Luxury Property Analysis: Bali reaches high

Bali reaches high: Much bigger in size than the other island resort destinations, Bali offers more variety in landscapes and types of location of property, be it inland, mountainous areas or beachside. Property in Bali seems to steadily appreciate in value and the tourism that supports the resorts and villa rentals business is enjoying steady growth. Furthermore, there seems to be a smaller gap in occupancy between the seasons as compared to other resorts such as Samui or Krabi, where during the low season the occupancy is very low and the shopping streets and beaches seem deserted.

With so many operators of villas and resorts all around the island, it can be difficult to distinguish between the rather simple houses for rent or sale vs the really exclusive villas, as usually all the websites and owners claim to have luxury villas on the market.

One of major headaches for holidaymakers is to find the right rental villa. And since we are talking luxury here, it is a challenge to find quality construction that matches expectations in the layout, interiors and decor, and services and location. All these determine the ‘rentability’ of the property and also its ROI, and hence becomes a major ingredient for the valuation of the property.

On a recent trip to Bali, I happened to find a good example of a symbiosis between the owner-operator of a villa and its marketing partners at Villa Lataliana in Seminyak. Ciaran Caulfied, the owner, was in property development and healthcare in Ireland, but left the group he established to focus on Asia, and in particular, Bali. He and his wife, Dee Mytton, own and run Villa Kubu, a lovely cluster of 15 villas, but the luxe crown goes to the smaller 3-villa cluster of Lataliana.

While Ciaran has built a fabulous property, that is engaging and dedicated, with a high-quality team to service his villas, Ian Macaulay’s marketing and management company, BHM, have conducted the marketing and presentation of the property very smoothly and professionally.

This harmony with the owner’s marketing arm is what is often badly needed by many investors and villa owners, because such co-operation creates a mutually beneficial business.

BHM has 28 villas under its management on Bali and Lombok. Macaulay’s other interest, Marketing Villas (MVL), works with 48 more villas, providing marketing and distribution services in Bali, Lombok and Sri Lanka. MVL’s total catalogue accounts for almost 300 rooms and a dozen more villas are under discussion right now with new signings on almost a weekly basis. BHM is also affiliated with Elite Havens, one of the original luxury villa brands on Bali. Ian is one of directors of this marketing organisation and he explained that MVL has developed proprietary software providing for the digitalisation for all of their inventory (which took them three years to build). They also developed marketing skills to navigate the many websites under their control.

Ian indicated the occupancy rates for his Bali villas are in the high 70’s on average throughout the year, which is a fantastic achievement. This cannot be achieved by anything less than a high quality property, and also by matching that with professional management and marketing. Simply put, it is full integration of hardware and software in its most exquisite form.