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At Five Star we receive questions from current and prospective owners about all aspects of our rental program. To provide quick answers, we've added this section of answers to questions we receive most frequently. Of course, we are also just a phone call away and always here to help in any way we can!

Five Star Management and Payment

What makes Five Star different from every other rental company?

Five Star is a local, family-owned-and operated company. We spend the time and money to offer extraordinary service to our owners and guests at the finest luxury vacation rentals. This begins with our selection of properties. We have very specific criteria that each property must meet to be on our rental program.

Five Star has no intention of growing into a big box management company like so many others in the area. We prefer to remain a boutique firm, delivering a five-star experience in all aspects of our business. Our website and marketing are unparalleled in the industry, and we are constantly advancing our design and features.

On our websites you will see how each property is displayed with large, professional photographs capturing the best features of each property, as well as our interactive floor plans, HD video tours, and professionally written descriptions.

The experience for our guests is also very different from other management companies. We focus on providing top-tier service to our guests. They arrive to spectacularly clean homes, receive a welcome gift, and enjoy free activities throughout their stay. For select Five Star homes we also personally meet each guest at the property and take them on a personal tour. At this time we explain any special instructions pertaining to the home and its features. This allows us to meet those staying in your property and answer any questions they may have. We know immediately if they are complying with our booking rules and were truthful at the time of reservation.

The day after check-­in, we call every single guest and see how their trip is going. We make sure they found the cleanliness of the home up to par and that no maintenance issues were presented. We believe that being proactive in this manner allows us to make every guest experience a great one.

What is your management fee?

Five Star charges a competitive management fee that includes marketing, accounting, reservations, maintenance, cleaning, paying monthly taxes, concierge services, and more. We take on all of the responsibilities as your property management company, so you don’t have to worry about a thing. This gives you the freedom to be as hands-­on or ­-off with your property as you choose.

Can you explain the relationship between owners and Five Star?

At Five Star, we view our property owners as family and as business partners, and strive to maintain a relationship of the utmost professionalism and transparency with them. We are interested in building customers for life. For this reason we have one of the lowest turnover rates in the industry.

We are constantly working on new ways to increase property revenue while keeping owner expenses to a minimum. The main thing we expect from our owners is a willingness to maintain the property. We are always available to our owners and will promptly answer any questions. We are in the business of keeping our owners up to date and knowledgeable of everything that is going on with their property.

Do you specialize in one particular area?

Five Star manages properties in Destin and along 30A and South Walton county in Florida, and in Hilton Head, South Carolina. We specialize in luxury properties and provide exceptional service and marketing for all communities we represent. 

Do you have any restrictions on personal use of the home? What about friends and family?

Five Star has absolutely no restrictions on personal use of the home. As the owner, you should be allowed to use the home as often as you please. If you choose to have family or friends visit the property for free, we will take care of them just like any other guest at absolutely no charge to you. If you send family or friends down at a discounted rate, we simply ask that they book through us. We do not require you to give us weeks in your property for giveaways like so many other companies do.

How do you handle transition from other rental companies? 

Five Star strives to maintain healthy working relationships with other rental companies in the area. Most companies understand that our program is quite different. We do not strive to add properties simply for the sake of growth.

Having said that, we go out of our way to make the transition from another company to Five Star as smooth as possible. We offer to purchase any existing rentals if the owner chooses to do so and strive to maintain an open dialogue with the previous management company. We have done this with many properties in the past and perfected the process.

How are you able to price properties at the highest market value? 

Five Star’s unique branding, cutting­-edge marketing, and stellar service allow us to charge top-dollar for nightly and weekly rates. Our luxury brand is targeted to a specific clientele. Our guests are willing to pay more because of the reputation Five Star has for providing superior service and pristine homes. Our guests know that the home is immaculately maintained and of the utmost quality. They also understand the value in having someone meet them at the home to give them a tour and answer any questions. The services that we provide equal value to the guests, and in turn, allows us to get you the highest possible rate.

How do you evaluate a property for your program? 

The brand that we have built is second to none, and we have very specific criteria with which we evaluate properties before we bring them onto the program. We analyze a combination of location, property quality, amenities, and general upkeep to determine whether the property is Five Star quality. If properties on the Five Star program are not kept to our standards by the owner, then those properties will be removed from the rental program.

What if my property is very nice but does not meet your Five Star criteria? 

Five Star has very strict criteria for the properties on our rental program. In 2012, we launched our sister company, Bliss Beach Rentals, because we saw a major need for smaller luxury rental properties to stand out on their own. Bliss provides the same luxury services to both guests and owners, but markets rental properties to guests who are more budget-minded or travel in smaller groups.

How often do you pay owners for rentals? 

Five Star pays monthly for all rentals. Any rentals ending in a month are paid by the 15th of the following month. Monthly payments are available by check or direct deposit. You also have access to our software via the online owner portal and can track your rentals at any time. We fully believe in transparency and give you the ability to see what is on your books at all times.

What are my start­up costs to get on your program? 

Five Star makes every effort to keep your start­-up and overall costs as low as possible. You will be required to purchase three full sets of luxury stripe linens, including duvet inserts and covers. We purchase the linens directly from the manufacturer and pass those saving to you (custom quotes can be provided).

You are also required to purchase a KABA door lock. The KABA door lock allows for remote, electronically­ controlled access to your property (the guest is issued a time­-sensitive code from our office, eliminating any need for a key or in-­office check in).

The third start­up cost is the annual marketing fee. This fee partially subsidizes the amount Five Star spends to market your property on VRBO and other highly­-trafficked travel websites, as well as coverage for photography and virtual tours.

What do you provide in my monthly statement? 

Your monthly statement shows all income and expenses for the month. You will receive a line item expense report showing the cost of any goods or labor performed on your property during that time frame.

How do I track my rentals? 

Transparency is a big part of the Five Star business model, and we want you to be able to access information instantly. We will set you up with a personal login to our owner portal that allows you to look at your property rentals at any time from the comfort of your home or office.

What upgrades would increase my rental income? 

We love to receive this question from our Five Star property owners! Providing upgraded properties is the cornerstone of our business and will result in higher rental income for you. We will go through the property thoroughly and deliver a list of items that help boost your rental income. We have a very strategic list of what is proven to draw more renters to your property.

Do you charge owners for credit card fees? 

Owners are never charged for credit card fees at Five Star. Credit card fees are a part of doing business and are assumed solely by Five Star.

Will you attend HOA meetings on my behalf? 

Absolutely. At Five Star, we always look to take that extra step for our property owners. We have attended many HOA meetings on behalf of our property owners. In instances where meetings deal with vacation rentals, it is very important that you are well informed of any potential changes that may affect your property. All you need to do is send us details of the meeting and we will send a representative to attend.

Maintenance, Repairs, Storm Prep

What is the Five Star maintenance program about? 

At Five Star Properties, we strive to provide the best maintenance program possible for our owners, one that is designed to save you money while keeping your property in optimal shape. Our state­-of­-the-­art maintenance software tells us exactly what issues we have at any given time. Our property manager coordinates with the on­-staff maintenance team throughout the day using GPS tracking to dispatch them to the nearest issue. This allows our team to be as efficient as possible and to make sure that no issue goes unresolved.

Our program is designed to save you money. The Five Star maintenance team changes air filters, light bulbs, and batteries at no cost to you. You are simply billed for the cost of the product with no additional labor charges. These supplies will show up as a line item on your monthly statement.

For issues our maintenance team can personally fix, you are charged a flat hourly fee. If we need to call in a sub­contractor to fix the issue, whether it be electrical, plumbing, elevator, etc., we pass on their raw cost directly to you. Our maintenance program is NOT a revenue stream for the company. We simply provide the lowest cost program possible for your benefit.

What does Five Star do in the off­-season to inspect properties and get them back into shape? 

Five Star offers a very unique service in the off­-season. We fully inspect each property and provide an inspection report to the owner. You will receive a list of any interior and exterior issues that are found during the inspection. Once you have been provided with that list, we will help make any repairs that you wish to be done. Your property is obviously a very large investment, and we want to help you keep it in the best possible shape. Not only will this help you avoid more expensive repairs in the future, but it will also allow you to build a repeat clientele of loyal guests who want to stay in your pristine property year after year. With that said, it is your property and we don’t make any repairs without your authorization.

Who handles the landscaping or pool maintenance? 

We are happy to recommend Five Star’s preferred vendors for your landscaping and pool maintenance needs. We can help you set up and schedule any needed services and follow up to make sure that they are satisfactorily completed.

What do you do in cases of guest damage? 

Five Star takes every measure to ensure that guests pay for all damages to your property. We require each guest to purchase a damage protection plan, which covers up to $3,000 in accidental damages. Any items that are damaged are then replaced or repaired at no cost to you. In the case of purposeful damage or theft, we charge the guest the replacement cost of the item. Inspecting the property after each rental is key to quickly assessing all damages and making needed repairs.

How do you prep my home for a hurricane threat? What does this cost me? 

At Five Star, we take all hurricane and weather threats very seriously. Any time we are within the cone of uncertainty within 72 hours of the storm’s expected arrival, we prepare all of our homes. This includes bringing in all exterior furniture and grills. After the threat has passed, we will do a full inspection of the home within 48 hours and provide you with an update on the condition of the property. This is a service that we provide for a small fee. We also prepare homes for the challenges of winter weather when forecasted. 

Do owners pay for pool heating? 

You will never pay for pool heating during a guest’s stay. Depending on the size of the pool, we will have a set daily price for pool heating. The guest must pay for the pool heating prior to the heater being turned on. This income will be shown on your monthly statement.

Housekeeping & Linens

What kind of housekeeping program does Five Star offer? 

Five Star offers a multi­-phased housekeeping program. At the time of check-out, our cleaning crew enters the home and begins cleaning. At that same time we also have a separate inspector check the home for any missing or damaged items. All damages or maintenance issues are then relayed to our office and turned into work orders to be resolved. Linens are immediately removed and taken to be laundered regardless of use, and a full set of professionally laundered linens are then delivered. Our housekeeping crews must complete and sign off on a very detailed checklist. Once the cleaning crew has finished, we send the inspector back in the home to complete our checklist and ensure that no items were missed. Our inspector will then meet the new guests at the home and give them the Five Star tour.

Do owners get a lower cleaning rate? 

Owners always pay a lower cleaning rate at Five Star. We understand that owners treat their properties with care and will create less mess than a vacationing party. Owners may notify us in advance if they are only using certain rooms in the home, and a partial clean rate will be determined based on what bedrooms, bathrooms, and common areas are used during their stay. We must be notified prior to arrival as to what rooms will be used to avoid any last minute confusion. A quote will be provided on request.

How do you determine the cleaning rate?

We use a formula that combines the square footage of the property with the bedroom setup and other determining factors to set the cleaning rates. This ensures that all of our properties are set up with fair cleaning rates.

How does the linen system work at Five Star? 

At Five Star our linen system is unique. When your property joins our program, you purchase three complete sets of linens. This includes all sheets, bath towels, hand towels, kitchen towels and bath mats. We use luxury, hotel quality linen that is far superior to what most vacation rental properties carry. We save you money by ordering directly from the manufacturer and passing those savings onto you. You do not pay a monthly fee for linen use or pay to restock lost or damaged linens. There is no annual renewal fee and therefore no additional cost to you, ever!

How do you control the inventory of the home? 

Maintaining control of the inventory in your property is very important to us. As soon as you bring the property onto our program, we do a full inventory of the kitchen and other items throughout the home. Using this information, an inspector walks the home looking for any damaged or missing items after every check out. Any items caught at that time are immediately fixed or replaced. Taking multiple steps helps to cut down on lost or damaged items throughout the season.


What does your marketing program consist of?

At Five Star, our marketing is very complex. We take a progressive approach and stay up to date on all of the latest marketing technology. You will see on our websites that our marketing is second to none. We only use high definition, professional photos and professionally written descriptions to feature each property. We also use professional, high-definition videos and detailed floor plans and virtual tours of each property to enhance your property’s listing and online presence. We strive to provide as much information as possible to potential guests as they make their decision.

We further dominate the online market by heavily investing in Google Adwords pay­-per­-click campaigns and making sure our website is SEO (search engine optimization) ­ friendly. This ensures that guests using Google/Bing search to find a rental are shown our website at the top of their search results. With this type of marketing, 90% of our leads are property specific.

We use social media, including Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram to promote our website and properties. We also distribute print materials that beautifully display all of our properties and is distributed to high net worth individuals throughout the southeast and our feeder markets. Our well­-rounded, professional marketing plan enables us to promote your property to the widest potential audience and successfully rent it as much as possible.

What other websites/booking platforms do our properties appear?

Our third-party advertising partners account for one-third of our total bookings and are essential to getting your property exposed to the most potential guests. We carefully choose our partners based on their ability to allow us to provide guests the same Five Star vacation experience as guests who book directly with us. We are constantly exploring new partnerships with the hottest booking channels to ensure every potential guest has an easy, worry-free booking experience and prompt responses to their needs during their stay without going through a middle-man — all while maximizing your revenue. Currently we have partnerships with:


We're proud to be a Vrbo Premier Partner. Vrbo, a subsidiary of ExpediaGroup, is the world's leading online marketplace for vacation rentals with over 2 million properties listed in over 190 countries worldwide, and 48 million users.

Home To Go

With 15M+ offers across thousands of trusted partners globally, HomeToGo’s AI-powered marketplace expertly matches travelers with the perfect vacation rental for any trip anywhere in the world.

Top Villas

Since 2006, TopVillas' goal has always been to offer only the best vacation rentals for large groups in the best locations, with tailor-made experiences and the service you would expect from a 5-star hotel.


With more travelers booking their trips on mobile devices, the Hopper app has become the fastest-growing mobile booking platform, and has helped over 100 million travelers find the best price on flights, hotels, vacation rentals, and car rentals.

Google Vacation Rentals

Using the same capabilities as their Hotels engine, Google has recently introduced a marketplace for vacation rentals. This exciting platform enables users to quickly find your listing in search results and Maps, and compare pricing with other platforms. 


bnbfinder® is a direct-booking marketplace with a 25+ year history connecting travelers with unique places to stay. No commissions, no booking, fees, no service fees.

Airbnb rentals in Destin 30A from Five Star Properties

One of the leading companies in short-term rentals, Airbnb is a global online marketplace showcasing vacation properties to travelers worldwide. With Five Star returning to the platform in 2024, this platform is valuable for last-minute bookings, filling calendar gaps, as well as promoting monthly winter rentals. 

Emerald Coast by Owner - Destin and 30A vacation rentals

Emerald Coast by Owner, or, is a marketplace that allows vacation rentals exclusively along the Emerald coast of Florida to stand out on their own. Ecbyo connects travelers directly to our local reservations team so they are assured a Five Star level of service with every booking.  

Why do our properties not appear on,, or other channels?

Our #1 goal is to provide a consistent Five Star experience to our guests and our owners. Handing over any part of that experience to a third party involves a measure of trust that they can also provide an equally pleasurable experience to both parties. 

Unfortunately, quantity doesn't always equal quality, and some platforms make us play strictly by their rules. We have found that while some popular websites offer a lot of exposure, their booking and rental policies don't often match with ours.

In order to preserve guest satisfaction during every stay, we prefer to communicate directly with our guests during their stay in order to address any issues they may have as quickly as possible. When booking through a third party, however, there is often a middle-man involved, and we have found guest issues can go unanswered when they have to go through a middle-man to report a problem. 

Additionally, in order to maximize owners' revenue, we have to choose partners whose booking policies can adapt to or closely resemble ours. In order to ensure we have serious guests who are committed to staying at your property, we require a down payment upon booking. Yet, we have found that some platforms will allow bookings with no deposit whatsoever, while others make it too easy easy for guests to cancel their stay without penalty or payment. 

And finally, in order to ensure your property will book on these channels, we have to keep our rates competitive. Some platforms charge heavy commissions and extra fees on top of our rates, which will only drive away the interest of travelers. 

We are constantly exploring new partnerships to expand your property's exposure and keep it competitive in this market. Keep an eye on this section to stay up to date on our existing partnerships!

Do you use social media to promote properties?

We are big proponents of using social media to promote our properties, and it’s also a fun way to engage with our guests. You can easily find Five Star Properties on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media outlets. We also cross-promote within Facebook and Instagram with our lifestyle brand Old 98 Destin, which is our beach cams site. With over 1 million total followers across all platforms, we invest time and money into making this outlet a viable marketing option for our company. We keep our fans highly involved and constantly promote our area and properties.

How do you choose which property to promote when a potential renter calls in? 

The Five Star staff uses a very individualized marketing approach. Because we market the property and not our brand, more than 90% of our leads come in for a specific property. This is why we tell all property owners that the better the property looks online, the better it will rent. If we receive a general inquiry, we always send a selection of properties that meet the renter’s criteria. There is no preference given to specific properties.

How do you advertise specials and discounts? 

Five Star offers promotions that meet the vacation rental market needs. Since vacation rentals are in a seasonal market, we will advertise off­-season and last­minute discounts through our website, social media, and email marketing. Offering occasional discounts helps to fill your properties during the shoulder seasons, helps generate interest in newer properties in the area, and ultimately maximizes your profits.