I very rarely take the time to post negative reviews about products/services. But in this case, I feel obliged to do so in order to warn others before they put down $10,000 of their hard-earned money.
I have been a "Preferred Investor Group"(PIG) member in San Antonio for a little bit over a year or so and have purchased 2 houses thru Lifestyles.
I choose to post with a psedo identity as it is not pragmatic to criticize a organization after paying a hefty sum in advance (which effectively precludes you from using services from other organizations).
I disagree with some of you who may claim that some of the below points are trivial. When you are being charged $10,000 a year, the service/product provided has to be top notch. I have paid less than $10k a year to other
organizations (not RE orgs) and have received far superior services/customer service.
- Reponses via email or phone from the realtors at LS is not of top notch quality. I have had to email/phone/leave voicemails repeatedly to get traction on deals that i have been interested in.
There have been numerous occasions when even a courtesy response was not provided to let me know that another member was already working on a house or the house was already under contract(and no, the Quest tool still indicated that the house was available for members).
It seems like the organization does not feel the need to send even a courtesy response if a property is no longer available for LS members . The exception to this experience has been Dennis M. He has been prompt and courteous and
goes the extra mile.
- Properties on the MLS are "tagged" by the realtors within LS. And a property can be tagged by only one realtor. And once a property has been tagged, you HAVE to work with the realtor who tagged it and not with any other realtor
within LS. This shifts incentive for the realtors within LS from providing good service and bagging repeat business to just be agressive in tagging properties.
This is in stark contrast to the vendors who are not allowed to tag properties and thus always have an incentive to provide good service and gain repeat business.Remember you have already paid $10k, so you are going to work with the realtors within LS rather than external realtors.
- LS uses a catch phrase "Real Estate is Easy, People are difficult" implying that RE is easy, you just need to be able to deal with various temperaments of various people involved in the sealing of a deal. Yet the San Antonio office has only 1 Single Family Mentor, Jim V. If for any reason, you and him are not on the same wavelenth, you can be rest assured, you will have to really really go the extra mile to ensure all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed during the various phases of a deal. He does not have any incentive to proactively ensure your deal is succesfull. $10k/year definitely should earn you multiple mentors(with a reasonable level of proactiveness to return phone calls/emails and ensure that you are not forgetting to dot the i's and cross the t's that you are unaware of) to work with.