Experience vs Knowledge
How many times have you heard someone boast that they are very experienced and or are very knowledgeable. In my opinion, that sounds like a great combination. Gee, I have been in the mortgage industry for almost 18 years and I think I have tons of experience, especially with FHA loans. And if I used my total years in this industry as an opener, it could be assumed that I would be a very good choice for both experience and having knowledge in regards to FHA loans and or mortgages. But let's break this down some. Can someone that is not very experienced have lots of knowledge? I think so. I know I did when I first started, because I applied myself and wanted to learn, to be the best of the best. One argument could be made that you can gain knowledge through your experiences. I am a firm believer in that statement, because that is where I have gotten half of my knowledge on FHA loans. But let's define both words.
Knowledge is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as (i) expertise, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject; (ii) what is known in a particular field or in total; facts and information; or (iii) awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation.
The concept of experience generally refers to know-how or procedural knowledge, rather than propositional knowledge: on-the-job training rather than book-learning. Philosophers dub knowledge based on experience "empirical knowledge".
Both definitions from Wikipedia.
As we can see, both experience and knowledge can be intertwined. So, experience or knowledge? Here is a great example.... I picked up a new client in Virginia a few years ago who was using a local loan officer who had 30 years of experience. He missed their settlement date on a FHA loan in which he had 30 days to close their loan. She started to search online and came across some of my blog posts, and chose me because she thought I sounded knowledgeable. After reviewing her information, I said we have some work ahead of us, but that it can be done. I ended up closing her loan in 9 business days. At that time, I only had about 15 years of experience to his 30 years, but I considered myself extremely knowledgeable and understood the process very well. I think this is the problem in many cases, those not understanding the process, no matter what kind of work it is. And if you read the definition of "knowledge", it says, "the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject."
Summary : One of my main points that I wanted to get across is don't always fall for the person that says they have years and years of experience. In my opinion, that doesn't mean anything at times. So, how can you tell if someone has the knowledge? It can be chancy, but read up on them, if they blog often. Google their name. Make a list of important questions that you think you should be asked as the consumer. And then compare that person with others, by making a list and see if they ask you the same questions as the others. Don't even hesitate to interview that person and the others and ask them questions. Hey, when it comes to buying a home and or applying for a mortgage, this will probably be one of the biggest investments in your life. Take it seriously and just not assume that you are in good hands or because someone told you that they would take care of you. Those are just "feel good" statements. So, if you had to choose one over the other, which would you rather the other person have, knowledge or experience?
UPDATE : Please read this comment by Judi Boad - Comment # 2 - She makes an excellent point that I failed to mention. Some people using their past experiences could cause more harm than good, if they learned incorrectly or learned from their previous experiences, thinking that it was the right way. Please keep this in mind.
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