Chivers sells business, but will stay on


Iconic Detroit Lakes real estate agent Jack Chivers has sold his business — but he will remain there as a sales agent and will lead the eight-person sales team. Fargo businessman Dirk Ockhardt and two silent investors purchased Jack Chivers Realty on Jan. 1.

Ockhardt will serve as the new managing broker and president of Jack Chivers Realty.

He said he will focus on business quality, strategy, marketing and growth.

Jack Chivers Realty has sold more Minnesota lake homes, investment properties and commercial properties than any other real estate agency in the Detroit Lakes area, Ockhardt said.

It features properties locally, nationally and now also internationally, with connections in Europe through Ockhardt, who was born and raised near Düsseldorf, Germany.

Chivers has been in real estate sales since 1966.

He started his real estate career at Calhoun Realty of Minneapolis, and for the next 13 years he was a leading salesperson on the 200-person sales team, winning top honors 12 out of 13 years.

He launched Jack Chivers Realty in Detroit Lakes in 1985.

Jack Chivers Realty, on average, performs double the sales of its closest competitors, Ockhardt said.

“Jack and his team serve with excellence and integrity, and are the market leader in client satisfaction,” he added.

Ockhardt became familiar with the Midwest and Canada, first as a foreign exchange student in the lakes area, and later as a member of the German Air Force, stationed for a year in Happy Valley Goose Bay, Canada.

He has an interesting background: In 2000 he started his sales career with Dresdner Bank in Essen, Germany.

He earned an associate degree in banking, and planned to continue in an MBA program, but he got swept up in the world of art, eventually running his own art brokerage for several years before he returned to school to earn a law degree.

He returned to the Midwest in 2009 to raise a family and focused on real estate sales.

Ockhardt said he started his real estate career in 2011 with one goal in mind: to become a real estate broker.

He engaged with Jack Chivers to transition into the role of an owner-broker in 2012.  Last year, he founded Ockhardt Realty — the holding company for Jack Chivers Realty — with two silent partners in Fargo.

Ockhardt serves the community as a member of the Historic Preservation Commission for the City of Fargo, a member of the Board of Directors of the Rourke Art Museum, an active Fargo Rotarian and a committee member of the local realtor association.

He also co-founded the SoMA Fargo neighborhood (South of Main Avenue) in downtown Fargo and is an active downtown community member.

Dirk Ockhardt