Beware of All-Star Vacation Homes

Discussion in 'Orlando Hotels and Attractions' started by dragitoff, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. dragitoff

    dragitoff DIS Veteran

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    I hope this doesn't violate any board rules and if it does, I apologize in advance moderators. I do; however want to get this out there for Disney fans to read. It could affect you.

    I haven't posted here in a really long time, but I wanted to caution Disney vacationers about using All-Star vacation homes for your stay. We bought a new build in Champions Gate in May using All-Star's realty team. Furnished it with their furnishings team and hired them to manage the property. They did a great job getting the house ready to book and then booking it. Everything was exactly as it was supposed to be until it came time for them to start sending me $. First they ignored my emails and calls. Then they gave me the run around and excuses. After 2 months of chasing down a small check I was requesting, I find out the company is taking booking money and not paying their owners and this is happening quite a bit throughout the company.

    Fortunately I found this out before they owed me a substantial amount of money and moved to another rental management company; however there are some that they owe a great deal of money to. I've personally spoken with multiple owners who are dealing with the same issue I am and they're losing so many of their long-term clients from this. I'm trying to caution any potential investors to stay away from them and also potential renters as well. It's only a matter of time before they start cutting corners on their guests. Even if they don't, they're not fulfilling their obligations to their investors/owners and no one wants to encourage that type of business relationship.

    Thanks for your time!

    Brandon
     
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  2. Gr8t Fan

    Gr8t Fan DIS Veteran

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    Yikes! Thanks for the heads up.
     
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  4. NH-to-FL

    NH-to-FL DIS Veteran

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    Sorry to hear about your difficulties. And glad to hear you were able to get out with minimal loss. We were lucky when we bought our villa. The property manager we found though the real estate agent we used turned out to be OK. Probably not the best but certainly not the worst. Got us bookings, took good care of the property, and made us some money.

    Happy to hear you found a better management company and wish you many bookings and good tenants.
     
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  5. dragitoff

    dragitoff DIS Veteran

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    We are too, and it was shocking to us because we had stayed with them many times and knew them to be a very respected, possibly the most well-known, company in their field and area. We had no clue they were in such trouble. They certainly didn't convey that message to us while they were taking our $. We are very happy with our new management company and honestly we were happy with the work All Star did up to the paying us portion. The new company IS paying us and getting bookings so we're already in a better position than we were.

    What resort is your villa at?
     
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  6. NH-to-FL

    NH-to-FL DIS Veteran

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    We are in the West Haven development, not too far from Champions Gate.
     
  7. dragitoff

    dragitoff DIS Veteran

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    We didn't make it over there. We've stayed in some of the older resorts (Windsor Hills, Acadia) and we looked at properties in Reunion and Champions Gate. Once we saw our house in Champions Gate, we stopped looking. We love that Davenport area. Close to the parks, but just far enough outside the "bubble" that it's not as crowded at restaurants and shops.
     
  8. NH-to-FL

    NH-to-FL DIS Veteran

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    So do we! For exactly the same reason!
     
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  9. Ametista

    Ametista DIS Veteran

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    I have heard that All Star and Villa Direct are basically the "slum lords" of the vacation rental industry. I had a personal experience with Villa Direct that confirmed it. I used Florida Scandinavian for my first house and they were awful, as in no bookings and tons of extra maintenance charges every month. Now, on my house in Windsor Palms I am using Sunset Vacation Villas and I couldn't be happier. They keep it booked and clean, well-maintained. They are a smaller company but they are so awesome compared to the big companies. Maybe there should be a sub-forum on here for villa owners so we can help each other out, because bad management can tank you as an owner.
     
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  10. dragitoff

    dragitoff DIS Veteran

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    I like the idea of a subfolder for home and villa owners. It would be nice to have a one-stop resource for all things related to that. I'm not sure if there's enough interest for it but it would be helpful.

    Honestly, I always viewed All Star in the opposite light as you're describing. We had used their services prior to owning our own home and found them to be very professional and courteous. Granted, this was before their apparent financial issues so I can't speak to those services now, but they even did a great job booking our home and I assume guests were pleased. My problem with them is the apparent misuse of money that is owed to me. There are so many other homeowners going through the same thing and most of them I've spoken with are owed far more than they owe me so this practice has been going on for more than a year.

    I interviewed multiple management companies and other homeowners and they all say the same thing. The lack of transparency is hurting All Star the most. They show up at the top of most search results, they continue to be featured in local travel print, and they had been the industry standard for so long that people (investors and guests) don't suspect a thing. That's what makes this situation so dangerous and the reason I wanted to get the word out there. We put 100% of our trust in them (realty, design, furnishings, and management) only to be taken advantage of.

    I'm glad you found a management company you're happy with. We've moved on and are very happy with our decision to do so even though it's still very early into that relationship. You need that piece of mind as a home/villa owner. We're only 4.5 hours away from our house, but I know so many live much further away (some on the other side of the world) so that's critical in this relationship.
     
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  11. Ametista

    Ametista DIS Veteran

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    Yeah we are in Colorado. I would do anything to be closer and be able to go more than 3 or 4 times a year! We plan on retiring there, or at least spending the cold months there.
     
  12. NH-to-FL

    NH-to-FL DIS Veteran

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    I understand your feelings. We were doing 2 trips per year and relying on our management company to take care of things in between. Things went pretty well except we always spent the first couple of days of our visit cleaning. Our management company offered a "deep cleaning" service but we found it lacking so we decided to do it ourselves. Given how long it took us to do it I am not sure I would want to pay someone for the time.

    I am now retired and we snowbird. Love the Florida "winter".
     
  13. vitaaddy

    vitaaddy Earning My Ears

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    To All Star Vacation Home clients: Orlando Sentinel would like to interview you by phone for an article about your experience. Please reach me at 407-418-5923. Thank you.
     

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