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How One CRE Broker Created A Software Platform To Digitize The Industry


When a broker is negotiating a deal on behalf of a client, thousands of emails could be sent, along with hundreds of spreadsheets, PDFs and reams of paper. And yet, so many other industries can get things done at the click of a button — retail, insurance and banking, to name a few. What makes real estate different? 

Seeing no credible answer to that question, commercial real estate broker Chris Skyles created AnthemIQ, a software platform that he hopes will push the sector through its digital transformation.

“CRE is one of the few trillion-dollar industries left that hasn’t gone through its digitization,” said Skyles, who is AnthemIQ's chief growth officer and co-founder, as well as co-founder of the brokerage firm Elevate Growth Partners. “This industry is global and ties into every other sector — almost all companies have some kind of CRE footprint. But it still operates by sharing property data through a bunch of disconnected PDFs and spreadsheets that are noncollaborative and can be very confusing when you’re on the receiving end. This is a real problem we’re facing.”

AnthemIQ “takes the broker and client from search to signed lease in one collaborative platform,” he said, through one embedded workflow. Its collaborative interface increases the speed and transparency within transactions while giving clients more control.

Developing AnthemIQ has been a gradual evolution toward technology for Skyles. Having spent 17 years as a commercial broker in Austin, Texas, he set up Elevate Growth Partners in 2005 and quickly moved toward working with tech sector clients. AnthemIQ co-founder Kenny Tomlin, who has operated several tech firms, was one of Skyles’ biggest clients. Together they decided to create a better way to find and lease space.

“Initially, we were trying to build a digital survey — how to present search options on one web-based platform,” Skyles said. “When we rolled it out to our brokers, the clients loved it and started asking for additional features. Can you schedule tours in Anthem? Can we give feedback on it? We got to the point where we wanted an end-to-end solution.”

Tech Will Enable, Not Replace

AnthemIQ is currently used by about 4,500 brokers across the U.S. Initially, these were brokers in boutique brokerages, but Skyles said that the larger firms such as CBRE and JLL have many brokers using the platform.

“Our dream is that AnthemIQ plays a critical role in the digital transformation of the CRE industry,” Skyles said. “The software we’ve built is epic — brokers say it’s transformative. But it will take industrywide adoption to change the industry in a meaningful way. The challenge we face is the culture of the industry, people who have been doing the same thing for 30 years. Asking CRE professionals to work differently is a tall order, but when they use AnthemIQ and see the dramatic increase in production and positive client feedback, we are hoping this will drive adoption."

As various proptech innovations have emerged, worries have circulated that this could spell the end of brokers, which may have put people off using them. Skyles said he doesn’t believe this will be the case.

“In the visible future, I don’t see any way tech will disintermediate good brokers,” he said. “There are so many nuances to CRE transactions, they would die a thousand deaths if left on a tech platform unaccompanied by industry professionals. The next decade will be defined by tech-enabled services, connecting the best industry professionals to powerful technology that allows them to handle more transactions with a better customer experience. AnthemIQ will get the ball down the field to the red zone, then hand it to a broker who will get it into the end zone.”

Rather than remove the need for talented people to carry out deals, Skyles said that the efficiencies and time savings provided by AthemIQ will let brokers get more done. By streamlining processes, there could be less waiting around for documents and less information lost in translation between clients and brokers. For top brokers, they will be able to complete far more deals, Skyles said, and CRE can catch up with the rest of the world. 

This article was produced in collaboration between AnthemIQ and Studio B. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.

Studio B is Bisnow’s in-house content and design studio. To learn more about how Studio B can help your team, reach out to

Related Topics: PropTech, CRE trends