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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

CAR panel says it’s ethical to violate Illinois law

Last Thursday an Ethics Hearing Panel of the Professional Standards Committee of the Chicago Association of Realtors (“CAR”) heard my complaint that a Realtor had violated Standard of Practice 12-4 of the Realtor Code of Ethics by advertising a property for rent without authority. My complaint had been filed on April 13 and related to ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on September 8, 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

Will luxury high-rise dwellers be shivering in September?

100 E Huron

Chicagoans experienced cooler than normal temperatures in July, and the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a cold winter. Anyone who’s lived in Chicago for any length of time is keenly aware of how volatile temperatures can be. New residents of “luxury” high-rises, however, are often unaware that may not be able turn on the heat when ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on August 26, 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

Call a time-wasting lawbreaker for your next apartment

Aerial downtown

All of the rental services a/k/a apartment finders a/k/a apartment locators on YoChicago’s do-not-call list have earned a spot on the list by engaging in illegal or abusive behavior. The most common form of law-breaking is advertising properties for rent without the written consent of the owner that’s required by the Illinois Real Estate License ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on August 12, 2014

Why is the under-35 generation renting rather than owning?

K2 pool

The US Census Bureau recently released data showing that the rate of homeownership among people under the age of 35 has been in a steady decline in the past half-dozen years. The ownership rate stood at 41.3% in the first quarter of 2008 and dipped to 35.9% in the second quarter of this year. That ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on August 6, 2014

YoChicago at YouTube, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter

Boiler room

More than two-thirds of the more than 85,000 unique visitors to YoChicago each month are new to the site, and only 14% of our visitors come directly to the site. Seventy-seven percent of our visitors come here via organic search. What those numbers tell us is that we’re meeting our objective of providing information about ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on August 5, 2014

The first step in finding your first Chicago apartment

West Loop aerial view

Perhaps the biggest mistake that first-time Chicago renters make is not focusing on exactly where they want to live. That’s an easy pit to fall into if you’re new to the city and unfamiliar with rental costs and locations, but it’s one that should be avoided. Your first and most important step in finding your ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on July 29, 2014

Question of the day – who’s getting the supervouchers?

500 LSD

Crain’s Chicago Business reported yesterday that the Chicago Housing Authority is issuing “supervouchers” that enable low-income residents to rent in some of the city’s priciest apartment buildings. Supervoucher recipients are currently renting, for example, at 500 Lake Shore Drive and Aqua. There are important public policy and resource allocation questions to be considered. But, this ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on July 28, 2014

Free Chicago rental services and great apartment deals

Belmont Harbor aerial

Chicago’s piratical rental services would like renters to believe that their services are free. There are renters gullible enough to believe that, just as there are renters who are naïve enough to believe the claim that rental services will negotiate the best deal for them. Chicago’s rental services aren’t that naïve. They’re fully aware that ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on July 24, 2014

Calling ex-rental service agents to speak out

Craigslist screen cap

Recruiting ads for new rental service leasing agents on Craigslist lure the naïve into thinking they’ll join a fast-growing elite firm, be trained for a career with high earnings potential, and be supported with the latest technology. The reality is that working at a rental service is a miserable experience for many new recruits, who ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on July 15, 2014

Are Flats Chicago’s Short Stay apartments properly licensed?

Airbnb Flats Chicago

Chicago’s vacation rental licensing ordinance (“Ordinance”) imposes a number of restrictions and requirements on short-term rentals for transient occupancy. For starters, it requires licensing and a payment of a fee of $500 per unit every two years. Flats Chicago’s Short Stay units at 4875 N Magnolia in Uptown are clearly subject to the ordinance, but ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on July 8, 2014

Some amusing Yelp reviews for Vesta Preferred’s Joe Rush

Yelp screen cap

A new agent starts at a Chicago rental service and, within a matter of days, is receiving five-star reviews at Yelp from people writing their first-ever review, and writing in a way that doesn’t seem to reflect an actual apartment renting experience. That’s a pattern you’ll see repeated time after time in Yelp reviews for ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on July 1, 2014

Bypass 1,000s of Craigslist apartment spam ads with a single click

Kardas aerial

Chicago’s rental services promise to make your apartment search swift and painless. To encourage you to use their services they attempt to make your Craigslist search time-consuming and painful. We’ve singled out the 10 worst Craigslist apartment ad spammers and find it difficult to understand why anyone would work with a company that’s so flagrantly ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on July 1, 2014

A rental service agent trashes his former rental service

Gold Coast view

Live Here Chicago is a rental service that’s on our our do-not-call list and our list of the top 10 Craigslist apartment ad spammers. We’ve also written about the company in connection with fraudulent reviews at Yelp. A comment was added to that post yesterday from someone representing himself as someone who had worked at ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on June 24, 2014

Stay in a new Streeterville high-rise with Airbnb

Streeterville aerial

Airbnb has been around long enough, been the conduit for enough rentals, and refined its policies and checks often enough that you might not have any qualms about signing up for a short-term rental through Airbnb. You should be wary. I recently saw listings for short-term rentals through Airbnb at 500 Lake Shore Drive and ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on June 23, 2014

If you’re smart, you’ll stay away from Renturway

Renturway

The public relations “profession” is notorious for making shotgun pitches to websites without having even the dimmest awareness of how a particular pitch might be received. Yesterday’s email included a pitch from a PR person on behalf of Renturway, a company touted as having a “remarkable business model which differs distinctly from other rental agents ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on June 19, 2014
DealsChicagoDowntown / Loop

The perks of high-rise living

K2 backpacks

The perks of living in one of Chicago’s high-rise rental towers extend well beyond lavish amenities, attentive on-site management, maintenance staff and 24/7 door staff, the creature comforts in the apartments themselves and a convenient location. There are welcome baskets for new residents, and a variety of goodies that might include complimentary umbrellas in the ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on June 19, 2014