Joe Anfuso ’84 (BBA), ’89 (MBA)
Joe Anfuso, President, Florsheim Homes
Q. As a member of CNBC’s Small Business Council, you get interviewed frequently on air. Does media work come naturally to you?
A. I am a little more of a “ham” than I care to admit, so media interviews are really fun for me. I spend a great deal of time studying the market, so when I am being interviewed, I am pretty confident I can answer a question. Also, earlier in my career as a Forensic CPA, I testified in court on over 50 occasions, which helped prepare me to answer questions in a short, simple and concise manner, which is required for television.
Q. You earned two degrees at USD and serve as chair of the Center’s Residential Real Estate Committee. What is it about the university that makes it a worthwhile investment for you?
A. Success in business is partly predicated on understanding your market and associating yourself with others who are dedicated and familiar with your industry. USD has given me a great opportunity to meet, converse and associate with many industry leaders and experts, who provide me with the insights and knowledge necessary to lead a regional homebuilding company effectively.
Q. What’s the most important business lesson you’ve learned during your career?
A. Treat people fairly and honestly. The only thing you have is your word. If people know they can trust you, you can establish beneficial relationships, which you can rely on for the rest of your career.
Q. What would you be doing professionally if you weren’t in real estate?
A. Coaching youth sports. I very much enjoy the life lessons playing sports provides young people. Learning qualities such as commitment, hard work, team-building, competition and sportsmanship are invaluable and will provide a young person life-long benefits.
Q. What advice would you give our students to help them achieve their career goals in the real estate industry?
A. Pay your dues and learn as much as you can early in your career. Don’t worry about the money or what you think you deserve when you are just getting started. As a father of an MSRE graduate, I can assure you, I have had this conversation on numerous occasions. Assuming you are working in the field you enjoy, you shouldn’t be afraid to take a job, just because you think it may be “beneath” you. With the right experience and commitment, the financial rewards will come in due time. It’s much more important to learn everything you can in your selected industry to develop a great career.