Sold: Jack Chivers Realty
Blake Olson buys renowned Detroit Lakes real estate company.
DETROIT LAKES — Blake Olson is the new owner of Jack Chivers Realty.
The renowned Detroit Lakes real estate company changed hands to kick off the new year. Olson said that he had discussed buying the business from the former owner, Dirk Ockhardt, for a few years.
He worked his way through the ranks in the company, starting in 2014 as a sales agent, then gaining the associate broker title.
“At that point, the talks ramped up,” he said, noting ownership was the next “logical step.”
Olson believes his longevity with the company helped with the transition in ownership. He explained agents can easily go to another company, but those working with Jack Chivers Realty remained when he took the helm.
“I saw that as a vote of confidence,” he said, adding he has held the company values to heart, and plans to carry on the tradition to clients, providing loyalty, integrity and a hard work ethic.
The agency has two offices, one in Detroit Lakes at 816 Washington Ave., and the other is in Perham right off Main Street at 157 First Ave. S.
Detroit Lakes office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays and 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays.
The company has a total of 10 agents and a full-time office manager and covers an area that spans about 1½ hours in each direction of the two towns it has an office.
Olson meets love of his life through Jaycees
Olson grew up in Halstad, Minn. He went on to attend the University of North Dakota and earn a political science degree. However, when the adult career life called, he went a different route.
The unplanned path was discovered after Jack Chivers helped Olson’s parents sell some of their estate. The idea of being a real estate agent intrigued Olson. He liked how each day provided a variety of tasks to be completed, as well as the opportunity to help people find or sell a house. Olson reached out to Chivers.
“He just sold the company, but he helped open doors so that I could get a foot in the door,” Olson said.
Olson began working with Jack Chivers Realty in 2014 and collected the highly acclaimed GRI Designation from the Graduate Realtor Institute, which means he has in-depth knowledge of technical subjects and fundamentals of real estate.
While learning ways to better serve clients, Olson made sure to become an active member of the community by joining the Detroit Lakes Jaycees . In the volunteer group full of good Samaritans, Olson met his wife, Katie, a Detroit Lakes High School graduate that works in the Perham School District. The two have since made their home in Detroit Lakes and welcomed their first child, Graham, into the world seven months ago. They also have a 3-year-old Bernese mountain dog named Buster.
While enjoying a busy family and work life, Olson makes it a priority to remain involved in community-minded organizations.
“When I was younger, I was in the Jaycees, and now I'm more involved in Young Life, ” he said. “I’ve seen firsthand how important volunteer organizations are for our communities. The money they make (by hosting events) goes a long way in the community.”
A business with a history built on loving lake country
According to the Jack Chivers Realty webpage, Chivers grew up in Pittsburgh, Pa. He moved to Detroit Lakes in 1966, after serving in the Navy. He began working as a real estate agent for a company in the metro area, but his expertise in lake country became a valuable asset as recreational homes became more popular. He opened his real estate business in Detroit Lakes in the early 1980s. The business was sold to Ockhardt in 2013, and now to Olson in 2023.
“The business has always been strong since it opened in the 1980s,” Olson said, noting he looks forward to continuing the tradition.