Chris knew in fifth grade that he wanted to work for Skogman Companies, a business started by his grandfather, LeRoy Skogman. He finally got the opportunity at the age of 14, when he started working on crews at Skogman Homes. Following high school Chris attended the University of Iowa where he met his wife, Nikki. During his senior year of college, Chris worked in the accounting department at Skogman Companies. Following graduation, his fifth grade decision had not waivered and Chris began working as a project manager at Skogman Homes for the better part of a decade. Chris assisted in the construction of nearly 300 homes in the Cedar Rapids and Marion communities before deciding to change his career path and join Skogman Realty in 2006.
It was at this time that Chris’s father, Rick Skogman, was ready to phase out of his term as President of Skogman Realty, a division of Skogman Companies. Rick founded the company in 1973 and Chris took over as President in 2008, right before the Cedar Rapids flood and the 2008 economic recession. Chris was also facing the fact that there were many tenured employees of Skogman Realty that were very used to Rick’s style. These employees quickly realized that Chris’s leadership style was also one they could respect and believe in noting his sound ethics, good character, and genuine approachability. He believes in transparency and has an open-door policy with everyone. One of Chris’s strengths is that he is a straight shooter but still has a unique way of making everyone feel like they’re genuinely coming out ahead in a situation.
Growing up in the Skogman family, Chris is very aware that his family’s last name is on everything they do. He will be the first to tell you that a family business provides a blood level of trust that is unparalleled and not present in corporate America. It is very important to Chris and the rest of the leadership team that all Skogman team members feel respected and a part of this family atmosphere. Skogman Realty places an extremely high importance on company culture and realizes that the greatest asset they have as a company is their people. For the first time in the company history, Chris began surveying their agents to see what support they would benefit from and feedback they had to offer. One common response revolved around education. Chris and his team listened to this and now offer complimentary trainings for their agents beyond the minimum continuing education required; called the “Skogman Edge.”
In his current role, Chris has embraced technology and his entrepreneurial spirit shines in taking calculated risks. He has a vision and takes a leap. One significant vision Chris had was to expand into the Iowa City market in the middle of a recession. In 2009, Skogman Realty opened their Coralville office with four team members. In 2012, after four years, they have 60 agents, sold $176 million in volume, and are projected to do $220 million for 2013 in the Iowa City market alone. They currently have 52 agents and have quickly risen to the second largest company in the Iowa City area.
Company-wide, Skogman Realty has increased by 70 agents, 6% market share, and $300 million in volume under Chris’s leadership. He has a plan of where the company is going and great respect for its history. He stands by their company philosophy of, “Where we go, we go together.”
Chris has been a generous contributor of his time by serving on many nonprofit boards. He is a Past Chairman of the Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa Regional Executive Board and now sits on the Junior Achievement Regional Trustee Board, a member of the local U.S. Bank board, a board member for the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, a Trustee for the Kirkwood Community College Foundation, a member of the Business Services Innovation Council for the Metro Economic Alliance, a Linn-Mar Foundation board member, and a past Trustee of Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Chris enjoys any activities outdoors, especially in the mountains and relishes spending time with his wife, Nikki, and their three boys; Ben, Kade, and Jake.