What Makes A Good Expeditor

What is Expediting?


An expeditor is a person who is licensed with the City to file permits and licenses on behalf of another individual. An expeditor can also create tax accounts with the city, file deeds, and register a change of address with the Office of Property Assessment.


Expeditors cannot, however, request special favors. We cannot circumvent the process or evade any rules or procedures.


It is our job to understand the system in its entirety and in detail. We post a lot of what we learn in this blog.


Obtaining permits and licenses is a legal obligation, so, in theory, doing so should be quite simple and quite fast. However, anyone who has ever tried to obtain a permit or license in this city will know, this is just not the case. Which brings me to my next point.


Why Expeditors Exist


Obtaining permits and licenses is actually quite complicated and quite time-consuming. The way an expeditor “expedites” the process is not by using any kind of black magic, it is simply by relieving you (a property owner or business owner) of taking responsibility for this legal obligation. It’s similar to hiring a lawyer. It’s not necessarily because you can’t represent yourself in this process, but because it is probably not worth your time to become an expert on the topic or to manage the process which can in many cases take months to complete.


As a business owner or real estate developer, you already have an area of expertise. And while it may be helpful to have some understanding of zoning, it can take months, even years to master the nuances of permitting procedure. So, unless you are an expeditor, city planner, or real estate agent it probably isn’t worth the effort. 


How Expediting Works


Now, you may have already inferred from what I have stated previously when it comes to permitting, the stakes are high, and time is money. So navigating this world, that is quite literally the underbelly of the City’s legislative infrastructure, is a gamble. 


Without employing bribery or black magic an expeditor can streamline the permitting process by correctly filling out paperwork, by obtaining necessary prerequisites prior to submission, and by strategically executing all the required paperwork.


Philadelphia Zoning expeditors also coordinate all communication related to the permit making sure all parties stay up to date on relevant information, and that additional information requests are submitted on time. Which means if we file your permit it won’t get abandoned. You would be surprised how many application reviews stretch out into year-long processes that eventually fail.


Another part of our job is to communicate clearly and effectively so that the whole team is aware of where things stand and what still needs to be accomplished.


Additionally, once your permit is approved, whether by-right or through a variance or special exception, we collect the permit and send it out to you. The goal is to keep you in the loop, but out of the fabled and gilded 1401 JFK.  

Philly Zoning Team
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