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How Hard Can It Be? Villa Rentals in Bali

Posted by Andrzej Barski on 19th August 2017

 Villa Rentals in Bali, it's not rocket science

“It’s not rocket science!” says Elsye Christiani, who leads the villa rental team at Seven Stones Indonesia. “It’s all about helping people find the right home at the right time and for the right money. We’re in the people business and it’s people first!”

Elyse’s been in the villa rental business in Bali for 15 years. There’s no doubt she knows the ropes. And there’s nothing better than having a chat with someone, who not only knows the ropes but who’s also genuinely passionate about a job that puts people upfront and centre.

There are essentially two sorts of villa for rent in Bali; short-term (meaning daily or weekly) and long-term (meaning anything over 6 months, typically a year). There are thousands of short-term offerings available on websites, portals and across social media. They’re competing directly with the hotel business here. They offer privacy, butler services and locations hotels can’t – at least not for the price. And it’s having a significant impact on the industry’s bottom lines. Most hoteliers would agree that their biggest threat is Airbnb (and its clones).

Elsye’s business, however, is long-term and there are way fewer options than the short-term ones out there. There’s a perceived shortage because of this and that means prices tend to be high. “In general, overpricing is one of the biggest hurdles to get over,” says Elyse. “There’s no industry standard. Prices are determined by hearts more than heads here. It’s not so easy for a vendor to listen to someone they hardly know tell them their pride and joy isn’t worth what they’re asking. They either use the price their friend’s villa rented for as a benchmark or multiply daily rental rates by 365 to get a yearly figure! That adds up to some very considerable numbers. And the thing is some people pay these very high prices! It’s crazy really!”

So who’s feeding this long-term villa sales funnel? They can’t be all mad.

“There are three core groups,” explains Elsye. “Working, family people; retirees (as well as those who don’t need to work anymore); and tourists. You might be surprised that tourists like long-term deals, but they do. These are the ones who have been to Bali a few times over the years, they like it a lot and use a year’s rental as the best way to decide if they want to settle here full time or not. Money isn’t such a critical consideration for this group. Neither is time. It’s all about the place. Not like the working people who are usually tied into contracts with restaurants or hotels or other business interests. They usually have family interested and budgets to consider.”

This family oriented group is interesting. Their choices tend to be limited by proximity to amenities and facilities, particularly international schools. Elyse is seeing international schools and playgroups for pre-school toddlers popping up all over the place. “Anything within a 10-minute drive of a school or facility is going to get attention and demand is high,” she says. “It’s the most important factor.”

And price is the other.

Prices clearly reflect the needs and aspirations of two very distinct markets: expatriates and locals. Elsye and her team focus primarily on the expats. That’s not to say there aren’t any local customers for her valuable services, because there are. “Most of our business is in the IDR 150 million to 400 million per year bracket. We also get more exclusive requests for villas in the IDR 600 million to 800 million per year range. These are almost always from foreigners or wealthy Indonesians out of Jakarta and Surabaya who might want to rent for a year while there own house is being built. Most of our normal local requests? In the IDR 50 million to IDR 100 million per year range.”

What about locations?

“A lot of our listings are in Berawa, Seminyak, Umalas, Sanur and Jimbaran,” explains Elsye. “And out of those key areas, Umalas is the most popular. I think it’s because there’s so much diversity there, prices are not crazy and it’s so close to schools. But if we have a specific request that doesn’t match with our stock, we’ll collaborate with other agencies and agents to find the best options. Remember, it’s people first! We don’t mind co-broking if it means a satisfied client.”

That’s an important point, and one that firmly puts Elsye and her team at Seven Stones Indonesia in the majors. “A good customer journey and experience are the best ways to connect and engage,” she says. “Our business spends a lot of time and energy in helping us understand this and it’s great to see positive results, especially when we can see how happy we can make people feel by helping them.”

Elsye’s right, villa rentals in Bali isn’t rocket science, but there is a method, a structure and a mindset to delivering exceptional services and listening to client needs. Elsye’s got that mindset. If you’re looking for a long-term villa to rent in Bali and you want someone who understands and can help find the best options, email Elsye on

Andy writes on a variety of topics related to property, real estate, the customer experience, mindset training and local/international trends for Seven Stones Indonesia. You can read some of his blogs here.

Seven Stones Indonesia is a property company headquartered in Bali, Indonesia, with a mission to help people who are interested in buying and selling residential and commercial real estate.

If you’re thinking about property, ROI, capital gains or lifestyle investments in Bali, Jakarta, Surabaya, and Indonesian’s Eastern Islands and need some friendly advice and guidance then why not email or check out Seven Stones Website | Seven Stones Linkedin | Seven Stones Facebook

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