The 2014 Chicago rental service do-not-call list

by Joe Zekas on 3/6/14

Lakeshore East and Streeterville, Chicago IL

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 apartments or apartments only available at a higher or lower price. When an ad does represent an actual apartment, it’s likely to be advertised repeatedly by scores of rental services, none of whom have any control over the property and some of whom aren’t allowed to set foot on the property.

The apartment locators advertise their service as “free,” and that’s an appealing argument to renters naive enough to believe that they’re not ultimately paying the one month’s rent they receive as a commission and not foregoing discounts offered to renters who book an appointment directly rather than through a rental service.

Rental services won’t show you some of the best deals in Chicago – sometimes because the properties don’t cooperate with brokers, sometimes because they’re paying brokers a lower commission than other properties.

Finding a good apartment in Chicago is relatively easy – unless you’re using a locator service to find one. In that case, you’ll often be shown the difficult-to-rent dogs that landlords can’t rent on their own. As a bonus, you’ll be pressured into believing that these leftovers are the best available or steered into neighborhoods you’d rather avoid.

If you’re looking to rent along Chicago’s lakefront, YoChicago’s at-a-glance apartment lists make it easy to see what’s available from all the major buildings and management companies. Searching MLS-listed rentals at a reputable broker site and walking around your preferred area on the lookout for rental signs will expose you to almost everything else.

If Craigslist, Trulia, Zillow or HotPads is your preferred source, we’ve prepared an updated list of the rental services / locators / finders you should avoid, and a list of the twenty-five things rental services won’t tell you.

A number of the companies on the prevous version of this list have gone out of business.

  • Access Chicago Realty
  • American Realty / American Realty Pros
  • Apartment and Condo Center
  • Apartment and Home Seekers
  • Apartment Connection
  • Apartment Friendly
  • Apartment Group, The
  • Apartment Guys
  • Apartment Locators
  • Apartment People
  • Apartment Savvy
  • Apartment Source
  • Blue City
  • Buzzer Real Estate
  • Chicago Apartment Finders
  • Chicago Apartment Renters
  • Chicago Apartment Seekers
  • Chicago Apartment Solutions
  • Chicago Property Finders
  • Chicago Real Estate LLC
  • Chicago Real Estate Services
  • Chicago Rent Finders
  • Chicago Signature Properties
  • Chicago Residential Experts
  • Chicagoland Property Group
  • Chicago’s Property Shop
  • Ciddy of Chicago
  • Continuum Brokers
  • Core Luxury Real Estate / Core Group
  • Crazy Steve
  • Downtown Apartment Company
  • Downtown Apartment Finders
  • Dream Spots
  • Drennen Realty Group
  • Dwell Chicago Rentals
  • Elan Leasing
  • Elite Chicago Properties
  • Exchange Apartment Finders
  • Exit Realty, Jerome Bressert a/k/a Jerome B
  • FairGreen Real Estate
  • Fulton Grace Realty
  • Gold Coast Realty
  • GoldMark Realty
  • Green Ivy Realty
  • Homescout
  • Homestead Group
  • HotSpot Rentals
  • HP Realty
  • Hybrid Realty
  • iKahnGroup / American Realty
  • iMove Chicago
  • iQrentals
  • Just Rent Chicago / Just Realty
  • Kale Realty
  • Lakeside Living
  • Live Here Chicago
  • Live Well Chicago Realty
  • Loop Apartments
  • Luxury Living Chicago
  • My Chicago Flats
  • My Place Apartments
  • My Town Realty
  • New City Rentals
  • New Urban Property Services
  • North Star Real Estate
  • Open Path Realty
  • Premier Chicago Rentals
  • Prospect Equities
  • Quantum Apartments
  • Red Door Realty
  • Rent Apartment Leasing
  • Rent Here Chicago
  • Rent Here Realty
  • The Rent Pros
  • Renters Refuge
  • Rentology
  • Shaw Real Estate Group
  • Spaces Property Group
  • State Street Properties
  • T-Rock Enterprises
  • Tricap
  • Trudo Realty
  • Urban Apartment Locators
  • Urban Domain
  • Urban Lux
  • Vesta Preferred Realty
  • VibeRent Real Estate
  • X Plus Real Estate
  • Your New Address Chicago

New rental services are constantly being spawned, so we’ve doubtless missed some. Add a comment to help us update the list.

  • Facebook
  • Google Buzz
  • Digg
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Live
  • Posterous
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr
  • email

No related posts.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Guest March 6, 2014 at 10:34 AM

So any competition to this website.


Joe Zekas March 6, 2014 at 3:50 PM

You don’t find any of the established full-service brokerage firms on our list, and they also compete for the attention of renters.

Unlike rental services and cowardly anonymice, we compete honestly and openly. We don’t spam renters with 1,000s of illegal, repetitive bait-and-switch ads each day.

We don’t, like you, hide behind half a dozen different screen names backed by phony email addresses.


Guest March 6, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Yochicago is in the business of real estate advertising. The idea that it is simply acting as a good Samaritan for the benefit of tenants everywhere is preposterous. While some of these agencies are certainly problematic, the conflict of interest here is fairly obvious. As for my own personal anonymity, I don’t see how it is relevant, nor do I see the need to disclose my identity to the entire internet. I can assure you though that unlike Yochicago, I don’t have a financial stake in people choosing one rental advertising service over another.


Joe Zekas March 6, 2014 at 8:44 PM

Does your assurance hold true for all six of your anonymous screen names or only for this one?

Renters can judge the value of our information and compare it with your lame attempts at disinformation.


Misha July 25, 2014 at 2:22 AM

Hi, Why is Hybrid Realty on this list?


Joe Zekas July 25, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Advertising properties without the legally required authorization.


Jessica August 7, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Why is Hot Spot Rentals on your list?


Joe Zekas August 7, 2014 at 1:13 PM


Does your company have written permission, as required by law, to advertise the properties you’re advertising? No.

Are you spamming Craigslist in violation of its terms of service? Yes.

I could go on, but that’s enough to earn you a place on the list.

In another comment you stated that you work for Hot Spot Rentals. You should also have disclosed that in this one.


Jessica August 9, 2014 at 10:44 AM

whatever you say Joe :)


Nick August 27, 2014 at 8:16 PM

I would like to get into leasing apartments and eventually into real estate sales. Any companies you can recommend? Thanks.


Joe Zekas August 27, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Start with one of the major management companies rather than with a rental service. You’ll be trained well and, more important, will learn how to act ethically and professionally.


Leave a Comment

Previous Post:

Next Post: