Permit Advisors: It’s All in the Execution
Why You Shouldn’t Hire a Permit Service but a Permit Solution
It seems every permit expediting firm calls themselves a full-service permitting firm, and while that sounds like good rhetoric it is that thinking that is costing you construction start dates. Development teams up to this point have settled for permit expediting services because there isn’t much else to do-besides do it yourself. If we’re honest, a lot of you have done it yourself. But, development teams should be hiring permit solutions firms and expediters that execute the process for you. In this article, I will expound why permit services are subpar on every level from rhetorical and how they train their people to the final ready to issue process.
That was Rhetorical
If the permit expediting firm calls themselves a service, or even fancier, full-service you know a couple things about them already:
- The Way They View Themselves: They view each action as a service, in other words as a payable act. For example, on the estimate or proposal, you see they charge for submittal and one resubmittal and upsell for any additional services. While this is an industry standard, a service will perform the act in itself, meaning they do not care if the project gets approved. Their part of the process was done. Pre-screening plans, coordinating with architects, and leveraging relationships with the city cost extra.
- The Way They Train: They train their staff according to service parameters and have a clear “what we don’t do” mentality. It is not uncommon for employees of services to go to their supervisors and ask: we don’t do this, do we?
- The Way They Charge: You will be upsold. If you need more than one resubmittal, and if your expeditor isn’t prescreening plans you will, then you will get a call from their business development guy strong-arming you into an upsell. Sure, he will be nice to you but ultimately he will tell you they already have the project and know the permit tech, and they are your best bet. Truth is, at that point he is right. Their process is designed that way, and you signed up for the service.
What Choice Do I Have?
At this point in reading, you are probably asking yourself, “what choice do I have?” I don’t want to have to deal with permits myself, and I have a service that has been more hit than miss so I just stick with them.
You do have an option: choose a solutions-based permit expediting firm. Let me explain why “permit service” and “permit solutions” is not just a semantical difference.
Service VS Solution
- A service views each action as a chargeable line item the customer must pay for, while a solution will conduct actions in order to achieve a solution. Actions may be out-of-the-box, creative, and innovative and rather than create new categories in QuickBooks they will include it in the price of getting your permit.
- Solutions-based firms will hire already trained individuals and acclimate them to the office culture, while services will hire moderately qualified people to save on overhead costs and will throw them into a project. Solutions-based firms rely on skilled, experienced, and talented employees to work their magic in order to achieve the goal. A quick way, on your end, to see if you’re with a service or solutions-based firm is to look at employee retention. Employees, with both good and bad experiences, will invite you to see the kitchen, so to speak.
- While services upsell you, a solutions-based firm will most likely achieve what they set out to do the first time. Unforeseen circumstances do arise and should be prepared for, however, for a solutions-based firm they will not be as drastic.
It’s All in the Execution
Buzzwords like experience, full-service, and omnichannel are great for designers on mall developments but are simply flowery words for the permit expediter. For permit expediters, it is all in the execution. It’s that simple. Whether it’s being the local expert for a jurisdiction, leveraging relationships, or simply working harder than everyone else it’s still all in the execution.
Know whether your firm is service-based or solutions-based. Look at employee retention, look at the proposals they send, and listen to how they want to work your project. Are they couriers charging for the service or partners in managing your project? Do they execute to completion for your “Ready-to-Issue”? Here, at Permit Advisors we know the answer.
About us: Permit Advisors Inc is a nationwide permit expediting, entitlement, and consulting firm based out of Beverly Hills, CA. We have established relationships with municipalities nation-wide and implement time as well as cost-saving strategies to efficiently complete projects. We provide a project management team to ensure every aspect of the project is given specific attention while maintaining open communication between the jurisdiction, consultants, and our clients. We serve retailers, architects, landlords, tenant coordinators, contractors, and franchisees nationwide in the hotel, retail, restaurant, mixed-use, multifamily, entertainment, grocery, and logistical plant development industries. Contact us today for a consultation at www.permitadvisors.com.