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Seattle in Progress — and an Agent/Broker/Franchise Opportunity

I found Seattle in Progress (a web app by Ethan Phelps-Goodmanthis morning in the Evergrey newsletter…it helps you figure out what’s being built in the city of Seattle.

seattle in progress

Guess what I did when I found it? I immediately sent it to my friend who lives a few blocks from me. Both he and his wife thought it was a cool and valuable (that’s the key part) website even though they are not buying or selling.

I also sent it to my sister and brother-in-law, both of who had seen it — but my brother-in-law is a sustainability architect, so it’s not surprising he’s already aware of the website.

My gut — most people in Seattle likely have no idea this website exists.

One building I found on the website a few blocks from my house in Queen Anne — I originally heard about from a piece of paper posted on the power pole at the bus stop.

The immediate question I ask myself is why are brokerages/franchises not delivering this service to home owners? Agents, too — though I realize a vendor would have to take on the tech component for individual agents. If I was a mid-sized or large broker, I would certainly investigate building permit data availability in my city — and invest in the technology to put a simple interface on top if the city makes it easily accessible.

Let people draw a circle around the area they care about on the map, and send them email updates of any new building projects in the area. I would sign up for that.

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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  • I’ve always thought that all major construction projects should have a sign saying what it is and what is the projected date of completion. (Especially road projects! But I digress.)

    Lacking the signage, I’d love an app that answers those questions! Better yet, a GPS-enabled smart phone app. Standing by a building under construction and wondering what it is? Pull out the app and find out!

    • There are signs for most major projects (at least in Seattle). I’m sure it varies greatly city by city.

  • It’s very cool–we talked to Ethan about it about a year ago. Integrating with government agency data seems daunting, but he’s doing a great job of it.

  • VictorLund

    There is a really inexpensive solution to this called HouseFax – its a CoreLogic Matrix plug in – provides building permit info and much, much more. Have you MLS look into it.

  • Jonathan

    You can go to and see the new construction around you also.

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