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Own a Share, Trust the Truthsayers, and Squat in a Café

Partial view of a laptop set up at a café table during lunch


Splashpage meme for the Adrian Leeds Group's fractional ownership services

Thursday we’re going to be talking about “Is Fractional Ownership Right for You?” during our free Webinar. I hope you tune in as we have a few resale shares on offer, some new shares to talk about and some in the works that are not yet for sale. This is a chance to learn all about Fractional Ownership, plus ask your important questions!

The date is December 15th, we will start is 12 p.m. Eastern Time (6 p.m. France Time) and it’s free, so just click here to register!



Last Thursday’s French Property Insider was all about Immo-Interactif®, the Notaire’s newest method of selling properties at auction…online. We had an interesting response from a prominent real estate agent in Villefranche-sur-Mer that surprised us (although it shouldn’t have!).

Splashpage/logo for Immo Interactive

She asked me to remove the article because “This platform will penalize greatly the real estate profession in France,” she wrote. “I do not see the purpose of communicating this information as it is counterproductive to both property hunters and agents representing sellers. It is an issue of promoting a platform that eliminates real estate agent services altogether.”

Hmm. My response was not in agreement with her assessment, as I wrote her, “I believe that full transparency is extremely important, particularly to our clients who hire us to work on their behalf and protect their interests.”

A property for sale in Villefranche-sur-Mer

What struck me is how agents like her are exactly why we exist! If she is trying to hide this information, then what else is she going to hide? The Notaire’s site and the ability to buy at auction has always been available and this is just a new and different way to do that. The Notaires have also always been a source of properties for sale. This is something we all must be fully aware of. For her and for us, we must build these new ways of doing business into our own business models as it is not only the present, but the future of real estate.

That’s my opinion, and whatever helps our clients is what is most important, not our pocketbooks. No, I will not be removing the article as she requested. And should you want assistance in working with the Notaire’s new platform, we’re here to help you, not to hide it!



The Local just recently published an article about how Paris cafés are clamping down on laptop users, trying to preserve the essence of “café culture.” They call them “squatters.” I’m one of them.

Most people know I lunch daily at Café Charlot with my laptop working away while having lunch. It’s not unusual for me to be there a few hours. Café Charlot certainly doesn’t seem to mind, especially since they can count on my patronage, either alone or with clients or friends who may join me, or just stop in to say hello.

What would I do without Café Charlot or any of the other cafés I frequent where I can get a coffee and work on my laptop? I guess I could sit at home, but it wouldn’t be near as much fun. And what if I’m out and about on appointments and need a place to land in between to get a bit of work done far from home? Cafés have always been a meeting place where people can share ideas, and how is this any different, other than perhaps taking up one seat instead of several?

A photo of Adrian Leeds on her open laptop at Cafe Charlot in Paris

Some cafés are now outlawing laptops entirely. That means forget my business ENTIRELY. Why would I want to support a business that doesn’t want me as a customer? How shortsighted is that? The entire world is now working more remotely than ever before, so why would they want to “cut off their noses to spite their faces?” Is that not the most counter-productive decision you’ve heard of late?

Of course, we’re thinking like Capitalists. We care about profits. Isn’t that the reason to be in business? But, the French are not Capitalists. They are in business because they love what they do, not because they earn money doing it. Or is that my own misguided view of the French? One small artisanal café owner who has banned laptops told The Local that when he opened his space, he wanted it to be about “community and sharing.” So, you see, that’s a rather esoteric viewpoint that won’t get him very far in business, but clearly, he doesn’t care.

If I were to open a café, I’d do just the opposite: I’d offer the best café I could find, serve it a zillion different ways, with a large choice of vegetable-based milks, offer up a whole range of healthy snacks to go along with the coffee (not just pastries and sweets), make sure every table had a plug, good powerful wifi and make sure the acoustics were good so that the din would stay low. I wouldn’t call it a “co-working space” because that’s not at all sexy or inviting…and I bet it would be the most successful café in town turning a big profit. But, I’m a Capitalist. And while I am in business to earn a living, if not be successful, I also want it to be fun and want to be proud of what I do and love to make other people happy…not turn them away!

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds' fingers on a laptop keyboard, her face reflected in a knife at Cafe CharlotAdrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group®

David Downie reading from one of his booksP.S. Author, David Downie, enlightened us at yesterday’s Après-Midi about his latest mystery novels that feature Detective Daria Vinci—his first of a series that take place in Italy. Be sure to read the report, see the photos and because we recorded the session, you can watch the whole thing. Click here.



  1. Rebecca Lopez on December 14, 2022 at 8:41 am

    A comment on the Cafe/laptop conundrum – of course you clearly understand both sides of the debate. I would say that the most important thing you teach those who consider visiting/moving to France – is to learn and appreciate their culture and learn to adapt to it – rather than expect or try to inflict American custom or capitalism on them. Those who love/admire France of course love it for what it is and the pride and steadfastness to it’s culture. Of course you know that better than I. It’s just that I feel when Americans get a hold of something good- the Capitalist in them ruins it. Even if they can’t actually make the change – they can begin to criticize and belittle those who defend their culture. What I do wonder is if the younger French want to push the use of laptops in cafes? In closing, I will say my desire to live in Europe is partly to escape much of the American capitalist ways – understanding it will come with some discomfort 🙂

  2. Marcia on December 14, 2022 at 9:11 am

    If the cafes could designate an area for laptop users, that would be great. There is a coffee shop near here on the Purdue University campus, called Greyhouse Coffee. They have cozy little tables with easy chairs, plugs at every table & free wifi plus good food & coffee! In the back are 2 rooms if anyone wants to have a group meeting, with glass doors to block the noise. It’s just cozy & comfy.

    • Adrian Leeds Group on December 16, 2022 at 10:58 am

      Thanks for sharing your comments. The cafes in France are very different than the coffee shops in the US.

  3. Donna Blazevic on December 14, 2022 at 9:12 am

    Sorry, Adrian, I’m for the old fashioned cafe. Coffee, pastries, none of this “healthy” food. and conversation.

  4. carol on December 14, 2022 at 11:02 am

    Great knife photo!

    • Adrian Leeds Group on December 16, 2022 at 10:56 am

      Thank you!

  5. Elaine McCarthy on December 14, 2022 at 12:10 pm

    I appreciated your “capitalist” viewpoint on how to run a café, but, as you yourself pointed out, your argument is not likely to win over café owners. However, though they may not be “capitalist”, French café owners, I hope, are still traditionalists. I suggest we try to explain to them that the writers they used to encourage to stay all day with a single expresso and an ashtray, scribbling away in their notebooks, are THE VERY SAME PEOPLE who are clicking away on keyboards! Surely they still support literature! They still NEVER ask if one is “finished” or if you want your bill now… there’s still hope!

    • Adrian Leeds Group on December 16, 2022 at 10:55 am

      Thank you for sharing your comments.

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