CategoryReal Estate

Helpful Tips For Better Real Estate Management

Managing rental properties can be a tedious process sometimes landing you into legal issues. As a property manager or owner, you should think about preventing problems even before they occur to have an easier time maintaining order. Apart from making your tenants feel worthy, you should also find ways of making the management process easy for you especially when handling large properties or multiple properties. When you are organized in how you handle your property, it becomes easier to keep everything in check and a few tips can help you put in the best measures into the management process.

Tip 1 – Get a professional property manager

If you are a property owner with little knowledge of how to go about management, you should consider getting a professional property manager to ease out the process for you. Professional managers with some knowledge and experience in the real estate industry will know exactly how to go about the process and find organizational solutions to ease everything out. When there is a manager in place, you will feel more at peace and have fewer issues to deal with.

Tip 2 – Embrace technology

There are very effective real estate management solutions available thanks to technological advancements. Real estate management software is among the best solutions you can find to make the process easy and organized. Such a solution can improve communications and payments and data maintenance for the property. With the right system you will have an easy time collecting, returning and holding security deposits, as well as inspecting and documenting rental unit conditions before move-outs. There is just so much you can do with real estate management software to streamline processes so look for the best solution.

Tip 3 – Handle tenants appropriately

First of all you should consider screening tenants before allowing them into your property. It is a simple way of keeping troublesome characters off your property. It is also important that you put tenant landlord agreement in writing to keep things clear and ensure that you treat all tenants equally and without any discrimination. Discriminating prospective tenants based on sex, race, origin, disability or even familial status can land you into trouble. It is also important to respect their personal privacy even if the property is yours by notifying them prior to entering their rental units. Handling tenants appropriately will save you from a lot of trouble especially legally.

Tip 4 – Keep the property in top shape

Regular inspections are very important so you can make any improvements and changes where need be. Recklessness on your part leading to safety and security issues can lead to hefty losses in terms of compensations. You should therefore make a point of making prompt repairs and consider having a security system in place to give your tenants the sense of security they deserve as well as ensure that their safety is not compromised in any way.

Tip 5 – Oversee managers

They should be competent enough to keep your property in check. It is therefore important that as a landlord you choose and supervise property managers. Background checks and clearly spelling out their duties will prevent issues cropping out later.


The 7 Crucial Parts of the Application Process When Renting an Apartment / Home

Rental applications, whether submitted on line via a website or by hard copy, should go through a standard process to determine the eligibility of the applicant. Here are some criteria that should be considered. The process should always be the same for each applicant, remembering to always follow

1. Application fee. This will cover the costs of processing an application and should be paid with the application submission. Many companies charge between $30 and $60 per application.

2. Income. A good standard measure is an Income to Rent Ratio of 3.0, (gross monthly income of three times the monthly rent). This income could be from current employment, Government payouts such as SSI, Child Support, Assistance agencies such as Section 8, and Pensions. The Applicants must supply confirmation for all their income. An applicant which does not meet the 3.0 requirement may be required to have a Co-Signer who would also need to meet the requirements. For payroll income, it is best to have a current paystub which shows the Year-To Date income over a period of time, rather than a onetime payroll amount.

3. Criminal Background. A good credit reporting service will give at least 10 years of law enforcement records on an applicant.

4. Eviction History. It is important to know if the applicant has had any evictions over the last 5 to 10 years.

5. Credit History. It is advantageous to use a service which gives a concise summary of the credit background. The important items are the number of positive and negative trade lines, past due amounts and current collections. Medical bills and student loan debt does not receive the same weight as outstanding charges from utilities and credit card accounts. A good report service will also give a list of civil judgments, bankruptcies, etc.

6. Rental History. Applicant should supply at least two years of verifiable residency. If the applicant is breaking a lease, they should supply a written release from the current landlord.

7. Age of Applicant. The applicant should be at least 18 years of age and all adult occupants should be required to complete a separate application and submit it along with income verification.

The preface to the rental application should enumerate items that would disqualify an applicant, such as eviction by previous landlord, undisclosed criminal record, conviction of certain crimes such as child abuse, current Bankruptcy proceedings, false information on the application, etc.

In keeping with the above criteria, this should enable one to determine the prospective tenant’s ability to maintain the rental payments in a timely manner.


Property Management and Rental Terms Glossary

Moderate Housing: This sort of lodging is that of which a government or state office oversees with an end goal to offer help and control the rent to the individuals who meet a specific foreordained criteria.

Luxuries: Intangible and unmistakable elements that are incorporated into or on a property that improve the allure or estimation of the property.

Flat: A multi-family assembling that is intended to house separate people or gatherings of families inside the same building.

Expedite: A land proficient that buys and offers property for others with a specific end goal to get a commission. This expert must be authorized and qualified to rehearse in the state he lives in.

Apartment suite/Condominium: A multi-unit fabricating that takes into consideration singular units to be claimed by its inhabitants. The normal components of this kind of building are possessed by all proprietors inside the townhouse.

Routine Housing: This kind of lodging sticks or complies with the business sector rate, or satisfactory benchmarks, of the territory’s lodging.

Co-Signer: An extra endorser on a lease or home loan that is utilized as a part of request to check the personality of the guideline proprietor or to give a specific level of surety to the moneylender or landowner.

Duplex (House): A house that was intended to house two separate people or families inside the same house. Case in point, a house that has an upstairs for one family and a down the stairs for another family is viewed as a duplex.

Square with Housing Opportunity: The open door for all subjects in America to have the capacity to live in different lodging groups paying little mind to race, sexual orientation, age, nationality, familial status or incapacity.

Morals/Professionalism: An arrangement of standards and good rule that become possibly the most important factor when directing proficient conduct.

Expulsion: A procedure through legitimate means with an end goal to expel a man from their home because of an infringement of the assertion, whether the occupant has not paid rent/contract or on the off chance that they have abused another type of the understanding, for example, commotion unsettling influences.

Reasonable Housing Act: This law is of a government status and was placed in actuality to stop the separation that happens in lodging in view of race, age, shading, handicap, sex, religion, national starting point and familial status.

Lodging Assistance Payments (HAP) Contracts (PDF): The HAP contract is utilized so that those under the voucher project can get area 8.

House: A living arrangement in which individuals live.

Lodging and Urban Development (HUD): The mission of HUD is to build the entrance to lodging that is moderate without separation; bolster the improvement of the group; and expand the homeownership rates.

Pay Levels: These are points of confinement as characterized by the administration that are utilized to set up expense credit limits and different sorts of moderate lodging.

Toxic Paint Disclosure: Requirements that got to be powerful starting 1996 to guarantee that families and people are made mindful of homes that contain toxic paint.

Lease: An oral or composed contract that is created between a landowner and his inhabitant that furnishes the occupant with the privilege of select ownership of the home for a particular measure of time. By and large talking, for leases that are longer than one year, the assertion must be in composing.

Lease Option: An assertion that permits the inhabitant the choice to buy the property they are renting toward the end of the lease term, or some time amid the term of the lease.

Lease Renewal: The restoration of a lease once the term of the lease has terminated.

Lease Term: The measure of time that is settled upon between the landowner and inhabitant in which the occupant will possess the property.

Tenant: The occupant who has concurred for the term of the lease.

Lessor: The proprietor who has concurred for the term of the lease.

Low Income Tax Credit (LITC) Properties (PDF): These sorts of properties give the proprietor a specific measure of expense credits in return for leasing to qualified occupants as assigned by the Justice office, HUD and the IRS.


Important Things To Know About Commercial Real Estate Loans

Commercial real estate loans are considerably different when compared to residential loans. They actually are much more complicated as they carry terms and conditions that are very different when compared to that of residential loans. This is one of the reasons that most of the investors fear to venture in the commercial real estate market.

Smaller investors of residential real estate are typically limited to somewhere around four to ten properties that are valued in between hundreds and thousands of dollars before the lenders conclude that it’s the sufficient risk level and no further loans will be made. The loan requirements for commercial properties can significantly vary between the private lenders and banks. Also, the loans that are held in the portfolio of a single lender may vary based on the risks perceived by the lenders.

Commercial Bank Loans

Normally, the banks want you and you and your partners to come up with a minimum of about 20 – 25% of the property value as the down payment. For instance, if the property value is about RS 4 Cr, you’ll have to contribute about RS 80 Lakh- 1 Cr as the down payment. Also, the recent researches have shown us that, most of the businesses have failed because of the lack of adequate capital to meet the needs.

For that reason, banks often require the business maintain a significant cash reserve that can be drawn on if cash flow is not adequate to make the loan payments. This financial requirement is in addition to the hefty down payment. One strategy that some commercial investors use is borrowing as much money as they can (even at a higher interest rate) to provide ample capital to build out the business and thereby increase cash flow.

Private Commercial Loans

Private lenders or the non-bank lenders typically offer less rigorous requirements for commercial loans. There are a few lenders who require lower down payment (range of 10-15%). These lenders often agree to carry to the loan amount up to 20 or 30 years until it’s paid completely (in most of the cases). However, they charge the slightly higher interest rate when compared to banks (1% or 2% higher than bank rates).

But when you do all the maths, the higher interest rate might not look very expensive as it appears the first time. Calculate the cost of higher interest over the period of loan and compare it with the cost you pay to open a new loan (2 or 3 times as the balloon payments come due).

The emergence of private or non-banking lenders is challenging the banks on their traditional terms of loans. While the banks are continuing to tighten the requirements to sanction the loan, these private lenders are moving towards a larger share as it is making it easier to qualify. So, if you are looking for a smaller commercial loan (less than 15 Cr) or a medium loan amount (less than 35 Cr), consider taking your time so that you can find the lenders who can offer you the acceptable time and term constraints.


Best Three Tips To Find Your Rental Property

With the rising cost of properties, It has been harder than ever to buy a new home. Of course, people cannot do without a roof, and there comes the choice of rental properties. Finding the right home isn’t going to be easy, especially in US and Canada, where landlords are charging insane prices for almost every single home. As a smart tenant, you have to go a step ahead and decide on certain things before narrowing down to certain choices. In this post, we will talk of some of the things worth considering before you find your rental property.

Start with an online check

Gone are times, when you would need to spend hours on the weekend trying to find ads for rental homes! Thanks to the internet, things are much easy today, and you can find some amazing sites that enlist rental properties for most states and areas of US. You can check properties based on your needs, and it is very easy to sort a few options. Some of the sites connect the tenants with the landlord directly, which makes the process of negotiation and discussion much easier. Just make sure that you choose the right website, which has plenty of properties.

Check the budget

It is essential to have a budget for your home, but don’t set an amount based on your whimsies. There are always a few trends in the rental market when it comes to prices, and hence, you should spend some time researching on the same. Make sure that you check for the actual rent, added expenses if any and other long and short term expenses. Typically, rental sites can give you a good idea of how much you may need to shell for a particular type of house, but you can also check on other sites too.

Know what the lease means

Many tenants don’t read rental agreements in detail, and that can have serious consequences. There are usually a few things that you should note. The first thing is the length of the lease, which should be clearly mentioned. Secondly, you need to check for deposit requirement, and how the landlord is going to deal with the refund when you move out. The third part is property maintenance, and you should know if there are any expenses that are payable every month.

Also, not all home owners allow pets, so if you intend to bring your pooch home, always discuss the same. Sometimes, homeowners and landlords don’t allow changes in the house, like adding of special lights and painting, and hence, you should talk on the same. If you are going to have roommates, you need to know the arrangements with them, and the lease sharing clauses, if any.

If you can check for these aspects, it would be pretty easy to find a house that would eventually become a home. Always make sure to talk to the landlord directly, so that there are no misleading facts and talks. Start checking online right now!


Top 5 Money Making Tips For Landlords

I am a big fan of holding property with a long horizon. Whether you like rentals or not, it is one investment, that given enough time, will always produce for you. There are limited amounts of it, and people need a place to live. All real assets will do well over time, which is why I believe it is much safer than stocks, bonds, or other paper assets. With that said, it is good to diversify, and I am not saying pour all of your money into rentals; but I am saying if you are not in the game you are making it tougher on your future.

If you are going to hold rentals, or you already are, it is important to do the best you can to get the most benefit you can. Here are 5 tips I have learned over the years to improve your profits.

1. Negotiate with the deposit

2. Make the tenant pay the water

3. Use rent to own to reduce maintenance costs

4. Use an off-white semi-gloss paint

5. De-carpet your units

Negotiate with the deposit

When a qualified tenant prospect needs to negotiate to move into your rental, always negotiate the deposit and never the rent. The deposit is their money, so if you end up taking a little less it won’t affect your profit. Most tenants worry about how much money they need, not how the money is applied, so if you take the deposit in payments or take less, they are normally thrilled and grateful. This is also a great way to increase cash flow on a rent to own. Always ask for more option money than the tenant has so you can take some of it in payments. This should increase your monthly cash flow on each rent to own by $100 or more.

Make the tenant pay the water

This has been a tough one for me because I was taught, and always believed, that tenants expect the landlord to pay the water. I think I was taught this because the water company is the only utility provider that can place a lien for non-payment. The truth is most tenants will pay their own water, even if it is not a rent to own. It is becoming more common and will be a huge difference to your bottom line. The fact that the water company can lien your property should not scare you. Think about it… what is the worst that can happen? You need to pay the water bill?

Use rent to own to reduce maintenance costs

I love rent to own. One of the reasons I love rent to own is because it can almost eliminate maintenance costs and headaches. The gurus will tell you that it doesn’t eliminate maintenance issues, but that is just not true. There is always a chance the tenant will ask for your help to pay for something, but it does eliminate a lot of the problems and the tenant will take better care of the property so there will be less damage.

Use an off-white semi-gloss paint

When I was going through the process of building my home, I did not even think about what kind of paint the builder would be using. I picked out the color I wanted and that was that. Well, once I moved in I realized the entire house is painted with a flat paint. It makes sense because it is the cheapest to buy, but with two little girls running around it was the wrong paint to use. My youngest, Lexi, loves to draw on the walls. I cannot figure out how to stop her from doing this, or how she is finding the markers she uses. Maybe her older sister is in on the game? The point is, even washable markers do not come off of a flat paint. When you try to clean it you rub the paint right off. Had it been semi-gloss or even an eggshell, the markings would wipe right off and we would not be forced to touch up the paint. Think about how nice it would be to go into your rental once a tenant moves out and just clean the walls and not worry about repainting each time. Semi-gloss is the easiest to clean.

De-carpet your units

I have heard this over and over. The idea is to make your rentals as hard to damage as possible. Carpet is easy to damage and it is not uncommon to get one or two years out of a seven year carpet with heavy tenant use. Wood will last forever. Even when wood is scratched, it still looks nice and does not normally need to be repaired. If it is solid wood, even if there is damage, it is cheaper to sand and stain it than to re-carpet. It is a higher cost going in, but is well worth it in the long run.


Reasons for Hiring a Property Manager

The dreaded phone call comes in that your tenant has a clogged toilet at 8pm at night. What now? So you scurry over to your rental property to determine if you can fix it. You check it out, maybe even try to plunge it. Nothing happens, still a slow drain and a gurgling noise. At this point you have wasted over an hour of your time, time that you should be spending elsewhere.

You shrug your shoulders and tell your tenant you will call a plumber as they will need to snake the drain. Giving your tenant the benefit of the doubt that there are likely roots in the main line which is causing the gurgling. You finally get a hold of a plumber that will be there sometime tomorrow between the hours of 1 and 4 pm… and you need to be there to authorize work. Ugh! Now what?

So you take the afternoon off of work and wait for the 30 minute courtesy call that they are on their way. You get the call! You head over to the rental property and meet the plumber, the tenant says that the slow drain and the gurgling is still happening. The plumber looks for the clean-out, but can’t find it and you aren’t sure where it is. So the plumber goes to the roof with his snake. 30 minutes later he comes down with a child’s small toy that had been flushed down the toilet. OK, not great, but at least it’s fixed for a couple of hundred dollars and not tree roots. The plumber goes back inside to test the toilet and comes back out with bad news… still won’t flush!

So now the plumber says, do you want me to pull the toilet? That’s another charge. You shrug your shoulders and say yes, because what else are you going to do. The plumber takes his snake inside and pulls the toilet. He starts his snake and out comes a headless child’s doll covered in toilet paper from about 1 foot down the pipe.

Now the plumber comes back out and says, here is what I found. Since the toilet is off do you want me to camera the drain in the case there are more items down there. Of course you say yes, cause if he puts the toilet back then has to come back to do it that is another charge.

Plumber comes back out and says the camera showed nothing else is in the drain. You sigh and he fills out his paperwork along with charges of around $300-400. He puts in his report the issues and the apparent abuse caused by the tenant. You ask him to put as much detail in the report as possible so that you can charge back to the tenant, and he obliges and says good luck with that.

At this point you are into this little project for over 4 hours of your time, half a day off work spent standing outside of your rental, and a few hundred dollars because your tenant’s child decided they didn’t want their toys anymore.

And people say Property Management is to expensive.

Granted you still probably would have paid the plumber, but at a discounted rate. The soft costs are your time, energy, paid time off, and the stress of the situation.


Property Management Made Simple

A fast, simple and effective way for landlords to manage their property portfolio with minimum hassle.

Being a landlord or a property manager can be an arduous task. There is usually an endless list of jobs that need to be taken care of, whether you’re managing a single property or a vast portfolio. There are several landlord property care apps offered by property management groups to help property owners in managing their property and keep everything running smoothly, taking the stress out of daily tasks.

WHY DO I NEED AN APP FOR THIS?

Downloading the app provides a simple and efficient way for you to manage your properties. It’s intelligently designed, easy to use features have been developed by the experts in app development to cater for your specific requirements. With its key features you can digitally take control of all tasks with a swipe of your finger.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Managing Tenants
  • Monthly rental payments
  • Utility management
  • Rent review
  • Property inspection reports
  • Annual safety tests
  • Lease management
  • Print yearly/ monthly taxable finances.

MANAGING TENANTS AND RENT

When it comes to managing rent owed and tenants the app couldn’t make it simpler if it tried! You go to the sub section you need, click the icon and straight away you can add new tenants, storing their personal information i.e. phone number and address, as well as their moving date and contract end. As for rent you merely need to select the property in your portfolio, specify the date, rental fee and Estate agents commission and you’re sorted. This saves a lot of time and productivity in the long run, meaning you’re not chasing any overdue payments or tenant details.

TAX MADE SIMPLE

Everyone knows that trying to keep on top of yearly tax returns can be a nightmare, but this is just another reason why this app is extremely beneficial. It allows you to do your own book-keeping on the move, by logging all of your income and expenses, when and where you necessary, to keep on top of your accounts. In the long run this will be more beneficial for your accountant or even for yourself if you organise your own accounting. Moving forward, this means you can review monthly and yearly reports with the tap of one finger, as well as track your taxes making your End of Year returns report easy to access, and print off for your benefits.

The same format is used when logging Expenses, again these are all kept in one place, and you can easily input property expenses through their individual property details and log important expenses such as Interest only mortgage, Capital Mortgage, Repairs, Insurance, Cleaning, agents involved etc.

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT

An additional benefit is that you will have a dedicated support team which promises to assist you with any technical and non-technical help that you may require. This gives you reassurance and trust that your portfolio details are in the right hands, and that all information is deemed confidential, to which you will only have access to, and none of which will be shared to other Property Managers.

In conclusion the Landlord Property Care app is truly a sensational digitally advanced way to manage all your business related requirements from your phone, and is considered to be the way forward in Property Management advancement.


The Top Mistakes To Avoid When Buying A Property For Sale

Investing in a new property entails a lot of hard work and preparation. You can’t rush into making a decision since this kind of investment requires a substantial amount of money. The last thing you want to happen when buying a property is regretting the decision you make and not being able to recover any of the money you spent on purchasing your new home.

As such, when buying a property for sale, it would be helpful to know the usual costly mistakes that come with this endeavor. By knowing these mistakes, you can prepare for them in advance and know how to avoid, mitigate, or best deal with them.

Below are some of the usual property-buying mistakes investors can make:

Doing a blind search. Starting your search for a property for sale without a solid framework can be quite costly. Without some criteria for selection, you will go over the budget. As such, when shopping for a property, come up with a list that includes your must-haves, nice-to-have features, and non-negotiable factors. And whenever checking out a property, always refer to your notes.

Limiting your search for the ideal property to buy. Not looking around enough is a common mistake property buyers often make. A lot of buyers have their hearts set on a particular neighborhood or city. They may want to live close to their place of work or their children’s school. However, they shouldn’t be the main reasons why you should limit your search area. It’s always worth checking out other areas. As long as you have options for traveling and commuting, widen your search area. You may just find the perfect property that meets your requirements and budget.

Not visiting the property several times before purchasing it. You will certainly find a lot of good things in a property that you viewed for the first time. However, don’t submit an offer for this property on your first visit. If the seller is motivated and ready to sell, he or she may rush the process and try to force you to make a hurried decision. After your first visit, sleep on it and return to check it again after a few days. Open all the cabinets and drawers, look under the stairs and rugs, and peek behind the wall coverings. Drive around the neighborhood as well. Pay attention to the level of noise and the possible rowdiness of neighbors. You can also take the time to talk to some of the residents in the neighborhood and find out if they would recommend that you stay in this area as well.

Making a decision based on your emotions. Lastly, deciding to buy a property for sale because it reminds you of your home when you were younger can also be a costly mistake. Just because you like the façade of the property, you may ignore the fact that the roof may need some repairs or that the plumbing system is already old – expenses that you won’t want to pay for. As such, it is best to leave your emotions out the door when it’s time for you to make your final decision.


The Most Common (and Worst) Home-Buying Advice

When it’s not their concern, people like to give advice.
Everyone suddenly becomes an expert in the matter and they give the suggestions to the friends like it is to the best of their interests. Sometimes, the guidance work but most of the times, it backfires. Every living being on this planet and beyond is entitled to have opinions but that does not mean these opinions are to be followed. While buying a house, the buyer is in the most vulnerable situation. He saves money all his life and spends sleepless nights to buy his own roof. At this point of time, he is open to some counselling and can easily be misguided.

When he realises the fact, it becomes too late. Either he has bought the ‘not-so-perfect’ houses or lost his ‘house of dreams’ to someone else. Some people learn the lesson the hard way while some gather the right wisdom and proceed. Read this article to know what kind of advice needs to be avoided while buying the own house.

1. “The prices are going to go down soon, buy later”

If this is not the right time to buy a house, there would never be. Many people are under the impression that the real estate prices are fluctuating and hence, waiting for the golden opportunity is wise. The truth is poles apart. It is not possible to know what the future may be carrying but the right thing to do at the moment is to proceed if the financials are in the order. Buying a house is both an emotional and financial decision. If one is clear on both the parts, he should buy his house without hoping for the prices to go down.

2. “Real estate agents or home inspectors are the extravagances”

When one person is ready to sell and another is ready to buy, who needs a broker? The advice-givers think by removing the broker from the equation, one can save the money to be given as fees. They think that buying a house is an easy task and the buyer can handle the negotiations without a broker. The same goes for the home inspector. They think that while the person is buying the house, he should be the one inspecting it too.

Now the truth is; both the brokers and the home inspectors are the experts and they know their jobs well. Hiring them can never be a bad decision. A broker can tell the real situation of the real estate market and set the expectations of the buyer right. He can help in the right bidding and be an integral part of the negotiations to get the house on the buyer’s terms. A home inspector can reveal the truths about the bones of the house. It can be used to negotiate the price or to move on if the house is beyond saving.

3. “Offer the least, have a space for the negotiations”

This advice is not only wrong, it is demeaning to the seller too. Offering the shells to the seller to buy the house is not a justifiable and honourable thing to do. Negotiations are going to happen, the seller wants to sell for the maximum profits and the buyer would want the house for the least amount possible. That does not mean the initial offer has to be so less that it appears an insult to the seller. It is better to get the real insights about the niche and the market prices of the house. The seller knows what the house is worth and it is better to offer him an appropriate price for the house in the first place.

4. “Buy it if it’s cheap. Renovate later”

Every house needs a renovation according to the taste of the buyer but buying a house with this intention is not right. When after buying the house bank balance decreases, many buyers do not go ahead with the renovations and try to adjust in the house. Never buy an average house thinking of remodelling it afterwards. Nowadays many builders are providing full furnished houses with all the modern amenities. These houses sell fast because the buyer does not have to make modifications after buying. Do not leave anything to ‘later’; buy what seems right now.

5. “Get your hands on the cheapest house”

Cheap is not necessarily the best choice. Buying a house is once in a lifetime affair for many people and being over-possessed with money, this time, is a big mistake. One should buy the house which is comfortable and safe at the same time. It should be a place which the owner can be proud of. The good houses are never available on the cheap prices unless there is a story behind. Buy a house which is affordable and not cheap.

Many people actually believe the advice and act upon them. Some people even think these are the facts of the real estate industry but now they know better. Buy your happy place listening to your heart and mind and not other people (unless they are actually the experts).