Apartment bedbug spotlight – Downtown Apartment Finders

Kardas Photography, Navy Pier panorama Chicago IL

Every so often we’ll spotlight one of the apartment rental “services” – we call them bedbugs – on our apartment finder do-not-call list. Our bedbug of the day is Downtown Apartment Finders (DAF).

DAF’s Web site has an FAQ page that consists of run-of-the-mill bedbug scare tactics mixed with wrong-headed advice and statements that are simply not credible. One quote will suffice:

Why choose Downtown Apartment Finders?
Downtown Apartment Finders empowers you with a comprehensive map of all the best downtown Chicago apartments – the only one of its kind.

Once you meet our amazing team, the choice will be clear. We firmly believe that we are the most professional leasing company in downtown Chicago.

The “comprehensive” map has 28 options in the Near North / River North / Gold Coast and Streeterville areas. YoChicago’s Near North at-a-glance list and map has 52 options, and many renters will find better apartments among the 24 that are. You’ll find more Near North options at Apartments.com than you will at DAF.

The most professional leasing company in downtown Chicago? DAF is one of a number of companies to claim that distinction. It’s bedbug boilerplate, and it’s meaningless.

DAF indulges in the usual bedbug Craigslist spamming – over 1,000 ads in the past 3 days alone. And, of course, the ads include the usual keyword stuffing to make renters’ searches more difficult. Consider this, in a DAF ad for River North’s EnV:

Winter avaibilityilovedowntown Chicago offers many forms of transporation including the red line brown line green line blue line metra union station ogilvie train metra ctailovedowntown Apartments within in walking to distance to river north gold coast loop el union station west loop south loop fulton river district lakeshore east lake michigan millenium park choose from many different sizes of apartment in Downtownilovedowntown tower hancock restaurants ilovedowntown

Map screenshots in DAF Craigslist ads include what is almost certainly a Google map image that cuts out Google’s copyright notice, in violation of Google’s rights and Terms of Use. To add insult to injury, DAF adds its own watermark to the apparently stolen map image. DAF also adds its watermark to images grabbed from EnV’s Web site.

In typical bedbug double-speak, DAF’s site tells landlords they’ll get them the highest rent and tells tenants they’ll get them the lowest rent.

Cut your first month’s rent in half

Downtown Chicago is not Manhattan. Finding an apartment here is easy. That’s one of many things rental services don’t want you to know. Our at-a-glance apartment lists and maps and our rental Guides make it even easier.

If you’re determined to use a rental service, always negotiate their commission and ask for at least half of it as a rebate. Paying a month’s rent for a few cab rides and half-baked advice from rookies makes no sense.

Make no mistake – these services are not free, unless you’re the gullible sort who believes you’re getting free appliances, cabinets, elevator services and door staff with your apartment. The landlord may cut the check, but he’s doing it on your dime.

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