Hey, there! I received a question the other day on LinkedIn from a fellow notary asking about listings and directories that I have a paid membership. As a new notary and even a veteran notary, your concern may be that there are so many organizations and notary directories out there, how to decide where to list and spend your dollars. My response back was a little vague and as I started to think about it more in depth, I decided to do follow up on this question for others who may be wondering.
But first, for those of you who may not know me, I am Takisha Smith Robinson, a traditional notary and electronic notary for the Commonwealth of Virginia. I am the owner of @AfterHoursVA, a business I started in 2012. I offer mobile notary services, remote online notarizations, real estate loan signings, help with Apostille and Authentication services and I also offer one-on-one notary
consultations for those aspiring to become a notary public, newly commissioned notaries and for existing notaries who’d like to expand their notary business.
I also co-founded and run a notary group on Facebook (Quick Find Notary/Signing Agents) where notaries from all over are welcomed to join and connect with others in the industry. Join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/QuickFindNotary/
Let us review a few of the many directories available to notaries and loan signing agents where you can list your credentials and individuals and companies can find and hire YOU! These are my top 5 sites (in no special order) that I suggest you join and list with today.
Notary Café offers a free and paid membership plan for $5 monthly or $36 annually (discounted if paid yearly.) With both plans you get access to their forum and other resources. Signing companies and others looking for a notary can find your profile on Notary Café. The huge difference in the free versus the paid membership is that with the free plan, only companies that are a part of the Notary Café Network of Signing Services can view your profile. The paid plan allows for a public profile and gives you the ability to add linkbacks to your website and social media, which of course increases your visibility. I personally have the paid membership plan. Notary Cafe – Takisha Smith Robinson
Notary Rotary offers a free plan and the paid membership ranges from $79 – $139 because you can receive a discount when you renew. They have a “find a notary” feature, education/training for notaries, buy notary supplies, and a great discussion forum. You will also find other resources like discounts for notaries, the most current rescission calendar, and my newly found favorite, the PDF Page Sorter. The page sorter allows you to upload a loan signing package and the software will separate the package into two separate files for letter and legal. This is especially important for notaries who do not have a dual tray printer and need to print a loan package on the correct size paper. With this software, you can load your printer with legal paper, print your legal file and then load your printer’s tray with letter paper to print the other file. Also, the cool thing about the software is that is gives you a stacking printout so that you can put the loan package back in order after you print. Most companies will require the loan package to be in the same order as it was received when you send the package back, so the stacking order printout is beyond helpful. Most importantly, you do not have to have a paid membership to access the PDF Page Sorter. It is FREE.99!! Some of the benefits of having a paid membership is premium listing of your profile before the free members, the ability to rate companies you work with, notary supply discounts, and electronic faxing with your own efax phone number and unlimited incoming and outgoing faxes. Now if you are not familiar with an efax, the faxes are sent and received in PDF format electronically. Almost like sending an email. This can be useful for companies who still require scans or faxbacks and do not have a portal for you to upload those documents. I have a free membership with Notary Rotary and as you can see when searching in my zip code, 23231, specifically, I am listed here as a basic member. Notary Rotary – Takisha Smith Robinson
SnapDocs is a software platform for signing agents and is completely free! Once you complete your profile with a professional photo, credentials, and experience, you can be found by lenders, title and escrow, and signing services. The more information available in your profile, the higher you will rank in SnapDocs’ notary search results. Companies will select you based on a strong profile and may choose you over another notary based on information provided in your profile. SnapDocs also has a dashboard to manage your loan signings in one spot. Companies that utilize SnapDocs will automatically be added to your dashboard as you accept the signing, but you can also add outside companies, not on the platform, to your dashboard to track. The dashboard tracks name of company, borrower(s) info, appointment time, and fee. You can also access the loan signing packages from each company and submit “faxbacks” within the same portal. The dashboard also stores copies of your commission, E&O insurance, bond if applicable, background check and your state driver’s license. By uploading these documents, you can become SnapDocs Verified. When you’re Snapdocs Verified, companies can be confident that you’re a trusted notary with valid credentials and a verified ID. Your SnapDocs profile is also synced with your profile on National Notary Association to show that you are NNA Certified and Background Screened.
It is important to note that Snapdocs is NOT a signing service, title company, or lender. When you receive a signing through the Snapdocs platform, you won’t be receiving it from Snapdocs but
from a title company or signing service that is utilizing Snapdocs’ technology and platform. This also means that you are contracted by the signing service or title company that sent you the loan signing offer. So, if you hear other notaries say things like “SnapDocs is low ball” or “I can’t get any work from SnapDocs”, it’s an untrue statement. There are tons of companies using the platform to find us, qualified notary signing agents.
Now I like to describe SnapDocs as the “uber” of loan signings because of the notification system they have in place. You can choose to receive notifications via text or email. The text messaging system works like this, Title Company ABC is looking for a notary in the 23231 area for a loan refinance with Chase Bank at 7pm that day or some day in the future, a text message goes out to several notaries and the first one to respond will get the assignment, basically. But SnapDocs does say that the companies will send out a notification to one notary at a time, working down a list and it is ultimately up to the company to select the signing agent they would like to work with. Therefore, a complete profile is beneficial. In my experience, it is best to respond quickly to the alerts if you’d like to accept the terms of the signing. You are also able to decline and/or re-negotiate the original terms but it is still up to the company to accept the new terms. SnapDocs – Takisha Smith Robinson
NNA SigningAgent.com established in 1957 then becoming an organization in 1964, the National Notary Association fosters education, training, guidance, resources, tools and advocacy within the notary industry.
A profile is offered to notary signing agents that have completed background screening through the NNA. Priority status is given to notaries who are NNA trained, certified AND background screened. NNA’s certification exam and background screening is industry recognized and quite frankly kind of a big deal. You will find that most title companies and signing services will REQUIRE
the NNA credentials to receive work from them.
You can also join the NNA as a member of the association and get access to support, networking, and discounts as an NNA member.
Google Business Listing is free to create and I highly suggest it for general notary work. People oftentimes do not know they need a notary until they need a notary! And, most likely, will turn to Google to find a notary. Most popular searches are “notary near me” or “notary public Virginia”. GOOGLE ME @AfterHoursVA and get a FREE listing here: https://www.google.com/business/business-profile/
I do want to mention, because this question is asked a lot as well, but Notary Café and Notary Rotary both have a list of signing services and title companies (with ratings) that you can
research and sign up with. Soooo if you are unsure of where to start and who to sign up with, these lists are helpful and other notaries have rated them or given their experience with contracting
for some of the companies that are listed.
What free listings or directories should you sign up with and/or pay for?
Don’t sign up and pay for directories just for the sake of signing up! You will find many out there. For starters, signup with the ones I just reviewed. And if you are already listed on a few
directories, it’s important to ask how and where someone found you. Whether it is the general public, signing company, title company or even a lender, you want to collect that data to determine
where the referral came from and if it’s worth maintaining and continuing that membership in the future. For example, if someone calls you to notarize a trust document, be sure to ask how
they found you and make a note of it. You will find out over time if more folks found you on Google versus “FindMeNow” (totally making that up!) or some other directory. And Google led them to your contact information and website. Doing this type of market research will help make that decision going forward and should be a way to gage if your investment in a particular site or organization directory is profitable and your listing is gaining traction.
Other Directories to Advertise Notary Services
Here are a few other directories listed below that I personally have a free or paid membership with, or I have connected with in 2020:
- American Notary USA https://americannotaryusa.com/
- Notary Jane https://notaryjane.com/
- Notary Stars https://www.notarystars.com/join
- Online Notary Directory https://www.onlinenotarydirectory.com/home
- ZigSig Signings https://www.zigsig.com/
- American Society of Notaries https://www.asnnotary.org/
- American Association of Notaries https://www.notarypublicstamps.com/notary-membership
- Notary.net https://notary.net/
- Signing Agent Marketing https://www.signingagentmarketing.com/
- NotaryResume https://www.notaryresume.com/
- Thumbtack http://bit.ly/3dZYHwO
- Legal Notary Now https://legalnotarynow.com/
- Notary Depot https://www.notarydepot.com/
- Lending Universe https://www.lendinguniverse.com/NotariesPublic.asp
Scam/Spam These sites have been reported as scam and spam in the notary industry. Some notaries have reported paying these sites and not receiving what is promised in return. If it seems too good to be true, then it is probably “SCAM Likely” calling! Join at your own discretion but you have been warned! Ones that go automatically to my spam folder are: National Notary Registry, Locate Notary Public, and Hire Notary.