By Bill Soroka, Founder of NotaryCoach.com and Amazon Bestselling Author of Sign & Thrive: How to Make Six Figures as a Mobile Notary and Loan Signing Agent and Supercharge Your Notary Business With LinkedIn.
No doubt about it, it's an incredible time to be a mobile notary and loan signing agent. Anything in the real estate arena seems to be booming right now, no matter how it may defy logic during a pandemic.
Loan signings abound, and our phones seem to ring & ding all day long with the prospect of new opportunities. The online notary forums are alight with success stories of people who seemingly rolling out of bed each day making a thousand dollars.
Yes, it is a good time to be in the business. But, somewhere in the back of your mind, you're probably wondering when the boom will end. When will our phones stop ringin' and dingin'?
If you're not asking the question, you should be.
It's not "being negative" to forecast your industry. It's smart business. If you're like me, you LOVE your business and you want to stick around and enjoy it as long as possible. We're here for a reason.
I've found that most mobile notaries and loan signing agents are in this business for one of three main reasons:
Whatever your reason for being in this business, if you want it to last, you must continue to do the real work behind the scenes to cultivate relationships that last beyond the boom.
When business is good, it is easy to get caught up in the euphoria of abundant appointments and a fat bank account. It's like a drug, and it causes you to hallucinate a future that will never see a rise in interest rates, or a dip in refinances.
Trust me, I've been there. Multiple times too. I already told you I am stubborn and I (apparently) like to learn things the hard way. Don't be like me. Snap out of it while you still can.
The good news is, we have time. The housing boom is expected to continue for at least another year, probably two. And even then, the interest rate increases will likely be gradual.
We have some time. Use it wisely. I want you to be here next year, and the year after, and the year after...
You Know What You Should Be Doing...
Whether or not they, you, or I, last in this business will depend on the work we do behind the scenes, in the dark, out of the spotlight when no one else is watching.
We can categorize your work tasks in two ways; working in your business vs. working on your business.
Working in your business is what you are doing today to make money- taking appointments, dropping docs, invoicing, cashing checks, etc.
Working on your business is more about cultivating relationships and thinking bigger. This might be registering with signing companies, reaching out to closing agents and other industry connections, developing skills you need to succeed and grow, planning for the future, and innovating technology or systems that your industry craves.
Both are important, some may say equally important, but I disagree with that. Without customers, which means, without relationships, you don't have a business at all. So, you absolutely must make time to work ON your business, building relationships and/or innovating your industry tools, systems, and technology.
Those are the things that most notaries push down the priority list when the phone starts ringin' and dingin', or the kids start cryin', or the Bridgerton binge session on Netflix comes a callin'.
But if you want this business to last, if you want your flexible schedule, your unlimited earning potential, and your ability to help people to survive, you have to take FULL advantage of the opportunity you have right now. This is next level thinking.
If you don't, I can assure you will regret it. I've been through a few of these cycles already as a mobile notary and loan signing agent, and even more of them as a serial entrepreneur in other industries.
Regret #1: Reliance on Signing Companies and Refinances
There is absolutely nothing wrong with working with signing companies! You can build a strong business this way, and there are many great companies out there. You'll probably notice that at least 80% (but probably more like 95%) of your signings from them are refinances or seller packages (not purchases).
Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Either find a signing company with a more balanced portfolio of purchase/seller signings versus refinances, or begin cultivating direct relationships with closing agents that have the purchase business.
Refinances are hot right now, and likely will be for awhile. Purchase business is forever. There will always be people moving, buying, and selling homes.
My Morning Mastery Course teaches the exact strategies I used to cultivate direct escrow relationships that led to a multiple six figure loan signing gig. You can have the course for free here.
Regret #2: Excluded/Neglected Specialty (General) Notary Work
In most states, being mobile and convenient allows for a Notary Public to earn substantial revenue AND be of service to the community by growing the "Specialty/General Notary Work" (SNW) side of their business.
SNW is basically all duties of a Notary Public outside of real estate transactions.
In my own business, there have been days when SNW income exceeded my loan signing revenue. This service should not be ignored.
If you are looking to build sustainability (a business that lasts), then look seriously at including SNW as a stream of revenue.
Think about when people need notaries:
As you read on, remember my motto: If they needed a notary once, they're going to need a notary again.
For the most detailed training on SNW, including one-on-one state-specific coaching, and the Laura Biewer Presents Training and Replay Library, check out everything Laura Biewer has to offer here.
Regret #3: Failed to Establish Multiple Streams of Revenue
This ties in perfectly with the previous regret about SNW, because that is a stream of income you could easily, and logically, add to your loan signing business.
And there are many other options too. I'll list a few down below.
Choose something that is harmonious with your work as a mobile notary and loan signing agent. You don't want your energy pulled in too many directions.
There's more at stake here than just building a sustainable business here and now. This is about your future too. Let's face it, you don't want to have to work forever, so we need to create wealth along our journey. One of the best ways to do that is to have multiple streams of revenue.
So, as you decide different services or products you may offer along the way, keep your eye out for opportunities with other streams of revenue too. This industry is ripe for innovation and the people with the courage to seize it.
Some common revenue streams for a Notary Public:
Regret #4: Didn't Start Your SEO This Time LAST Year
This one is HUGE, y'all.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is "the process of optimizing your online content so that a search engine likes to show it as a top result for searches of a certain keyword or phrase."
This is how your potential customers will find you on the web. Whether it is for specialty notary work, weddings, field inspections, tital transfers-whatever service you decide to provide- your customers are Googling, "________________ near me," or something similar.
SEO is what drives your business web page and/or company information to the top of the results list.
And your ability to do this well, over time, is directly correlated to your success as a mobile notary. Your potential customers HAVE to be able to find you when they need you, cuz...
People need a notary when they need a notary.
Organic (non-paid) SEO takes some time. In fact, it can take anywhere from 3 months to a full year to really gain some transaction, IF you do the work consistently.
Like the Chinese proverb says, "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now."
Well, the best time to start your SEO was last year. The second best time is right now!
PS- If you are planning to be a Remote Online Notary, SEO is a gamechanger for you! SEO makes it possible for you to compete with the major RON companies.
We actually offer the ONLY notary-specific SEO training in the industry. Check out the online notary SEO course here.
Regret #5: Didn't Keep Contact List of Clients
Customer contact information is one of the most valuable assets of any business. In the "normal" business arena, some companies are even bought and sold for millions of dollars solely for their customer list.
Notaries have been slow to adopt the importance of their customer list.
Remember what I said earlier, If they needed a notary once, they're going to need a notary again.
Since we already know that to be the case, does it not make sense to have a contact list and stay in touch?
In fact, I would go so far as to say that by not keeping a contact list and staying in touch, we actually do our customers a disservice.
If you truly believe you are the best notary for the job, and you have already done the work to attract this customer to you, and you have already laid the foundation for a relationship that can last, then claim your customer for life!
Why make them hunt for a notary again when they need one? Why put them at risk to find a different notary that is not the best in town (because that's you!)?
It doesn't matter if you use a legal pad, an excel spreadsheet, or a full out Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM), just keep a contact list of your signers, hiring companies, and even prospective clients.
I went through just about every CRM program on the market (including the legal pad, which didn't work for long), and never found one that worked well for a hustlin' road warrior mobile notary. They were all too clunky, or had too many features that then required I be in front of a computer to do simple tasks, like add a contact name and phone number.
Two years ago though, I met a technology partner that helped me create T.O.M.M.- The Simple CRM for Notaries. It's designed to be used on the fly by notaries who understand the value of their customer database.
Regret #6: Didn't Stay in Touch With Your Customers
Your contact list is most valuable when it is actually utilized to cultivate relationships and establish yourself as someone your customers might get to know, like, and trust.
Stay in touch with your customers throughout the year. Ping them on social media, tag them with an article they may enjoy, send them a text every now and again, or send a holiday card, or a piece of content you created via email.
When you don't stay in touch periodically, it becomes really awkward to ask for their business again, so you either won't do it at all, or you'll be "that guy/gal" that only reaches out when you have something to sell.
Don't be that guy/gal.
Have a plan to stay in touch with your customers and prospects. Schedule time to implement this plan every day. And, if you want to go next level, create unique and consistent content, like blogs, vlogs, and newsletters, that give you an excuse to reach out and connect to your database.
When you deliver value, consistently over time, people start to know you, like you, and trust you, and you earn the right to ask for their business every now and again.
This keeps you Top of Mind, so when your clients need a notary, they'll think of you right away.
And, if you are following directions here, and creating multiple streams of revenue, you might also have other products and services you'll be discussing in your content.
For a complete course on how to create digital content AND distribute it via social media and email, check out the Get Known Strategy here.
Regret #7: Didn't Help Other Notaries Succeed
Acting from abundance, realizing that there is plenty, and genuinely helping others succeed will bring you more joy, good fortune, and satisfaction, no matter where you end up in life and business.
There is no success without reaching back behind you and pulling others up with you. I love the way Maya Angelou said it:
"It may in fact be utterly impossible to be successful without helping others to become successful."
There are lots of way to demonstrate kindness and help others. Share your journey on social media. Answer questions (kindly) in online forums. Share resources. Write a book. Create a course. Hold a hand.
This business as a mobile notary and loan signing agent has the power to change lives. Not just yours, your family's, and your customers. You can help another notary change their life, their family's, and their customer's as well.
That's how much power you have.
Wield it responsibly, and do all of the things that create a business that will last the trials of time, and help you become the leader this industry, heck, EVERY industry, AND this world needs.
The best way to live with no regrets is to take the actions we all know we should be taking. Live life intentionally, and use each day as a springboard toward the dream. Yes, it is absolutely possible to live contented, in gratitude, and still work to create your dream life.
This is how dreams are built. Each decision not to do them erodes our self-confidence and we end-up living lives of quiet desperation, never really reaching our true potential.
Today, let's do things differently.
Today, let's DO.
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