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Your Property Payday According to Joe

A halftimber building with an apartment for rent sign below one window in France

Joe Siart (aka Joe Start) has a new book out and this time, it’s not about how to get a French driving license, although that book was not only informative, but was downright funny!

Cover for How to get Your French Driver's License, but Joe Siart

This one hot off the press is right up our alley: My Property Payday: Turn Your Spaces into Rental Income.

Joe Siart holding his new book, My Property Payday: Turn Your Spaces into Rental Income

Over lunch with Joe at Café Charlot this week, to discuss the new book, the topic and life, we commiserated over the housing shortage in France and how the French authorities don’t have a clue how to fix this problem, and are actually creating a bigger shortage thanks to their misunderstanding of human behavior.

That very afternoon in my inbox was France Insider’s latest newsletter titled “Where are the Vacant Homes in France?” How apropos is that?!

Meme for the France Insider's article and housing shortages in France

The sad news, according to the Insider, is that “The number of vacant homes in France has reached a record.” The reasons are not defined in the article, but one thing it says is clearly true, “The study does not differentiate between short and long-term vacancies but the agency states that long-term vacancies generally reflect a ‘demographic decline, a mismatch between supply and demand, old/insanitary housing, disputes between tenants and owners or succession problems.’

Graph comparing the amount of vacancies and types of housing in France

Joe​ and I have a basic understanding of supply and demand economics and the natural behavior of investors. If a real estate investor cannot generate enough income from a property to meet their goals, or if the costs to operate the property are more than the revenues it can generate, then it makes no sense to own it or invest further in it. Plus, any lay person knows that rent control doesn’t work and is counter productive (Google it and you’ll find hundreds of articles that confirm this). Yet the authorities keep grabbing at that straw because it makes a lot of their voters happy. And they love to blame short-term rentals for taking long-term housing off the market, and go to great measures to discourage it, while the landlords simply leave those properties empty rather than be fined for “breaking the law” by renting them out! On top of it all, the laws punish the individual property owners by taking revenue out of their pockets while the corporations (hotels and developers) benefit greatly. The bottom line is that the housing shortage increases, the owners are reluctant to invest further in their properties, which contributes to their degradation as well, and the cities continue to try to find solutions, without success.

Graphic map of France showing housing vacancies by region

Housing vacancies in France by region

None of it makes sense, and I contend that there are ways to fixing this so that it’s a win-win for everyone, but they haven’t consulted me for the solution! Meanwhile, Joe has taken on the topic head on and has found a way to help the average property owner to make it their “property payday!” He’s looked at every angle in the French book for the best ways to go about “turning your spaces into rental income” without testing the authorities.

He said, “zero risk does not exist,” which is totally true, however he contends that if you follow his advice you can “get rich without risk.” He also said you “can’t believe everything you hear” as lots of people are challenging the rules and winning. There are many loopholes and ultimately, France is still the most attractive market in Europe for rental revenue.

I often joke that in France if you play by the rules you will lose the game. Joe laughed, yet agreed. He’s been here long enough to understand that there’s a lot of gray areas going on that one can either get lost in or use to one’s advantage. The French call it “Systèm D.”

Système D is a manner of responding to challenges that require one to have the ability to think quickly, to adapt, and to improvise when getting a job done. The letter D refers to any one of the French nouns: débrouille, débrouillardise or démerde (French slang), to mean to make do, to manage, especially in an adverse situation. Basically, it refers to one’s ability and need to be resourceful. (Source: Wikipedia.org)

Here’s a look at the Table of Contents. Trust me, it will answer just about all your questions about how to make your French property pay:

• Setting the stage
• Preface
Chapter One – The sharing opportunity
Chapter Two – The Pro era
Chapter Three – Why France?
• Evaluate
Chapter Four – Which assets? When available?
Chapter Five – Money: meters matter mostly
Chapter Six – Uses best adapted to each space
Chapter Seven – Preferences
Chapter Eight – Regulation
Chapter Nine – Taxation
Chapter Ten – Determine Pricing
• Activate
Chapter Eleven – Potential Revenue
Chapter Twelve – Set your goal
Chapter Thirteen – Maximize Yield
Chapter Fourteen – Minimize Workload
Chapter Fifteen – Social butterfly
Chapter Sixteen – Tranquility
• Optimize
Chapter Seventeen – Make it better
Chapter Eighteen – Toolset tack-ons
Chapter Nineteen – Outsource
Chapter Twenty – Partner
• Expand

The cover for My Property Payday, but Joe Siart

My Property Payday comes in both a paperback and an electronic version. The electronic version has hotlinks to important websites making it interactive, easier, fun and even more informative. To get the book, visit his site for the book. And if you can, let Joe know we sent you!

Plus, Joe Siart agreed to speak at an upcoming North American Expats in France Quarterly Financial Forum—2nd Quarter 2024 on Zoom June 20th at 2:00 p.m. EDT.  So, mark your calendars now and be sure to hear it all directly from him!

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds in IndiaAdrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group®

P.S. The ability to generate a revenue from your French property investment is clearly entirely possible within the parameters set out by Joe Siart. With Paris property prices as low as they are at this moment, isn’t it worth considering making an investment NOW while the conditions are best? Contact us to learn how to make the most of an investment in France.

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