A Gold Coast apartment walk with Stephanie

Stephanie Konow and Katie Bommarito, former apartment rental agents, recently co-founded Chicago Rentals Direct. Having acquired in-depth familiarity with the shortcomings of the rental services, they set out to enable renters to be their own agent and connect directly with Chicago landlords.

On a sunny Friday afternoon Stephanie met me at the corner of Dearborn and Division to illustrate how easy it can be to find a Gold Coast apartment.

Within a 5-minute walk of Dearborn and Division corner you can find dozens of vintage and contemporary apartment buildings with a wide range of rental options. You can research the buildings in advance at Chicago Rentals Direct and YoChicago’s at-a-glance apartment lists and neighborhood rental Guides, set appointments at your preferred choices or simply walk in. Many of the buildings have on-site leasing and management offices.

In the video you can join me and Stephanie for a brief look at 8 apartment buildings along a short 2-block stretch of Dearborn just south of our starting point.

It isn’t difficult to find an apartment in Chicago, especially in the Gold Coast and other downtown neighborhoods. You can see from our walk that the notion of a rental service’s adding value by “driving you around” is a laughable proposition. But, the rental services will say, “our agents really know the buildings.” Anyone who’s spent a few minutes with the typical rental agent will get a good chuckle out of that claim.

If you’re looking to rent in downtown Chicago, do yourself a huge favor. Skip Craigslist – you’ll waste hours and find almost nothing but rental services.

Skip the rental services and the uncertainty and flim-flam they add to the process. Do your own search and have the comfort of dealing directly with the landlord. In downtown Chicago that landlord is likely to be a large, professional management company.

Note: Chicago Rentals Direct rents office space from YoChicago’s parent firm.

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