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Expressions of Thanks to Covid-19

Looking down an empty Seine river in Paris during Covid confinement
La Seine during confinement in Paris, May 2020

Over lunch yesterday with one of our clients-turned-friends, we discussed how Covid-19 has changed our lives, not for the worse, but for the better. We both actually enjoyed the first confinement period in 2020, when we went nowhere, did nothing except reflect, relax a lot, watch a lot of TV and start programs to get healthy. We laughed about how we dug out our old leggings and not only lived in them, but slept in them, too, to the point of mending their new holes. We were both really in confinement—she was relegated to her Oakland home while I was in my Paris apartment, taking no more than one hour outside for exercise or groceries and nor more than one kilometer away from home, lest we be fined.

It was during this period when it was impossible to visit properties and therefore virtually impossible to sell or rent real estate that we were able to devote the time needed to finishing our new website—which had been five years in the making with three different teams. Until Covid-19 happened, I hadn’t had the time to concentrate on this important task. But with so much free time and mental space, finally it would come to fruition. The new site launched in November of 2020 and no doubt, has been a big reason for a lot of our newfound success.

Meme for the Adrian Leeds Group new website

Also during this time, I had the good fortune of meeting someone who would become a new business partner. This is someone who remains behind the scenes, but facilitates our ability to be licensed in France. It’s a crucial element for me because I personally can’t qualify for the French real estate license, “thanks” to not having been educated in France or not having worked for several years in an executive position for a French agency. They don’t dole out the license easily, and therefore this has always been a big challenge for me. Our new company is appropriately called “Adrian Leeds Group France SARL.”

Previously, I had partnered with someone who ran a short-term rental business. That was logical at the time when we were managing about 35 vacation rentals ourselves, but with the progressive cracking-down of the short-term rental market in Paris by the current city administration, that side of our business waned to the point of letting go of it to allow others (with a stronger stomach for it) to take the reins.

Thanks to Covid-19, our Living and Investing in France Conference and Tour to Provence and Occitanie scheduled for fall of 2020 was postponed to 2021 . That gave us even more time to promote it and refine it, hence it was hugely successful…so successful that we will be doing it again next year! (If you wish to attend, email us.)

Living & Investing France conference and tour logo for Nice

Panoramic view of attendees at the 2021 Living & Investing in France conference in Nice

The 2021 Living & Investing in France Conference in Nice

Thanks to Covid-19, along with a list of other events in the world, more and more North Americans are moving to France. It started about the time Donald Trump was elected, coupled with a strong economy allowing the “haves” to have even more. Then, they got stuck at home surfing the Internet on their computers, phones and iPads looking for dreamy homes in France, watching tons of TV such as House Hunters International, and seeing others having the lives they wanted, but couldn’t achieve for the sole reason of confinement. This put everyone over the edge, clamoring not only to get out of their homes, but out of their countries. Francophiles flocked to France, naturally, and they came running to us.

Adrian Leeds with guest on an episode of House Hunters International

To say we are busy is an understatement. I love to use the expression “busier than a one-armed paper hanger” to describe our current situation. This is one of those expressions I picked up in Tennessee and I’m sure you get the meaning. We aren’t complaining, mind you…just telling it like it is.

Ethel and Lucy from an I Love Lucy episode on hanging wallpaper

At the moment, we are seriously hunting for properties for our clients to purchase in Nice, while expanding into areas of Provence such as Aix-en-Provence and other nearby towns and villages. In Paris, most of our clients moving to the City of Light just want to rent for a while, so we’re busy finding rental properties. Our three Fractional Ownership properties are in full renovation with usage calendars beginning January 1st, 2021, so you can imagine how busy we are with them. We’re about to officially launch two of them for the sale of their shares (Les Balcons Saint-Paul and La Belle Terrasse), while one is already sold out (La Lanterne du Marais), plus we’ll have resale shares in other properties to offer up soon, too. Next year there will be more of those and we’re working now toward getting them up and running for a July 1, 2022 usage.

Visualization of the Fractional Property in Villefranche-sur-Mer, La Belle Terrasse

Visualization of the Fractional Property in Villefranche-sur-Mer, La Belle Terrasse

But, don’t think we’re so busy that we don’t have time for YOU. We’ve been adding new staff and hunkering down to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. Now is a great time to contact us to get started on your project because you know what they say…“If you want anything done, ask a busy person to do it.”

Meme of Lucille Ball and a quote attirbuted to her

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds hula-hooping at home during covid confinement in ParisAdrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group®

Adrian hula-hooping during confinement

Patty Sadauskas celebrating her birthday in Nice FranceP.S. Happy, happy belated birthday to Patty Sadauskas (who celebrated yesterday, the 19th), my “right hand” and valuable colleague and friend (who is busier than a one-armed paperhanger at the moment)!

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