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February 22, 2015

Point (2) The Note; Story: Background Noise

Filed under: (2) Technical and Legal — Tags: , — admin @ 6:14 am

Marcy, The Baby, and the FHA Signing

Marcy was a little big traumatized after her last signing, but she wouldn’t be able to face her neighbor Patricia if she quit now. So, she decided to just do it. She waited patiently by the phone as she watched her toddler. Her husband often worked nights, so she was all by herself with the exception of her screaming child.

And then the phone rang. It was Nicole from Hawaii Title. They needed a loan signed that night and couldn’t find anyone.

NICOLE: Hi, this is Nicole from Hawaii Title.

MARCY: Aloha. (child screaming in the background, radio playing loudly too)

NICOLE: I hope that’s not a dissatisfied customer.

MARCY: No, he’s a little cranky tonight. I just told him a bedtime story called Snow White and the Seven Lenders. Don’t get me started on Grumpy.

NICOLE: Oh, is this the one with the wicked Escrow officer who gives her a poisoned prepayment penalty?

MARCY: No, that part was too scary.

NICOLE: Well, we have an FHA loan we need…

TODDLER: Wahhhhh! Wahhhh!

NICOLE: Is something wrong?

MARCY: Oh, well Chuckie doesn’t like the word FHA. You see, in the story, the evil Escrow Officer did mostly FHA loans.

TODDLER: Wahhhh! Wahhh!

NICOLE: Okay. No problem, I’ll call it a Federal HA loan. I know it can’t be easy raising a young child. But, it’s not easy for callers to endure any type of distractions. I noticed that not only is your toddler screaming, but there is also a radio playing in the background. Putting aside how difficult to hear you over this noise, it is also considered very unprofessional to have any type of background noise on a professional call. I’m sorry to give you a lecture on this, but I think you sound serious about this business and you need to know. Many companies just won’t hire you if they sense any unprofessional behavior on your part be it oral communication, if your notes section has spelling mistakes on 123notary, or mistakes on loan documents.

MARCY: Oh, I had no idea. But, that makes sense, now that you tell me. I’m just so used to Chuckie, that I don’t realize that other people might not be so immune to his antics. I’ll put the baby in the other room. And my husband will be back soon, so I can go out to do a signing the minute he returns.

NICOLE: Okay. Just keep in mind that FHA… oops, I meant to say Federal HA loans, take considerably longer to sign than straight Refinances. But, I will be on the other end of the line the whole time in case you have questions. And we require fax backs.

MARCY: Okay, 123notary told me that companies that require fax backs do so to ensure that the loan is correctly signed when a beginner is working for them. This makes sense as I am a beginner — a very enthusiastic beginner. So, I won’t complain about fax backs like the other notaries!

NICOLE: That’s what I like to hear.

MARCY: Bring it on!!!! I’m ready for your FHA

NICOLE: Wahhhh… Just kidding.

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Point (2) The Note
The Note (also called ‘the agreement’ by some companies) is the basic contract between the borrower and the Lender; it includes the basic terms, conditions, and information about the loan being signed.

The Note includes:

(1) The Rate

(2) The Prepayment Terms (these are usually explained in two paragraphs on the first or second page)

(3) The Payment Amount of Principal and Interest (this doesn’t include taxes and insurance).

(4) The day that monthly payments are due.

(5) Penalties for late payment

(6) The amount of the loan

The Note also specifies that it is secured by a ‘security instrument.’ (This will be discussed in the next section, specifies where to make payments to — many other kinds of information are also in the note. It is simplest to understand the note as merely a list of agreements, as previously mentioned. Adjustable Rate Notes. This document is a note with information about what the adjustable rate is based on and how it can fluctuate.

Please note that the best place to look for information about the prepayment terms are in the Note or a Prepayment Rider if there is one, and NOT on other documents as other documents do not have thorough information about this topic. Please also note that The Note is not normally a notarized document.

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You might also like:

30 Point Course Table of Contents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14233

Point (3-4) The RTC & TIL
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14291

The Mortgage & The Note
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13203

.

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April 14, 2019

Notarize you like a hurricane: A guide to heavy metal notarizations

Filed under: Humorous Posts — Tags: , — admin @ 10:18 am

So, Harry wanted to get notarized. But, he was born in 1968 and wanted a little more of an “experience” that would bring back his childhood… in a good way. So, he called this outfit, and when I say outfit, yes, that includes the leather jackets, hairstyles, etc., called Hard Rock Notarizations. But, they didn’t just sent the Notary over. They sent the whole band.

HARRY: Hello, is this Hard Rock Notarizations?

SLASH: Yeah. What do you need?

HARRY: Are you the real slash?

SLASH: No man, this is just a theme thing. I wear a torn leather jacket, a bandana, have long hair, and look cool assuming you like the drugged out, don’t give a (&*#) look. But, I don’t work alone. I bring what I call my “work crew.”

HARRY: Got it. So, I have an Affidavit that I need signed.

SLASH: We have free time at 6pm. We don’t have any paying gigs until far after that, and we can’t do earlier because of our hangovers. I really gotta stop drinking. Man…

HARRY: One more thing. Can you greet me in Cockney?

SLASH: Oh yeah. We specialize in bilingual signings. We have staff that speaks English, Spanish, and we specialize in Cockney. Tassy knows how to speak that.

HARRY: Tassy? What the hell type of name is Tassy?

SLASH: He’s cool. You’ll love him.

(6 o’clock arrives. There is a loud rumble in the distance. The rumble gets louder, and then unbearably loud… and then the noise stops. The click of a kickstand rings in the air. And then footsteps. There is a knock at the door.)

TASSY: Ello, Arry (cockney accent for Hello Harry)

HARRY: Hi guys

SLASH: Ello Arry… ee does it bedda don’ee. (He does it better, don’t he.)

HARRY: Yeah, his sounds more authentic.

KEITH: So, don’t you want to know which one of us is the tattoo artist?

HARRY: I might need a touch up on this one, the color seems to have faded over the last 25 years. But, I don’t need any new ones. Oh, and thanks for not parking right on my lawn.

SLASH: Yeah, we kind of learned the hard way about that once at a party several years ago. Let’s just say the owner wasn’t pleased. But, fortunately the damage was made invisible after a subsequent rain storm. So, Harry, do you want me to lead?

HARRY: Lead what?

SLASH : Let me give you a little hint. Have you ever worked on a dairy farm before?

HARRY: Dairy farm?

SLASH: (handing him a cow bell) Then you should be very acquainted with one of these!

KEITH: Hmmm. The weather seems to be changing. (looks out the window) Oh look, we’re having the beginnings of that hurricane they were talking about on the news!

HARRY: We’re not having a hurricane. I read the weather forecast just this morning online.

TASSY: Oh yes we are. Put this on and sit over on that chair and don’t say anything. You’ll ruin it.

HARRY: A wig…I’m not a woman. And a leather jacket? Worn out boots? Cigarettes? I don’t smoke. What’s going on here?

SLASH: Boys, bring in the heavy artillery.

(The work crew brings in a huge over-sized drum set, amps, and a bunch of musical instruments, a video crew, and a whole bunch of wires that were sitting in the van outside next to the long line of cycles.)

TASSY: You (said emphatically)(pause), are now going to be the star of your own music video entitled, “Rock you like a hurricane!”

HARRY: Oh my God, really? Are we going to notarize too?

KEITH: Oh yeah, we’ll get to that. But business first.

The rock and roll band had Harry playing the cow bell, and then had him pretend to play lead guitar during part of the video, and then had him be the lead singer in another part. They had him and the other rocksters (I coined that term, sorry) do all the typical 80’s type heavy metal poses: two musicians back to back, leaning forward over the mic, leaning to all sides, walking on their knees, pretending to be walking down the stairs, etc. They also filmed Harry with hot babes to his left and the right wearing leopard outfits for eye candy effect. The music was real and shot on site. And when it was all over, they gave Harry a copy of the video for him to cherish for the rest of his life where he was the star of his own heavy metal video.

Here I am
Rock you like a hurricane
Here I am
Rock you like a hurricane
My signature is burning, it starts to shout
Desire is coming, it breaks out loud

TASSY: And one more thing before we leave. Weren’t we supposed to noh’-arize (glottal stop on the sound noh’) something Arry?

HARRY: I almost forgot with all the excitement. My Affidavit. Here. Watch me sign.

TASSY: I bet you’ve never seen anything like this before. It’s a Noh’-ary seal case.

HARRY: Does it need to be that large? It’s the size of a huge rectangular guitar case, but with a little felt indentation for the notary seal.

TASSY: Ay, we’re musicians. This is ow we loik to do things ya. (This is how we like to do things). There’s room too for my thumb printa and woips. Check this out. It’s my odd Rock (hard rock) Noh’-ary Seal… ya know wuh’ I mein? (you know what I mean?) — it’s go’d play’id (gold plated).

HARRY: Wow. I’ve never seen anything like it.. Look, there’s a little solid gold guitar on the front. Okay. I need to swear under Oath. “I solemnly swear this affidavit to be the truth to the best of my knowledge so help me God.” I hope you’re in tune with me on this one.

KEITH: Nobody has ever accused him of notarizing out of tune before. That would be a terrible thing. Okay…. stamped… done!

POLICE: (knock knock) Ummm, we’ve had a complaint about excess noise in the neighborhood. You gentlemen wouldn’t happen to know anything about it?

TASSY: (thick Cockney accent) In my opinion the problem is that there wasn’t enough noise. We were just noh’arizing, officer.

POLICE: Well do you think you could notarize a little more quietly?

TASSY: Sorry about that. We ‘ave this nahsty ‘abit of loiking to noh’aroize to the sound of music. Oi think that’s where the issue arose from. By the why, while yor ‘ere, (while you’re here) our tattoo guy is still ‘ere. Do you need any old tats refreshed. ‘ee specialoizes in that. (he specializes in that)

POLICE: Actually I’m off duty in a few minutes. Oh, did you just refresh Harry’s tattoos? That looks amazing, wow. You’re so good at that it’s almost criminal!

TATTOO GUY: Thanks, I take pride in appearing to be a criminal and hyper sexualized. The irony is that I don’t actually do anything illegal. I’m talking like Miley Cirus now.

So, the band packed up, loaded up the van, there was a loud rumble as the motorcycles left, and Tattoo Guy was the last to go as he had to finish his business with the police. Then, he too rumbled away. And thus ends the story of how Harry had his fantasy heavy metal notarization — 80’s style!

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March 22, 2019

Which analytics get you more clicks and why? A change in the 123notary analytics system.

Filed under: Advertising — Tags: — admin @ 9:53 am

At 123notary, we have been using analytics for more than ten years. We do this to identify which listings are better quality than others. The issue is that there are 15 different factors we look at and all of those factors have to be weighed to compute a final points score.

One of the issues I have found is that analytics do not apply equally to listings in different placements. Here are some examples.

People who don’t answer the phone lose a lot of clicks in the high range of the search results while in the middle of the search results listings do not lose a lot of clicks on average by not picking up.

People who refuse to talk after answering the phone lose a lot of clicks in the middle of the list but do not in the high end of the list. This data seems to be opposite from the phone answering data. Basically people in the middle of the list don’t have to pick up, but if they do, they had better be nice and talk otherwise they will lose a lot of clicks.

People who argue with Jeremy (that’s me) can get away with it and that will not affect their scores. But, people who interrupt seem to get a lot worse click scores. The difference seems to be that arguing with Jeremy is something people only do with Jeremy, but not with clients because they think that my opinion of them doesn’t matter (boy are they wrong.) But, people who interrupt do this because of a lack of control and probably a screw loose. This screw loose will manifest with everybody. Additionally, if you refuse to answer questions over the phone with Jeremy, this does not seem to affect your click ratios at all.

So, let’s look at the factors in order of importance.

CRITICAL
If you have good reviews and lots of them, this counts in your favor as the most important analytic for clicks.

If you score well on Jeremy’s tests, it might not mean anything to you, but the other Notaries do not have the skills to match and are rarely willing to study, so this makes you stand out.

If you have horrible communication skills to the point where someone can barely talk with you, you will lose more clicks than from any other factor.

If you have someone else answer the phone for you, you will lose a lot of clicks.

MODERATE
If you give vague answers to questions, this affects your clicks. Vague answers are a sign of sluggish and unclear thinking. Your clients might want their questions answered in a way where they don’t have to ask for clarification.

Ignoring emails is another way to lose a fair number of clicks. If someone asks you questions by email and you ignore them, they will be less likely to click on your listing in the future or use you.

Refusing to talk after you have answered the phone is a fast way to lose clicks. If you can’t talk — don’t answer. Just send them a text if you feel the call is important.

Having an answering machine that does not state your name is another way to lose a lot of clicks.

SMALL
Rambling on and on is annoying, but title companies seem to be a lot more patient with this behavior than I am. I recommend controlling what comes out of your mouth on business calls. But, this is a lot smaller of a factor than I previously thought.

Background noise is something I can’t stand, but it doesn’t seem to affect click volume. If you can avoid background noise, you should.

Poor call backs. When you call someone back, refuse to announce who you are, but ask them who they are, and make them repeat themselves three times — to me this is unbearable and rude. But, this behavior for some reason does not seem to affect click rates.

Answering the phone saying, “hello?” seems very unprofessional to me. You have to announce yourself and then ask the person who they are, and instead of telling you they ask who you are after you have told them and then ask why you are calling. Some people you have to ask who they are three times to get a straight answer. However, this used to affect click ratios more, but these days since people are shopping for price more than quality, it does not affect your scores much. I still recommend acting professional if possible.

SUMMARY
The analytics that matter are reviews, clear communication, quiz scores, and answering your own phone. Many of the analytics I thought mattered before seem to be very trivial. I concluded that my personal value system is antiquated and does not matter in today’s world. I was running my directory based on what I thought is important. Now, I am running it based on what those who click feel is important. Things have changed in certain ways as a result.

You might also like:

123notary certification gets you more clicks
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22496

What is the difference between a listing getting 16 clicks a month and 100+?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13185

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January 15, 2019

Notary Etiquette 104 — The initial call

Filed under: Etiquette — Tags: — admin @ 11:27 am

Return to Table of Contents for – Notary Etiquette 104

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1. Introduce yourself
Introduce yourself properly by phone when you answer the initial call to hire you. “This is June of June’s Notary Service” is a lot better than, “Hullo?” High-brow clients will judge you by how you answer the phone, so answer like a professional if you want to be treated like one.

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

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3. No background noise
Screaming children, televisions, or people talking in the background sound unprofessional. You need to turn the TV off, go into the next room where there is no noise, and apologize if there is any noise. That is called being professional. If you are in a restaurant, there might not be much you can do, so at least let the caller know where you are and that you cannot do anything about the noise at least for the time being.

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

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5. Don’t brag
Notary Signing Agents have the desire to overprove themselves. The secret is to make a good impression by being helpful and not shoving your credentials down someone’s throat. It also makes a good impression to ask a few relevant questions about the type of signing or document. Asking a few pertinent questions looks professional. Show the world how good you are without trying. Just politely and calmly answer people’s questions and they will get the impression you are a seasoned pro and not an overanxious newbie.

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6. Act calm
Acting calm and helpful is a lot better than acting anxious and overly helpful or overly unhelpful. People get put off by desperate or unfriendly behavior. Seasoned signers normally act calm. Signers that are over-seasoned are too calm because they don’t care if they get the job because they want to retire, so don’t be too nonchalant either.

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7. Speak clearly and listen
There is nothing worse than a Notary who mumbles or speaks unclearly. With such Notaries you have to keep asking for clarification as to what they said. And what’s worse, when southerners say the word “bell” it sounds like “bail” and you have to ask them if they meant b.e.l.l. or b.a.i.l… Why can’t we all just be Yankees? Then, there are the Notaries who aren’t paying attention who have to ask you to repeat half of what you say. They are very unpleasant to work with, so please listen carefully when talking to clients.

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8. Confirmation calls
During the confirmation call, it is practical to ask the borrower to prepare for the signing by having a clean dining room table, have animals out of reach, children taken care of, and no noise. Make sure all parties will be there early, have identification, and have any documents or checks going back to the lender or title. It is better if the borrower leaves their outside light on so the Notary can find the house more easily.

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9. Answering machines
Your answering machine should not have unprofessional sounding music. I cannot say what unprofessional music sounds like. Some people have Vivaldi that is just too loud while others have hip hop music. Just be sensitive to how this music would sound to a hiring party and use your judgment.

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10. Grammar
Do you use bad grammar? It don’t matter. Well, actually it does. People judge you in all sorts of ways, so try to use proper grammar as that is part of etiquette.

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December 20, 2018

Beginner Notaries 103 — Notary Etiquette

Filed under: Etiquette — admin @ 1:24 pm

Notary Etiquette
Return to Table of Contents for – Beginner Notaries 103

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New Notaries and experienced Notaries alike have a very poor sense of Notary etiquette. It is common for people to complain about small things and not communicate well. We are going to publish a course on Notary etiquette. But, here are some of the main points you should understand.

1. Answering questions the way they were asked
Most Notaries cannot give straight answers to questions. This is a sign of poor self-discipline and a scrambled mental state. If someone asks how many loans you have signed, most Notaries tell you how many years and tell their life story. This is annoying and is bad manners. Just give the person a number. If someone asks what counties you serve, don’t tell them your whole pricing strategy for each county, just tell them your counties. If they want pricing information they can ask.

2. Answer the phone stating your name.
Too many people answer the phone saying, “hullo?” It is unprofessional. Others say, “Why are you calling me on a Sunday?” Don’t do that. Be professional. Others answer the phone while answering a question to the person standing next to them. This behavior can be alienating to the caller as you don’t know who the recipient is talking to.

3. Don’t have family members answer your phone.
It is annoying and confusing when someone else answers your phone for you. If they don’t state their name, the caller won’t even know they are not talking to you and might start a long conversation with the long person.

4. Don’t have noise when you answer the phone
No Mortgage professional wants to have their conversation with you interrupted because of your screaming kids. If you are in a restaurant, apologize about the noise and explain to them where you are. Hopefully they will understand.

5. Don’t fail to answer calls in a signing
If you don’t answer calls in a signing, nobody will be able to reach you. Unless you signed a contract saying you won’t answer calls, answer your phone otherwise how will you get your next job?

6. Don’t answer the phone and then refuse to talk
If you answer the phone, give the person calling a minute or two to state why they are calling and let them ask a quick question or two. If you answer the phone and interrupt the caller only to tell them that you can’t talk — you should not have answered in the first place. It is rude and annoying to do such a thing.

7. Get documents back to the company fast.
Know your local FedEx stations and UPS stops. Get packages back as soon as you can. Nobody wants to find out that their package is in your trunk four days after the fact. They also don’t want to hear that you missed FedEx pickup because you waited until the last minute, got a last minute job, and then forgot to drop the package as a result. Drop it like it’s hot.

8. Accept criticism
Most Notaries think they are so knowledgeable and can do no wrong. But, get very hostile when anyone criticizes them. In real life agencies that list you or hiring parties might criticize you. Take it as constructive criticism and learn from it. Don’t argue and don’t be hostile.

9. Don’t brag
Nothing is worse than a Notary who has to prove to you have great they are and rambles on about how much experience they have. I ask people simple questions such as, “How many loans have you signed?” Instead of getting an answer, I get a long rambling session about how their husband works in Escrow and I learned so much from him over the years and I even attended a signing with him. You can offer to explain your level of experience to someone, but don’t just start bragging and talking nonstop. It is rude, unprofessional and makes you come across as undisciplined and inconsiderate. Be polite and answer the questions that were asked to you.

10. Dress appropriately
Business attire is what you should wear to a signing. Believe it or not, even experienced Notaries show up in flip flops, night club attire, mini skirts, or bring their screaming kids to a signing. You will get fired if you don’t dress the part, so dress like a business person and act like one too.

11. Confirm the signing
Let people know who you are, when you are going to arrive. Call if you are going to be late, etc. You can go over directions as well and it is not a bad idea to know how their name reads on the ID before you drive over.

12. Don’t park in the driveway.
The driveway is for the borrowers or signers to park. You can park on the street unless you are invited to park in the driveway. They might need that spot in their driveway and they might not appreciate the fluids you leak onto their driveway either.

Those are the basics. Read our etiquette course for more.

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July 9, 2018

How do you handle these phone situations?

Filed under: Etiquette — admin @ 9:43 am

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Notary Situations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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You might also like:

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

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

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March 24, 2018

Notary Marketing 102: Phone & Communication Etiquette

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

Return to Notary Marketing 102 Contents

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

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

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DURING THE INITIAL CALL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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CONFIRMING THE SIGNING & AT THE SIGNING

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

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

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

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

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

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OTHER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Please Also Read:

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

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

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

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March 12, 2018

Notary Marketing 102 — Negotiating Fees

Filed under: Loan Signing 101 — admin @ 8:23 am

Return to Notary Marketing 102 Contents

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As a Notary, knowing what you are doing, having a good advertising presence, and being reliable all matter. But, if you don’t know how to negotiate fees, you will crumble in this low-ball world. Here are some of the best negotiating tips in the industry from our top players.

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1. Let them name their price first
When bargaining, it is much 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.

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2. Start with a high ask price
If you ask for $125 or $150, 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 the job is quick, then give them a quick price.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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7. Announce your name when you answer the phone.
Answer the stating your company name and personal name and never say, “Hullo?”. It sounds professional to announce yourself properly. 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.

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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.

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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.

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10. Double book and get a bad review
You’ll get many 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, generally at least one of the clients 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. Negotiating on SnapDocs
You need to know how to negotiate if you use SnapDocs. The majority of Notary work (not the majority of the high paying work though) comes from SnapDocs these days. Their technology wins the game although their fees for using their system are a little exorbitant. When given an offer on Snapdocs by text, you need to turn the situation around.

Let’s say you are offered $60 for a job. Text them back saying I have signed “x” amount of loans in my career and “x” amount being the Purchase that you are assigning. I will accept the job and get it signed within three hours, but my fee is $85. Do you want a seasoned pro or a screw up? References available upon request.

There are Notaries who prosper on SnapDocs. Just not that many. And the ones who do well merit doing well with their superior notary and business skills. Negotiating fees will not get you far if you are an unskilled Notary or beginner. You are competing against 12,000 other Notaries (estimate) on SnapDocs who also don’t know anything. So negotiate only when you have a bargaining position.

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12. Stress Availability
As a Notary, there are a lot of others competing with you. If you are fast returning texts, answer your phone promptly and are available, you can get a lot more work. The other notaries are not so responsive. Let people know that you are available and can get the job done. That is a huge bargaining chip. And do so without sounding desperate.

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13. Be Willing to Talk
Many Notaries are unwilling to talk to others while in a signing. If someone calls about business, give them 90 seconds before cutting them off. You don’t know if what they are calling about could help you or hurt you. Not giving them a chance to speak their mind will be very frustrating. Many Notaries answer their phone only to tell me that they cannot talk. This is like opening your door only to slam it in someone’s face. It is better to answer and talk or don’t answer. Set a limit ahead of time. By being responsive and friendly, you will attract more business. If you think the job you are at is the only job, you are sacrificing your next job which might become a repeat client.

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You might also like:

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

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November 6, 2017

10 rules for negotiating Notary fees

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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October 15, 2017

Ken’s list of things Notaries goof (or might goof on.)

Filed under: Ken Edelstein,Popular on Facebook (some) — admin @ 12:35 am

Most Notaries don’t make this type of mistake. Perhaps it is mostly very new Notaries or those who are just clueless. But, read this list and learn about what other Notaries do wrong and hope that you do not make the same mistake.

1. Wrong venue
2. Cut off commission end year on cheapskate notary stamp and missed filling it in
3. Unreadable notary stamp / covers preprinted text
4. Missed a sig line (in the middle of the page)
5. Allowed borrower copy (that they already had) to mix pages with live docs
6. Did not notice that some more pages printed (they were complex) and thought was working with complete set. But some still in printer output tray.
7. Email had 17 PDFs and did not keep track / printed one twice and another not at all
8. Accepted sloppy scan of airbill which would not scan at fedex/ups so arrived a day or 2 late.
9. Did not verify address with borrower, delay causes missed drop off time
10. Wrote name in notary section from anywhere other than looking at the ID / or did not change to match ID
11. Accepted photocopy of ID as ID
12. Shipped unprocessed borrower copy
13. Fed embossed end into fax first causing jam/ripped pages
14. Permitted distractions during signing – loud TV, noisey kids, dogs, etc
15. Worked in poorly lit area
16. Did not print & bring a borrower copy (just made a CD) thus cannot swap error pages
17. Opened “big mouth” and spoke about politics, religion, “smell in the air”, keep it to job at hand.
18. 2 jobs back to back, wrong docs with airbill (both jobs screwed)
19. Make commitment to complete that is impossible (not allow for traffic, distance) – job should go to closer notary.
20. Did not follow local notary law TO THE LETTER – allowing a fool to tell notary that it must meet notary standards where the property is located.
21. Idiot notary printed double sided, last page of Note shares first page of Mortgage.
22. Ran out of paper (oops no more legal) or toner – Really???
23. One name on work order, hubbie and wifie on docs – did not verify both would be available with proper ID
24. Did a “stamp and sign ONLY” without venue or notary wording or date. (when there is no notary section but it needs to be notarized)

You might also like:

Split PDF’s into letter & legal separate PDFs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8856

Redaction the legal eraser
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21058

Are you practicing law by drawing a signature line?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21033

Notary – what do you do?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21037

Bouncey Bouncey Paypal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21046

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