How Hard Can It Be? Villa Rentals in Bali

 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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Andrzej Barski

Director of Seven Stones Indonesia

Andrzej is Co-owner/ Founder and Director of Seven Stones Indonesia. He was born in the UK to Polish parents and has been living in Indonesia for more than 33-years. He is a skilled writer, trainer and marketer with a deep understanding of Indonesia and its many cultures after spending many years travelling across the archipelago from North Sumatra to Irian Jaya.

His experience covers Marketing, Branding, Advertising, Publishing, Real Estate and Training for 5-Star Hotels and Resorts in Bali and Jakarta, which has given him a passion for the customer experience. He’s a published author and a regular contributor to local and regional publications. His interests include conservation, eco-conscious initiatives, spirituality and motorcycles. Andrzej speaks English and Indonesian.

Terje H. Nilsen

Director of Seven Stones Indonesia

Terje is from Norway and has been living in Indonesia for over 20-years. He first came to Indonesia as a child and after earning his degree in Business Administration from the University of Agder in Norway, he moved to Indonesia in 1993, where he has worked in leading positions in education and the fitness/ wellness industries all over Indonesia including Jakarta, Banjarmasin, Medan and Bali.

He was Co-owner and CEO of the Paradise Property Group for 10-years and led the company to great success. He is now Co-owner/ Founder and Director of Seven Stones Indonesia offering market entry services for foreign investors, legal advice, sourcing of investments and in particular real estate investments. He has a soft spot for eco-friendly and socially sustainable projects and investments, while his personal business strengths are in property law, tourism trends, macroeconomics, Indonesian government and regulations. His personal interests are in sport, adventure, history and spiritual experiences.

Terje’s leadership, drive and knowledge are recognised across many industries and his unrivalled network of high level contacts in government and business spans the globe. He believes you do good and do well but always in that order. Terje speaks English, Indonesian and Norwegian.

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Ridwan Jasin Zachrie

CFO of Seven Stones Indonesia, Jakarta

Ridwan is one of Indonesia’s top executives with a long and illustrious career in the financial world. He holds several professional certifications including being a Certified Business Valuer (CBV) issued by the Australian Academy of Finance and Management; Broker-Dealer Representative (WPPE); and The Directorship Certification for Directors and Commissioners, issued by the Indonesian Institute of Commissioners and Directors.

His experience includes being the Managing Director at one of the top investment banking groups in the region, the Recapital Group, the CFO at State-owned enterprises in fishery industry and the CEO at Tanri Abeng & Son Holding. He’s also been an Independent Commissioner in several Financial Service companies and on the Audit and Risk Committee at Bank BTPN Tbk, Berau Coal Energy Tbk, Aetra Air Jakarta as well as working for Citibank, Bank Mandiri and HSBC. His last position was as CFO at PT Citra Putra Mandiri – OSO Group.

Ridwan has won a number of prestigious awards including the Best CFO Awards 2019 (Institute of Certified Management Accountant Australia-Indonesia); Asia Pacific Young Business Leader awarded by Asia 21 Network New York USA (Tokyo 2008); UK Alumni Business Awards 2008 awarded by the British Council; and The Most Inspiring Human Resources Practitioners’ version of Human Capital Magazine 2010.

He’s a member of the Board of Trustees of the Alumni Association of the Faculty of Law, Trisakti University, Co-Founder of the Paramadina Public Policy Institute and actively writes books, publications and articles in the mass media. He co-authored “Korupsi Mengorupsi Indonesia” in 2009, which helps those with an interest in understanding governance in Indonesia and the critical issue of corruption. Ridwan speaks Indonesian and English.

Per Fredrik Ecker

Managing Director of Seven Stones Indonesia, Jakarta

Per is the Managing Director of the Seven Stones Indonesia (SSI) Jakarta office and has more than 25-years’ experience in Indonesia, China, and Western Europe. He previously worked in senior management positions with Q-Free ASA, Siemens AG, and other companies in the telecom sector. Over the last six years, he has been the Chairman of the Indonesia-Norway Business Council (INBC) and recently become elected to be on the board of EuroCham Indonesia.

His most recent experience is within Intelligent Transport Solutions (ITS), Telecom, and other sectors within the Indonesian market. He is today through his position in SSI and by representing Norway Connect, promoting Nordic and European companies that would like to explore business opportunities in the Indonesian market. He’s also playing an active role to help create the Nordic House concept in Jakarta that will provide an excellent platform for Nordic companies entering Indonesia, where they’ll find a community that can offer support with trusted information and affordable services to enter this market.