Thursday, September 30, 2010

Marketing Your Notary Services

Shauna Nelson is a notary public, mobile notary, & mortgage loan signing agent in the Western Washington state area.  Shauna wrote a wonderful post on Notary Rotary earlier today about marketing our services that I think is well worth sharing.  So many times, new notary signing agents get their commission but have no idea where to go from there.  But Shauna already has it figured out.  With her permission, here is her post:

I see a lot of new notaries (and trust me, I'm one!) who ask a lot of questions about getting known. Keep in mind that most of the work HAS to be done by you. If you're doing the footwork then any rewards that come your way are earned and more appreciated. Even before #1, get trained. Nobody will do it for you. You have to put in hard hours learning your business.

1) Get business cards

2) Give business cards to everyone you know, everywhere you go. If I get a manicure, the owner gets my card and I ask if I can put a card holder up by the register. Never been turned down.

3) Fliers/rack cards/postcards. Get 'em, give 'em out. Door to door, business to business.

4) Get yourself on Google maps. Google will give you guidelines and if you research you'll find out how to get on the first page (especially in your zip).

5) Get a website, make it look good. Monitor traffic and where it comes from. That'll give you good ideas on what to use as keywords and where most of your visits are coming from (in fact, I had so many visits from one certain website, that I called them up and offered my services at a discounted rate. Paid off, big time).

6) Sign up with title companies and signing services. I've kept a notebook of who I signed up with, if I've had a response and when I've done a signing with them. Signing Central can be your best friend. I've only signed up with companies with a 4 star or higher because I want PAYING jobs.

7) Read this board daily. You'll find out about companies you haven't signed up with, problems you didn't even think about and the best tips anywhere.

8) Memberships with websites like NotRot. The price on some isn't worth it and on some it's invaluable. One signing can pay for an entire year, here.

9) Be organized. I keep a map with my prices in each city I routinely get calls for and a datebook with me at all times. No signing service wants to listen to you fumble around for your available dates, cities you visit, price, etc.

10) Remember that this is a business. It's up to you to grow it and if you're timid about telling people about yourself and what you do, it'll be hard. You never know what friend may be in financial difficulty and need someone to notarize their sigs on a loan mod. Not only is it good for you but it's good for them - they have someone they trust sitting next to them.

11) Sign up on any website that'll bring you business. Think about all the areas you specialize in and start signing up. I felt like a dolt, but just yesterday I discovered Kudzu and signed up.

Not everything can be accomplished in one week or even one month, but keep at it and you'll find business picking up. I'm nowhere near as busy as I'd like to be, but I'm busy and for someone relatively new, I'll take it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Well Duh

This year's Captain Obvious award goes to Presidential adviser Paul Volcker, who boldly stated that the mortgage industry is dysfunctional.  Tell us something we don't already know.  

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mortgage Closing Costs

Closing Costs - The 5 cheapest states & the 5 most expensive for mortgage closing costs (New York, Texas, & California I expected, but not the other two)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Free Social Media Icons

If you use social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Blogger, etc. to connect with people and share your thoughts, here are some absolutely gorgeous social media icons you can use to direct people to you.  Even if you don't have any use for these icons, some of the artwork is amazing and worth checking out (I think the bottle caps are my favorite).  Thanks to Hubspot for putting these together in one place.  

Sunday, September 12, 2010

New Michigan Notary Network Members

We've recently added two new members to the Michigan Notary Network.  A few months ago we added Art Gresser.  Art covers mobile closings in Genesee, Lapeer, Macomb, Oakland, Shaiwassee, St. Clair, & Wayne County, Michigan.  This week we added Renee Ezinga.  Renee covers mobile closings in Allegan, Barry, Calhoun, Eaton, Ionia, Kalamazoo, Kent, & Ottawa County, Michigan.  Both are experienced and qualified signing agents, and both come with extensive backgrounds in the mortgage and title industry.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What, Me Worry?

Unemployment, crime, poverty, foreclosures, plummeting home values.  Welcome to Detroit - The most stressed out city in America.

Update: And now, massive fires fueled by high winds and downed power lines?  Can Detroit ever catch a break?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Mortgage Calculator For Your Smart-phone

Having a mortgage calculator can sometimes come in handy at a closing.  If you have a smart-phone like an iPhone or Droid, there are many mortgage calculator apps to chose from.  I've tried several, but the one I've settle on for my iPhone is the CalcsFree Mortgage Calculator.  It's quick, simple, and easy to use.   It includes a tax calculator, an amortization schedule, the ability to break down payments by principal, interest, taxes & insurance, & mortgage insurance, and the ability to send the information via email.  And it's F-R-E-E.