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Zillow is blocking Chicago rental service IP addresses

A gargoyle

Property owners pay commissions to rental services for bringing them prospects. If a major property owner has difficulty getting a rental service to honor the Illinois Real Estate License Act’s prohibition against advertising without written permission, what chance do you as a renter have of getting fair treatment from that rental service? I received the ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 4, 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

Is Jerome Bressert Chicago’s sleaziest rental agent?

Jerome Bressert

We realize that the title of “Chicago’s sleaziest rental agent” has lots of contenders vying for it. You’ll find 100s of them in the employ of the companies on our do-not-call list of rental services / apartment finders / apartment locators. Jerome Bressert of Exit Strategy Realty, however, appears to be making a strong run ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on October 30, 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

Are there 475 single-families for rent in Lincoln Park?

Zillow screen cap

In your dreams there are – and also at Zillow Rentals, where a query returns 475 single-family homes for rent in ZIP Code 60614. One of those single-family homes is 44 stories high. Zillow Rentals is vying with Craigslist to become the marketplace where you search for your next home or apartment, and it’s succeeding ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 7, 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

Are Zillow’s Rent Zestimates worthless?

What’s a Rent Zestimate? According to Zillow: A Rent Zestimate is Zillow’s estimated monthly rental price, computed using a proprietary formula. It is a starting point for determining the monthly rental price for a specific property. The Rent Zestimate for 432 W Huron St, a newly-built 7,000 square foot, 4-bedroom, 4 ½ bath single-family home ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on October 4, 2011
News & trendsMarket conditions

Home price declines on a map, by ZIP Code

Price declines, from Zillow

The Wall Street Journal has a useful interactive map of home price declines – from peak levels – presented on a map by ZIP Code. The color-coding on the map instantly makes clear that there’s been wide variability in price declines among Chicago’s regions and ZIP Codes. That fact helps put today’s Case-Shiller data in ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on June 28, 2011
News & trendsMarket conditions

Quote of the day: Home values see biggest quarterly drop since ’08

“Home value declines are currently equal to those we experienced during the darkest days of the housing recession. With accelerating declines during the first quarter, it is unreasonable to expect home values to return to stability by the end of 2011.” – Zillow’s chief economist Stan Humphries. National home values fell 3% from 4Q 2010 ...

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Posted by Joseph Askins on May 9, 2011

Quote of the day: Rate your agent

“If it can be known, it will be known; if it can be rated, it will be rated.” – Zillow co-founder Rich Barton, quoted in a media release announcing Zillow’s latest feature: agent reviews and ratings. Former and existing clients can now grade their agents, Yelp-style, provided the agents have Zillow accounts. Not up for ...

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Posted by Joseph Askins on December 6, 2010