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In thriving communities, there’s always something going on. Whether it’s a new building going up, a business’s grand opening, or an outdoor festival packing the streets with revelers, a lot of behind-the-scenes work was done at city hall to make it all happen.
Departments that issue permits and licenses—whether finance, public works, planning and building, or our police and fire departments—are crucial to the health and well-being of our communities. They ensure that any events or development meet a standard of safety, sustainability, and legality that protects everyone. But the pathway to obtaining the correct application and getting that permit issued is often complicated, starting with the basic problem that city hall is only open for business when many people are at work and unable to get their questions answered. And that doesn’t even account for many offices who have had to reduce their hours due to budget restrictions or resource constraints.
This leads to applicants searching for information on their own, navigating difficult regulations and sometimes challenging websites. The result? The omission of key details on their application, submitting the wrong application entirely, moving their project to another jurisdiction, or deciding to forgo getting a permit at all—all costly decisions for the city. And while those working the permit counter want to help as much as possible, limited tooling, staff shortages, and increased demand mean that they may not always be available to provide the needed step-by-step guidance applicants often need.
Thankfully, there is a way forward.
Euna Permits, powered by OpenCounter, is a 24/7 virtual counter created by previous city hall employees to improve the process and communication between those applying for and those administering permits. Custom guides are set up for zoning, development (commercial and residential), and special events to provide all necessary information to applicants in advance, increasing the efficiency of the entire process. Whether during the weekend or in the evening, the public can explore, begin, or continue working on an application from the comfort of their home, reducing wait times and giving your staff a much-needed breather.
But just how often do users take advantage of Euna Permits’s 24/7 capabilities? Let’s take a look at some statistics below:
The above graphs represent hourly and daily breakdowns of Euna Permits user sessions.
As you can see, within this 24-hour period, 34% of users are logging in outside of business hours, with 12% using the platform during the weekend and some even logging in during dead hours (12am to 5am). This tells us that a large number of customers enjoy the freedom and flexibility Euna Permits provides.
This represents a sizeable decrease in physical permit counter visits and phone calls for staff during their working hours, resulting in shorter wait times and better customer care.
It is also worth noting that, although we are considering 9am to 5pm as regular business hours, the actual operating hours of permit counters can be shorter, as evidenced in an example below.
That means users are spending even less in-person time at permit counters than even the above numbers reflect.
Ultimately, the data does not lie: a substantial number of our users are choosing to utilize the platform outside regular hours, giving them the ability to conveniently work on applications at any time, day, or night.
Increased accessibility for citizens
The regular hours of permitting departments do not always work for everyone. In many cases, the public needs to take time away from their own jobs and responsibilities for in-person visits or phone calls, which is not always possible.
With a 24/7 permitting solution, applications can be accessed at any time—day or night—allowing permits to be issued more efficiently.
Streamlined permit application process
Applying for a permit used to be an overwhelming, confusing experience. Applicants would feel at loose ends, wondering which applications to fill out, how much the fees will add up to, and who to submit them to and in what order. These are all questions that would usually lead to phone calls and emails, taking staff away from the important work of reviewing an application. On top of that, applications often come with submittal checklists that require applicants to attach a myriad of additional documents.
Digital permitting solutions solve these problems by creating a user-friendly guide, showing applicants exactly what they need and how to apply. As a result, they get the information they need clearly and quickly, negating the need for city staff to handle queries that can now be easily satisfied online, without assistance.
Reduced wait times and backlog
When physical visits and phone calls to the permitting office are the only way for the public to navigate the application process, staff frequently feel pushed to their limit, exhausted by a queue of frustrated citizens that never seems to end.
A 24/7 digital permitting solution fixes that issue by allowing applicants to handle much of the process themselves, reducing long lines and wait times for those who need to speak with someone in-person.
Improved customer satisfaction
Of course, all these benefits lead to one thing: happier customers.
With applicants no longer forced to bend their schedule around a permitting counter’s business hours, feeling overwhelmed by convoluted processes, or stuck in long queues to speak with a city employee, they will come away from their experience more satisfied, knowledgeable, and confident going into the next stage of their project.
Now let us dive a little deeper into Euna Permits to find out what makes it such a great digital platform.
New businesses are integral to the economic growth of cities and counties, and Euna Permits makes it easier than ever to navigate municipal codes and get necessary permits.
Euna Permits’s intelligent land use search allows users to find the right land use codes through simple keywords or by browsing its full, comprehensive list. Applicants then get a birds-eye view of where a project can be permitted in your jurisdiction with easy-to-use zoning maps. And say goodbye to endless searches for permit requirements—Euna Permits’s automatic permit scoping uses a simple questionnaire to find the right information in a flash (along with real-time fee calculation).
Home renovations require the right permits, but mistakes can bring penalties and safety risks—putting a project in jeopardy. Thankfully, Euna Permits has it covered.
Right from the start, it whittles down complex jargon into clear, everyday language, allowing applicants to easily find their housing and project type. Then, they can either input their address or zoom in on a general location using the platform’s interactive map. Its real-time fee calculator searches multiple departments and data sets, adding up the full cost of a project as they input information—a feature unique to Euna Permits—before providing you with a downloadable summary outlining specific next steps.
For event organizers
Special events—such as parades or outdoor festivals—create magical moments, but they also require a series of permits to operate. That’s where Euna Permits’s modernized solution steps in.
Right off the bat, applicants will select their event type from a clear, comprehensive list catered to your city’s requirements. Then, using its intuitive scheduling function, they can enter their event’s start and end times (including set-up and tear-down). Euna Permits’s industry-leading interactive map allows them to find an approved location based on areas selected for their event type, and its real-time fee calculation and online payment and issuance technology lets them take care of costs remotely before downloading their permits and receipts after approval.
As the public sector begins to embrace exciting new digital solutions, it’s easy to envision a future in which all government functions are fully automated. By implementing a 24/7 permitting system, you and your team can stay current with technological advancements and avoid being left behind.
Citizens will no longer have to deal with inconvenient business hours at city hall, instead accessing their application remotely, moving through a smooth, streamlined process to get their permit faster. Long lines and wait times at the permit counter will be reduced (or even eliminated), freeing up time and energy for your staff and leaving customers happier with their overall experience. Euna Permits has revolutions permitting processes in cities and counties all over the United States, including Salt Lake City and Cincinnati.
If your department is ready for centralization, efficiency, and convenience, Euna Permits’s innovative 24/7 permitting solution is waiting.
To speak to a representative or schedule a demo, visit https://eunasolutions.com/solutions/permits/