Training for Notaries & Signing Agents
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Mobile Notary Business Information
Finding Your ClientsEveryone needs a Notary at some time or another. Think: If I needed something notarized, where would I go? It used to be that you could go to your local bank or law office to get something notarized. Today most businesses who have employees who are also Notaries can't or won't make them available for public walk-ins. This makes sense because of the interruptions to regular business. Visit these types of businesses and tell them you know people occasionally walk in off the street looking for a notarization, and would they refer them to you instead of just turning them away. This is a win-win for both of you.
Mail/copy centers often advertise the availability of Notary services. In reality, most of them don't keep a Notary on staff at all times. They simply take the appointment and then call an independent Notary to come in for the appointment. If you have a Mail Boxes USA or similar business near you, ask who does their notarizations. Even if they already have somebody, leave a card. Things change all the time; people move, or start working somewhere else, or just lose interest. They might call you when their regular Notary is on vacation, and you'll establish a business relationship.
The next thing to do is to call your competition and offer to be backup for their overload work. Look under "Notaries" in the Yellow Pages. You'll be amazed at how much you will learn from their ads and from talking to them, even if they don't sound encouraging. Take notes during the call because you'll get little bits and pieces of ideas that can really pay off for you. Even when their business is slow, sometimes there are jobs they won't want or can't take. Maybe it's their child's birthday and they don't want to travel 60 miles that day. Or maybe two important notarizations have to be done at the same time. If you ask to be their backup in a friendly way, being careful not to appear as a threat to their business, you'll be the one they give these odd jobs to rather than to just turn them away.
Hospitals need mobile Notaries for obvious reasons. Visit the liaison or customer service office and leave cards or brochures. Likewise assisted living centers and convalescent hospitals. You could even give a short presentation at a senior center on how to prepare for a notarization; what kind of ID they'll need, the importance of keeping it current even if they no longer drive, etc. Make custom brochures especially for this audience. They'll appreciate the public service you provide in the way of information, and you'll be the one they call when they need something notarized because you've established yourself as a trusted expert.
Most Notaries agree that the ill and elderly are the most difficult type of customers. But if you decide to become expert at skillfully notarizing in these delicate situations, you can have all the business you want. Many other Notaries will gladly pass these over. If you learn to be service-oriented, this can be rewarding in more ways than just income.
Jails need Notaries on a regular basis. If you develop this type of business it's best if you're on call and available at all hours. Being available at all hours usually means bigger fees that are gladly agreed to in an emergency. You can develop quite a clientele through referrals from attorneys, bail services, and civil service workers.
Airports are another source of on-call business if you happen to live near a large one. Many times notarizations are needed when someone loses a passport or has some other difficulties when traveling.
Attorneys and insurance agents, Realtors, and of course title companies all need Notaries, and many of them aren't large enough organizations to maintain an in-house Notary. Even if they do, if you're available for busy times or emergencies, you'll have made a permanent client. Also, remember to ask for their walk-in requests that they ordinarily turn away, as discussed earlier.
Mortuaries are another source of assignments. In fact, a few years ago the owner of one of our local mortuaries told me that everyone on staff was a Notary, but that they weren't renewing their commissions because it was becoming too much of a hassle. They had all been Notaries for years before testing was required for renewals. They knew how to notarize everything specific to their business, but found it difficult to learn about the notarizations they would never be involved in. They would now rather call someone in when they needed them. This gave me the idea that many other businesses might be in the same situation.
In certain areas of the country some Notaries do a brisk business notarizing immigration forms. This is a specialized area that requires a thorough understanding of the laws that apply, but once you do, it can be very lucrative.
Schools, churches, and youth organizations need to have permission slips notarized for trips and other activities. If you contact the organization or school, you could suggest that they schedule one or two nights that you would notarize all the forms for all the parents, at one time in one place, for a discounted rate. It would be less expensive for each family, and you make more money, even at a discounted rate, because you're not traveling from client to client. A variation on this would be to give a percentage of your fees to their current fundraiser.
Nearly every neighborhood has a homeowners association. They need notarizations.
Start becoming aware of every possibility, starting in your own neighborhood, and more ideas will come to you.
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