Becoming investors in this area in 1998 gave us a very good understanding of the demands of having a “home away from home.” When we decided to open SeaStar, we designed the company to allow each investor we work with to tailor their management to meet their needs. Every detail of SeaStar management is centered on our clients first.
We love our guests; we strive to make every guest comfortable and make sure their vacation is an experience that will make them want to return to our gorgeous coast year after year, but it’s the homeowner we serve. Each investor who owns property on the Emerald Coast has worked hard to make the dream of owning a beach house or condo a reality for their family, just as I did for mine. To that end we believe every client deserves to have their investment treated with the same care as we did our own investment property.
Serving the needs of my clients and understanding the demands of ownership when you do not live in the area is the core upon which SeaStar was built.
Any new client may at any time call any owner in our program to discuss the benefits of SeaStar.
There are a few major differences between SeaStar and all the other management companies:
- With SeaStar any guest damages are insured against accidents. The policy covers up to $1500 per reservation we make; the guests pay for this policy as part of their reservation. Our guests like this as it provides some comfort that if they have an accident they will not be facing a huge hit on their credit card.
- We do not have a linen pool. We use only 400-thread count sheets. The first two turns are paid for by the owner, and after that they are replaced only on an as-needed basis. Damaged linen or towels are covered by the insurance policy.
- With SeaStar a house manager is assigned to your place. They know everything in the house, know how it should be, and can spot an issue as soon as they walk in the door. They immediately report any guest damage for a claim; this service is paid for in the guest reservation, not by the client.
- Housekeeping charges are paid by the guest, not our clients. We do not charge a traditional “security deposit” – the usual $300 might not cover an accidental spill. The absence of a traditional $300 deposit may mean a guest can stay an extra night; we want them to spend their money on nights in your house, not on a security deposit that would not make a difference to our client’s bottom line.
- Our clients do not pay for anything that can be covered by the insurance on the reservation. This is the best way to control costs. Guests like knowing they will not be charged for an accident, and they know to call us if they have one, so the issue can be resolved immediately.
- In the case of an emergency, if we are not able to reach our client we would send our maintenance people (broken water pipes, overflowing toilet, HVAC not working). if you wish to have someone on file with us we would make every effort to send your person first. For non-emergencies we make every effort to contact our client (phone, email) before taking any action.
For issues costing less than $200 to resolve we would send the maintenance person you have on file with us, if you prefer, and they can bill you directly, or we can send our maintenance person, the choice is yours. We advise our clients to get an American Home Shield Warranty so if a “big” item (HVAC, dishwasher, stove, refrigerator or hot water heater) should break it is covered by Home Shield. This is not a requirement, but we have seen firsthand how much this has saved our clients for replacement on major items.
- Your county and state tourist tax is paid by SeaStar from revenue collected from the guests. Every client receives a monthly statement showing all the activity in their account.
- Items such as A/C filters, monthly bug spray, or a tour in Homescenes are all options. We can provide these services for you, you may contract with an outside source, or you can do it yourself. The choice is yours.
- SeaStar is designed to reduce maintenance cost and replacement costs for our clients. Our goal is to eliminate as much out-of-pocket expenses as possible.
- New clients have no upfront costs. If you wish, expenses for keyless entry or linen, if any are needed, can be held in your client reserve account until the time that your bookings can cover the cost. The only requirement is that you pay for your VRBO ad. The cost of a VRBO ad is a tax-deductible item for you, and it is very helpful in driving business to your condo. We manage the ad, update the calendar and answer every inquiry.
- If you self-book, or want to take your own reservation requests, that would be fine. Our clients are free to book their own unit as much as they wish and use our system to block out their desired days.
- When you are in residence it is your decision to clean the property yourself or have your house manager clean when your family departs.
- We charge 27% on bookings for the daily rate and 15% for month-long or winter guests; 15% if you choose to book your own reservations and have us manage during the guests’ stay.
- Our professional photographer will photograph the unit, and the photos will appear on a multitude of websites chosen to get maximum exposure to guests. SeaStar will provide calendar updates on these sites. If you want a Homescenes tour we can get a quote for you (based on square feet).
- In addition to advertising on the web and in selected publications, we produce a newsletter every month, The Crabby Crier, that keeps all of our guests up-to-date on news from the beach, as well as any specials we may be offering. Keeping your place in front of guests month after month creates a loyal following to your house. Our guests like to hear about “their place” year-round.
- We also offer VacaLayAway as an added incentive to book early and make a longer vacation affordable for our guests. It works just like layaway did when we were kids: guests put down a deposit and pay a little every month til next year’s vacation is paid for. In this economy we have found guests respond very positively to this feature offered only by SeaStar.
- Pricing for each unit is determined by the client. We can suggest pricing based on other similar units, but ultimately the price is determined by our client. Rental rates may be reviewed and changed at any time. Every inquiry and comment we receive from guests is archived. If you wish to review the feedback we receive, we are happy to share that information.
We are a Florida company registered with the Secretary of State as Platinum Properties Management, LLC. The name SeaStar is used for advertising purposes.
Often clients ask for changes in our management agreement. We make those where we can and are glad to try and alter the agreement to fit our clients’ needs.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. I’ll look forward to speaking with you.
See ya at the beach!