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Q&A: Thriving in a down Notary business market

Two people shaking hands in a crowd

Updated 10-23-23. I started my business 20 years ago doing nothing but real estate closings. But as many Signing Agents know, the loan signing industry has regular highs and lows. Sometimes business is great, and a few years later business becomes scarce.

After the 2008 collapse of the real estate market, I was forced to expand my business (as well as my thinking) in order to stay in business. Many of you are facing similar challenges today. What’s helped carry me through these ebbs and flows over the years is to ask myself challenging questions and answer them honestly.

I hope these questions and the insights from your own self-reflection will be helpful to keep your Notary Signing Agent business thriving in a tough market.

What have I done to grow my business?

Much like what’s happening in today’s real estate market with dwindling Notary Signing Agent (real estate) assignments, I’ve had to reset my Notary business by diversifying and offering different business services to my customers. In addition to loan signing assignments, I conduct vehicle transfers and notarize adoption and estate planning documents., I also perform I-9 services, field inspections, Apostille services, officiate weddings, and much more. 

Recently I have found the website invaluable. Within my first 4 days after creating a profile on and having that profile go live, I made a little over $500.00 in new business. I always ask my new clients where they found me, and all said within that 4-day period that they found me on

Notaries must be businesspeople. You should always have a plan about what you want to do six months or a year from now. Always think about what other products or services you can offer to your existing clients.

Do I have a support network of Notaries?

NSAs have to network with other Notaries in their area. Another way I have kept my business growing in a down real estate market is by organizing Professional Notary Meetups locally. At these meetups, I invite Notaries from across my state to meet and share business ideas. We exchange business cards and recommend each other for assignments that we are not available to take. This practice of networking with other professional Notaries has doubled my general Notary business.

Am I being flexible in my business approach?

There is a saying among high-performing entrepreneurs: “You never rise to your ambitions. You fall to your standards.” What this means to me is I have to examine and track my work habits every day for efficiency.

Tracking what you do daily (marketing, networking, studying the market, etc.) helps improve your goal achievement, productivity, and organization. When I started my business, my mindset was to treat it as an infant, nurturing and growing my business to evolve with different industry needs. Every year it changes.

As a Notary entrepreneur, you must adapt to new business conditions. You can’t assume your business will stay the same after starting out. You must keep up with what’s going on in the industry. You need to know if your state laws change to take advantage of any new opportunities. And you must continuously seek ongoing education and training.

Am I doing my best to build and maintain client relationships?

I believe that client relationships are critical in this business. My mindset going into this business was that I wanted to build a repeat customer base. In order to do that, communication is key. It should always be professional. You should send a completion report when an assignment is done. You should thank the client for the assignment.

I come across so many Notaries who send unprofessional communications. People don’t always understand the power of email. If you put something abrasive or inappropriate in an email or on social media, it sends up a red flag. The same applies to all your business dealings. I recently had two clients ask for different Notaries because the one they had used before had an abrasive tone in front of customers.

NSAs should always remember that companies keep their own professional files about Notaries. I’ve known more than a few Notaries who talked themselves out of business.

My last words of advice

Over the last 20 years, one of the things I have seen that differentiates successful Notaries from others is the fact that successful Notaries do a lot of research about the industry and keep up with their local Notary laws. They attend local professional Notary meetups and conferences annually. Any Notary entrepreneur who wants to do this full-time or improve their business should always put these events on their calendars. You must sharpen your skills. If you don’t, you’ll be out of business.

Daniel Lewis, the NNA’s 2010 Notary of the Year, is the owner of Lewis Notary Services Inc. and a contributor to the Notary Bulletin.


Add your comment

Leonard Shapiro

23 Oct 2023

How would I get more information on learning about being a remote Notary?

National Notary Association

23 Oct 2023

Hello. You can find more information here:

Sandra Hall

06 Nov 2023

Hi Daniel, Great tips. Thank you for sharing. Sandra

Camilia Smith

06 Nov 2023

My name is Camilia and I am a mobile notary based in South Carolina As someone who values staying current with new technologies and trends in the industry, I am excited to learn more about the notary business experience and expertise. I have been fortunate enough to receive a few referrals so far, and I am hoping to continue to grow my network and build relationships with other professionals in the area.

Judith Deal

06 Nov 2023

This is fabulous information on staying on top of your game.Thank you so much. I work just like that. I am an infant almost a toddler lol. I have learned there are so many opportunities to make a difference.

Derek R Brantley

06 Nov 2023

Great information. I too was booming in 2005-3008. With loan closing. Trying to get reestablished. Thanks again!

Jose A Garcia

12 Nov 2023

Very good

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