Moonlighting with a Notary BusinessBrenda Stone
“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 really give other types of work much thought. That is why I am going to focus on general mobile notary work and serving individuals. This is one way to learn in baby steps what it is like to be a mobile professional traveling and serving others with a notary seal.
Most people are tired after a full day of work. By five o’clock, they want to go straight home. I am no different. Two to three hours per day is about all I want to dedicate to notary work after five to make extra money. I put in 40 hours at a job each week and several hours per month writing. Therefore, my hours for general mobile notary work are between 5:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., except for rare situations. Last week, four slots on my calendar filled up quickly with mobile notary work. None of it kept me out past 7:00 p.m.
On Monday, I was presented with a prenuptial agreement to notarize. A local attorney called me and asked me to meet with her client and the client’s fiance. We met at Whataburger which is amazingly empty at 5:30 p.m. every evening, although cars are stacked up bumper-to-bumper in the drive-thru window lane.
The work took me 30 minutes. It would have been quicker if there had not been a child along for the ride. While they initialed their documents’ many pages, I played Tic-Tac-Toe with the little guy. He won every game and I received a tip.
A borrower whose loans I have handled twice called me to notarize a few affidavits for him. He had inherited property from a relative he didn’t even know about. What a happy appointment that was! It was over in 15 minutes and was 1.5 miles from my home.
I had two assignments.
One was to notarize three affidavits of heirship. The assignment was six miles away. It was an honor to do it because the signer was a veteran of the U.S. Army. I didn’t charge her — may way of saying “thank you” for serving. This took me 45 minutes. After meeting with her, I scurried over to my other appointment across town. There, I notarized two last wills and testaments and general powers of attorney at a assisted living facility 2.5 miles from my home. For this one, I received a nice tip. I will say, however, that this appointment was not a quick one. It actually took an hour.
For those four assignments, including one that I didn’t charge for, I was paid $200, I traveled about 15 miles, and I spent less than three hours on the four assignments. All of the payments were made in cash. I would say that after taxes and travel expenses, I cleared about $55 per hour. If I had not received two tips, I would have cleared about $40 per hour–even after doing one assignment for free.
If someone is interested in earning $200 in three hours on the way home from work, this isn’t a bad way to moonlight. I don’t know what other job that a person could do, putting in only three hours and come up with $200 gross at the end of the week!
Work that I Didn’t Take
I was also offered two mobile notary jobs during the day that I had to refer to another notary. They would have paid $50 each and could have taken an hour each, but my schedule would not permit me to do them comfortably. There was too much going on at my office and I referred these to a local colleague. So, the jobs that I didn’t take would have yielded another $100 and on a different week, I would have taken them and might have also had an assignment or two from my main loan signing client whose loans I take no matter what.
Not HUGE amounts, but this is a realistic amount for short hours like mine.
The jobs mentioned above are realistic if you work more more than 2.5 hours per day at your notary business. It’s true that I received tips over my usual asking fee, and you can’t always plan to get tips. However, if you are patient with older folks while their adult kids are there, the kids are extremely grateful. Also, if you show interest in a hyperactive little boy and talk nonsense with him for a few minutes so that his parents know they can relax and breathe in your presence, you might be gifted an extra few dollars for that.
Since I work full-time and have my writing work, as well, I do not grab every little bit that comes my way. But, this works for me. Having my writing and full-time job income means that I don’t have to charge veterans for notarizing documents. I love giving them that gift. Notaries public are more than “Stampers for Dollars.”
On the other hand, you may feel inclined to work more hours after 5 o’clock than I do.
What would make moonlighting as a notary “worth it” to you?
You will need to figure out exactly what your goals are and how you will reach your targeted population. Start your marketing efforts with a tall stack of business cards advertising your services as a mobile notary. Give out a certain amount daily. At the end of giving out your first 100 business cards, you should have at least one new client. It will start slow but grow a little faster as time goes by and you become more known.
Moonlighting Offers the Perception of Choices
One hidden benefit of moonlighting with your notary business is that you may become more satisfied in your current job situation. Even if you can’t immediately go full-time as a notary, the knowledge that it is a possibility has a way of changing your view. Knowing that you have choices may change how you feel about working full-time for someone else.
Many people hate working at a job. The 8-to-5 grind wears them down because it feels as if they have no choice except to work for someone else.
When I started my notary business years ago, a world of possibility opened up to me. My perception changed. Going to work at a J-O-B changed from me working as a requirement to knowing that I was working at my job by choice. Today, I think of my job as “This is what I do during the day to help support my lifestyle.”
May you all find perfect balance in your notary career paths!
Stay tuned for next week–we will discuss niche notary work.