Why Write an Apartment Review?
When our co-founder Matt moved to Chicago from New York he did what many people do when moving from out of town: called a friend in Chicago to ask for advice. In Matt's case, that friend was Dan (our CEO), who had moved to Chicago from New York four years earlier. While no Chicago expert, Dan made an effort to help Matt make sense of "Old Town" "The Loop", and "River North" by comparing them to a few neighborhoods in New York. To Matt, this made a really big problem (where to live in a new city) a little more manageable.
While helpful, this shortcut ultimately led Matt down the wrong path. Dan thought Matt might like Lincoln Park, but after a year living there, Matt realized River North was where he wanted to be. Dan meant well, but had no way of knowing the little details that made each Lincoln Park intersection, building, and unit unique. Matt's experience is why we decided to start AptAmigo in the first place: we believe everyone deserves the advice of thousands of friends when it comes to finding a great Chicago apartment.
One friends' advice is a good start, but thousands of friends can give you the full scoop.
If you’re moving to Chicago from New York (or anywhere!) and have no idea where to start, AptAmigo has a great Chicago neighborhood guide to inspire you. Hopefully it can help round out any advice you get from friends.
From there, you can read through 4,000+ reviews and rankings to see which Chicago apartments and condos Chicagoans really like. You can even sort by your favorite neighborhoods! If you're moving from New York (or Urbana-Champaign, Madison, San Francisco, or Atlanta), you can discover an apartment that's loved by similar transplants! With that much information at your fingertips, it's easier to figure out your next move.
Finding a new place to live is stressful and has a huge impact on quality of life. When things go right, it's awesome, but when they go wrong, they can really go wrong. Our reviews are different (Ok, they're just better) because they have detail on shower pressure, friendly door staff, and the nearest grocery store, to help you feel confident before scheduling a tour. Knowledge is power and your time is valuable.
So what makes a great Chicago apartment review and where should you write one?
What makes a great apartment review?
Details Be as detailed as humanly possible, really use those adjectives. We want to know that the doorman named Robert is literally your favorite person in the building. We love hearing about how your loft building was originally a pencil factory. Have a recommendation for a great restaurant around the corner? Let us know. We’re also starving!
Try to think about how you would describe your apartment to your best friend who happened to be moving to Chicago. You'd probably give them the nitty gritty details that apartment hunters love.
Honesty AptAmigo's mission is transparency. The best way to create that transparency is through honesty. As much as I would love to only post “ribbons and rainbows” types of reviews, it's just not always an option. If there's room for improvement, don't be shy! Some buildings have long elevator waits, especially during rush hours and maybe you've experienced weak WiFi or had a few dropped calls in your unit.
These are all facts we wished we knew while apartment hunting, but typically don't reveal themselves until after a move. Glazing over the fact that the shower pressure is as strong as a trickling brook could be a big problem. We've learned that lots of people are invested in this!
Pros and Cons In addition to honesty, good Chicago apartment reviews and ratings walk a balance between cheerleader positivity and too much negativity. Our friends at G2 Crowd posted an article entitled The Positive Impact of Negative Reviews. The gist of this article is that you need balance in your reviews, meaning you do NEED negative reviews.
Why would anyone want anything other than glowing reviews? Here’s why: When you look at a building page on AptAmigo and you see nothing but 5 star reviews you start to think, “hmmm this seems to good to be true.” When you see a building that has nothing but negative reviews you start to think, “wow, this can’t be true. No building can be THIS bad.” A building with a mix of both positive and negative reviews looks (and is) more realistic; it builds trust.
A by product of any negative review is that it can encourage a landlord to take action. If they see balanced reviews, but in each one people tend to mention that the pool deck needs to be updated, that's a lot more meaningful than generalized complaints. Good building managers want you to live at their properties, and have the best experience while doing so.
We may be biased but we think that AptAmigo is the best Chicago apartment search site around! Whether you’re hunting for an apartment, or looking to let people know about how great your current apartment is, AptAmigo has what you need.