123notary Archives - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
123Notary

Notary Blog – Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice – 123notary.com Control Panel

August 12, 2017

Official New Standards at 123notary

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: , — admin @ 11:25 pm

After thinking long and hard, I have decided to have some notarial standards here at 123notary. As you know, we are a national organization based in California. We list Notaries throughout the nation. Since most of our Notaries are very weak on Notary knowledge and almost equally weak with loan signing knowledge, it behooves us to ask them questions from time to time to see if they know what they are doing. The more they assure me that they know what they are doing, the worse they do on my quiz. What a con job. But, I’ve heard it all a million times and don’t fall for it.

I have had it with Florida Notaries who shove it down my throat that their state doesn’t require journals and therefor it isn’t necessary. We have a handful of Notaries that are currently being investigated by the FBI, court system or criminal justice system and their journal was their only piece of evidence to defend them. Your change of ever showing up in court is probably only one in a thousand or perhaps 1% for a very busy Notary. But, why take chances. Do your homework and keep your records straight. We don’t want to list a bunch of unprofessional idiots. We want professional Notaries here, not stamperizers. A three year old can stamp documents, but does that make him a Notary? Many of the Notaries we list are not much more advanced than a three year old. And that is why I am requiring these new standards.

1. Identification — Proof of identity required for quizzing purposes.
Not all states require the Notary to prove a signer’s exact identity. Many states allow missing middle initials or don’t spell out exact identification requirements. 123notary requires Notaries to know how to PROVE an identity. If the identification card does not prove the name you are notarizing, then you do not have proof. i.e. if the name on the document is John W. Smith, but the ID says John Smith, then you cannot notarize him according to best practices under the name on the document as you cannot prove the person is John W. Smith. In real life, our Notaries can do whatever their states require, but for quizzes, they must answer according to our standards which match the NNA for identification standards.

All Notaries listed on 123notary must know how to adequately prove a signer’s identity using identification documents. We also strongly suggest journal thumbprints as that is the only way the FBI can catch someone with a fake ID. You must know the more than but not less than rule correctly. Most Notaries scramble the rule and it does more harm than good.

2. Journals — Required
Not all states require journals, but 123notary requires you to know how to fill out out correctly. Our standard is one journal entry per person per document. So two people signing three documents each would be six journal entries. We also do not accept journals with check boxes for loan document names. So, don’t use one as they create more room for errors.

3. Oaths
All states require Notaries to administer Oaths for Jurats, and do purely verbal Oaths and Affirmations as well. However, most Notaries we talk to get very confused when we ask them to do an Oath. If they did their Oaths daily as required, the Oath verbiage would flow off their tongue. Most either don’t do Oaths or have to look up the suggested verbiage. There is nothing wrong with reading from a script, but you are required to improvise from time to time, so if you don’t know how — you are in trouble.

4. Acknowledgments & Jurats
You have to know the rules for both Notary acts.

5. Certificates
You need to understand the parts and compontents of Notary certificates, as well as the rules for filling them out.

6. General Notary rules and knowledge.
Yes, there are rules that change across state lines, but you need to know the powers of a Notary and general rules.

I am sick and tired of how hard it is to just get a Notary to know their job and do their job. Carmen doesn’t like this either. If you can’t function as a Notary, you cannot be a loan signer.

123notary reserves the right to quiz you on Notary knowledge. If you don’t comply with our questions or get the answers wrong, you will lose points in our point system. If you get less than an acceptable percentage, we reserve the right to suspend you until you study for at least ten hours and learn to do a better job as a Notary.

Share
>

February 19, 2017

Need an NNA Alternative?

Filed under: Business Tips — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 9:53 pm

NNA is a very reliable and quality organization that has been helping Notaries with education, supplies, background checking, and a world-class technical hotline for years. We at 123notary recommend them highly. However, their fees can be a bit high for some budgets, and you are probably thinking of alternatives for your Notary needs. Some claim that NNA has gotten too big, and is no longer the optimal source for Notaries to rely on. I refrain from having a personal opinion on this matter, although I would say that you should analyze your various Notary needs, and find the ideal source for each need rather than relying on one-stop shopping unless you feel that one-stop shopping makes more sense. So, here are the alternatives.

Signing Agent Education
(1) 123notary offers good loan signing combos with solid marketing advice and the convenience of take home course in printable, online, or take home book.
(2) We recommend Notary2Pro if you want thorough training and hand holding. they train their Notaries better than anyone else. Their courses are not as affordable as 123notary’s and do not have the marketing expertise that 123notary does, but they excel at nuts and bolts technical training.

Background Checks
NNA and Sterling are the two acceptable names for background checks. So, if you want an alternative to NNA, try Sterling.

Directories
SigningAgent.com used to deliver more jobs to Notaries than it does now. Over the last six years it has gone down hill from what I’ve heard.
(1) 123notary is a good source for high paying notary work
(2) SnapDocs is a good source for low-ball signing work for beginners
(3) NotaryRotary is the runner up for a mix of signing agent work ranging from top-notch to low-ball.

E&O Insurance
Notary Rotary and other organizations also sell Notary E&O insurance. Not sure who has better prices, but you can shop around.

Supplies
There are various companies around the nation that offer supplies, Notary Rotary being one of them. Personally, I always relied on NNA as my sole destination for thumbprinters, acknowledgment pads, carry-all bags, and anything else I needed.

Summary
NNA seems to be the best destination for one-stop Notary shopping. However, the alternatives might offer better prices and in some cases better quality especially for signing agent education, background screening, and directory marketing. However, for E&O and supplies they would be my first choice. I am not here to make your decision for where you should go for what. But, compare the competition for each type of items or services that you need, perhaps try each option out, and then optimize your decision making skills!

Share
>

January 2, 2017

The link is the missing link to getting reviews on 123notary

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , — admin @ 12:07 am

Many people just don’t bother asking for reviews. They don’t know what to do, or who to ask. Most want to ask their loyal signing companies who hire them all the time. Many claim that they only people they work for regularly are signing companies. If you ask a signing company for a review, you have a 3% chance of actually getting a review while a regular individual who verbally claims they like your work has a 12% chance of giving you a review. Ask everyone, but be realistic about what your odds are. You don’t need more than one review every six months, so a 12% chance of getting a review from individuals you ask is not bad. You just ask eight people who like you every six months and you’ll have enough reviews.

Send a link to your review page
Notaries often like to verbally tell their clients how to go and write a review about them. Nobody has the patience to navigate 123notary and find the review page. Most Notaries who ask for reviews don’t get any simply because they don’t send a link. People are busy and don’t want to bother wandering around 123notary for someone else’s benefit. Send them a link to your review page.

Finding the link
When I ask people to send a link to their review page, the first thing they say is, “I’ll login.” I say, “NO….. Don’t login. Your clients don’t know your password, so if you have to login to get to your review page, how will they get in?” Your review page is accessible to the public, so no logging in is necessary. You just find your page on 123notary.com and click on the “write a review” link above your name on your page.

Finding your page the way a customer would
If you visit the advanced seach page on 123notary.com, you can look up by n#. That will take you to your public page that clients see. The write a review link is above your name. Just click on that link, and then copy and paste the URL of that page into an email. Or use the zip search to find yourself and then click on your name in the search results to get to your page. Either method is fast and works.

Putting a link at the bottom of all emails (bad results)
I have spoken to a bunch of clients who claim they put links to their Yelp, Google, and 123notary review pages at the bottom of their emails. This works well for Google and Yelp, but not for 123notary reviews. Send customized review requests to individuals who mentioned how much they love your work. Keep it personal, and send requests within hours of when a person compliments you. Yes, that means you need to ask for their email address and write it down somewhere.

How long does it take for the review to be live?
I manually check all reviews on 123notary.com. Reviews are normally posted within 24 hours unless I’m on vacation in which case more like 96 hours. I check my email, reviews, and everything else while on vacation, but I can’t check daily as I might be in the middle of Yosemite where I don’t have access to a computer for a few days. So, be patient. Another reason why reviews don’t show up is because the person who claimed to have submitted them never did — and then I get blamed. I can’t publish what never got submitted. My site benefits every time a review is published from an SEO standpoint, so I have a lot to lose by not publishing reviews, so please do not assume that I am intentionally not publishing a review. With negative reviews (which we don’t get many of) I scrutinize them before publishing them and ask for the Notary’s rebuttal so that the public can see both sides of the story.

Share
>

December 17, 2016

Who is involved with 123notary behind the scenes?

When most of us see a website, we see the front end and are absolutely oblivious to what goes on behind the scenes. The fact is that running 123notary involves all types of work that you might not be aware of. Here is a breakdown of what gets done and who does what.

Hosting
123notary is hosted by Connectria and has been for eight years. They keep the site online and help solve technical issues with the servers. You might be surprised to know how much it actually costs to host 123notary. The cost is about $1500 per month and that is before a single hour of programming is billed.

Programming 1999-2010
123notary has had many programmers over the years.

Mark — was our main programmer and he built most of the functions on 123notary.

SzeWan — worked with Mark and did a lot of the phone lists and other functions of 123notary.

Peter — The original programmer for 123notary was actually Jeremy’s dad Peter who is a retired Ada Compiler programmer. Peter worked on much more sophisticated projects during his day and figured out web programming from the ground up. All of Peter’s work had to be rebuilt in newer languages such as ASP, and once again ten years later needs to be rebuilt in a newer version of ASP. When does it end?

Programming 2010-2016

InvitraTech — after Mark quit, which was a huge tragedy for 123notary, we used some programmers in India who we had used on another project. Due to some technical reasons logging into the server, we had to transfer programming to someone in Phoenix.

Phoenix Programmers –Unfortunately the guy in Phoenix had such a temper problem we had to cancel a very critical migration the day it was scheduled. We tried many programmers after that, but found them to be either incompetent, or to be unwilling to work. After that, it many months of trial and error to find another programmer who I liked and who would be loyal to us, and about two years of paying for two servers to finally get the migration to go through since I was so busy (and frustrated.)

Fred — Now, we are laying low on programming and Fred does small fixes for us. Fred was responsible for finally completing the migration and got it done very smoothly I might add.

Brent — In addition to Fred, Brent and his team help us out with fixes from time to time. This is a very long list of programmers. I think my life would have been easier if I could have found one who would stick to the job. Maybe I should have learned programming.

Sales

Carmen — has been with 123notary since 2003 which was the year our business started to really pick up. I remember sitting in the car in March 2003 answering a sales call and my friend (ex-friend) tried to get me to shut the phone off. I explained to him that my business is finally taking off, and why stifle myself? After a few months of the phone ringing off the hook which was a welcomed form of over-work after years of poverty — I came to my senses and realized I needed help. So, in 2003, I pleaded with Carmen to get her on board. She was very resistant at first believe it or not, and then developed a love and loyalty for the job which has lasted until today and hopefully for many years to come. Carmen became full-time with 123notary in 2005.

Jeremy also does outbound sales from time to time.

Adine, Wendy, Sally, and Leah have also done sales, although they all got busy with other things and decided not to work for 123notary anymore.

Writers

123notary’s blog became very popular around 2012. Instead of the world ending like the Mayans claimed, 123notay’s world got filled with interesting articles. 123notary was able to find a few amazing writers to help out. Ken does writing mostly about technical and business advice issues. Since he is an accomplished Notary, it is easy for him to write about the finer points of Notary marketing, pricing, and documents. Jeremy does a little of everything at 123notary and writes the majority of the articles. Andy is a professional TV and screen writer who wrote for Cheers, Seinfeld and more. Andy helps write comedy articles for 123notary and also helps with idea generation. Andy’s blog articles became hits and we have a folder for him in our Guest Bloggers category on our blog.

So, who else?
Mrs. Meao helped 123notary guard its working quarters from unwelcomed intruders (mice.) But, there were no mice, so Mrs. Meao took naps most of the time. In the future, I’d like to see more variety of blog writers. The problem is that the blog writing applicants come up with such lame topics that I never hire them. They are simply not in tune with what people want to read. We tried to create a teaching program, but none of the Notaries who had teaching backgrounds wanted to cooperate. So, we’ll see how 123notary develops. Wish us luck!

Share
>

December 14, 2016

Do you compare yourself to others on the 123notary search results?

Filed under: Advertising,Popular on Facebook (A little) — Tags: , — admin @ 12:00 am

We want to remind all Notaries that you are in a constant state of competition. It behooves you to look regularly at what the others are doing in your area wherever you do notary advertising. If you in Timbuktu, IL, see how the others are doing. Otherwise, the phone will stop ringing and you won’t know why. Perhaps Tom in your area will have twenty new reviews while your last review is collecting cyber dust. Or perhaps Mary will have passed our Elite test while you failed our regular certification test two years ago and never tried again.

If you compare yourself to others on the list you will quickly notice certain things.
1. Some Notaries offer late night service. Our icons for Owl hours and 24 hours attract a lot of callers.
2. Some Notaries have many reviews and recent reviews. Others have three reviews the same day back in 2009 which looks fake by the way.
3. Some Notaries have a very evolved looking notes section while others have a one liner or leave their notes blank.
4. Some Notaries have a company name that sounds good while others just use their personal name.
5. Those using our site regularly are painfully aware of how much less knowledgeable signers are who are not 123notary.com certified. Those uncertified folks tend not to get picked much despite their claims that — “But, I’m NNA certified, so why should I have to pass another test? I already know it all.” Those who use our site think that you do not know it all if you can’t pass our test which is timed!

It boils down to — do you want jobs or not? Are you willing to do several quick things to make sure you get jobs or do you want to do the minimum and hope to get by? This is not Junior High folks, this is real life, and the minimum doesn’t cut it. You have to make sure you have all of your bells and whistles. You need notes, certifications, reviews, company names, good skills, you need to answer your phone regularly, and do good work. If you goof in any one area, your business will suffer. So, why not do everything right, and prosper?

Share
>

December 1, 2016

I eat, breathe and sleep 123notary

Filed under: Social Media — Tags: , — admin @ 11:50 pm

For those of you who wonder what it is like running 123notary, it is non-stop work. I eat, breathe and sleep 123notary.com. I even have dreams about 123notary.com when I’m asleep. I also dreamt that my housemate was listening to loud salsa music, but that’s a different story.

When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is to roll out of bed, visit the bathroom, and then sit down at my computer for a few hours. There are emails to answer, orders to process, phone calls to call, tweets to tweet, and other things to do as well. I normally take a walk every afternoon and I think about 123notary during the entire walk. Experts claim that taking long walks calms you down and makes you smarter. Some of the greatest artists, composers and thinkers of all time took long walks daily. I include myself in this category of people as I compose great music in my head during walks, but never write it down such as a concerto for orchestra and unaccompanied jazz saxophone (not sure if that would sound so good in real life, but worth a try.)

When I go out with friends, we always discuss 123notary, among other things. I went to the symphony today, not to hear music, but to sit in the lobby and absorb their “qi” energy to benefit 123notary. Yes, feng-shui really does work if you know how to do it right. Basically, everything I do, I do for 123.

As Carmen once put it (sounds like an MTV commercial)

I want my 123

Share
>

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?

Share
>

October 17, 2016

123notary has more high spots available

Filed under: Advertising,Popular on Facebook (A little) — Tags: , — admin @ 11:34 pm

123notary used to be booked solid in most of the big metros. But, because we refuse to lower prices, we have availability. 123notary likes higher prices because we weed out most of the mediocre notaries with high prices. We like to maintain the highest quality search results that we can. But, this results in empty spots. Not all metros have empty spots, but many do.

You can contact us to see if we have any high spots in your area. Purchasing a high spot on 123notary means that the Title companies will see you immediately upon browsing a particular city’s search results or zip code’s search results. Top spots get called first, have more choices for who they work for and normally get paid more. Notaries at the bottom of the list get the leftovers that nobody else wants if they get anything at all. So, do you want feasts or crumbs? You decide! If you are serious about this business, spending a few hundred extra per year won’t break you, but it could help make you.

You might also like:

How much should you spend on advertising?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16679

Upgrading on 123notary w/o the bells & whistles
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15006

Share
>

October 10, 2016

A comprehensive guide to Notary organizations

Are you a Notary? Do you want to join some Notary organizations? There are many of them out there. Some help educate Notaries while others have helplines or hotlines. Some sell Notary supplies while others help Notaries advertise their services.

123notary.com
http://www.123notary.com/
123notary.com has been around since 1999 and helps Notaries advertise their Mobile Notary services online. Title, Escrow, Signing Companies, Attorneys and individuals love using 123notary to find some of the best trained and most experienced Notaries anywhere. 123notary also sells loan signing courses and has a very entertaining and informative blog. Check out their list of signing companies with reviews to see who you should and shouldn’t be working for.

National Notary Association
https://www.nationalnotary.org/
The NNA has been around since 1957 as a California Notary Association to help Notaries with educational resources and tools. In 1964 it became a National Association. NNA sells Notary supplies, errors & omissions insurance, education to help pass the Notary exam and become a signing agent, andmore… Advertise your signing agent services on signingagent.com

Notary Rotary
http://www.notaryrotary.com
Notary Rotary has been around for decades and offers a very potent way for Notaries to advertise their services. They also sell seals, and E&O insurance. Signing Agents can place an add and get found based on how close they are to the zip code being searched for.

SnapDocs
http://www.snapdocs.com/
This organization makes it easy to find newer Notaries who work for cheap as well as providing a system for downloading documents. More seasoned Notaries are complaining that SnapDocs is contributing to the lowering of fees in the industry. We recommend this organization for newer Notaries who want to get their foot in the door.

American Society of Notaries
http://www.notaries.org/
ASN offers a phoneline for technical support just in case Notaries have a question while on the job. They also sell Notary supplies and more.

American Association of Notaries
http://www.notarypublicstamps.com
Buy your stamps from the AAN!

Notary Café
https://notarycafe.com/
Notary Cafe is a smaller directory of Notaries that seems to specialize in the more serious Notaries. We do not have records to show how popular their directory has been in the last few years, but they have been popular for a long time.

Pennsylvania Association of Notaries
https://www.notary.org/
Need help becoming a Notary in Pennsylvania? Try this organization.

California Association of Notaries
http://www.calnotaries.com/
This is yet another Notary directory.

.

You might also like:

Snapdocs — see our feed for posts about this company
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=snapdocs

The State of Notary Advertising in 2015
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13625

The Towles Booth (pronounced Tolls)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=9456

Why the Notary industry went South
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16500

.

Share
>

October 6, 2016

The History of 123notary.com

Filed under: Advertising — Tags: , , — admin @ 10:22 pm

Many people know that 123notary is the one venue to advertise your Mobile Notary service that systematically gets results. We are the go-to site for notary advertising. Some people rave about the results we get. Others complain about how they don’t like our sometimes strict policies. But, almost all love the zany stories and helpful tips in our blog. So, let’s break it down how 123notary got started, and what we do.

The History of 123notary

123notary started back in 1999 and was originally designed to be an advertising site just for Jeremy. The other sites weren’t getting him enough business, so it was time to take control of advertising so there would be enough work. As time went on, the site graduated from being a purely Southern California directory covering only five counties to covering all of California. By 2001, we covered the entire United States.

Building up 123notary from scratch

We started this directory knowing almost nothing about the directory business. We just put a bunch of names and numbers on a list. Little did we realize that there is a lot more to running a directory than that. We realized we needed critical mass, so we added more than a thousand names to the list. Along with a bunch of other technical realizations about placement levels for additional counties, zip search results, etc., we realized that people drop out. As people drop out of the Notary business, we need new Notaries dropping in. My huge project adding 1000 Notaries to the list was something that would have to be repeated. So, a few years later, I added more people. Our numbers went up, and then month by month the numbers went down. This arduous process of adding names to the list would have to be repeated once again as our stats kept going down. After a while, it became a realization that we needed an organized way to keep our numbers up. So, I decided to create a monthly plan to add new Notaries to our list every month, and remove defunct listings every month as well. That system worked miracles and from that day forward, 123notary maintained a steady quantity of Notaries around 6200-7400.

Amazing breakthroughs in 2008 & 2009

Additionally, in 2008, the online advertising with Google Adwords started to get a lot more expensive. It was necessary to find a more cost-effective way to get clicks. Learning SEO was something that took a few years, but with a fantastic programmer named Mark, Jeremy was able to learn the art of SEO and get 123notary double the clicks it was getting before. The following year (2009) Mitch got Jeremy started on blogging and social media which again worked wonders for 123notary’s SEO, although that miracle took years to unfold.

What is 123notary now?
123notary is a the premiere Notary directory in the industry. No other directory has as high a quality of Notaries or gets as much traffic. We keep more information on our Notaries than any other directory. We have the general contact info, hours of operation, but also get into Notary specialties such as Reverse Mortgages, Hospital Signings, Immigration Documents, E&O insurance, Foreign Languages, and more. Additionally, 123notary goes through and helps Notaries edit their notes sections to make them easier to read and more informative. 123notary gets about 170,000 visitors per month and has about 6900 Notaries on board as of June, 2016.

Advertising

You can advertise with 123notary as a Mobile Notary for as little as $59 per year. Although we offer FREE listings which appear at the bottom of the search results, you can also elect to get a preferential listing for $99 or be #1 on the search results for a quoted price which might range from $200 on up depending on the area.

eCourses

123notary also sells loan signing certification courses and combos. Our most popular is the LS#3 combo which gives a thorough guide to loan signing, keeping records, marketing your services, examples of loan documents, and more. You can get a physical book or an ecourse. Read the course description!

How do I do well on 123notary?

To do well on 123notary requires more than just paying us an annual fee. You need to maintain your listing a little bit too, but it isn’t rocket science, and you have experienced professionals who are here to help at no extra cost. You need to write an amazing notes section about your experience, what’s unique about you, equipment, memberships, coverage areas, etc. We will help you edit your notes section at no cost to make it better organized and attractive. You also need reviews from your satisfied clients on your listing. All you have to do is ask, and email them a link, and some (but, unfortunately not all) of them will write you a review. A few reviews are like gold and will magically transform your listing as that is what the users want to see.

Help is always there when you advertise with 123notary

Other directories just take your money and leave you on your own. At 123notary, you can email us or call our 888 number for help. We give help with passwords for your listing, or ecourse. We also give free marketing and technical tips if you have a question. We’ll help brush up your listing at no cost as well as help you choose a business name — at at no cost if you have a paid listing with us!

Our Notary Newsletter

In addition to providing advertising and courses, 123notary also has a free newsletter which has more than 5000 followers. Our newsletter is a free source of great industry information and laughs as well. We have articles about new signing companies, signing company gossip, technical signing agent tips, mobile notary marketing tips, and also comedy articles especially written for the Notary industry. No other newsletter provides the same diversity or quality of articles as we do. So, email us at info@123notary.com to sign up today!

.

You might also like:

123notary behind the scenes
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2499

The story of 123notary.com
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=710

Share
>
Older Posts »