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May 29, 2016

You lose $37.50 each signing you don’t answer the phone.

If someone is shopping around for Notaries and you either don’t answer your phone — or worse, you answer only to tell the caller that you can’t talk because you are at a signing, you will not be at the top of many people’s list unless your work compensates for your poor phone etiquette.

Signing companies don’t have time to waste. They might have to call twenty people to fill a job. The faster you answer your phone, the more headache you are saving them. If you are at a signing, that is not the only signing you will do for the rest of your life. To keep in business, you will need other signings. By not answering your phone, you might be losing out on a new clients who will give you five jobs a week for the rest of your life, but you blow it by not picking up. Or, it might be someone who used you once before who will become a regular, but not if you say, “Sorry I can’t talk, I’m at a signing.”

If you answer your phone (and please do,) give the person calling you some respect. Give them ninety seconds before you cut them off by telling them you are at a signing. If you start the conversation by saying, “I’m at a signing.” They will feel pressured, uncomfortable, rushed, and not like talking to you. People do this to me all the time. I just say, “Never mind, I’ll talk to someone else.” What I have to tell them might really help their career, but they’ll never know because they didn’t give me a chance.

How much business do you lose each average hour you don’t pick up? If you do $200 in signings per day and the calls come in little by little, you are losing $25 each hour you can’t pick up. So, if the signing company instructs you not to answer your phone, tack on an additional $25 to the total cost, or don’t agree to those terms. If a signing is 90 minutes, you lost $37.50. My numbers are based on my experience back in the day and might not be representative of today’s world or your world. But, they make a point. The point is that your time is valuable and so is your ability to communicate with the rest of your species. Think about it!

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September 15, 2018

Please answer your phones and check those emails..

Filed under: Carmen Towles — admin @ 11:34 am

I am sure most of you have heard the old adage,’You snooze you loose.’ I can tell you with this business (or any other business) it rings true.

As most of you know, I too am a notary/signing agent. I have advertising in many different places and in may different forms. There is 123notary, Notary Rotary and Notary Cafe just to name a few. However for the record, most of my loan, real estate transactions come from 123notary.com. But no matter where they originate, I can tell you from first hand experience that if you don’t pay close attention to your email, texts and phone messages you could be losing potential work which translates into lost revenue. And it could be allot of it.

Many years ago, for the most part Title, Escrow, Brokers, Realtors etc use to call you direct. And if you didn’t answer your phone you could be losing valuable clients (and of course money) to your competition. Most times, if they left a message and you didnt return the call back within a matter of minutes they would have found someone else. You see they would never stop calling, until they got a live body to accept their assignments. But, I have noticed a new trend here lately-they seem to email more frequently rather than call. I estimate a staggering 35-40% more. I believe that for them emailing has become more efficient and more convenient.

Sadly, I have lost 2 jobs with 2 title companies in the last week (as the writing of this blog) because I was way to slow to respond to the emails. By the time, I had gotten back to them they had, unfortunately, found someone else. I also had one text me the other day after she didn’t get a response to her email. So she had decided to text to get my attention. Thankfully, for me, she uses me on a regular basis so there was no immediate fear of me losing the assignment. But of course that will not always be the case, so I will need to be more diglient from this point on checking the emails more frequently. (and yes, I am notified with a chime on my phone but if I dont hear it or I am busy it doesn’t do me any good) I need to check them more frequently. And perhaps you do to…

Which brings me to another point. I have way to much junk/spam mail in my inbox. It is time to just use a dedicated email. One that is only dedicated to notary inquiries and/or requests for service. I truly believe that I am being distracted with way too many insignificant emails that I am missing the ones that I really need to be focused on and need to respond to in a timely fashion. It is clear that I am losing work! So if any of you find yourself in my position then it may just be time for a email cleanup. It is way to competitive and slow to miss ANY potential work.

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Compilation of posts about notary etiquette
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20505

Best virtual notary comedy posts updated to 2018
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17693

How can new notaries survive without reviews?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20057

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July 13, 2019

Notary answering machines

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 3:18 am

As a Notary, what goes on your answering machine really matters. If someone just hears a beep, they will not even know if they dialed the correct number and that would not professional if that is your designated line. So, make sure to leave your name, company name, and the fact that you are a notary and/or signing agent.

That is important also for when I call you to confirm that your info is correct. If I cannot reach you but, it says in your answering machine that you are a signing agent, then I can mark you current. Otherwise I will have to hunt you down, or in some cases with free listings I might have to remove you.

ME: Hello, this is Jeremy from 123notary, are you still doing Notary work?

NOTARY: Yes, but I just got home from a movie about global climate change.

ME: How was it? Did you have to take your sweater off because the movie got too hot?

NOTARY: No, I had to add extra layers. The movie beginning was okay, the middle was too windy, but the ending was anti-climatic.

ME: Glad you had a good time. Stay on high ground just in case the poles melt.

You might also like:

The iPhone crisis
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Can you scan loan docs with a cell phone?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22189

Answer those phones and check those emails
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21274

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May 17, 2019

Can you scan loan docs back using a cell phone?

Filed under: Notary Mistakes — admin @ 11:08 am

Can you scan loan docs back using a cell phone?

Yes, but should you? Notaries commented on forums that cell phone scans are unclear and unprofessional. If you want to get fired, then do what you like. But, for nice clear scans, use a professional machine or better yet, get a portable.

You can use whatever equipment you like so long as the output is clear. Maybe a higher end iPhone will do the trick… or not. I don’t know because I am not a technical guy. Or better yet, ask your employer and they can recommend what they want. The main thing is to not get fired. You are not assigned notary work for your convenience but for the convenience of others — something that notaries conveniently forget!

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Do you carry a portable scanner?
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Mobile offices from A to Z
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Notary answering machines
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22295

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January 16, 2019

Notary Etiquette 104 — Answering Questions the Way They Were Asked

Filed under: Etiquette — Tags: — admin @ 1:30 pm

ANSWERING QUESTIONS THE WAY THEY WERE ASKED
Return to Table of Contents for – Notary Etiquette 104

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I often have to make over one hundred welcome calls per day to Notaries who cannot give straight answers to questions. I have to ask each Notary five questions, but because they give roundabout answers, I have to ask each question sometimes two or three times which leads to 1500 questions for 100 calls when no questions would be necessary at all if they had filled in their listing properly. People who hire Notaries are seriously annoyed with all of the nonsense they have to put up with. So, make their life easy and just answer questions the way they were asked. Below are some examples.

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1. How many loans have you signed?
“Oh, gosh… hmm, let me think for half an hour, well I did one yesterday, and I’m on my way to one now…”

This is inconsequential banter and a real waste of the other person’s time. Just try to give them a number. You were asked for a number, so don’t tell them how many years you have been doing it or how you are NNA certified, just say how many loans you have signed.

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2. What counties do you cover?
“Well, it depends on what you are paying…” or “I go to Van Zandt for my normal fee and then Smith for a little extra, where is the assignment?”

There is no assignment. We are a directory and need to put you in the counties that you cover. If you can just tell me the names of the counties without the other rambling and questions, I would be able to fill that information in a lot more easily.

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3. The names do not match.
If the ID says John Smith and the name on the document says John W Smith, would it be prudent under the circumstances to notarize the signature?
“I would just ask for another ID.”

Obviously you would ask for another ID, but the question is a yes/no answer and you gave a “what would you do” answer instead. You will be marked wrong because once again, you did not answer the question as it was asked.

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4. What hours do you answer the phone?
“I’m flexible.”

That answer is really not helpful, and “all day long” is not either. If someone asks for hours, tell them hours.

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5. Do you have a dual tray laser printer?
“Well gee, I have a single tray printer but I have the software so that it can print letter and legal and my printer is very fast and …”

This answer does not answer the question. The answer is, “No.” You are bending the person’s ear with all of this rhetoric.

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6. What types of loans do you know how to sign?
“I have signed most of them before.”

This is a useless answer. Just list the types of loans and financial packages you have signed before such as: Refinances, Helocs, Purchases, 1st, 2nds, Reverse, Reverse Applications, Construction, etc.

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You might also like:

Vague communication is unacceptable
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19048

Clarifying vague claims in your notes section
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4675

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July 9, 2018

How do you handle these phone situations?

Filed under: Etiquette — admin @ 9:43 am

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Notary Situations

and how to handle them.
Notaries should know how to handle these situations, because you can lose clients very easily. Clients do not want to know about your problems or your family. They want you to get a job done professionally. Here are some scenarios Notaries typically screw up.

Screaming kids in the background
You might be used to your kids, but your clients do not want to hear them in the background. If your kids are screaming, train them to be very quiet when you answer the phone or leave the room if they can’t control themselves.

Relatives answering the phone
When you use the, “Hullo???” method of answering the phone, it is impossible to know if you are talking to the correct person. This is unprofessional and makes a horrible impression. Of the Notaries who have lasted on 123notary for ten or more years, very few say hello. The ones who say hello are not professional and generally do not last more than a few years. Everyone who answers your phone has to announce themselves, otherwise get a mobile phone that only you answer. If your three year old answer the phone, this is very unprofessional, however, if they say, “Rutherford residence, this is Brandon” then it becomes more tolerable.

Answering the phone with an alias
If you answer the phone, “Hi, this is Kathy” but your 123notary profile says Andrea and the person says, “May I speak to Andrea.” and you say, “This is her.” This creates a very annoying confusion. The point of having a name is so people know who you are and what to call you. If there are twelve people named John in one home room class at school it becomes confusing. And if you have multiple names that you go by that is confusing. Stick to one name or use an AKA when you answer the phone. “Hi, this is Kathy AKA Andrea.” That way no more confusion.

Answering the phone at a restaurant
If you answer the phone while at a noisy restaurant, it is best if you are able to step out within seconds of answering the call. The first thing you must do upon answering is say, “I am at a busy restaurant and I apologize for the noise. I can step out if you need to talk to me.” If you don’t keep in mind that nobody wants to hear the background noise and have you continually saying, “what, what what?” every time they ask you something, then be considerate and professional and either don’t answer the call, or step out quickly upon answering. Or text the caller and let them know your situation.

Having a bad phone
If you have a bad phone with bad reception, don’t keep making the other person repeat themselves and then yell at them telling them they are breaking up. That is unprofessional and rude. It is YOU that have the bad phone and it is YOU who is breaking up, not the caller. So, invest in a better phone with better reception otherwise you will lose a lot of clients and will have nobody to blame except yourself.

In a signing
Don’t answer the phone only to tell the other person you can’t talk. That is just plain rude. If you can’t talk, don’t answer. If you do answer, give the other party 90 seconds before you get short with them — hear them out, and be considerate. After the clock strikes a minute and a half, then let them ,know that you cannot talk any more because you are at a signing.

Between signings
If you just got out of a signing, are between signings or are on your way to a signing and refuse to talk to someone, that is rude. If you are at a signing, there is a reason not to talk long. But, if you are between signings and someone calls about business and you tell them you are busy — then, they will have to call you back, but they will reach you at another signing when they call back. If you are impossible about talking to people you will lose half your business.

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You might also like:

Notary Marketing 102: Phone & Communication Etiquette
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19764

How do you negotiate fees correctly over the phone?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16757

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March 24, 2018

Notary Marketing 102: Phone & Communication Etiquette

Filed under: Comprehensive Guides,Loan Signing 101 — admin @ 8:08 am

Return to Notary Marketing 102 Contents

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Part of marketing is the act of actively promoting yourself. But, a lot of marketing is about doing a good job and communicating well.

To get hired to do Notary work, you need not only to know what you are doing, but you need to communicate clearly as well. Here are some major issues with phone etiquette.

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DURING THE INITIAL CALL

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1. Introduce yourself
Introduce yourself properly by phone when you answer the initial call to hire you. “This is June of June’s Notary Service” is a lot better than, “Hullo?”

2. Answer questions the way they were asked.
If someone asks what your hours are, tell them your beginning and ending times. Don’t say it depends and don’t be vague. Give them a clear picture of your availability without making them ask again. If someone asks how many loans you have signed, don’t give them a summary of your professional background, just give them a quick number. If someone asks if you are still in business, don’t tell them you are eating dinner or on vacation, just tell them that you are still in business. Just answer the question.

3. No background noise
Screaming children, televisions, or people talking in the background sound unprofessional. You need to turn the TV off, go into the next room where there is no noise, and apologize if there is any noise. That is called being professional.

4. Don’t scramble information
Asking people to repeat endlessly is horrible. If your phone is horrible, get a new one rather than accusing the other person of breaking up. If someone asks if you can do a notary for two signers on three documents, don’t repeat it back to them as, “Okay, three signers on how many documents?” That is called scrambling information and sounds ignorant.

5. Don’t brag
Notary Signing Agents have the desire to overprove themselves. The secret is to make a good impression by being helpful and not shoving your credentials down someone’s throat. It also makes a good impression to ask a few relevant questions about the type of signing or document. Asking a few pertinent questions looks professional.

6. Act calm
Acting calm and helpful is a lot better than acting anxious and overly helpful or overly unhelpful. People get put off by desperate or unfriendly behavior.

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CONFIRMING THE SIGNING & AT THE SIGNING

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7. Call to confirm the signing
Go over all pertinent points. Make sure the ID proves the name on the documents and that all the signers will be there. You should also verify that there is a clean table to sign on. You should go over how long the signing should take, if there is anything going back to the document custodian and if they have used morphine or Jack Daniels within several hours of the signing. Nothing beats a sober signer or a well organized Notary Public.

8. Introduce yourself at the door
It is good to mention that you are Joe the signing agent and that it is your job to facilitate the signing. Mention that they can address all of your questions to you, but that you cannot answer specific questions about their loan, but only general questions about loan documents and Notary procedure.

9. Small talk is good
People like a friendly Notary who can talk about small talk. But, avoid any topics that could be controversial such as gender issues, sex, guns, and how born again Christians should have a second birth certificate for when they were born the second time.

10. Don’t discuss guns and religion
Unless you are notarizing the Obamas, don’t bring up Joe the plumber, or religion. But, if you are notarizing the head of the NRA then you might reconsider guns. If you ask him to shoot you an email, don’t be surprised if he asks what you want him to shoot it with! Yee-haw!!!

11. Don’t park in the driveway
The driveway is for the residents to park in, not you. You are their humble servant who parks on the street (sorry.)

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OTHER

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12. Dress for success. Business casual is great. People get complaints more for dressing poorly than for being a horrible Notary. So, go to Men’s Wearhouse first, and then buy that Notary course you were thinking of. And remember — it’s not what you know — it’s how you look! Notaries who show up in shorts and flip-flops get some serious complaints and even a bad review on their profile. In short, don’t dress like me.

13. Carry loose Acknowledgment, Jurat and other certificates in your Notary Carry All Bag that you purchased from the NNA. Carry a thumbprinter, wipes, and pens with you. Nothing is worse than a Notary that doesn’t have pens except one who wears flip-flops. Having good professional equipment makes you look like you know what you are doing even more than actually knowing what you are doing.

14. Arrive on time
Nothing is worse than a late notary other than one who wears flip-flops.

15. Follow up punctually
If you have to get the Fedex back, do so immediately. Do not wait to drop a package unless you are waiting for a call back. If you wait 90 minutes or more for a callback, consider that title needs their docs back and it might make sense to just drop it. That is a judgment call, so think carefully about it. If you get emails, answer them asap.

You have to be available after signings for up to the rescission date and sometimes later. If you become unreachable after the signing, you will get very serious complaints. The worst complaints we get about notaries are that they were rude, or unresponsive after they had completed work.

16. Don’t be rude
If someone is rude to you, don’t reciprocate. Your reputation is on the line. You can get penalized for being rude even if the other person deserves it. So, watch yourself!

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Please Also Read:

Best marketing resources for Notaries. This entry goes over active vs. passive marketing in detail
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16322

Notary etiquette from Athiest to Zombie
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13718

Long term marketing plans
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15793

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December 18, 2017

Answering the call and then not wanting to talk. Reasoning.

Filed under: Marketing Articles — Tags: , — admin @ 10:55 am

Many Notaries answer when I call them and then tell me that they do not have time to talk. Many are so rude that immediately upon answering they tell me — I’m at a party, I’m in a signing, I can’t talk. Why answer if you can’t talk.

The common excuse is that they thought it was the Lender or someone else. How insulting. That means you want to talk, but you just don’t want to talk to me.

As I’ve said before, if you are free enough to talk, have the consideration to give the other person 90 seconds or more before you tell them that you are in the middle of something. If you are in the middle of a signing, you won’t get your next job if you don’t answer your phone or if you refuse to talk.

Talk Schedule
At a signing — offer 90 seconds of talk before you tell the other person you are at a signing if it is a business call.
At a party — offer several minutes before you cut the other person off
At dinner — if you refuse to talk when you are eating, you might lose a lot of work. We are not French or Spaniards here who have long interrupted dinners and a semblance of quality of life. We are Americans damn it! We live for work! If you want to have a pleasant life, save up and live in Greece where their debt situation is out of control. It is because they spend too much time enjoying life and not enough time balancing their budget!

Personally, I do not call people that often. But, when I do, if you refuse to talk, that means I have to track you down and call you up to five times just to ask you a simple question. Making me run around just to ask you two or three questions is insane and unbusinesslike. Please consider my end of the bargain. I have thousands of people to call and any unnecessary avoidance just makes my life a lot more difficult and unpleasant.

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You might also like:

Notary Marketing 102: Phone & Communication Etiquette
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19764

Notary etiquette from athiest to zombie
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13718

Confirming the signing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19976

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October 26, 2017

My bad karma from testing people by phone

Ever since I have been bothering hundreds and thousands of Notaries by testing them by phone, I have had bad karmic consequences. All I want is quality control, and all I get is flack. I called more than 1000 Notaries to ask basic notary questions and document questions to see if they knew what they were doing. I got mostly complaining and wrong answers.

The results were that bad things kept happening to me.

The building maintenance guys came knocking on our door and insisted that the smoke detector was inspected. So, they decided to change it and now I am stuck with a much more attractive and shiny new smoke detector. What a bummer.

Next was that the building maintenance guys started knocking on our door again They claimed that our carpet was torn in the hall and that is was manditory that it was replaced. The next thing you know they put in this beautiful new carpet in our hall which doesn’t match the ugly beige carpet that has turned almost black from not being steam cleaned in a while. More bad luck.

Then, I went to New Mexico to receive the healing work of very benevolent shaman spirits who care for me. But, they did a little too much and now I wake up in the morning feeling ready to work for the first time in 33 years. No more sleeping late! I used to sleep until 1pm and could not fall asleep at night. That problem is over.

Next, a maintenance guy with a cocky attitude put new and beautiful caulk in my bathroom.

Then, another maintenance guy finally bolted my toilet down. It had been rocking for years.

And finally, maintenance finally fixed my squeeking door and greased the hinges.

Of all the bad luck. I guess that me fixing all of my Notaries (or kicking many of them off who are beyond help) is causing me to have the bad luck of other people fixing my broken things. But, what’s next? I can’t take this any more!

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You might also like:

The way you treat Jeremy might be the same way you treat Title
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19590

Why you don’t want to be a Notary in NW New Mexico
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18972

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September 12, 2016

What do you lose by not answering a call or being short with someone while answering

Many Notaries feel that it is rude to answer a call during a signing, so they don’t. They they call the person back after the signing when the person calling them is doing something else and might not want to be bothered.

What if the caller is offering you four jobs a week for the rest of your life. That might be worth $100,000 over the course of five years. But, you lost that job because you didn’t want to be rude. Maybe being rude is worth it. What do you think?

Next, what if you answer the call, but are rude to the caller by telling them that you are at a signing. This makes me feel very uncomfortable and tense. Why should I talk to them at all as they are in a desperate life threatening hurry to get off the phone. I usually say, “Never mind!” They don’t know who I am or what I’m calling about. They might be about to get kicked off 123notary, but they’ll never know because they didn’t offer me a chance. Or I might have been offering them some very valuable free tips, but they’ll never know.

If you answer a call, give the caller half a minute or so before you start to hussle them. Otherwise you might as well just not answer the call. It is rude to put someone under that type of pressure by answering the call only to tell them that you either can’t talk, or can’t talk for more than an ultra-tense five seconds. What is all the tension about. Nobody is going to miss a flight. Nobody is going to die if you talk for half a minute or so. They’ll be just fine. So just relax, because you don’t know how much you stand to lose by hustling a caller. You might lose your career or the better part of it.

So, answer your calls and be nice to those calling you otherwise you will lose — and you’ll lose more than you can imagine. You are in a business which requires answering your phone, otherwise nobody can book the next job with you and nobody can develop long term ties to you. If you don’t like answering the phone, then create a website — then you can answer emails!

You might also like:

Notary etiquette from Atheist to Zombie
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13718

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