Announcing Chicago’s only objective apartment reviews

If you’ve been a regular visitor to YoChicago you’ve probably noticed that we’ve recently begun to expand our detailed reviews of major apartment buildings in the downtown area. Just over two dozen are currently available, and our goal is to have more than 100 online, representing every major building, by the end of the year.

All of the major buildings have information-packed websites, which you’ll find linked from our at-a-glance apartment lists. Almost all of the buildings advertise at Apartments.com and most been reviewed at Yelp or Apartment Ratings, or both. Rental services a/k/a apartment finders a/k/a apartment locators claim to offer expert advice on the advantages and disadvantages of various buildings. So why is there a need for another source of information?

Why another review source?

Apartment buildings often offer a less-than-objective take on their location, apartment features and building amenities. You wouldn’t expect them to point to features their competitors offer and they lack, and they don’t. Reviews at Yelp and Apartment Ratings are, sad to say, too often just glowing blurbs planted by the buildings themselves or are polluted with unreliable info from competitors, rental services or ex-renters with an axe to grind.

We publish reviews of new buildings prior to their completion, giving you a heads-up on new construction that may affect your rental decision.

How YoChicago’s reviews are different

We have in-depth familiarity with all of the building locations, and draw on an extensive archive of photography to illustrate those locations from a variety of perspectives – including aerial photographs.

We have a standard format for presenting information, making it easier for you to make comparisons among buildings. Our reviews include numerous links to third-party sources, saving you time and adding depth to the information we present. Embedded videos on each review page give you a clearer look at the building or its competitors and the location.

In each review we typically mention and link to a building’s competitors to make renters more aware of their options.

We think we know enough to ask the questions it might not occur to you to ask, and to place the answers in context.

We place a high premium on integrity, objectivity and fact-grubbing. We firmly believe that attitude isn’t a substitute for knowledge or experience, and that our knowledge is and always will be incomplete and our judgments imperfect. We’ve been around long enough to learn that one man’s or woman’s despised dump is another’s dream home.

We won’t allow an advertiser to make a claim, in our reviews or in our videos, that we don’t believe to be arguably accurate. We don’t allow Rental services to advertise on our site.

We moderate comments and won’t publish those we deem to be not credible or that haven’t revealed their biases or are simply time-wasters.

We need your help

Add an objective comment to our reviews about a building’s features, its location or management policies that we haven’t mentioned, that may not be readily apparent to prospective renters, and that’s likely to be important to them.

We will moderate all comments, and will not publish a comment unless you have personal knowledge of the building. You’ll need to supply a valid email address so that we can verify that, and we’ll preserve and respect your anonymity if you wish to remain anonymous.

Advertising on review pages

We’re offering apartment building advertisers the opportunity to sponsor their review pages, but won’t compromise our objectivity as a result. Unlike most websites, user comments remain open on our sponsored pages.

Competitors can sponsor and be featured on review pages when building ownership or management declines to sponsor the page.

Contact YoChicago for further information about sponsorship details and opportunities.

Note: YoChicago’s parent firm provides advertising services to a number of major brokerage firms in Chicago and around the country. Those firms have agents who handle rentals and, to that extent, are competitors of rental services. Make of that information what you will.

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