So I've been working on a research project involving Yelp and Chicago landlords. It'll be a few weeks before I have the final results, but I wanted to take a moment to discuss one early piece of data I've already discovered. There's one particular word that landlords and tenants both use, but with completely different definitions. The conflicting use of that word is at the core of nearly 40% of Yelp complaints against landlords, property managers and their ilk. Continue reading Failure to Communicate
What you are about to read is a work of fiction. Any resemblance between the people listed below and lunatics you might happen to know personally is entirely coincidental and unintentional, although also hopefully funny.
|2:22am||Hirsch||32||Martin||Hallway smoke detector beeping.|
|3:01am||Chase||3R||Pete||Lights are out on back porch stairs 2nd to 3rd flr east|
|3:05am||Chase||2R||N/A||Someone is stomping around on the back porch|
This is a picture of a fireplace. It comes from a fireplace manufacturer up in Minnesota called Kozy Heat. To you it may seem like a very normal and nondescript picture. It's relatively bland. There's nothing striking about the composition or content.
For us here at RentConfident it's possibly the most important picture in the world. Continue reading Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Fireplace
Do you ever think about something so much, you start to see it everywhere? For many people, it's probably a food they're craving, a big project that needs to be finished soon, or someone they have a crush on. For me lately, it's apartments. Sometimes I'll be doing something perfectly normal, like grocery shopping, and then suddenly I'm thinking "If this grocery store was an apartment, then there would be a lot of slow old ladies on the lease." Weird, right?
Well, yes. I've decided to put my apartment fixation to good use. However, instead of imagining mundane things like the grocery store apartment, I've imagined what it would be like to live in several Chicago landmarks. Try to picture an (admittedly absurd) world where something like The Bean is your apartment. What would be the pros and cons of living there? Read on to find out.
The Bean (aka Cloud Gate)
- close to downtown
- management company keeps the outside very clean
- your bean bag chairs are appropriate and practical
- curved floors require custom furniture
- neighbors constantly changing, but every single one of them spits water at you
- no way to tell if your outfit looks good
- enormous "Windex" budget, no windows.
- located in heart of Wrigleyville
- big yard
- no need for cable subscription to watch Cubs home games
- grounds crew great at landscaping
Imagine that you have never taken drivers' education classes or obtained a driver's license. Now imagine that you decide to take a $600,000 CTA bus filled with passengers on a joyride on the highway. You've got limited knowledge of the rules of the road - only what you've observed from being a passenger in other peoples' cars. Oh, and that bus is about 40 years old and in need of some serious maintenance. The AC doesn't work, the engine makes a horrible grinding noise, and the seats are covered in peculiar biological goo from years of use.
This is not something your average rational person would do. However, it serves as a pretty tight analogy for what many Chicago landlords - and landlords across the country - do every single day. Continue reading 70 MPH in the Wrong Direction