By Gerrie Pierre-Fleurimond—The closer portfolio is an important tool for notary signing agents and title closers alike. If you are ever afforded the opportunity to interview with a mortgage or title company to determine if your services will be utilized, you must ensure that you are ready to make the best impression possible in a very short time frame. This meeting can be the best opportunity to showcase your talents and get the signings for your area. If you do not make a lasting impression, then you may lose out on the opportunity forever. A good closer will always have some portfolios ready for such meetings. In this article we will discuss what should be in the portfolio.

Presentation Folders – Portfolios do not have to be fancy or expensive.* Simple presentation folders with inside pockets from the stationery store will suffice. I prepare 3×4 shipping labels with my Name, Title, Phone Number and Email Address for the cover. I use a color printer to make the information stand out and place the label in the top center of the portfolio folder. Notary Resume – Inside the portfolio you should always have as the first item on the right side; a one page resume printed on 24 to 28 lb paper. One page is all that is needed to showcase your talents. Companies do not have time to review more than one page when looking for closers. The one page resume should quickly relate everything about you and what you do as a closer. If your past experiences do not relate to being a closer, that information should be omitted from the resume.** Include the types and number of loans closed, coverage areas, contact numbers and delivery addresses. List all Notary commissions, certifications and any special skills that you may have such as a second language. Spell check your resume for grammar and punctuation. Business Cards – Two business cards should be attached to the resume with a paper clip. A great trick that I have utilized for years with great success is to purchase blank Roladex™ cards from the office supply store and staple my business card to the blank card in order aid the schedulers with locating my name and state in a rush. Many schedulers still use Roladex cards and have told me that because they can quickly access my contact information; I get the jobs! The tab area of the card should have your state and closer or notary in a bright color. For example “NJ Closer” or “NJ Notary.” Coverage area – Either a map or an attachment with the counties listed is a wonderful addition to the portfolio on the left pocket. The census bureau has maps of each state and the counties marked. You should obtain such a map online and highlight the counties you cover.

Letter of reference or recommendation – Having letters of recommendation or reference in your portfolio directly after the resume, can seal the deal. Don’t be afraid o ask Brokers, Title Companies and even customers for a few short words about you and your professionalism. My students Linda and Larry Levin from Southern New Jersey have utilized this marketing secret to earn respect among the title companies in their area and earn top dollar for each appointment.

These simple items can help your business tremendously. The best time to prepare these items is when business is slow or when you are just getting started. At a moments notice these items should be available.

Notes from Editor: **About omitting any mention of previous jobs if they “do not relate” to being a signing agent… That doesn’t necessarily mean you omit all non-notary employment for the past 20 years. Instead, try to think how particular skills from some of those jobs may translate, how they relate to what you’re doing now, and emphasize those. For instance, you might have been an administrative assistant over 15 years at a bowling alley, a car dealership, and a library. Omit details of where and keep it short, something like this: Administrative Assistant, 19__ to 20__. Job description: Required organization and following precise instructions and attention to detail. Interaction with customers required excellent communication and people skills. Promptness and accuracy were part of my everyday performance. Handled and safeguarded confidential information.