Wednesday, June 29, 2011

OK Kids, Let's Review

The absolute essence of a notarization includes identifying the signer and verifying their signature.  So if you're at an attorney's office signing an important document (like I was this week) and no one asks for your I.D. and the person who's notarizing your signature is no where in the room, THAT'S ABSOFREAKINGLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE!  Which is why I asked their notary to come out from her back cubicle, handed her my I.D., asked her to copy it for their file, and made her witness my signature.  And I might have given her a gentle lecture as well.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dear Title Companies...

If you're going to require the ENTIRE loan package, all 110 pages, faxed back after the closing, please take the time to mention this to your friendly neighborhood closer when you schedule the appointment with them.  Otherwise, we may no longer be so friendly.  Thank you.   

Monday, June 20, 2011

Drastic Change In Domain Names Coming

Internet domain names are about to get crazy.  Starting January 12th, 2012, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will begin accepting applications for domains with new suffixes.  The new suffixes will be limited only by your imagination.  You can bank on lenders creating their own domains like .chase, .wellsfargo, .citibank, etc., but before you get any ideas about registering .notary, .closer, .signingagent, or any other such name, consider the cost.  The application fee for a new domain is $185,000.  

Currently, there are only 22 generic top level domain names (such as .com, .net, .org) and approximately 250 country level names (.us, .uk, etc.).

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Listing Your Notary Service on Craigslist

I recently added a listing for my notary signing service on a free site called Thumbtack.  One of the things that Thumbtack offers is that they'll post your listing on Craigslist with a few clicks of your mouse, then send you a reminder every six weeks or so to re-post.

Here's what I've found: I haven't gotten any leads or any business from Craigslist for mortgage closings, but I've gotten several jobs and inquiries for general notary work.  The down side: despite the fact that I specifically state that I do NOT wish to be solicited by other businesses, I receive several emails a week to visit this site, or join this service, or list your business here.  You know the ones.  Emails that try to sound like they're from someone that knows you, "Hey friend, you should check this out!" and written by someone who's first language is clearly not English, "It is of this offer I am to share with you something important."  Ugh.

So if you want more general notary work, Craigslist may work for you.  If you don't mind the spam.  Me?  I'm going to pass from now on.  

Monday, June 6, 2011

What Marketing Isn't

No, I do not need a merchant credit card account.  And if I did, I wouldn't obtain it from a company that auto-dials me, then bullies me with a headset phone jockey who pretends to be calling from my existing service provider and is so completely focused on reading from their script that I can't get a word in edgewise without having to scream "STOP TALKING" to get them to listen.

Yes, warm calls can be a successful and profitable marketing technique.  But newsflash, warm calls involve probing questions and actually listening to a potential customer's needs.  It involves having an outline of talking points tailored to your potential clients needs.  It does not involve a generic one size fits all don't take a breath until you're done we'll be stopping by tomorrow kamikaze sales pitch.  And it does not involve talking faster than an auctioneer on 12 cups of coffee.  Just saying...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fame or Shame?

The MSN Money 2011 Customer Service Hall of Fame & Hall of Shame has been released.  How many lending institutions and credit card companies made the top 10 Hall of Fame?  Zero.  Zilch.  Zippo.  And how many made the Hall of Shame.  Four.  Chase, Citigroup, and Capital One (What's in your wallet?  Apparently their hand) all made the top (or bottom) 10. And at number 1 with a bullet, perennial stinker Bank of America, who managed to climb past AOL from last year's number 2 spot.  A whooping 41.4% of B of A customers give the banking Goliath a poor rating (up from last year's 34.6% figure).  Bank of America says they're trying.  In the words of that great Jedi Master & philosopher Yoda, "Do or do not.  There is no try."    

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Grow Your Notary Business By Networking

The American Association of Notaries just came out with their May newsletter.  The main topic is something that's near and dear to my heart - Notary Signing Agent Networks.  The AAN newsletter talks about the advantages of networking with other quality notary signing agents in your state to share leads and marketing.  If you're looking to grow your notary signing agent business, this is a must read.  If you can't access the AAN article here, you may need to sign up here (it's free).  Or email me at and I'll be glad to forward the article to you.   

Here in Michigan, the Michigan Notary Network has had a great deal of success with the model described in the AAN article.  We've all benefited from sharing leads with each other as well as marketing each other to our clients.  Our title and mortgage companies appreciate knowing that they can rely on the quality and experience of other notary signing agents in our Michigan network.