What’s the secret to good investments in Bali property, you may ask?
It seems that most investors have it all together wealth, knowledge and a steady stream of income while they sit back and relax as they watch their account grow. Especially so in the paradise island of Bali, with a tropical lush backdrop that awaits tourists, travelers and lifestyle investors.
Investors from all over the world are placing their bets on Bali, where personal holiday homes function as rental properties, making a potentially quick return of investment that comes with the right management, location and agent that makes a sound investment decision.
With a hodgepodge of people coming in to Bali, it’s interesting to know what lies into the success the Australian investor, Richard Ernster, who owns a large portfolio of luxury lease properties in the heart of Bali’s upmarket and trendy locations, particularly in Canggu, Berawa and Umalas, and has been investing on the island since 2010.
If you are on the cusp of making your own investment, whether it be a first one or a fourth property, it is worth to know Richard’s story, and why he has found Bali as the island of success for his real estate investment.
A ‘Helping Hand’
Before going into real estate, Richard Ernster owned the Helping Hand Group Auction Services, an events business that helps different clients in fundraising by providing auction items on a consignment-type basis, which means there is no cost to the client’s event budget.
Most of his clients include charities, community groups, schools, and sporting clubs. He has been “lending a helping hand” to his clients since 1997, helping in fundraising events with a long list of auction items and full event assistance.
He continues to be involved in the Helping Hand Group while he oversees his villa business in Bali.
Being in Bali
Richard first visited Bali in 2002, during a time when everything was still quiet, and with less tourists. He remembers that the only beach-side venues at the time were places such as Ku De Ta and Chez Gado Gado, different from today, where cafes, restaurants, beach bars and boutiques are packed in every corner, despite the circumstance of the “new normal.”
According to Richard, progress has been beneficial for the island’s economy. With so many changes happening over the past 18 years, he finds that there is a huge investment in hospitality as well (including holiday rentals). However, he says, “we need to find ways to somehow mirror that investment in infrastructure too.”
Why Invest in Bali?
Being an avid traveler with an open mind for different opportunities, Richard has compared Bali to different island destinations all over the world and found a lot of positive aspects to it.
- Pricing: Richard has compared Bali closely with Thailand’s own “Bali” that is Phuket, and found that prices were more expensive “like for like,” generally in all aspects of property, food, entertainment, and cost of living.
- Proximity: Location is always a factor when it comes to real estate, and it is decidedly so with Richard. It takes about 6 hours by air travel from Sydney, Australia to Bali—add an additional 3 hours to get to Thailand—and you have half a day on travel alone. Which is why Bali remains to be a go-to holiday destination for Australians, and a great property investment for the likes of Richard. “Bali presented a much better investment for my company,” he says.
The Road to Property Investment
Having his own Events Business and being an entrepreneur all his life, being in real estate presented a “very steady investment flow,” which makes all the difference to business-minded individuals like Richard.
Apart from income flow, managing his property investments in Bali became easier as he is able to fly over if any matters pop up.
However, the best benefit that he found with his Bali villa investment was that his family was able to enjoy 2 holidays a year on the island, often for a month at a time, staying in their own villas, and being cared for by their own staff, who became good friends throughout the years.
Although he started coming to Bali in 2002, he didn’t invest on the island until 2010, when he met Eugene Shivnan and Siti Purba of Harcourts Purba. It took some time for Richard to take the leap into property investment in Bali, as he is one to develop personal relationships with his associates.
“Eugene became my only trusted Agent/Advisor in Bali. Getting to know Eugene, his lovely wife Siti, and now their children (who are involved in the business), I am treated like a family friend, not a mere ‘client.’ No one in Bali can look after my needs like they are able to,” Richard says.
A Word of Advice
When asked for advice for soon-to-be investors looking into putting their wealth in Bali properties, Richard swears by finding a trusted real estate agency that can truly guide you through the process of investment.
“There are a number of property sharks out there, particularly foreigners claiming to be experts on the market. These people come and go, but the longevity I have found with Eugene, Siti and their team is irreplaceable. Relationships over a quick buck—this cannot be beaten!”