Real estate news & trends

Search posts

Rental services

Don’t respond to blind real estate help wanted ads

Blind ad

You’ll frequently see help wanted ads on Craigslist from real estate firms seeking to hire leasing agents or experienced brokers. If the ad was placed on behalf of a licensed rental service or real estate broker and doesn’t name the firm, the ad is a violation of the Illinois Real Estate License Act. The firm ...

Comment Read the full article →
Posted by Joe Zekas on April 16, 2014

Is Quantum Apartments vandalizing your neighborhood?

Quantum Apartments

Can there really be a business brain-dead enough to document acts of vandalism on its behalf on YouTube? There apparently can, and its name is Quantum Apartments. Last week we saw one of Quantum’s signs tacked to a utility pole in Roscoe Village. A search for information about the company quickly surfaced a number of ...

Comment Read the full article →
Posted by Joe Zekas on April 15, 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 ...

Comment Read the full article →
Posted by Joe Zekas on April 9, 2014

Where have all the iMove agents gone, short time passing?

iMove Chicago

We’ve written repeatedly about iMove Chicago, a rental service that advertises frequently on Craigslist for new leasing agents and brokers. We had saved records of the names of 41 agents and brokers (other than Erickson Ocasio and Rusty Payton, the principals) who were employed at iMove Chicago between January 2012 and January 19, 2013: Andrew ...

Comment Read the full article →
Posted by Joe Zekas on April 9, 2014
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

River North – A list of available apartments and current rents

Whole Foods samplers

If you’re looking to rent an apartment in River North, you can see all of your managed apartment building options on YoChicago’s availability list, below. You can learn more about the buildings and their location in our detailed reviews, and see our take on the best River North buildings on 18 different criteria. We’ve listed ...

Comment Read the full article →
Posted by Joe Zekas on April 2, 2014

How rental services scale law-breaking

Shabbona Park

Chicago’s sleazy rental services pollute Craigslist and other websites with 1,000s upon 1,000s of ads every single day. The goal: confuse and frustrate renters into using their “free services.” Rental services a/k/a apartment locators a/k/a apartment finders lure mostly young and uniformly naïve recruits with empty promises of “unlimited earning potential” or the prospect of ...

Comment Read the full article →
Posted by Joe Zekas on March 27, 2014

Chicago rental agent pleads guilty

Jerome Bressert guilty plea

Last October we wondered whether Jerome Bressert was Chicago’s sleaziest rental agent – a category that has tons of competitors vying for the top spot. We posed our question based on ads that Bressert had placed on Zillow for properties that won’t do business with him, and not solely on his arrest records . When ...

Comment Read the full article →
Posted by Joe Zekas on March 25, 2014

The minimum wage for leasing agents is less than zero

Hyde Park sign

The spring and summer rental market is heating up and Chicago’s rental services a/k/a apartment locators a/k/a apartment finders are advertising on Craigslist for the next crop of leasing agents. The ads promise a lot, including “unlimited earnings potential.” What they don’t tell you is that there’s no limit to the amount of your own ...

Comment Read the full article →
Posted by Joe Zekas on March 20, 2014

Avoid falling victim to Chicago rental services – check cashing edition

Kardas Photography

One of the recurring horror stories you’ll read in reviews of Chicago’s shark-like rental services is the difficulty renters have in getting refunds when their checks have been cashed or credit / debit cards charged and an apartment they’ve applied for has already been rented or their application has been rejected. When you apply for ...

Comment Read the full article →
Posted by Joe Zekas on March 13, 2014

Do Uber drivers out-earn new leasing agents?

Uber ad screen cap

Chicago’s rental services trawl for new recruits with promises of flexible hours, independence and “unlimited earnings potential.” The Uber ride-sharing pitch for new drivers is similar, but suggests earnings of “$20 per hour and potentially more!” If Uber drivers actually approach that earnings number, they’ll out-earn the great majority of new recruits to the rental ...

3 comments Read the full article →
Posted by Joe Zekas on March 11, 2014

A Chicago landlord’s advice re rental services

Oak Park streetscape

A recent comment contains a lot of solid advice for small landlords on how to deal with Chicago’s piratical rental services. Here’s a lightly-edited version: My advice to any landlord, newby or seasoned, is to AVOID DOING BUSINESS WITH ANY OF THEM. If you must use them, consider the agent as simply someone who found ...

1 comment Read the full article →
Posted by Joe Zekas on March 10, 2014

The 2014 Chicago rental service do-not-call list

Lincoln Park

New renters in Chicago are often confused or misled by Craigslist and other ads into believing that they’re contacting a landlord or management company when they respond to an ad by one of the many apartment locators / finders / rental services. Many of the 1,000s of rental service ads on Craigslist are for non-existent ...

4 comments Read the full article →
Posted by Joe Zekas on March 6, 2014

Lies Chicago rental services tell – licensed experts

Craigslist screen cap

Chicago’s rental services, a/k/a apartment finders a/k/a apartment locators, would have you believe that you’ll be benefitting from the assistance of a fully-licensed expert in your apartment search. As often as not you’ll be dealing with a total rookie who’s working on a 120-day permit, sometimes well beyond the legally allowed 120 days. Read the ...

Comment Read the full article →
Posted by Joe Zekas on March 4, 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 ...

4 comments Read the full article →
Posted by Joe Zekas on March 3, 2014

Should we feel badly for new iMove Chicago agents?

Howard aerial

A former iMove Chicago agent emailed yesterday, stating that a number of the claims in the company’s Craigslist recruiting ads are inaccurate. The email ended on this note: I feel really badly for the new people they are recruiting under the 120 day sponsor card. Most of these people are really looking for a chance ...

Comment Read the full article →
Posted by Joe Zekas on February 28, 2014

The Homestead Group’s sucker bait: $2,500 a week, licensed agents

Craigslist screen cap

The headline on a Craigslist help wanted ad from The Homestead Group (“THG”) invites the gullible to “Earn $2500 Per Week Leasing Chicago’s Finest Apartments.” The ad says “you will hit the ground running and start earning large commissions immediately.” Click the above screen cap to see the extended version. It’s hard to find a ...

11 comments Read the full article →
Posted by Joe Zekas on February 18, 2014

Renters can be driven to distraction when driven around

111 W Wacker

“We’ll drive you around” is a common refrain from Chicago’s rental services. That’s one of the few promises rental services make that they routinely keep, but it’s not necessarily in your interest to be driven around. When you’re a passenger, you’re less likely to be paying attention to your surroundings than when you’re driving, and ...

Comment Read the full article →
Posted by Joe Zekas on February 3, 2014

Is Downtown Apartment Company a lawyer-led scofflaw?

Aerial downtown Chicago

According to Downtown Apartment Company’s (DAC) website, Benjamin W. Creamer, the company’s managing broker, is an attorney who formerly practiced with one of Chicago’s most prestigious law firms. Creamer’s background might lead you to expect that DAC would strictly observe the Illinois Real Estate License Act requirement that his firm have written authorization before advertising ...

4 comments Read the full article →
Posted by Joe Zekas on January 28, 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 ...

Comment Read the full article →
Posted by Joe Zekas on January 27, 2014

Ditch the apartment finder and save $500

180 Jefferson screen cap

Chicago’s ever-deceptive apartment rental services would like you to believe that their “service” is free to renters. It’s only “free” in the same way that the stove and refrigerator in your apartment are free – built into the cost of rent and paid for over the life of your lease. There are lots of things ...

1 comment Read the full article →
Posted by Joe Zekas on December 26, 2013