As a notary public, you may know that notarization is a key part of many transactions and legal documents, a task that comes with responsibility and trust.
However, beyond the official duties, the role presents various opportunities to make money, both directly and indirectly, which can help turn your notary commission into a profitable venture.
Here’s how you can leverage your notary public status to create and increase income streams.
1. Notary Fees
As a baseline, charging fees for notary services is the primary way to earn money. Depending on your state, fees might be capped for certain services, but you have the flexibility to set your charges within those bounds.
When determining fees, consider the following aspects:
- Travel Expenses: If you travel to your customers, factor in mileage, time, and travel costs.
- Time and Expertise: Charge for the effort it takes to complete the notarization process, including any prep work or special requirements.
- Value-Added Services: For additional services such as providing witnesses or making photocopies, consider charging extra.
It’s important to remain competitive while also not undervaluing your service. Stay up-to-date with what other notaries in your area are charging, and adjust your fees accordingly to balance profitability with customer appeal. Always comply with your state’s fee schedule to maintain professional integrity.
2. Loan Signings
Specializing in loan signings can drastically increase a notary’s income. A notary signing agent is trained to handle the signing of important real estate documents, such as mortgage closing papers.
For these transactions, notaries can charge a premium due to the additional expertise and time commitment required. To maximize earning potential in loan signings, consider these tips:
- Certification and Training: Obtain certification as a loan signing agent. Several organizations offer courses, which can enhance your credibility and allow you to justify higher fees.
- Marketing to Title Companies: Approach title companies directly to offer your services. They often need reliable notaries who can handle loan signings professionally.
- Partnership with Lenders: Building relationships with lenders can secure you a steady stream of business, as loan signings are a constant need in the mortgage industry.
3. Become a Mentor to Another Notary
Veteran notaries have amassed knowledge and experience that are incredibly valuable to someone just starting out. By becoming a mentor, you can:
- Offer Paid Training Sessions: Conduct one-on-one or group training for new notaries who wish to learn the ropes and are willing to pay for expert guidance.
- Write Guidance Materials: Pen your own guidebook or create online courses that can be sold to aspiring notaries. This will pass on your expertise and provide you with passive income.
- Consultation Services: Provide expert advice on complex notarial acts, business setup, and marketing strategies.
Mentoring goes beyond mere income – it also establishes your reputation as an authority in the field, which can lead to more business referrals.
4. Follow up with Your Existing Customers
Retention is key in any business, and as a notary, following up with your clients can lead to repeat business and referrals. Implement a simple follow-up system where you:
- Send Reminders: If you handle documents that need periodic renewal, remind your clients in advance.
- Ask for Feedback: Not only does it show clients you care about the service they received, but it also opens doors for improvement and referrals.
- Provide Updates: Keep clients informed about new services or changes in notary laws that may affect them.
Connecting with other professionals can lead to a steady flow of clients in need of notary services. Engage with:
- Real Estate Agents and Brokers: They often require notaries for closing real estate transactions and are always on the lookout for reliable notaries.
- Lawyers and Law Firms: Build relationships with local attorneys who specialize in estate planning, family law, or business law, as they frequently need documents notarized for their clients.
- Financial Planners and Accountants: These professionals may need notarizations for their clients’ financial documents, trusts, and tax preparations.
When you network, always showcase your professionalism, adherence to confidentiality, and prompt service. Attending networking events, participating in local business groups, and joining professional notary associations are great ways to build your network.
6. Create a Social Media Presence
Developing a social media presence can greatly expand your reach and attract new clients. Regular posts and interactions help build trust. Tips for effective social media use include:
- Platforms: Choose platforms your potential clients use, LinkedIn for professional contacts, Facebook for a broader audience, and Instagram for a visual showcase of your services.
- Content: Share educational content about notarization, updates on your business, and personal stories to create engagement.
- Advertising: Consider paid advertising targeting your local area to increase visibility among potential clients.
7. Get a Surety Bond
Though not directly a money-making strategy, getting a surety bond can save you money in the long run, which can be just as beneficial.
A surety bond protects the public from any unintentional mistakes you might make as a notary and can save you from paying out of pocket for claims made against your services.
8. Hand out Promotional Pens
Something as simple as handing out pens with your contact information can be a subtle yet effective marketing tool. It keeps your name in front of your clients, and they might even pass the pen—and your details—along to others.
9. Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce
Becoming a member of your local Chamber of Commerce is a strategy that can open many doors, including:
- Networking Opportunities: Chambers regularly host events that allow you to meet business owners and residents who may need your services.
- Trust and Credibility: Association with the Chamber can increase your notary business’s credibility.
- Resources and Support: Access to business development resources and support that can help grow your notary service.
10. Make Business Cards
Business cards remain a simple and effective tool for notaries. They are an easy reference for clients and potential referrals. Ensure your cards are:
- Professional and Readable: A clean design with clear contact information.
- Always Available: Carry them with you at all times—you never know when you might meet a potential client.
11. Offer Free Notarizations for Veterans
Offering free notarizations for veterans as a service to your community can also act as marketing for your business. This kind gesture:
- Builds Goodwill: This can lead to referrals within the veteran community.
- Offers Networking Opportunities: Connect with local veterans’ groups and organizations, which can help spread the word about your services.
12. Organize a Community Shred Day
Hosting a community shred day is an excellent way to market your notary services while helping people dispose of sensitive documents safely. This event can:
- Attract Potential Clients: Use the opportunity to introduce your notary services to individuals and businesses participating in the event.
- Build Brand Awareness: Your business name and services get publicity through event promotion and word of mouth.
13. Expand Services
To maximize your income potential, consider offering services that complement your notarial duties, such as:
- Field Inspections: Many companies need field inspectors to verify information. As a notary, you’re often seen as a trustworthy individual who can handle such tasks.
- Fingerprinting Services: In many industries, fingerprinting is required for background checks. Offering this service can provide a steady stream of additional clients.
- Apostille Services: For documents going to or coming from another country, an apostille may be required to verify the notarization. You can charge a fee for guiding and processing these documents.
These additional services can fill in the gaps between notarial tasks and significantly increase your profits.
14. Other Practical Ways to Make Money as a Notary Public
Expanding your reach and maximizing income potential can also involve:
- Teaching Notary Classes: If your state allows it, offering notary education classes is another revenue stream.
- Mobile Notary Services: Providing convenience by traveling to your clients can justify higher fees.
- After-Hours Services: Being available when other notaries are not can fill a niche market.
- Specialize in a Niche: Whether it’s maritime, immigration, or healthcare documents, specializing in a niche field can set you apart and enable you to charge more.
- Work with Signing Services: Third-party companies connect notaries with businesses that need them. Registering with these can provide a steady stream of work
- Foreign Language Skills: If you’re proficient in a second language, provide services for non-English speaking clients, as your ability to communicate can be a valuable asset.
- Partnerships with Senior Living Facilities: Offer your notary services to local retirement homes or senior centers, where residents may need regular notary services but have mobility constraints.
- Collaborate with Local Businesses: Establish relationships with neighborhood businesses (like cafes or bookstores) to set up notary days where their customers can come to you.
- Online Notarization: Some states allow for remote online notarization (RON), which could broaden your client base beyond your local area.
- Attend Community Events: Sponsor or participate in community events to advertise your services to a broader audience.
- Referral Programs: Encourage satisfied clients to refer others to you by offering a discount or a small reward for referrals that turn into new clients.
- Handling Protested Bills of Exchange: If you’re in a state that allows notaries to handle protested bills of exchange for nonpayment or non-acceptance, this special skill can expand your services.
Making money as a notary involves more than just performing notarizations. It’s about building a business, nurturing relationships, and continuously seeking out opportunities to provide value.
The key to success lies in leveraging your unique strengths and the trust you’ve built.
With these strategies, hope you’ll not only increase your income but also solidify your role as an essential and respected professional in your community.