How Chicago rental services can help clean up Craigslist

by Joe Zekas on 1/5/13

As you might expect, I pick up the phone and talk to Chicago rental services. They almost all describe themselves as “one of the good guys” who abhor the practices that their competitors – who are often their former employers – engage in to spam and bait-and-switch renters.

If you consider yourself “one of the good guys” or are employed by a rental service that may have duped you into thinking you’re working with “one of the good guys,” you can help make the bad guys harder to find. Give some consideration to setting aside a few minutes a day to flag ads from the rental services that spam Craigslist with 100s of repetitive ads a day in violation of Craigslist’s Terms of use (“TOU”).

Start by reading and understanding section 4.a of Craigslist’s TOU. If you decide to go further, pick a target company from among the dozens of Craigslist rental ad spammers. To flag an ad that’s in violation of the TOU, click the “spam/overpost” link at the upper-right corner of the ad. Look for keywords or keyword combinations in ads and use them to search for additional ads that warrant flagging.

If you’re genuinely “one of the good guys” you’ll give some serious thought to putting your mouse where your mouth is. Cleaning up Craigslist makes it easier for renters to find your ads.

NOTE: At the margins YoChicago competes with rental services for landlord marketing dollars, so we have a financial stake in keeping the competition honest. Make whatever you will of that.

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