Homestead Group not winning over the Yelp crowd

The Homestead Group may be “Chicago’s Apartment Finding Experts” (that’s what its website says, at least), but through 63 reviews, dating as far back as July 2005, the company has a user rating no higher than 2.5 stars out of five on Yelp.

The latest reviewer says he felt “cheated by being misinformed” about his apartment. “I was treated as a dollar sign, not as a human being,” he writes in his two-star review. Another recent review is more bullish on Homestead and places the blame for many apartment search fiascoes at the feet of the renters: “If you can’t effectively communicate where the bar should be set to the person working with you, they will continue to show you places that most likely won’t be what you are looking for, which isn’t really their fault,” he says.


  • The reviewers on Yelp recount one horror story after another from their dealings with this particular group of maggots (synonym for apartment locators).

    The few positive reviews are, to put it mildly, suspect.

  • Will 5 years

    I was relocating to the Chicago area and signed a lease with the Homestead Group.

    Prior to moving in, I learned that I would not be relocating to Chicago due to family and employment matters. I informed George of this within a week of signing the lease. George became EXTREMELY argumentative and proceeded to swear and yell at me, saying I was “on the hook” for the lease. He tried to bully me by threatening a lawsuit, at which point I hung up the phone.

    I have NEVER had such an awful experience with a real-estate broker, let alone a service provider. He is extremely irate, unprofessional, and in my opinion, a crook. I would neither recommend him nor his company for any matter.

  • Will,

    I’m not a fan of Homestead Group, and obviously not privy to the conversation you describe.

    That said, people should be aware that there’s nothing unprofessional about expecting someone to honor a lease they signed and nothing crooked about enforcing that expectation.

  • Emily 3 years

    On a Friday afternoon, I signed a lease with this leasing company for an apartment located in Lincoln Park. In order to secure the apartment, I had to write out three checks totaling $2,300, sign a leasing agreement and submit a credit check. Everything was completed aside from the Landlord executing the contract as well. To help tie up loose ends, I called the leasing company on Saturday afternoon to inquire on when I should be receiving the fully executed contract. I was rudely informed by the office manager that my apartment had already been rented out even though the application process has been completed. The office manager took down my information and told me she would call me back after speaking with her boss. I am still waiting on her call. As a precaution, I quickly called my bank and stopped payment on all three of my checks but, in order to do so, I had to incur a $35 fee per check for a total of $105. I rightly deserve to be reimbursed for that inconvenience fee.

    After getting of the phone with my bank, I called my agent to ask why he never informed me on this situation. His answer was that he didn’t have my phone number, which is clearly written on my leasing agreement. He had no intention of calling me because he already informed my roommate and that was good enough for him. He also had no intention of calling me about setting up showings for other places. In my personal opinion, he is completely incompetent as a leasing agent. He didn’t even know specific details associated with the apartment and I had to ask him for copies of my checks.

    I was told by multiple agents that I should be received a phone call from the managing broker to help resolve this issue and get a reimbursement check for this inconvenience. I am still waiting to hear from him. After calling the office for nearly a week, I finally got a hold of the senior broker who was rude, disrespectful, and condescending. She told me that it was company policy to only contact one individual on the lease. Her rationale for this was that “they are in the business for making money”. She barely let me talk, talked over me, and even hung up on me.

    There is so much disconnect and lying done at this establish. I was told three different stories regarding my checks. The office manager said they were being processed, which is why I stopped payment on all three of them. My agent told me they were ripped up while the senior agent informed me that they never rip up checks but, instead, mail them back to the client. I have no idea what story to believe and am tired of being lied to.