High impact marketing by using free-to-you databases

Services for Real Estate Pros

A few months ago, my local public library granted free access to several databases for cardholders. 

I access these databases from my home computer using my library card number.

Using Reference USA, I have been building prospective client and referrer lists with owners' names, fax numbers, and addresses.  I only note business owners who have websites.

I believe strongly in doing detailed demographic research to find my best prospective clients.  I started this when I moved to my new town five years ago.  I know exactly who my best prospective clients and referrers are by industries, age range, income range, etc. is a helpful website.  You won't find the information by just reading it: take time to really study the data there.

I faxed an annoucement of services to 75 potential referrers in a specific industry this week.  I have found to be cheap and reliable.

Now that virtually all businesses with websites get faxes via email, I no longer think faxing is unethical. The recipient can view the first page of the fax in the body of the email so she/he can choose to print or simply discard. Even better, they can save the message for future reference. So even though the fax arrives in their email, it stands a far better chance of being read than a regular email does.

Tomorrow I will mail 100 color postcards to a different list.  (I had the cards printed at - They look great.)

This weekend I will create a list of clients in yet another industry and fax a different announcement to them next week.

Some of the notary work my clients want involves some legal secretary chores as well, so I charge handsomely for that. I'm still cheaper than what attorneys would charge for the same service. I made $255 yesterday from two back-to-back appointments. Total time 1.25 hours.  No loan docs involved.  Payment at table.  Both clients drove to me: one from a half hour away, the other 1.25 hours away.  While writing this text, I just got a call from someone wanting this service tomorrow.  I quoted $105.  Sweet!


The main database I use is Reference USA. This is a database of businesses in US and Canada. Most libraries grant access to additional databases as well.

How to access the databases for free: First, get a library card. Then access the library's website from anywhere.  Look for the word reference or search or databases.  At some point you will be required to enter your library ID number.

Once you get into Reference USA, select Custom Search. In the next window, click on Yellow Page headings and City, State. Click any additional boxes you wish. Most industry databases use SIC codes for businesses. The longer the number, the more specific the selection. For example: Surgeons would be a longer number than doctors. The more specific you can be, the more useful your results will be. You can find the SIC codes by looking at the Yellow Page headings. Click on the blue word "headings." A pop up window will appear.  Note the SIC codes for future reference. 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) website might allows access to additional databases and knowing the SIC codes will be handy.


So do what clever notary Pamela Knight does: think about what add-on services your notary clients might need and post them on your website. 

Then do what I do: fax or mail announcements to people you find on free databases!

Best of luck,  Laura





Janice Roosevelt
Keller Williams Brandywine Valley - West Chester, PA
OICP ABR, ePRO,Ecobroker

Vista Print does a great job. I highly recommend them

Feb 06, 2009 11:08 PM
Michelle Riley
d/b/a Alabama Notary and Process Server - Huntsville, AL


The word "free" never fails to interest me.  As a full-time college student, I do research all the time for various assignments.  It never ocurred to me to use the library for marketing purposes for my notary business.  I use both the City and University libraries frequently.  I also have access to online databases from home.  Spring Break will be here in a few weeks, I will spend part of that time looking for and using Reference USA to target propspective customers.  Thank you for the information. 

PS:  I hope you add this marketing tip to your Marketing Book.


Feb 08, 2009 01:03 AM
Jessica Wallace
Coldwell Banker - Santa Cruz - Santa Cruz, CA
Santa Cruz Realtor (831) 419-9345

Thanks for the tip!

Feb 08, 2009 07:10 AM
Joan Bergstrom
Joan Bergstrom Mobile Notary - Riverside, CA
Mobile Notary, Riverside CA

Great information as usual from Laura.

 I will put in a "pitch" for Laura's email book on Non Loan Signing Marketing. Fabulous resource to get 'Public Notary Work" and she sells it for $19.95.



Feb 08, 2009 03:33 PM
Margaret O'Daniel
NM Notary Loan Signing Agent - Albuquerque, NM

Man, Have I missed Active Rain. This article tells me so.  I have not been here for awhile.  Excellent information on ways to market.  I had Vista Print make me some brochures.  I will send them out this week.  I like databases, makes things easy.

Feb 17, 2009 11:22 AM
Joan Bergstrom
Joan Bergstrom Mobile Notary - Riverside, CA
Mobile Notary, Riverside CA


What is the difference between using the Internet  Yellow Pages and just putting in Estate Attorney, Riverside CA for instance?

 Obviously I haven't used a database before.

I have a Riverside Library card and use it all the time.

Feb 19, 2009 03:25 PM
Laura Vestanen
Bellingham, WA
My book "Notary Marketing 2019" is on

Hi, Joan

I just found your county library's website.  Go to

Put your cursor on the eLibrary tab at the top.  See a drop down menu.  Choose Reference USA.

Key in your library card number.

See the left box.  Click on Search to the right of US Businesses.

Click on custom search.

Click on Yellow Page Heading AND County, State AND Employees.  Then click Create Search.

Click on the blue word Heading.  A box will pop up with all the categories in most yellow pages books.

Think about which categories would have your prospective clients and referrers.

An example: notary work for adoption of babies occurs in doctors' offices.  We notarize the medical reports for the parents.  The office managers of the largest multi-doctor offices are our best referral sources for this.  If you look under D, you will not find doctors.  So go to P and find Physicians.  Note the SIC number to the left.  Highlight and copy this number.  Close the pop-up list. 

Paste this number into an SIC box. Then choose your state and county.

You want the larger doctors' offices, so click 5-6 employees.  That will appear on the box to the right.  Also click on 10-19 employees. 

Click on Search Now.

459 names and contact info for 459 offices will appear on the screen.  Go through and select the specific offices most likely to give you adoption work.  So skip the oncology, dermatology, urgent care, etc offices. 

Copy-paste the relevant data into a MS Word document.

Voila!  You now have a database of prospective clients and referrers to contact about adoption work.

How cool is this !?!



Feb 20, 2009 02:51 AM
Joan Bergstrom
Joan Bergstrom Mobile Notary - Riverside, CA
Mobile Notary, Riverside CA

Thank you soooo much!!  I will be working on this Sat & Sun.  The post cards I have sent out  to companies I found in the telephone book with a lackluster response.

Thanks again,


Feb 20, 2009 01:21 PM