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ChicagoDowntown / Loop

How to find your best West Loop apartment

Luxury Living screen cap

If you’ve been searching for a new apartment in Chicago’s West Loop / Fulton River District, the odds are that you’ve been exposed to one or both of the above ads. The ads invite you to click through for help in finding your “perfect” West Loop apartment. Clicking on the ads takes you to a ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on June 29, 2015
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Moving to River North? YoChicago trounces rental service brokers

Luxury Living screen cap

If you’ve been searching for a new apartment in River North, you’ve probably been exposed to ads from Chicago’s rental services. The ad pictured above, for example, invites you to “Contact Us to Find Your Perfect Apartment.” You may or may not see your “perfect apartment” when you work with a rental service broker. Not ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on June 21, 2015
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Moving to Streeterville? YoChicago or a rental service broker?

Streeterville

If you’ve been online looking for an apartment in downtown Chicago, the odds are that you’re seeing ads similar to the screen cap shown here. The ads are placed by one of Chicago’s rental services and invite you to “Contact us to Find Your Perfect Apartment.” Click on the ad and you’re taken to a ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on June 17, 2015

American Realty’s Dan Dantuma has another heroin bust

Dan Dantuma mugshot

It’s been just over a year since we called attention to Dan Dantuma of American Realty and his more than 20-year history of arrests on charges ranging from burglary to possession of heroin. A tipster alerted us to an additional arrest, this January, for possession of more than 15 grams of heroin. Dantuma still holds ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on June 15, 2015

State levies $100,000 fine on Exchange Apartment Finders

Clipart

The Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation has levied a $100,000 civil penalty (pdf) against The Exchange Apartment Finders (EAF) and ordered it to cease and desist the unlicensed practice of real estate. Four individuals affiliated with EAF were also fined $5,000 each and ordered to cease and desist unlicensed practice: Delight Cherry, RJ ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on June 14, 2015

Ditch the rental broker if you want a great apartment deal

Aerial view of Loop

Chicago’s rental service brokers would like you to believe that they can help you find a great deal on your next apartment. Don’t believe it. Working with a rental service guarantees that you’ll miss out on many of Chicago’s best apartments and apartment deals For starters, there are many attractive properties that don’t pay commissions ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on June 13, 2015

Rental services give renters bad advice

South Loop aerial

Chicago’s rental services a/k/a apartment locators a/k/a apartment finders are a source of almost endless misinformation and bad advice. The worst advice you’ll often get from rental services is on the topic of when to begin your apartment search. Their general rule of thumb: 30 days in advance of your move, sometimes 45 days, almost ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on May 26, 2015
ChicagoNorth Side

How to miss out on great Lakeview apartments

Aerial of Lakeview

If you want to be absolutely certain that you don’t get to see many of the best apartments in Lakeview, contact an apartment rental service a/k/a locator a/k/a finder. Many desirable Lakeview properties don’t pay rental services a commission. Rental services won’t take you to those properties, and may even lie to you about the ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on May 20, 2015

Rental services: we don’t need no stinking listings

Treasure Sierra Madre screen cap

The websites of some Chicago rental services invite you to “search our listings” and their Craigslist ads solicit you to inquire about “our other listings.” The classic scene from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre comes to my mind when rental services refer to their “listings.” Rental services only rarely have what real estate professionals ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on May 11, 2015
ChicagoNorth Side

In Lincoln Park, apartment finders are for apartment losers

Aerial view of Lincoln Park

If you’re looking for an apartment in Lincoln Park and working with an apartment finder a/k/a locator a/k/a rental service, you are absolutely certain to lose out on some of the neighborhood’s best apartments. The Lincoln Park apartment market is tight this season, and a number of major property owners and managers in the neighborhood ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 27, 2015

Want a lucrative career leasing luxury apartments?

Hancock

It’s that time of year again. Chicago’s rental services are advertising heavily at Craigslist, touting six-figure incomes, unlimited earnings potential, the start of a lucrative career leasing luxury apartments, etc. etc. Why aren’t the many licensed, experienced real estate agents who currently earn next-to-nothing flocking to those well-paying positions as the rental season heats up? ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 7, 2015
ChicagoNorth Side

Great Lincoln Park apartments are off-limits to rental services

Lincoln Park aerial

Working with a rental service guarantees that you’ll miss out on some of the best located, most fairly priced and most nicely renovated apartments in Lincoln Park. A number of Lincoln Park’s largest landlords don’t cooperate with rental services, and rental services will steer renters away from their properties. Some of Lincoln Park’s large landlords ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 6, 2015

Many of Lakeview’s best apartments are off-limits to rental services

Lakeview aerial

If you’re looking for an apartment in Lakeview, working with a rental service a/k/a apartment locator a/k/a apartment finder guarantees that you’ll miss out on some of the best-located, most fairly-priced and most nicely-renovated apartments in the neighborhood. A number of Lakeview’s largest landlords don’t cooperate with rental services, and the services will steer renters ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 3, 2015

April Fools’ Day is Chicago Rental Services Day

New East Side aerial

Yesterday’s brief encounter with a career criminal working as a Chicago leasing agent left me in a somber mood. Kenneth W. Arron a/k/a Kenny Yochelson a/k/a Kenny Stine called himself Kenny Jacobson when he was hired as a leasing agent by The Homestead Group, one of the rental services on our do-not-call list. A Tribune ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 1, 2015

Is a career criminal working as a Chicago leasing agent?

Kenneth Arron

A tipster alerted me this morning that an individual with a lengthy criminal record is applying, using an alias, to work as a leasing agent at some of Chicago’s rental services. My rental service tipster became suspicious and determined that the individual who’d applied for a leasing agent position was actually Kenneth W. Arron. You ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 31, 2015

No appointment necessary at most high-rise apartments

Aqua view

Chicago rental services would like you to believe that they have an inside track on scheduling showings at Chicago’s apartment towers. They don’t. The rental services would also like you to believe that they can negotiate a better deal than you’ll get on your own. They can’t. In fact, in almost every case they’ve explicitly ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 30, 2015

Road rage and rental agent roulette

Facebook screen cap

According to an ABC 7 report, Martin Vigil has been charged with misdemeanor assault, leaving the scene of an accident, and criminal damage to property following the incident in the above video. Vigil is a leasing agent / manager with Chicago Real Estate LLC, one of the rental services on YoChicago’s do-not-call list. As of ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 27, 2015

When rental service agents show up unannounced

Hegewisch gargoyle

As the rental season kicks into high gear Chicago tenants can expect to have rental service agents barging into their apartments without prior notice. A recent comment: I just woke up to an agent walking in unannounced. I venture to say they don’t do this in Texas, lol. In an earlier post we outlined your ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 6, 2015

Rental services can’t and won’t show you some of Chicago’s best apartments

Aerial Chicago

Many of Chicago’s rental services won’t show MLS-listed condo rentals even though they’re often priced below apartments in managed buildings. The simple reason is that the rental service would need to split the commission, which is usually a month’s rent, with the listing broker. If you’re willing to spend $3,000 a month renting an apartment, ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 2, 2015

Luxury Living Chicago’s new twist on deceptive rental service ads

Curbed screen cap

The Illinois Real Estate License Act prohibits “blind advertisements,” i.e. ads that do not contain the name of the broker licensee that placed the ad. The Act also provides that “Advertising shall be considered misleading or untruthful if, when taken as a whole, there is a distinct and reasonable possibility that it will be misunderstood ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 1, 2015