We had the good fortune of connecting with Tina Nerland and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tina, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Starting my own business was not something that I thought I would ever do. I had been in property management for 15 years, and I loved what I did. My husband and I had two sons under the age of 3 and it ultimately came down to staying at home with them, or paying someone more than my half of my salary to watch them. Prior to making this decision, I had started making growth charts for mothers. These growth charts helped them keep track of their littles growth, and not have to worry about if they moved homes. My husband and I weighed the pros and cons of each, and that is how I started Crafty Nerd! It was difficult at first to build a following, but after a couple years I had over 1,200 followers on Facebook. I have expanded my product into all kinds of items from wooden signs to epoxied tumblers. Don’t get me wrong, I love to craft, it’s my way of relaxing. It’s something I enjoy to do, but it wasn’t enough to help support my family. I had had my Arizona Real Estate license for about 7 years at that point, however, because I was in property management prior to starting Crafty Nerd, I was never able to activate my license because it was a conflict of interest. The following I had built with Crafty Nerd was phenomenal. It was 1,200 people at that time who had either bought, been given, or wanted to buy a product from me. These were all people who I had met, knew my work and attention to detail. They have provided me referrals and have become repeate buyers. It was at that point where I decided to venture off and join the United Brokers Group. I activated my license, went through their extensive training program and graduated in record time. During this time Gravel Road Real Estate was formed. I choose UBG because they allow you to brand yourself. We all know that branding can go a long way. I threw around many names of how I wanted to brand myself and I kept going back to being from the mid west, living in a town that was surrounded by corn fields and gravel roads. One day a dear friend of mine were talking and I told her I wanted my brand to be Gravel Road but couldn’t think of a tag line. What would people read and remember? Gravel Road will lead you home… and there I was. A woman who was from the mid-west where no matter what road I took, it was a gravel road that always lead me home. Now I have two businesses: a crafting business and a Real Estate business. I never really made money off the craft business, it was just something I loved to do. So that is when Crafty Nerd became a lead generating aspect of Gravel Road. Each and every order received a business card for Gravel Road. In Real Estate we do what’s called a pop by. You get small gifts and you take them to your client with your card hoping that they refer someone to you or use you the next time they buy build or sell a home. This was like that only times 100. I didn’t have to go to people, people were coming to me. It was a genius idea that I have my husband to thank. I am very blessed to have Crafty Nerd and Gravel Road and I would never go back to working in the corporate setting!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am one driven woman. I set my mind to something and I make it happen! With or without fail. I started Crafty Nerd with 1 follower and have now over 1,500 followers. For a small Craft Business that only sells on Facebook I would say that is a success story. I built my business by going above and beyond for my clients and giving them more than what they asked for. I continuously changed what I did but kept somethings that were best selling items such as personalized Easter bunnies. Sometimes I would find something that would sell well, and most other times I would not. But it was all about trying to figure out what worked and what didn’t. Once Crafty Nerd was flipped into a lead generating aspect of Gravel Road, I captured many leads which helped me graduate my Pro Launch programs and get recognized as Rookie of the Year at United Brokers Group. I build my business based off referrals which is the best compliment that a REALTOR can be given. Real Estate is not easy by any means. It takes hard work, you spend nights and weekends away from your family, put in 12 plus hours some days but it can be very rewarding if you give it your all. It’s no different than Crafty Nerd. I still go above and beyond for my clients and it is beyond rewarding when I get a call from someone saying my client referred them to me. Best compliment ever!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend came into town, which just so happens to be my sister, we would take a drive to San Diego and rent a house on the beach. We would spend our day on the beach remembering the good days when we were younger. We would dine out at some of the finest Italian restaurants at night. But our days would just be spent together catching up and relaxing.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have had the pleasure of meeting many people who have helped me grow over the years however there is one person that stands out above the rest and that is my husband Bryce. I have never meet someone more passionate and dedicate than him. He gives it his all every single day. I listen to how he builds people up and makes them better everyday. He gives me love and support daily and that helps me want to do better and to be the best I can be. He pushes me to do better and I am so blessed that I get to call him my husband.
Nicole Kehres with Nicole Leann Protography