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How Trulia misleads Chicago renters

Trulia screen cap

Rental apartment listings at Trulia surface a bright “Contact Property” link that badly misleads renters. When you submit information via the link, you may or may not be contacting the property. If the property’s in Chicago Trulia may be connecting you to one of the sleazy rental services on YoChicago’s do-not-call list. Trulia could easily ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 25, 2014

Chicago’s rental services are sliming WalkScore

WalkScore screen cap

Misleading renters is the core competency of Chicago’s rental services a/k/a apartment locators a/k/a apartment finders. It’s about the only thing they do well. The rental services have long polluted Craigslist with 10s of 1,000s of bait-and-switch ads each week, making what was once renters’ preferred source for finding an apartment a thoroughly miserable experience ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on November 11, 2013

Factoring gender into your apartment search

Trulia heat map

A Trulia consumer survey reveals that 62% of unmarried adults “prefer to date someone who lives alone,” according to a recent Trulia blog post. Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist, set out to identify the neighborhoods in different cities with the highest female-to-male and male-to-female ratios for adults 65 and under who live alone. The study’s ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on February 13, 2013

Trulia deletes unauthorized rental service ads, blocks user accounts

Trulia rental ad screen cap

We’ve previously criticized Trulia for what we deemed a misleading description of contacts in its rental ads, so it’s only appropriate that we compliment Trulia on something that it’s done well – and done far better than expected. Trulia’s flagging system for reporting problems with rental ads generates an individual trouble-ticket for each report, and ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 4, 2013

Zillow purges illegal Chicago rental service ads

Zillow screen cap

We can find many things to criticize about Zillow Rentals, and we’ve already focused on one of them – misleading descriptions of who renters are contacting in response to an ad. We’ll post some additional criticisms in the coming days. In the meantime, we’d like to compliment Zillow for its prompt and effective response to ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 3, 2013

Chicago’s dirtiest dozen rental services – Rent Proactive is #1

Rent Proactive screen cap

You’ll find scores of sleazy rental services on YoChicago’s do-not-call list. In the coming weeks we’ll single out twelve of them – the dirtiest dozen – for special attention. Our criteria for inclusion in the dirtiest dozen are somewhat arbitrary. Our goal is to document Chicago rental services’ extensive illegal online behavior and seek meaningful ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 2, 2013

On Zillow, Trulia and hotpads, almost every rental service ad is illegal

Trulia screen cap

The headline makes a broad but defensible claim, and one that reflects grossly indefensible behavior on the part of Zillow, Trulia and hotpads. Chicago’s apartment rental services, also known as locators and finders, are independent of the properties they advertise. They often have no business relationship whatsoever with those properties, and run ads that are ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on December 26, 2012

Zillow and Trulia lag brokerage sites in timeliness, accuracy, completeness

Aerial view of downtown Chicago

The WAV Group recently published a Redfin-sponsored study comparing listing search results at local brokerage websites in 11 major markets with search results on Trulia and Zillow. The study (PDF) found that local real estate brokerage websites give consumers the most complete, accurate and timely information about homes for sale. The results – and brokerage ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on October 5, 2012
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Trulia rental scam watch and American Realty Pros

Kingsbury Plaza Chicago

We recently wrote about Trulia’s doomed efforts to cut back on apartment rental scams in its listings. The scams continue, as they always will wherever the slimy rental services we routinely refer to as bedbugs are allowed to have a presence. We have yet to find a rental service that operates its business in an ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on August 3, 2011

Trulia applies a Band-Aid to rental fraud problem; YoChicago offers a solution

Trulia screen cap

A recent post at TruliaBlog boasted that: As online rentals fraud is becoming an industry-wide problem, Trulia is committed to keeping our rental listings scam-free and accurate. While tackling this problem and keeping up with fraudsters is an ongoing task, we have taken a few initial steps to reduce fraud and protect our valued customers. ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on July 31, 2011
News & trendsMarket conditions

Still cheaper to buy than rent in Chicago, says Trulia

It still costs slightly less to buy a two-bedroom home in Chicago than to rent one, as demand for apartments continues to push rental rates upward, says Trulia in its Q1 2011 Rent vs. Buy Index. Chicago is one of 36 metro areas where renting beats buying, although it’s closer to the tipping point that ...

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Posted by Joseph Askins on January 25, 2011