Paying the price for having been an unlicensed real estate broker

Yesterday evening I received an email from an individual who I’d identified in a post as holding himself out as a real estate broker without being licensed as one. Four months after the post was published he posted a comment stating that what I’d published was factually inaccurate. It wasn’t.

When you Google the individual’s name, the YoChicago post surfaces as the first result, and that’s apparently what prompted the following email, from which I’ve redacted identifying info.

Mr Joe Zekes- [sic]

I hope this email finds you well. I am reaching out with hopes that you can assist me. Back in [date redacted] you had written an article about me [link redacted] that is really having an impact on my current ventures. I am hoping you will be willing to remove this article as the reasonable person I have found within reading your other articles with “YoChicago”.

Currently, I am working on ventures in Real Estate development and very passionate about what I am doing. I am working with some of the top real estate coaches in North America and very proud of the work that we are doing. We are creating great opportunities for buyers and education for people who are interested in Real Estate investing. While I understand your point within the article and have come to agree with you on your views of the rental industry as well as the rental agents that support it, I am hoping that you will understand that I am trying to bring value to the Chicago market and this article is really affecting my position.

I understand that I am asking for a favor with this email. I hope to hear from you soon.

Kind Regards-
[Name redacted]

I emailed the individual, noting that the current activities he describes apparently require a real estate license and the IDFPR database identifies his license as having been Inoperative for over a year.

The email contains a number of what my experience tells me are “scammer flags.” Note, for example, the references to unspecified “top real estate coaches in North America,” “creating great opportunities for buyers,” and “trying to bring value to the Chicago market …”

The whole point of outing unlicensed real estate people is to hope they pay a price for their behavior. Reasonable people Google prospective business contacts and avoid anyone with a history of violating the law.

The original post is accomplishing what it set out to do, and stands as written.

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