Stay far, far away from New Market Realty

The Craigslist recruiting ad pictured above prompted me to take a closer look at New Market Realty’s website. Who, after all, wouldn’t want to see “the most comprehensive website … in the industry” and learn about “the most aggressive marketing program in the industry?”

What I found when I went to the blog on New Market Realty’s website was the most blatant instance of copyright theft that I’ve seen.

Ayman Hanna, the managing broker at New Market Realty copied a major portion of our Old Town apartment rental guide word for word and posted it as his own work in a blog post. All of the pictures in his blog post are YoChicago pictures. Here’s a full screen cap documenting his theft.

The articles on the company’s news page are copied in their entirety from Crain’s Chicago Real Estate Daily, without attribution. I’ve alerted Crain’s.

I couldn’t find a number of the agents on New Market Realty’s roster in the IDFPR database. I was able to find a broker license for Kevin Pritchett, who’s identified as an “Attorney/Broker” at New Market Realty. I was also able to find his law license record at the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, with the following notation:

Mr. Pritchett, who was licensed in 1987, was suspended for five months. He was convicted of attempt to commit financial identity theft after he used his secretary’s identification information to open a bank account and to obtain a life insurance agency agreement. The suspension is effective on June 8, 2012.

Google Kevin Pritchett Attorney Chicago and you’ll find a record of his having been charged with filing a false or misleading application with the Illinois Department of Securities – and more.

This is a company that renters, landlords and anyone seeking employment need to avoid.

TIP: If you’re renting in Chicago you should never just walk into a rental service and work with whoever you’re assigned to. Always research the person before meeting him or her. And always ask for a driver’s license and leasing agent or broker license before agreeing to work with a rental agent.

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