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August 4, 2021

Kamala Harris proposes a $300 minimum fee for signings

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 6:33 am

KAMALA: I suggest a $300 minimum fee for loan signings.

RAND PAUL: If you do that, then most Notaries will be put out of work. Hiring parties will still have the right to NOT hire people…. at all.

JEREMY: Stop making sense! If everybody made sense then nothing would get done.

KAMALA: I remember that 20 years ago, there was a little girl who dreamed about being a mobile notary, and driving a Mercedes C class on her way to signings. Every night after she came home from school she would study Notary journals. She had to look up every second word because it was written in legalese. That little girl would do anything to become a successful mobile notary.

JEREMY: Let me guess — that little girl was you.

KAMALA: Hey, I’m supposed to say that.

RAND PAUL: I think the “20 years ago” part is a bit of a stretch.

KAMALA: Stay out of it!!! — I’ve still “got it” and you know it. I saw you checking me out.

JEREMY: A point well made. But, during your debate with Biden you said that you thought mobile notaries only deserved $150 minimum fee. Why a sudden change in heart?

KAMALA: It was a debate…. (pause)… It was a deBATE… (pause). It was a debate!!!! It was a debate…………………………………… ha ha ha ha ha!!! It was a debate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RAND PAUL: Isn’t she supposed to say that exactly 12 times?

JEREMY: Does Joe check you out too?

KAMALA: (frustrated look). None of your business!!!!!!

JEREMY: You can buy a lot of masala dosa with $300 per signing. But, the price of sambar is going up.

KAMALA: Not if you make it yourself. And I know where to buy the best ingredients!

TUCKER CARLSON: It looks like you are creating an elite class of Notaries who get all the work while everyone else starves. Is that the goal of socialism? It’s sure not my goal.

KAMALA: No!!! I just want people to get paid what they deserve.

JEREMY: They already do get paid what they deserve. It is called a free market.

RAND PAUL: At $300 per hit it’s anything but free. And with the test scores people get on Jeremy’s test, I’m not sure if they deserve more than $30 per signing… on a good day.

JEREMY: Good point. I was supposed to say that.

TUCKER CARLSON: Well you can say that next time.

LAURA INGRAHAM: And that’s the angle!

BYSTANDER: AT $300 per hit, I would just notarize myself.

JEREMY: That’s illegal

TUCKER CARLSON: That’s correct, and that wraps it up. Now, on to peace in the Middle East, or the lack of it. We have an interview with Bibi Netanyahu…

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April 7, 2021

I feel dehumanized by what I see everywhere

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 5:53 am

I went to the supermarket today. I went late at night. After midnight if we want to be precise. I love Ralphs. They have almost everything I want. But, I had to use the automated check out which I don’t know how to use since they wanted to save money and fire all of their check out people. I couldn’t figure out how to use the machines. So, the girl (the one who they didn’t lay off) came to help. but, she would only help if I covered my nose with my facemask which causes mild suffocation due to my heart problem.

So, I felt dehumanized because I didn’t get the “human experience” checking out with a real human. And then dehumanized again by being suffocated when the human came. I told her that their goal is to fire all the humans and replace them with machines. She showed no reaction. Typical Los Angeles people.

Meanwhile, half of Honduras is trying to walk here to find work. By the time they get here they will find that there are no jobs for the citizens and any job they can do has been outsourced to a robot or to Malaysia.

When I walk down the street, I see people waiting for their take out with their heads at a 45% angle looking down at their iPhone like zombies — all wearing their dumb looking face masks even when they are not forced to. I think people like being zombies.

Meanwhile an acquaintance’s girlfriend took the vaccine as she was required to by her job. She is 26 and now bedridden and can hardly move due to excessive side effects. All I can say is — thank God she is being “Safe”. Because before she took the vaccine she had a one in a million chance of getting sick by some weird flu that at her age her body can definitely handle, but NOW, she is in excruciating pain and bedridden all in the name of safety. Brilliant. Where can I sign up? And of course, our trustworthy lamestream media reports all of the people who had adverse effects of the vaccine, right?

So, the insanity continues, and every day I ask myself if I really value being alive anymore… and what being alive really means.

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January 14, 2021

Notaries in cars drinking coffee and ID-ing people

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 1:12 pm

More on the Notaries in cars issue. If you do a signing where the borrower hands over some signed documents through your car window, not only is that very unprofessional, but it is hard to do notary work without some sort of table. Things can get lost or fall.

You need to see all signers face to face, even if it is outside. You need to look at them and their ID, and then write down the particulars of their ID in your journal assuming your state or your conscience makes you keep one. If you don’t get a clear look face to face at all signers concerned, you are not doing your job.

It is easy to make mistakes or miss things if you are working in an unsuitable environment. Working on a trunk is more like a desk and you might be more in command of the process. You can have a done pile and an undone pile if you work on a trunk. There is plenty of room and it is a flat surface. Assuming the wind doesn’t blow you are good.

Personally, for such an involved signing such as a loan signing, if the borrower is too squeamish to let you inside, I would cancel the signing. It is just not professional to sign in your car. And once again, confirm the signing before you go and make sure they are not sick or squeamish. It makes more sense to wear a mask and sit six or more feet away from them and do your best to make the process smooth.

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January 11, 2021

Travel fees if nothing gets signed

Filed under: Notary Fees & Pricing — admin @ 10:55 pm

It is common for Notaries to go to a job where the signer refuses to sign, or the job gets cancelled. What can the Notary charge for a travel fee since he/she/they didn’t “do” anything? The answer is that the most important aspect of this issue is not what you charge but what you explain over the phone. The client/signer needs to be painfully (the more pain the better) aware that the notary’s schedule is not for free and that they have to pay x amount of dollars even if nothing gets done as well as waiting time.

It is a generally prudent policy to get travel fees in cash at the door upon arrival before seeing the signer. This is because you need to be able to be impartial and have no beneficial or financial interest in a document being signed. If your $50 travel fees is contingent on Sammy signing the Affidavit, you will be tempted to notarize it even if the ID doesn’t match completely. As a Notary, you need to not be tempted to wiggle on state notary rules, and having your travel fee in your pocket puts the power and integrity back in your pocket. It’s hard to be integrous when money is at stake.

If someone gives you $40 travel fee which includes the first 20 minutes waiting time, and then keeps you waiting more than that, since you have the $40 in your pocket, you can demand cash for the next twenty minutes or threaten to walk. People will string you along in this line of work so it is important to keep the upper hand, or as Mrs. Meao likes to say — the upper paw!

The bottom line is that communication of signing fees over the phone before the signing is the most important solution to the travel fee issue. Fail to communicate — you might not get paid at all. So, communicate not only what the client will have to pay, but terms and conditions for what gets paid when and how much. Also, be careful with checks. Signers who cancel jobs sometimes bounce checks or stop payment. It happened to me after a very time consuming jail job. I bet Mrs. Meao would have something to say about that!

You might also like:

Why are the fees offered to us so low?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22293

What are mobile notary fees?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21383

See our “fees” category
http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=2070

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December 18, 2020

Why are the fees offered to us so low you ask?

Filed under: Carmen Towles,Popular on Facebook (A little) — admin @ 3:15 am

Why are the fees offered to us so low?
….because many of you keep taking them. Some folks are new to the profession and don’t know any better. They want to get experience at any cost. Others know better but take them because they are desperate and can’t seem to find better paying work. Whatever camp you fall in you should not be taking low fees. Why? Because it hurts all of us!

Let me give you some history on our profession. Years ago, it use to matter to signing services/companies who they used. There use to be oral and/or written tests given before they would hire you. And with the exception of a few they paid better and more timely. But those days are behind us. Most of them don’t seem really to care. They are looking for the most green, inexperienced notary so they can maximize THEIR profits. Most title and escrow pay anywhere from 150 to 300 per signing and the signing services know this even if you don’t. The money is allocated from borrowers closing fees and the (title/escrow) typically aren’t paying it out of their title/escrow fees, they are charging it the borrowers. So signings don’t cost them anything for the most part. (there are exceptions to this but no need to get into that now, that’s for another blog). 🙂

Many of you ask me why they use signing services in the first place. Bottom line is they use them for convenience. It is easier to just give the service the assignment and let them find a notary. It frees them up and saves them an enormous amount of time to follow lender instructions and make sure all conditions are met so they can close. But over the years as things have slowed up and due to many notary errors many have abandoned signing services altogether. So contrary to what many folks think many of them do still use notaries directly. But the notary signing professions is still over run with companies that are just out to maximize their profits. And this is our fault.

I had a notary just call in the other day and told me that she was offered a sellers package from a signing service for 20.00. (you know they were receiving WAY more than that) 20.00 dollars people! Unbelievable. Just take a moment and let that sink in. That paltry fee is not even worth starting your car up for. Here in Callie we get 15.00 per signature and then if you have to print (god only knows how many pages) and then take them to FedEx or UPS to ship them back, it is just not worth the time, energy or paper.

Now the saddest and worst part about this situation is probably not the ridiculously low fee of 20.00 being offered, it is the fact that although the notary speaking with me refused, we know somebody will/or did accept it. For those of you that have followed my blogs and or spoken with me, I predicted long ago that as long as there are notaries that take low fees, they would persist and they would eventually get lower and lower. That day has come. I too was just recently offered 65.00 to go to a place that is about 40 minutes from me. There were 2 copies needed to be printed, signed and dropped all at FedEx or UPS all for for 65.00. I would never accept such an assignment, even if I were desperate.

I know that a lot of folks don’t really understand this business and the learning curve is quite high. I also know that other notaries once they start to figure things out they don’t share information on pricing/fees. But we need to work together. We need to educate each other that fees need to be fair and reasonable. We are all in this to make a profit. And you can’t make a profit if others are making/taking the majority of the money (signing services) and you are undercutting one another just to say you had some work.

Remember, the goal is to work direct! Marketing and advertising is key to your success in reaching those title and escrow that have had it with signing services. It is time to works smart not hard. Know your worth.

Just some food for thought…

You might also like:

Travel fees if nothing gets signed
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22578

What are mobile notary fees?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21383

Notary Marketing 102 – negotiating fees
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19784

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October 13, 2020

10 rules for negotiating Notary fees

Originally published in Nov 06, 2017

Many Notaries complain about how little they get paid. And then I complain about how little they know. The two tend to go together and the pay is not going to go up before the knowledge does. However, there are negotiating techniques that can help.

1. Let them name their price first
In a bargaining game, it is better to let the other person bid first. You can always raise your ask price if they don’t offer enough. But, if they offer far too much, you would never get it if you asked first and asked too low.

2. Start with a high ask price
If you ask for $125, you can always go down on your price, especially if the job is close or fast. You can ask how many pages, fax backs, and notarizations are in the package. If it is quick, then give them a quick price.

3. Never whine
If you whine about the condition of the industry or how low the fee was, people will think you are a low life. Professionals don’t whine. Professionals operate! So, if you are offered $60, ask for $85 and see what happens.

4. Decline the low-ball offers
If you spend all day working for peanuts, then when the good jobs come, you won’t have time. Decline bad offers so you are free for good offers.

5. Answer your phone
If you only offer when you are not in a signing and not driving or cooking or thinking, you will miss 80% of your calls. How can you negotiate a good fee if you don’t take the call in the first place?

6. Act professional
Try to impress them without trying to impress them. Most Notaries try to do a snow job and brag about how great they are. Seasoned operators don’t do this. Smart professionals will engage you in an intelligent conversation about the job, the industry and the state of the union. Ask them questions about the job, where it is, who it is for, what type of loan it is, and about their career and industry working in title or escrow. But, whatever you do, don’t talk about your zero percent error rate and how reliable and experienced you are — nobody can verify your claims and nobody wants to hear it.

7. Never say hello
Unless you work for an aloe vera companies, don’t answer the phone saying “aloe?” Answer stating your company name and personal name. It sounds professional. If you have screaming kids in the background that sounds horribly unprofessional. Have a quiet place to answer the phone and if you are in a noisy place, try to go to a quieter place and apologize about the noise. Just because you don’t mind noise doesn’t mean the title company enjoys barking dog and screaming three year old.

8. Talk about real life
Sometimes I talk to Notaries who tell the Title company that you can call me to clean up the mess after you hire one of those $50 signers. Over half my work is clean up work. That sounds real to title companies unlike all the nonsense about how experienced and knowledgeable you are which just sounds like fluff. Tell real stories about how you handled complicated situations that others might have goofed. Mention that split signing where you did some complicated manouver on the Acknowledgment certificate and how you went out to sign the wife at 3am because she could only see you at that time due to her busy schedule as a nurse. This is impressive and much better than fluff.

9. Negotiate timing
You can offer a better rate if they get you late after rush hour. They might prefer to just offer you more and get the job booked.

10. Double book and get a bad review
Yes, you’ll get bad reviews from this, but double booking makes sense. People cancel jobs all the time when they hire you, so why can’t you cancel a few jobs. If you book jobs tightly, the other person will cancel 20% of the time — at least. So, if you book a job for $60 and someone else offers you $150, you can ditch the first job and take the other. You will probably get a bad review that will last for three years, but you will have $90 extra in your pocket. It’s a dirty technique. Not recommended, but food for thought and great blog material.

11. Never let them see you sweat.
Appearing calm and collected are the way to go. If you seem flustered, that is bad. Oops, that was eleven rules and I promised ten. Okay, disregard point eleven and just use antiperspirant.

You might also like:

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

Can you negotiate prices with SnapDocs?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16236

Notary Marketing 102 – Negotiating Fees
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19784

A complete guide to getting paid
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19794

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July 13, 2020

Despite low-ball fees, Snapdocs continues to gain market share

Filed under: Signing Company Gossip — Tags: — admin @ 10:23 pm

I track people’s popularity on similarweb.com. I can see that 123notary has gone down hill in popularity, but remains popular with those who still pay well which is important. Snapdocs is an organization that gets boatloads of complaints. Some Notaries swear by them but most have relatively negative things to say and lots of complaints.

The fact remains that the convenience they offer is so popular that their market share continues to grow. So, in the long run, if you Notaries continue to work for cheap and agree to be treated like cattle, this business model will succeed. That is up to you. Now, it is time for dinner and I must go.

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June 25, 2020

What do Notaries charge? Feedback from blog commentary

Filed under: Notary Fees & Pricing — admin @ 10:19 pm

Notary pricing is across the board and the people responding to my blog articles might be on the more experienced or successful side. I’m not sure about that claim though as I have no way to verify. Here are some results to my question about — what do you charge?

See the entire list of comments with what they charge for fax backs, printing, and other types of signings.

What do you charge for Notary work & signings?

For straight refinances people responding charge:
85
90
100
100
100
110
125
150-250
200-250 (must be a pro)
175-200

Summary
Of the responders who are not looking like they represent the community as a whole, but might represent a higher percentage of very seasoned Notaries, the mean price seems to be about 100-110 per refinance, but the average for them might be more like 125.

Most Notaries are complaining about being low-balled, and having to take low offers. Perhaps they are too busy working for peanuts to respond to my blog.

It is quite possible that the average Notaries get paid these days for refinances is 70 or 80 because most jobs come from Snapdocs. However, in our defense, the higher paying jobs normally come from 123notary although people low-ball using our site as well.

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May 28, 2020

If you meet a signer at a cafe, who pays for the coffee?

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 10:02 pm

It is common for Notaries to meet signers at cafes. But, what is the etiquette for who pays for the coffee? Or does only one party purchase a drink so the cafe can allow them to stay there? Does the drink go on a chair or the same table with the critical documents?

This question sounds more like a Seinfeld dilemma than anything else. Since the signer is paying the notary for the notarization, it’s the least the notary can do to buy a piece of bundt cake for the client. On the other hand, if the Notary has to bill to get paid, and is billing a third party, then neither party should have to pay for the coffee. But, what if the signer wants a palpation but forgot his walled. But, then how will he have his ID for the notarization? Wow, this is really complicated stuff!

NOTARY: You should pay for the almond croissant because I’m the Notary. It’s like a courtesy for my hard work.

SIGNER: Yes, but I am the client, and it is customary to take your clients out to eat and pay.

NOTARY: You’re paying cash right?

SIGNER: Yes. Small unmarked bills to be precise.

NOTARY: Are you going to wash your hands for 20 seconds before you handle those bills? I don’t want the Coronavirus.

WOMAN: I think the man should pay.

NOTARY: Obviously not a feminist.

WOMAN: I am when it doesn’t involved someone paying for me. You see, I’m what you call an opportunistic feminist. Equal rights, but not so equal on the responsibilities.

SIGNER: Honesty is so sexy. I like you!

WOMAN: Thanks, I’m single

NOTARY: I think I see why.

WOMAN: Yeah, but at least I’m not paying alimony and child support and having my kids taken away from me by legal force. It could be worse. You know what. You guys are so much fun, I’ll pay for your frappachino.

CLERK: Sorry, we are all out of coffee.

NOTARY: But, this is a cafe. Your whole business revolves around coffee.

CLERK: Sorry. But, we have those dark chocolate covered graham crackers. They’re really good.

SIGNER: I’ll just get a soda. I don’t drink coffee after 2pm anyway.

WOMAN: Nice to meet you guys.

NOTARY: Here’s my card. I do notarizations, weddings and bar-mitzvahs.

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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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