Why a Notary Business Might Fail
Every notary business should analyze its successes and failures often. Most fail for a number of reasons, but I wanted to give you the benefit of my experience in dealing with thousands of notaries over the years and let you know what it is that makes me want to call a notary and what it is that makes me not want to call a notary.
I think what you will find is that there is a pattern. A pattern of success that each successful notary business follows. While certainly this is not guarantee of success, it will increase your odds of success greatly.
So let's get started with the number one reason for success....
Answer the Phone
This might sound simple, but you would be surprised at how often a phone call does not go answered.
The general rule here is to always answer the phone, unless you are in a closing.
If for some reason you cannot answer the phone, call back within 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, it is less likely that you will get the assignment. It takes a loan company or signing service about 2 minutes to look-up another notary business in their system.
Also, the company calling you is likely on a very tight deadline. They will move on to the next notary business on their list if you do not answer or call back quickly.
In our office, someone always answers the call. At night, the phones are forwarded to someone on call for the evening.
You might not have this set-up. Probably you are working with a cell phone. No problem...just answer it.
If you are in the middle of a closing, you have 2 options. Let the call go to voicemail and call back after the closing or excuse yourself and take 2 minutes to get the assignment.
I prefer option 2...excuse yourself for a minute from the closing and take the next assignment. Word of caution...do this only ONE TIME during any closing. If you answer the phone more than that you risk upsetting the client. He wants your full attention.
Most people are very understanding about cell phone use. But do not abuse the kindness. Have a rule of no more than one interruption per closing.
Call Your Client
If you are a mobile notary or loan signing agent and have received an assignment, be sure to call your client (the borrower) to confirm time and place. Also, be sure to introduce yourself.
Give the client some idea as to how long the signing will take.
Confirm the address and get directions if you need them.
Call the lender or signing company and let them you you have confirmed the closing.
After the closing, call the lender or signing company and confirm the completion of the closing. Do not worry if it is after hours, most companies have after hours telephone numbers for you to call.
As you can see, communication is key. Some notaries just don't get it, but you can. You can set yourself apart and do just a little more communication and your notary business will be at the top of the list for closing agents. It does not take that much extra time and the rewards are worth the extra effort.
You are much more likely to have a successful closing if you are friendly with your clients. Often I have found that some notaries just show up, tell the clients where to sign, and leave.
A little friendly small talk at the beginning and end of the closing goes a long way to establishing a good notary business relationship. Please do not take this point lightly.
At every closing I go to I find something to talk about. The key is to make that something personal to the client. Get them to open up a little about their life.
This is easy if the closing is in their home. I always assess the situation upon driving up. Are there children around? Children are always good starting points for conversation. Is the neighborhood nice or unique? Do they have a collection of some sort, photos, art etc.? Are they cooking dinner? What about pets?
So you can see there is always something you can talk about to get things started.
Then, I leave them with a little information about myself. I work it into the conversation at the end so that they will remember me in a nice way. I talk about my dog, or my collection or my home. Something that connects with the client and what they are interested in.
For example, I recently did a closing where the wife was from Europe. My wife is also from overseas so I ended the closing talking about travel and learning languages.
I will warn you though, that if you are not genuine in your concern, you will come across as insincere. This is a killer.
To be honest, I really enjoy learning about the many people I meet. It is one of the great joys of the work. If you do too, your success is almost guaranteed.
So being friendly goes a long way. Do not over due it, but polite conversation will help you in the long run, make your notary business more fun, you will learn along the way the greatness of our country and the many people who live here. You will also add value to your skills.
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