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How to become a successful mobile notary / signing agent

Step 1 - Become a Notary

To become a signing agent or mobile notary, you must first be a commissioned notary public in your state. Please visit http://www.123notary.com/statecontact.asp to find your state's notary division. Some states only require an application, while other states such as California require a complicated proctored exam, fingerprints, FBI background checks, and a sworn oath upon filing your notary bond.
Find out from your state notary division what the requirements are for becoming a notary in your state. You can also visit http://www.123notary.com/find-a-notary-public.asp and click on the name of your state to learn about some of the rules for becoming a notary in your state as well as what the notary fees are in your state. After you have your notary commission paperwork in your hand, you are ready for the next step.

Step 2. Get Notary supplies

You will need a notary seal, bound journal, thumbprinter, acknowledgment pads, jurat pads, certified copies of power of attorney forms, and copy certification by document custodian forms are handy to have too. Additionally, its always good to have a non-inked embosser as a secondary seal since its raised impression can not be photocopied. There are many notary supply companies online that you can purchase from.

Step 3 - Learn the ropes for being a mobile notary / signing agent.

Take a quick e-course!
Any notary public can become a mobile notary. A mobile notary is simply a notary public who is willing to travel to a client's home, office, hospital, or jail cell. You can learn more about what a mobile notary is and what they do on http://www.123notary.com/succtips.htm. No special knowledge other than navigation skills is necessary to be a mobile notary, however, it is much more lucrative if you learn the art of loan signing and hospital signings which requires some studying. It is best to take a course in becoming a signing agent in order to be a knowledgeable and popular signing agent. 123notary.com offers physical take home book courses and e-courses to help you learn to be a competent and practical signing agent within a week or two. E-courses are the quickest since you can view them within minutes of purchase. We offer email and phone support if you have any questions about the course materials and offer tips for how to make the most out of your business as well. Additionally, 123notary specializes in marketing signing agents by offering FREE and paid listings on our notary directory as well as offering good advice based on more than a decade of experience in the mobile notary business.

Step 4 - This is as a side business since business is slow.

Being a signing agent or mobile notary is easy, but getting customers is the hard part, especially in 2010 when business is tight. The signing agent business was brisk from 2003 to 2006, but then slowed down in 2007, and is still slow. However, there is work. Some states get more work than others, and the amount of work there is out there fluctuates in cycles. There are monthly cycles, yearly cycles, and other cycles that don't have a defined length. Lenders seem to often focus on certain states at a time, giving them more loans to sign, while other states have less business. Its ideal to have some other type of work during the day, or a flexible job where you can disappear for an hour and a half to do a signing during the middle of the day.
When the housing market recovers, then being a mobile notary could become a full-time business in the future; but for now, it should be done as a side business.

Step 5 - Become an expert at marketing yourself.

  1. Advertising on mobile notary directories is the most effective way to advertise yourself. 123notary is one of the most popular notary directories. Getting a high placement on 123notary with good coverage in additional counties is the most effective way to get business.
    Other popular directories include: signingagent.com, notaryrotary.com, gomobilenotary.com, and notarycafe.com. Ask the notaries where they are getting their business from before you invest any cash in a listing.
  2. Starting your own website. Creating a website is easy, but making it look nice, and getting placement on the major search engines is an art that few can master. Its best to only create a website if you intend to be very devoted to making it beautiful, informative, and well optimized for search engines which is expensive.
  3. Yellow pages are becoming a thing of the past. I used to recommend yellow page advertising to notaries, but these days, it has lost most of its volume. Some yellow page ads still pay off, but even the least techno-savvy Americans are using the internet these days instead of yellow pages. Online yellow pages are not a reliable way to attract business, but some notaries do get good business volume by being in many yellow pages. Its best not to invest much money in any particular online yellow pages unless they have proven to be a good source of revenue.
  4. Calling the title companies is less effective these days. I used to recommend calling all title companies within an hour of your home. These days, they have such little business, it more efficient to just have good exposure online and wait for them to come looking for you.
  5. Have a nice looking business card to hand to all that you have worked for so that they will remember you in the future.

Step 6 - Get certified

The National Notary Association's certification is famous and well respected. Whether you advertise on their site or not, its good to be certified by them. However, on 123notary.com, we only recognize our own certification. Notaries certified by 123notary.com get 78% more visits to their listing than those in comparable positions on
123notary.com who are not certified. Please remember that
certification is not regulated by any government agency and is given only by companies in the notary education business.

Step 7- Get the best exposure you can.

Its also good to have the best listing you can have. Knowing the secrets of what makes a listing tick is essential, but the secrets are open to the public on http://www.123notary.com/signing-agents-listing-tips.htm. 123notary also offers free tips to notaries who want to know what to do to get the most exposure on our site, and tips for those who want to create their own site. Generally speaking, a listing with a comprehensive notes section, 123notary certification, multiple phone numbers, a company name, good placement, and many additional counties will outperform what we call a "bare bones" listing by five times.
Notaries with incomplete listings that leave a lot of blanks do not get called much at all. Many notaries "omit" to add information about their errors and omissions insurance, # of loans signed, their notes
section, laser printer information, etc. Leaving blanks in your
listing is the most detrimental thing you can do.

Step 9 - Answer your phone

Notaries who always answer their phone and accept as many jobs as
possible become popular with the title and signing companies. The
notaries who are busy because they have to go to a barbeque or birthday party will be much less likely to be called again by the same company. Notaries need to make sacrifices to get ahead, so say "Yes", be on time, and do a good job, and you will be rewarded with more offers. If a notary rarely answers their phone, companies will be less likely to call them since it is an inefficient use of their labor time to keep dialing that notary.

Step 10 - Dress nicely.

We always hear compliments about the notaries who dress well, and complaints about the notaries who dress poorly. Its worth a small investment to have attractive clothing, so you look professional.
Dressing nicely is the icing on the cake.

Step 11 - Have all of the right equipment.

A GPS system will get you to the job and make sure your GPS has the new streets too if you live in a growing area. You need a good laser printer. Inkjets are not acceptable in the loan signing business.
Its paramount to have a fast computer with cable internet for downloading large loan packages too.

Step 12 - Know where all of your Fedex and UPS boxes are.

Lenders want their documents back fast and if you don't know where the drop box is, there could be a delay. Start off by knowing the STAFFED drop off locations in your area as well as drop boxes. Learn where the Airborne express boxes are too. If you do afternoon signings, its sometimes better to go to a staffed station so that you know the package will go out the same evening. Keep fedex / ups forms and envelopes in your car just in case the lender didn't give you one.
The lenders want their documents back fast even if they didn't send you the right forms.

Step 13 - Know how to screen companies that call you.

Some signing companies are reliable, but others are not. If you don't pay attention to who you are working for, you might not get paid. If you get called by a company you have not worked for before, check their reputation on our forum and on the notaryrotary.com forum. If you do a quick background check on a company and they still don't pay, 123notary has a page with all the secrets to getting paid at http://www.123notary.com/howto-get-paid-signing-agent.htm and you can see our list of reviewed signing companies at http://www.123notary.com/signco.asp

Step 14 - Keep good records of all the jobs you have done.

You need to invoice signing companies at least once ( often several times ) to get paid. So, keep detailed records of what jobs you did, for what borrower, for what signing companies, the loan number, the date and time, and all other pertinent information so that you can send complete invoices to companies. Notaries who keep careful records will have an easier time getting paid.

Step 15 - Don't be afraid to ask for help.

If you need help at any stage of the game, you can always email us at info@123notary.com or call us at 888-838-1458 for help whether your a client of ours or not.

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