As an architect, or anyone who works in project management for commercial construction projects, you know how time consuming and challenging the permitting process can be. You might also be familiar with the value that nationwide permit expediters can bring to your project. Permit expediters have the expertise to streamline your application, mitigate or avoid delays, and keep your project on schedule.
Nationwide permit expediters offer one additional benefit: they serve as your single point of contact for all of your projects, no matter where they are located throughout the country. But did you know that you might be able to get even more out of your relationship with your permit expediter? Here are 6 tips for a more successful partnership.
Tip 1: Bring In Nationwide Permit Expediters Early
One of the best ways to have a successful partnership with your nationwide permit expediters is to bring them on board your projects as soon as you can. A permit expediter’s job doesn’t begin when it’s time to submit your application–it actually starts long before that.
No matter which municipality you’re working in (or if you’re working in several), nationwide permit expediters can inform you upfront of the steps you’ll need to take, the requirements you’ll need to meet, and the hurdles you might encounter with your specific project. Having this knowledge at your fingertips allows you to better plan out your project timelines and set realistic expectations with your stakeholders from the very beginning.
Knowing the challenges you might run into also enables you to be proactive rather than responsive so that obstacles can be overcome quickly.
Tip 2: Establish Clear Lines of Communication
During the building permitting process, communication in all directions is key. It’s important for you to keep two-way lines of communication going with your permit expediter; letting them know early what you need and what your project goals are will help your expediter be more efficient in their own processes.
At the same time, you should expect clear and frequent communication from your permit expediter. For instance, while working with nationwide permit expediters at Scout Services, you’ll receive frequent updates regarding where your building permit application is in the review pipeline so you always know where you stand.
A special note for business owners and stakeholders: permit expediters are frequently hired by architects or contractors. If you’re a stakeholder in the project or the business owner, however, it’s a good idea to be kept in the loop by both parties so you have full visibility into the progress of your project.
Tip 3: Take Full Advantage of Their Expertise
Nationwide permit expediters possess a breadth of expertise that many others in the construction industry lack. Even local expediters typically only specialize in the municipality in which they’re located—nationwide permit expediters have local knowledge of thousands of municipalities across the country.
It’s always an excellent idea to take full advantage of this. With their experience navigating various review systems and thorough knowledge of the codes and officials wherever you’re working, expediters can help you get ahead of regulations. They can also inform you of any special requirements that might apply to your project and devise strategies to avoid or minimize delays.
Tip 4: Leverage Their Industry Connections
This tip is closely related to the previous one, but because it’s something few people think about, it warrants its own section. Not only do nationwide permit expediters have expertise in the permitting process, but expediters like those at Scout Services also have established relationships with local building authorities in municipalities across the country.
By leveraging these, your expediter can ensure your application doesn’t get caught up in review or stuck in the application approval process. Scout Services, for instance, has permitted in thousands of municipalities across the U.S. As a result, we have direct contact with officials in some of the biggest cities. If one of your applications ever runs into an issue, we know who to reach out to in order to get the problems resolved.
Tip 5: Prioritize Timely Responses
Fifth in our list of tips for successful relationships with nationwide permit expediters is to prioritize timely responses. Quick responses from you helps ensure that your nationwide permit expediting partner can move your project through the process as quickly and efficiently as possible.
At Scout, we follow up with you regularly about additional paperwork or any application comments that need to be addressed. A timely response will help your project stay on track and on schedule.
Tip 6: Remember the Other Half of the Equation
Finally, always remember that when you’re trying to get through the building permit process, you and your nationwide permitting partner are only half of the equation. The second half is the person on the other side of the computer in the building department. As a result, there is always the chance that your projects will become subject to human error.
In our experience, if you submit 10 projects, at least one will need a more hands-on approach to make sure it’s in the right place. When this happens, be sure to rely on your permit expediter to act as your advocate. At Scout, we track all your applications through the review process so we can spot red flags early on. We can’t stress the value of having someone on your team whose only focus is on the permitting process to make sure it goes right.
At Scout Services, We’re Proud to Be the Leading Nationwide Permit Expediters
At Scout Services, we’re proud to be the go-to nationwide permit expediter for commercial construction projects across the U.S. Between our industry expertise, our seasoned team of permitting professionals, and our nationwide database of 7,700+ municipalities, we’re ready to expedite your commercial permits no matter where you are or how big the scope of your project is.