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October 29, 2018

Fix for – Your Phone Stopped Ringing

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 12:28 pm

Fix for – Your Phone Stopped Ringing
To understand why it’s not ringing you need to understand what makes it ring. Calls come from three basic origins. Repeats, Advertising, and “where you are known”. Repeats are great, and you will have them if you did a good job for a fair price. People like to deal with a known entity – especially when the prior work was great. Ads cost money, but wisely done have a good ROI
(Return On Investment). However “ads” can be free – the following link: http://kenneth-aedelstein.com

will be “picked up” by many internet “robots” – including Google. It costs noting to
post a blog, just some time to create content that is worth the readers’ time.

Now on to “where you are known”. I have often suggested the distribution of several hundred business cards. Sure, it’s work – but has the advantage of making a good face to face impression. Well, to be honest it can take a lot of low result legwork. But, it can also be done with a strategy for low effort and high return. One good potential future caller source is doctors. They often need their statement about a patient’s health notarized. You could plan a route to cover 50 doctors in one trip. It would be an inefficient plan. Sure you would leave a card (and perhaps a brief letter about your services) with the doctors; but the narrow focus would miss other potential clients – in the same building.

A better, perhaps more efficient approach would be to visit an area. Doctors might be prime candidates – but the hardware store adjacent to the doctor should also receive a visit. Think of everyone as a potential client – why not visit an many as possible, as efficiently as possible?

This is a very generalized approach. It works for notaries, realtors or plumbers. They might not need you now, but might require your type of service in the future. Can you picture them thinking “now where did I put that card” – I vaguely recall that person seemed competent.

Don’t feel like making a special card distribution trip? You don’t have to. Just be sure to carry about 50+ cards with you at all times and distribute them where you go, and to places nearby.

It’s a numbers game – the cost is very low, and to be frank – the response rate is also low; initially. But some will call, perhaps becoming repeat customers. Unlike the hated “spam” email, you are delivering your card personally; perhaps starting a relationship.

One final tip. Be sure to use the back of the card to make your card a “keeper”. I have a street guide to finding buildings in Manhattan. Some have conversion charts between English and Metric measurement, some Federal holidays. Whatever you choose make it a “long term” keep. Probably the worst is a calendar – into the trash you go on New Year’s Day.

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Notary – what would you do?
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Situations where you can ruin a loan out of stupidity
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A list of things Notaries goor (or might goof on).
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19427

Life at the bottom of the food chain
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19419

Get off your butt — and start marketing yourself
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March 15, 2018

Notary Marketing 102 — Notary Advertising

Return to Notary Marketing 102 Contents

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The state of Notary advertising is always changing. Sites go up and down in popularity, and change their policies and business models. 2018 is no exception to this rule. The most popular several sites have changed a little bit in the last few years. Here is my current analysis of the various popular sites.

Also Read:
The State of Notary Advertising in 2016

How much should a Notary spend on advertising?

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123notary.com – for the best quality notaries!
123notary leads the pack in terms of attracting the highest quantity of work from higher paying Title & Escrow companies. The reason for this is that 123notary has higher quality standards than any other site. 123notary offers many sophisticated and practical search filters as well. Search by city, county, zip or state and filter for hospital jobs, languages, certified notaries, and more options as well.

Self-praising Notaries who think they know everything are rudely awakened by Jeremy’s quizzes to the fact that their knowledge doesn’t cut it in the industry and that they need to study more. Quality control involves making people regularly log in to their listing, keep their notes updated, study and prove their knowledge. The result of this constant attention to quality is a far higher quality and consistency of search results on 123notary. Notaries who like the idea of constantly improving their knowledge will most likely love 123notary. Those who are anti-knowledge and anti-responsibility might not.

123notary requires all Notaries to log in to their listing every 120 days and also to maintain a good notes section and get a 70% on a Notary Quiz administered by phone or a higher grade if administered by email. 123notary realizes that nobody is perfect and we have to be flexible with our requirements, but we want to deliver the best possible search to the users, and this is why we stress quality control.

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Snapdocs.com — an upcoming star
Snapdocs attracts the greatest volume of signings of any directory, but the pay is normally very very low. They have great technology and great search algorithms. The downside is that their Notaries are mostly of a very poor quality. Notaries on Snapdocs normally get paid lower than any other site. However, there are a few who are able to negotiate good fees. I know some of those Notaries personally, and they merit better fees. If you want to get paid well, please consider adapting your knowledge and professionalism to merit good fees. Please also consider that certain directories attract a higher volume of jobs with high fees.

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NotaryRotary.com — a good directory that is slowly losing steam
I would estimate that Notary Rotary is getting roughly 10% of the market share of signings and signings from that site are in all price ranges based on what I have heard. Notary Rotary used to be a big contender in the Notary industry. More recently, according to what I have heard, people are getting less and less work from them in 2018. Notary Rotary has a higher quality of Notaries than most sites and caters to finding Notaries in order of proximity which is helpful. Their fees for sign up are reasonable and they have great Notary supplies, insurance and a popular forum.

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NotaryCafe.com
Notary Cafe has been around for decades and has always attracted some business. The format of their site has changed over the years. I would estimate they get about 5% of the market share for signings. Notary Cafe has a search algorithm which seems to integrate proximity, and how recently you logged into your listing. It is well organized. However, the quality of the Notaries is not as good as 123notary or Notary Rotary.

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SigningAgent.com
The NNA runs SigningAgent.com and this site has the highest quantity of Notaries of any other directory. However, the overall quality of the Notaries on their site is inconsistent. This site is maintained well and has great search features, filters for edocuments, certification, and a flexible radius. Many Notaries like to advertise on this site, but the volume of business it attracts is limited.

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Google Local
In addition to marketing on purely Notary sites, many notaries do well advertising on Google Local. Google Local will get you nearby customers for all types of Notary work.

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Other Online Advertising
Yelp, and online Yellow Pages. If you want to do paid listings on online yellow pages, start with a small investment and see what rate of return you get before investing a lot; otherwise you might not get any return on a larger investment. I am unaware of how successful Yelp is, but some Notaries do get work from them, and the reviews really attract business to your listing.

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Manual Promotion
It is wise to call Title companies and give them your information. You can also contact hospitals, convalescent homes, Real Estate offices, law offices, jails, people who visit jails, and anyone else who might need a Notary. Handing out cards to strangers, customers, and office-mates of customers is a very effective marketing technique. Some Notaries have price sheets which is fine, but the most important is a business card.

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Summary
So, whom should you advertise with? Start with 123notary and Snapdocs. But, maintaining your listings is as important as who you advertise with. So, read the other sections of this course to learn how to optimize your listings and say the right things to attract the best clients.

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March 6, 2017

How do I advertise as a Notary Public?

Filed under: Advertising,Popular on Linked In — Tags: — admin @ 9:34 pm

General Advertising
If you are a Notary Public or a Mobile Notary Public, it is critical that clients know how to find you. Some Notaries have a store front. In such a case, you just put a large sign saying Notary Public. You could put a sign on your car saying Notary Public and a phone number as well. It’s generally a good idea to pass our business cards to people in the neighborhood or your town so they know where to go if they need a Notary. Additionally hospitals and nursing homes need Notaries regularly.

Yellow Pages
The yellow pages online and offline sometimes get good results for Mobile Notaries although not always.You can gets out various yellow pages and see which ones get results.

Online Directories
These days, the way mobile notaries get most of their work is through online directories. 123notary, Notary Rotary, and Snapdocs and the three most popular in 2016. 123notary offers free listings, but also has paid listings where you can be at the top of the list in your area. Notary Rotary also has free and paid listings and lists Notaries in order of proximity to the zip code being queried. Snapdocs charges the Lender or Signing Company a small fee ($8 last I heard) to seach for a Notary and send docs using their system. Snapdocs pays Notaries the least and has cattle calls via text to alert mass amounts of Notaries for each job. But, on a brighter note, it is a great opportunity for newer Notaries to get work.

Websites
A Notary website of your own can be a huge money drain. On the other hand, it is a great way to show the world you are serious about the business and show all of your specialties, contact information, and more.

That is pretty much it as far as how you advertise as a Notary Public. If you have any further questions, email us at info@123notary.com

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Additions to policies regarding listings, certification and elite
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19431

Notary Marketing 102 – a comprehensive guide to marketing your services
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19774

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September 6, 2016

The Rapid Response Notary

The Rapid Response Notary

We frequently see the flashing lights and hear the wailing siren. It could be a fire truck, police car or an ambulance. They know the value of a rapid response, often minutes, sometimes seconds will make the difference between being –on time- or being late. Their systems have evolved to, in many ways; shave seconds wherever possible. They use short radio codes in lieu of lengthy verbiage. Often they send a signal to the traffic light to turn green for them. The classic image of sliding down the pole to the fire truck, so much faster than stairs; is known to all.

While our clients rarely have life threatening situations, they too desire a rapid response. Most of use endeavor to avoid our incoming calls going to voicemail; a good start. True, we make lots of calls ourselves, tying up that very important incoming line. Simple solution: use two phones; they are certainly cheap enough. One should be dedicated to incoming calls, and nothing else. The other is for outgoing calls, and those critically important email and text functions.

You just completed the signing, time to send “signed with no issues” to your client. Soon after you have just dropped off the edocs with FedEx. Being a good communicator you send a second status of “package is with FedEx, scanned, and now trackable”. But, that’s not worth setting up an external keyboard, so you “thumb” it into the tiny phone keyboard. However there is a better way. Install on your phone(s) a macro facility that can generate the standard messages, and many others. I use the “signature” facility in ProfiMail (my email program), to select the appropriate message. It took a while to setup; but now those routine messages can be sent with little effort. More importantly: they are sent moments after the event.

Possibly on your business card you list both your home and cell numbers. When you are out on an assignment and a call goes to your home phone will it be forwarded to your cell? Most phone providers allow this, and if you configure it to forward on the 5th ring, you will have plenty of time to answer the phone when home. The objective is to not have clients connect to voicemail.

I assume you use a Bluetooth hands free device with your phone. Just holding a phone while driving will qualify you for a traffic citation, and possibly a fatal accident. You have the phone mounted where it can be seen and reached easily, great. Another problem, the caller wants to give you some detailed information to write down. Most of the time I request the caller to send me the information via email, and offer my email address. But, they are driving too, or unable to text or email. That is when I ask permission to start the voice recorder in my cell phone. A quick tap of a widget on the home screen starts the recording function in Dictomate.

I prefer a separate GPS device and rarely use the one in the cell phone. At a critical turn, a “pop up” for an incoming call can be annoying. No GPS? – you become a “Delayed Response Notary” while you struggle to ask at gas stations which way to your destination. It’s a good idea to go to the right house the first time. But, the GPS does not indicate which it is in a “cluster”. That’s the time to use a powerful flashlight to find the house number; avoiding the neighbor’s guard dog!

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August 30, 2016

Self Notarization Landmine

Self Notarization Landmine

I’m referring to the form where you are the only person signing. Ignoring the fact that the form asks you to notarize your own statement, what it says can haunt you later. Yes, I know; you feel the statements are the absolute truth. What harm can it do? It’s not a filed document, nobody will ever see it *except* when it’s not truthful. Then can land on you like a ton of lawsuits.

Typically it has a venue, a statement (more on that later), and a place for Notary Public signature, stamp and commission number / expiration date. Sure seems like a “notary” act. But, as I said; let’s just ignore the illegality and get to the possible later grief.

I, the above described Notary Public, hereby certify that I have checked the identification of those parties who have signed before me and I have attached copies of their driver’s license(s) or other picture identification. I have verified them to be the same parties as those described in the instructions acknowledged by me. Witness my hand and official seal ……………

Lawyers love ambiguous verbiage. Here the two key words are “checked” and “verified”. Really? Just how did you do that? Are you trained in spotting a forgery? I’m not referring to a mess made on a copier. The “bad ones” just Google “fake driver license from china” and order from the site that rhymes with snowflake. I looked at their site – it scared me. For about a hundred dollars one can get a VERY good fake driver license from any state. Perhaps a police officer with real time access to police information can determine the serial number is not appropriate for the issue date or the birthdate on the document. But can you? I certainly cannot.

Thus, how can I make a statement that I certify and verify the identities? I know that is what notaries do – “check ID” – but there is a limit to our ability to detect forgeries. Some states have a specific “proof” list – the only items that can be used by the notary. Here in NY, it’s a bit fuzzy, the law requires the notary view “adequate proof” – seemingly a lower standard than verified.

I have followed articles and reviews of the “snowflake” – they have the technology to fool anybody who does not have police type access to driver license databases. It would easily pass my visual inspection. There are forgery detection manuals that go over “hidden” aspects of the various state issued licenses. I’m sure “snowflake” has a copy!

So, there is a good chance that, over the years; I have notarized by accepting a forgery. To me it was “adequate proof”; to you it was on “the list”. So where are we now? Well, I feel I followed my states laws, and so did you. The real issue is making a statement often entitled “Positive Proof Identification and Notary Signature Affidavit” that goes beyond my state requirements.

Recall the Miranda warning “anything you say can a will be used against you in a court of law”. The same admonition must apply even more strongly to things that you sign and “notarize”. I just return these forms untouched, with the exception of attaching a business card.

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August 18, 2015

Notary – Your Signature – Needs Work

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — Tags: , , — admin @ 10:34 am

No, I’m not referring to that strange squiggle you have on file with your notary commission. I’m talking about your “other” signature. It’s the one that your email program adds at the end of virtually every email that you send. Jeremy hoots and hollers about having a good “notes section” in your profile on 123notary.com. Well, I’m willing to bet that at least a hundred times more people see your “email signature” than see your notes section. So, why is your email signature, either non-existent, or, to put it bluntly: junky?

The automatically generated “signature” is a great source of advertising. In addition to complete contact information, you should have a graphic; and a bit about the services you provide. This is totally free advertising, and it makes it much easier for people to call you. They don’t have to hunt thru several of your emails to find contact information – it’s in each and every one you send.

And, they can do much more than call. Your signature should have a link to your web site! A real “click here” (without those tacky words, of course). Mine informs recipients that I am available for: Mobile Notary Public, Apostille Processing, Embassy/Consulate Legalization & Fingerprinting. It’s the simplest thing to use, once set up. Just click “reply” to an incoming email and your signature is generated at the bottom – there’s nothing to it. MS Word allows for at least two different ones; one for a new outgoing email, one for a reply. Depending on your email program, the signature can contain various fonts, text, pictures, logos, and links. A goldmine!

Your email signature probably “needs work” and it will be a bit of work for you to configure the signature if you never accessed that part of your email program. Read the related help section, there are probably examples and/or step by step instructions. It’s also possible to get “fancy” and have a variety of signature files and select the appropriate one for each specific email. One processing tip, for users of MS Word: I found it easier to use the full “word facilities” to create the signature, then to just copy and paste it into the signature entry facility.

While most people will just click “reply” to your email, it’s a good idea to specifically put your email address in your signature. That helps people to edit copy, edit paste your email address when forwarding email if they did not add you to their address book. A further step is to include Filename extension .vcf, .vcard. Internet media type, text/vcard … vCard is a file format standard for electronic business cards. The .vcf allows instant addition of your information to the recipient address book. You can personalize the entry with your picture, logo or a graphic.

You only get one chance to make a first impression. That’s true in person, telephone or via email. When you include an informative email signature you literally “display” both enhanced technical ability and your desire to be easy to contact. If you also take the second and more complex step, the .vef; you stand a good chance of being added (permanently?) to your client’s address book.

It’s also common to include, as the last line of the signature, a thought provoking quote; with proper credit to the author. It should represent your beliefs and philosophy, select your quote wisely. I chose a classic by Joseph Joubert: He who has imagination without learning, has wings and no feet.

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September 19, 2014

How to become a successful mobile notary from scratch

Anyone can become a successful mobile notary. The field is wide open. On the other hand, since it is so easy to become a mobile notary, many people do it which causes a lot of low priced competition. However, those who are very good at this profession seem to do well with it even in bad times. As of 2014, business is slow, but you can still have a nice part time income doing mobile notary work. Additionally, eventually the industry will pick up, and you might find yourself earning more money than you expected!

Step 1. Become a Notary
If you are not a notary, you can easily become one. It is a bit harder in CA, NY, LA, and FL where there are examinations, but talk to your state notary division about how you can become a notary for your state.

Step 2. Learn the ropes: Jail, Hospital & Mortgage Signings
Being a mobile notary is more than just hauling your stamp around with you in your car. You need to know how to handle typical situations that mobile notaries have to deal with. Mobile notaries who do well typically are experts at jail signings, hospital signings, and loan signings. Notaries who work in an office don’t need to know much about jail signings, because inmates can’t come to you, and neither can those with an IV tube stuck up their arm. But, if you are on the road, these are situations you have to know about. There are many identification and communication issues associated with jail and hospital signings that can get you in trouble if you don’t know. On the other hand, you can make a huge travel fee doing these types of specialized mobile notary tasks that the other notaries don’t know how to do (or want to.)

Mortgage signings
Signing loans can earn you big bucks. Signers make anywhere from $50 to $150 per signing. Fees fluctuate with the market and depend on who you are doing business with and how good you are. If you have a lot of experience and have many loyal contacts, you can set your minimum fee at $100 or $125 per loan signing if you are any good. You will need to know some basic Mortgage terms, and know the basics about 10-20 basic documents. You need to know where to look for the Rate, APR, prepayment penalty, when the first payment is due, where the fees are, and other basic information. You need to know how to handle name variations, initialing and borrower objections to problems in the loan. You need to know who to call when a loan signing is on the rocks. Signing loans is not rocket science, but there are concepts you need to Master.

Take our course!
http://www.123notary.com/loan_signing_courses.html
How can you learn about all of these complicated and scary types of signings? 123notary offers a comprehensive loan signing course that covers all of these issues in detail. Additionally, you can get free detailed information in our blog about all of these topics. Just browse around the categories on the right and read to your heart’s content!

Step 3: Active Marketing
Getting work as a mobile notary is a bit hard at first, but you can do it. Contact a dozen or more signing & title companies each week and get on their list. They will want copies of various types of information and a signed contract, so ask them what they want, and give it to them. You can also give your business card out to local nursing homes, hospitals, Real Estate offices, law offices and anyone else you can think of who might need a mobile notary.

Step 4: Passive Marketing
Advertising on the major directories is a good practice. Notaries often ask on Linked In which directory they should join. My standard answer is to join all of them, but not necessarily to pay for all of them. The strongest players in 2014 are 123notary.com, NotaryRotary, NotaryCafe, and SigningAgent.com lost a lot of steam recently, but is still in the game. If you join other directories, I don’t recommend paying for them as they don’t have a good track record. You can go on Linked In to research what the notaries say are the better notary directories too for an unbiased point of view. Hard copy yellow pages for your local area may or may not get you work — it is worth a try if you are serious though.

Being listed on the big directories is not enough. You need to maintain your listing like a pro. Fortunately for you, I am here to offer you free mentoring by email, so don’t panic! You need a well written notes section, a company name helps, reviews from your satisfied clients, and try to pass as many certifications as you can.

Step 5: Who to get certified by?
My rule is that you get certified by every loan signing directory that you pay to advertise with — even if that means that you get certified five times. I am currently recommending:

(1) NNA’s certification as it is an industry standard
(2) 123notary’s certification if you get paid advertising with us as notaries who get this get 2.5x the work from our directory
(3) notary2pro’s certification (although not an industry standard) is very high quality, they offer hand holding, and the learning you will get from it justifies the cost.

Step 6: Screen companies you work for
Many signing agents drop out because they worked for the wrong companies, didn’t get paid, and suffered financially. Don’t let this happen to you! Use our list of signing companies (which includes reviews) and avoid working for signing companies with a high ratio of negative reviews. Additionally, don’t do too many jobs for a particular company until they have paid you for previous jobs. Decide ahead of time how much credit you are going to give them and don’t let them run up a bill beyond your limit.

Step 7: Become an expert at scheduling and negotiating
You need to be constantly refining your skills to do well in this business. Although there is a lot of competition, few of them have refinement. Scheduling is a hard task, and you need to juggle when the e-Documents are supposed to come, when your signing is, and when the next signing is. e-Documents don’t always come on time, so learn to juggle well. Negotiating good fees is also an art form, so pay attention to our blog articles as from time to time we have articles about how to negotiate.

Step 8: Get a high spot on 123notary
We make our money selling high spots on our directory. We generally discourage people from getting a high spot until they have passed our certification test and have at least a review or two. But, if you are serious and want to get ahead, call us and ask how you can get a high placement in your area. We are often very flexible and offer six month trials to those just starting out. The Title & Escrow companies who use our site know that those who purchase high spots on our directory are serious, and those notaries generally get a lot more quality jobs from our site than those with low spots.

Professional backgrounds that help
If you have a background in Mortgage, Escrow, Loan Origination, or Lending, this can really help you do better in the mobile notary business as you will be working a lot with Mortgage documents. However, don’t fool yourself into thinking you know more than you know. Many Mortgage Brokers assure me that they know their stuff and don’t need my test. When I ask them simple loan signing questions over the phone, they can only answer half of the easy ones. Go back and study and master the art of the signing. Your background does help you, but your over-confident attitude can really ruin your career. Additionally, it is very different being on the Notary side of the table than it is being on the Lender or Broker side of the table. Try to learn this profession from out point of view.

Real Estate backgrounds do not help as much as Real Estate Brokers claim. You are not anywhere near as familiar with the documents as you claim. As a matter of fact, those with Real Estate experience cannot answer simple loan signing questions any better than those with no Mortgage or Real Estate experience. Approach this profession as a beginner and learn the ropes one by one. The people skills you learn from being a Realtor on the other hand, can really help you. General business skills and being businesslike help more than any technical knowledge you may have acquired in your former professional life.

Don’t be afraid to ask if you need help
And as always, 123notary is there to help! If you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask!

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Beginner Notaries 103 reading list for new notaries
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July 20, 2014

The Seinfeld Episode About a Notary

George’s parents (of all people, parents who constantly bicker with one another) are renewing their vows. George wants a notary to witness their vows in writing…

The Seinfeld Episode About a Notary aka Sign-Feld

GEORGE: Get this. My parents are renewing their vows.

JERRY: Frank and Estelle? (off George’s nod) The vows to argue with each other till death do they part?

GEORGE: What makes you think death’ll stop them? You think the Grim Reaper’s grim now?
Wait’ll he meets the “ungrateful dead”.

JERRY: Renewing their vows. It’s kinda sweet actually.

GEORGE: Remember that notary Kramer hired to authenticate the picture of Jesus on a piece of toast?

JERRY: The guy who swore it was Johnny Depp.

GEORGE: I still say it was Colin Farrell. I need Kramer to throw me his name. I may hire him.

JERRY: Looked more like Uncle Sam to me.

GEORGE: No way was that Uncle Sam.

JERRY: So why are you hiring a guy who worships Johnny Depp? Wouldn’t it make more sense if you were Johnny Depp?

GEORGE: I want him to authenticate the vows. If he can corroborate…

JERRY: Attest?

GEORGE: That’s right. If he can affirm the vows to be genuine, maybe then the loony birds will have to live by them for a change!

JERRY: Unless their vows are to continue not living by them.

Kramer enters.

KRAMER: Guess who’s the new errors and insurance salesman? You’re lookin’ at him!

JERRY: What makes you an errors and insurance expert? Although I admit your expertise when it comes to ensuring you make errors is second to none.

KRAMER: Remember that notary I hired?

JERRY: The one who saw Johnny Depp in a piece of toast?

KRAMER: It was Jesus, Jerry! Anybody with half a brain could tell you that!

JERRY: You’re right, you just did.

GEORGE: What was his name, Kramer? I need to hire a notary.

JERRY: Why do you want to hire a notary who doesn’t know Jesus from Johnny Depp?

GEORGE: Or Colin Farrell! He got it wrong. Maybe he’s cheaper.

KRAMER: (offering) Here’s his business card. Come on, George. Don’t you think Colin Farrell has better things to do than pop up on a piece of toast?

GEORGE: Jesus doesn’t??

KRAMER: Jesus works in mysterious ways.

GEORGE: Do does Farrell. He doesn’t even do talk shows.

KRAMER: Jesus doesn’t even do Charlie Rose!

JERRY: Will you two knock it off?

KRAMER: I’m suing the guy for affirming it was Depp over Jesus. And now I can also sell him an errors and insurance policy that’ll absorb his liabilities for an honest mistake.

JERRY: If it was an honest mistake, isn’t suing him a little dishonest?

KRAMER: I’m Cosmos, not Jesus.

GEORGE: What kind of liabilities?

KRAMER: The difference between the cost of a certifiable Johnny Depp piece of toast on eBay versus a certifiable Jesus piece of toast on eBay. You do the math!

Elaine enters, munching on a piece of toast.

ELAINE: That’s it. I am done. He’s gettin’ a Dear John text.

JERRY: Who?

ELAINE: The teeth picker.

JERRY: Can’t you at least give him some floss first?

ELAINE: Floss. Toothpicks. Sucking between my teeth. The guy can’t take a hint.

GEORGE: Are you officially breaking up with the teeth picker?

ELAINE: The man is (displaying the last of what she’s munching on) toast.

KRAMER: (Eyeing toast) Is that who I think it is?

JERRY: Here we go.

GEORGE: If he’s so bad at picking up on hints and you want him to get the message you’re dumping him, don’t text him. Write him a Dear John letter on paper that a notary witnesses. So he can corroborate it.

ELAINE: Attest?

GEORGE: Yes! Affirm to be correct, true or genuine.

ELAINE: Since when are you the notary expert?

GEORGE: When I was a kid, I had a dream about being a notary. Other kids were dreaming about naked women. I was dreaming about squeezing embossers. Your own seal. Administering oaths. It’s a very respectable line of work when you think about it.

JERRY: So why didn’t you ever take it up?

GEORGE: Since when am I respectable?

TO BE CONTINUED…

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May 20, 2014

Dress British, Think Yiddish

Dress British, Think Yiddish
Long ago, about half a century (honest), I was given those four words as the secret to success in business. The same sage advice applies equally to both sexes; to all races and, well, to everyone. A very compact and easy to remember slogan – its simplicity hides a multiplicity of actions that you should consider. It’s time for me to delve into those four simple words.

Dress British – it does not mean that you need to purchase a wardrobe from the UK. The words acknowledge that the British are well renown for dressing impeccably. Clothes make the (wo)man. You do not need an expensive wardrobe to look like the professional you are. You do need immaculately clean and wrinkle free attire. Are you a fugitive from the barber shop? Is there something about your appearance that, at a glance, is highly memorable? When I was in the corporate environment we often had “dress down” days on Friday. However, management would remind us that “dress down” is not to be confused with “dress clown”.

I’m not going to insult you with a litany of the obvious. I also take offense when receiving a signing assignment that asks me to check if my finger nails are clean. But there are subtleties that are worth mentioning, especially if you aspire to dress British. Your attire should be subdued and somewhat bland, the borrower should be paying attention to what you are saying; not what you are wearing. Your professional “uniform” should be changed out of the moment you return home; replaced by “home attire”. True, you will change clothes often; here is a little tip on how to handle that. My work pants have two cell phone cases on the belt, wallet and billfold in the back pockets, business cards and tiny notary stamp in front left pocket, and my current promotional item in my front right pocket. I just hang the pants “loaded” rather than unloading the items. Thus, the pants are ready loaded to put on and I don’t have to look for items.

Think Yiddish – no you are not being asked by http://kenneth-a-edelstein.com to learn a new language. At the risk of offending some of my Jewish readers; the words translate to “keep an eye on the money”. You are working to make a Profit. Not just to receive revenue. Doing a lowball job that, after your expenses nets “chump change” is not working for Profit. Know your expenses and set a realistic fee for your professional skills, time and efforts. I used the term “nets”, it implies that you actually receive payment. Run your business as a business. The accumulation of toxic accounts receivables is to be actively avoided. Carry a “duds” list of firms that must PayPal (or similar) prior to printing – and within 15 minutes of their call to you. Strictly limit their “I’ll have to get back to you” to protect your calendar. If you later discover their last check was issued when Hoover was President contact them. Send them a screen shot of the bad reviews you found online; with the choice of immediate payment or you must relinquish the assignment. It’s valid to reply to “you took it you must do it” with “I took it prior to learning about your terrible reputation”. Unpleasant yes, but worse is dunning for your cash and being stiffed.

Some other types of assignments should prepay. The objective is to eliminate risk. A prime example is an assignment at a hospital. Make it clear that the payment received is for best efforts within the bounds of legality. If the patient is unconscious or not available; the fee was earned because you made the trip. Nobody, repeat nobody, else is looking out for your “bottom line”. It’s up to you to be wary of situations that might not proceed smoothly – shift the “risk” to your client; but make the rules very clear prior to accepting any money.

Thus, the ancient advice given to me of “Dress British, Think Yiddish” has served me well for a very long time. Few are the long drives only to find nobody home; as they found a cheaper notary and did not bother to call me. It’s interesting how diligent folks become about having government issued photo ID available when they prepaid for my visit. Again, it’s vital that you communicate the “rules of engagement” to your client. Neither giving nor receiving “surprises” makes for a smooth transaction, pleasant to all.

Tweets:
(1) Half a century ago, I was given these words as a secret to success in business! Dress British, Think Yiddish!

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Would you accept a signing without a confirmation?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22588

How to negotiate signing fees like a pro
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May 9, 2013

Show me your ID

Show me your ID & you need to reimburse me for my lost time!

This is something a Notary typically asks a signer of documents. This time, the signer asked me, the Notary to show him my ID. Puzzled, I asked why. “These days, you never know who you are dealing with”, he said. I reminded him that the Title Company with whom he was working already informed him that I would be coming to notarize the loan documents. Because he seemed persistent and my goal was to complete the notarization & get paid (after spending the better part of an hour the night before printing everything in duplicate – 302 pages — and marking which docs needed to be faxed back), I showed him my Driver License and my business card which had the words, Notary Public next to my name.

The signer then had the temerity to tell me that someone form the Title Company had to reimburse him for the time that he lost waiting to sign the docs. To add insult to injury, he then nonchalantly tells me that because I was the Notary, the reimbursement should come out of my fees. Engaging the signer in this irrational argument with distorted logic would have been tantamount to banging my head against the wall. So, I listened attentively and ignored everything he said about reimbursement. I completed all of the notarizations and signings in 45 minutes and told him to contact the Title Company directly if he had any concerns. On the way out, he playfully asked to see my ID again. I politely said NO but gave him a couple of my business cards to give it to any of his friends who needed Notary services.

Lesson Learned: Don’t argue or engage in heated conversations with the signer who is angry over something you did not cause, contribute to or have any control over. Do your work correctly (you don’t want to go back a second time to correct your mistakes and this time the signer is even angrier because you made the error and what is worse you will not get paid the second time), get out, get paid and move on…

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Identification requirements for being notarized
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Expired identification
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