Crime Scene Investigation…like the TV show. NOPE!
It’s Customer Service Improvement.
Many years ago, a couple of local Realtors started talking to our Alameda Building Official (that’s the one who runs the Planning and Building Depts, aka Community Development Dept, these days).
We had so many questions that weren’t getting answered: when were permits required; what happens if an owner did work without permits: what happens when we walk into a house and it has units in it but the public records say it’s a single-family residence – can those be legalized; what happens when somebody turns an attic or a basement into living space?
The Building Official took us very seriously…enough so, that we started having meetings once per month. “We” were made up of contractors, a designer, an engineer, an Alameda historian, an architect, and 2-3 Realtors.
And we had Greg McFann (Building Official) come to some of our monthly Realtor meetings, so folks could ask questions of him.
This was a huge step for our city….it’s called communication. The old folks were retiring, and the newbies were communicating.
The permit office was made much more accessible, with staff that either knew what they were doing OR they could turn to an expert who could guide us through the issue.
These days we meet once per quarter! We catch up on what’s going on in A-town, new laws that could apply to us, we make time to ask questions.
Often these days the subject of ADU’s comes up (Accessory Dwelling Units). Lots of permits have been pulled, but not too many have been completed…due to the expense. And Alameda, as well as the state, is in a “we need more housing” crunch.
And we still meet (only once per quarter). It’s such a privilege to be part of this working group, and we can get out there and spread the word amongst our peers.
Our local Alameda Realtors don’t profess to know it all and especially in this environment where agents are coming into town from all over the county or even from other counties, but those of us who have been here and focus on Alameda, know that we’ve got resources that others do not…especially if you, the customers, don’t want to get involved in a lawsuit. We know the rules and we have folks who can explain them to us, in case we have some questions.
It continues to be a learning process. And I’m glad to be a small part of it.
Alameda Real Estate this Week
Notice I have a new listing, a triplex, at 1726-1728-1728 1/2 Central Ave. There will be no open houses and if a customer shows up during the designated times s(he) needs to have an agent with him/her and (s)he needs to give me a card with his biz info, before I’ll let them in. Tough chick here, eh?