Janet Bradsher is a Notarize agent who has worked in the accounting and operations fields for over 25 years. After being laid off from her corporate job in 2012, Janet saw an opportunity to supplement her income working as a notary agent. What started out as a side job quickly blossomed into a passion. Janet discovered Notarize after researching new ways to generate leads for her business and has been a proponent of the platform ever since. For Janet, the biggest reward of working with Notarize is the opportunity to help people across the nation. She also loves how it allows her to work from the comfort of her home so she can maximize time with her family.
Janet shares more of her story with us, below.
Q: How did you get into the notary business?
I have been in the accounting/operations field as either a Controller or CFO for over 25 years. Two weeks before Christmas in 2012, I was laid off. In 2013, I applied for 278 positions. In July 2013, I could not make my mortgage payments anymore. When money ran out, I literally started looking around my home and finding things of value to sell either through Facebook or eBay.
In January 2014, a software company that I had applied to called me about reconsidering. You see, I had applied for a specific position with them, but they wanted me to consider becoming a software partner with them instead. So, Solution Solvers, LLC was born in February 2014 and I became a partner with xTuple.
In 2015, I had a couple of clients and was managing to do OK, but I was still I was just getting by and living paycheck-to-paycheck. In June 2015, my best friend and I were talking and she told me she was doing notary work. She paid for me to become a notary, bought my supplies and then hooked me up with some of the companies that she worked with as a “signing agent,” and that is how I got into the notary business.
Q: What has been the greatest challenge in growing your notary business?
When I first started, it was knowing who was using notaries and didn’t require you to pay a fee to get on their notary agent list. Also, experience was a factor. My best friend had shared that once you complete 100 signings, you move to the top of lists because they consider you experienced. I made it my goal to complete 100 signings as fast as possible. I managed to complete that task in under seven months.
Q: What do you love/dislike about the notary industry?
As a signing agent, we always run the chance that we are putting our lives “at risk.” If you are unfamiliar with a neighborhood or a client wants to meet at a shady establishment (both of which have happened to me), you have to be able to say no. One fabulous thing I love about using Notarize is that I am safely in my home or in my car, but the point is I am completely safe. I am still helping people and gaining their confidence in the short amount of time we are connected.
Q: What excites you about Notarize?
The opportunity to help people not just in my state of Virginia, but also people in all 50 states. I love that part of it. Also, the variety of notarizations that we are currently doing (and will do in the near future). I see many exciting applications for this, and we just need the various industries to come on board and be a part of something spectacular, easy and convenient.
Q: Are you already seeing customers coming in?
Every two weeks, I am averaging around 50 notarizations. In the past four weeks, that has started to increase. I have seen repeat customers as well, which is really cool because I remember them, and they love that!
Q: Are there any specific customer success stories that stand out in your mind?
Every customer we help is a success story. If I have one that stands out the most, it would be a lady I helped personally who was a victim of domestic violence several times. She was getting something notarized and as we were discussing her documents, she briefly shared her story. She shared how she loved the convenience and that she did not have to leave her home—for a lot of people, leaving work or home to go to a bank, for example, and wait to have a document notarized is a hassle. With Notarize, a transaction can be completed in just under five minutes, depending on the number of notarizations and the length of the document. Notarize helps people multitask where they could not before.
Q: Have customers been nervous about or questioned the legality?
I only had one customer get nervous, but part of my opening “spiel” to the customer is letting them know that I am a licensed and certified e-notary and that I live in Virginia, but that I can do this in all 50 states.
Q: What inspires you?
Helping people. Helping someone be at ease with their most private information that they are sharing with me in a brief period of time. My mom inspires me too. She is my touchstone and even though she is 85, she is a deep-rooted part of my life and my world and no matter what, she is always proud of me and loves me. Helping her inspires me to help others. Some days it is harder than others, but it is still a job I would do.
Q: If someone was interested in becoming a notary, what would you say to them?
I want to speak to the mothers who stay at home to raise their families but still want to earn an income – this is for you.
I want to speak to the people who have been unemployed for a long time, have lost their benefits, or life is just beating them up and knocking them down – this is for you.
I want to speak to the individual who is barely making ends meet, and possibly in school to try and get a better job but still struggling – this is for you.
I want to speak to the person who is handicapped or disabled and cannot leave his or her home but disability is not enough to survive – this is for you.
I want to speak to everyone out there – no matter your situation, good or bad, if you want to make ends meet with a little cushion, or you want a supplemental income to do those house projects that your regular income cannot cover, or you want to start that college fund for your child and money is so tight you cannot see a way out – this is for you.