Apartment Savvy targets the dumbest renters on the planet

by Joe Zekas on 5/4/12

Apartment Savvy, one of the rental services on our do-not-call list, has been reviewed 85 times at the Google Places page for its 2835 N Clark St office.

Almost all of the reviews give the company 5 stars, and almost all of them are so patently phony that they’ll leave you laughing and wondering. Can any company possibly be stupid enough to think these reviews help it? Why would a company hire such brain-dead reviewers?

User Beanstock is a good example. He reviews Apartment Savvy on April 6, 2012:

Tara was exceptionally helpful and showed apartments that were exactly what I described and what I was looking for. I’m incredibly happy with the apartment I found.

Six days later, on April 12, Beanstock reviews Legend Park Apartments in Schaumburg:

I don’t know why everyone seems to not like it here because I’ve been living at Legend Park for over a year now and I love it. … I like it so much that I just renewed my lease and will be staying for at least another year.

Quite a few of Apartment Savvy’s reviewers, despite allegedly living in city apartments, also shop at Crescent Jewelers in Frankfort, get their dental care from Scott Brenner in Vernon Hills, spend occasional nights at a Days Inn in Naperville, shop for cars at Bob Brady Auto Mall in Decatur, have work done by Sutton Siding & Remodeling in Springfield, rent lift trucks from Wise Equipment in Schaumburg – and so on. They unanimously find each others’ reviews helpful – sometimes helpful enough that they copy and paste them as their own.

A number of the Apartment Savvy reviews are written in a generic manner that enables them to be copied and pasted into multiple reviews for almost any company, e.g. “Very quick and helpful.” Those four words are the entire review, and 7 out of 7 people found it helpful!

Apartment Savvy may be doing some niche marketing here – targeting the dumbest renters on the planet. Who else, after all, would do business with a company that tries to gain their business fraudulently and stupidly?

We don’t want to leave you with the impression that Apartment Savvy operates very differently from other Chicago rental services. You’re well advised to avoid all of the rental services and work directly with landlords, management companies, or established, brand-name brokerage firms.

If you’re looking to rent in Chicago’s lakefront neighborhoods, from the South Loop to Lake View, check out YoChicago’s at-a-glance apartment lists and maps and our YoRents service.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

nwzimmer May 4, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Good bit of sleuthing there, Joe.

I’ve seen a lot of reviews on Yelp for these shady type businesses that by themselves are beyond a reasonable doubt, are fraudulent reviews.

But the evidence you’ve listed here, connecting the dots between the users’ other reviews is even more concrete evidence of that than ever.

Reply

David May 5, 2012 at 7:33 AM

When I see reviews like this on Yelp, I stay far away. Anyone who has a good business going should be able to attract legitimate reviews. This sort of stuff is so obvious, it’s pathetic.

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Pete May 6, 2012 at 12:36 AM

Whenever a Yelp review starts out with “I don’t know why there are so many bad reviews here, I LOVE this product/service/company/whatever” you can almost guarantee said review is a fake.

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Joe Zekas May 6, 2012 at 1:59 AM

The 125 reviews of Apartment Savvy at Judy’s book are even more hilarious.

Reviewer guest u is quite the traveler, buying cars all over the country, renting from Apartment Savvy while remaining in Chico, CA, taking his dog to the vet in Montana, shopping for furniture in Oaks, PA, having his furnace repaired in Vancouver, hiring a nanny in New York, etc. etc. And, naturally, he has his teeth worked on by Scott Brenner in Vernon Hills.

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Brian July 25, 2012 at 3:23 PM

I used Apartment Savvy yesterday. We went to six apartment locations, only one of which was in my specified location, and only one of which (a different one) met the apartment criteria I had listed on the two identical applications they had me fill out. When I asked about a follow-up or expanded search, I was told to take 48 hours to think about it.

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Kait July 7, 2014 at 6:42 PM

I’m coming to Apartment Savvy’s defense. I had a great experience with them, and my leasing agent, Maggie, went above and beyond to find the perfect apartment for me in the Old Town Triangle. She worked closely and directly with me and was available at almost any hour to help out. I don’t know if they paid people to write phony reviews or not, but all I can vouch for is my experience – which was excellent. I would ask directly for Maggie to help you out, if you’re looking for an apartment.

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Joe Zekas July 7, 2014 at 7:09 PM

Kait,

What if the company has more than one Maggie?

Best to lend no credence to anonymous reviews.

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