Who the Folk?! | Dan Paley

TC Jewfolk: Are you from the Twin Cities?

Daniel: Yes. I spent seven years living in Geneva, Switzerland as a kid, but otherwise have lived most of my life in the Twin Cities, Golden Valley specifically.

TCJ: You live in Switzerland growing up! What was that like?

Daniel: I lived in Geneva for seven years, from age one to eight. My family and I moved there for my dad’s job. The interesting thing about that city is that there’s a big United Nations presence, and it’s also a large business center, so there are tons of diplomats, dignitaries, royalty and business-types there. A lot of these people would send their kids to the same private school I attended, so I was exposed to a lot of diversity and culture at a very young age. Mix that with being able to do a ton of travel within Europe–you know, being a four-year-old kid in Paris, or a six-year-old in London–is quite unique. I feel really blessed to have gotten to do that. It gave me a really valuable perspective on the world that not many people get, especially at that age.dan paley

TCJ: You’re a real estate agent. How did you get into that business?


I was working in banking for a few years, and I was really interested in all aspects of personal finance–wealth management, home mortgage, things like that. That got me interested in the real estate community here, so I elected to get my real estate license and start working as an agent. I work at Keller Williams in Uptown, and I am really enjoying it. It’s a fulfilling and fun endeavor.

TCJ: What do you find the most fulfilling part of being a realtor?

Daniel: There’s a lot. Something that makes it exciting is the simple fact housing is a basic human need. Everybody needs shelter, everybody needs a home, so it’ll never be an obsolete occupation. I’m also intrigued with it being a fantastic investment vehicle. One of the most common ways to build wealth is through real estate investing, and it’s great to be able to help both myself as well as others achieve their financial goals. At the end of the day, I’m passionate about helping people, and  interested in finance and numbers. The real estate industry is a great marriage of both.

TCJ: What type of clients do you serve?

Daniel: My niche is the western suburbs of Minneapolis, like Golden Valley, St. Louis Park and Minnetonka. My main client demographic is the first-time home buyers. I represent home buyers, sellers, investors and those prospective renters looking for apartments and condos.

TCJ: That’s got to be an exciting demographic to work with.

Daniel: Yeah, it’s an exciting time for young folks. This group is not just fresh out of college. People are often fairly established in their careers and personal lives at this point. I’m thrilled to be a part of that process, offer my expertise, my support, and to see people enjoy themselves in a place they feel happy. Because that’s the key. People obviously want a nice house, but everyone wants to feel comfortable at home, totally at ease, in their own space. I’m able to do that for people and absolutely love it.

TCJ: You’re also involved with JFCS NextGen. What got you involved with that?

Daniel: My mom works at JFCS. She’s been there for fifteen years now. I’ve known about NextGen for a while. I go to their social events, and have also been a regular volunteer for five years. Todd Sandler is also a buddy of mine, so when he took over as the director I got more involved. (Side Note: He’s doing a unbelievable job.)

TCJ: What’s your favorite way to celebrate Shabbat?

Daniel: Being in Israel. I don’t know what it is, but when you are a Jew, and you’re in Israel, it’s a feeling that can’t be explained. It just feels right. You just have to experience it. Even as a non-resident, everything feels so familiar. I’ve been to Israel three times now, and I’m convinced it’s by far the best place to be for Shabbat.

TCJ: What’s your favorite Jewish holiday?

Daniel: Hanukkah. My birthday is December 18th, so that time of year has Hanukkah, my birthday, New Year’s Eve, winter break–it’s just a great, happy time of year for me. Also, back when I was in Switzerland, and my dad would travel a bunch for his work, he would always have time off in December. So I would always get a ton of father/son time that portion of the year, which was special.

TCJ: Finally, give us one more reason why you’re folking awesome! 

Daniel: I love people. I love when there’s an abundance of laughter present. I’m the most happy surrounded by friends and family with people are sharing and enjoying life together.

In our weekly column, “Who the Folk?!”, we feature a new member of the Jewish community. Know someone we should feature? Nominate them by sending an email to [email protected].

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