March 2021 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice -

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March 31, 2021

She had a signer come to her house, then got certified by 123notary!

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 5:03 am

This was written by one of our Notaries who just retired. But, she told me the short version of her story which included us!

“I have retired as a Notary Signing Agent.

In 2010, a man came to our home to close a mortgage transaction. I asked him how he had gotten into this type of work and he told me that when he learned about mobile notaries, he had become a notary and signed up with a company called 123 Notary. As soon as he left, I applied for my notary commission and as soon as it came in, I contacted 123 Notary, took the course, and passed the test. From that point on, I was off and running! I built a successful business and enjoyed every minute of it! All good things must come to an end though, and now I’m ready to travel, relax, and play more golf!

Jeremy, I’ve appreciated your phone calls, the forums, and your informative, entertaining articles.”


March 30, 2021

Use a desk top

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 5:16 am

When you use or try to login and edit your listing, it may not be possible from a tablet, iPhone or other device. These sites were created many years ago and are designed for use on a regular computer. It is not worth it for us to reprogram everything for iPhones unless a large quantity of people will use it daily. We reprogramming the search function for iPhones since that is used by thousands of people per day.

We are old school over here, so try to work with us. On the other hand, you can always email us your requests from your device and we can do transactions or updates for your using our desktop — so, either way you are covered.


March 28, 2021

Life after Covid-19 for Notaries

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 5:01 am

People in Massachusetts always ask, ‘Is there life after Harvard?” That expression was from the old days when people had a good social life. Harvard folks were mostly upper class folks who didn’t apply themselves too much and enjoyed a good social life. Not anymore, or at least, not as much anymore.

But, what about life after Covid-19? What will it be like? How long will restrictions drag on? Will there be isolated cases? Right now many Notaries are cleaning up because half of the other Notaries refuse to leave their basements. I guess they will be voting for Biden not for his policies, but because they share a common lifestyle. Some Notaries don’t even know what city they’re in either. Looks like they have yet another thing in common.

It is likely that there will be many permanent business closures. Many restaurants are never coming back. I cry every time I pass Benjamin’s restaurant “Beverly Felafel.” He was the best and his food was the best… (sniffle). His gyros had the best lettuce, onions, tomato, sauce, and pita. Nobody else compares. And I met many nice people there too (wimper.) It’s not fair. He was a nice person and a pillar in our community. But, honestly, since he was in the Miracle Mile business with a Middle Eastern place, I think he should have used the term, “Miracle Nile” since he was from Egypt. Maybe if he reopens. I’ll mention that to him.

But, what if there are other restrictions that drag on until there is a vaccine? What if we keep having to wear N-95 masks indefinitely even when no new cases are being reported?

And what about the impending housing crash? Foreclosures can legally start September 1st, 2020. Many people are badly behind on their mortgages. Will the real estate market crash and most houses become worthless?

Another alarming trend is happening. People are leaving poorly managed cities such as San Francisco and New York and heading towards greener pastures in more remote locations such as Tahoe, or North Carolina or Florida. Perhaps housing values in the cities will plummet, but values will skyrocket in get-away spots where people feel safe raising their kids.

What is going on in the world sure is interesting, but it is not so nice to live through it. I’ll have stories to tell my … well not my, but other people’s grandchildren such as the riots that took place in my neighborhood where people burned cop cars and threw fireworks at people and threw stones at windows. All of this a five minute walk from my building. There were helicopters and sirens until about 1am. What a nightmare.

And what is there is a vaccine? Will you need to be notarized to say you got the vaccine or to say you want it or didn’t get it?

Basically, we live in an uncertain and very unpleasant world. I just want to be in nature honestly and distance myself from society by more than six feet. A lot more than six feet. Try 600 miles. It is unclear what will happen. I have some ideas in my head about what could happen. It is interesting to see things unravel. But, the real outcome will not be known until mid 2021 when the dust settles and settles hard.


March 26, 2021

Snapdocs – a $100 Million + organization

Filed under: Signing Company Gossip — Tags: — admin @ 4:59 am

One of my clients told me that Snapdocs has invested more than 100 million in its operation. That is a lot more than I ever invested. I only put in a few hundred thousand and that was for programming over a long period of time. I started on a shoestring just like I ran my other businesses as a kid doing landscaping.

I had no idea they were so big. No wonder their programming is so good. But, investing millions doesn’t make the notaries they list worth 100 million – and that’s an answer to the million dollar question.

They stole a lot of market share from us and NotaryRotary. But, honestly, one of my clients just called me thanking me for my work and informing me that I am in the “big three” of notary platforms. I told him it is because of many years of smart and strategic work and because I’m special. I patted myself on the back after I said that.

In today’s economy talent can often outperform investment. That is perhaps the reason I can successfully compete against multi-million dollar platforms like the NNA and Snapdocs. I’m amazed that I can do it year after year. On the other hand I am not slacking off, except that I got very behind on emails.


March 24, 2021

What’s the difference between a listing that gets reviews?

Filed under: Reviews — admin @ 4:57 am

What’s the difference between a listing that gets positive reviews and one that gets negative reviews or no reviews at all?

I took it upon myself to see what the most critical analytic or metric on listings is. Reviews were one of the most critical while test scores also mattered. But, try getting even the best of notaries to study for a test. But, what types of listings are likely to get a review, especially if they are just starting out and haven’t had time to get a review?

1. Test scores
Listings with good test scores on certification tests, and my little email quizzes tend to be more likely to do well with positive reviews. Those with positive reviews that had been tested had a 40% likelihood of doing well on one or more of our tests, while those with no reviews or negative reviews had a 20% chance.

2. Notes sections
Those with no reviews or negative reviews behaved similarly in their notes section. The majority had a poorly written notes section with very little compelling information. Those with good reviews had an 80% chance of having a passable notes section based on my criteria. If you have at least four critical pieces of information that make you stand out from the crowd, that was my minimum standard of passing. Although I prefer unique and classy notes sections — but, try to find even one!

3. Answering calls
Those who are more likely to answer the phone and do jobs are more likely to get reviews. If you don’t get any jobs, it would be difficult for someone to write a review about you unless they did so by accident.

4. Logging in
Those who login to their listing more often are more likely to do well in general.

5. Manners
I looked at the manners records of those notaries who got complaints. I did not see a pattern of bad manners with me. I figured that if people were rude to me, they would be rude to clients, but apparently it doesn’t work like that.

6. Answering emails
Those who have positive reviews almost always answer emails. Those with negative reviews almost always ignore emails from me. It seems that email response times and rates are the most reliable indicators of how much trouble a Notary is likely to be in real life.

What confused me is that there seems to be very little difference between listings with negative reviews, and no reviews at all. I wanted to find some telltale sign that someone was at prime risk of getting a bad review, but couldn’t find anything. Some of those with bad reviews had a good track record with us and good test scores. Their bad review was not because of incompetency but because they left someone high and dry or got belligerent. I guess it is not predictable who will flake on someone unless they make a habit of it.


March 22, 2021

Answering emails correlates with positive reviews

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 4:56 am

I did some analysis about who does well on our site and who gets positive reviews vs. negative reviews. Basically, many factors could be considered predictors for who will get good or bad reviews. How often you login to your listing, how well you score on tests, and even how professionally you answer the phone by stating your name rather than saying, “hello” with your kids screaming in the background.

But, the most critical factor is one I never would have imagined to be true. We only started keeping track of who answers emails punctually a few years ago. And I never studied the results to see how it correlated with other information. A few months ago I did exactly that. I studied people who answered my emails vs. those that did not.

If you fail my quiz, but answered the email, you will do better in real life than those who did well on my quiz or test, but did not answer my emails. We send emails with quiz questions, and emails asking for information omitted from your listing such as information about certifications, insurance, types of loans signed, etc.

Those with positive reviews almost always answer my emails. Those with negative reviews almost always ignore my emails.

So, the question now is — how highly should I weigh the email answering data? How many points should that deserve in the database? I decided that the first offense will result in a tiny deduction of points, but if you keep it up, then you will lose a lot of points. Free listings who ignore us generally get permanently removed on the second offense although it varies.

Sending emails and tracking the results is time consuming. I have to create a record in the system which takes a minute. Then I have to send an email and then modify the record to indicate the date of the email, and the nature of the email. Doing this for 300 people a month takes 700 grueling minutes which is about 12 hours. You can imagine how tired I get. And then I learn that 80% of the emails were unanswered. I often remove free listings who ignore my emails because that means I have to call them to extract information from them which is very time consuming.

So, now you get some insight about life at 123notary. Additionally, people who want to hire you cannot hire you if you don’t respond promptly to emails. It is unprofessional and leaves people high and dry.


March 21, 2021

If onions can have salmonella…

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 4:45 am

If onions can have salmonella,
Can salmon have onionella? Or does it not work that way?

If a car is bad, it is called a lemon.
But, what is a lemon is bad, what would you call it?

The word for chicken in Korean is “dahk” pronounced duck.
But, what is the word for duck?

In any case, happy first day of spring guys!


With shutdowns galore, will there be a boom in Foreclosures?

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 12:08 am

The economy has been traumatized in much of America, particularly Democrat run areas where it is much worse. Keeping people out of business is a democratic strategy as it is somehow good for the people. I’m not sure how it is good for the common people, but I will take their word for it. Or perhaps they work for the elites and the hyper-educated who are more than happy to watch the common man starve.

In any case, there will be a huge boom in foreclosures when the courts open up for this type of case. If you have never done one, or never done a Deed in Lieu, it might be time to learn.

The housing market has gone down a little, but for some reason still has not crashed. If it does crash badly I might purchase something, somewhere, somehow. Not sure how!


March 20, 2021

If you do well on our email quizzes, will you do well on clicks?

Filed under: Certification & Communication Skills — admin @ 4:47 am

Number Crunching
Based on previous number crunching sessions, I learned that those who do well on our certification tests or email quizzes tend to do well in life and getting clicks, jobs, etc. Knowledge is power — and you must make sure never to misuse your power. Just kidding — you can misuse it. Just don’t do anything illegal.

20% More Clicks?
However! I decided to learn if any particular questions influence your fate more than other questions and I was blown away by what I found. I analyzed about 30 listings that had taken my email quiz. I learned that people who answered questions about how to ID a person correctly did a lot better on click results. Those who followed directions fared well too. Those who could give proper oaths got more clicks as well. With these questions, a single correctly answered question resulted in 20% more clicks — wow!

The Fedex Question
But, there was one question where you got more clicks by answering it wrong — what gives? It was my infamous drop the package question that most people to this day disagree with me about. Basically, if you almost finish a signing, but the signer refuses to sign a particular disclosure, you call your contact person, send texts, leave messages, etc., but don’t hear back from him, then what? How long do you wait to drop the package because of a single non-notary document that is sitting on the borrower’s table after you leave?

My Answer
My answer is that ideally you should wait 90 minutes from your initial message, and feel free to keep calling after that. Drop it, because if you don’t, you might forget to drop it, get sidetracked by another last minute job, get in an accident, or get caught up in something else. If you don’t drop it, chances are the docs will go back at least one day late and you will get in trouble. But, there is a one percent chance it will be two or more days late for a variety of reasons in which case you will be in big big trouble.

Most Notaries prefer to wait until right before pick up at Fedex and then drop the package or wait until they get a return call. If the Loan Officer is in the hospital, you might never get that return call, meanwhile the loan docs will be collecting dust in your car. These situations happen, although not that often

The irony is that those who answered this wrong according to my analysis, who held on to the documents got a lot more clicks as a result. But, why? I feel that these Notaries exhibited conscientiousness by waiting for instructions even though it was not in good judgement to do so. They exhibited caring and responsibility to do a wrong thing that seemed like a right thing. However, I feel that these Notaries did not think the situation through carefully and are more likely to get their clients in trouble in the long run.

It is my practice to elevate free listings higher on the list if they get high clicks, and then to lower their placement if they score poorly on my quizzes. It looks like this is the ideal question for those with high clicks who are a danger to the public who need their placement lowered.

My Question to Myself
My question to myself is — should I not ask questions that lower your clicks by answering them correctly, or ask more questions with the same attribute, or not care either way? After all, I am measuring the safety of the notary and not how popular they are by quizzing them so why should it matter? Hmm. A question to chew on.


March 19, 2021

Is it easy to pass a fake ID for a RON notarization?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 4:44 am

If you are doing a notarization by video (sounds dubious at best) and the person presents a fake ID. How difficult would it be to determine if this is fake?

My answer is that I am not a RON, but that there are about eight types of portals or software packages that accompany RON notarizations and they can be used to identify a signer or check ID. Each is different and I have no IDea if they are good at spotting fake ID. If they can connect with the DMV in the signer’s area, then that would definitely help to verify the ID.

But, maybe the RONs and RONda’s out there can help give their input for this question as you know more than I do.

PS… If you are a female RON, wouldn’t that make you a RONda?

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