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March 4, 2017

SnapDocs is a bigger operation than I thought

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — admin @ 10:34 pm

123notary is a small, but high quality organization that has a database of Notaries that is nationwide. We offer refined information that we check regularly for accuracy. We never experienced any serious competition until SnapDocs appeared in 2012. SnapDocs didn’t get too much serious traffic until 2015 when we started to really feel their presence.

But, they are not a mom & pop organization like we are. They are a huge technology company that processes 40,000 loans per month. They automate a lot of the back office processes that go into preparing a loan for the closing process as well as parts of the loan signing process such as finding a Notary.

SnapDocs charges $8 per loan signing according to what I have heard. If they have 40,000 loans per month, their income is $320,000 per month or about 4 million per year. They also have a team of programmers and engineers to keep their operation afloat.

They are located in San Francisco, CA with another venue in San Jose, CA which is the tech capitol of the world as far as I’m concerned.

I’m beginning to be concerned that we will lose a lot of market share due to them, especially if they get smarter about taking market share.

You might also like:

See our STRING about Snapdocs
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=snapdocs

The Uber principle at Snapdocs — new blood
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18868

The History of 123notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18868

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February 11, 2017

SnapDocs — thumbs up or thumbs down?

Filed under: Signing Company Gossip — Tags: — admin @ 10:29 pm

Notaries who use SnapDocs not only get a ton of ratings from people who used them, but the ratings are anonymous. You wonder if the ratings are even based on reality — because they can say anything! One lady on NR was furious that she only got a 77%. I have no idea, is that good?

Your entire reputation is controlled by God knows who and with information that is not even necessarily even correct or given using integrity. Additionally, you don’t know WHY you got a thumbs down. Was it because your fee was too high? Was it because you didn’t answer your phone or email fast enough or because of a scheduling issue? You’ll never find out!

But, what about the Notaries? If something goes wrong it is automatically the Notary’s fault. The Notary is penalized on SnapDocs, but not the client.

The fact is that SnapDocs clients pay them big bucks to use this convenient and automated system that performs all sorts of automated functions for them. That is excellent and I commend them for that. However, they do not seem to care about the common Notary!

Maybe I should learn from all this and design some functions into 123notary to be for the benefit of the Notary! Notaries need someone to defend them, and the forum is great, but not enough! Maybe there’s another way.

In the meantime, SnapDocs gets a thumbs up for quantity of work. However due to the quantity of endless complaints from Notaries about their service, I wonder why Notaries who have any experience at all are willing to put up with this kind of headache…

You might also like:

See our STRING on Snapdocs
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=snapdocs

SnapDocs — I felt like I was being used!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18852

A comprehensive guide to Notary organizations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17088

Who is involved with 123notary behind the scenes?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18888

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January 18, 2017

Snapdocs grew tremendously in 2016, but NotaryRotary shrank!

Filed under: Advertising — Tags: — admin @ 7:21 am

I took a look at the stats of Snapdocs, NotaryRotary, and 123notary over the last few months. Here is what I noticed.

1. Snapdocs got increasing amounts of traffic during 2016 while 123notary & NotaryRotary lost traffic. My stats indicate that this December I got about 17% less visits to 123notary than last December for example. Alexa.com showed a huge increase in site rank in Snapdocs while showing a small decline in 123notary’s and NotaryRotary’s site rank which is based on overall traffic.

2. In September 2016, based on similarweb.com 123notary experienced a huge surge in traffic while Snapdocs & NotaryRotary experienced a huge decline. My Google Analytics showed a surge in traffic on 123notary, but in August, not September. So, perhaps similarweb.com is a little bit off (or completely off) in its reporting.

My personal stats show that 123notary lost 8% of traffic in 2016 as a whole compared to 2015 as a whole. Part of that is due to Snapdocs. But, Snapdocs traffic grew a lot over 2016 which means that we lost more during the last few months of the year. According to one stats site, Snapdocs traffic was double what 123notary’s was. However, their traffic is low-ball where 123notary gets a lot more high quality traffic.

On the other hand, Alexa.com shows that 123notary’s rank is roughly equal to Snapdocs. So, which source of information is the most reliable? In my experience Google Analytics is the most reliable and detailed source of web stats information. Unfofortunately, I do not have Google analytics on my competitors’ stats.

New Profiles
I’m trying to make sense of what is happening, but it is so complicated. 123notary added several hundred new profiles in August which could have lead to a rise in stats for us in September. But, our stats show that our spike was in August, not September which leads me to feel that there is a lag in the reporting on the other stats site

Social Media
Our social media took a huge dive in clicks starting around August and our Facebook performance affects our general web traffic.

What to do?
I am looking at this information completely baffled. I work hard every day to ensure the best quality search experience on 123notary. We get traffic that pays notaries well on 123notary. But, the total clicks matter to me as well, and clicks are far down. Do I add more profiles? Do I do more on social media? Do I create a better mobile site experience? Should we try to get more reviews? Or should I emphasize different information than I do now? I think the answer is all of the above!

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January 7, 2017

Who and what is Snapdocs?

Filed under: 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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November 26, 2016

I felt like I was being used (Snapdocs assignment)

Another Notary worked for Snapdocs and had an emotional reaction after the fact. She got one of those low-ball assignments, took it, and then complained she felt like she was being used. If you don’t like working for below market rates, nobody is putting a gun to your head! This new signer was concerned about wear and tear on her car, ink, paper, gas, etc. The bottom line here is that anyone who uses you is using you no matter the price. You sell your services for money. The question is, do you know the value of your time and do you know the itemization of your expenses for various types of jobs?

There is no set value on your time, so you have to create your own value. If you don’t know your value, how will you accept or reject jobs. For newbies, the value of getting work under your belt is much more than the value of your dignity. An inexperienced Notary in my book is not worth much. If you have less than 1000 signings and no certifications, I personally wouldn’t use you for anything. If you have 5000 signings and three certifications, then you become valuable as long as you have a good track record.

SIGNING CO: Would you do this modification for $100?

NOTARY: I will not – I have morals

SIGNING CO: How about $1,000,000?

NOTARY: Well, okay…

SIGNING CO: How about $150

NOTARY: What kind of Notary do you think I am?

SIGNING CO: We’ve already determined that, we’re just haggling over the price.

You might also like:

Do you compare yourself with others on the 123notary search results
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18882

What is a high spot on 123notary worth?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16720

The state of Notary advertising in 2016
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16738

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November 19, 2016

The Uber principle at Snapdocs. New blood!

Snapdocs has grown in popularity in the last half year. Many of our clients have gotten a lot of business from them. One guy got 350 signings from them while another got 150 last year. Most Notaries are fed up with the low-balling and hand-holding. But, the ones who can tolerate the low-ball practices are getting volume. At low prices after you deduct your toner, paper, gas, and phone-time, you might not end up with much, but at least you get something.

My question is, can these guys stay in business with this business model of low-balling the Notaries? So many Notaries are so sick of it and drop out as a result of these practices. The answer lies with Uber. Uber burns out their drivers very quickly. I forget how long the average driver lasts, but it is not more than a few weeks. They just can’t stand the low pay and difficult situations they are put in. Snapdocs seems to pray on new blood too. Although most Notaries we know have dropped Snapdocs (we should call them SnapDrops) there seems to be an infinite supply of new Notaries with no knowledge, no experience, and most important, no self-respect who work for pennies.

On the other hand, perhaps the signing and title companies will get sick of bad quality Notaries and come back to 123notary where we deliver the highest quality search results in the business. I manicure my directory daily for accuracy of data and quality of Notaries. People value quality, but do they value it enough to pay for it?

I estimate that 123notary is losting 7% of our search volume due to Snapdocs. On the other hand, we are not losing revenue simply because we make our money from Notaries who get paid for high paying Title work for the most part. The Notaries who do low-ball work don’t have much money, don’t spend much money, and won’t lose us much money if they wandered into other pastures. So, we’ll keep our business model of quality search results and quality Notaries over here and hope for the best.

To sum it up. As long as SnapDocs has new blood and the Title companies will stoop to the level of accepting untrained, inexperienced and unqualified Notaries, SnapDocs will stay in business. Scary to think — but true! On a brighter note, they did an excellent job of harnessing modern technology in a way that nobody else did or wants to!

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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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October 25, 2016

Do you feel disenchanted with the Notary signing agent profession?

Are you feeling let down, disenchanted, hopeless, or broken hearted about the signing agent profession? Are the big Notary agencies not supporting you in what you feel you need to stay afloat and do well? To be truthful, the industry has changed, and there are more Notaries, less jobs, and lower pay. But, the basic skills you need as a signing agent have not changed. You need a good knowledge of your documents, Notary law, and basic scheduling and business skills.

Don’t depend on one Notary agency for all of your knowledge or support. Rather, create a resource pool. Choose several companies to be your support system. One might have a good hotline while the other might be better at email support. You might like one or two of the forums out there to research signing company reviews. You might like the courses from a particular agency, or perhaps you might want to take two or three signing agent courses to become solid in your knowledge (recommended.)

Here are our recommendations for the best Notary resources

123notary
FORUM — Look up signing company reviews while you are talking to them on your iphone using 123notary.com/s
Advertising — 123notary is the premiere spot for notary advertising, especially for highly experienced Notaries.
Courses — 123notary has easy to understand and afforable signing agent courses
Resources — visit our resource page to find our demand letter from hell which will get you paid — almost guaranteed.

NNA
Excellent for supplies
Great technical hotline
Highly Recommended Background Checks
more…

Notary2Pro
Their signing agent course produces very respectable results as the knowledge level of their graduates is excellent.

SnapDocs
Great for beginners. The average knowledge level on this site is low and so is the pay. But, if you are a beginner, this set up is suitable for you in the mean time.

NotaryRotary
Advertising — this is a great site to advertise your Notary services for new and experienced signing agents alike.
Forum — their forum has more cumulative data than any other, although the volume slowed down last year
Supplies — E&O insurance and Notary Suppies are also offered by NotaryRotary

That’s all for now. So, use the resources available to you and I think you’ll find it’s more than enough to keep you in great shape!

.

You might also like:

The Notary industry is getting more professional
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15987

My interpretation of how the Notary industry went South
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16500

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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

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October 4, 2016

SnapDocs has a new feature for bank auto pay within 30 days

Tired of not getting paid on time? SnapDocs (our competitor) has a new feature which we think is helpful. I’m not sure how the feature is used, but you can arrange that companies will auto-pay you within 30 days. Most Notaries are tired of waiting, and not knowing when they will be paid. To be guaranteed payment, and not even have to deal with checks sounds like a wonderful arrangement. Ken has an even better arrangement which is getting paid Paypal up front.

I wonder how you guys would feel if 123notary had a system where slow paying companies would be denied our future search algorithms? That would eliminate a lot of the bad traffic from 123notary and give you only the best. I’m not sure that would help our site, or help you guys that much, but it would make your lives safer and perhaps more pleasant.

Let me know what you think

You might also like:

SnapDocs — all articles (string)
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=snapdocs

You want to get paid well as a Notary, but do you merit a good rate?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16687

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