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June 14, 2020

123notary’s emergency server migration

Filed under: Social Media — admin @ 8:46 am

On Friday at about 2am on June 5th I got a call from our server people in Missouri. I recognized the number and decided to answer. They told me that they tried to update a patch on our operating system, but couldn’t get the site up and running again. I asked what to do. They told me that their technical expert recommended getting on a new server. Unfortunately, that is not so easy.

We were already working with programming on migrating to a new server. We needed more disk space, more memory, and especially a more modern operating system. Our Microsoft 2008 system no longer had maintenance, and the danger from hacking was growing stronger. But, I had no idea that our server would crash.

I normally sleep during the day and work in the afternoon and evening. But, I went without sleep on Friday for the most part. I had to get in touch with a critical person at hosting and go over a quote for a new server. I had tried to communicate and get a quote by email, but the critical contact person was impossible to get information from. How frustrating. In any case, I got my quote for the server set up I wanted. It has the right amount of extra storage, memory, and a 2016 operating system which is what the company was best set up to maintain.

They said they needed up to 24 hours to create the server environment. Programming needed 25 hours to do their end of the bargain. But, how many days would this take? That is 49 hours of labor plus coordinating from one company to the other. People need to sleep, and what if there were delays.

We were down until Friday the 12th at around noon. So, it was about 7.5 days. Carmen and I were getting very anxious. I didn’t know if my current data was safe or whether I would have to revert to older data from a few days ago. I didn’t know if things would take forever. What if there was a problem once the site was online.

To my happy surprise, there were only a few small programming issues. Notaries would not be able to login until that got fixed which I assume will be anywhere from 24 to 72 hours, but you never know.

In any case, that Friday the 5th when the site crashed — I couldn’t sleep and was a wreck when I got up around noon. I had to walk to acupuncture, get to the health food store for some green juice and then go home. I was juice fasting. I was weak. I was afraid. I tried to be patient and do other things I needed to do. I did laundry that I had been procrastinating. I did my tax deductions which is a huge endeavor for me as I love to put it off. The good news is that once my taxes were 90% done, the site came back on and there were very few problems. What a relief.

The panic was about — what if I lose my business? That couldn’t happen… or could it? What would my life be like? On Sunday the 7th I went to the beach in Malibu at night — just like freshly unemployed people do in the movies. I went to ask what is life all about as I watched the waves endlessly come in. What would I do? What would Carmen do? Would she lose her house? God! What a horrible thought. I was more worried about her than me. Would I start another business in this Covid19 world? No. I would first lose as much weight as possible and get my health in good shape.

So, no data was lost. The site is fine. Carmen is fine. I am fine. And our customers are fine, but a bit annoyed with all the downtime. This problem was completely beyond any of our control. It was a server crash. In 20 years operating 6 sites, I have never seen anything like this. But, it happened, we had backup, and we survived. And I am not sure how long I will feel traumatized by what happened. I had a bad car breakdown in 2018. It took almost a year and a half to get over it. Every time I drove down Sunset in Palisades I would get nervous. I am over it now. No more anxiety driving down that road. I just hope my server crash anxiety will go away soon. Those seven days of downtime were hard. I wanted to cry during much of it. Just wanted to share my thoughts.

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May 13, 2020

If you have multiple listings on 123notary, what happens to the reviews

Filed under: Reviews — admin @ 9:44 am

Reviews on 123notary are supposed to be unique to each listing. We do not want to have pages completely copied as we are not sure how Google will react. This is for marketing and SEO reasons and not for integrity or notary reasons. So, if you started with one listng and then purchased two more listings, you would not start off with reviews on the new listings. So, is there a solution? Yes.

We allow Notaries to copy ONE of the reviews, so pick the best one. We will also copy another review upon request. The bottom line is that we want each review to come on a different day and from a different IP address. What we don’t like is for someone to have three reviews published the same day as that looks cheesy. We also don’t want multiple reviews coming from the same IP address as that looks fraudulent.

So, although we do have restrictions, we can also help you get two reviews on your new listings almost immediately.

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May 9, 2020

123notary changed its business model a little bit

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 9:42 am

This year due to the change in the type of demand there is for Notaries, we changed our algorithm at 123notary. We used to emphasize quality of the Notaries. However, we reduced the size of the site down to 5300 and lost so much market share compared to Notary Rotary that I decided that my former business strategy no longer applied as the market changed. So, I proceeded to add many more notaries to the site and put a greater value on click averages.

The quality based algorithm (still a major factor in our overall algorithm but toned down a bit) was based on how Jeremy (that’s me) felt about the quality of the notaries. That algorithm helped for many years, but lost its effectiveness recently. So, now I am basing placement of free listings and discounts for high placed listings more on click averages. Click averages are an indication of how popular you are with the users. Since my goal is to attract users, I decided to give preference to those that they liked rather than to those that I liked although I still give some points to those who are pleasing to me on the basis of phone manners and notary knowledge.

Now we have 7600 Notaries on the site and a modified algorithm. The new system has attracted 20% more clicks and a lot of new high placed sign ups.

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April 26, 2020

She made her money back in one week advertising on 123notary

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 9:29 am

In the old days many years ago when business was better, we got all kinds of great feedback about our directory. People made their advertising money back in a day, three days, a week or two weeks in so many cases. But, recently business has been bad. 2018 and 2019 were very slow years. 2020 is looking a little better. Since our business does well when the rest of the economy does not as that lowers interest rates — it is looking like good times might come to the notary business with all of these economic problems, trade wars, pandemics, and more.

But, we got an email from a lady in Washington State who claimed that she made her advertising money with 123notary back in a week. That was refreshing. She got a high placed listing and got a few jobs right away.

Personally, I believe that there are karmic energies involved in work, business, and success. If you are in it to win it, then business will attract to you. If you are old and tired, perhaps not. So, keep in a good state of mind and keep the mentality of growth of your business alive in your mind.

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April 18, 2020

Jan 23 = 123notary day.

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 9:17 am

I have decided to designate January 23rd as 123notary day because that day is 1-23. I am surprised it took me twenty years to think of this. I am considering having sales on particular items every year on or around this day. In 2020, we are doing to be having a sale on certification, elite certification and upgrades. I plan to bundle these products for a sales promotion. We did exactly this in 2013 and the sales were fantastic.

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March 26, 2020

Benefits of 123notary from Kate McKinnon. (detailed testimonial)

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 8:38 am

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1. At least 3 title/escrow companies contacted me to thank me for the
time I’ve given to their Borrowers, at least 2 of whom were first-time Borrowers. I know that many people are overwhelmed from the moment I take documents out. I put them at ease by telling them that “now and in future transactions, they usually need to focus on 3 documents— all other paperwork is in support of these documents.” (I have reviews on 123 that speak to this.)

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2. Continuing on from above, I’d like to add that some notaries’
practice is to “do the signing quickly and get on the next.” I take whatever time is reasonable to make sure the signer is comfortable with and understands the process. In loan signings I am aware this is often one of the major financial commitments in people’s lives and they are understandably nervous; and, that the Client has entrusted me to complete this signing, so I am in essence representing them as well.

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3. From the start of my career as a notary, I learned from 123Notary to do my homework (up front): review the package, flag important and/or unusual things soothes are not missed; doing any other necessary research (e.g., trusts/adoption documents; attorneys in fact, etc.). The more knowledgeable I am about documents and procedures, the better notary I am. Also, I prefer to “re-do” rather than correct and initial. I like for my work to be correct and error-free. Clients notice (as reflected in some of my 123Notary reviews.)

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4. I have taken your marketing advice to heart, and its paying off more and more. I make it easy for people to not only find me, but to make them want to use me.

a. Increasingly my better paying jobs are coming as a result of the 123 website. I anticipate that paying for a higher listing will more than pay for itself with my first two orders coming from it.

b. I instill a sense of security in my client as a matter of course by advising them of receipt of confirmation, meeting/closing with the client, dropping/tracking of documents.

c. Occasionally I contact people who have used me more than once to thank them —in an attempt to keep my name before them without being pushy. Sometimes enclose a thank you note with my invoice and asking them to let me know what I can do to better serve them.

d. All of my marketing materials are coordinated in their look and easily identifiable (business cards, stationery, website, invoices, note cards, etc.).

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5. Both my corporate and individual clients appreciate that I text my photo and/or business card with my photo confirming our meeting. I never knew how impactful this would become. People like to know with whom they are meeting (especially for coffee shop or hospital signings as well as with seniors and single women)…and the “ice is already broken” before I show up.

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6. More and more I’m learning what separates me from the pack:

a. I always ask how they found me. Many answer 123Notary. If other than 123, I encourage them to read my 123 reviews.

b. Doing my research…usually on your blogs, NNA and the internet, bookmarking or maintaining notes.

c. Paying attention to detail.

d. Professionalism in my dress, communications and manners.

e. Being honest in what I do and do not know.

f. Getting back to designated contact(s) after noting issues during the closing. This only happened rarely and in the beginning of my
practice, but I always let Borrower know that we can communicate with their loan officer, etc.

g. Finally, the notary’s client is a person just as we are. I relate to them as such. (This is frequently mentioned in my 123 reviews.)

h. My overall knowledge of mortgage documents, types of residents (primary vs. second), homesteads, trusts/trustees; subscribing witnesses/signature by mark; Apostilles, etc.

i. For me personally, I both hate and appreciate doing detailed journal entries and loose certificates. It takes more time, but my record are perfect and my loose certificates always specify the document name, number of pages and date.

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March 11, 2020

Nice comments about 123notary on our blog

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 8:17 am

Comments that were nice about 123notary

Mayra
I personally really like 123 notary. The contacts I get from here tend to offer more reasonable pay than on Snapdocs. Plus it’s just nice to get contacted via phone call instead of an automated message sent out to dozens of people.

Bethany
The wealth of knowledge I have received from 123 Notary’s blog is worth it’s weight in gold! The standards make 123 Notary a cut above the rest. Venting notaries is something every company should do.

Brenda
I would love to know what you think about this name:
Around the clock mobile Notary

Jeremy’s comment
The name has a nice ring (even though it is not an alarm clock). It would be ironic if your answering machine said, “Around the clock mobile notary, sorry we’re closed.” It is a good name. You get my approval.

Charlton
Jeremy, I’d like to get in on the free training mentioned in this blog. I looked for a means to do that the other day but wasn’t successful. Can someone send me a quick note on hos to get that going?

I find 123Notary is indeed well regarded. It was one of the top two groups recommended to me by a mortgage broker operating with multiple lenders US wide while he was in California, Nevada, Oregon and Ohio.

Jeffrey

As always your blog provided me with tons of good nuggets! Thank you for sharing and caring about the business!

Deborah Planet

I think of Jeremy as a businessman that cares!
I appreciate 123 notary

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March 9, 2020

Positive feedback about 123notary

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 7:46 am

Jill Bernhouse
123Notary is my go To! I have gotten steps above work a thousand fold from your site vs snapdocs. I heartily agree. Certainly less faxbacks too. I love 123Notary! Thank you Jeremy. At the outset of the New Year, I give thanks for you and plan to get a higher position this year.

Dan
Listen, Title companies from Miami to San Francisco and Seattle Wash to New York call me from. 123Notary .com . Very often you can’t get paid from SnapDocs. Good luck! With them. I won’t sign up with that company as too many notaries got cheated out of their just fees. They don’t care or give a damn!

Mike Jagur
You must have a lot of pride in writing quality content. I’m impressed with the amount of solid information you have written in your article. I hope to read more.

Adam Richardson
I love reading your blogs. Always helpful.

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January 16, 2020

10 reasons to get a high placed listing on 123notary

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 9:30 am

Many Notaries go for top listings on 123notary despite the high price because they know it generates jobs. However, many Notaries prefer the free listings because they don’t want to pay for performance. Here are some reasons that might sway your opinion on paying for a higher spot on 123notary.

1. Title companies prefer the top several notaries on 123notary.
Title assumes that the top several notaries are better quality on 123notary. This might have to do with the fact that we use an algorithm to filter out those with low overall scores from being high on the list. Title is picking up on that fact, and that has been the case for years. Title companies that pay well rarely look far down the list for Notaries.

2. Get seen
People higher on the list get seen more than those down the list. People shopping for price might go all the way down the list to look for a notary, but those who pay well do not generally have to look far. Paying a few hundred to be high on the list can pay off fast especially when business is good.

3. Get paid more per signing
Those listed higher on the list generally get paid more per signing. People who low-ball often hire from lower on the list or go to SnapDocs, or NotaryRotary.

4. Get more clicks and overall calls.
If you are high on the list, you will get many more clicks and calls than those down the list. You will get more jobs than with an identical listing down the list. Being high on the list doesn’t guarantee jobs, but it makes you in people’s face and impossible to miss.

5. Don’t get overlooked
Most people who use 123notary start at the top and keep calling until they find someone who can do the job for a reasonable price. If you are at the bottom of the list, you might never get called except for jobs that are late at night, far away, or don’t pay well. Although you never know.

6. Get respect
People assume you are a better quality notary when you are at the top of 123notary.com. Our site has a reputation for having good notaries, especially at the top of the list.

7. Get high placement in neighboring counties
Only a high spot on 123notary will get you higher placement (above the free listings at least) in adjascent counties at no extra cost. Some Notaries get heavy call volume from neighboring areas as well as from their home area.

8. Have a guarantee of where you will show up on the list.
Regular, preferential and free listings do not guarantee you where you will show up. They are just levels. Preferential means you are above regular, and regular means you are above free. It doesn’t guarantee a particular placement. Being a p20 guaranatees you top placement on your county page. We cannot guarantee zip results due to the unpredictable overlap, but overlap only happens if someone is near you, but on the other side of a county line.

9. Have a guarantee you won’t be removed
Free listings do not get always get reminders to login and can be removed on a whim by 123notary staff. High placed paid listings get reminders to login and you will not be removed unless you ignore a lot of reminders to login by email and phone. In fact, with most top placements, I login for them (shhh, don’t tell anyone.)

10. Get customer service
If you are a free listing, you get minimal if any customer service from us. But, high placed listings get not only password assistance, but get help with their notes section, marketing advice, and lots of hand holding from Jeremy and Carmen. If you want to be cared for and get high quality help from people who have been in the business for 22 years, a top listing is a cost efficient way to get that.

NOTE
High placed listings perform well if they have a few reviews from satisfied clients as well as a thorough and well written notes section. If you leave your listing stripped down, you might not get your money’s worth. 123notary is in the business of getting renewals and repeat business, so we strongly suggest that you ask for our help and suggestions as to how to make the most of your listing. That way you will get more work and be very likely to renew with us which is what we depend on for our long term survival. Getting 123notary certification is another strong plus for your listing and you can email us to learn more about that.

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January 10, 2020

Some Facebook groups are speaking favorably about 123notary

Filed under: Social Media — admin @ 9:27 am

I remember back in 2017 I was testing Notaries by phone. Many were complaining very loudly. There were Facebook groups that would bash us daily just because I wanted to have quality standards. Most Notaries claim to be great, but without testing them it does not make sense to take their word for it.

In any case, I heard that recently (in 2019) Notaries are saying nice things about 123notary on a few Facebook groups. It’s about time! All I do is work hard to maintain quality on my site! I stopped testing people by phone in early 2018, so hopefully people will forget about how unpleasant it is.

The real problem with the testing is that people did not want to be tested, and furthermore, they mostly did not know the answers. We test now by email and most people just don’t respond. But, those who do respond have time to think about the questions and answer them at a time that is favorable to them. Many people learn something answering my questions too.

Notary Public 101 is a free course I created that is on the blog. It is free and you do not need a password. Learn all about notary procedure, confirming appointments, handling tough situations, and more. You need to know this information anyway, so try to set apart some time and master it.

123notary strives hard to benefit Notaries even if we are tough sometimes. If we are demanding it is for a good reason — so we can please the users by offering them the best quality notaries possible. Thanks to those who say nice things about us on social media.

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