Le Anne Plaza '08 (MSRE)

MSRE Alum Finds Success in the Seniors Housing Market

Le Anne Plaza '08 (MSRE)After earning her Master of Science in Real Estate degree in 2008, Le Anne Plaza was looking for a career that would touch on many of the topics she had learned in her real estate classes at the University of San Diego. Despite her strong background in banking, financial planning and estate planning, her job search ended up being a bit more challenging, given that the recession was already well under way when she graduated. Plaza decided to keep an open mind and look into any opportunity that presented itself—an approach that later paid off.

Originally from Fremont, Calif., Plaza moved to San Diego in 2005 to obtain her bachelor's degree in business administration from San Diego State University. It was there that she became interested in real estate while taking a Commercial Real Estate Investment course. With her interest in real estate piqued, Plaza decided to enroll in USD's MSRE program in the fall of 2007. During the program, Plaza realized that she would be prepared for a wide range of jobs in the industry, thanks both to her coursework and the knowledge she gained from her internship at MG Properties.

After a few months of searching, Plaza decided to start her own financial analyst consulting business and work as an independent contractor. Soon after, she stumbled upon an opportunity she never realized would be an option: a new investment brokerage and banking firm committed to seniors housing and the health care industry called Vant·Age Pointe Capital Management & Advisory Inc. was about to open its doors and was looking for a part-time independent contractor to work remotely as a financial analyst.

Plaza applied for the position after being told that the seniors housing industry was going to be the "next new wave of the future" in the real estate industry. After many rounds of interviews, she landed the job, and the company's managing partner, Lisa Widmier, was so impressed with what Plaza brought to the table, that she offered her a full-time contract position with the company.

Plaza has now been with Vant·Age Pointe for nine months, where she helps value luxury seniors housing properties and does financial underwriting and market research. She enjoys working with the small start-up company, especially since she gets to wear a lot of hats and is continually learning about a wide range of topics, much like she did during her classes in the MSRE program.

A major perk to her job is that as an independent contractor she is able to work from home. "It's nice not to have to wear a suit to work every day" says Plaza. She admits though, that the position is not for everyone as hours can be demanding. "It definitely takes a person with a good work ethic, strong self-discipline and someone who can learn quickly," she says. "You have to be passionate about what you do to stay focused and succeed in this type of work environment."

Plaza says Vant·Age Pointe has been an exciting company to work with because she has witnessed and been a part of the firm's growth first-hand. She's excited about her future with Vant·Age Pointe, where she hopes to grow and become well versed in an emerging industry.