Notary Blog – Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice – 123notary.com Control Panel

April 14, 2011

The Story of 123notary.com

Filed under: Social Media — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 2:21 am

The story of 123notary.com 
It was late on a Friday night in 1999.  I was at a Title office waiting for documents to be ready for a late night signing. It was up in the valley, perhaps in Encino, CA.  In the mean time, the title officer was trying to find a notary in Pagoso Springs, CO.  We were using signingagent.com since that was the only signing agent directory we knew of at the time.  The problem was that there was only one notary in that county who didn’t answer their phone, and there was no way to find notaries in neighboring counties unless you knew the names of those counties.  At that time, you could only look up by county on signingagent.com. 
The birth of a vision
This was the birth of my idea to build my own database.  I was going to figure out what all the problems were with the other sites, and create my own with some new and practical features.  The feature that stuck out in my head was neighboring counties.  Its hard to know what counties border a particular county unless you have memorized the geography, or unless you have a good atlas.  These days with mapquest and google maps, that problem is much more easily surmounted, but even those sites are not always easy to use.  The concept of links to neighboring counties is easy for the browser.
Neighboring counties
Every county on 123notary has links to neighboring counties. That way, if you can’t find someone to do your job in Lemon county, then you will find a few links to nearby counties such as Lime and Cherry counties.  Sometimes we’ll have up to five links, while other times we will only have one. Remote areas might only have one link, because there is only one county where you would be likely to find anyone based on its higher population.
These days we do even more
For the last few years, I have personally gone beyond just listing links to neighboring counties to help people find notary services.  I will list notaries from surrounding counties who service the county being searched for.  I’ll just put them below the locals in the search results, so you find people in a rough order of proximity.  Of course, someone in a neighboring county might be two miles from the notary job, while someone on the other end of the same county might be twenty miles away from the notary job.  But, in the notary business, availability is more important than exact proximity, so this rough system functions well enough.
123notary was only for me when it started
The first year 123notary was around, it was designed to promote my personal notary business  for a few counties in southern California for me to advertise my personal notary services.  Yellow Pages were getting too expensive, and I wanted a more cost effective way to advertise.  After a while, I thought it would be better to have others share the cost with me, so I started offering listings to other notaries in Southern California. Then, we covered all of California.  By 2001 we decided to cover the whole United States and started populating the central and eastern states with notaries.  It was grueling hard work to build 123notary, especially since I was doing notaries fifty-five hours a week, and spending another fifteen building 123notary. I had no knowledge of the web business back then and had hardly any money.   All I had was an amazing drive and some great ideas. 
Its easier now
Now, when I create new web modules for my sites, or do new promotional programs, I have a decade of experience. I know what to do, and when, and what the most efficient ways of doing everything are.  Nothing beats experience.  But, I’m much more tired these days, and can not do the daily thirteen hour shifts that I used to do back in the day!


You might also like:

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

All about 123notary

The story of 123notary



  1. It surely was a winning idea–and one appreciated by this notary!

    Comment by Lee-AR — April 15, 2011 @ 11:04 pm

  2. Jeremy was quite right about the frustration of the start-up of his business. I, too, ran into the same frustration around 2000 when I realized there was nothing in Florida that would have a database of notaries to service this state. I had been a notary in Florida for over thirty years and was now being called for loan closings, especially in other counties. I thought of starting up a business for notaries in Florida when I learned of what Chuck Galvan was doing in California. I contacted him in doing a “franchise” using a bame he had listed, and Florida Mobile Notary Association, Inc. was formed. As a little time had passed, I was talking to Jeremy Belmont about him wanting to start his business and some notary testing because we found out that many notaries didn’t know much about the business they were in. I’m sure Jeremy had talked to many other notaries to expand his ideas for his business (123Notary). Again, as time progressed we both built our businesses and more and more notaries all over were wanting to “get on board”. Jeremy wanted to expand to all states and I wanted to focus on just Florida. I was holding “free” seminars to teach notries about what they should have known and having open forums. I wanted to grow bigger so I dropped out from under Chuck Galvan’s wings and renamed my business to Florida Mobile Notary Association and Services, Inc. I expanded my services and more notries joined.Notaries were hearing about how they could grow their businesses as well.Although the state required the notries to take a test, they still did not learn much about being a notary. We had more seminars and notaries were now learning about loan closings. One other thing Florida notaries learned was about marriages. Florida is one of three states that enables notaries to perform marriagss. About ten years down the road, my wife and I wanted to retire, so we turned our business over to n individual in the Florida panhandle. I still do some notary things, but they are ones I want to do in my time.

    Jeremy has grown his business well and his web site is fantastic now. He has come a long way. I get many calls from people that got my name from “123notary”. Good job, Jeremy! Keep growing!!

    Comment by Charles Graul — April 28, 2011 @ 10:40 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *