Notarize Anyone in the World From Your Couch with John Holder

notary industry Apr 12, 2021

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John Holder is not your typical attorney- Nor is he your typical Notary Public. Surfing the innovation wave following the legalization of Remote Online Notarization (RON) in many states, John has built a stellar business not only notarizing people all over the world, but showing other notaries how to build their own business doing the same thing. If you're looking for a REAL at home business, it doesn't get more legit than this!

Some of this weeks episode highlights are:
10:00 I told my wife: ""This could be good for grocery money,"" then it covered the car payment, then for the house...
12:06 It's not all about the money. I've found that pursing something that I enjoy doing, the money comes after that!
41:45 Look at it from a banking perspective. You used to go to a teller in the bank to deposit a check. Now you can either go to the ATM or use your phone and take a picture of it!

--- Full Raw Transcription of Podcast Below ---

Introduction (00:00):
As an 18 year old, if, if you would've told me that I was making five figures a month with a $10 notary stamp, I said, you're crazy. And then I probably wouldn't have gone to college or law school.

New Speaker (00:10):
Welcome to the SideHustle Lounge. If you're looking for flexible ways to earn income, grow your mindset, and live the lifestyle you've always dreamed of, you are in the right place. So lower the lights. Grab your favorite beverage and join your host. Founder of and Amazon bestselling author of Sign and Thrive: How To Make Six Figures As A Mobile Notary And Loan Signing Agent, Bill Soroka.

Bill Soroka (00:49):
Hello and cheers to my guest today. John Holder, founder of and John, thank you so much for being here today.

Ron Holder (01:02):
It's a pleasure. It's my pleasure to help you get this show off the ground. And I look forward to our discussion, really been looking forward to it.

Bill Soroka (01:10):
Yeah. You know, I always enjoy our conversations. And for those of you who are tuning in our topic today, how to notarize anyone in the world from your couch. Yes, it is possible. And it is legal in many States these days. John's our expert on this founder of Ron university, which is remote online notarization. That's been the trend now since 2012, when the first state legalized remote online notarization. Before we really get into that though, John I'd like our audience to get a little more familiar with you because you are a third generation graduate of the university of Louisville school of law, right? Yes, sir. So that means your father and your grandfather were attorneys. Right. And I know people are wondering how do you go from attorney to mobile notary and loan signing agent to online course creator, remote, online notary, and now even industry influencer. Yeah.

Ron Holder (02:19):
It's been a crazy journey Bill. I, if I would have as an 18 year old, if, if you would've told me that I was making five figures a month with a $10 notary stamp, I said, you're crazy. And then I probably wouldn't have gone to college or law school. So, you know, looking ahead, looking at how it turned out, it's, it's not what I would've predicted.

Bill Soroka (02:45):
Well, I'm glad, I'm glad you said at 18 years old, I wonder if you could go back, I'll leave in a little bit further because just I'm curious because I didn't have a legacy career in my family. Right. We all did our own thing, but in your family, your grandfather, wasn't an attorney. You were, or your father, wasan attorney and then you are an attorney as well. But when you think back, you know, third grade, when the teacher asks, what do you want to be when you grow up? What was it?

Ron Holder (03:14):
Well, it was an attorney, but here here's the thing. So there's been a holder practicing law in Lewis County. My hometown is Vanceberg Kentucky since 1932. And so my dad had had a great work ethic. He was an incredible attorney, great man. And that's who I wanted to grow up to be like now, I didn't know my grandfather as well. He'd had a stroke later in his life and he was, he was a little bit debilitated by the time. You know, I was old enough to have memories of him, but what I like to say is they, they used to tell him, ed, you've got a client over here, you know, he's in the pool hall. And I said, you might want to come over here and check it out. You know, he said he would have to walk over to his office, you know, interrupt what he was doing.

Ron Holder (04:05):
And then dad was more of a nose to the grindstone. He put in, you know, 50, 60 hour weeks raised six kids. And that, there's the thing though. I have three older brothers and two older sisters, none of whom went to law school. So not that it, you know, I felt any pressure whatsoever by my parents or my siblings, but it just kind of fell to me as you know, okay, well John will go to law school or whatever, you know? And so I look up one day and I'm checking the syllabus and I'm the first day of, of the university of Louisville on campus. And I call my parents and I'm about to have a nervous breakdown. I'm like, I don't, I don't know why I'm here. I don't know if this is what I want to do. And you know, it was just like I'd graduated from Kentucky Wesleyan college with a degree in accounting and minor in English.

Ron Holder (05:02):
And because in preparation for law school, because dad said, that's, you know, you'd have a good business background, but you also want to be able to write. And I love my English classes accounting, not so much, you know, so but anyway, you get the degree you look up one day, you're on campus and, and you know, three years later, you're, you're graduated. You moved back home, started a family start to practice. And, you know, I consider myself blessed and it was an incredible opportunity. I probably put the I say, I put the golden spoon in my mouth and then crunched down on it. So hard. My teeth broke. So what I found out later in life was more or less I wanted to be like my dad more or less, but I didn't, the attorney profession did not suit my personality.

Ron Holder (05:58):
I hope I don't sound like I'm making excuses for not being the world's greatest attorney, but the adversarial process is just not my nature. In a small town when you practice a divorce case or a collection case, or if you foreclose on somebody's home, you know, that's somebody I went to school with or I coached their kid in little league or, you know and that's not the way I wanted to go through life with people, you know, talking about, you're not, you know, it's just not the cup of tea that I thought it would be. I enjoyed the real estate part of it and my dad was a great, we call it dirt law. You know, he's a great dirt lawyer. We spent a ton of time in the deed room and, and he taught me how to run title searches and, and tie, you know, right to title exams.

Ron Holder (06:56):
And we, we had title insurance, we were offering for awhile. And then a couple of things happened, the banks started writing title insurance. We, we didn't write enough in volume to keep up with Stewart, so they didn't want us as an underwriter anymore. And then dad had a debilitating stroke himself. And that was, that was tough. He went to a family wedding down in Alabama and came back. He was on a board of directors at local bank. And chairman of the board found out dad had had a stroke in Alabama, sent his private jet down there to pick that up and getting back up here to the hospital and get him as much care as he could. It was tough. That was, that threw me for a loop was unexpected. So dad was a trooper.

Ron Holder (07:55):
He threw his, he put his work ethic into his rehabilitation and he got, you know, as much of his speech back and, and physically able to move effected his right side of his body. More so. And so he, he had a tough time adjusting, you know, his practice was taken away from him in the blink of an eye and then fell to me a little bit. And that was tough. That was tough to get through that point in my life. And then my mom passed away. About a year later, dad suffered from Alzheimer's dementia, that type of stuff. He passed away about a year later. So I fell into a funk. I hope this is this a long origin story Bill, but you asked I appreciate, but I fell into a funk. I, you know used to kind of smirk it the term depression and think that wasn't a real to see a disease, but cheer can slap you upside the head and knock you on your keester and you don't even know it's happening to you.

Ron Holder (09:11):
So what, interestingly enough, what pulled me out of that funk was apologies, but it was a podcast with Mark and Roman on Nick Loper's side hustle podcast. That's like the one you got to start here. Nick's a great guy. And Mark was talking about, you know, his loan signing system. And I just thought, you know, I, I can do that. That's those, aren't hard. I used to do that as an attorney. I would get offended when somebody wanted me to sign as just a notary, you know, I'm an attorney, I didn't draft those documents. So what do you just need me for a notary? What do you mean? Okay. Yeah, I'll do it. So I did a few of those over the course of my career. And then after dad passed away, I told my wife, I said, you know, we could, this would be good for some grocery money just, you know, 150 bucks here or whatever, and, and get us a couple weeks worth of groceries there.

Ron Holder (10:12):
And and then it started paying for the car payment and it started paying for the house and, you know it was crazy. I just, it grew and grew as I put more time into it. Registered the domain, thought I needed a vanity number snagged 833GotNotary. I love my 800 number! It works, people call it. So that kind of came together. I read Brenda Stone's article on about forming a statewide network. It hit me like a bolt of lightning. And so I formed the statewide network was just being good in theory and concept it's the virus hit and we've not been marketing for our network, like I envisioned, but having set the blog up there and the Google, my business page and getting some Google reviews notice that we start ranking on the first page of Google for some pretty neat keywords: Kentucky remote online notary being one of those.

Ron Holder (11:24):
And so, you know, it's kind of all come together. I don't know if it was for a reason or not, but you just kind of find your way later in life. And, and this is where I am. I'm okay with my station in life. I'm okay with being a 2% attorney right now. I don't really make, you know, my age. I don't feel like I have to apologize to anyone. That's one of the great things of getting a little older. Your skin gets a little thicker and you realize what's important in life is, is your family and your loved ones, you know, your family and your friends and just that it's not all about money. But I found that pursuing something that I enjoy doing the monies come after that, you know, it's kind of taken care of itself.

Ron Holder (12:19):
So it's been really neat. And, you know, I mentioned Mark, but the role you've played in my success, you have no idea Bill. It just amazes me that we've never shaken hands. You know, you're going to get a huge bear hug one day when we meet in person, I'm probably going tackle you because I took your course with all intentions of canceling in seven days because everybody does that, and this is the whole purpose, right? That's why you put it up there like that. So I said, I'll look this over. And 25 years as notary, or at least nearly that much at that point. And I got into it and I was like, wow, there's a little bit more to this than I thought. And there's a certain way you want to do things. There's certain things you don't want to do.

Ron Holder (13:19):
And I learned a lot through your through your course. And I said, that means money. That's it pay the man. So signed up for your first month paid you you know, loyally for many years and finally pulled the trigger which I should have done. I don't know when you first offered it. I don't know why I didn't do it, but I'm so proud to be a member, a lifetime member of the sign and thrive community. You're just a godsend to to the notaries and the people that you help build. The way that you show up is, is inspirational to me. I wouldn't be talking to you right now. I mean, you know, obviously we hadn't met or whatever, but it's just, it's neat. It's, you've inspired me to do more than just closings alone.

Ron Holder (14:13):
And you've, you've inspired me to mentor people. We've got over a hundred people in our Kentucky notary Facebook group, you know, it's kind of an internal thing. It's not one of those big national groups or whatever. We've got a real tight knit group. And so I've got a you know, neat community, a lot of networks networking going on. A lot of neat people that have reached out to an a probably would never have found them without a hooking up with you first. So just to really appreciate you having me on, and it gives me the opportunity to thank you in public. So just thank you.

Bill Soroka (14:52):
Well, John, thank you for that. I really appreciate that. And you know, I get to coach thousands of people across the country and some people grab on and go with it. And some people don't, you are one that has grabbed onto this opportunity. And that's what I really want to talk about because you identified very early on the just opportunities, the perfect word for this, this in this industry is ripe for innovation and craving people who will take initiative and deliver on value. And you're, you're a really good example of that. And I want to kind of dive into that a little bit, because you spent 25 years as an attorney, then you became, well, you're already a notary Republic as part of that, but then you decided to take on this loan signing and mobile notary component to it. And then you built the Kentucky notary network. So you brought these other notaries together and then legislation started to change in the U S in a lot of that was part of the pandemic. But even before that this this wave towards remote online notarization started coming up and Kentucky passed the legislation to pass remote online notarization. And you jumped in on that too. Can you talk a little bit about that? And number one first, what is RON? What is remote online notarization?

Ron Holder (16:25):
Yeah, it's, it's a neat concept. It's, it's the digital equivalent of, of what we do. You know, physically meeting with the the sign or a person who needs a document notarized and ascertaining their identity and making sure they understand what they're signing and making sure they sign the document correctly. That's pretty much it in a nutshell in it. So that concept is, is just a notary, which has gone back through ancient, you know, what Egyptian times or whatever, if you want to go back to the scribes and all that, but now it's come forward to the digital age and two people can connect via their web cams and using the software that these companies have developed. You can get a digital certificate, you can have a digital seal and electronic seal that you put onto the document. You use a digital signature, and then there are other ways that we also ascertain identity through your identify identification verification and through the knowledge-based authentication questions that are answered.

Ron Holder (17:40):
You have to answer certain questions that are based on your credit history, and it all sounds pretty complicated. It is. And it's not, it's, it's a very simple process once you figure it out. But getting there applying for, to become a, a remote online notary and, and getting set up with your secretary of state's office and, and with these different platforms, it can be a challenge. And so, you know, I, I remember seeing what Virginia was doing back, you know, you mentioned 2011, 2012 there, and that intrigued me at the time and it just kind of sat in the back of my mind. And then I think the next resource I remember was Melissa Johnson Eldridges book on the remote online notarization, some type of system that she had. And so ordered that, and I thought, you know, this is intriguing.

Ron Holder (18:39):
This is, this is coming. This is the way of the future. And probably this is the way that, that this notary business stuff is going to go. And so I, you know, just researched a little bit more, always paid attention to what to Virginia notaries were doing. I've got a loss podcast episode where I interviewed Jeannie Frank, and she was very helpful. Told me a lot about, you know, how, how they got their start and how they make their money. And, and so it was, it was just an interesting topic to me and what I did was as I was seeking to become a remote online notary, I just took good notes and tried to initially I wanted to help the people in my network and say, you know, here's how you do this. This is what we need to do.

Ron Holder (19:28):
We all need to get on this. And this is coming, this is what title companies are gonna want. And so I did some over the shoulder, you know, did some screen capture stuff got some blog posts, written, put some material up, build a course. They said, you know, it's like, Oh, it's your he's a cake, right? Yeah. And, and my brother told me he's, he's a teacher. He said, you know, you think he knows his subject until you try to teach it. And then you'll really find out whether, you know, a subject or not. So that was, that was pretty interesting in, and you know, they to say I'm a RON expert. Yes, I, I know a little bit more than the next guy, but man, there's a lot of people that, that know a lot more than I do.

Ron Holder (20:19):
And, and that's what I like to do with the course is if there's an area of, of knowledge that I'm feeling a little short in, I have guest lectures, you know, I interviewed Will Esery exceptional notary from California and RON's not even legal out there, but the man knows internet security, like the back of his hand. So, you know, he's an expert and we've got three great modules up on encrypting your hard drive and password security and things of that nature. So that is what RON university is, is all about, is intended to be. There's not really a place to get national training. In some stage RON training is required. But it's not very adequate from what I've been told is pretty basic. And in, in other States, I Kentucky, it's the wild, wild West. I mean, we do at least get to know who our vendors are here.

Ron Holder (21:20):
We know who the platforms are that, that are providing the services in some States, they just tell you, it has to comply with the regulations to the state's put forward. So it's, it's just a burgeoning technology. It's it's been accelerated by, you know, the, the virus probably what, four or five years. I mean, it was coming anyway, but then this time, last year everything changed and, and the States that didn't have remote online notarization thought, yeah, this, this might be a good idea. You know, this doesn't sound like a bad idea. So

Bill Soroka (22:02):
Yeah, definitely expedited things considered. There's a couple of things that you just said that I want to just highlight. And I love what your brother said, because really, I think the best way to learn something is also to teach it. Yes, sir. So I creating this course, I think that's probably really helped with the other thing too, that you said about being an expert. And maybe you can speak to this a little bit too, because I think we're in an industry that's ripe for innovation. It's craving people to step in and take initiative. And there's so many in our community that are experts and maybe it's in other industries too, but they have that little voice in the head that says, who do you think you are? Right. And really an expert only has to be one page ahead of the people they're teaching. So how'd you overcome that to that fear to start this course?

Ron Holder (22:53):
Well, I'm not sure I have yet. I still have a hard time marketing the course building. It's one thing, getting the word out about it and finding the time to do that is, is another challenge. But it was, it was just something where I wanted to put the best information I could possible. I wanted to share what I knew with people. I enjoyed helping people. And so I, I built it, you know, just one step at a time. I thought what I'd like to do is take somebody off the street. Who's not even a notary. And they could come to Ron university and get enough knowledge to where we could get them set up in, you know, four weeks or whatever it takes him. You could do it in four days if you want it to depends on your applications and all that type of thing.

Ron Holder (23:47):
But I wanted somebody a complete novice to be able to step through the program. And then, you know, at the end of the journey, be able to become a remote online notary. And not only that, but learn how to do it securely professionally there, you know, the right way, and also learn how to market your services because it's one thing to get a notary stamp or be a mobile notary or a loan signing agent. But we are small businesses. We're entrepreneurs. We need to get the word out. We have to learn how to market our services. So that's, you know, I still battle it. What helped me the most Bill actually was when you know, I've set up an affiliate program there. And of course you're one of the people that are reached out to, and, and you did your homework and, and like anybody should do your due diligence.

Ron Holder (24:42):
You're not going to recommend something to your people that you think is crap, not worthy of their time or, or you know, money. And, and so that is not that doesn't come lightly. Your name is on the line when you recommend something. So when you told me you want to look it over and there were a couple of days there. I was like, Oh, he's going to come back with this list changes and things that he thinks need to be done. And you came back with like two or three, I thought, fairly minor suggestions or comments, and you complimented me on, on what I put up there. And that, that's where I kind of turned the corner on marketing. And I felt like, okay, I have validation. I have you know, proof of concept here. Yeah. And, and then you know, backing up a little bit further.

Ron Holder (25:35):
I had to sign up for just $12 and 50 cents a month. I just wanted people to, you know, I had it half off. I had it like $25 a month and I was getting these beta people in and, and the first customer that signed up, I had to pull over by the side of the road. I was like, Oh my goodness. I couldn't believe it. That somebody who, you know, put all that time in and somebody wanted to take advantage of, of what I put out there. And so that was, that was a special moment for me. And then from there it's grown and it's, there are other courses out there, there, there are people offering some really good information and I've taken some of them just so I can increase my knowledge. You know, the great thing about the notary community is we don't really compete. Head-To-Head against each other. We all recommend each other services and courses within reason. And, you know, as long as everybody gets along and, and gives good valuable information, then we're here to help. And you don't see that in very many other industries that is so true legal field. You know, you have mentors and whatever, but a lot more industries is it's cutthroat and you're just out there on your own.

Bill Soroka (26:55):
This really is one of the most loving and supportive communities I have ever experienced. And I, I wake up every day, just so grateful to be a part of it.

Ron Holder (27:03):
That's it. And, and so that's, I had a closing the other day and I told the guys said wouldn't grade him on his penmanship. He said, I'm sorry about my signature. And he said, I got to sign them bills for my company. I said, thank you. I said, that's how my signature deteriorated. And then he said, ah, this was local. So it was in my County. So they knew I was an attorney. And he said, so are you practicing law? I said, well for friends and family, I said, you know, I'll, I'll take a few cases or jobs here and there, but I said, most of the time, I'm, I'm doing this. And, and he said, well, I imagine if you stack up enough of these, you could probably make as much, if not more than an attorney. Now, I turned to his wife and I said, I like this man.

Ron Holder (27:50):
Here's a smart man. And he made, and we all just kind of laughed for a second. So that's, what's going on. There is it's, it's an industry where I'm leaving the house and people are they're smiling. You know, we have, we exchange pleasantries enjoyed the time with them and their children or their dogs or cats or turkeys or whatever they have. But it's not a divorce, you know, it's not confrontational totally different energy around it. And so it fits, it just fits my nature a lot better. And I'm in a lot better spot. I'm a better husband, better father, better everything, you know, when, when you enjoy what you do, it just, it just comes through in so many different ways of your life. You don't even realize that is so true deep.

Bill Soroka (28:45):
Now you mentioned earning a living. And I know, you know, the topic of our conversation today really is the remote online notarization and the ability to know the rise, anyone in the world from your couch. And I know there's people who are listening, thinking that's not possible. There's no way to make a living at this. So John, can people make a living doing remote online notarization?

Ron Holder (29:11):
Yes, it can be done. Definitely. And in the near future is there's going to be a lot more people doing it. You know, that's what I said, Bill I'm an expert on remote online notarization, not to the point where I've figured out where I'm hired full time. In Kentucky, it's a little different as far as like what I'm wanting to get a hold of is the loan signings and do those digitally. Like we do, you know, get out of the car a little bit and, and work from home office. And, and I wouldn't mind doing both. I want to keep both of those options open, but there are people who have it figured out people like Christine Pardot in Florida. And that's why I interviewed her. You know, she's a guest lecture at RON you, and she's a Cracker Jack man.

Ron Holder (30:02):
She's got it figured it out. Now what these people have done is they've taken their existing network. You know, it's not like they rebuilt the, the wheel or anything. She was already a successful mobile notary loan signing agent. Right. Very successful. So she's, it's legal in Florida and she's done her homework and she knows how to give people good service. She's I witnessed one of her sessions the other day. And it was the most enlightening 20 minutes that you could hope to spend online. You know, I swear I learned so much in in 20 minutes just watching her do a seller's transaction for a guy in Mexico. And she just, the marketing that she didn't, you know, hit him over the head with. It was real discreet, the way she handled that, the invoice that she sent to the script that she used to, the platform that she used and what she did when things went wrong.

Ron Holder (31:07):
When we, the audio went out, what was her backup? What was her troubleshooting you know, techniques. So it's just really neat to pick the brains of people like that who have it figured out. In Virginia, there are a ton of them in Texas. There's a lot of them got it going on. And then I'm also bringing on you know, people like Joshua Curry who works with SignX and is one of the nicest fellows you'd ever wanna meet. And he talks about their platform. So there's a, you know, a notary job that somebody is working full-time for remote online notarization in a different capacity as, as like their marketing manager or whatever his job title is. But there's a lot of jobs related to this industry. That's going to come out. Catherine started her own directory. Yeah, go ahead.

Bill Soroka (32:01):
Yay. That this is a relatively fresh opportunity. And if you treat it and respect it for what it is and treat it like a business that you can get a return on your investment.

Ron Holder (32:12):
Definitely. Yes. I'm not losing money on RON. The only reason that I lost money initially was because I signed up on so many platforms that I wanted to see what they had and how they worked, you know, wanted to see which which one worked best and which one was favorable for an independent notary. And, and then, you know, you've got to notarize and notary world where you can work as an employee. And that's not in here, that's not here in Kentucky yet, but that stuff is coming and that's, we're laying the foundation for that.

Bill Soroka (32:51):
Let's talk about that for just a minute, John, because I think you know, a lot of people who might be listening to us right now may not be as familiar with the lingo and the difference between the two. So you've got two different ways you could go as a remote online notary, notary, right, right. Independent, notary generating your own business and an employee for other companies. Is that what you're saying? Yeah.

Ron Holder (33:13):
Yes. Notarize is one of the original, big time platforms, you know, and they they've got it figured out. So what they do is hire notaries that, that will come in and, you know, they train them they'll work from home. And then when those people log in they accept a transaction. They get the documents, notarized, whatever, you know, needs to be notarized is it's a national platform. I think they operate out of four or five different States. It's all that they're really accepting applications from right now. But I'm sure that's, you know, I don't know how many notaries is. I'm sure it's a ton because it's a big operation. So people that I've spoken to that are doing that they say that it's very competitive and, and a lot of volume on, on that platform, but people will be working, waking up early and getting transactions that way, where the business is kind of sent to you.

Ron Holder (34:15):
You don't have to go out and get it. It comes to you because of the you're employed and then, you know, late at night, so off hours some people are having success. And then I guess the other ones during, you know, nine to five that they're having success too. But so that's one way is with, you know, being an employee of a company that, that offers remote online notarization, and then the other forks that you can go down is as an independent notary. And that's what I'm looking to get into is you use a platform for your own benefit. You bring your own clients and that can be attorneys or law firms or whoever needs something notarized, as long as they're an American citizen. And the document is going to be used here in the States. That's pretty much the only two qualifications you need to have you know, 18 years of age or older and have credit history, that type of thing. But it it's amazing the world that, that opens up to, and the services that are performed so far, people really appreciate the convenience of it. They're like one, they didn't know it was available. And two, now that they do know it and have used the service, it's like, wow, this is so easy. Yeah.

Bill Soroka (35:38):
And would you find these what were the feedback I've been hearing from the ex-pat communities, expatriates that live in Mexico or Italy or other countries where it's a little more difficult to find a US notary cause embassies are closed or whatever. Right. They're really enjoying this right now.

Ron Holder (35:57):
Yeah. I had a title company reach out to me the other day, which was awesome because I've been cultivating his relationship for like 18 months and their client was in England and he needed a deed notarized. And I was like, okay, well, let's make sure that the County Clerk will accept it. I was like, you know, let's, let's do our homework on that end. And the title company, a partner, he helped me with that. And but once I hooked up with a guy over in England, he said listen, I can't leave my flat. He said, we can't get to the Consulate that we can't get anywhere or get anything notarized. He said, if I leave it's, they're going to find me 50,000 pounds. And I don't know anything about the exchange rate or anything that, that sounds like a lot of money to me.

Ron Holder (36:41):
So yes, it's, it's appreciated. Another instance was we had one, this has been a couple months ago, but the family was living in Taiwan. They were originally from Kentucky Lexington, I believe. And so it's, it's Friday night here. They, they needed yeah, it was powers of attorneys notarized because I had my wife and, and uncle on, in the other room. They were my note, they're my witnesses. Right. So we I'm tagging the documents and, and we've got to session opened up and the husband and wife were on there and, and my wife and uncle Jamie, and they're talking to her leg off, it was like, Oh, it's so good to hear somebody from home. They said, you know so it's, it's just really neat. The connection. You, you think that the digital part, yes, it's, it's not face to face or whatever, but still, you know, it's, it's the way of the future is the way we're connecting now.

Ron Holder (37:46):
Anyway, and it's, you can put the personal touch in there. I think your personality can come through. And at the end of the day, it's just about giving people good customer service. Now there's been a couple of transactions where, you know, it takes somebody a long time to get through KBA or, you know, they can't figure out the technology on their end. It's it has its challenges. I'm not saying it's perfect and works right out of the box, but as you figure it out and as you figure your platform out, you get more comfortable with it. And then, you know, that, that comes through on the other end, your, your signers more comfortable and that type of thing.

Bill Soroka (38:27):
I'm so glad that you brought up some of the challenges, John if we had to rank them would you say that the technology piece is the biggest challenge or, and if not, what is?

Ron Holder (38:38):
Yeah. The, the technology as far not on our end necessarily. But as far as your signer goes, and then maybe you'll have an elderly couple or somebody who's not familiar with the tech and that type of thing. So that, and then I think as far as like getting things adopted on a national scale, you can get into, you know, from a real estate perspective, you can get into the underwriting aspect and lenders and, and that type of thing, the County recorders in who's who's holding this train up, you know, who's, who's got objections where, and what are those type of challenges? So those things are still being worked out. And in Kentucky, it's taken a little while and in Florida, Texas, Virginia's had it figured out for a long, long time, but some of these other States are moving a little faster pace.

Ron Holder (39:34):
There's more people there, you know, there's, there's a bigger population. And, and so the platforms are going to spend more time in perfecting their, their software in those States. That make sense to me. But eventually it's coming. It's what 29 States, I believe that it's past some form of, of remote, online notarization. And then, you know, another thing to consider Bill is that secure act has been battered around for the last couple of years. And that is something that could make a remote online, notarization legal on a federal level, and just put all 50 States on the same on the same page and level the playing field, so to speak. So it's coming, you know I tell people if, if it's not legal in their state, that just be patient because in, you know, six months or a year it will be, and then possibly on a federal level. And I think that would be a good thing where everybody has the, you know, a uniform set of laws that everybody knows what's going on. That way, you don't have to worry about one state doing this and another state doing that, you know, I'm, I understand state your eyes, there's another one whole week to get into, but, you know, as far as you've got the uniform commercial code and, you know, there are a lot of uniform laws that we've passed, so they're not a bad thing.

Bill Soroka (41:02):
Yeah, I agree. I agree. In fact, when RON first started coming in, I said, you know what? Cause what I, for listeners, one of the most frustrating parts of our business has a mobile notary and loan signing agent is the inconsistency between the States and the lenders and the title companies, the documents, you know, the same disclosure just has a different title in this where the different there's lots of consistencies here, but I thought remote online notarization is going to be kind of the grand unifier. It's going to create a certain uniformity across the board here. And I think maybe that secure act is the first of many steps that will get us there.

Ron Holder (41:44):
You look at it too, from a banking perspective you know, used to cash your checks at a teller, you know, using the teller, but now you use an ATM, you used to deposit your check using the teller, but now you take pictures of them with our phone. And so the advancements are coming in, that's going to transcend to the notary industry it's, it already has to a large extent, but it's, it's even more so, you know, it's, I think we're just on the, on the precipice of it. I think the wave is coming in a large scale now. I don't think, you know, what do you think about, I think we'll always have mobile notaries. I think we'll always have boots on the ground. You know, I don't think it's gonna wipe out that whole industry and make us obsolete. I think you're going to have to be kind of a hybrid type person where you do some on online and then some are required still going to require a wet signature for whatever reason, or, you know, somebody in a remote area that doesn't have access to the internet or,

Bill Soroka (42:54):
Oh, I totally agree. Well, number one, I, I believe that no matter what, there's always, there's always people who are going to appreciate the human connection and that level of customer service. I'm one of those people. I love technology for things that are technological, but I love human connection. I love the relationship component and there will always be room for that. Right. I think, you know, maybe in the beginning, here's the that's interesting about RON is we are so far from the tipping point of that even being popular and there's, I think no, there, I said they do over a billion documents a year or something, or the industry have billion notarized documents online. And that is the, I mean, that's just a tip of the iceberg, right?

Bill Soroka (43:42):
Number one, there's the, the consumers in the U S barely know that there's a mobile notary in existence. And then if you couple that with remote online notarization, there's even fewer that realize that number one that's even possible, or number two, that it's legal. So I think the industry has a, a long way to go, which is exciting. There's tons of opportunity. I think when it hits that tipping point, just like everything else. I think we've got lots of industries where everything went, technology, people are super excited about it, and then it goes full circle. Again, like I miss human connection. I miss having a human being do this, and there's always a trade-off on the technology side. There is a you know, a little bit of a trade-off, whether it's customer service or corners getting cut or whatever it might be.

Bill Soroka (44:37):
So I think we are the notary industry as a whole, as human beings is here to stay. I agree. I agree, John, thank you so much for sharing so much of yourself today, sharing your story of your journey from college to attorney the strokes with your, your father, your grandfather, those struggles and how you came out and thank you for recognizing and being one of those people. This industry is craving to take the initiative, put yourself out there, even when you don't have all the answers. And thank you for demonstrating that in our conversation today, I'm excited for you. I'm excited where you're taking this.

Ron Holder (45:22):
No problem, Bill. It's been my pleasure. You could talk this stuff all day. You know how our conversation is, we could go on all day and night like this.

Bill Soroka (45:32):
Yeah, well, I love talking business and I love talking with others that are passionate about it too. So thank you for those of you listening. If you're interested in learning more about remote online notarization and RON University, John is very generously offering 25% off of lifetime access to RON University. You can get the special link to get that discount inside the VIP room at Awesome. Thanks again, John.

Ron Holder (46:03):
Thank you, Bill. It's been my pleasure. And like I said, i really enjoyed it!

John Holder is a third generation graduate of U of L School of Law (now Louis D. Brandeis School of Law) with 25+ years of experience as a real estate attorney/notary public state at large. He claims to be the first commissioned remote online notary in Kentucky and he'll do so until that is refuted lol! He's a huge sports fan, played four sports in high school, and started the little league program in our community in 1999.


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