Are Craigslist apartment shoppers brain dead?

There are currently 26 ads on Craigslist with the phone number 312-600-7356. All of those ads are for luxury condos with identified addresses. All of the ads I sampled contained a statement that “We are licensed Illinois Realtors…”

That ought to be enough to make you comfortable in picking up the phone and calling, right? Wrong.

Your first and biggest warning flag should be that there’s no name in the ad despite the Illinois Real Estate License Act prohibition against blind ads by real estate licensees.

If you conduct a web search for the phone number you’ll find ads that associate one “Vanessa Orozco” with the number.

If you search the IDFPR database of state-licensed real estate agents and the MRED database of local Realtors, you won’t find anyone named Vanessa Orozco.

I called the phone number and the answering message did not identify the firm or person associated with the number, but assured me that an agent would call me back within 30 minutes. I left a voice message inquiring about one of the advertised properties. Nearly an hour has passed and there’s been no return call.

It’s trivially easy to find every rental high-rise in Chicago’s South Loop to Lakeview lakefront neighborhoods, and just as easy to identify local brand-name major real estate brokerage firms.

Given the number of abusively-repetitive bait-and-switch ads from Chicago rental services and from outright scammers, I think you’d have to be brain dead to search for a luxury apartment on Craigslist.

Can anyone make a reasoned argument for using Craigslist?

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