Before I became a notary signing agent, I was a college German instructor. I did that for 20 years. A lot of things became a habit, such as preparation. Anyone who has taught in a classroom will tell you that it's a lot of work. It takes an incredible amount of preparation. You're like an actor who has to rehearse lines before going on stage, because, when you're in the classroom, that's exactly what it's like. You have to keep your audience -- the students -- amused, interested, and captivated, for more than an hour. You want to know exactly what you're going to say, and how you're going to say it. When you leave to go home, you're sometimes walking in a stupor, because you're so exhausted.
Preparing means, not only rehearsing your presentation, but also preparing for the unexpected -- all of the possible questions that the students might ask. They're very curious, aren't they? If I gave a slide presentation I tried to know as much as possible about everything in that slide. You never know what questions a student will ask.
I try to prepare just as well when I do a closing. In those rare cases when I get the documents a day in advance, I'll have a chance to print them all out and go over them. I check to make sure that there are enough copies of the Right to Cancel. Is there anything I want to bring to the attention of the title company? These are the kinds of things that can make the difference between having a smooth closing, or the borrower refusing to sign. I had a purchase transaction last week. I arrived about 20 minutes ahead of time. So I stopped just before turning the corner and sat in the car. I went over the documents again. It was a good thing, because there were about 4 questions that I had. I called the title company and got the answers. I wanted to be prepared, just in case the borrowers had any questions. I also try to prepare how I will present the documents. What will I say? What should I not say? What if they ask ...? Etc.
I'm sure it's the same with all of the rest of you real estate professionals. When you're showing a house, speaking with a client, or whatever: you want to be prepared. It's a bit like going on stage, isn't it?