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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

500 Lake Shore Drive bans Craigslist rental service ads

Park west of 500 LSD

500 Lake Shore Drive sent the following email to rental services / apartment locators / apartment finders last Saturday morning: Subject: Craigslist Postings at 500 Lake Shore Drive Good Afternoon, As you all know, we have recently switched over to the LRO pricing model. With this pricing model, pricing fluctuates daily based on several factors ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on February 23, 2015
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Why YoChicago is your best Streeterville apartment source

Streeterville

There are only 16 apartment complexes in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood and you’ll find all of them on YoChicago’s at-a-glance list. The list gives you a snapshot of the types of apartments in each building, the building’s pet policy, and whether it has in-unit washer / dryers, a pool and on-site parking. YoChicago’s at-a-glance list links ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on February 23, 2015

Are Craigslist apartment shoppers brain dead?

Craigslist

There are currently 26 ads on Craigslist with the phone number 312-600-7356. All of those ads are for luxury condos with identified addresses. All of the ads I sampled contained a statement that “We are licensed Illinois Realtors…” That ought to be enough to make you comfortable in picking up the phone and calling, right? ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on February 19, 2015

Join a Chicago rental service or become an Uber driver?

Old Ford

You’re a young, unemployed college dropout contemplating your career options. You’ve been reading Craigslist ads from Chicago rental services that promise “unlimited earnings potential” and a “rewarding career.” You’ve also been considering becoming an Uber driver. After researching the rental service vs Uber decision, here are some of the reasons why you decided to become ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on February 18, 2015

Leasing agents – how to cut your losses at tax time

IRS logo

If you were lured into working at a Chicago rental service last year by the promise of a “lucrative career” and “steady earnings” the odds are you washed out of the business after grossing only a few thousand – or a few hundred – dollars in commissions. Chicago rental services typically treat their new recruits ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on February 17, 2015

Zumper has a new design and spam apartment ads

Zumper screen cap

Yesterday’s email brought “news” of “the brand new Zumper web platform.” In its previous incarnation Zumper seemed to be nothing more than a garbage dump of deceptive rental service ads. In its new incarnation Zumper strikes me as nothing more than a garbage dump of deceptive rental service ads with a more sophisticated search engine ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on February 6, 2015

That apartment was rented before you applied

Kardas photo

Applying for an apartment that’s already been rented – or was never available – is just one of the very many pitfalls you’ll encounter when you work with a Chicago rental service / apartment locator / apartment finder. Many landlords allow multiple rental services to advertise and show their apartments while retaining the right to ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 19, 2015
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

South Loop apartments for rent – an up-to-date list

South Loop apartments

If you want to rent in the South Loop, you can see all of your managed apartment building options on YoChicago’s South Loop availability list. There are just over a dozen large apartment complexes in the South Loop, and we’ve listed them in this Google spreadsheet, and checked what’s available for rent, and what the ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 14, 2015

How fraudulent Yelp reviews help Chicago renters

Yelp

We’ve written previously about apparently fraudulent Yelp reviews for Live Here Chicago, a local rental service / apartment locator / apartment finder. Company agents and former agents have reportedly been encouraged to create positive reviews for themselves at Yelp. Read the recent reviews pictured above from a single Yelper. It’s obvious that both can’t be ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 9, 2015

How fast your agent gets paid may bias which apartments you see

Aerial Grant Park

A recent comment at YoChicago: I am hearing thru the grapevine that some agents are actually quietly boycotting some buildings and management companies. The management companies that have been boycotted have been super late on paying out commissions and have clearly made demands about advertising and marketing that clearly makes agents feel that it’s a ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on November 24, 2014

A flood of bait-and-switch apartment ads at Craigslist

Craigslist

As winter approaches and the number of apartment-hunting renters drops, Chicago rental services typically ramp up their year-round efforts to flood Craigslist with bait-and-switch ads. This year I’m seeing what appears to be a tidal wave of misleading and unauthorized ads. Many of those ads tout much higher rents than are actually available at the ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on November 13, 2014

Earn $2,500 a week leasing apartments

Thumbnail image for Earn $2,500 a week leasing apartments

If you consistently follow Craigslist help wanted ads for real estate you’ll be struck by the recurring ads for a number of Chicago’s rental services. You might wonder why it’s necessary to advertise continually to fill positions with the high earnings potential touted in the ads. You might wonder why the many thousands of real ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on November 4, 2014

Leasing agent with criminal record busted again

Bryan Duffy

We’ve repeatedly warned renters and landlords about Chicago leasing agents who have criminal records. If you’re a landlord handing over the keys to an occupied apartment, we think you owe it to your tenants to know who’s getting those keys. Hand them to a rental service, and you’ve lost control of the situation, since rental ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on October 14, 2014

What do rental service agents really earn at Live Here Chicago?

Live Here ad

We’ve previously written about fraudulent reviews of Live Here Chicago, one of the rental services on our do-not-call list. We’ve also called attention to a former agent at the firm trashing the firm on Yelp. Another former agent has been writing at Google Plus and on the firm’s Facebook page about having been paid to ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on September 23, 2014

The right way to find a Streeterville apartment

Streetervillea partments

Quite a few Chicago renters share the misunderstanding that they’ll save time by using a rental services a/k/a apartment finder a/k/a apartment locator to make appointments to see apartments and drive them from one to the other. In some neighborhoods, Streeterville being a prime example, it’s far easier to walk from one building to the ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on September 10, 2014

A time-saving way to search Craigslist apartment ads

Kardas photo

A few months ago we identified the top 10 apartment ad spammers at Craigslist. As you might expect, they’re all Chicago rental services a/k/a apartment locators a/k/a apartment finders. Chicago’s sleazy rental services set out to confuse and frustrate you into using their so-called “services” by running many 1,000s of repetitive ads at Craigslist, in ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on September 5, 2014

When Chicago rental services go into thug mode

Lincoln Park aerial view

Dishonest and illegal practices are a daily routine for many of the agents at Chicago’s rental services. We’ve spotlighted some of the things rental services don’t want you to know, and we’ve identified the ten worst rental service ad spammers at Craigslist. Rental service agents are aggressive under normal circumstances, but they go into hyper-drive ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on September 2, 2014

Rental service lies – the largest database of apartments

Aerial view downtown

If you scan help wanted ads for Chicago rental services at Craigslist, or visit their websites, you’ll find a number of them claiming to have the largest database of apartments. For all but one, it’s an untruth. Almost all of the rental service do have access to the largest database of rentals – the local ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on August 26, 2014