Vesta Preferred, where raw rental rookies rate rave reviews

Vesta Preferred bills itself in Craigslist recruiting ads as the “Highest rated Real Estate Company on Yelp.”

That statement simply isn’t true, as you can easily determine from a brief scan of the Chicago rental services reviewed on Yelp. Early last year we wondered whether the company’s reviews reflected actual consumer experiences or resulted from self-help.

We’re still wondering, because rave reviews of Vesta Preferred agents surface soon after they begin work. The first-time Yelpers pictured above had a great experience with Puja Mohindra and Jason Mason, both of whom were working on 120-day leasing licenses at the time. According to IDFPR records, Mohindra had been on the job for less than a month and Mason for about 2 ½ months.

If you sample the more than 100 Vesta Reviews that Yelp has filtered as “not recommended” you’ll find multiple instances of raw recruits rating 5-star reviews. If you track Vesta Preferred’s rookies over time you’ll have a difficult time finding any who’ve followed the “Clear step-by-step career path from Residential Leasing Agent to Residential Broker” promised in the company’s recruiting ads.

Trivia: Of the more than 100 Vesta Preferred apartment ads on Craigslist yesterday, only one was placed by an agent who’d been with the company long enough to be licensed.

This is the time of year when Chicago’s rental services are aggressively trying to hire the latest crop of new agents – or, in the more accurate phrasing that I prefer, trawling for suckers gullible enough to swallow the most shameless lies.

The takeaway: Think long and hard, and investigate carefully, before joining one of Chicago’s rental services. Ask yourself why experienced agents, many of them earning far less than what rental services tout, almost never do.

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