Permitting is a knack in itself. Good or bad, quick or slow, we can’t lay a single brick until we have secured the correct permits from local municipalities.
We recently obtained all the permitting for the BUILDER Taylor Morrison NEXTadventure home, and the excitement is palpable. Now all of our partners, collaborators, and sponsors finally get to see their countless hours of planning and design come to fruition.
This has me thinking about the permitting process and how, as an industry, we can build those relationships critical to permit acquisition on the first try and every instance thereafter.
The key to avoiding permit rejection is to be a good partner, which requires being prepared. Quality relationships with townships and municipalities are crucial to the permitting process. Seek out a specific contact within each area—a living, breathing person you can physically call upon to discuss any aspect of your permit request.
It’s not an easy or short-term endeavor to cultivate these kind of relationships; you have to be willing to serve and assist. Being of service means that you engage them with the same respect you show your trade partners.
Permit timelines have grown tremendously, and there is still a decade-old stigma attached to the home building industry. We can combat these truths (and strengthen our professional reputation) by using the Four Pillars of Business Acumen:
1. Build quality relationships with permitting officials. Approach the affiliation with a team-player environment. Be honest, cooperative, and willing to do whatever it takes to be effective and efficient with your paperwork.
2. Avoid rejection by being prepared. Get all of your ducks in a row before you apply. Never present the permitting office with an incomplete package. Know the jurisdiction-specific requirements of submission. Take the time to learn the pet peeves of a municipality.
3. Understand the historical underpinnings that affect how houses get built. Put yourself in the municipality’s shoes. When the housing crash of 2006-08 happened, townships were left holding the check. Poor quality or incomplete homes and predatory mortgages left a blight on many towns, cities, and states.
4. Deliver on your promise to build a quality home. As builders, we always have to do what we say we are going to do. Do what’s right, add value to a town, and you will be considered a partner in the master plan for city development and improving resident's quality of life.
Embodying this business model means long-term risk reduction for our partners in the permitting offices, which then builds trust with the Taylor Morrison brand. As a result, our permits get approved without stalling our construction timeline and our communities are welcomed with open arms.
Our home buyers, on the path to their NEXTadventure, appreciate these relationships because it means their homes are delivered on time. Sign up to visit the NEXTadventure home at the 2017 International Builders' Show in Orlando, Fla.