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March 25, 2019

What makes a p#10 preferential listing do well on 123notary?

Filed under: Advertising — Tags: , — admin @ 9:51 am

Many people purchase preferential listings from us. They are cost effective and a great way to start out. But, some of these listings do well while others do not. Why?

Test Scores
Preferential listings are all subjected to Jeremy’s quiz (which nobody likes except for a few nerdy Notaries.) I used to do the test by phone, but this caused too much stress to all parties involved. So, now I do it by email which tests not only knowledge, but how fast you answer emails — if at all. Notaries who did well with preferential listings typically had above average test scores, but did not have high test scores — you could say the average score was mediocre plus. Average unfortunately is failing these days with the lack of emphasis on education. Preferential listings that did not do well typically did not respond to my quiz email or failed. So, yes, education and skill still matters and if you think you can succeed by winging it because nobody cares — you are wrong!

Reviews
The average preferential listing that got above average clicks had an average of about four reviews compared to zero or one with the unsuccessful listings. So, you do not need dozens of reviews, but you need a new one once every six months or so to do well.

Experience
People who hire Notaries want experience. But, Notaries sometimes lie about their experience. The preferential listings that performed well typically showed about 4000 loans signed compared to an average of 1500 for the less popular listings. So, having a lot of experience is not enough. You need more than a lot. FYI, the highest placed listings needed more like 6000 loans to do well because it is more competitive at the top. To get more experience, you need to say yes more, and work for people who are not that nice, and micromanage too much and don’t pay well. In the long run, your experience and knowledge is your gold. So study and get more jobs under your belt.

24/7 and Owl Icons
Preferential listings that do well offer late night service more times than not. Offering convenience helps a lot.

Notes
Preferential listings that did well typically have a well written notes section. Those that don’t perform well half the time don’t have a good notes section or any notes section. What you say about yourself and how you say it matters more than you think. Pay more attention to your notes section.

Summary
If you want a quick way to make your preferential listing do better, study from Notary Public 101 on our blog (which is free and very popular), ask people you have worked for for reviews and email them a link to your review page. Write a better notes section and ask for help if you need any. Additionally, consider offering service until 10:30pm so you can get an owl icon. Offering a more expansive list of specialties including hospitals, jails, and more types of loans not to mention last minute service can really help too. There are many things you can do to boost your business within 30 days. Why not do all of those things?

You might also like:

Title companies use the top 3 on 123notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21282

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

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March 23, 2019

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

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.

You might also like:

Pricing for top listings on 123notary, how does that work?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19355

Your # of loans signed just went down?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21236

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June 27, 2017

# of loans vs. # of years or using “since”

Filed under: Your Notes Section — admin @ 8:57 am

We crunched some numbers to help find out which types of notes sections attract the most clicks and we have some answers.

Years vs. # of Loans
When I create a notes section for someone, I prefer to stress number of loans verses number of years. Since many Notaries do signings on the side, the number of years doesn’t give you an accurate idea of how experienced you really are. I signed more loans in one month than many people do in several years. If you were full-time, then number of years is a more informative statistic about you. But, number of loans (assuming you are not fibbing or off by a large margin) is a very accurate way to know how experienced you are. It doesn’t tell us if you are smart about signing loans, but at least we know you have done a few. But, what do the stats say?

After crunching some numbers for an hour, I came up with some stats for our top placed people on the site. Those who mentioned number of loans got roughly 40% more clicks than those who mentioned years, although those who mentioned years did fairly well compared to the average Notary as readers do identify with that statistic. Additionally, the top of your notes section shows up in the search results, and you can fit the number of loans signed using fewer characters leaving room for more critical information (selling points) about yourself. So, the number of loans is a better statistic to use (by far).

Since (year)
If you want to let people know how long you have been doing signings, if you use the word since, you don’t have to keep changing the number of years every 12 months. You can say three years of experience or doing signings since 2014. Since also does well in the stats.

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October 2, 2019

SnapDocs – total number of signings vs. total documented

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 11:18 pm

There is a common misunderstanding out there. I often ask notaries how many loans they have signed. I get mostly roundabout answers that just don’t give me anything to work with.

ME: How many loans have you signed?

NOTARY: You mean total? In my life?

ME: Yes, otherwise I would have specified a time period. Once again, how many loans have you signed?

NOTARY: Can’t you check on SnapDocs?

ME: I’m not on SnapDocs, I’m on the phone with you. Do you not know what your experience is?

NOTARY: I don’t keep track every day.

ME: Your # of loans signed on SnapDocs is not a total number but a number of loans you signed through their platform. Your total number might be far higher.

NOTARY: Oh, a few hundred.

ME: A few hundred could be anywhere from two hundred to nine hundred. Once again we are not getting any answer I can use to make an input on my form. Hmm.

NOTARY: Just say 250.

ME: Finally, after tugging on you 9x we get an answer. Thanks. Please fill in your notes too.

You might also like:

Your number of loans signed just went down?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21236

The evolution of American commerce and Snapdocs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22275

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February 1, 2016

Everything you need to know about writing a great notes section

Most Notaries underestimate how critical it is to have an amazing notes section on your listing on 123notary.com. They just write how they are background screened and have E&O insurance. They stop there. Yes, this is important information and it can be a deal breaker if you don’t have the right background screening from the right agency, etc. However, the Notaries who get lots of work from 123notary tend to have 123notary certifications, reviews from satisfied clients and a very thorough notes section. So, what is the secret? The secret is to be specific, unique and well organized in what you write about yourself.

(1) Selling Features
The top of your notes section should stress selling features. What can you say about yourself that others might not be able to say that would make someone want to hire you. “I’m reliable.” Everyone claims to be reliable, and then they show up late making a mockery out of their claim. Try something that you can put your finger on. But, I really am reliable? Yes, but your notes section can’t prove it — so skip it. Instead, let’s think about what types of loans you know how to sign. Don’t just say, “all types.” List them one by one. Do you have some unusual qualifications? Were you Notary of the year? Do you do jail or hospital signings? Are you fluent in Uzbekistani hill dialects? These are things that help you stand out. Were you a CEO of a Mortgage company? That helps too. If you have Escrow, Title, Underwriting, Processing, Settlement, or general Mortgage experience, that is a huge plus on your notes section. Make sure to indicate that high in your notes. Remember — the first 200 characters of your notes show up on the search results for your area, so digress to impress! (actually don’t digress, but use that space to squeeze in as many selling features as possible)

(2) Specialties
One of the most valuable pieces of information you can include in your notes are your specialties. Instead of bragging about how you are error-free or dependable (which nobody wants to read,) instead list the types of loans you know how to sign, types of major documents or procedures you are familiar with. Do you go to airports, offices, or jails? Do you do Weddings or Apostilles? People are very impressed when you have highly specialized skills, so mention them.

(3) # of loans signed
Most Notaries up date the # of loans signed once in four years. When I mention that their profile says they signed 200 loans, they say, “Oh, that was five years ago. I must have forgotten to login — I’ll go in there.” You need to “go in there” and update your info every few months or you will have information that is collecting cyber-dust.

(4) What is hot and what is not?
Radiuses are hot. If you have a wide radius, tell the world. 100 mile radius shows you are serious (or crazy.) Last minute signings are a good thing to mention. Do you accept faxes or are willing to do fax backs? That narrows it down. Are you background screened? Is it by NNA or Sterling or someone else — if you’re screened by the wrong agency, you don’t get the job! Do you know how to do eSignings? That will make you stand out!

(5) Professional memberships and certifications
Are you NNA Certified, Notary2Pro certified, 123notary certified, or trained by some other agency. It is impressive especially if you have four or five certifications. Mention these as well as your memberships. But, please don’t say you are an NNA member in good standing. The only way to be in bad standing with any agency is by not paying your bills or perhaps being convicted of a felony.

(6) What is unique about your service?
Is there something unique about the way you do your work? Or do you have a catchy unique phrase about yourself? It is very hard for most people to think of anything unique about themselves. But, if you really put some thought into it over an extended period of time you might come up with something good. We have two blog articles below with some of the best unique information we’ve ever seen.

(7) Avoid vagueness
Did you work for 10 years in the legal industry? What does this mean? Were you the company president or did you mop the floor for an Attorney. State your job title or what you did very clearly. If you were a legal secretary of Paralegal, that is good to know. Not a selling feature. Additionally, try to be specific about your claims. Rather than saying how good you are with people, give a concrete example of how you are good with people, or what experience you have that proves you are good with people.

Also read:
General (vague) vs. specific information in your notes section
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4602

(8) Avoid restating information
Many Notaries restate their company name, their company mission, phone and email in your notes. Your notes is to give additional information about your service, and not to restate what the reader already knows. Remember, those top 200 characters go in the search results, and if you say, “We are here to serve” nobody will click on you.

(9) Counties served
There are 12 boxes where you can indicate your counties served. If you wish to restate this info in your notes, put it near the bottom as this is not a selling feature. If you want to indicate which parts of which counties you serve, the notes section is the only place to go into such detail. Others choose to mention specific towns or cities served. Please avoid stating which zip codes you go to as that is too nit-picky.

(10) Writing about your mentor
New Notaries always want to bend my ear about how they don’t have experience, but their mentor has signed 10,000 loans and they have been to many signings with their mentor. After hearing ten minutes about their mentor I say, “I’ll hire him — I’m convinced — But, I wouldn’t hire you in a million years because you don’t stand on your two feet!” Don’t talk about your mentor. Talk about what training programs you have passed.

(11) Writing about your Real Estate background
Notaries regularly write, “I am a Realtor and therefor am familiar with the documents.” But, when I quiz them on the documents they fail almost every time. Also, many Notaries will write three paragraphs about their Real Estate business or Process Serving, etc. People are coming to 123notary to find a great Notary, not a Real Estate agent. If you want to quickly mention in the middle of your notes that you are a Realtor, that is fine, but don’t make it the central point of your notes.

(12) Educational background
If you want to write about your degrees or former professional experience, unless it is Mortgage related, it should go in the middle or lower middle part of the notes as it is not critical information in the eyes of the reader.

(13) Equipment
Yes, you can write about your equipment. Sometimes we recommend using bullet points for quick points such as E&O, certifications, and equipment. You can mention what type of printer, scanner, fax, or mobile office you have. Just don’t put this up top. It belongs in the middle or lower middle of your notes.

(14) Closing statements
Some Notaries choose to have a closing statement while others don’t. We like it when Notaries do. You can say, “Thanks for visiting my listing.” Or say something a little more unique.

(15) Don’t jumble everything in one paragraph
A good notes section is divided into several logical sections. We normally like to see an intro with selling features, an about you paragraph, some bullet points, and a closing statement. There are many formats for winning notes section and you can decide what is best for you.

(16) Ask for help
123notary gives free notes makeovers. However, we cannot write the content for you. We can filter and reorganize it though. When we redo people’s notes sections they average an increase of 55% more clicks per day to their listing. So, ask! And get some reviews on your listing while you’re at it!

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Other Great Notes Articles

How to write a notes section if you have no experience
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4173

10 quick changes to your notes that can double your calls
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4499

What goes where in your notes?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1076

2014 excerpts from great notes sections
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13613

Unique phrases from people’s notes sections
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14690

Stating the obvious in your notes section
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14146

A Notary included a copy of her testimonial in her notes
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4680

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July 20, 2015

Getting on board with signing & title companies

At 123notary.com we come into contact with a lot of newer notaries. Unfortunately, few of them ask for advice, and few of them do the right things. Most are just either confused or not that interested in really making their notary career work. So, what should new signing agents do?

Get on board! But, with whom?

(1) Advertise…
First of all, you need to be seen. Advertise on the major notary directories like 123notary, Notary Rotary, Notary Cafe, and Signingagent.com
If people can’t find you, they can’t use you

(2) Pass at least three certification tests.
We lecture people all the time about this, but few budge an inch. Get certified by ALL companies who you intend to advertise with in the long run. Notary2Pro also offers notary training although they do not have a notary directory as far as I know, and their training is one of the best. Don’t be afraid to get certified three or four times. You learn more each time you study and test. You also prove yourself more. If you want people to respect your knowledge, stop fighting it and just pass everyone’s test. For a professional notary, this shouldn’t be a big deal and it doesn’t cost that much either.

(3) Get on board with signing companies.
Most beginner notaries want to make big bucks working for high paying Title companies. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like this. Title companies like to hire seasoned pros. You are an unseasoned non-pro unless you are from Southern Louisiana in which case you might be seasoned (Cajun perhaps.) But, that’s the wrong kind of seasoned in the Notary business. Work for low-ball signing companies. Work for the companies that everyone is complaining about on the boards. Make sure they pay their notaries, but work for the annoying ones. We compiled a list of signing companies who will hire beginners. I strongly recommend getting on board with them as they can jump start your career and get your phone ringing.

You can also look at our list of signing companies and start contacting them one by one. Not all of them specialize in hiring beginners, but you can talk to them. Most of them will have some sort of a contract you will have to sign. They might want you to fill out forms, submit your E&O, Bond, and some other information too. Don’t send this to us. Notaries mistake us for a signign company daily, and we throw out all of the useless information they send us. We don’t want your E&O, we just want your money… (and your address, hours of operation, county, additional counties, two or more paragraphs of notes about your service, # of loans signed, # of RAM of your laserprinter, etc.)

As a new notary, if you follow these three easy steps, your business will get jump started. You will go from zero jobs per month to dozens overnight. Yes, it might take four months to get on a 50-100 signing company databases, and it might take some bugging them to get your first job. But, do it. People who listen to 123notary tend to do a lot better than those who are either too lazy, or too argumentative to listen. Follow our proven path to success and reap the benefits! You won’t get rich, but at least you’ll be making a huge supplement to your income!

You might also like

Signing Companies That Hire Beginners
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7059

Low Ball Signing Companies
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=745

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April 5, 2013

Fake it until you make it with your number of signings.

We have many notaries on 123notary. Some are honest, others are clueless, a few are motivated, but most just want an easy ride. Recently, I have become aware, unpleasantly, that there is a small percentage of fakers.

We had one lady who claimed to have signed 2000 loans. When I asked her what type of loans she signed, she drew a blank. I immediately sensed that she didn’t know anything and was a fake signing agent. We had another who had signed 200 loans — allegedly who couldn’t name even a single loan type. I had to drag it out of him what the names of the documents were that he had notarized — and the answer sounded like he was reading a list from a journal, and not by memory. A sign of inexperience. We had a third gentleman who had signed 100 loans who didn’t know that the figure most commonly used to compare loans was the APR. How can he not know that?

The think you need to realize is that people who fake their number of signings do not get jobs. People who call them immediately sense that they are incompetent as notaries and shouldn’t be hired. 123notary is expert at presenting notaries to the public. But, if your presentation doesn’t match up to your oral skills, you will be standing in the unemployement line. Yes — present yourself well, but don’t fake it until you make it. You ruin your credibility and ours as well.

Rather than being dishonest, just evade the topic of how many signings you have done (if there are not that many) and talk about what you have done in terms of specifics. List loan types, or specific companies you have worked for. List documents you are intimate with. Specifics sell a lot more than generalities like “Lots of experience”, or “Professional and reliable”. People want real information, not unverifiable claims.

So, as Martin Lawrence used to say

Keep it real!!!

You might also like:

# of loans signed or number of years using “since”
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19270

Everything you need to know about writing a great notes section
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16074

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February 16, 2013

Why Notaries Don’t Last

Filed under: Drama & Tragedy — Tags: , , — admin @ 11:59 pm

Why Notaries Don’t Last: DO Something

Some of our notaries invariably give up because they are tired–or get tired because they have given up–on themselves. They seem to feel that just being listed on a database–without really trying to say anything intriguing in the Notes section or give any details on why they should be hired over other notaries–is all they have to do. Then, they have a few companies who pay them too little, ask them to drive too far… or do not pay them at all.

One notary whose Notes section says virtually nothing reported he does not get any work– or does not get paid when he does take on work! He told me, “I have become a target for morons. Everyone who calls me wants me to do a job 100 miles away for next to nothing.” Well–if he takes the job–and continues taking jobs from a company that does not pay him–just who is the moron?

A top title company owner recently told me, “I like it when notaries tell right at the beginning of their Notes how many loans they have signed. Years as a notary does not tell me how many loans they have signed or anything about them.”

I understand that inexperienced notaries must start somewhere, and do not feel they have anything to say to promote themselves. But be pro-active and look at a few other listings to see what notaries say in their Notes sections. Don’t just sit there, waiting for the phone to ring. YES: companies DO read your Notes…particularly the opening lines, which become the thumbnail for the search results. The best companies will not hire a notary who has errors in the Notes, by the way. Also, if all you say at the beginning is “Hi, my name is Benny,” you are wasting good space. Open with your # of loans signed and follow with a description that will make me want to call you. Tell us about your technology, memberships, and degrees. Read on.

A few tips to avoid burnout or getting burned:

> Think about whatever there is in your experience and background that makes you detail-oriented, reliable, and punctual. Tell us THAT–instead of just listing adjectives. For example, if you have a degree or experience in accounting– Say! For example: “MA in Marketing, 10 years in accounting: I prepare every loan as if it were my own tax return.”

> Update your Notes and # of loans signed frequently. As you gain experience, take a look at your Notes. Add any degrees or info that would help someone choose you.

> Find a few companies to write positive reviews of your notary work. Companies trust notaries with a few reviews. If someone has hired you–let that company write a brief review, and use that review to get more work. Or maybe someone you did a routine notarization for will write a review. Right above your name on your notary page is the link to send someone to write a review. Reviews work: http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3902

> Get the 123 certification. Companies know our test is timed and focused, and you will get more calls if you are certified plus have good Notes…and a few reviews. This is just what the stats show about who gets work on 123notary. Those who get our certification move way ahead quickly. It’s just a fact.

> USE 123notary to the max: in the upper right corner of the home page, there is a link you can click on: signing company lists. Check out which ones have good reviews and PAY well…and market yourself to them after you have updated your Notes. You will be pleasantly surprised.

> If you are doing all these things–you will have much more confidence on the phone when someone calls you.

Take a few hours a week and try at least one of these strategies. Before you become bitter because no one calls you or pays you– take a look at what you can do to stand out.

.

You might also like:

Experienced notaries are being weeded out of the industry
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16747

Best blog articles for advanced Notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14736

I’m a high end notary in a low ball world
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22263

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June 4, 2018

Notes — how many financial packages do you mention?

Filed under: Your Notes Section — admin @ 11:56 am

In your notary notes section it makes sense to discuss your experience. Many Notaries have a wide repetoire of types of signings they know how to do. It is common to make a list of financial packages or types of documents that you are familiar with. But, how many should you mention? Should they be in alphabetical order?

My philosophy is that you should not mention more than twelve types of documents or loans in one paragraph. It just gets to be too much. On the other hand, some Notaries who have 5000 loans signed, only mention four or five types of loans which is not enough. I think that nine to twelve is the perfect number.

Additionally, I prefer to put the more unusual types of loans first in the list to stand out. But alphabetical is easier to read. On the other hand Refinances, FHA, and VA are all types of refinances. Should they be grouped together. I guess there is no right answer, but you should have a strategy for what you are doing.

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You might also like:

What types of loans do you know how to sign?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16712

# of loans vs. # of years or using “since.”
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19270

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

A list of things you probably forgot to put in your notes section
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22303

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April 12, 2018

I’ve been doing this 20 years

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 10:23 am

People who fail our test or who do not want to take our test hide behind their years. It is a cover up for lack of knowledge.

JEREMY: You failed my test!

NOTARY: Well sonny, I’ve been doing this for 20 years so I must know what I’m doing.

JEREMY: You don’t even know how to give an Oath or keep a journal. You not only do not know what you are doing, but you are endangering the public.

NOTARY: You’re mean!

JEREMY: You are worse than mean. You could get someone in financial or legal trouble from your ineptitude!

If you have been a Notary for 20 years, but only did one loan per year, that is 20 loans. That is why when I ask to know how many loans you have signed, I really don’t want to hear years. On the other hand, you could tell me number of loans and be mistaken or dishonest. On the other hand there are those who have signed ten thousand loans with their eyes virtually shut who don’t know their documents at all because they don’t read the documents and because the borrowers don’t ask questions that require the Notary to think.

That is why I think that a knowledge test is a better analytic than years, or number of loans. You can be in business for 20 years and know absolutely nothing. I’m not sure how that is possible, but I have many Notaries to prove that it is indeed possible. You can have signed 20,000 loans and know nothing. But, if you ace my test, you know something.

So, never tell people how many years you have been doing this. Hiring parties such as Title companies see right through this. It is BS. Tell them about the types of experience you have and be more specific. That will sound more knowledgeable to someone who has knowledge themself who is going to potentially hire you or list you on their directory.

.

You might also like:

How to negotiate signing fees like a pro
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19198

# of loans verses # of years
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19270

How many loans have you signed?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16559

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