Help wanted ads for the apartment rental industry – the folks we refer to as bedbugs and place on a do-not-call list – routinely tout high-paying career-potential jobs. Here’s a typical Craigslist ad, trawling for suckers:
The Apartment People, Chicago’s leading apartment finding service and winner of the Chicago Reader “Best Of” for 2010 and 2011, is looking for 30+ leasing consultants to assist our more than 20,000 potential renters. Real estate experience is not required. Successful applicants are self motivated, have some sales experience, weekend availability and a clean insured vehicle. Our consultants have access to the largest database of apartments in the industry as well as top level tech/administrative support. This is an exciting and rewarding career opportunity that allows you to help people find the perfect home while earning a great income.
In reality being an agent for a Chicago rental service company is a very tough way to make a living, and a high-turnover occupation. A very high-turnover occupation.
Ask yourself a few questions. Why would “Chicago’s leading apartment finding service” need to hire 30 or more “consultants” if the “career opportunity” is so rewarding? Why would the required qualifications be so minimal at a time when many talented, motivated people are looking for work? Wouldn’t an industry-leading company be able to recruit successfully from its many competitors? How many of the “rock star” agents praised in patently phony Yelp reviews are still in the industry six months later?