It’s been 15 years since the building on the corner of Lake Street and Main Avenue was a bank. Now the building houses Bender Realty. But it’s not out with the old and in the with the new—Amber and Bradley Bender are doing their best to incorporate the building’s history into their new business.
The building still has the old teller station, the original vault, and the original marble, which Amber Bender’s father turned into a conference table for the new real estate agency.
“We are super excited to take over the history of the building,” said Amber, adding that her dad is from Frazee and he actually got his first car loan from the People’s State Bank in Frazee.
There’s a lot of memories in the old bank building, and the Benders are doing their best to keep them alive, but they’re also making memories of their own, writing their own history on the building.
For example, there’s a small space at the back of the bank that has it’s own entrance, and the Benders have big plans for it, hoping to rent it to “first-time business owners.”
The idea behind renting out the space is to help business thrive in the small community once again, and renters will only be allowed out of the lease if they promise to keep their business in Frazee.
The Benders are committed to the Frazee community and want to see it flourish.
“We try to be really incorporated in the community,” said Amber.
The community engagement is part of what makes their realty business thrive—but another piece is keeping up with the times.
While the new Bender Realty building holds a lot of history—and the Benders love it—Real Estate is also advancing technologically.
“Our big thing in real estate that we offer is technology,” said Bradley, adding that he’s built an app for their real estate business, and they also have a drone to get aerial footage of larger land lots.
“Real estate isn’t paper anymore,” he said.
To stay ahead of the competition, they also offer more than just selling real estate.
“The big thing that we offer above and beyond the norm is property management services,” said Amber, adding that they do concierge service, they check on properties during the winter while the owners are away, and they also help homeowners rent out their properties.
“I have been licensed for seven years,” said Amber, adding that she has the experience and the passion when it comes to renting and selling homes.
They even still own their very first rental property, so they’ve got their own little business history beginning to boom.
And in line with their business history, they have a Bender Realty in Moorhead, which used to be an old candy store and is right across the street from where Amber and Bradley met.
Though the main historical focus is now on their new location in Frazee.
They’ve got a historical display of old bank documents that’s “not overwhelming,” which includes the old bank’s original ledger—but the history doesn’t stop there.
“We’re starting the process of labelling this a historical building,” said Amber. “We’re going to work hard to keep the history.”