Why do we need experts?

In this day and age, the DIY (Do It Yourself) movement is strong. The internet has made it super simple to start reading about somthing, but a few things from Amazon, and reach and get going! On one hand, that’s really good. I’ve seen countless businesses launched in this fashion. Many show up on Shark Tank. But sometimes, we need experts. Sometimes we need people with a very focused sense of knowledge, and if we don’t hire them, we’ll end up either paying too much, or losing out on opportunity.

Real Estate Experts

I have a handful of rental properties. In fact, it’s the principal part of my retirement portfolio, given 401K funds don’t work. Every month, my tenants send in a check to my property manager. Property manager collections 10% fee, sends the rest to me. And I then send in a payment to my lender, with extra rent used to pay down the debt faster.

See how that works? It’s not hard. But it’s something in which you need the right experts in the right places.

My property management company are experts at writing leases, enforcing leases, changing locks with tenants, maintaining the property, doing background checks, and maintaining quality of that process.

But their motivation is to keep the property rented, so they resist raising rents. I recently got notice of a tenant wanting to vacate, and my property manager showed me the proposed rent rate. Within five minutes, I ALSO got an email from my other agent.

Other agent? Who’s that? I have a real estate agent on retainer whose job is to find me new tenants when my properties are available. She gets paid a month of rent for this service, meaning she is motivated to keep the rates up.

Her email tipped me of that the market rent rate of these properties had risen about 12% from what my property manager was doing. This is called “opportunity cost”, something only the right experts in the right places can alert you to.

Other Experts

But this isn’t confined to real estate. There are many areas in life where we should listen to experts. I have seen people slap together “RESTful” interfaces in many places that had nothing to do with REST. For example, I tinkered with the API for my house thermostat, only to discover it was NOTHING like REST.

curl -s -H 'Content-Type: text/json' -H 'Authorization: Bearer ACCESS_TOKEN' 'https://api.ecobee.com/1/thermostat?format=json&body=\{"selection":\{"selectionType":"registered","selectionMatch":"","includeRuntime":true\}\}'

This thing barely scratches the surface of an API. There is no hypermedia. The URIs aren’t very “pretty” (which isn’t REALLY a REST thing). It’s more of a query language than anything, which as I’ve said before, isn’t really REST.

My impression after struggling with their API, is that they are experts at building thermostats, not APIs.

Spring Experts

So if you’re seeking to work with a certain technology, a certain business, or other, it pays to go and learn what the most experienced people are doing. It’s part of why I love going to SpringOne Platform every year. I meet people that are ALSO using Spring in incredible detail against some of the largest systems.

It’s an opportunity to see how they have conquered many problems, and an opportunity to share things they may not know, making us all better Spring experts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *