The Top 3 Blindspots For Professional Notaries

Nov 26, 2023

If there's one thing I've learned in life and business, it's that you can't avoid the problems and challenges. You have to face them head-on. 

As we approach 2024, I see a few problematic areas for our industry. We can't ignore them, even if we wanted to. 

At best, we adopt and adapt. 

At worst, well, maybe it's back to the call center we go. 

Three Blindspots for Notaries

  1. Relying on a single source of revenue. We can't keep pretending that loan signings will come back, looking the same, and with the same volume we had during the pandemic.
  2. Giving up your voice. Not participating in legislative movements and government affairs.
  3. Ignoring tech trends. We must keep tabs on emerging technology and not only how it impacts our role as the notary, but how it may impact our clients. 

Rather than stick your head in the sand, shine a light into these three blindspots. I know it's overhwelming, especially if you're just starting out. But it's better you have one eye on the future of your business and the outside forces that impact it. 

How to Shine a Light on the Blindspots

Diversify Your Revenue Streams

The most pressing concern is making money right now. You have bills to pay, and frankly, an enterprise without customers and revenue is just a hobby. To make this business work, you need to make money. Identify a specialty you enjoy under the notary umbrella and start focusing your energy and efforts on making the phone ring and ding with those prospects. If you're not sure what those specialties can be, read the new book by Laura Biewer and I, "Beyond Loan Signings: How to Monetize Your Notary Commission Through Specialty Work" here

For example, loan signings is a specialty available to you under the notary umbrella. Loan signings will always be around, but in the ebb & flow of the housing market, we're in a major "ebb". With very few exceptions, don't count on loan signings to provide pandemic level revenue streams right now. Look beyond loan signings. 

In our book, Laura and I identify EIGHT specialties that require a notary commission, and FIVE that work outside the scope of your notary responsibilities. There is opportunity everywhere. Even without loan siginings, this is the most exciting time in history to be a mobile notary. 

Get Involved in the Conversation

Second, as citizen of the state you're commissioned in, you can participate in the legislative process, and I encourage you do to so. Both on the federal and state levels, there are bills, laws, and referendums being proposed that may have a direct impact on you as a notary entrepreneur. These are proposed by bill makers, and interest groups that may not have your best interests in mind. These decisions impact your fees, your processes, and your future. 

The legislative process can be intimidating at first, but within our notary community, there are many resources that can help guide you along. Start with searching for a state-specific organization geared more towards legislation and advocacy in your state. There are many of these now in existance!

Then, you can also track notary law changes through the knowledge/resource center of the National Notary Association here. And finally, Matt Miller of the California League of Independent Notaries (CLIN) hosts a monthly roundtable discussion that shares emerging legislation that effects notaries, even beyond the borders of California. You explore CLIN's blog, law tracking, and membership options here.

Be Curious About Technology

Last, but certainly not least, is facing technology head-on. Whether it's Remote Online Notarization (RON), In-Person Electronic Notarization (IPEN), or digital ID's (now available in some states), or even electronic notarial journals, as notary entrepreneurs, we need to be in the know. You don't necessarily have to use the technology, but you need to know of it's existence and make the conscious decision about whether or not it fits your business model. 

You don't have to use new technology. You don't even have to like it. But you can't pretend it doesn't exist, and that it's not changing the landscape of our industry, because it has, and will continue to do so.

Ask yourself, "what does my customer want?" The market will tell you what it wants or needs, if you'll listen. If a piece of technology helps you deliver what the customer wants more efficiently, faster, or easier, then it's worth a look. Because if you don't look, someone else will, and guess who gets the customer. 

Let's not be blindsided by these blindspots. 

  • Diversify.
  • Get Involved.
  • Be curious.








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