"Should I Start With General Notary Work or Loan Signings? "
I am asked that question all the time, and I have a different perspective than others in the industry. Many believe that you should be a great notary before you become a loan signing agent.
On the surface, that's hard to argue with.
But how do you become a great notary?
Sure, you can study state laws, guidelines, primers, and courses, which, of course, helps you learn, but if you don't get an opportunity to apply your knowledge repeatedly, you're just going to forget it.
To me, that's the challenge with starting out in general notary work (GNW).
First, it takes longer to build your business and get volume because you have to build relationships, advertise, and optimize your digital presence.
Second, literally any human being in the world can create a document that requires notarization all willy-nilly. So if you're just starting out, you run the risk of stepping into all kinds of unusual situations that you may not have prepared for.
To piggyback on that challenge, because GNW appointments are sporadic at first, you'll have lots of one-off appointments. Maybe you'll have a handwritten letter one day, then a power of attorney the next. The following week, maybe you'll get a Last Will and Testament. Then later, you get an auto title.
At that rate, it takes awhile to develop acumen for the work. Yes, it is possible, and there are thousands of notaries that have done things this way, especially since loan signings are a relatively new addition to the industry.
But I think you can leverage loan signings to help you become a great notary too.
When you really look at a loan package, what is it? Just a stack of papers. Most of them are not notarized, and some of them are.
These notarized documents are things like mortgages, Deeds of Trust, other deeds, affidavits of this or that, powers of attorney...
The same documents that you'll likely run across in your life in general notary work too.
But the value of loan signings is you get to see a lot of them, consistently and repetitively, so you build the expertise as a notary, no matter what the document is.
Loan signings give you an opportunity to exercise your knowledge, a lot.
Hear that loud and clear, because the advocates for becoming a good GNW notary, and myself, have the same message: your appointments give you a chance to exercise your knowledge.
Knowledge - you have to have that knowledge first. You must be trained, or take it upon yourself to learn, what your responsibilities are as a Notary Public. This work is too important.
Don’t wing it.
Just because your state doesn't require training, or a test to become a Notary Public, doesn't mean you shouldn't take this work seriously.
Fortunes are literally transferred with the swipe of your pen and the stamp of your seal.
With these documents you will notarize, people grant rights to others that can literally make life and death decisions for them.
This work matters.
You owe it to yourself, and to the public you serve, to know your stuff. Become the expert notary in your area. Sure, it takes time and experience to get there, but strive for it. We need you!
Resources For Becoming an Expert Notary Public:
In the end, if you prioritize your training and notarial responsibilities, it really shouldn't matter which you start first- General Notary Work or loan signings. Part of the integrity of the office you hold as a Notary Public is understanding what you can do, and what you can't do. Your responsibilities in both arenas, doing the standard work of a Notary Public, or acting as a Notary Public during a loan signing, are the same.
Embrace your role and responsibilities, get proper training, and become the expert Notary Public this industry, and your customers, crave.
PS- Do you have a favorite resource that helps you excel in your role as a Notary Public? Comment below in the FB comments section.
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