By Brenda Stone—These tips are not in any order…written down as I think of them. Enjoy!
Tip – Do not solicit any mortgage or title related company for business during the end of the banking month. They will hate you for it. If you are not busy during this period, only solicit your services to businesses for regular mobile notary work.
Tip – If you fill out courier slips by hand, do not put your name in as the sender. Put the name of the company it is going to as sender and receiver. That way you cannot be accidentally billed for it.
Tip – When you do not know whether or not to have a document signed by both borrowers, make an extra copy and do it both ways. If you meet this problem at the signing appointment, make this happen by using the borrower’s copy. If that concerns the borrower, as the borrower if you can fax or email a copy of the document to them after the signing appointment. This was my trick from the past, but recently brought to mind as a result of a post on NotaryRotary.com by Andy Le. The name of his signing service is 1st Courtesy Signer’s Network. His personal business website is First Call Notary.
Tip – Make a notebook and create your own signing agent manual. For instance, read the thread beginning at message #33325 in the NotaryRotary.com Notary Talk forum for lots of signing agent notebook “keepers.” While you are just learning, continue to add to the book. Put a list of your fees in it. When you cannot find anything else, you can surely find your notebook to quote from. Add a section with notebook paper to write in the names of bad paying clients while scanning the boards.
Tip – Use a spell checker whenever you write a letter, a brochure, a notary forum post or content for your website. Marketing when done with poorly spelled words will go into the trash. (This also applies to misspelled words on websites.)
Tip – If you stay in this business successfully, you will need to learn to use the internet well. Take a class if you are serious and do not get the point of the internet search engines. Get a website and learn about “search engine optimization.”
Tip – Build your confidence in marketing techniques and our industry. Peruse used book stores. There is a treasure trove of cheap information there. Purchase cheap used books or text books on marketing as well as notary related industries such as mortgage, finance, real estate, property law. If you want to go straight to a new book site which will give you cheap prices on such books, try Bookdepot.com and Overstock.com.
Tip – Do internet searches on the following documents to get familiar with them: Affidavit For Home Equity Transaction, Affidavit Of Marital Status, Amortization Schedule, Authorization To Cancel Credit Line, Balloon Note Addendum, Balloon Rider, Compliance Agreement, Condominium Rider, Correction Agreement Limited Power Of Attorney, Designation Of Homestead Affidavit, Document Correction Agreement, Escrow Disclosure Form, Identity Statement, Initial Escrow Disclosure Statement, Mortgage, Deed Of Trust, Name Affidavit, Non-Identity Affidavit, Note, Notice Or Right To Cancel Or Right Of Rescission, One And The Same Name Affidavit, Owners Affidavit, Pay Off Department, Payoff Affidavit, Planned Unit Development Rider, Refinance Affidavit, Hud 1, Settlement Statement & Settlement Charges, Survey Affidavit, Transfer Of Lien, Truth In Lending, Uniform Residential Loan Application (Urla, W-9. Waiver Of Escrow Account.
Please note: Some of these forms will be available to see listed at eFannieMae.com/sf/formsdocs/forms/
Tip – Before you get started advertising yourself, you need to determine what areas you will service for what amount. You should create a list of counties, cities and zip codes you will service. Make a chart in Excel with these Column Headings: Zip, City, County, Travel Fee, Base Fee, Total Overnight Fee, Total eDocs Fee, Travel Time. Though I cover this in another chapter, it should be noted that a new signing agent must know this information in order to sign up with signing service companies. (Required: Once you do the above, you absolutely must keep the chart over your desk, in your car and in your calendar. Every time you are contacted you will know exactly what to charge.)
Tip – Start researching sites such as VerticalResponse.com and YMLP.com in order to set up a spam free method of delivering your marketing information by email. These sites will help you maintain an email list.
Tip– Get a website. Place much content on it so that it can be found. If you don’t know how to write content, try seeking a content writer to wham, bam, thank you ma’am content out for you. (If you want me to write content for you, my price is $15.00 per one page article…think letter-sized page, double spaced. That’s what $15.00 will buy for you.)
Tip – Make lots of notes. I have a *.Txt (Notepad) file open all the time to make notes. If you are webby, you could start a web blog to keep tips you learn along the way. Don’t turn it “on” if you use it to record things to go back and refer to, keep it private. A good one online is Blogger.com. I have much content set up on my blogs. Read them here:
Tip – You’ll need a business brochure with succinct, bulleted information with lots of detail backing it up. Try looking at my brochure at this link: TexNotary.com/forms/notary.pdf.
Tip – You need to start signing up with lots and lots of signing services when you are first starting out. Title companies and mortgage lenders don’t general get on board with a new notary right away. Sad, but true.
Tip – If you cannot write a letter, hire someone to create a marketing letter for you when you get ready to start hitting up mortgage companies and title companies.
Tip – Associate yourself with a network of excellent colleagues. See my own network at Texas-Signing-Agent.com. Tip – Read all the material you can online. BEFORE you spend money educating yourself, make sure you can profit from this business. Read through this entire book to see if you think you are willing look at this like a business and not a quick-cash generator. I promise you, without hard work and lots of hours each week to find clients, you will be broke before you know it. This IS a wonderful business, but think it through before tossing out money you cannot recoup.
MANY will read, few will follow-up on these tips. Which will you be?
Finally: This IS NOT an easy business. Get a thick, tough skin.