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October 16, 2019

Snapdocs — repeated messages for the same signing?

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 11:28 pm

This is a new one for me. I was reading blog commentaries and one Notary said she got several requests for the same job after she had turned down the job. How annoying. I have heard that recently multiple signing agencies are sometimes assigned the same job to see who can handle it more quickly. Sounds like something airlines do where you book a flight on one airline only to find that you will be on another because they play tag team with their clients.

So, this poor Notary is being text-barded with a barrage of unwanted texts. She asks people to take her off their list as well since it is so annoying. Personally, I am glad I am no longer a Notary. I can’t put up with all of this last minute nonsense.

Another Notary writes that in Los Angeles, several hundred Notaries can be contacted at once and you have about 3-5 seconds to respond. Good God. I think that in rural areas, Snapdocs might be nice for the Notary, but in Los Angeles the competition from desperate people is too much.

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August 20, 2018

Notary – What would you do?

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 11:17 am

Notary – What would you do?

Assume in most questions that nobody answers your frantic “what should I do” calls.

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A) The buyer side loan package is huge, 235 pages. You glance thru the package and notice that the borrower’s name was misspelled, dozens of times. You don’t discover this till “at the table”.

1. Plow thru all the necessary changes, figuring it’s your fault because you did not verify what the ID was and what the correct spelling was.

2. Dozens of corrections would probably void the package; you adjourn the session and call your employer.

3. Borrower has software that can make a quick “global change” to the PDF and reprints the package with the “corrected name”; so it’s possible to proceed with the signing.

4. Use the AKA (also known as) form to notarize the misspelled name and equate the proper spelling as a valid alias. You perform notarizations of misspelled name based on sworn AKA to make it legal.

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B) You accept a near “lowball” fee. There is no mention of FAX backs when you accept the assignment. When the Edoc arrives there is a full fax back requirement on the “notary instructions”. As usual nobody is reachable due to a 6PM appointment. You do not have a scanner and faxing the package would cost half of your pay.

1. There is still time to ship for next day if you do not fax, you ship without faxing. You figure they are getting what they specified and what was agreed.

2. You hold the package till next morning and call asking for a fee increase.

3. You leave the completed package with the borrower asking them to scan/fax then ship.

4. You take your lumps, fax it all at top dollar from Kinko’s and ship; wanting to save the account.

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C) Borrower calls you to change the meeting location, fifty miles more distant, over toll roads.

1. You tell the borrower there will be an additional fee for them to pay “at the table”.

2. You decline the change mentioning your schedule does not permit the extra time involved.

3. You call Escrow, who sent the job, they refuse any additional fee; you dump the job.

4. Such is life, you cancel your subsequent assignment and comply with borrower demands.

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D) The borrower’s dog keeps “pawing” at you; thinking you are a source of Milk Bones. You ask that the dog be placed in a different room; borrower replies that they never lock their dog in a different room and refuses.

1. You ask the borrower to pay for new pants, if they will you will proceed.

2. You declare the situation a “hostile environment” and threaten to leave if dog not contained.

3. You call a “pause” to the signing and attempt to make friends with the dog.

4. You suggest moving to a nearby diner without dog; angry borrower asks you to leave.

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E) The docs are way late, the borrower keeps calling you asking when you will arrive. You don’t know when/if they ever will arrive as Title keeps (many calls) saying “we are working on final details, it should be soon”. This has been going on for three hours.

1. You keep trying to pacify borrower telling them the loss of rate lock would be very expensive to them.

2. You are not a fan of “heroic waits” and politely tell Title to put their job where the sun never shines.

3. You refused two other jobs during the wait – so you hang in there hoping to recoup some of your losses.

4. You give Title an absolute deadline, docs in half an hour or find someone else.

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F) You don’t have a racist bone in your body, you treat every human the same; and follow all rules. You are shown a passport from a country you never heard of. It’s all handwritten, even the passport number. It does not have a USA visa.

1. You accept the passport and include a photocopy with the statement that you have your validity doubts.

2. You decline the ID even though affiant claims to be from poor country and that’s how they do it.

3. You proceed but hold package till you can do some internet research to validate the passport.

4. You explain the situation to the Loan Officer and follow the advice given.

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G) This one happened to me. Identical twins, dressed and looking exactly alike. Both are on title and both need their signatures notarized. They joked when you met them how they enjoy substituting for each other.

1. The passport signatures are very similar, but you think you detect slight differences; you have them sign in front of you and determine based on handwriting which is which.

2. Mission impossible, you adjourn the session.

3. It really does not matter as they will be co-owners; you proceed relying on their sworn oaths.

4. You insist on a fingerprint next to each signature.

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H) The LO is adamant that you must backdate your notarizations to yesterday or they will incur financial damages and will sue you the notary to recoup their losses.

1. You insist upon a hand signed email (PDF) from the LO with the authorization to backdate. It actually arrives on your cell phone on their letterhead stationery and hand signed. You proceed to backdate it’s the LO’s problem.

2. You carefully spell your name to the LO stating that you hate to receive subpoenas with bad spelling.

3. You use the proper date and inform borrowers that it is improper for them to change the date in the notary section; then proceed to explain proper redaction procedures. What they do is not your problem.

4. You tell yourself perhaps the LO is right, your watch and cell phone might be showing the wrong date.

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I) Borrower looks at the package and states that they will be taking 3-5 hours to read every word. You explain the included Right of Recision, but borrower states they will sign nothing till reading every word. Also borrower wants to confer with their attorney while reviewing the pages. Nobody is available when you make calls.

1. You call out for pizza and ask for the remote to the TV.

2. You leave package and copy asking borrower to call when ready to sign.

3. You tell borrower you can stay for an hour and a half, and then must take docs whatever the progress.

4. You demand they sign quickly and threaten to cancel the loan if they don’t.

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J) Borrower has full middle name on docs but no ID that has more than middle initial.

1) You accept High School Yearbook entry as that has full middle name as part of ID – take pictures of all IDs, including yearbook entry and include with package.

2) Title says it’s OK to proceed and they will drop middle initial when issuing deed.

3) You redact the middle initial only in the notary section as that was the proven ID. Job proceeds.

4) You cancel the signing because there was insufficient ID.

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K) During the signing the borrower lights up a “joint”, offers you one (which you decline) – and proceeds to sign all of the documents.

1) As you did not “partake” it’s OK for you to notarize the documents.

2) At the first sign of illegal activity you adjourn the signing and take all paperwork, reporting issues.

3) Borrower claims “pot” helps them to concentrate and relax, you ask for windows to be opened and proceed.

4) Wanting to be accommodating you ask instead for a Scotch and Soda to stay legal

Please use the LETTER of the question in any comments so we all know what you are referring to.

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How do you handle these phone situations?
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How to handle rude clients
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15347

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January 7, 2017

Who and what is Snapdocs?

Filed under: Popular on Twitter,Popular Overall,Signing Company Gossip — Tags: — admin @ 9:47 am

It is not a day that goes by the I don’t get a call into 123notary.com about SnapDocs. Who are they? How do I sign up with them? How much do they pay? And, more often than not, ‘They have destroyed my notary signing agent business’.

So let me start off for folks that don’t know – they are not a signing service. This is just a platform set up where notaries can register and create an account for free, upload their credentials. ex: commission, bond, E & O, background check, certifications etc. Once your credentials have been verified by the staff at SnapDocs

(I assume this means that they are making sure your documents are current) and you have completed your profile you are all set to receive notary assignments. You set your profile to receive jobs via email and/or text. Hiring companies that have also signed up can now choose a notary from the site. It costs the signing company that utilizes this service 8.00 per assignment so I have been told. Ouch! The signing services can also rate your work and/or performance. You however, cannot rate the signing service. Personally, I don’t think this is fair. There are just to many of them that don’t pay and really take advantage of us.

Several of the signing service companies that use it have stated that they love the interface and the user experience is good – for them. However, on the other hand many notaries have expressed concern that companies that use to pay regular and a fair fee have now begun to also offer lowball offers. I assume that is because of the 8.00 fee to use the platform. The notaries also resent that there companies no longer contact them direct via telephone. The problem with this is their is not enough information that is given in the text or email. It tells you the date and time and whether it requires faxbacks but usually nothing else. IMO, this is not enough information given to make a decision whether to take a assignment or not.

Personally, I deactivated my profile. I got annoyed with all the low ball offers. It was a waste of my time. So there you have it. I would love to know how the rest of you feel.

Thanks for reading, be safe.

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Snapdocs business model doesn’t add up
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Snapdocs thumbs up or thumbs down?
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Does knowledge still matter as a signing agent?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19887

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October 30, 2016

Is Snapdocs a serious threat to 123notary?

Carmen is always worried about something. “The sky is falling, the sky is falling.” She always thinks the industry is going to turn down and that 123notary will have a problem. So far, the industry has come crashing down many times. But, 123notary is so stable that we have survived these ups and downs unscathed.

But, 123notary has never had a serious competitor. Sure, Notary Rotary has been around since long before 123notary’s inception. Sure, SigningAgent.com is a huge competitor. But, our market share has never been negatively affected by other companies. Snapdocs has become so popular, that Carmen rightfully became concerned that they would cut into our market share. Although I see no definitive indication of that, it is true that 123notary normally has a steady growth in clicks from February to August. This year, our growth has been less dramatic. Our growth over last year is only a fraction of a percent which is not bad. At least we didn’t lose any ground.

The bigger question is, will Snapdocs become a serious threat to 123notary as they work out the kinks in their system and gain refinement, or will Notaries get tired of working under their platform and quit? My prediction is that seasoned Notaries are already beyond fed up and quit. New Notaries are also fed up, but don’t have any better offers. I believe that the new Notaries will continue to work for Snapdocs. If the current supply of Notaries is dried up by their disdain for lowballing, a new batch will come.

If you look at the Notaries on Snapdocs, they are almost all brand new and with hardly any experience or capability to write anything about themselves. In the past, no Notary directory was able to compete with 123notary in the long run. Snapdocs is the first serious threat to our market share that has happened in the history of 123notary.com.

The bottom line is, will Snapdocs figure out how to keep their Notaries happier, or will their Notaries all defect?

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Compilation of posts about Snapdocs
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Yelp beating 123notary on Google search results
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Good signing companies – a thorough list
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21091

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January 12, 2016

Notary: The Art of the Decline — To new Jobs

Notary: the Art of the Decline – To new Notary Jobs
In a prior rant, I rambled on about declining to perform illegal activities; they definitely deserve and should always receive an unqualified NO. Here I will focus my oft grammatically incorrect scribbles at the decline. Nobody can accept every assignment offered, nor should they attempt to.

Why decline? The reasons are legion. For whatever reason, you do not want to accept the task that is being presented by the caller. Your key objective here should be to leave a pleasant and competent impression. Perhaps that 40$ lowballer will remember the great impression you gave and call you for a more realistic assignment at a later date. Your objective should not be to “get rid of the caller as soon as possible”. Each call is an opportunity to market your abilities.

It takes a lot less time to give some procedural advice over the phone than to do the job. Take a few minutes with the caller and showcase your knowledge. That works better with individuals than signing services. Perhaps your decline can morph into a postponement to a later date. As a minimum you should steer the caller to finding someone available. It’s not apparent to you, my reader; but that exact situation just happened to me. The caller needed a Will notarized, and unfortunately it needed to be done very soon. I do not qualify as the signature of the testator, the person who the will is for; must be notarized. In NY State, by a person who is both a Notary & Attorney. Having had similar calls in the past, I was able to direct the caller to a solution.

Sometimes the issues are much more complex. There are many ways to process the various documents that cross my path. Giving procedural, not legal advice is, to me; a proper form of public service. As notaries we understand our state laws and procedures. Sharing, to a caller some information on “what options you have that I am familiar with” does no harm. Of course some “trade secrets” are reserved for me to utilize. Giving “some” help is better than none.

Perhaps you have virtually no time at all to spend with the caller. It takes but a moment to tell them about http://123notary.com and perhaps Notary Rotary and Notary Café. Take a moment more to suggest the caller search using the zip code where the notary will be going. Often the caller thinks / assumes you are a walk in facility; and that is what they are seeking. I tell those callers that notaries are “sometimes” found at banks, pharmacies and law offices. No matter how little time you can allocate to the caller; you are always able to give some useful information. That will “mark” you as being helpful and caring; possibly the one to call for the next need.

No, I did not read “The Art of the Deal” by you know who; perhaps I should. But, I don’t think my notary function requires much deal making. Nor does it require declining many job requests. Some, yes; but not many. Thus “The Art of the Decline” will not be published by me. It all boils down to just being helpful. Make it clear you cannot accept the job, specifically say it’s not a money issue; you have “other” reasons for not being available. You really don’t need to give an exact reason; I simply say that I am “not available”.

Pay as much attention to your projected image with declines as you do with accepts. Think of it as contact with a potential future client. Perhaps a referral to a known to be competent “rival” is in order – and such arrangements often become bidirectional, a mutual advantage.

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December 2, 2015

Frustrating 4-hour signing & other stories (compilation)

The frustrating 4-hour signing.
This was by far the most frustrating closing I have ever done. This should have been a very easy job – a standard purchase loan. However, the real estate agents dragged this on for 4 hours! Unbelievable! They were just making trouble with every detail even though nothing was wrong with anything on the documents themselves. One of them kept repeated everything I said. She questioned everything on the document. They were bad mouthing the title company in front of the clients. They were cussing in front of the clients and being extremely unprofessional. They made the entire situation extremely unpleasant, lengthy, and unnecessarily difficult. Note to self : do not work with these realtors ever again, and do not ever let the realtors take control of the situation. Lesson learned!

Aluminum foil on the windows & an AK47
“Once, I got to a place, and there was aluminum foil on the windows and an AK 47 in the stereo cabinet. This man was about 50 and he was living with his mother. I was so scared I just did not know what to do… but, I actually went ahead and notarized the signatures on the documents and filled out the Virginia Notary Acknowledgment forms… very very quickly! It was a signing for some kind of financial hardship, and I couldn’t help feeling bad for the mother. I have often wondered what the story was or if she is still alive,” says our Virginia Notary

How to get lowball signing companies to stop bugging you for good!
I just talked to a Vermont notary who gave me some very common sense solutions to a problem she had been having for a long time. For years, low ballers had been bugging her offering her not enough money. Then, she put in her NOTES SECTION, what here minimum charge was. Immediately, the nuisance calls stopped!

Wow! What I recommend, is put it high in your notes section, because the first 100 or so characters of your notes show up on the search results. If it clearly says: $90 minimum for loan signings, the low ballers will ball somewhere else. It’s that easy! If that doesn’t work, then change your business name to, “Elite Mobile Notary” and hope for the best!

Going to the signing w/your girlfriend?
I never realized that this is a good technique. I was with my girlfriend when a regular client called. I had to go to his house. I had my girlfriend wait in the car. I was in and out in 15 minutes. I made money while having fun with friends. Then, we went out and had fun. But, this is actually a good technique for getting people to go faster.

“Sorry to mention this, but my girlfriend is waiting in the car, we actually have to be somewhere.”

Some people will say, “That’s your problem!” Others will say, “Gee, that doesn’t sound very professional.” I wouldn’t do this for signings with Title companies, but for rinky-dink notary jobs you can try it. If it is just you waiting, your time is expendable. But, if they are inconveniencing you and the girlfriend, and whomever is waiting for you, then it becomes bigger than just you. Try this and let me know if it works.

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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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You might also like:

Index of information about documents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20258

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

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

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

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March 2, 2014

Analytics for TECHNICAL posts… graded!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — admin @ 11:25 pm

The (A) list:
ID, POA, APPS, SUED, JOBS, TUTORIALS, INTERVIEWS, BEST PRACTICES, POINT & SIGN, OUT OF BIZ, FREE, DIFFERENT DAY, LATE DOCS, PAYMENT, WILLS
CALL: Don’t CALL the Title co, or borrowers
ACCEPTING certifications
PAID: Getting PAID usual or unusual ways.
QUALIFICATIONS (background check & CSS)
JOBS: More jobs, less jobs, taking jobs away, taking bigger cut of money from jobs.

The (B) list:
Consumer financial protection, Loom them up, Stay here until PAID, why use middle INITIAL, Boss PAYS for COMMISSION, Industry STANDARDS, BEGINNERS, what makes a mobile notary, I-9, won’t sign disclosure, following directions, more specific tutorials, JAIL.

TUTORIAL on documents idea.
DOCUMENTS: Late, don’t call until ready, document dates, foreign language docs, witnessing docs, common mistakes w/particular docs, which docs recorded.

=====================================
1003 trouble (F)
1099 too high (C)
ACCEPT certifications (A)
ACKNOWLEDGMENT (D) optional ack cert.
APOSTILLE nightmare (D)
ATTENTION paying (D)
ATTITUDE > JOBS (C)
ATTORNEY GENERAL (F) UR not an attorney (F)
APR (C) to non-borrowing spouse.
BACKGROUND Screening (A)
BAG; carry all (F)
BAR: GA association (F)
BEGINNERS info (B)
Birth Certificate (A)
BLOG she learned more (F)
BOOKS top 5 (F)
BORROWERS at ease (C)
BOSS pays for comm. (B)
BUSINESS NAMES (D+) Biz names (C-) Choosing a name (D+) Grow biz first then register (D-)
CALL (A) don’t call title co;
CERTIFICATION or skill (D); Uncertified not a single all (D) If not certified (D) Just do it (D) Obamacare (F); not cert (F)
CLOSING bank branch (A)
CONTRACT (F)
CREDIT CARD afraid (F)
CROSS-OUT happy (C); story about cross-outs (C); Cross out and initial (F)
CREDIBLE witness (D) what is (F); Charge for (F);
CRIMINALS (B)
DIRECTIONS following (B)
DATES (B) doc, sig, notarization date
DOCS ready (A)
DOCUMENTS ready (A)
DUE: getting what is (A)
E&O (D); Supersize (D)
EATING on road (C)
EMBOSSERS (F)
EXPERIENCE gain (C)
ELITE: does it help? (C) Elite certification (F)
EXPLAIN (C)
ERROR-FREE (C)
FINGERPRINTING (D) difficult
FREE 3rd signing (F)
GETTING more work (A) 3jobs/day
eNOTARY overall score (D) ; which states (A); pros/cons (D); state specific (F); what can enotary do (F); 10yrs garbage (D); AZ (F);
eJOURNAL (B)
ETIQUETTE borrower (D) thanks, sorry (D)
FAMILY (C) Making family leave the room.
FEAR, anger (F)
FIND 24 hour notary (D)
FINES & PENALTIES (C)
FOREIGN lang doc (B)
FREE certification (A)
FUZZY (F)
GUNS borrowers w/ (F)
HIRE other notaries (C)
HOLD HARMLESS (C)
HOSPITAL signings (D)
HUD (C)
IDENTIFICATION (bad) (A)
INTERVIEW (A)
HOURS (F) of operation
IDENTIFICATION (D) 2nd ID requirement
INCOME: (C) Notaries who make more than Attorneys
I-9 Notarizing (B)
iCLOSE (F)
INITIAL middle overall (C); Why use middle initial (B) wouldn’t use middle initial (D)
INSURANCE (F)
INTERVIEW / advice (B) interview w/title (C) Title source (B); timios (A) Advice from AZ; Veteran Notary inteview (C)
JAIL overall (D); Pay at (F); Hubby in jail (B) Notarization at (D) Jail one phone call (F)
JOBS (A)
JOURNALS (D)
LATE docs (A)
LOOK them up (A)
LOWBALLERS (B)
MINIMUM competency (D)
MINORS overall (C); Minors rules (B) Notarizing a minor (D)
MISTAKES w/ Title (C); common mistakes (C) I also make (D) When you goof (D) types of (F)
MOBILE NOTARY (B) what makes?;
MOBILE OFFICE (D) warrantee
MORTGAGE borker (F) sniffing out the right notaries.
NNA (D) NNA-care (F)
NOTARIZED overall (D); w/o sig (C); Notarize 2x (D); Notarized statement (D) How to get (F)
NOTARIES (F) Industrial strength (F) unleaded (F)
NOTES (D) factual or personal? (D); Represent (F)
NOVICE (D)
OBSTACLES creating (C)
OATH (F) of two 2 witneses
OVERSEAS (D)
OUT OF BIZ bank br. (A)
OWL icon (D)
PAGE every page? (C)
PASSPORT (C) Notarizing passport (F) How to notarize copy of passport (A)
PAYMENT responsibility (C) getting what is due (A); Stay until paid (B); How to get paid (D) Fees at door (F)
PERJURY arm twisting (D) Perjury vs. Oaths (D)
PAY: does xyz pay? (F)
PHONE overall (C) ; Who answers? (A); Why answer (D); Phone interaction tutorial (D); Call back can’t talk (D)
PHONE #’s (F)
POA / Nursing home (A)
POINT & SIGN (A)
POLICE enotarization (D)
PREPAYMENT penalty (D)
PROTECTION (A) Consumer Financial protection bureau.
RAMBLE (D)
REAL ESTATE exp. (D) RE prices (F)
RECORDED which docs (D)
RESOLUTIONS (F)
ROCKET SCIENCE (F)
REVIEWS technique (F); signing co. reviews = payment (D+)
SIGN overall (B); Sign on different day (A); Sign disclosure (B); Get them to sign (D);
SIGNATURE BY X (F)
SPAM contacts (D)
STANDARDS: industry (B)
STAMP missing F()
STATES bordering (F)
STRANGE funny haha (D)
SUED: biz lic, e&o (A)
TAMPERING stapler (F)
THUMBPRINT overall (B); Thumbprint necessary (A); Asked NOT to thumbprint (C)
TIPS; overall (C) 12 tips (B); tips for notaries (F)
TOOLS for notary (F)
TRANSLATE (F)
TRENCHES for notaries (D)
TROUBLE (D)
TUTORIAL (B) general (A) other (B) too obscure (C)
VAGUE (F)
Webcam Notarization (B)
WILL notarize a (A)
WITNESSES (B) notary witness (B); expert witness horror (B)
WORK getting more (A) 3jobs/week to 3jobs/day; took biz away (A)
UNIQUENESS (D)
WARRANTEE (D) for mobile office
X on search results (D)
X: Signature by X (-) See Signature by X

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January 27, 2011

The Joy of Saying NO

A call comes in from SSS (Sleazy Signing Service) asking if I was available to do a notary job. “Yes” I reply; please tell me more. The job is “precisely” 1.3 miles from your location. It has a single “tiny” PDF. There are “about” 12 pages, and we will provide a return account number for making a UPS label, at no cost to you. I am starting to get the feeling that this is a bottom fisher, but am curious as to the location. Where is the signing to be done? They give a location in the middle of Manhattan, the absolutely worst place for traffic. Mass transit also goes there but the service is quite slow and the waits for bus or train are lengthy. The subway train is faster, but the platforms are not air conditioned and it’s like standing next to a pizza oven.

“Shall I send you a confirmation and the docs?” You can, but first you need to understand how I run my business. I am the seller of the service and set both the price and the payment terms. My fee is $150 (much more than I usually charge, but I had a bad feeling and wanted to get rid of this particular SSS); and that is payable within the next 10 minutes on my site, via PayPal, prior to my printing of the documents.

We don’t work that way, we are willing to pay $40, and you will have to include an invoice when you return the completed documents and we will send a check during our next disbursement cycle; are you interested? No. I didn’t hear you, please repeat what you said. No. Dial tone.

Of course this is an extreme example. Their offer of $40 would entail at least 2 hours of effort, and the expenditure of over a gallon of near 5$ fuel. You know the components of doing any notary work. Calls, printing, travel, record keeping, trip to UPS, dunning for peanuts (in this case), etc. What I can’t understand is the (feigned?) surprise at SSS when I declined their offer. Are there notaries out there who will jump for any lowballer offer? I sure hope not.

However, NO is not always the best answer and you can’t say that “perhaps” or “maybe” you will take the assignment. But you CAN tell them you will be accepting the assignment – AND – will be checking their reputation. If you find they have a negative or no reputation, you will be requiring that they pay “up front”. Some might never mention that process, and will choose to do their “credit checking” as soon as they can get to a computer. If they have a good history, just do the job. But, if they have a bunch of negatives – call and “require” payment in advance.

Back to the fee amount. You know what you must charge to earn a living. Isn’t it about time that you put your foot down and declined lowball offers. Some notaries are out there taking the low fees; and the SSSs in this world have endless phone time to find them. Are you fed up with finding on the HUD that the SSS received $250 and your share is $75? I work with several very honorable Signing Services that take 25$ to 50$ “off the top”. But I always receive the majority of the fee. The reason you don’t is that you have trouble saying NO. Practice, look in the mirror and repeat NO NO NO – I refuse to allow anyone to take advantage of me.

I’m sitting at my PC typing this for you. I am exceedingly happy that I do NOT have a toxic receivable of $40 to chase after putting in 2+ hours in midtown traffic. I prefer to try to influence my fellow notaries to just say NO to the lowballers. You can do it, think: NO NO NO. After you decline the first lowballer you will feel great, and will be ready to “dump” the ones that follow.

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You might also like:

The art of the decline — to new Notary jobs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15783

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January 22, 2011

Cattle call Notary offers

Cattle Call Notary Offers
Do you Moo? Actually it’s more of a sheep call than a cattle call. Cattle are rather large and both genders can be a handful when riled, ask any cowhand. I would have preferred to title this blog “Sheep Call Notary Offers”, but the commonly used term will suffice, and it worked to get your attention; as you can’t deny that you are indeed reading this. Sheep are wonderful animals, so gentle and trusting. They baaahh a bit when you shear their wool, but that’s the extent of their complaining. Unlike cattle that like to roam individually, the sheep tend to herd together; they are so easy to manage! I’m sure some are aware of “leg of lamb” and “mutton chops”, but they choose to ignore their ultimate fate.

I just received still another of the Sheep Call notary offers. It has the usual “we pay xx$”; really? I love our free market democratic form of government. There is nothing wrong with some firm sending me a solicitation to buy their product for xx$. But the reverse offends me. By reverse I am referring to solicitation for my services that try to price set for me. They got it back asswards. It is the seller who sets the price and the payment terms. With my notary services I, not they, am the seller. I set the price and payment terms. To put it bluntly, it’s my way or the highway.

My name is http://kenneth-a-edelstein.com not “Undisclosed Recipients”. My self image, regular readers already know this; is more like a Lion than a Lamb. Many prefer to deal with docile manipulateable sheep. I know, when the rent is due you are against the wall and tend to shed your Lion’s attire for a cloak of wool. The callers are very astute at voice reading and want to be able to control their notary. Sometimes to a level of detail that goes beyond the offensive. If you absolutely must “play lamb” for a while, so be it. But work quickly at formulating a plan that allows you to shed the wool and return to Lion attire.

Back to the offensive solicitations. My general response is to state my fee and that I am available for the assignment. I add that PayPal payment is required prior to printing the edoc. That is a real “turn off” to the bottom fisher. Actually I find my response much more efficient than asking for an “unsubscribe”. I don’t want to be bothered, or offended by receiving such tripe. Truth to tell, sometimes I step a bit “over the line” in my response. I have a cute cartoon graphic called KMA.JPG. Sometimes I send it as a response to cattle calls. The acronym’s first letter stands for the word “kiss”. If you want a copy just send me an email. It would be great if all notaries sent the soon to be infamous kma.jpg in response to these lowballers.

Sure we are all notaries. But, poise, character, image, and deportment differentiate us. Your feeling of self worth, backed by your training and skills are what sets you apart. The fact that you are a member of 123notary.com is a strong indication that you, unlike most notaries; really know what you are doing. There is a good chance that your 123notary.com listing is the reason that you were included in the email directed to the flock of sheep. But, show them wrong!

Frankie Valie and the Four Seasons recorded “Walk Like A Man” (or Woman) and that is what you should be doing. Cattle / Sheep call emails are mass attempts to demean notaries. They are an offer for bottom dollar, collection grief, late docs and an extended lesson in being micro managed. The only thing these people deserve is what the herd leaves behind when it passes.

You might also like:

Read about lowball notary fees
http://blog.123notary.com/?s=lowball

Witnessing intake forms for Notary Heaven
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8832

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