A thoughtful gift...

As a real estate agent, you have three problems to solve every day.   Closing your current business, getting new business, and staying connected to your sphere of influence as often as you can.

Much of this happens inside yourself before it becomes a reality.  You work hard.  You take financial risks every day that others cannot fathom.  You are brave, unique and have your own style of “doing” real estate.  It’s stressful and challenging – and takes lots of motivation and self-help… but you’re your own boss!  Not everyone is cut out for this wild ride.

So how can wine help?  Even if you don’t drink wine at all… wine can be your “secret weapon” in your real estate career!

  •  Wine makes a lovely gift.  A new listing, a closed sale, a new potential buyer… nearly everyone will appreciate a thoughtful gift of wine from you – and with this amateur-friendly wine club, you’re off the hook for choosing the right one.  It’s always fun to have wine on hand that’s been carefully chosen by an expert!
  • Wine tastings can be a great excuse to bring some old clients back into your life, and invite them to “bring a friend” who is thinking of buying or selling.  This atmosphere is perfect for controlled portions, a civilized gathering, and enjoying the moment – while creating and keeping your buying and selling connections strong !
  • And wine can even help you create a steady stream of side income – to compliment your real estate closings with a little “side hustle” to get you through those times in-between sales, pay for vacations, and those hard-to-budget things that happen when you’re self employed.

As a member of Direct Cellars wine club, you pay just $25 per year to have all those benefits, and you choose your own quantities each month.  2, 4 or 6 bottles at members-only prices, 40% off on cases of your favorites, and if you refer 3 friends who join the club – yours is FREE!

You can even become a Brand Partner for just $250 – and that puts you on the road to a second income that can work perfectly with your real estate career… because fellow agents love wine, clients love wine, your friends love wine… and learning about wine with a wine tasting club is just a good excuse (like you need one!) to invite people to get together, enjoy a good time, and remember YOU when they want to buy or sell a home.

You’re the fun, classy one – with the wine.


PS – Please feel free to reach out to me about this opportunity by phone or text (504)812-4702 or learn more at http://www.directcellars.com/annebeck

And join us online – absolutely free – in our NOLA Wine Tasting Facebook Group!

Medora and Mo

Healthy eating in New Orleans…

Let’s be honest.  Bobby and I went out the other night for a quick bite of seafood… I thought, “Good.   I’ll eat fish.  No red meat right now.”  And then I ate fried crawfish patties, smothered in a scrumptious cream sauce… so much healthier.  SO hard to eat right with all this decadence around us!  So many happy, crunchy fried things, so many drinks, so many po-boys… just SO MANY good things.  Not just good.  Incredible food.

But I know we’ve got to do better.  I try not to be bossy about food at home.  Shame on Bobby for eating veal, but I ignore the implications (the horrors) of how it arrives on his plate.  I don’t deny Bryce the Twizzlers, the Sour Patch candies, etc. after school.

All I can do is take one day at a time and try to make better choices, at least some of the time, and introduce some healthy foods at home that may (or may not) catch on as favorites.

One of the things I tried to bring back into my life recently was carob.  It’s a chocolate-like bean, available in powder for baking, and it brings back fond memories for me.

Our youngest aunt, Medora, was the one who introduced me to healthier eating as a teenager.  My Mom, of course, tried to make us eat right – but Medora KNEW THINGS about food.  She had a big property on the bay and introduced us to country life over a few summers.  Sleeping in a tent by the water, gathering eggs at sunset, hiding from mean geese, brushing her beautiful horses, and following her around the health food store were part of our daily routine as she tried to figure out what to feed us kids.  We insisted on going home with her for a week when she’d come to visit us in Mississippi, then it was a yearly tradition.

She taught me to grow alfalfa sprouts in a mason jar under the sink.  She taught us how good fresh eggs taste.  And she treated us with ice cream, smothered in carob syrup.  It was really strange, not much like chocolate after all, but with a taste so unique I crave it now to the point I’ve searched all of the city for carob, and ended up having to order it.  I just had to have it again!

Here’s basically how you make it:

1 cup carob powder

1 cup water

1/2 cup of honey

1 tbsp vanilla

(I added coconut oil to mine, about 1/4 cup – wow!)

You just melt it all together on the stove, bring it to a boil over low heat, then reduce the heat and stir for about 5 minutes, until it is smooth and shiny, like hot fudge.  You can serve it over ice cream, mix it with oatmeal or nuts for a snack, put it in yogurt… use your imagination).

So, it’s as good as I remember.  I have it ready to serve to Bryce when he gets home from camp, and I have a feeling he will feel as I did about it… he’ll wrinkle his nose, not like it, then keep tasting more until he does like it… there’s just something about it that keeps calling out, “This is what the earth intended you to eat!”

Little choices.  One good decision at a time.  Experiments and substitutes.

We will never eat the right things all the time when the wrong things are so good, and SO special here in New Orleans.  But we can try to do better, and maybe pass along a memory to someone of something that lingers on the tongue, and in the heart.

Thanks, Aunt Medora, for teaching us to love the healthy stuff, too.


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One of the side effects of a job in sales is constant education – and inspiration.

No one said it would be easy to create income from nothing, and I didn’t expect it to be.  I also didn’t expect it to be so scary – no paycheck on Friday unless I sell something!  But the rewards are great, and once in a while I realize that I receive far more than a paycheck for my work.

This was brought home to me in a podcast this morning by  Gabby Bernstein of Spirit Junkie, who is one of my invisible mentors, always bringing inspiration to my job.  So do many others, and without the “self-help” community being there to share their motivating thoughts with the world… people like me could not do what we GET to do.

That’s key.  Something I learned this morning will stay with me for a long time.

I had created a strange “to do” chart for myself that looks like the inside of my brain.  It’s my own thing, and resembles a spider web – many sections within sections, symmetrical but round, rather than a straight-forward list.  It has segments for my work, my side work, my “chores,” and just life stuff that’s going on every day within it all.  Using this, I can see clearly what is before me for the day… it just works.  For example, here are some things I have to get done today:

And as Gabby pointed out, I was looking at the day, already exhausted by all the things I needed to do in so many directions.  Then she said, “Think of it as things we GET to do.”  Just repeat that to yourself.


I live in New Orleans, the most interesting city in all the world.  It really is.   I GET to represent these drop-dead amazing properties and get paid for showing them to other people.  I GET to enjoy some funny things that happen in other people’s properties; like this shoe-in-the-freezer thing.  As I told my client, “Fodder for the blog.”

I get to be responsible for millions of dollars worth of property, plan fun events for friends as a side job, work with my little guy to get his summer homework done, cook for and feed my beautiful family in a kitchen my husband created with his own hands.  I get to be social, busy, amused and rushed and overwhelmed with a collection of to-do items that can only be listed in the form of a spider web.

There are people all over the world who would kill for my to-do list.  I am blessed enough to GET to live a life that feels like a merry-go-round to me sometimes.

But I don’t HAVE to do these things – I GET to do them.

I spent the whole day thinking that way.  Look what I get to do.  Look who I get to meet.  Look what I get to create.  How beautiful is life when we realize we GET to live it?

I have deep gratitude for my life in New Orleans, among the crazy, swimming in a tide of strange and wonderful things.

What do YOU get to do today?  Change that word, and the day will change around you.

Anne Beck

Realtor, Inventor of Spider List

(PS – You also GET to enjoy some free wine this month, if you want to share your bliss with friends of our club).

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Inviting a friend to my kitchen brought us... shepherd's pie!


Since Bobby finished our kitchen renovation, I have to admit – I’m hooked on the idea of what this room brings to our lives.

For me, it’s been the symbolic slave galley of motherhood for 30 years.  Martha Stewart must be crazy, trying to enjoy the hated, dreadful chore of cooking.  I never got it.

Suddenly – I get it!

I’ve cooked so much in the past six months that I find myself out of go-to recipes and reaching out to others for their specialties, and this has added a whole new layer to what it means to share food with friends and family.  A different sort of nourishment is touching my soul these days.

On a recent trip to visit family in Ohio, I took a pile of blank recipe cards with me (yes, this is true), and every time we enjoyed a meal at someone’s house, I got the recipes of everything I loved.

Favorites, of course, were desserts… I got my sister-in-law’s secret sauce in the form of peanut butter frosting, which then inspired me to buy some cake decorating tips.  This fluffy, to-die-for frosting even freezes well for later, and made the boring brownies made from a mix something special to take to a party.  Of course, no one believed I made them.  They were so pretty… I was accused of picking them up at Rouse’s.  Which I did not.

Once we got back home, I spent a whole afternoon making the best meatballs EVER.  Thank goodness I used a whole Costco 10lb roll of hamburger and made a million of them.  I don’t think I can duplicate that ad-libbed mixture the same way again.  But it’s okay, because I made a million of them and we have reserves in the freezer.

Then something I never thought of happened.  That picturesque iron skillet with all the veggies is part of a shepherd’s pie that took a several hours to make.  And cemented a friendship with a client of ours that will last forever.

For a whole year, Ryan and Jenny lived at one of the properties I manage, and I knew them only through the usual agent-tenant interactions throughout that time.  On the last month of the lease, Ryan was dropping off a check to me in the drop-box outside our house and sent me a text to let me know to look for it.  Then he added, in a second text, “By the way – those strings of lights in your garden at night are beautiful.  What a nice spot!”

So I responded, “Hey, you should come hang out sometime before you leave New Orleans.  We sit out there most nights.”

He took me up on it and a friendship was born, sadly, within weeks of his leaving for Amsterdam.

He embraced the art of porch sitting like he was born and raised here.  We talked and talked and talked, and Bobby and I stayed up later than we have in a long time that night, just enjoying our guest and feeling nostalgic for our “stoop-sitting” days in the French Quarter.

The subject of cooking came up, and I mentioned that I needed a recipe for Shepherd’s Pie, which Ryan offered to come over and make before leaving town.  That night, he and Jenny stayed until 1 am.  Lots of wine was enjoyed, the pie was SERIOUS cooking – not the bar-in-Metairie kind we had envisioned.  And Ryan shared how much he wished he had reached out sooner, as it seemed he’d worked too hard and socialized too little while he was here.

He was quite a cook, and he enjoyed my new kitchen as much as I do, creating a great meal, enjoying a New Orleans night with friends, and even gifted me his carefully seasoned skillet before leaving town.

Sharing a kitchen, sharing a porch.  Sharing regular daily life in New Orleans, on a great porch, in a great kitchen.

That’s a recipe you can’t write on a card.


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NOLA Wine Tasting Club - it's a thing!

NOLA Wine Tasting Club – it’s a thing!

This summer has led to an interesting new endeavor.   I have gotten acquainted with a really unique wine club business opportunity, that blends perfectly with my real estate work, and is turning out to be the “zen” thing I do to enjoy a respite from the contracts and phone calls every day.

You can imagine… it’s a pressure-cooker sometimes.  Deadlines, meetings, showings, open houses, contracts, last-minute panic on a sale.   Selling homes is what I love to do, and there’s a social aspect of it that makes it all worth it.

So… what’s with the wine club?  Friends who know me well know that I don’t drink.  At all.  But wine is so much a part of my everyday life I feel it’s time I got to know more about it, and I found a way to enjoy wine as a hostess to my friends and clients, plus create a stream of income that is ongoing, unlike my one-sale-at-a-time real estate business.

I found Direct Cellars when I was looking for a special closing gift.  I’ve been using wine shipments as a way of saying, “Thank you,” to my clients for a long time.  It can be an expensive gift, but it’s thoughtful and worth it when my clients have entrusted me with selling their property.  I’m always thrilled to have that opportunity, and when we close – there should be a toast!

This one was different, though.  It’s a wine tasting membership that costs $25.00 per year.  Once you’re a member, you choose how many wines you will receive every month (2,4 or 6 for $49, $79 or $99) and the company curates artisan wines from all over the world to send you – so you can get out of that same-wine-every-time rut, try some interesting selections by tasting, then you can re-order the ones you love at a members-only discount.

Two things that stood out for me:  You can stop, start or take a break from your wine shipments any time.  And Direct Cellars guarantees that you’ll love the wine, or they’ll replace it free.  And that’s actually a real thing.  I tried it when I got a duplicate bottle from last month, called customer service, and they just sent me a different bottle – no questions asked.  I was surprised it was so easy.

The best part, for me, was that if you refer 3 friends to join the club, then your own wine is FREE.  And you can gift it…

That’s what I’m doing.  I’m gifting my wines each month to say “Thank you,” whenever I get a new listing, a new tenant, a new buyer, or we close on a sale.  And I’m getting my wine FREE, so that’s a way better option than shipping wines to my clients after the fact – and these are always such interesting choices – not my artless guesses at what my people will like best.  I can give a thoughtful, unique gift every time!

The part that’s truly bringing me a lot of joy is the tastings.  I set up NOLA Wine Tasting Group on Facebook, and I’ve been inviting friends to live tastings here in New Orleans, where we sample the wines from Direct Cellars each month, and use it as a great excuse to get together, have some beautiful food, take a break from the usual work stuff, and just unwind.

I can’t think of a better way for me to create an ongoing paycheck that works right beside my real estate career.  My clients love it, my fellow realtors REALLY love it, and there’s a real joy in having a second income to pay for vacations and home improvements, so I can focus my home-selling skills and be social within my day-to-day work.

I’m always happy to explain the opportunity (or just the wine club!) to anyone who is looking for balance and creativity (and more income).  You can always text or call me to learn how you can get involved.  The more the merrier here in NOLA – we love to be social, we love the get-togethers, and of course… we love free wine!




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