Ray Anilionis
MS 1971

Despite the recent downturns which have occurred in the economy and the real estate markets, Ray Anilionis offers a refreshingly hopeful and no nonsense perspective of the industry to his fellow alumni. Graduating with an MS from the UW-Madison Real Estate program in 1971, Ray studied with "The Chief”, often meeting for evening classes at Graaskamp’s home on Breeze Terrace and sometimes driving him to seminars or speaking engagements. While talking with Ray, one gets the sense that the education he received through the real estate program was so deep and broad that it instilled a profound confidence in himself and his abilities that remains to this day.
This confidence manifested itself soon after his graduation. Due to Professor Graaskamp’s numerous contacts in the industry and the fact that the UW Madison Real Estate Program was already followed closely by big corporations, Ray was able to tour the central and eastern U.S. while interviewing with various large insurance companies, and even the IRS. Subsequently, Ray decided that those locales did not appeal to him. He wanted to live in Denver.

Ray packed up and drove to Denver. He walked up and down the 17th Street Financial District passing out his resume and was hired by a savings and loan in fairly short order. Ray went on to work for many years in senior management for a mortgage banking company, which included a large portfolio of residential and commercial properties throughout the southwest. He also began to develop his own portfolio at this point in time. Ray and two associates also began a home building company, building and selling luxury homes in the Denver suburbs for 25 years.  Within the past several years Ray has continued to manage his own real estate portfolio, which has now matured, thus allowing him the opportunity to spend time on his Colorado ranch with his family as well as additional time to travel.

Ray’s UW-Madison real estate education gives him a sense of pride and accomplishment. It has also given him confidence through the years knowing that he was accepted into and graduated from the best program in the country. He is gratified that a real estate degree from the University of Wisconsin Madison continues to carry with it a reputation of excellence that inspires confidence and respect throughout the industry. Ray serves on the boards of the UW-Whitewater Foundation and the Colorado Mesa University Real Estate Foundation.  In the past he has served on the boards of various commercial banks and municipal districts.

In his own words...

What is your most important career accomplishment?

My most important accomplishment is to have survived downturns intact.  The key is to be able to weather the storms.

What was the best advice you've ever received?

"You always make your money when you buy." James A. Graaskamp

What advice would you give graduates today?

Keep an open mind to opportunity and always have plans B, C and D.  Choose where you want to live before you apply for jobs then have enough confidence in your education and abilities to know that you have the resourcefulness and training to find a job in the location you desire.  Also, build a steady base to begin, then you can branch off into riskier ventures.