Making Dreams Come True is Our Greatest Reward
If you follow our Nouvellettres®, (as you are since you are reading this now), then you already know that we do so much more than “real estate.”
Someone recently reminded me that we are very unique—that no other licensed real estate agency in France offers as much on so many levels with support, advice and community, as our organization does.
We take it for granted. We just do what we do, but when I started to really think about it, it surprised even me! I’m very, very proud of what we as a team have achieved…and feeling rewarded for helping so many people make this important and worthwhile change in their lives.
Over the years, I’ve always just filled the need when I saw it, organically growing the business, rather than in a strategic, methodical, profitable way. Profit has never been the object, as I have always believed that if you do the best you can do and you love what you do, then success will come…again, rather organically. And that’s the thing. WE LOVE WHAT WE DO.
What we do, essentially, is “make dreams come true.” That sounds silly when I say it out loud, but it’s true. We have helped thousands of people realize their dream of living, working and/or investing in France. And it’s very rewarding, to say the least.
What makes our organization different than most is that it is run entirely by a subcontracted staff who aren’t working with us because they receive a “paycheck” every week, regardless of how well they do their jobs (or not). Every single person who works with us does so because they want to, and because they love what they do. They get remunerated when they complete a project and do a job well done. I’m very lucky because we happen to have an amazing group of (mostly) North Americans who get as much of a thrill helping all of you make your move to France as I do.
But, you’re even luckier. If you were to make the move to France, or try to invest in a property in France without our guidance, you’d be missing all the perks we offer. It would be a whole lot harder, a whole lot riskier, and a whole lot less fun!
Why? Let’s start with these Nouvellettres®*. There are three publications a week: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Monday is just about lifestyle in France; Wednesday is usually dedicated to some special message; Thursday is specifically “French Property Insider” and all about real estate issues in France.
I’ve been writing the Nouvellettres® since 1998, absolutely FREE. I try to pack them with useful information and try to entertain you as well. You are not expected to read every word, or even every Nouvellettre®, but even if you just read the ones with headlines that interest you, or go into our archives to find information on specific topics, there’s always something there you will find useful. And you certainly don’t have to be a “client” to take advantage of all this free information.
In addition to the Nouvellettres®, our website is chock-a-block with free information and resources. Need an immigration expert? Just visit this page. Want financial advice? Just click here. Want to renovate and decorate your new property? Here are our recommended designers. Need insurance for our home, health or car? Just visit our page. Want to transfer money at the best rate of exchange? We have three brokers we recommend. And that’s just a few for example.
If you look at the drop-down menus on our website, you’ll find every single thing you need to create your new life in France…available absolutely FREE. Plus, these are proven, tested resources you can count on because not only do we count on them, we back them up, too.
Regular events are part of our M.O. In 2003 I decided it was time to give something back to the community that gave so much to me, so I started “Après-Midi,” a monthly coffee-gathering for our readers where we could all meet, make friends and learn something from a speaker who comes right out of our own community.
Yep, it’s been happening 11 times a year (we take one break in August) in Paris since then and in the same location, too (Café de la Mairie)! This past year, we were finally able to find a good venue for Après-Midi in Nice, and now Oscar Restaurant is hosting the event every other month…and again, always with a speaker who has a lot to share.
You will definitely want to come to as many as you can! Once again, Après-Midi is FREE! We earn nothing from providing these networking and educational events, but as I said earlier on, I wanted to give something back to the community and this was one way I could. We always have fun, and it’s immensely rewarding for all of us.
But, it’s not the only thing we do! The Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group started in March of 1998 when I was a newcomer to France and Marie-Elisabeth Crochard Fitère was the director of Berlitz on the Champs-Elysées. I was looking for a venue for the group and Marie-Elisabeth was thrilled that she could provide it, as well as offer it to her students as a way of practicing what they were learning in class. The group was incredibly successful and met for over 20 years several times a week, and in different locations around Paris in language schools and cafés.
Over time, we both had to give it up, but as of January 27th, it will have new life…this time in Nice! Our staff member, Katie Friedland, has taken it under her wing to offer it in Nice and it’s her baby now! The system is simple, proven, and effective, yet it’s hard to find elsewhere, and we don’t know why, because it’s the one system of practicing that really works. On top of that, it’s fun and a fabulous way of making friends, both Anglophones and Francophones alike.
This is how I learned to speak French and I promise you, practicing speaking in a non-threatening environment will add the punch to all those lessons you’ve been taking (or not—I never did take lessons)! All levels of language are welcome! In fact, if your level is low, this is your chance to come and just listen until you feel comfortable saying even just a few words! (I sat in sessions for two years without uttering a word until one day, French just popped out!)
Your first session will be FREE. After that, you will be able to purchase a 10-session card so you can come as often as you like. Be sure to visit the Parler Parlor page for more information. And mark you calendar for Saturday, the 27th of January from 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. or any session after. I’ll be there on the 27th to welcome you along with Katie, too!
Add to all that a long list of webinars filled with valuable information. You may have already participated in any one or more of our North American Expats in France Quarterly Financial Forums with Dunhill Financial (note that the 2024 calendar will be posted soon), or some of the webinars we’ve done with the Federation of Alliances Françaises USA, among others. You can learn lots from these online Zoom gatherings.
We’ve done dozens of informational events, all FREE of charge and thanks to our YouTube channel, we post all of our recorded webinars, Après-Midi sessions and speaking engagements, so you can watch them again or pass them on to friends! Meanwhile, we haven’t asked you for a single penny.
Have you seen our shows on HGTV’s House Hunters International? I’ve done 53 episodes since 2006! Our latest episode, filmed last September, airs this week in the US! If you’re in France or outside the US, you’ll need to set your VPN (Virtual Private Network) to US to view it:
“An international couple and their giant dog grapple with finding an affordable place in Paris. With high expectations, a low budget and an airtight rental market, finding a home that fits all three of them will be a challenge.”
Here are the live air dates/times: Thursday, January 18th at 10:01p.m. EST and 9:01p.m. CST and Friday January 19th at 1:01 a.m. EST and 12:01 a.m. CST (in France on January 19th at 4:01 a.m. and 7:01 a.m.) I’ll be seeing it for the first time, just like you will be! But we will try to find a link, even if temporary, when you can watch it at any time in case you miss it.
Let me remind you—the shows are FREE, too!
So, what do we do to earn our keep? PLENTY!
It all starts with the one-on-one consultations.
It all starts with the one-on-one consultations. Until recently, I was the only one working directly with our clients from their initial consultation, but now Patty Sadauskas, Operations Manager, and Jennifer Parrette, Sales Manager, can be booked for consultations, too. A consultation is two hours of intense one-on-one conversation with a client to discover their goals and provide advice on the best way to reach those goals. There is a cost to the consultations, but that fee applies toward our search services so nothing is lost along the way. And most clients end our session with a big smile on their faces feeling encouraged that they can really make it all happen and admit to having learned so much in such a short a time.
If you have even an inkling of making a move to France, we can start with just that to map out a path that makes the most sense. It doesn’t always involve real estate at all! Finding a home is just one part of that quest…there are so many pieces of the puzzle that have to fit together to form the clear picture of your future in France. And we’re experts at strategizing to make it work for you.
Maybe you want to come for just a few weeks a year, or for a few months to test out the waters, or maybe it’s a serious move over to benefit from all that France has to offer. Either way, we know all the ins and outs of making it happen and you guessed it…”making your dream come true!”
Once the consultation has taken place, then it’s up to you to move forward, using the direction we’ve provided, as well as all of the resources we’ve given you. When it comes to finding property, that’s what we’re best at!
We can find apartments and homes to rent (long-term) or we can find properties to purchase…anywhere in France. Let me repeat that: ANYWHERE IN FRANCE. That’s a big deal, because very few agencies are willing to work outside of their little postage stamp lot unless they have branches of their agencies all over France, but even then, they are still working for the seller, or the landlord, not the buyer or the tenant.
We do repeat ourselves often, but it’s very important to understand that there is no Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in France. It’s the main reason we exist. Imagine having to visit dozens of websites, speak to as many or more agencies, ferret out every possibility simply because there is no one place you can go to in order to see what’s on the market. The work is arduous, but even tougher is the fact that the agents only care about their client and their client is the landlord or seller…not you! I won’t say “they lie,” but they don’t always tell you what you need to know to make the best decision.
That’s our job. We are here to protect you as the consumer, to ensure you go into a deal knowing everything you need to know, with your eyes wide open. And remember, you “don’t know what you don’t know.” You might not even know what questions to ask. And you’re dealing with a different legal system, different language, different culture, different everything. This is our turf, so for us it’s not different at all and that’s why we can navigate it so successfully.
Yes, we charge for our services to find you a property to rent or purchase, or to assist you in those endeavors. That’s because we do all the work. We do the due diligence to ensure it’s the right property for you. We provide the resources. We advise. We hold your hand throughout the process and guide you through the maze of French bureaucracy. And in spite of all that, when the selling agency allows us to share their commission, we refund that back to you saving you about 2.5% of the price of the property! And that can be a big chunk of change!
Along the way, we do a whole lot more! We can assist you in opening a French bank account which is no easy task for Americans, much less anyone. We can set up your utilities and get your Internet/TV/Phone working. We answer all of your questions without blinking an eye. We help you across the cultural divide. We even rescue you from time to time when we hear a cry for help!
What if you want to sell your property? We do that, too. We are a licensed agency in France and have a ready, willing and able North American market drooling for good properties! We won’t sell a property we won’t recommend someone buy, so if we have it listed you can count on it being a winner.
And I almost forgot. We also develop, market and manage Fractional Ownership properties in France. No other agency has developed as many properties as we have, nor sold as many shares. And then, even when the shares are all sold, we manage the property for its co-ownership body.
Lots of people have attempted this as a way to use a property only a part of the year leaving the rest of the year to the other owners, but without realizing that this is more than a hobby, and while some profits can be made, it must be done correctly—it’s a business with a lot of moving parts. Often they don’t realize what a big project this is or how to make it work at its best. We on the other hand, have the experience and knowledge to do it RIGHT. So, if you just want a few weeks a year in France, a share in a Fractional Ownership Property might be the answer for you.
So, what is it that we DON’T DO?
We do everything related to French property and helping you settle into France except ONE THING: we don’t book or manage short-term vacation rentals. That’s the one thing we aren’t willing to do…anymore. Ever since the rental laws became unmanageable, we decided to unmanage it. That way we could focus on what we do best: MAKE YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE.
There are certainly several testimonials on our website, but we have thousands of happy clients who are now happily ensconced in France.
*Nouvellettres® is a word coined by a friend of mine who generously let me trademark it. It means “Newsletter” in French, but it doesn’t actually exist in a French dictionary!
A la prochaine…
The Adrian Leeds Group®
P.S. I’ll be in Los Angeles February 28th and 29th and will accept in-person consultations those days at a location on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica at 10 a.m. If you are interested in booking this time with me, email us today.