Groomed for Real Estate, Destined for Something Else . . .

While other kids played with beanie babies I was hawking mine on eBay. I was always enamored with business and marketing. My family had a successful real estate business and at a young age I knew I wanted to go into business. I realized the importance of online marketing early on with my beanie baby business. Heck, I made two thousand dollars selling beanie babies when I was 13. I was not making that kind of money when I set up booths at collector shows. It’s all about the E-Commerce, baby!

Bubble burst

When I was 19, I obtained my real estate license. College was never really in my “life” plan. My plan was to work for the family business, in real estate.

Unfortunately for me, I became a real estate agent in 2007. As you recall, the real estate market crashed in 2008 and it crashed hard. This is when I realized I had to change my career path because of the economy. I was heartbroken that I had to start over. Little did I know this was a blessing in disguise.


Fast forward to my college years. -Oh boy!

Logo for 33.3With an entrepreneurship spirit, a few of my friends and I joined forces to make the best t-shirt company ever. Our business model was flawless, well at least that’s what we had thought. The name of our company was 33.3 (I know, how cliché). We had a developer, graphic designer and a marketing/sales person.

While our developer used Dreamweaver, this was the first time I understood the importance of web development. Watching Diggnation and conjuring up our next business scheme, I began to understand more about development, different kinds of files, and the difference between serif and sans serif (everything I now take for granted). The t-shirt business failed :( but the lessons it taught me were priceless. This was the first time I knew I had to be a part of the web development process.

Back at it again

My family stumbled upon some land that was a great investment. It was a “no-brainer” to purchase because the price was too good to pass up. My sister and I decided it was time to learn how the building industry works. Trinity Home Builders emerged where I spent the next four years developing our marketing strategy and web presence.

After working with three different web developers, I was still not happy with the end result of our website. So, I became obsessed with web development. After the website was in a good place, I was no longer content at Trinity. The CRM and PPC campaigns were on autopilot. Purchasing lumber and dealing with draw sheets was not my forte. I separated myself from Trinity and went back to school to finish the remaining two classes I needed to graduate in Marketing.

HTML & CSS 101

Last summer I spend two nights a week learning the fundamentals of web development. I obtained a social media certificate after completing that course.

During the course, we were assigned the task of developing a WordPress website. I finally had my “ah-ha” moment – now everything I was trying to do for so long made sense.

Now, just because I can create a site on WordPress, this does not mean I’m a developer. It’s the organic SEO, GA, GSC, social media, and all other inbound marketing that drives me.

After a combination of my HTML class and WordCamp sessions, WordPress became my CMS of choice and I never looked back.


I was fortunate to be able to volunteer the first year I attended WordCamp Milwaukee. It was the beginning of my initiation into the WordCamp community. I met many talented individuals during the sessions, volunteering, snagging swag and at the social events. These individuals were not just acquaintances I met in passing, but they became friends and invaluable resources. It was and continues to be a wonderful experience.

During last year’s WordCamp at the speaker/sponsor after party, I had the privilege of meeting Topher. I shared my story with him and told him how WordPress had impacted my life for the better. He told me about HeroPress. He asked me if I would be interested in writing an essay about my WordPress journey thus far. And, here I am.

Currently, I work for Tuna Traffic as a Digital Marketing Technologist, and every day I am learning something new. I’m excited to see where my WordPress journey takes me next!

One comment

  1. Hi Nicole,

    Enjoyed reading your story! I too found WordPress via real estate. It was a side business for me and I wasn’t good at it, despite working hard to get my broker’s license. I’ll always be a developer / nerd at heart and while search for a decent real estate website, I found WordPress via Genesis. This is my thing and these are my people! The community blew me away. That past RE experience though helps with IDX integrations which is now my forte. Kudos to you for using your marketing skills to pull it all together, that is huge and always in demand!

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