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Should renters claim the broker bonus at 73 East Lake?

73 East Lake Chicago

Not all Chicago landlords cooperate with rental service brokers, but the ones that do typically pay a commission equal to a month’s rent. Several of the newer buildings have rented up successfully while paying rental services a flat fee per unit that’s well under a month’s rent. The new Loop apartment tower at 73 East ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on July 21, 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

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
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

An up-to-date list of available River North apartments

River North apartments

You can see all of the managed apartment building options in River North 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 all of the River North apartment complexes ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on June 19, 2014

Apartment People CEO admits to shabby business practice

Yelp screen cap

We’ve previously written at length about when a rental service should cash a renter’s deposit check. The short answer: not until the renter’s application has been approved by the landlord or management company. In my opinion, it’s outrageous conduct for a rental service to cash a check without knowing that a lease application has been ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on June 6, 2014

ApartmentList.com is still a garbage dump

Lincoln Park

Just over a year ago we spotlighted ApartmentList, a website that claims the following mission: As renters and landlords ourselves, we understand the widespread frustration with the current rental landscape. Our mission is to turn the renter/landlord relationship into one of trust and transparency. Finding your next home should be a delightful process, and we’re ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on June 5, 2014

How to avoid the rental service wait-and-switch

Aerial view Lincoln Park

If you’re working with one of Chicago’s rental services and renting in one of the large, professionally managed apartment buildings on our at-a-glance lists, the on-site leasing staff takes control and shunts your rental service agent off to the periphery of the transaction. You can expect to receive straight answers and timely updates about the ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on May 27, 2014
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Slim pickings on an East Village apartment hunt

East Village

I drove part of the East Village neighborhood yesterday looking for FOR RENT signs, and found only three. One was from a known scammer, another had already been rented and I didn’t inquire about the third because I’d seen it advertised at domu for $2,950 a month. The area I surveyed, Chicago Ave (800 N) ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on May 23, 2014

Rental service quote of the day – kill granny

Belmont Harbor

Yesterday I added a new name to our do-not-call list of Chicago rental services a/k/a apartment locators a/k/a apartment finders. All of the firms have earned a spot on the list by running illegal ads and / or engaging in other clear violations of the Illinois Real Estate License Act. I asked an acquaintance about ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on May 9, 2014

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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 10, 2014