How to get an edge on renting the best apartments

If you’re working with a rental service, the odds are high that you’re not going to able to rent some of Chicago’s most desirable apartments.

Some of the companies that own and manage sought-after apartments either don’t cooperate with rental services or only allow them access to their hard-to-rent units. If you want to rent the best those landlords have to offer, you need to deal with them directly rather than through an apartment locator / finder service.

The odds against your finding the best apartment increase as you get closer to your occupancy date. Major landlords typically know at least 60 days in advance which leases will not renew, and list them on their websites. In many cases those websites have price and availability info that’s updated in near real-time. Nimble renters move quickly to snap up the best offerings.

You can get an edge on renting a great apartment by identifying well in advance the buildings and apartments that you’d love to live in and signing up for the “availability alert” service offered at their websites.

Our comprehensive at-a-glance lists and detailed reviews help you to narrow your choices. We’ve also spotlighted the best apartments, on eighteen different criteria, in River North, Streeterville, the South Loop, the Loop / New East Side and the West Loop / Near West neighborhoods. All of the “best of” apartments we’ve spotlighted are professionally managed, and we think you can fairly confidently rent any of them sight unseen after verifying any questions you have with the on-site leasing staff.

The image above is from the website for the South Loop’s Astoria Tower, one of YoChicago’s advertisers. It illustrates a target occupancy date of April 1, 2015. Clicking on the Availability alert link next to an apartment type brings up the form you see at the right of the image. You can specify when you want to begin receiving alerts and whether you prefer to receive them by email or have a text sent to your phone. Most of the major buildings on our lists offer a similar service, and a growing number offer a rent credit for booking an appointment online without using a rental service / broker.

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