It’s been nearly two years since we’ve written about the prolific Craigslsit apartment ad spammers at State Street Properties.
Since our post the firm has amped up its spam volume and adopted a new name: Chicago Property Genius. With more than 4,000 abusively repetitive ads at Craigslist, Chicago Property Genius has overtaken Chicagoland Property Group as Craigslist’s worst apartment ad spammer. Chicagoland Property Group shed several thousand ads after we began writing about the scofflaws at that firm.
It doesn’t take a genius to discover that Chicago Property Genius continues State Street Properties’ practice of advertising properties from which it doesn’t have the written authorization to advertise that the Illinois Real Estate License Act requires. And the firm still seems addicted to bait-and-switch ad tactics. We scanned dozens of unauthorized, i.e. illegal, ads for half a dozen buildings, and focused on one to illustrate the bait and switch.
Chicago Property Genius has 879 “Gold Coast” ads at Craigslist, including ads for immediate-occupancy studios renting for $1,525 and 1-bedrooms for $1,800, both with in-unit washer / dryers.
The lowest-priced studio available at the property illustrated in those ads is $1,780. The property has 1-bedrooms available for $2,405, $2,505, $2,610 and $2,670. The property is in River North, several blocks from the Gold Coast.
Chicago Property Genius ads at Craigslist have the same thin copy and photo content, lack of contact names, atypical presentation of phone numbers and nonsense word strings that we were used to seeing in State Street Properties ads. You’ll also find URLs, several of which are illustrated above, that redirect to State Street Properties.
It’s astonishing to think that there are actually renters naïve enough to respond to an ad from the bait-and-switch bozos at Chicago Property Genius.
Advice for renters
Renters need to be aware that the only sure way to avoid the risk of falling victim to a scofflaw rental service leasing agent is to avoid all Chicago rental services and work directly with properties. YoChicago’s apartment reviews and lists make it easy for you to find an apartment in sought-after lakefront neighborhoods.