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Talking Succession Planning

Succession Planning Blog IBR
Jul. 07, 2021

Executives in the student housing industry may begin to consider their full or partial retirement. This not only stems from “getting to that age,” but the simple fact that many have achieved substantial financial success and it’s literally worth considering retirement.

Before that can happen, student housing executive leadership within a firm must come together and devise an actionable succession plan for one or all of their key executive leadership team members.

A succession plan consists of set guidelines to ensure the success of the business moving forward – business continuity when there’s a material change in executive staff.  This plan should include the support of not only the executive leadership team but every level of the organization. See below for some key steps to take when developing your succession plan.

Your Succession Plan Checklist

  1. Draft a succession planning policy. This will outline a full range of scenarios in which succession is necessary, both planned and unexpected for emergency transition roles etc.

  2. Assign success planning roles. How will you divide and parcel your responsibilities, implementing them and ultimately tracking the execution of your succession plan? Consider your C-Suite, board of directors, department heads and HR team (caution: as we’ve cited elsewhere, HR/talent-management is woefully lacking in most CRE firms).

  3. Develop a list of potential succession candidates, internally. Who in your organization has the skill set to fill each critical role temporarily or permanently?  What is your plan to raise the bar or go externally if this plan falls short within a relevant period of consideration?

  4. Revise your talent acquisition strategy by inserting succession planning. What are the gaps you may need to fill with external candidates? What are your hiring goals (think diversity and also long-range industry/customer/corporate needs not only for the immediate future)?

  5. Measure your success once your plan is finalized. This can include employee turnover rates, the number of vacated leadership positions filled by internal and external candidates and talent acquisition costs.  Likewise, assessment if the now stabilized succession team is hitting the business goals themselves (revenue, NOI, etc.).

Once your succession plan reaches a rough draft, the team at IBR would like to discuss how to evolve it to a refined draft and execute on it, utilizing both internal/consultative measures and external outreach when warranted. It is never too early to begin the search for your successor. Let’s talk.


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