Moonlighting with a Notary Business

“Is being a notary worth it if I have a full-time job?" This is a question that has surfaced several times this summer on social media.  In a nutshell, heck yeah!  Having a side gig or "moonlighting" as a mobile notary at the end of your work day can be rewarding! The final answer, however, lies in one's personal goals and how well that person can penetrate various segments of the local population to be the first notary contacted for service.  Today, I will share typical general notary work assignments that I pick up after work.  Non-loan notary work works great for "moonlighting." Notaries who are new to the business of being a mobile notary often know about loan signing opportunities, but don’t...


Posted By Category: Notary Business, Notary PublicComments: 0

Six Steps that Will Improve Your Image

If you are a new notary public or a new notary business owner,  the six steps listed below can help to set up the right public image for your notary career.  These steps aren't new discoveries , but they can be easily overlooked while you are trying to learn how to handle your new duties as a notary professional.   Step 1 – Brand your  notary business with a professional email address. Now that you are a notary professional, don’t hang on to your Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, and AOL address.  Consider setting up an email address that projects the right image. This step entails purchasing a domain and adding email service to it.  Google is one place to do this.   It will...


Can I notarize this document?

Today, we are focusing on confusing and unfamiliar documents that notaries are requested to notarize.  We are going in this direction today because after polling several new notaries this month, I learned that many would like to know how to handle documents they have never heard of--the crazy ones...the ones that are not in loan document packages.   I ran across one that made me scratch my head, so we will take a look at it.  Its purpose is to say who gets my DNA results from a genealogy company when I die.  It is called a Beneficiary of DNA Information, and it is pictured in the image below.   By analyzing this document, we will answer common questions asked by new notaries, for...


Posted By Category: E & O, Featured, Loan Signing Agent, TrainingComments: 4
Notary Marketing Letters

How to Write Notary Marketing Letters

The biggest notary buzz this week is “Where can I find a form marketing letter to send out for soliciting business from  ______?”  The blank usually contains title companies, doctors, or attorneys most often, but occasionally there are other business professionals mentioned.   Below is a tip sheet I have prepared for you.  But, before we go into tips and techniques, here's my best heartfelt advice: Be brave -- write your letter.  You may be surprised at how empowered you will be after you take that step.  As a business owner, this is a skill that you will need to use regularly. It's the first of many steps out of your comfort zone.  So, we'll get through this first one together. Make the letter short...


Split Signings

3 Steps to Handling “Split Signing” Appointments

A "split signing"  is a type of notary signing appointment.  Being signed are real estate  or loan documents--the reason is it referred to as a split signing is because all of the signers can't attend at the same time. Therefore, a transaction that would normally require one appointment will require at least two appointments. Today, our example signers will be siblings--Jack Smith and Jill Jones.  Jack are Jill are co-owners who are selling property that was left to them in equal shares by a deceased relative. Here are three complicating factors --  Jill lives Dallas, Texas. Jack lives in Madison, Wisconsin. The property is in Houston. Unfortunately, when the documents were drawn up, the attorneys who drafted the documents for sellers Jack and...


Why Every Notary Needs Training

Why EVERY Notary Needs Training

This week’s tips are for notaries who may be at risk of  losing relationships with hiring parties because of errors in their notarial acts, losing their commissions--or worse--may inadvertently perform a criminal act. Because life gets busy and is full of more pressing and interesting matters, notary laws are not top priority to many notaries--I understand that!  Unfortunately, the result is that too many notaries haven't developed proper skills.  They don't know what they can do and what they can't.There are pitfalls to avoid, but untrained notaries don't see them.  They are  performing notarial acts as if blindfolded, unaware of the risks and pitfalls that await them and the public for whom they notarize.  Pressures to Perform Unlawful Acts Just this week,...


Notary Profiles and Marketing Kits

How to Create a Notary Profile and Marketing Kit

Last week, a new notary asked me how to develop a solid profile for websites like Notary Rotary.  I wasn’t able to answer her personally that day and decided to dedicate this week’s newsletter to two important pieces of a notary’s marketing strategy:  Notary Marketing Kit Professional Notary Profile A marketing kit will streamline your efforts; plus, having a notary profile makes it possible to set up accounts on marketing websites quickly. Initially, I came up with my list of must-have requirements for a notary’s marketing kit, then went a step further and asked a couple of friends who hire notaries for loan signings for their input. Like many hiring parties, they depend heavily on profiles to select notaries. Please keep in mind as...


Repeat Notary Business

Top 10 Ways to Win Repeat Notary Business

Today, we are going to discuss ten habits of notaries who perform like experts and gain repeat business.  Notaries at any level of experience can do these things to project professionalism and become more desirable to hiring parties!     1.  The busiest notaries answer all calls (except for known annoyance callers or undesirable hiring parties).  Currently, a huge problem that keeps notaries from working is not answering their phones.  Many notaries won't answer a call if they don't recognize the number or if the number is blocked.  It just takes a few seconds to determine if it is work or a spam call. Pick it up and see. Not answering the phone sends a negative signal to hiring parties.     2. Once an assignment is...


Foreign Document Notarization

Notary Errors on Documents Destined for Foreign Countries

Last week, our article Use Caution when Notarizing for Elections and Political Candidates described how notarial errors on election and candidate forms can cause a notary to become an ugly headline in the media. There is one more situation that brings notary errors under a microscope.  Today’s topic is about errors that appear on notarized documents that will be used outside of the U.S. and requires an apostille or certificate of authentication. Example of Document Requiring an Apostille Suppose a citizen of China intends to marry a U.S. citizen and the wedding will take place in China. Before this can go forward, according to information on the website of the Consulate General of China  in San Francisco, the U.S. citizen must appear...


Posted By Category: E & O, Insurance, Notarization, Notary StampTags: Comments: 2

Use Caution when Notarizing for Elections and Political Candidates

Normally, I like to share notary tips and fun strategies for you to use in your business. But, on occasion, I feel obligated to share a warning, especially for those who are just getting started.   If you are new and haven't taken a training course, please do that before you begin seeking work--especially before handling election forms.  If you think that's unnecessary and old fashioned, please continue reading! Candidate and election forms are treacherous. New notaries without training should consider referring requests to perform notarial acts for political candidates and relating to election affidavits to more experienced notaries.  Please don't do it before taking a basic notary course and purchasing errors and omissions (E&O) insurance.  Notarial errors related to elections will...


Story of a Mortgage Loan

The Story of a Mortgage Loan

Notaries who have not been through the personal agony of applying for a mortgage loan have missed learning opportunities.  Every mortgage loan has a story!  Being that involved in the process personally helps notaries understand what their borrowers have recently endured.   Without that experience, a new loan signing agent may not understand some of the impatience that borrowers have.  Applying for a loan isn't for the faint at heart.  It can be grueling and frustrating.  With that in mind, I’d like to do an overview of how a mortgage loan begins and evolves into a neat stack of loan documents on a borrower's cluttered kitchen table. Definition of a mortgage A mortgage is a legal agreement by which a lender lends...


Top 10 Things a New Notary Must Know

Top 10 Things that a New Notary Must Know

Are you a new notary public?  Do you feel as if you are -- Swimming around in murky notary laws that are too complicated? Trying to learn rules stuffed with terms that you do not understand? Attempting to make sense of confusing notary group discussions?  Unable to get a straight answer on anything? Drowning from information overload? If so, take this to heart:  You can't learn it all at once.  You really can't!  Don't make yourself feel bad because you don't know it all. Let's slow down and take your move into the notary world one small step at a time.  Today, I want to go over the barest requirements and most basic skills you need to learn before you slap the Mobile Notary sign on your car and drive...