Daniel Park, Realty Executives Associates

Building Others Up for Success

Location: Next Level Brewing Co.

When top-producing REALTOR Daniel Park was young, he expected to become a high school teacher when he grew up. “Both my parents are teachers, so thought I would teach and coach, but in college, psychology grabbed my attention.”
After college, he moved to Prague to open and manage Mosaic House with some friends, but he knew that wasn’t a long-term role. Two other occupations—being a pastor or a counselor—kept coming to his mind, but neither was the right fit. Finally, after serving with a college ministry at Texas A&M, he went to work for a commercial real estate company doing development and property management…and that’s how Daniel stumbled into real estate.
“That company was extremely intentional about culture,” he remembered. “There was a lot of emphasis on mentorship and developing people according to their passions. Their goal was to bring in people in their late 20s/early 30s and teach them how to balance work and family life. I personally benefited from that, and it planted a seed for what happened later when I switched over to residential real estate here in Knoxville.”
“I went to graduate school thinking I would become a consultant for organizations on their culture, emotional health, emotional intelligence, communication, conflict resolution—all those interpersonal things,” he described. “Once I finished grad school, I met with my broker, Justin Bailey, and said, ‘I don’t want to stop doing real estate…but I love this other thing, too.’ Then Justin asked me to think about how I could do both together.”
After some brainstorming, Daniel figured out a way to stay in real estate, working with the clients he loves, and get to do some of the teaching he has always dreamed of doing. He began putting together courses for the Tennessee Real Estate Commission to teach REALTORS about all the things he cares about—emotional well-being, work-life balance, navigating stress and anxiety, avoiding burnout, etc. “I think those things are really important,” he said. “We all benefit when we’re coping in healthy ways.”
“For me, the balance of being a REALTOR and an instructor really feels like a good fit,” Daniel shared. “I’m proud of that, because I feel like I’m really utilizing the gifts the Lord gave me—and I’m also very grateful that He brought me through this winding path to get where I am today. I’m thankful He has given me clarity on my ‘lane,’ or trajectory in life.”
Some important lessons for Daniel have included learning how to set expectations for himself in a field that’s always changing, figuring out how to plan and communicate with his wife and family when schedules change, and understanding the importance of taking some regular time off in order to stay physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy. “I learned these things the hard way because I didn’t do them well initially,” he admitted, “and that’s probably why I’m so passionate about helping other REALTORS learn that balance in their lives.”
As a nugget of wisdom for other agents, Daniel shared: “Recognizing the unique access we get to people’s lives is something to not take for granted. Our best marketing is really taking care of our people and doing it well. We’re in customer service, so communicating, being available, and doing everything in the client’s best interest is crucial.”
“It’s important to remember that people are buying and selling houses because of a change in their lives,” he added, “and big change always brings grief to some degree. So we need to recognize that and be there for our clients when they open up about their thoughts and feelings so we can help them adjust and move forward.”
It’s people and relationships that get Daniel up in the morning—although, being somewhat introverted, he does have to balance time for himself to get energized to enjoy meeting all the different types of people he encounters during the day. Outside of work, he loves being with his wife and four children. “I love sports, but not all my kids love sports as much as I do, so I balance things like building forts and lying in the grass looking at clouds and laughing. I’ve also gotten into running in the last couple of years, setting some goals and running some marathons—and I’ve recently qualified to run the Boston Marathon next spring.”
Daniel is fascinated by the brain, and if he had time, he’d like to learn more about how our brains operate. “I’d love to create new courses and teach other agents how brain science can help us be the best REALTORS we can be.”
As an agent and an instructor, Daniel’s goal is to bring out the best in other people. He loves thinking of other agents as co-workers, not competitors, and he has found some of his closest friends in real estate. “It would be a lonely business if it weren’t for all of our amazing colleagues,” he pointed out.
“I want to help people be their best,” Daniel summarized. “Not just the best realtors, but the best spouses, leaders, and friends. We get to impact people all over the community. We get access to people in some of the biggest moments of their lives, and that’s a huge privilege for us as REALTORS to have that kind of window into the lives of others.”