Business Management: Do Not Overlook the Importance of Succession Planning in this Environment


The last major and protracted crisis that specifically affected our industry was during the period from 1991 to 1995. How many of you were around to remember a phrase that permeated the industry – “Stay alive to 95”?

Well, there has been one long-term effect emanating from that period of time. Have you ever noticed that there are fewer professionals in our industry today between the ages of thirty-five and thirty nine years of age?

This will have a serious impact on succession planning for our industry for the near term future. It is all too easy to look at your young professionals, with little experience of a downturn, as a prime candidate for “right sizing” your organization during this deep recession.

However, we want to be sure that in the near future we do not lose our young professionals through disillusionment with real estate as a viable profession, and by 2020-2025 there will be a strong and experienced group of leaders available in the industry, with the proven experience of handling the various cycles we will continue to encounter, and ensure the health of our companies moving forward.

This is the time to invest in their career development. I applaud many of my senior colleagues for the effort and resources they are dedicating to mentoring, encouraging and teaching our young professionals new skills in cold calling, bringing value to a client in these difficult times, and sharing how they excelled and prospered during down cycles.

There is nothing more gratifying than seeing those new skills placed into the hands of enthusiastic young professionals – who armed with this knowledge, and the support of their mentors, will come out of this current cycle far more valuable to the company than anything they learned before while riding the crest of an “up market”.