Where Should Notary Signing Agents Sign Up for Business?
Before you sign up anywhere, you need to be rock solid on your state’s notary laws and rules and anything related to them, as well as to have taken at least one or two classes and passed an exam from one of the nationally-recognized firms that will “certify” you to potential clients. The top two firms in the classes-and-certification business are the National Notary Association and Notary2Pro. There are pros and cons with each of them, and I will go into more details about each in upcoming articles here.
You may be able to skip the classes if you have a deep background in real estate (years in a title company office or as a real estate agent or a loan officer) or a related field (paralegal or legal secretary for an attorney whose practice focused on real estate and/or banking). You will still need the certification if you hope to be deemed acceptable by most potential clients (signing services or title companies) as most lenders require it now.
Once you are trained and certified, you are ready to look at the big three — 123notary, notarycafe, and notaryrotary. Each of them has a directory where you can pay to list your services so people and companies can find you. It is worthwhile to be listed in all three of those directories. So, invest some money in passive marketing and start there.
(You may also want to claim your listing on notarizethis.info and on Google. Those sites, as well as yelp and many other options, are beyond the scope of this article. Check back here for future articles about these other options.)
If you’re looking for companies to sign up with directly that will pay you to work (the first step on active marketing), there are lists of signing services and title companies on 123notary in their blog area and notaryrotary has a list called Signing Central. Also, if you take the classes from Notary2Pro (which costs more than $100 but less than $200), you can access their list, too.
Then there’s snapdocs, which other people can tell you about; and the National Notary Association, which I mentioned above.
There are other sites (which you can find via google) that offer lists, but I haven’t found any that tell you where their lists came from or when they were last updated. This is why the “big 3” are called that — their info is usually more reliable than other sites and they’ve been around for many years, even while the NSA business went through several upheavals.
These lists are the “low-hanging fruit,” the fields that every new NSA is told to harvest, and you’re likely to find that most of the opportunities there are already taken in many cases. Even so, you can start there and learn the ropes, get some experience, make some money. You may well find your best client there, who will sustain you for years to come; or your worst one, who will teach you a lesson that will save you untold misery by showing you what to never do again.
After a while you will find that you are running into too many slow days or that too many of your good clients seem to stop calling. This is because someone else has started picking that low-hanging fruit by offering a fee that is a bit lower than yours or by being a better marketer.
You don’t want to get into a price war with other NSAs. Believe me, you don’t, as it won’t end well for you.
(Working for less than the market rate is never a good idea, as there are always expenses and costs associated with being in business and you will not know what all of yours are until you have been doing this for a while.)
So, you need to expand your thinking and discover other places where potential clients may be found, especially after you get some experience with the low-hanging fruit ones. How to do that will be the subject of future articles.