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State Street Properties’ amazing Craigslist apartment spam

State Street Properties

With just over 2,500 ads, State Street Properties isn’t Craigslist’s most prolific apartment ad spammer, but it ranks among the worst of them and shares some verbal tics with the typical Craigslist rental spammers. Landlords and management companies don’t typically resort to superlatives to describe their apartments. If you see an “amazing” or “awesome” or ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 10, 2014
ChicagoNorth Side

Pay a “free” rental service $1,200 to rent in Roscoe Village

3444 N Hoyne

When I ran a search for Roscoe Village apartments at Craigslist yesterday I got 823 results. I scanned many ads that clearly weren’t in Roscoe Village and found only a few that were. I’d driven around much of Roscoe Village earlier in the day and was surprised to see only one FOR RENT sign, on ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 9, 2014

Craigslist spammer of the day: Andy Trejo and iQrentals

Facebook Trejo

We haven’t written about Andy Trejo before, but he’s been on our radar for well over a year, and his company names have been on our Chicago rental service do-not-call list. The LinkedIn screen cap on the left, above, dates to January of last year. The one on the right is current. The LinkedIn profiles ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 7, 2014

An update on Chicagoland Property Group’s spam-family Walker

SoNo East Walker Craigslist

In the coming months we’ll be continuing our efforts to make it easier for you to identify and avoid some of Craiglist’s worst apartment ad spammers. We’ll call them out by company and individual names and build a reference list. On Monday we questioned whether the more than 4,500 ads placed by Chicagoland Property Group ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 4, 2014

Chicagoland Property Group makes Craigslist spam a family affair

Apartments dot com screen cap

We recently spotlighted Chicagoland Property Group’s Collin Walker as one of Craigslist’s worst apartment ad spammers. We also added a business listing for the company at Yelp, knowing we’d be amused by the glowing reviews that we suspected would promptly appear, and did. Were the reviews solicited, in violation of Yelp’s Content Guidelines? Do they ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 3, 2014

Is Chicagoland Property Group Craigslist’s worst apartment spammer?

Chicagoan screen cap

Craigslist doesn’t allow ads to be posted more than once every 48 hours and prohibits keyword spam, i.e. the use of irrelevant terms in ads to draw attention to them. Over-posted ads stuffed with irrelevant keywords are spam. We haven’t completed our research, so we don’t know whether Chicagoland Property Group is Craigslist’s most prolific ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 31, 2014

Lies Chicago rental services tell – apartment listings

2850 North Sheridan view

Almost every Chicago rental service a/k/a apartment locator a/k/a apartment finder claims to have the largest database of listings in the city. They can’t all be telling the truth, and it’s likely that nary a one of them has any factual basis for making the claim. If you evaluate the rental services’ listings by a ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 3, 2014
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

The best apartments in River North, Streeterville and the South Loop

River North, Chicago

We’ve completed our selection of the best apartments, rated on eighteen criteria, in the River North, Streeterville and South Loop neighborhoods. Within a day or two we’ll begin selecting the best apartments in Chicago’s near west neighborhoods – the West Loop, Fulton River District and River West. We’re hoping that our best-of selections, along with ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 27, 2014

What you can do about rental scams

Division Street

It’s a common story. A renter finds a bargain apartment on Craigslist, Trulia or another online site, communicates with a fraud artist posing as the owner, agrees to rent the place and winds up swindled out of what they’ve paid. I recently received the following email from a real estate broker: Currently I have [a ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on November 19, 2013

Simpleton suckers wanted for leasing agent positions

Rainforest cafe

Check out the real estate jobs section at Craigslist and look at ads for leasing agent positions. One company is touting the ability for new leasing agents to earn “$50,000 to $250,000 your first year!” The company’s recruiting website tells agent prospects that “The typical lease deal takes between 1 and 2 days to complete ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on October 23, 2013
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Rental services sneer at 500 LSD ban on Craigslist ads

500 LSD Craigslist

Unlike a number of buildings that don’t allow rental services to advertise their property anywhere, 500 Lake Shore Drive‘s broker agreement (PDF) explicitly authorizes them to advertise on their own websites. Rental services are prohibited from advertising the property on Craigslist or other sites, and are not allowed to use their own photos in any ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on May 6, 2013

Chicago Apartment Hunters, a zombie rental service

Zombies live among us

A tipster emailed us last week, suggesting that “something smells fishy … over at Chicago Apartment Hunters” (CAH). At its website CAH bills itself as “Chicago’s premier locating service.” Well, you’ll need to look at many rental service websites before you’ll find an apartment locator that isn’t number one or the largest or the leading ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 25, 2013
ChicagoNorth Side

What’s the best way to find an apartment in Bucktown?

Bucktown video

You can drive yourself bonkers searching for a Bucktown apartment on Craigslist or working with apartment rental services, or you can take a smart approach: just go to Bucktown, and bike or drive the streets looking for FOR RENT signs. Supplement your efforts by searching MLS-listed rentals at a reputable brokerage firm’s website. Joe Askins ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 12, 2013

Want to join a real estate slime wave?

Craigslist recruiting screen cap

If you’re not very bright, have no self respect, and don’t mind committing the occasional crime, Schwab Property Solutions has a job for you. You can start out by acquiring multiple gmail accounts and get paid $1 per live ad for spamming Craigslist with repetitive ads. If your ad leads to the sale of a ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 11, 2013

Are landlords to blame for rental services’ deceptive ads?

Aerial view, Lakeshore East

Chicago’s rental services routinely spam Craigslist, Trulia, Zillow, hotpads and other websites with high-volume bait-and-switch advertising. They habitually advertise properties without having the written authorization the law requires. They promise renters expert professionals, but many of their agents can barely find their way around the block. One of my correspondents contends that the blame for ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on February 25, 2013

The Silver Gold Apartment short-term housing scam

Silver Gold Apartment scam screen cap

Not long ago I heard from one of Chicago’s newer high-rises that people were arriving at the building believing they had reservations for short-term stays. They presented print-outs of their reservations to the building staff, who informed them that they were the victims of a scam. Several days ago I received an email from an ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on February 22, 2013

Job seekers need to shun no-name rental services

Craigslist screen cap

The Illinois Real Estate License Act (“License Act”) requires brokers to include their name in ads, including ads recruiting new agents or brokers. Scan Craigslist help wanted ads for real estate and you’ll see a number of ads soliciting job-seekers who want to become apartment leasing agents. Ads that give no clue as to the ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on February 13, 2013

Did iMove Chicago viciously retaliate against a Yelp reviewer?

Craigslist screen cap

We’ve written about iMove Chicago several times, put it on our Craigslist’s Dirtiest Dozen rental services roster, and wondered why any renter or landlord would do business with the company. Yelper Simone T recently had what she considered a bad experience with iMove Chicago, and posted a negative review at Yelp. She supplemented her review ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on February 4, 2013

Who is flagging landlord ads on Craigslist?

Belden-Stratford view

A number of high-rise rental properties are reporting that their Craigslist ads are being flagged and deleted. The deletions are happening “mysteriously,” to quote a word in one of the email reports I’ve received. This doesn’t seem that difficult a mystery to solve. One need merely ask and answer Lucius Cassius‘ question – cui bono? ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on February 1, 2013
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

An at-a-glance list of what’s actually for rent in the South Loop

Aerial view of near South Loop

The past week has seen a modest increase in the number of lower-priced one-bedrooms available in the South Loop. We’ve also seen the number of buildings with 3-bedroom apartments available for rent shrink to one during the past week. If you want to rent in the South Loop, you can see all of your managed ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 17, 2013