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September 19, 2014

How to become a successful mobile notary from scratch

Anyone can become a successful mobile notary. The field is wide open. On the other hand, since it is so easy to become a mobile notary, many people do it which causes a lot of low priced competition. However, those who are very good at this profession seem to do well with it even in bad times. As of 2014, business is slow, but you can still have a nice part time income doing mobile notary work. Additionally, eventually the industry will pick up, and you might find yourself earning more money than you expected!

Step 1. Become a Notary
If you are not a notary, you can easily become one. It is a bit harder in CA, NY, LA, and FL where there are examinations, but talk to your state notary division about how you can become a notary for your state.

Step 2. Learn the ropes: Jail, Hospital & Mortgage Signings
Being a mobile notary is more than just hauling your stamp around with you in your car. You need to know how to handle typical situations that mobile notaries have to deal with. Mobile notaries who do well typically are experts at jail signings, hospital signings, and loan signings. Notaries who work in an office don’t need to know much about jail signings, because inmates can’t come to you, and neither can those with an IV tube stuck up their arm. But, if you are on the road, these are situations you have to know about. There are many identification and communication issues associated with jail and hospital signings that can get you in trouble if you don’t know. On the other hand, you can make a huge travel fee doing these types of specialized mobile notary tasks that the other notaries don’t know how to do (or want to.)

Mortgage signings
Signing loans can earn you big bucks. Signers make anywhere from $50 to $150 per signing. Fees fluctuate with the market and depend on who you are doing business with and how good you are. If you have a lot of experience and have many loyal contacts, you can set your minimum fee at $100 or $125 per loan signing if you are any good. You will need to know some basic Mortgage terms, and know the basics about 10-20 basic documents. You need to know where to look for the Rate, APR, prepayment penalty, when the first payment is due, where the fees are, and other basic information. You need to know how to handle name variations, initialing and borrower objections to problems in the loan. You need to know who to call when a loan signing is on the rocks. Signing loans is not rocket science, but there are concepts you need to Master.

Take our course!
http://www.123notary.com/loan_signing_courses.html
How can you learn about all of these complicated and scary types of signings? 123notary offers a comprehensive loan signing course that covers all of these issues in detail. Additionally, you can get free detailed information in our blog about all of these topics. Just browse around the categories on the right and read to your heart’s content!

Step 3: Active Marketing
Getting work as a mobile notary is a bit hard at first, but you can do it. Contact a dozen or more signing & title companies each week and get on their list. They will want copies of various types of information and a signed contract, so ask them what they want, and give it to them. You can also give your business card out to local nursing homes, hospitals, Real Estate offices, law offices and anyone else you can think of who might need a mobile notary.

Step 4: Passive Marketing
Advertising on the major directories is a good practice. Notaries often ask on Linked In which directory they should join. My standard answer is to join all of them, but not necessarily to pay for all of them. The strongest players in 2014 are 123notary.com, NotaryRotary, NotaryCafe, and SigningAgent.com lost a lot of steam recently, but is still in the game. If you join other directories, I don’t recommend paying for them as they don’t have a good track record. You can go on Linked In to research what the notaries say are the better notary directories too for an unbiased point of view. Hard copy yellow pages for your local area may or may not get you work — it is worth a try if you are serious though.

Being listed on the big directories is not enough. You need to maintain your listing like a pro. Fortunately for you, I am here to offer you free mentoring by email, so don’t panic! You need a well written notes section, a company name helps, reviews from your satisfied clients, and try to pass as many certifications as you can.

Step 5: Who to get certified by?
My rule is that you get certified by every loan signing directory that you pay to advertise with — even if that means that you get certified five times. I am currently recommending:

(1) NNA’s certification as it is an industry standard
(2) 123notary’s certification if you get paid advertising with us as notaries who get this get 2.5x the work from our directory
(3) notary2pro’s certification (although not an industry standard) is very high quality, they offer hand holding, and the learning you will get from it justifies the cost.

Step 6: Screen companies you work for
Many signing agents drop out because they worked for the wrong companies, didn’t get paid, and suffered financially. Don’t let this happen to you! Use our list of signing companies (which includes reviews) and avoid working for signing companies with a high ratio of negative reviews. Additionally, don’t do too many jobs for a particular company until they have paid you for previous jobs. Decide ahead of time how much credit you are going to give them and don’t let them run up a bill beyond your limit.

Step 7: Become an expert at scheduling and negotiating
You need to be constantly refining your skills to do well in this business. Although there is a lot of competition, few of them have refinement. Scheduling is a hard task, and you need to juggle when the e-Documents are supposed to come, when your signing is, and when the next signing is. e-Documents don’t always come on time, so learn to juggle well. Negotiating good fees is also an art form, so pay attention to our blog articles as from time to time we have articles about how to negotiate.

Step 8: Get a high spot on 123notary
We make our money selling high spots on our directory. We generally discourage people from getting a high spot until they have passed our certification test and have at least a review or two. But, if you are serious and want to get ahead, call us and ask how you can get a high placement in your area. We are often very flexible and offer six month trials to those just starting out. The Title & Escrow companies who use our site know that those who purchase high spots on our directory are serious, and those notaries generally get a lot more quality jobs from our site than those with low spots.

Professional backgrounds that help
If you have a background in Mortgage, Escrow, Loan Origination, or Lending, this can really help you do better in the mobile notary business as you will be working a lot with Mortgage documents. However, don’t fool yourself into thinking you know more than you know. Many Mortgage Brokers assure me that they know their stuff and don’t need my test. When I ask them simple loan signing questions over the phone, they can only answer half of the easy ones. Go back and study and master the art of the signing. Your background does help you, but your over-confident attitude can really ruin your career. Additionally, it is very different being on the Notary side of the table than it is being on the Lender or Broker side of the table. Try to learn this profession from out point of view.

Real Estate backgrounds do not help as much as Real Estate Brokers claim. You are not anywhere near as familiar with the documents as you claim. As a matter of fact, those with Real Estate experience cannot answer simple loan signing questions any better than those with no Mortgage or Real Estate experience. Approach this profession as a beginner and learn the ropes one by one. The people skills you learn from being a Realtor on the other hand, can really help you. General business skills and being businesslike help more than any technical knowledge you may have acquired in your former professional life.

Don’t be afraid to ask if you need help
And as always, 123notary is there to help! If you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask!

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12 Comments »

  1. You neglected to mention that a Lobotomy helps.

    Comment by Kenneth Edelstein — September 21, 2014 @ 3:45 am

  2. Hi, I’m very interested in becoming a high producing notary. I want help getting into a title company and I want to do a 6 month trial.

    Comment by Mayra — January 10, 2015 @ 4:04 am

  3. Great info. Always looking for ways to improve my business, my credentials and my desirability as a notary signing agent. Professionalism is the core to my business; along with knowledge and services offered.

    What I find to be the biggest challenge is companies looking for cheap, fast and great. You can’t have all three. In my opinion, I would prefer fast and great services vs cheap. You get what you pay for. That includes notaries paying cheap to be on websites. They don’t usually come with great jobs. Again, my opinion.

    Comment by Shari — January 10, 2015 @ 11:15 pm

  4. gm. I am a full time notary. I’m just bar making full time money. Can you guide be?

    Comment by Jacqueline — January 12, 2015 @ 2:12 pm

  5. do realize in some states, like mine aka DE, we are capped by state rules & regs on how much we can charge. And we are required to do it for free fir military current & veterans. Thanks but not for me.

    Comment by Diane S — March 11, 2015 @ 11:34 pm

  6. Contrary to the author, not anyone can become a mobile notary – in California, anyway. There are state background checks, so if you have a criminal record that could hurt you. There are exams. And there are fees – for exams, background checks, notary bond, E&O Insurance, equipment. You can spend upwards of $400 before you even start to work. You need to have reliable transportation, and be willing to meet with people on their schedule, not yours.

    Comment by John — June 27, 2015 @ 6:55 pm

  7. Very interesting articles!

    Comment by Jerri A. Lippert — April 21, 2017 @ 2:57 am

  8. I am interested in getting a high position on your list and doing a 6 month trial.

    Please contact me ASAP so I can get some Notary jobs!

    Comment by Susan Williams — June 21, 2017 @ 2:44 am

  9. I am looking for some notary services for me. However, mobile notaries may charge for time or a flat rate for the convenience of meeting the customer out and about.
    Public Notary Services

    Comment by Maria Ferrell — August 29, 2017 @ 10:06 am

  10. Hi I am interested in getting a high position. I do title work and I am a closing agent but would like to do this on the side part time in the evenings or weekends.

    Comment by Iris — January 19, 2018 @ 7:19 am

  11. Your blog about mobile notary is very nice blog. I really like it and appreciate also. It is very helpful for everyone. Thank you so much for sharing this good information.

    Mobile Notary

    Comment by Maria Ferrell — March 9, 2018 @ 7:57 am

  12. Just getting started in this field as a side business. Working on the marketing end right now. Thanks for the great resource.

    Comment by Andrea — June 19, 2018 @ 7:53 pm

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