Rob Haskins '07 (MSRE)

MSRE Alum Finds Success in Senior Housing Industry

Rob Haskins '07 (MSRE)According to the checklists of many 20-somethings, Rob Haskins MSRE '07 had everything a young professional could want. As a media buyer for AOL and CBS in New York, he was living in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, negotiating over $250 million worth of deals in a single year, and poised to continue his success.

While Haskins liked his job, he found himself growing restless in an industry where the only bottom line that mattered was financial, and benefits to society were minimal. "At the end of the day I didn't feel like I was accomplishing much, or contributing to society," he says.

So Haskins opted for a change—in scenery, lifestyle and career. He quit his job, left the media buying industry and moved 2,800 miles away to San Diego. With an interest in real estate that was piqued at a young age, Haskins enrolled in the MSRE program at USD in the fall of 2006. While enrolled in the program, Haskins became interested in senior housing, largely because of the opportunities for philanthropy provided within the industry.

Upon completion of the MSRE program, Haskins found a job with Kisco Development Corp., the real estate/development arm of Kisco Senior Living. Currently, Haskins is a development services associate, a position that's part market analyst, part financial analyst and part project manager. The company offers a variety of housing options for the elderly—from independent and assisted living to Alzheimer's and skilled nursing care.

Haskins—in what he calls his favorite part of the job—is able to sit down with residents of the communities he helped build, to meet the people affected by his efforts, hear the tangible benefits his work provides to others, and learn how to make communities better.

Working in a real estate development capacity, Haskins has also been able to incorporate another philanthropic aspect into his career: sustainability. The development team at Kisco has actively been pursuing LEED certification for all of its new developments. Haskins is serving as project manager for the construction of Kisco's new San Diego office, which is anticipated to garner platinum LEED certification.

In the end, Haskins' decision to pursue a career in senior housing proved to be a wise one.

While many other areas of the real estate industry are undergoing well-documented challenges, the senior housing industry seems to be getting by relatively unscathed. The area, Haskins says, is one of the few real estate sectors that's in an "aggressive acquisitions mode," ramping up for a predicted influx in demand for senior housing in the coming years. Aging boomers will need a place to live, which means a bright future for Kisco, and for Haskins.