Sometimes you need a little help
Remember the term paperless office, which was widely promoted during the Jurassic era of computers? Not only didn’t we achieve a paperless office, we have managed to generate even more paper sending us screaming for help.
Years ago when I was managing corporate properties and foreclosures for resale, I depended a lot on an expediter to obtain the proper permits required for both the legal and illegal renovations to the homes we inherited. Since I worked in an area that had the lethal combination of older homes and strict sometimes unintelligible building, codes her services were well worth her fee to get the property in the condition where it could be sold.
The expeditor advised us on what had to be removed and what had to be brought up to code, saving hours of tedious work required just to get through the application process. As I recall, the easy choice was just to get what was not legal and never could be removed, like storage sheds, above ground pools and decks that were too close the neighbor’s property line. After awhile the expeditor was my best friend and became an import part of our team in getting difficult properties ready for sale.
In Florida, expeditors can be particularly useful when building a backyard swimming pool or dealing with waterfront building lots that could have an environmental impact.
During the housing boom, expeditors were widely used to speed up the processes. Now as new construction is growing and home renovations are commonplace, the need for an expeditor is also growing. Expeditors are hired by builders, architects and individual homeowners to advise them on problems they may be encountering or just because facing more paper and making more decisions will put them over the edge. Their job is to keep up with changing ordinances and finding ways to get projects approved.
I did find on line some companies in the Tampa Bay area that provide permitting services for both commercial and residential properties. Some of the services they provide are: filling out forms and applications, highlighting proper materials and proper installation methods, recording notice of commencement form at local courthouse, paying appropriate fees to the county, submitting and tracking permit packages, picking up and delivering the permit, setting the final inspection appointment as well as any follow up and finalization needed to complete the process, they can also obtain duplicate permits.
As far as I know there is no formal training for expeditors. Generally people who perform these services can be anyone who has worked in the home building profession, real estate or just have personal knowledge based on their own experiences working with local municipalities.
Fees for expeditors vary based on location. But generally they charge hourly fees that can range from under $100 per hour to well over based on the complexity of the task. Paying for the services of an expeditor may not be for everyone, but it could save you hours of your personal time and also provide some inside information to smooth the way.
Thinking back on it now it seems not only funny, but improbable, that computers could ever have eliminated the paper that invades our home and work offices. It’s just not in our DNA at least not in the DNA of anyone over 30 to totally give up the comfort of holding a piece of paper in our hands, but some day it probably will happen.