My First Commercial Mortgage Loan Experience as a Notary Signing Agent

This is the third in a series of articles about commercial loans.  Unless you have questions you'd like to see answered regarding commercial loans for notary signing agents, we are moving to the topic of wills and powers of attorney,. ---------- I thought I was early when I walked into the multi-story building that housed the Houston title company that had hired me for the next three days. I would be handling their overflow of borrowers who were closing on home equity loans.  I wanted to make a good impression, so I arrived early--around 7:30 a.m.   I'm not going to lie.  I was nervous and didn't know what to expect.   When I found the office, finally. I figured that it was so early, surely no...


Commercial Mortgage Loans:  Six Differences for Notary Signing Agents 

Last week we reviewed nine typical loan packages and discussed the sizes of each and the estimated number of notarial acts.  There are a few loan types that are significantly different than the others, the commercial mortgage loan being the most different.  The topic of commercial loans is also quite popular with new notaries. With that in mind, this week, we are going to cover the six primary differences that notaries need to know about when switching over from residential loans to handling commercial loans.   1-Collateral Collateral means the type of property that secures the loan. The collateral seen by notaries in residential loans are  homes or land on which a home will be constructed.  The home may be a standalone...


7 Tips for Building a Niche Notary Business

Today’s article is about developing a niche for general notary work and contains  What does “niche business” mean? The word "niche" means a hidden spot, hollow place, or hidey-hole. You already know what the term “business” means.  Niche notary work for most notaries frequently includes several people or businesses who have rare but similar needs. They are often under-served and aren't glaringly obvious to other notaries in your community.    How would one go about finding niche notary business? Notaries may stumble upon a niche population of several or many citizens who need the services of mobile notaries, or they may develop skills to help them ferret out niche work. However, as you might guess, waiting to “stumble” into something is usually not...


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...


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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...


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...


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...


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...


The Mysterious Contents of a Traveling Notary’s Bag

The bag or briefcase carried to appointments by a brand new traveling notary is usually a lightweight and slim model.  It contains very little--a few pens, a notarial stamp, notary journal, and a pocket for carrying documents.  However, once notaries begin traveling and having experiences with signers, they learn to be ready to accommodate a multitude of situations.  Soon, the traveling notary bag is bulging at the seems, a zipper breaks, or the thing won't shut at all!  It must be upgraded to a larger size. As the miles click by and notary journals fill up with signatures from appointments, a notary's bag selection leans to something bigger and more capable of organizing gear. Some notaries eventually graduate to an...