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What "pet" names do you find offensive? - 03/31/08 11:59 PM
When I was a younger guy, I used to work with a gal from somewhere down south. Her manner of speaking soon rubbed off on those who worked around her and had me referring to women I was friendly with as "Hon" ...(short for honey). I honestly never meant it as anything more than a friendly way to reference someone I liked...(as in how are you today hon'?) I used it for several years until I ran into one young woman who told me off but good. When I immediately apologized and switched my reference to "Ma'am" she became even more offended (7 comments)
Networking groups sometimes missing the mark...must be a better way! - 03/30/08 12:01 PM
Ever feel like you've been to one-too-many mixers, seminars and networking group recruiting breakfasts? Most give you that cheesy nametag to wear so that insincere social misfits can walk up to you, call you by name, and spend the next 20 minutes blathering on about their local store which, by the way, has "...cornered the cheese-whiz market". Sometimes, these businesses get around sending an owner and instead, send their newest member of the "management team". At closer inspection, this young "fireball" who probably shaved for the first time this morning, looks alot like a kid who used to play with your kids in the (5 comments)
Campaign buttons...I like the concept! - 03/30/08 12:53 AM
Remember when a campaign button was an effective tool? If you do, you are surely much older than I am. Still, I like the simplicity of them. Today, so much of our advertising is high-tech, internet related or somehow even more impersonal. Buttons seem to be more tangible and even more valuable to the wearer. I've been toying with the idea of ordering some form of "premium" for my clients. A token that I can give to them as both a thank-you for their business and a reminder of my services. Cheapo pens are not likely. I figure that if I (0 comments)
Remembering those old wounds...Healing nicely thanks! - 03/29/08 12:12 PM
I remember my writings from last year. I was in a funk about business being slow. Several of the lenders, mortgage brokerages and escrow companies we had done considerable work with suddenly closed their doors forever. It seems that the shock of my new circumstance was difficult for me and I was trying to comprehend it all. I sometimes put a face on my true feelings by writing about them and then the truth becomes more visible to me. I'm happy to say that I have recovered from the shock and regained my normally upbeat and positive outlook. I realize that my (4 comments)
Running man brings new meaning to 10k - 03/28/08 03:47 PM
The running man? He's my logo and a metaphor for the craziness I experience when business is good. My best example?: My best day ever-(12) twelve sets of loan documents (across six counties) signed, sealed and delivered. I left for my first appointment that day at 4AM. My final appointment concluded at 2AM.
...And the 10k? Anyone who has met me "LIVE and in-person" knows that if I walked a 10k- much less ran one, I'd be a wheezing heart-attack waiting-to-happen long before the finish line...perhaps my tax-day resolution will be to get in shape. I can mow on (0 comments)
An advertising suggestion that makes alot of sense (simplify....) - 03/25/08 06:32 PM
Recently, I asked for friends to review my website...(because yesterday I didn't know what a webmaster was...today I ARE ONE!!) A comment that came from my brother was about "Branding". He stated that he saw me shorten my business name to initials only in places throughout the site and that he thought this was a wasted opportunity to remind my customers of my company name. I was impressed with this as constructive advice that seemed so obvious I was embarrassed I hadn't caught it myself. What is it about being too close to the project? I confess that my website is not (5 comments)
There is no magic pill for doing what is right... - 03/24/08 11:51 PM
As Notary Signing Agents, there is no magic pill that will protect us from the pitfalls of fraud in the mortgage industry. There are also no easy answers, no guarantees that we will not be approached by those less scrupulous characters in our society intent on doing fraud. Our real protection (and the protection of all parties involved in the transaction) comes from the NSA having been properly trained, being aware of good notary practice, and both demonstrating and exercising those standards in the face of those who would prefer we bend the rules. Our mandate is to act as a disinterested (8 comments)
Why the "bad guys" continue to get away with things...FRAUD=BAD - 03/20/08 02:32 PM
I recently was approached by an unethical person who apparently wished to engage a Notary, ...any Notary, in an endeavor whereby the act of notarization itself made the document a fraud. He apparently knew that this was an illegal act, and was fishing for a sucker so that he could say to others: "Look how many idiot notaries I've caught with my dumb trick". It was a situation where he was doing it either for laughs or to prove how clever he was...
Attempting to induce a Notary into committing fraud is in and of itself a crime. The issue seems to be (4 comments)
Want advice? Don't bet on horses with long tails... - 03/19/08 07:29 PM
In my experience, having conducted over 5,000 signings, borrowers often have trepidation at the signing table. For the most part, mortgage brokers don't even know that the docs have finally come together from the lender and that escrow has sent me to sign their clients. After the surprise of my calling them to schedule the signing, for which they had no "heads-up", The next thing that happens is "Sticker-Shock" because the estimated closing statement doesn't match what the broker had originally told them... Then, they turn to me... and I am forced to say something like: "I am a notary public and not a broker (3 comments)
"Just another day in paradise..." - 03/19/08 10:36 AM
I am drawn to catch phrases and use them daily in my life. I thought that it might be fun to share a few of the many I use and see if anyone else does this too! "If you can't get out of it, you have to get into it" "Keep your chin up" "Fake it, 'til you make it" "It's a great day to be young and insane" "...so broke I can't even pay attention" "Three rules of management: 1. Don't lie to me. 2. Don't steal from me. 3. God help you if you embarrass me". When taking fingerprints: "I always get a little nervous when someone is too (3 comments)
Here I am...stuck in the middle with you.... - 03/18/08 07:03 PM
Here I am... stuck in the middle with you! (clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right...). I've been trying to maintain an upbeat, positive attitude during what we all know is a difficult downturn and period of readjustment and challenge for the lending/housing/mortgage business. I often encourage folks to keep their chins up, see the glass as half-full and acknowledge the good things that they see. Invariably, there is another person willing to purvey doom and gloom to those that are willing to listen. So don't... I have never, nor would I ever, say that things are perfect. I do believe (3 comments)
Let's do lunch!! Sure, if we only had the time... - 03/17/08 05:16 PM
In many conversations, I've both heard and said the phrase "Let's do lunch sometime..." When I stop to think about it, only rarely has this "gesture" become a reality. Then, I get to pondering just why that is? For the most part, people do eat lunch. I think that lunch-breaks are shorter, more flexible (in terms of when one goes to lunch) and less a formal affair today than in days gone by. Thus making a lunch meeting almost inapropriate for either doing business or squeezing in some minor amount of work while choking down a sandwich.
I know that when I'm (4 comments)
What kind of non-traditional advertising do you do? - 03/16/08 12:26 AM
I recently began a new signage campaign. I've delivered Krispy Kremes to Escrow Officers, sent postcards to mortgage brokers and business carded every client, attorney, real estate agent and bank employee I've met in the last five years. I have done doorhangers, launched a website and participated in every legal type of email known to man. I have participated in networking groups, Notary website listings, paid listings and added my name to every free database I know about. Lately, I have participated enthusiastically here at Active Rain as well as some Notary specific blogs where I am a member. I believe I've done (11 comments)
I'd like to thank the academy...er, uh...nevermind! Thanks honey! - 03/14/08 07:30 PM
I've always marvelled at the various award shows, competition shows and the like where tearful acceptance speeches and other blather passes for a thank you. Some Hollywood types, trying to squeeze it all in remind me of that old bumper sticker that also tried to be all things to all people: NUKE A GAY WHALE FOR JESUS! While I believe that many of the folks winning competitions and accepting awards are truly talented, they could take a lesson from the stars of yesterday who, while elegantly dressed, politely thanked the academy for their selection and briefly thanked close colleagues and family who (5 comments)
I'm NOT your doormat!!...David slams Goliath - 03/13/08 03:05 PM
Yesterday, I witnessed what I surely thought would become a fistfight while returning some documents to a nearby office complex. It seems one of the "middle-managers" from one of the offices there had stepped outside to have words with one of his subordinates. As I pulled in, I saw the manager waving his hands and staring down the other man at a face-to-face distance of about 4 inches. As I parked and exited the car, I was surprised to hear this bosses tyrade from across the parking lot. Apparently, the employee had communicated to an improper person in the office v.s. communicating directly with (3 comments)
Parking is FUN...Mobile Notaries will get this one... - 03/12/08 11:02 AM
Arriving after dark to conduct a signing isn't always fun... In an area I know well, it is usually not a problem. But sometimes, after finding the correct address, I can look up and down the street to find no empty spaces for what seems like a half a mile. Once, while pausing to consult my order for an exact address on an empty street, I even got passed by a sweeper truck and the little meter maid was right behind him to hand me a ticket..."But my car is still in DRIVE" I cried. I actually ended up beating that ticket by (3 comments)
Keep pressing anyways!! - 03/12/08 02:06 AM
We've all been grinding to find new business...and then, grinding some more! Maintaining that positive outlook means persevering when nothing good is happening...or so it seems. It means exploring your options when they are few, smiling when you feel like everything but, and finding that ray of hope-when all hope is lost...(I seem to find one ray a day) This is the place where character is born, then grows and ultimately, all your hard work pays off. To my colleagues that have left the profession:...I will miss you as you move on to that other opportunity. But, in being truthful, I will not miss the competition! Having (8 comments)
Did your notary interpret something for you?? Oopsy!! That's a NO-NO!! - 03/11/08 01:20 AM
While a Notary Signing Agent may have all that is needed to get you through your signing and be able to provide you with alot of "general" information as to your documents, he or she shouldn't be advising you. Unless of course your NSA is also an attorney or a licensed broker. The fact is, that most notaries are unqualified to offer you advice and are in fact, prohibited from commentary or the offering of such advice. A notary must be a disinterested third party whose primary objective is to verify the identity of those persons executing the documents in question. The experienced (0 comments)
For a year or more, the "doom and gloom" crowd has been running around telling everyone that "the sky is falling". Nobody denies there is an adjustment occuring in most markets and there has been a great deal of pain asociated with it. Still, those in pain should have seen the pain coming for years. These adjustments, while absolutely no fun, have needed to happen and I believe will be good for everyone in the long run. Today, I am seeing work return from what-not long ago- would have been sources that had no business to offer. From the places I used to receive (3 comments)
Continuing the marketing effort by thinking outside the box... - 03/09/08 03:25 PM
Posters, banners, bootleg signs and blogging... because... ...sometimes, word-of-mouth just isn't enough! Sometimes, you have to go above and beyond to insure you're doing enough. Even then, you are not always sure... I update my training, list my services and attributes in as many places as I can comfortably afford, and focus on friendly customer service to inspire repeat business... ...and I keep my marketing options open. Just one question... Anybody have a hat I can borrow? "A Quick Note" http://www.aquicknote.net/ (2 comments)
Directional/Human Signage...is it an effective tool? - 03/08/08 04:54 PM
I've seen this tactic used for new construction and the sale of Model Homes... Since the practice began to be so popular, I began to wonder if it would work for me...? I finally decided to go out on a limb last week and ordered the signs... Can any of you provide feedback on just how successful you have or have not been? I imagine I can get my kid and her teenage friends to "man" the signage in the summer, I'm exploring other avenues for morning and evening commuters in the escrow, mortgage and legal fields. Any suggestions?
I also have a white truck (a (5 comments)
I got the $3.69 a gallon blues.... here in the "O.C." - 03/07/08 03:18 PM
As a Mobile Notary, with over half a million miles driven in the last five years (most of it in circles), I just wanted to say that the predictions of $4/gallon by mid-summer is making me a little cranky!
I sincerely hope that the changes surrounding jumbo loan amounts produce a landslide of new business that will wipe out that expense...
Maybe I'll have to consider a new form of transportation...
Perhaps if I had one that ran on "hot air" I'd be fine...
I used to have an office, but gave up the expense as I am mobile 90% (18 comments)
Why do I believe that good things will happen?...because I choose to do so!! - 03/06/08 01:01 PM
What is it about human nature that makes us see the glass as half empty? It seems it is always easier to dwell upon the impending doom than to maintain an upbeat positive attitude. Even though in my own personal life and in my career path, my own overall happiness and wellness have proven to me the power of positive thinking, I sometimes falter and am guilty of being pulled to the dark side. Negativity seems to breed more negativity and you would think that the opposite would be true. I have noticed in reading my own writing, that it has a certain (11 comments)
Steer clear of fraud...and regret - 03/03/08 01:52 AM
If you choose to ask a notary to back-date or otherwise "color outside the lines" you may be engaging in a no-no yourself. While many RE professionals spend weeks, even months getting a deal together and servicing their clients so-as to cross every "t" and dot every "i", it never fails to amaze me how they rush to try and close the deal at month end. Any Notary Signing Agent who has been in the profession for long has been approached and asked to bend the rules. Recently(2008), California narrowed the wording for notary acknowledgments and disallowed "personally known" as a form of (1 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.