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October 10, 2018

Title companies use the top three on 123notary

Filed under: Advertising — Tags: — admin @ 11:39 am

I talked to a few title companies in the last week. And Carmen has been talking to them for years. What I am hearing from all available sources is consistent. Title companies love 123notary, but they don’t use all Notaries on our directory. They typically either start at the top and work their way down, or only pick from the top three or the top several on any search result.

Some of you are in the top several placements on 123notary, but some of you are not. It is not always possible to get a top spot on 123notary. However, we recommend getting the highest spot you can get and then hope for an upgrade. I control who can rise on our directory and I base this on merit. If you have good reviews. 123notary certification, a good notes section, answer your phone, and are generally good in most respects, you would be very likely to move up the list. You don’t even have to do anything. Just display merit, and I will do the rest.

When someone drops out of a high spot, I look for someone downstream who has demonstrated merit, but also shows that they are willing to pay for a top spot. If someone is only paying $99, I might give them a higher placement for a few months at no cost if there is nobody paying who also merits the spot. But, if a candidate has paid $200 or above, I would choose them even if their track record is not as great as someone paying less.

I need long term candidates for high spots. Since high spots are not for free, they have to be willing to pay, but they also have to be good. That narrows it down a bit as you can see. My suggestion to you guys is to develop merit. Don’t just pay yourself on the back and tell others how great you are. Your self-praise and inexpensively earned credibility means nothing in the real world. Reviews from title companies and my personal seal of approval means everything. So, stop bragging and start studying and asking for reviews. Good luck.

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You might also like:

How does pricing work for top placements on 123notary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19355

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

Do you compare yourself to others in the 123notary search results?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18882

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October 9, 2018

A dream about a flood

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

I had a dream a few days back in August 2018. The dream was that I was driving to Van Nuys, CA to see two of my old programmers who I used to work with back in 2010. I could not use some of the roads because they were flooded, so I drove around until I could get to higher ground. I got to their house which was next to a low bridge. We talked about some programming issues.

The fact is that the next day, my outsourcing site which was built in India of all places got flooded with spam emails regarding SQL errors. We got 24,000 emails. Additionally, in Kerela which is in India they had a flood of water at exactly the same time. I think it is interesting that my site got flooded with emails the same time Kerela had a flood, and that karmically this happened because my site was built in India or connected somehow to India.

Trying to make sense of this all energetically, I feel that there must have been some force of nature in the air that caused both events to happen. Maybe a powerful God or spirit made all of these chaotic energy surface.

In Kerela, they could have reduced the severity of the floods had they opened their dams a bit earlier. But, the dam managers did not think ahead and thousands of people were underwater in their neighborhood and needed boats to get them around. Kerela is rainy eight months a year and always has flooding problems, but this was the worst in decades. Let’s hope they are okay over there.

It is interesting to see what dreams mean. This was not that interesting, but the reflection of the dream on reality was fascinating.

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October 8, 2018

A interesting take on ‘communicating’ with the signer…

Filed under: Carmen Towles — admin @ 11:36 am

In some states, in order to notarize a document in addition to a personal appearance and having current government issued ID you must also be able to communicate with the signer. This applies to us here in California and in addition, we are forbidden to use an interpreter/translator. Unfortunately for me, it has cost me several jobs because although I have a Spanish name, I do not speak a lick of Spanish. 🙁 This has been very disastrous to me. I live an a predominately Asian and Latino community and I estimate that it has cost me at least 30% of my business. I wish I had listened to my mother. She always told me to learn Spanish and learn to type. Of course I didn’t listen, lol. Alternatively, however, due to technology there may be a resolution to my (and others) dilemma when notarizing for a person who speaks another language.

I was speaking with a friend and notary colleague and this topic came up. In the conversation, he mentioned that there was another way, that may solve our problem and that he had been using it effectively. He told me that Google translate was great and that it works very well. And that it was a little different in its implication as compared to a live translator. I have an iPhone, so I immediately downloaded it and I can tell you it is fantastic. It is super easy to use and It translates all languages and as far as I can tell it is 100% accurate. To test it out, I asked in English; “Do you understand the document that you are signing”? Do you know that you are giving your daughter power of attorney over all your affairs? It then translated it into Spanish and speaks it out loud for both parties to hear and it will record their response (as well as yours) in writing. You can set it to have a back and forth conversation with a written record. You can understand them and they can understand you. I just LOVE this. It has the potential to solve a big problem for those of us that must be able to communicate with the signer.

Now what I am wondering, will the Secretary of State accept this method to satisfy the ‘communication requirement’? It is like using a translator, isn’t it? Personally though, I think it is a little different because I can personally ask the questions in English and It will translate in their language. With a translator they are asking all the questions and having a back and forth with the signer whereas if we don’t speak the language we have no idea whats been said other than what the translator relays back to us, which may be truthful or not. When using google translate, the notary can control everything and can have a back and forth conversation. All parties can read, hear and record the conversation, but the SOS will have the final say. As of writing this blog, I have not asked them but plan on calling them in the near future to find out their take on it. In the mean time, I was curious what some of you felt about this. Let me know in the comments section below.

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You might also like:

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

Is it better to be “bilingual” or speak Spanish?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19264

Where can I find a Spanish speaking Notary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18824

Index of posts about documents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20258

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October 7, 2018

Index of best posts about Notary Marketing

Filed under: Compilations,Marketing Articles — admin @ 2:48 am

Here is our index of best posts about Notary marketing

Notary Marketing 102 — a comprehensive course
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19774

Best marketing resources for Notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16322

10 rules for negotiating notary fees
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19620

Links to posts about Snapdocs
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=snapdocs

$300 in 13 minutes. How Carmen cleans up in the Notary business
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19284

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

If you were hiring a notary, what would you look for?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16750

Strategies for efficiency in the Mobile Notary business
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18913

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

For background checks, NNA & Sterling come recommended
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18835

A comprehensive guide to Notary pricing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16504

What is a high placed listing on 123notary worth?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16720

Which is more important?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17522

Does knowledge matter any more as a signing agent?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19887

Answering the phone and then not wanting to talk
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19640

Names for Notary businesses that can get you into trouble
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19064

Following directions – what’s the big deal?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19600

The 24 hour icon and what it means
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19455

How do Notaries decide what a fair fee is?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19236

How to make a good first impression
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19130

You want to get paid well as a Notary, but do you merit a good rate?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16687

Do you appear more professional if you have a website?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16710

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October 5, 2018

Index of posts about Notary Acts

Here is my index of posts about various Notary acts including Acknowledgments, Jurats, Oaths, Affirmations, and more.

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GENERALLY BEST ARTICLES

Notary Public 101 — Basic Notary Acts
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19500

Oaths — how notaries completely screw them up
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19369

Airline meals versus Oaths & Affirmations (very interesting and informative)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19549

How do I get an Apostille or Authentication?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1793

Notary Public 101 — quick review pointers (includes notary act info)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19679

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AFFIRMATIONS & OATHS

Affirmations — pleasing politically correct people while offending everyone else
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19606

Should you use book wording for Oaths or improvise?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19660

Oaths and the art of improvisation
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19367

Notary perjury and Oaths
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6917

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Notary Acknowledgment Wording
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18858

Notary loses $4000 because fraud adds name to Acknowledgment certificate
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19477

California Acknowledgment Wording explained
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8459

Optional information on Acknowledgment Certificate
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4407

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OTHER

Interesting and uncommon Notary acts
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=483

Information about various notary procedures
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2268

Which Notary act does not require the personal appearance of the signer?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19668

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October 4, 2018

Giving notary commissions to seven year olds

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

Can you imagine giving a notary commission to a seven year old? What do they know about notary law or procedure. The sad truth is that with a little training, a child could out do most adults at Notary work.

The other day, I made twenty phone calls and wrote down the results. I asked people to pretend I was their customer and administer an Oath to me for a document that said I lived in Delaware. Only one of twenty knew how to do their job. How can a Notary division commission people none of whom know how to do their job? It is as foolish as commissioning a seven year old. The child might not be responsible, but at least they are at the age where they know they have to learn things and they are curious about the world.

Adults don’t always crave knowledge and are not always disciplined about learning. I will have to contact the secretary of state’s in the various states because my career is suffering because it is too hard to find passable notaries.

And then the NNA comes along and teaches signing agent knowledge to notaries who don’t know how to be notaries. How can the NNA commission people as signing agents who can’t even administer an Oath? In my opinion you should know Notary work first, and THEN, learn signing agent stuff. You learn to crawl before you walk. You learn to put the key in the ignition before you do speed racing at the Indy 500. The NNA has real pull. People respect them and treat them almost as a government agency which they are not. If the NNA says you have to learn to be a real Notary, people will listen. Maybe it’s about time the NNA says — without notary knowledge, no certification of any type for you buddy! I am waiting for that day to come. Since they read our blog at the NNA (to make sure I’m not saying anything about them) perhaps they will get the message! I believe that if the NNA changed their policy, this problem of Notaries who don’t know how to be Notaries would decrease at least in our industry although the bank notaries would still not know their job.

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October 3, 2018

Have you ever had a Notary burger?

What is a Notary burger? Sounds good.

It has certified Angus beef
An embossed flat bread bun
Onions from Affianto Farms
Mortgage-sturd, ketchup and a little mayo.
Lettuce from a commissioned farm
You can have the option to add bacon

But you can get a special type of mushroom that looks like a Notary seal. It is rectangular on top.
Don’t forget to order a drink or you’ll really be in a pickle
You can also get a small fries if you are a small fry.
After you order, don’t forget to put down in your journal that you ordered a Notary burger, it’s considered a Notary act in some states. Except you pay the fee instead of receiving a fee.

Finish off your meal with some ice cream from Jen & Sherry’s like some Rescinded Rum Raisin, or Vanilla Venue.

I’m sure you’ll love this burger so much that you will swear (or affirm) by it.

Also see — Notary Restaurant Posts Compilation

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October 2, 2018

Facial recognition techniques can help you spot a fake ID

Filed under: Identification For Being Notarized — Tags: — admin @ 12:43 am

Newer identification cards have easily recognized security features such as raised lettering, microprinting, embedded images or holigraphic images.

However, you can feel the ID for raised lettering which is a sign of forgery. You can also feel the edges of the ID to see if layers have been added. If there is overlapping lettering, laser perforated images, or peeling lamination, you probably have a fake.

According to the blow linked NNA article, Notaries failed to spot a fake ID 28% of the time. According to me, this is why you take journal thumbprints as the thumbprint is definitive proof of identity.

You can analyze the signer’s facial features as hair styles and colors could have changed since the ID was created (or since yesterday.)
Look at the shape of the ears
Check for dimples
Verify the ridges of the eyebrows (and hope they don’t shave their eyebrows.)

In my experience, identifying women is a lot harder than men. I also feel that it would be better to have formal courses for Notaries to spot fake ID’s as the entire point of our career is to positively identify people correctly.

Please visit this NNA link as well.
https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2016/08/using-facial-recognition-spot-impostors

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You might also like:

Scanning bar codes on an ID in Washington State?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19729

Notary Public 101 — Identification
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19507

Identification requirements for being Notarized
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4299

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October 1, 2018

What would our certification mean if everyone had it?

Filed under: Certification & Communication Skills — admin @ 11:31 am

Our certification used to mean something five or ten years ago. Certified members used to value knowledge, study and get more business as a result of having our certification. In the last several years, the industry has changed, and Carmen pointed out that I was not in touch with the new collective attitude of the industry. There is less of a concern about education, knowledge, and more emphasis on micromanaging and low-balling. With the poor quality of notaries out there in 2018, it seems that the hiring parties have no other choice.

The average 123notary certified member had a reasonable knowledge of loan docs back in 2012. But, when I retested people in 2016, the knowledge level went down from around 65% to about 45%. I do not have exact records, and the percentages mean nothing unless you know who was tested and what position they were in, what the questions were, if it was timed, by email, phone, etc. To me, this is a significant drop in competency.

It is because of this drop in knowledge that I requizzed everyone. But, during my first round, I only asked eight questions, and was very liberal in grading. I did not want to decertify 99% of those who had the icon. I felt bad that so many were not passing. But, the not passing was because most Notaries did not know their job. They do their job wrong all day long but nobody caught them, except in a few cases that I heard about. So, I quizzed people again and again with free study guides hoping that people would study more and hoping I would get readings on how they did at notary, documents, and scenarios questions.

The results were that some people studied, but most ignored my emails or did a half-assed job answering the questions. Despite all the chances I gave people, most people did not take the certification seriously and lost it.

Many people got mad at me for all this testing. Some claimed it was demeaning and that they were a professional and knew their job and didn’t need to be tested. Others thought it was a nuisance. However, so many people did so badly, that without testing someone, I can only assume that they are failing in basic knowledge. I apologize for bothering everyone, but I did not have a very forward thinking plan for recertifying people in the past. Now, I am much more masterful about the step by step processes that are necessary. I know my audience better.

The reason I am doing all this testing is because:
(a) I want to screen out those who refuse to study or cooperate, or don’t know their stuff
(b) I want to not screen out too many people otherwise nobody will have our certification.

If I did it the old fashioned way, back in 2017, I would have had a comprehensive timed oral test by phone. I would have sent out two emails, the follow-up would be a week after the first. You would be required to not only answer the email but answer three questions based on material embedded in our course to force you to read our course (few will read it unless forced.) If I went out 1000 emails of this nature, I would probably get 150 qualified responses from those that read the materials. Then, I would test those 150 people on a timed phone test with the hardest questions first. That way I could end the test early if they had not studied. I would probably pass only about 20 people, and we would have 20 certified notaries. The others could study and retest.

Such a harsh way of doing business would have been too much of a shock for me back in 2017. However, it would have gotten the job done in three weeks flat instead of doing the job in wishy-washy stages like I did.

I wanted my certification to mean something to those hiring notaries. If idiots had my icon, then the certification would not mean anything. But, if I took it away from too many people, then nobody would have it and it would once again not mean anything. So, my strategy has been to try to get people to study so I could increase the quantity of deserving people who would have this icon. My strategy was very time consuming and caused too much grief to far too many people.

If I did it all over again, I would make it a lot harder to get the certification in the first place, because taking peoples’ certification away causes a lot of grief to all parties involved. I am older now. I am 49 now. I started certification when I was a starry eyed 32 year old with very little experience in the real world. Young people don’t think about the long term.

Many people who had our certification gamed the system and memorized the answers, had other people take the test for them, or simply forgot their knowledge because they stopped reading, took drugs, or got old and senile. I did not think of any of that when I was 32, but that is the first thing I think about now — mental decay.

Reading, thinking, walking, and grape juice is the best way to preserve your brain.

In the mean time, we are down to less than 200 people who have our certification and the users are starting to appreciate it because the quality went up.

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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.

Summary
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
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20092

Most of what Jeremy & Carmen at 123notary offer all day is free
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19359

Who is involved with 123notary behind the scenes?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18888

What are Jeremy’s favorite blog entries?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18837

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