Sections

Weather Forecast

Close

What's in a name?: Jack Chivers leaves Chivers Realty to be managing broker at Remax

The real estate team at Remax poses in their office building just off Highway 10, east of town. Standing, from left to right: Michelle Bjerke, office manager/agent; Mike Summers, land specialist; Matt Brenk, broker; Jack Chivers, managing broker; Lisa Jasken Peterson, owner/agent; Jay Schurman, owner/agent; Joy Summers, office administrator. Seated, from left to right: Monica Kaiser, associate broker; and Paula Okeson, sales agent. Kaysey Price / Tribune1 / 2
Jack Chivers has been in the real estate business for over 50 years. After selling his company five years ago, he's now onto a new venture, working as a managing broker at Remax. Submitted Photo2 / 2

Jack Chivers has left Jack Chivers Realty — but he isn't hanging it up.

Chivers is now the managing broker of Remax, a real estate company Jay Schurman opened in Detroit Lakes about a year ago.

"Well, it's very unusual to have someone whose name is the company leave the company," said Chivers, explaining his career move from the company he started and ran for decades.

He, along with three other team members who have worked with Chivers for many years at Chivers Realty have also left and are working with him at Remax now. Paula Okeson, who started working for Chivers in 2012 is now a sales agent at Remax. Lisa Jasken Peterson started working with Chivers as a sign girl back in 2008 and worked her way up, eventually selling real estate. She is now an owner in Remax. And Michelle Bjerke was the office manager and COO of Chivers Realty. She is now the office manager at Remax.

Dirk Ockhardt, broker and CEO of Chivers Realty who purchased the business from Chivers five years ago (and who has since opened up a branch in Perham), says the two worked out a non-compete contract for five years, effective after the business switched hands. Chivers's contract was up at the end of 2018, and Ockhardt says he was aware of some changes in the works this past year.

"His contract is up, and he's off to new adventures," he said.

"I'm not ready to quit yet," said Chivers. "I sold my company, and I've been offered this opportunity to come guide these people to build a new platform on top of the incredible platform that Remax has."

Chivers says five years ago, when he sold Chivers Realty, he imagined easing up on the reigns of real estate, making occasional sales, but it didn't really work out that way.

"I didn't know I didn't want to quit that bad...I need the adrenaline of the sale. That's what's been part of my life for 53 years now. It's my energy," he said.

Chivers's drive, along with some dislike surrounding the changes Ockhardt was making to Chivers Realty, solidified Chivers's decision to leave.

"Everybody left the operation for different reasons. I was upset with the way the platform had changed," said Chivers.

Chivers says he prefers the old-school style of real estate, putting a flyer in someone's hand, having as much face-to-face interaction with clients as possible. Ockhardt is more new age, on top of the latest tricks and trends of the business. He says they have pushed events like an annual Lake Life Expo, and he hosts a podcast as well for his business.

Chivers says he also wasn't for Chivers Realty's move into the Washington Square Mall. He believes the old location, out on Highway 59, was ideal for a real estate company.

In spite of a difference of opinion, the move was an amicable one, and both companies are up for a little healthy competition.

"He has done tremendous work," said Ockhardt, commenting on the legacy Chivers has built in the area. "I am grateful for his mentoring."

While Chivers is no longer there, Ockhardt will continue to operate under the Chivers Realty brand name that he strategically bought into five years ago.

"In Germany, we only have the mom and pop real estate companies. That's a model that I understood and that I liked," said Ockhardt, adding that he knew Chivers wouldn't always be at his company, whether he retired or moved on. "It was never my intention to rename."

In this strange twist of fate, Chivers will now be competing with himself, in a sense, and the brand name he spent decades building, though Ockhardt has certainly taken Chivers Realty and made it his own over the last five years, pushing a lake life brand.

Chivers says he knows it's an unusual situation, but he also doesn't seem concerned.

"This last year, I sold Speakeasy, which became Spitfire. I sold Curley's up on Cotton Lake," he said. "I like what I'm doing, and as long as the big guy in the sky lets me keep doing it, that's what I'm gonna do."