Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Rental Services

It seems like there are 100 new companies or services helping landlords rent their properties today. Over all I think it is a good thing. There are so many apartments and so many tenants looking for them it might help to have someone sifting through all the information and making the right match. For example I have a new service for live/work space, ArtHouse Chicago that matches artist and entrepreneurs with the right properties. I can tell you I spend a lot of time looking through rental listing trying to find the right fit. In fact I get some satisfaction from matching a person with the rental space they want. From what I am hearing from tenants seeking space it is really hard these days.

Still if you are going to hire a Realtor or rental service to help you make sure you are getting a good service. Most of these place will charge a full months rent for helping you out. If you are paying that, then the service should be listing the property with good color photos and lots of detailed information. They should be prompt about returning your phone calls and those of prospective tenants. The service should also do a through check of your future tenant. A credit check and landlord verification is a must. I like employment verification too and they should be able to share all of this with you. It is likely that the service will charge an additional fee for this, that is usually passed on to the tenant. This fee should be between $20-50 which is not unreasonable.

If you are looking to save money you can do some of this yourself. Some services will charge less if you do the showings or verification yourself. If you are going to list the property on your own make sure you take good photographs of the space and have a detailed listing as well. Let people know in advance what pets you accept, who pays utilities and if you have parking or not. Trust me you are not going to trick anyone into renting an apartment they don’t want. There are too many choices these days.

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