Our Featured Notary for April/May is Woody Williams, owner of Woody’s Mobile Notary Service in Los Angeles, California. He takes his training seriously and is certified through the National Notary Association, 123Notary, and the California Mobile Notary Association.
Mobile Notary/Certified Signing Agent
Los Angeles, California
Q: Woody, when did you start your notary business?
A: I started my mobile notary business in December 2004.
Q: Why did you decide to become a notary?
A: A family member, who is a signing agent, encouraged me to try it.
Q: What was your first signing experience?
A: My first signing was last minute with edocs. Having a family member in the loan signing business really helped!
Q: Is your business full time or part time?
A: Full time.
Q: How many hours a week do you work now?
A: I spend 15-25 hours a week doing signings since the slow down in the market. I spend additional time each week doing research and marketing.
Q: Do you work with signing companies?
A: Yes, I work with a few signing companies.
Q: What percentage of your business is loan signings, legal, medical, other?
A: 85 percent of my signings are loan signings and 15 percent are general notary work from the public.
Q: How have the changes in the industry and/or economy affected you?
A: I have to be more careful about taking on new business because so many companies are not paying the notaries or they’re going out of business. I have a one-strike policy. If I have to hound a company for my payment, I am done with that company. I’m more diligent now and stick to my fees. I do have a minimum.
Q: What percentage of your net income do you spend on advertising?
A: Approximately 5 percent of my net income is spent on advertising.
Q: Where do you advertise?
A: I advertise mostly on notary directory websites and I have my own website, too. The “more needles in the haystack,” the easier it is to find them.
Q: How do you network?
A: I don’t network very much.
Q: What professional organizations do you belong to?
A: National Notary Association (though I will not be renewing) and the American Society of Notaries.
Q: What advice would you give a notary on the essentials for success?
A: Know the notary laws of your state. Become familiar with mortgage loan documents and the loan signing process. Have a business plan and research the fee structure so that you will know what to charge for your services. A good place to start is GoGet Notary, Notary Rotary, and Go Mobile Notary forums, and the Google search engine. Have a sound business plan and constant marketing.
Thanks, Woody, for taking the time to answer our questions. I know you were pretty busy at the end of the month which should certainly be encouraging to other signing agents during this period in the industry.
To learn more about Woody, please visit his GGN listing.