I’ll admit, I rarely visit Yelp, but I know people who put a lot of stock in its users’ opinions. If you do, you’ll probably spend a lot of time sifting through its Property Management section before renting your next apartment. Almost 800 businesses are listed under the Property Management tag, and as you can guess, the reviews from people purporting to be past and present tenants can be downright ruthless.
The most reviewed property management company on Yelp is ICM Properties, a 44-year-old, Lake View-based company that manages more than two thousand units in most North Side neighborhoods, from River North up to Rogers Park. A testimonials page on ICM’s website features dozens of glowing comments (and in one instance, a Snoopy card) from happy renters.
It’s no surprise that the link to ICM’s site from its Yelp profile heads directly to those testimonials, because the reviews from Yelp users aren’t so glowing. After 71 reviews written over a five-year period, ICM has a fat 2 out of 5 on the ol’ Yelp-o-meter.
Now, I’m not going to slog through all of those reviews to determine how many of these people have well-formed criticisms and how many just like to complain. (That’s probably why I’m such a lousy Yelp reader.) However, I do tend to scan the “Elite” reviews, which, in Yelp’s words, are written by people who “known for having reviews that are insightful, engaging and personal (aka useful, funny and cool!)”
And boy, Elites do not like ICM:
Rats, heater dying in the dead of winter, plumbing problems, and learning the hard way that lack of a security deposit is NOT a good thing. It just means the people before you did whatever the hell they wanted with the apartment. It shows.
Our toilet is sinking through our bathroom floor right now. ICM doesn’t care. It’s sunken into the floor over an inch. I despise ICM and even if the rent looks cheap and the place isn’t that bad, you don’t want to rent from these people. Seriously.
The walls of our apartment were growing mold, and when we finally bothered them enough to clean them, they wiped the mold off, and 2 weeks later it was back. We then got a call from ICM telling us we were not supposed to tell any of the potential new tenants that the apartment had flooded.
You get the idea.
Again, does that mean anything? That’s up to you — there are a few five-star reviews among users, too. Either way, the reviews are there, and there are plenty more for all of ICM’s peers and competitors. Check them out sometime, and see if the ratings match your experiences.