are ex-military are real facts about you. The fact you triple check your work and have your local FedEx stations memorized is fact vs. fluff.

Catchy Phrases
It is hard for most people to write a catchy phrase, but it can really pay off. People are bored with reading 1000 notes sections that all seem very similar. It sometimes looks like the same person wrote all of the notes sections on Notary Rotary… “I am reliable, background screened and have 50,000 E&O. I have signed many loans and do a lot of refinances.” After you see this a few thousand times you start seeing double. Put something unique and organized for a change. We wrote a few articles (that I linked below) on catchy phrases in notes sections and you should read those.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14690

Buzzwords to avoid
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19054

You might also like:
Examples of great notes sections
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18862

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

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So the Mobile Notary Well has gone Dry

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — Tags: , — admin @ 2:51 am

I usually don’t date my scribbles. Rather, I try to write what I perceive to be “eternal” truths. Wow, that sounded pompous; even for me. Well today is March 11, 2019, and the calls are down. Not “down and out”, but significantly lower than a few months ago. I don’t know or care about your political leaning; and I’m certainly not going to share mine. Though it probably would result in some interesting comments!

What to do when the well has gone dry? Basically there are only two real options. Ya dig another well or move on to where water is plentiful. If you can think of a practical and creative third alternative please enter some constructive and informative criticism of my analysis.

Dig another Well

Very few of us are likely able to provide “revenue for a family” from mobile notary revenue. I’m not talking about the “higher ups” who get a slice of many pies. I’m referring to the “rank and file”, the troops in the field who actually stamp, emboss, administer the oath and sign. We are legions of “side gig” entrepreneurs eking out a modest supplemental income. I suspect many of us are retired and use the signing fee for a modest night out. Probably a goodly number are youth who eagerly expend major effort, using their endless energy for usually small rewards.

There are many ways to dig that supplementary well. You can knock yourself out distributing business cards and seek the direct calls. Some will take the gamble and pay highly per click. Many will up their visibility by seeking better placement on notary directories. But, as I see it; these strategies, while valid; are chasing the limited demand. Being different, or more accurately, doing different IS digging another well.

Most mobile notaries run their business the same way; no matter what. I have had emails that state “I enjoy processing loan packages and don’t want to do anything else”. OK, you have chosen to starve, certainly in the current notary signing agent environment. Diversify is the word. You have to use your notary standing to offer to do many things. Learn to do fingerprinting, to process Apostilles, Letters of Protest, obtaining birth, death, marriage, divorce and how to work with educational documents. There are many other “authorities” granted to you by your status as a notary. The more you know how to do, the greater your chances someone will hire you.

Move on to the Water

Your status as a notary is an “edge” you have making you more desirable in many functions. Of course you should still market yourself as a mobile notary – great extra income when it fits into your schedule. But, quite frankly it’s not a gold mine currently. That may change – but probably not soon. So, take a real job; one where your notary skills can be an advantage. Use some of the “real job” revenue to maintain your current advertising and directory listings. I can picture some rural lawn signs: “Notary Public and lawnmower blade sharpening”. IM(not so)HO probably the worst thing you can do is chase the 35 dollar edocs. Do the math; there is virtually no profit. Face the reality, be flexible, ADD a few additional skills; notary skills – of course; but don’t limit yourself to solely notary income. When you dig that new well you just might strike oil!

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March 23, 2019

To do well with a high placed listing, you need 6000 loans signed

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 9:52 am

If you want to purchase a high placed listing, I recommend it. However, to do well, you need experience, good communication skills, reviews, and knowledge. In short, you need a package of skills to do well on our directory. But, how much experience do you need?

In my opinion which may or may not add up in today’s world, your knowledge takes precedent over your experience. I would rather hire someone with 500 loans signed who can answer my hardest questions. Someone with 20000 loans signed who knows nothing and has been winging it all these years is less valuable because I think they are incompetent. I do not hire notaries, but those that do have their own standards. they want experience, but when I ask them “how much” experience, the answers are very wishy-washy. Generally people ask for two years of experience. But, when I interview Notaries with two years of experience they often have not signed a single loans.

Expressing experience in terms of loans signed is better than years in my opinion because it is a more accurate reflection of what you have actually done. However, people lie on their number of loans, or fail to update their number for years on end which leads to inaccurate information.

What I learned crunching numbers is that the Notaries who do well in high spots on our site typically have a median of about 6000 loans signed. 6000 real loans, not a fake number you input into your profile when you login. I am assuming that our # of loan data is roughly true for the most part although there are always liars.

This is not to say that those with less loans will not do well with a high spot. But, if you have less experience, you need to compensate for that by doing a lot of studying. Test results matter more for newer Notaries than for more experienced Notaries on our site according to my number crunching. Notary Public 101 is a nice course on our blog where you can learn the basics of Notary procedure, acts, vocabulary, real life scenarios, and loan documents. It is a very popular course and comes highly recommended.

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March 22, 2019

Which analytics get you more clicks and why? A change in the 123notary analytics system.

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 9:53 am

At 123notary, we have been using analytics for more than ten years. We do this to identify which listings are better quality than others. The issue is that there are 15 different factors we look at and all of those factors have to be weighed to compute a final points score.

One of the issues I have found is that analytics do not apply equally to listings in different placements. Here are some examples.

People who don’t answer the phone lose a lot of clicks in the high range of the search results while in the middle of the search results listings do not lose a lot of clicks on average by not picking up.

People who refuse to talk after answering the phone lose a lot of clicks in the middle of the list but do not in the high end of the list. This data seems to be opposite from the phone answering data. Basically people in the middle of the list don’t have to pick up, but if they do, they had better be nice and talk otherwise they will lose a lot of clicks.

People who argue with Jeremy (that’s me) can get away with it and that will not affect their scores. But, people who interrupt seem to get a lot worse click scores. The difference seems to be that arguing with Jeremy is something people only do with Jeremy, but not with clients because they think that my opinion of them doesn’t matter (boy are they wrong.) But, people who interrupt do this because of a lack of control and probably a screw loose. This screw loose will manifest with everybody. Additionally, if you refuse to answer questions over the phone with Jeremy, this does not seem to affect your click ratios at all.

So, let’s look at the factors in order of importance.

CRITICAL
If you have good reviews and lots of them, this counts in your favor as the most important analytic for clicks.

If you score well on Jeremy’s tests, it might not mean anything to you, but the other Notaries do not have the skills to match and are rarely willing to study, so this makes you stand out.

If you have horrible communication skills to the point where someone can barely talk with you, you will lose more clicks than from any other factor.

If you have someone else answer the phone for you, you will lose a lot of clicks.

MODERATE
If you give vague answers to questions, this affects your clicks. Vague answers are a sign of sluggish and unclear thinking. Your clients might want their questions answered in a way where they don’t have to ask for clarification.

Ignoring emails is another way to lose a fair number of clicks. If someone asks you questions by email and you ignore them, they will be less likely to click on your listing in the future or use you.

Refusing to talk after you have answered the phone is a fast way to lose clicks. If you can’t talk — don’t answer. Just send them a text if you feel the call is important.

Having an answering machine that does not state your name is another way to lose a lot of clicks.

SMALL
Rambling on and on is annoying, but title companies seem to be a lot more patient with this behavior than I am. I recommend controlling what comes out of your mouth on business calls. But, this is a lot smaller of a factor than I previously thought.

Background noise is something I can’t stand, but it doesn’t seem to affect click volume. If you can avoid background noise, you should.

Poor call backs. When you call someone back, refuse to announce who you are, but ask them who they are, and make them repeat themselves three times — to me this is unbearable and rude. But, this behavior for some reason does not seem to affect click rates.

Answering the phone saying, “hello?” seems very unprofessional to me. You have to announce yourself and then ask the person who they are, and instead of telling you they ask who you are after you have told them and then ask why you are calling. Some people you have to ask who they are three times to get a straight answer. However, this used to affect click ratios more, but these days since people are shopping for price more than quality, it does not affect your scores much. I still recommend acting professional if possible.

SUMMARY
The analytics that matter are reviews, clear communication, quiz scores, and answering your own phone. Many of the analytics I thought mattered before seem to be very trivial. I concluded that my personal value system is antiquated and does not matter in today’s world. I was running my directory based on what I thought is important. Now, I am running it based on what those who click feel is important. Things have changed in certain ways as a result.

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March 21, 2019

A tour of Notary Cafe reveals that business is slow based on job stats

Filed under: Advertising — Tags: — admin @ 10:25 am

My last visit to Notary Cafe was depressing. A handful of Notaries were dominating market share. The others were getting almost no work. Some got zero jobs in the last three months. Others got one or two. How do you make a living with such bad odds?

The Notary Cafe stats show how many jobs you got in the last 12 months and in the last 3 months as well. It is a good marker for, “What have you done for me lately?”

A lot of Notaries are just hanging in there in hopes that things will pick up. I feel that 2019 and 2020 will be good years for Notaries. I don’t know why I feel this. I have no evidence. It is just a gut feeling. I also feel that Snapdocs will slow down in 2019 and 2020 and perhaps leave the industry. But, I might be wrong. We’ll have to wait and see.

On the other hand, Notary Cafe probably counts for about 5% of the signing agent work out there. So, if people don’t get work there, what does it really mean?

.

You might also like:

When did Notary Cafe become decaffeinated?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19238

Which directories get high paying listings?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19201

Current signing company gossip (string)
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=gossip

Good signing companies – a thorough list
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21091

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March 20, 2019

High placed listings – which ones get more clicks and why?

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 9:54 am

I spent six hours analyzing clicks this week. Perhaps I should have spent more time. What I noticed is that the high placed listings seem to be affected differently by the same analytics.

People who argue with me do not show a drop in clicks. But, people who interrupt me do.

People who score well on tests do a lot better in the mid range of our search results while the high placed people with high test results show a more moderate gain.

People who refuse to talk to me show a drop of clicks in the mid range, but no drop in clicks for the high placed listings.

People who have someone else answer the phone for them show the largest drop in clicks.

People who have poor language skills also show a huge drop in clicks.

People who don’t answer their phone get fewer clicks, but not that many fewer clicks. I’m not sure why.

It seems that the Notaries were correct when they said that if they are rude to me, that they won’t be rude to title, because being rude to me does not show up on clicks. But, general signs of incompetence and poor communication show up heavily. So, I learned a lot in my six hours. Perhaps I should put in a little more time.

HIGH PLACED LISTINGS
There were four huge factors that determine how a high placed listing will perform on 123notary.com. So, if you are considering spending big bucks with us, please consider that we want you to renew. If you dress up your listing properly, you will most likely get a great result and want to renew. But, if you don’t, then your money will get poor mileage and you will have nobody to blame but yourself.

Reviews
The listings with the highest clicks in a p#20 position had a median of 10 reviews. I decided not to do an average because Ken Edelstein in NYC has over 400 reviews and that would ruin the average. But, median numbers are a good way to show statistics in a useful way. The P20 listings with the poorest clicks had only one or two reviews if any. It seems clear that the most definitive analytic that can cause your listing to perform well or poorly is reviews, the quantity, quality, and having a few recent reviews as well.

Experience
People lie when they document their number of loans. Other people do not keep their experience up to date, so they are showing artificially low numbers of loans signed. Another issue that has come up in the last few years is that Purchases and Structured Settlements have become common. But, are these to be considered “loans?” In my book yes, because they are a financial package and represent the same quality experience as a loan even though technically they are not a refinance.

People with the highest clicks had a median of 6000 loans signed while those with low clicks had only 3500. So, even if you have a lot of experience, it seems not to be enough.

Test Scores
For those of you who think my phone quizzes are inappropriate, unnecessary, rude or inconsequential — you are wrong. Test scores correspond to click popularity, and test scores are my second most critical analytic next only to reviews.

Notaries with p#20’s with the highest clicks were typically elite certified or at a minimum had a good quiz score of 80% or higher. Less than one in ten do poorly on my quiz by phone. Notaries with the lowest clicks in the p#20 category typically did not have any certifications and roughly half did well on my quiz. So, half of the listings with low clicks were competent Notaries compared to almost all competent in the high click range. This indicates that proving your skill to me does not guarantee performance, but is a big piece in the puzzle.

Notes
It is hard to put a score on someone’s notes. You could grade on thoroughness, detail, organization, writing style, uniqueness, etc. It might take a few minutes per notes section to give some type of a useful grade. But, based on brushing through many listings quickly, I learned that high placed listings had a 75% rate of having a high quality notes section while the p20’s with low clicks only had a 45% rate of having a high quality notes section. So, the same thing I have been telling you guys for over a decade has not changed. If you want to be popular on 123notary — get reviews, certified, and write a unique and factual notes section. Ask for help if you need any. I can’t write it for you but I can give commentary and help organize it.

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March 19, 2019

Is it a Federal crime to make a photocopy of a military ID card?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 9:56 am

I have heard that it is illegal to make a copy of a military identification card.
As a notary, you are not responsible for making copies as a general rule. Be especially cautious and vigelent with Military ID’s. We don’t want you getting in trouble.

Forum discussion on the topic.
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=7249

Copying Miltary ID – is it allowed?
https://www.cbancnetwork.com/questions/view/2eb342a0-9c2e-43ec-b544-118859fad5a8?title=Copying%20Military%20ID-%20Is%20it%20Allowed?

DoDLive Link
http://www.dodlive.mil/2017/05/11/did-you-know-photocopying-a-government-id-is-illegal/

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March 18, 2019

Marriage therapy for Notaries

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 10:24 am

THERAPIST: So, how is everybody today. What’s on your mind.

WIFE: I can’t believe Norman. He is so in love with his job that he wants to take his Notary seal to bed with him. I think he’s more attracted to his seal than to me. If only he lasted as long as his commission did.

HUSBAND: Believe me, my seal makes my certificate rise more than you do.

WIFE: I bet the raised impression your embosser leaves gives you a rise as well.

HUSBAND: It helped me pick up where you left off.

WIFE: See what I mean? This is what I have to deal with.

HUSBAND: She always nags me about my signature. I don’t see anything wrong with my signature.

WIFE: You never see anything wrong with anything you do. Typical man.

HUSBAND: That’s not true, I see something wrong with my marrying you.

THERAPIST: How does his signature make you feel?

WIFE: His signature looks like a ten on the Richter scale of an earthquake chart.

THERAPIST: Don’t make blanket statements like that. He sometimes doesn’t see how what he does is wrong.

WIFE: Okay. But, he really is more attracted to his seal than he is to me.

HUSBAND: Well, my seal doesn’t nag me to death… that’s part of the allure.

WIFE: I wish there were a way that he could be attracted to me.

HUSBAND: Well that would be coercion and you know what the California Notary Handbook says about that!

WIFE: Well if I could coerce you, then our marriage could enter a new page.

HUSBAND: My journal is pretty much out of new pages.

WIFE: So, get a new journal.

HUSBAND: Well that’s exactly my line of thinking, but I would need a good divorce Attorney before I can do that.

THERAPIST: Well, what are your goals in a marriage?

HUSBAND: I’d like to try thumb printing.

WIFE: That is so inky… and kinky. How about tonight?

THERAPIST: I feel we are making progress, but don’t make me swear (or affirm) to that fact.

WIFE: I prefer affirming, because I’m anti-God. Or maybe I’m pro-God and that is why I don’t want to use the lord’s name for a petty Oath.

HUSBAND: My goal for a marriage first and foremost is to not get nagged constantly. The rest is all details.

WIFE: My goal for a Notary marriage is to not be put in situations where I am provoked to nag.

THERAPIST: Well maybe we should role play.

WIFE: We tried that and my husband didn’t the costumes and wasn’t getting turned on enough.

THERAPIST: No, not that kind of role play. Why not have Brian try to give you a little more attention, and you try to be conscious of how he doesn’t want to be nagged. Take notes every day on how your relationship develops, and we’ll talk about it next week.

WIFE: Sounds like a deal. But, before I go, can I check your ID?

THERAPIST: Okay. My middle name is just listed as an initial here.

WIFE: Could you sign my journal too? This is just standard procedure for Notaries.

THERAPIST: Habits — got it.

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March 17, 2019

How do I find a German speaking Notary Public?

Filed under: Public Interest — admin @ 9:57 am

Where can I find a Notary who speaks German?
Look no further. 123notary.com has a few German speaking Notaries on board. Just look up a Notary by zip code and then use the language filter at the top right of the site. You can enter in the name of any language such as German, Spanish, Japanese, Vietnamese, American Sign Language, or more! We used to have a Notary named German who spoke Spanish. In fact, we have German speaking Notaries in almost all states! Additionally, we have a search filter directly abovetto the right of the search results where you can enter the word German and find only German speaking Notary service providers.

How good is their German language proficiency?
On 123notary.com, we have many Notaries who speak German. The degree of fluency varies from Notary to Notary as some are conversational while others are native speakers. A handful are from German speaking families who grew up in America and might be excellent at conversation but not as proficient at business oriented communication. So, test your German speaking Notary out over the phone to make sure they are up to your standards before hiring them!

Notary German — Attorneys vs. Non-Attorneys
Please be advised that Notaries in the United States are seldom Attorneys and non-Attorney Notaries may not give legal advice. Most Notaries are also not authorized to draft legal documents. There are affordable legal support centers where they can help you draft documents. Please make sure that your document is completely drafted before contacting a Notary Public from 123notary.com.

Immigration Advice
Notaries cannot give advice about immigration matters unless they are specifically licensed to do so. For immigration questions, please contact the proper authorities.

Notarizing in German?
Notaries may Notarize a document that is in German, however the Notary wording would be in English for the notarization. Some states require the Notary to be able to understand the document. Other states require the Notary to be able to communicate directly with the borrower in any language they both can communicate with. Please learn the laws of your state and how they apply to notarizing foreign language documents. The actual Notary wording must be in English if it is to be notarized in any of the 50 states in the USA. Each state has their own official Acknowledgment and Jurat Notarial wording which the Notary is responsible for knowing. The Notary wording can be included at the end of the document. However, the Notary can also staple a loose certificate form to the document and affix their seal to that certificate after it has been completely filled out. Signers will be required to sign the Notary journal in states where Notary journals are used (which includes most states.)

Oaths in German?
Some Notary acts such as Jurats, Oaths, or other acts that include Oaths such as swearing in credible witnesses require the Notary to administer an Oath. An Oath for an English language document or German language document can be performed in the language of your choice. If the signer or affiant feels more comfortable in German and the Notary knows German, you can conduct your Oath in German.

How can I get a German language document notarized?
As stated above, some states require the Notary to understand the language of the document while others don’t. However, the language of the notarization itself would be in English. You can find a notary on 123notary who speaks German to assist you in this matter. Just visit our Advanced Search page and look up a German Speaking Notary by zip code!

You might also like:

Find a Notary — who provides 24 hour service on 123notary!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4635

Power of Attorney Notarizations
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=power-of-attorney

How do I get a foreign language document notarized?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18788

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March 16, 2019

Wells Fargo Power of Attorney Form

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:59 am

Please be informed that banking power of attorneys are complicated and have issues. For an accurate opinion or accurate guidance, you need to consult Wells Fargo as well as an Attorney.

Attorneys typically can draft up fancy Power of Attorney documents, often at great expense. Their guidance is irreplaceable. However, banks typically have their own Power of Attorney forms and require the use of their forms.

Additionally it is possible that Wells Fargo might have its own rules for who can be an agent in a Power of Attorney, and also might restrict the rights and privileges of the person who is the Attorney in Fact. I read online that you cannot use online banking if you are an Attorney in Fact for a Wells Fargo Power of Attorney Form. However, I cannot vouch for the truthfulness of that statement as it might be outdated or false.

Banks will want to see the Power of Attorney and identification before allowing the Attorney in Fact (grantee or agent) the right to access an individual’s account.

How do I get a Wells Fargo Power of Attorney Form?
Once again, please contact Wells Fargo customer service.

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Other Links:

Legal Zoom Banking Power of Attorney Information
https://info.legalzoom.com/gain-access-bank-accounts-power-attorney-25538.html

Finding out your Power of Attorney is powerless — NY Times Article
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/10/health/finding-out-your-power-of-attorney-is-powerless.html

How do you get a Power of Attorney document?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20785
Power of Attorney (string of blog entries)
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=power-of-attorney

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